Lancashire Association of Change Ringers are holding an open day with 20 towers being open for ringing, heading from Lytham St Anne’s to St Cuthbert’s, Over Kellet.
The Tower and the Bells The tower, the pillars and arches which flank the north side of the nave date from the 15th century and are the only parts of the medieval church that remain. Suspended in the bell chamber of the tower are three bells of historic interest. The presence of all three was recorded in an inventory as early as 1552 and John Statter, a schoolmaster and parish clerk, who died in 1736, also left information about them in his records.
It is likely that the tenor bell, which weighs about 711kg and measures 112cm in diameter, almost certainly came from the Nottingham foundry of Richard Mellor in the late 15th century. The inscription reads “Hec Campana Sacra Fiat Trinitate Beta” (May this bell be sanctified by the Holy Trinity). It has three stamps on its waist, one of which shows the figure of St. Andrew on his cross. Page 12 of 17 The treble bell is 92cm in diameter and has the inscription “Gloria in Altissimis Deo – 1724” (Glory to God in the highest). Below this is an ornamental border of five stamps and the initials S.S Ebor (York). John Slatter records that the bell was re-cast by Sam Smith at York for a total bill of £9. 10s. 6d and was transported back to Bolton-le-Sands within eight days by a James Garrett for £5. The third bell is 102cm in diameter and is also a re-cast of an older bell. It has the inscription “In dulcedine vocis cantabo tuo nome 1694” (In sweetness of voice I shall sing to your Name). It was re-cast in Wigan in 1694 at a cost £17 plus carriage.
All three bells were re-hung in 1906 by Meirs and Stainbank of London. This work was done just in time as the metal crown which held the great tenor bell in the wooden block was in a very decayed state having been in use for 400 years! The new frame was constructed to hold six bells!
On Saturday 17th February 2024 between 1.40pm and 2.40pm members of the “Lancashire Association of Change Ringers” will visit Holy Trinity Church, Bolton-le-Sands to ring the bells. There could be as many as 100 ringers ringing the bells. They are on a journey from St Anne’s Church, St Anne’s on Sea to join in the dedication weekend of the new ring of 8 in St Cuthberts, Over Kellet. These bells were previously located at Church Kirk. The remodelled bells were installed in late 2023 to make a much-needed ringing centre in North Lancashire.