From the RW   Vol 53, Issue 2408, page 338

May 4th 1957


  Ringing history was made on May 4th when the Northern District held what is believed to be the first-ever meeting of the Association at Embleton, Northumberland. Embleton, or Emeldon as it is also known in official documents, lies near the sea coast almost in the shadow of Dunstanburgh Castle, one of the outstanding examples of the majestic Northumbrian strongholds, and described by Freeman, the historian, as ‘surpassing all other Northumbrian castles in the grandeur of its site and abiding as a castle should abide in the majesty of a shattered ruin.’

  The parish church of the Holy Trinity is of ancient foundation, and the advowson is held by Merton College, Oxford. The tower contains a ring of six bells (tenor 11 cwt.), installed by Mears and Stainbank in 1894. Two peals of Minor have been recorded, in 1896 and 1935, but in recent years the bells have been going badly and little or no ringing has been done on them. Now, however, a scheme of restoration of the fabric of the tower and the rehanging of the bells has been completed, at a cost of over £1,000, and the bells were reopened last Christmas. At the invitation of the Vicar (the Rev. P. Karney), the Association arranged this meeting to try the bells and give a stimulus to ringing in this out-of-the-way village.

  A full bus-load of ringers travelled from Newcastle. They and other members were met with a warm welcome from the Vicar and the local ringers and were accorded the freedom of the belfry. A little difficulty was experienced on first ringing owing to the maladjusted ropes, the sally of the treble being so low that the first touch was rung literally ‘aux genoux.’

  A picnic tea was taken in the Vicarage, the study, conservatory and kitchen being overrun for the purpose. Following this, a ringers’ service was held in church, conducted by the Vicar of Embleton who, in an address, expressed the appreciation and thanks of the parish for the Association’s visit. Mr. J. Brewster (hon. editorial secretary) officiated at the organ, and a course of Grandsire Triples was rung on handbell in the chancel by P. Giles 1-2, C. N. Lea 3-4, K. Arthur 5-6, E. N. Harrison 7-8. A collection realised 2 2s. 6d., of which 1 was allocated to the Association bell restoration fund and the remainder to the local belfry maintenance fund.

  Further ringing continued until 8.30 p.m., when the order to re-embark was given and the journey back to Newcastle was made by a route of longer length when the driver missed a bob early on in the course!

  Embleton now has a pleasant, easy-going six and looks like becoming the venue of many future Association meetings. It is planned to supply instruction in change-ringing to the local ringers, and it is hoped they will become members of this Association when qualified.

End of article


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