Tower captain Dennis Oram's sixtieth year of ringing was marked by excellent support from the village for the fund-raising to pay for the augmentation from five to six bells. On Wednesday 12th July, in a packed church, the Bishop of Winchester dedicated the new 4½ cwt treble bell, cast and hung by Taylors. Dennis is justifiably proud of a musical ring of six and of his fund-raising which achieved its target in less than twelve months.
The restoration of this 1784 ring of six was completed by Taylors in January. At the dedication on Sunday 16th July the local band was able to easily ring their historical bells from the middle of the church, knowing that fund-raising was almost complete, thanks to a donation from the widow of the late Boris Karloff, better known as the actor involved in early horror films. The dedication was a happy occasion.
The Diocesan Secretary made contact with the Guild, hoping that bells could be installed at this new church. Alas, anticipated high costs caused abandonment of the plans to build a tower.
1990 will mark the centenary of this fine, 19 cwt octave and an inspection by Taylors indicated that the well-maintained 1890 frame and bells need considerable work upon them to ensure that they are in the best of condition for another hundred years. The local ringers, in conjunction with the PCC, have launched an appeal to raise the £24,000 required, and many exciting events are planned for 1990. We are pleased to hear that there are also plans to augment the ring to ten in addition to the major restoration.
The complete rehanging of the original octave and the augmentation by Whitechapel to ten offers a fine example of the workmanship we can expect from the newly established firm of M K Waldron. The two trebles were cast at Whitechapel on 18th May, and were donated by Mr and Mrs Kippin and by Mr Waldron. Fund-raising was masterminded by Philip Belgeonne, and an illustrated scroll listing contributors can be found displayed in the belfry. Vast numbers attended the dedication on Saturday 30th September, during which Martin read a fascinating history of the bells from the time of Keble. During a splendid repast provided by the local band in the church hall, presentations were made. The event was fully reported in The Ringing World issue 4094.
Described as the largest DIY project ever undertaken, Newport now has a light 16½ cwt ring of twelve, hung in two levels. It is an excellent memorial to William Rayner, who established the first ever change ringing in our Guild area, in 1770, when he founded the Union Youths of Newport long before the establishment of our Guild in 1879.
There has been no local band here for some time and consequently little maintenance work. Mr Waldron was quite concerned when he was called in to investigate strange noises coming from the bell chamber. Some fittings were so loose that a dangerous situation had arisen, and this perhaps emphasises to all bands the need for regular maintenance. Fortunately the PCC here was prepared to effect all the essential repairs listed by Mr Waldron and the six bells are now safe to ring.
A treble bell weighing 2½ cwt was cast at Whitechapel and inscribed
Serve the Lord
In Memory of Eva Sardinia Borthwick-Norton
by public subscription
The existing peal of five bells was hung with all new fittings and framework by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and dedicated on 1st November 1981 in memory of Mrs Borthwick-Norton's husband, Squire Hugh Frank Pakenham Borthwick-Norton, who died in 1950.
The memorial appeal was launched in March by the new Squire of Southwick, Mr Robin Thistlethwayte, and the target was reached within three months, with donations from villagers and friends. The memorial bell was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Portsmouth on Sunday 26th November, with ringing before and after by the regular Sunday service band of ringers.
D C JACKSON