The Bells Of St Mary’s

Bell Ringing in Woodford Halse

Geoffrey Stretton, the Tower Captain of Eydon & Woodford Halse, has provided this news about a bell ringing on Saturday afternoon in memory of Derek Thornton.

The Village Church

A visiting band of ringers from Maids Moreton and Buckingham, will be in attendance to ring the bells of St. Mary the Virgin church, Woodford Halse,  on Saturday 23rd November between 3.00 – 3.45 pm.

This will then be followed by a Quarter Peel to be rung by local friends, from surrounding villages, in memory of the late Derek Thornton, on the second anniversary of his last ring. Derek was a past tower captain of Woodford Halse, who lived all his married life in Hinton Road and died in May 2018. Anyone wishing to come along and listen to this peel would be most welcome to sit in the church and watch.

In 1974, Derek was instrumental in getting the Woodford bells ringing again after many years of silence. They had not been rung since the early 1950’s having fallen into a state of disrepair with broken wheels, ropes and stays. It was through his drive and enthusiasm together with that of the Rev Haydn Smart (who died last week) and Gerald Smith, that enabled these bells to be refurbished and increased from 5 to a 6 bell ring. In 1987 Derek took over as tower captain from Gerald Smith and remained so until his death. In 2013 he was made Honorary Life Member of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. Derek’s last ring was in Nov 2017 at the age of 92.


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