Ap-pealing for new ringers at superbly restored Mirfield bells

Ap-pealing: Tower Captain Ian Ackroyd with Rev Hugh Baker. Picture: Andrew Bellis
Ap-pealing: Tower Captain Ian Ackroyd with Rev Hugh Baker. Picture: Andrew Bellis

A superb set of ten recast or retuned bells are hanging in a parish church - all they need is more people to ring them!

In 2016 the bells at St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Mirfield, were extensively renovated and all rehung, with the front six bells recast and the back four retuned, an £89,000 project which included the melting down of six of the huge instruments to recast them as new bells using a process unchanged for centuries.

Help: Molly Pratt, Ian and Mark Jennings want extra ringers

Help: Molly Pratt, Ian and Mark Jennings want extra ringers

Bell captain Ian Ackroyd said the enthusiastic group of ringers had worked hard to finance the restoration but sadly the group had dwindled since with one member passing away and others struggling to climb the bell-tower circular staircase for a number of reasons including ill-health.

Ian said “It has been wonderful to see and hear the bells being rung again. People have been commenting saying how tremendous and wonderful it sounds. There has been a really positive vibe.

“We now have one of the finest peals of ten church bells in the country, visitors come from far and wide to enjoy ringing them, but unfortunately we are faced with a serious shortage of bell ringers of our own.

“The hope is that the peal will benefit the local population for the next 100 years but unless we have new people to join the group our wonderful, tuneful bells will be silenced,” he said. Ian said the peal was always keen to introduce new ringers to the team, a great way to socialise.  

Practice night is Thursdays, from 7pm to 8.30pm, and they also ring for Sunday services 9.15am to 9.45am on the first Sunday of the month at the moment, as well as at weddings and special services.

If you want to learn, contact Ian by emailing i.ackroyd@ntlworld.com for more details.