After several years of planning and fund raising, the new ring of bells has been installed at St John’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Dumfries.
The bells arrived on Monday 4th November and were rung for the first time on Friday 8th. Six bells have been installed at present. Two additional trebles have been cast and will be added early in 2014.
Details of the bells are listed on Dove’s Guide. The bells are of excellent tone and sound very well both in the tower and outside.
The treble of the current ring of six will be the third in the ring of eight. This bell, pictured above, is inscribed “DONATED BY THE SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION OF CHANGE RINGERS” and carries the Association logo.
A view of the back 5 bells is below. In front, from left to right, are the 5, 4 and 8 of the planned ring of eight. Behind are the 6 and 7. These bells, cast in 1946 by Gillett and Johnston, are from the redundant chime at Mount Zion Church, Quarrier’s Village, Bridge of Weir.
It was very pleasing that two local ringers were able to take part in the first service ringing on the bells, assisted by ringers from other towers in Scotland. The joy of the occasion was touched with sadness because two members of the congregation, and notable supporters of the project, had died just a few days before the bells arrived in Dumfries. Therefore, the bells were rung half-muffled for the first service ringing.
We now look forward to the creation of a regular band. A number of ringers living in the area have already come forward and two have already attended the ITTS Module 1 course. Thanks are due to all who have helped to bring the project to this stage.