Bells

Salleys Bell Letter Bell Letter Bell Accountant

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St. Peter’s Bell Tower has 6 bells, rung by an enthusiastic all-age band of ringers, comprising 5 members of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers, 3 associate members, and 3 registered learners. Bells are rung for services, festivals and celebrations, and ringing practice is on 6.45 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The Rector writes: “When I arrived at St. Peter’s it was a struggle to find six ringers on a Sunday. All that changed under Betty’s time as tower captain and she and all the ringers deserve our thanks; it makes such a difference being called to the service by a full peal of bells. It was very good to greet our new Bishop, David, to Addingham with a peal of bells on New Year’s Day 2003 as he stopped at St. Peter’s for prayers and refreshments on his long walk to the cathedral for his welcome service.”

The current Tower Captain is Stuart Haltom, and the Secretary is Pat Wells-Oliver.  You may contact Stuart Holtam on 01943 839938 or by email at stuartholtam@mac.com.

In 2003, a raised floor for the ringing chamber has been re-introduced into the tower, funded by FOSPA. This floor reduces the drop from ceiling to ringer and so improves rope control for the bellringers (and also created much needed space in a new room beneath).

Some of the bells have mottoes engraved on them, e.g.

  • “Kind Heaven Increase Their Bounteous Store And Bless Their Souls For Evermore.”
  • “We two are hung within this steeple By gift of well disposed people.”
  • “Our voiced shall, with joyful sound, Make Hills and Valleys echo.”

The bells were first installed in the 18th Century, as reported in the “Leeds Intelligencer” of September 8th 1759 :

  • “This day was finished here (Addingham in Craven) by Mr. James Harrison of Barrow in Lincolnshire, the hanging of six new bells, which are allowed by judges to be extremely musical. The next day was rung upon them by a set of ringers from Otley, several peals, viz:- Oxford Trebles, Bob College, Pleasure College, Treble Bob and Crown Bob, the whole consisting of 2520 changes performed in one hour thirtytwo minutes to the great pleasure and satisfaction of the numerous concourse of people from different parts assembled on that occasion.”

Various documents relating to the installation are extant:

Letter dated 3rd August 1759 regarding the Shipment of the bells from Hull to Tadcaster.

Mr. Bell, Hull 3 August 1759

Capt. Taylor is now arrived here and I have got the 6 Bells, 6 Clappers & a small Canvess Parcell putt on Board Sam Long’s Sloop for Tadcaster And I am hopefull it will not now be long before they are safe with you. I have had some wrangling about London Freight. They charged 10/- a piece which I thought extravagant and with much ado I gott it down to 8/-. So have debitted you for £2.8s. and charges at Hull 2/6. Corne is a poor price now and not likely to be better. It’s also very low in London.

I am your noblest

Simon Horn.

Letter dated July 1759 from Lester and Pack in London, who supplied the Addingham bells.

Account from Lester and Pack to the Parish of Addingham, for the sum of £246-1s-0d