We have a ring of eight bells in the key of D flat. Bell numbers 1-7 were cast by Robert Wells of Aldbourne in 1771 and the tenor, number 8, by Abraham Rudhall in 1716. The tenor weights 25cwt. The bell tower was built between 1400 and 1404 and was originally separate to the church becoming incorporated into the south wall of the church in the late 15th century. Within the tower the bells are arranged on two levels in a 1948 iron frame by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon with the treble (No.1), No.2 and No.5 on the top. In 2003/2004 the bells underwent a major refurbishment. The cannons were removed from Nos 5-8 and Nos 1-4 provided with modern cannon retainers. New clappers were also fitted. The bells were then retuned at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London. Now we have a fine sounding and evenly struck ring.
Click here for a recording of our bells made near the west end of the church during Sunday morning service ringing.
We are a group of friendly and enthusiastic ringers from all walks of life – some of us have been ringing for over 50 years: others are just starting out. Our youngest ringer is 11 years old. New ringers are very welcome so if you are interested in finding out more about ringing at St Thomas do get in touch. Two of the ringing band are accredited teachers with the Association of Ringing Teachers so as a learner you will be in safe hands. If you are thinking of learning you should be over 10 years of age (and able to reach the ropes) and have a good level of fitness. There are 27 steps up the tower to the ringing chamber. In due course all learners should fully support practices and ringing before services.
We occasionally get together for a sociable meal and have an annual outing to other towers. We are members of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers.
On Sundays, we ring from 9.30 to 10.15am for the Church’s family service and from 5.15 to 6pm for Evensong. Our practice night is every Thursday 7pm-9pm with the first half hour devoted to our more recent learners. On the second Thursday each month we gather ringers from a wider area and hold a surprise practice from 7.30 to 9.00pm. After our practices, several of us adjourn to a local pub.
Visitors are welcome for service ringing and practices but it would be best to contact us beforehand as morning service times can change and events in the church sometimes get in the way of our practices. Individual visitors and visiting bands should note that access to the ringing chamber is not through the church but from Silver Street through an archway adjacent to Caffe Nero. There is a toilet in the church.