It was a very happy congregation that assembled at the church of Preston Candover, Hants, on October 22nd for the dedication of the six bells of this tower. In the words of the Rector (the Rev. C. E. C. Brinkworth), "the prophecy has been fulfilled; by the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Messrs. John Taylor and Co. we have now not only one of the sweetest-toned, but also the lightest ring in Hampshire (tenor 3 cwt. 3 qr. 27 lb.).
The original bells consisted of two cast in 1863 and three in 1885 (when the present church was built), and these were augmented two years ago when the Rector and churchwardens of Overton and Laverstoke presented a 1624 tenor bell from the Chapel of Ease in Laverstoke Park, which was then being closed. The bells have been recast and rehung in an iron frame and on ball-bearings.
The dedication was carried out by the Bishop of Winchester (Dr. A. T. P. Williams), who is president of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. He was assisted in the service by the Dean of Winchester (Dr. E. G. Selwyn), the Rural Dean of Alresford (the Rev. E. W. Selwyn), the Rector (the Rev. C. E. C. Brinkworth) and the Rev. K. C. Davis (Greywell) - both the last two are enthusiastic ringers.
Dr. Williams, in his sermon, said they had many causes for rejoicing on this occasion. One was the generosity of those who had made the work of restoring the bells possible. Another was the skill and wisdom, based on long and deep experience and loving care, of those who had actually done the work. Another was their thankfulness that once again the bells would ring out as in the past.
"It is one, and only one, of the reasons for the power of the sound of the bells over our hearts," he said, "that it links us with the generations past, and it recalls the long continuity of the Church of God in our country." Referring to the fact that the sound of the bells at times reminded them of joy, at other times of the seriousness of life, Dr. Williams said: "All down the centuries, as long as there have been church bells, we can be sure that these same emotions and thoughts have dwelt in the hearts of those who have lived in our cities and villages."
After the service the local ringers - Messrs. E. Long (captain), G. Thorne (vice-captain), A. Padwick, J. Nipress and T. Budden - with Mr. Arthur Fidler rang the opening rounds, and this was followed by a touch of Grandsire, when the ropes were handed over to Mr. Dick Smith, Master of the Winchester District.
During the day the fund for the recasting and rehanging the bells benefited by some £85 10s. - £44 from the collection, £36 10s. from donations and £5 from the tea. This brought the total of the fund to just over £600, and about a further £300 is required.
The Ringing World No. 2328, November 11, 1955, page 717