The 4th of May, 1909, will long be remembered by the inhabitants of this pretty Hampshire village, as this was the date fixed for the dedication of a new treble and rededication of the old five bells after being properly tuned and rehung.
It had long been felt that sooner or later the matter of restoration of the bells would have to be faced. The authorities therefore decided to call in expert advice, with the result that after the bells and their fittings had been examined by Mr. C. Edwards in October last he strongly advised that the bells should no longer be rung for fear of serious results. This counsel was at once acted upon. A vestry meeting was called in December last, which was well attended by both churchmen and nonconformists. Mr. Edwards was again asked to attend and outline the serious condition of the bells and their surroundings. After discussing the matter for a short time only it was decided that the bells must be restored. Carefully considering the tenders received, it was determined to accept that of Messrs. Barwell, of Birmingham, for the tuning and rehanging of the existing five bells in the old frame, and, if funds permitted, to add a new treble. It was also decided that there should be a house-to-house collection. Willing workers volunteered their services, and at the end of January a commencement was made, with the result that in one week £3o was collected from the cottagers alone, no one refusing their mite. The first week in Lent the Vicar issued an appeal, with the result that all the money required was subscribed within a very few days. It was at once decided to place the order, under the condition that the work should be completed by the 1st of May.
The five old bells were cast in 1695 by Knight of Reading, and the present 5th was recast by Mears in 1864. Apart from this nothing whatever has been done to them except new wheels which were provided locally some thirty years ago. The tenor is about 14 cwt. in E., and has the following inscription:-
Nichollas Wheeler did contrive
From four bells to make us five.”
The others all bear inscriptions. The new treble weighs 5½ cwt., and is a fine-toned bell. The cannons have all been removed from the five old bells, and the complete ring of six have been hung with iron headstocks. They have also been beautifully tuned - so very different from their old state - and their go is pronounced by all to be simply grand.
Tuesday May 4th, was the date given for the dedication by the Bishop of Guildford. The service commenced at three o’clock, and a large congregation assembled. After the usual prayers, and a hymn, the bishop, clergy, and choir proceeded to the tower, and after dedicating the new bell the bells were rung in rounds, during which the procession returned to the choir stalls, when immediately the hymn - “Sound them sweetly in the steeple, Let our bells be set on high,” was sung. The bishop then delivered a most impressive address, pointing out the spiritual use of church bells for calling people to church, or reminding those that could not or would not attend His services of their solemn duty towards Almighty God.
After another hymn the bishop pronounced the blessing, and the congregation dispersed to listen to the bells, which were rung in Grandsire Doubles for a short time. After tea 360 of Kent Treble Bob was rung, and a 720 of Plain Bob Minor by the following members of the Winchester Guild: F. A. Barnett, F. W. Elliott, W. Bashford, E. Newell, J. W. Russell, C. Edwards (conductor). Afterwards touches in various methods were rung. Immediately preceding the eight o’clock service a 720 of Kent Treble Bob was rung by J. E. Groves, C. Edwards, F. W. Elliott, E. Newell, J. W. Russell, F. E. Dawe (conductor), the striking throughout being perfection.
The parish of Binsted now possesses a fine-toned ring of bells; the work of restoration throughout reflects great credit upon the founders and hangers, Messrs. Barwell. The parish also has an enthusiastic company of young ringers, whom are already members of the Winchester Guild, and who will receive instruction in change-ringing from Mr. C. Edwards.
During this past twelve years this parish, which is purely an agricultural one, has raised close upon £2000 for the restoration of the church alone. May we wish them all prosperity.
The Bell News No. 1415, May 15, 1909, page 145
A LARGE congregation filled Binsted (Hants) Parish Church and bell-ringing enthusiasts from a wide area were also drawn to the church on September 27th, when the recently restored and recast bells of the ring of six were rung for the first time and were dedicated by the Bishop of Southampton (the Rt. Rev. K. E. N. Lamplugh).
As the procession returned to the chancel the bells were rung in rounds by Binsted ringers: Mrs. Gant 1, Miss V. White 2, Mrs. White 3, Miss G. Stretton 4, Mrs. R. Corke 5, Mr P. Knight 6.
Mr. J. P. Fidler represented Messrs. John Taylor and Co., the bell-founders who carried out the recasting and rehanging in the new frame.
After the service some 80 or more parishioners and friends gathered in the Wickham Institute, where an excellent tea was served by members of the Mothers’ Union and where the afternoon’s rejoicing was in some measure qualified by a formal ceremony of farewell to the Rev. H. E. and Mrs. Gant.
Between 40 and 50 ringers travelled to Binsted to “try” the new bells, and all were delighted with their sweet tones and their easy handling.
The Ringing World No. 2480, October 10, 1958, page 661