Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Grappenhall Bells Peal Appeal

St Wilfrids’ Grappenhall launches fund raising for new peal of bells.

For over 300 years the bells of historic St Wilfrids’ church have called the people of Grappenhall to worship every week and have rung out to celebrate Christmas, new year, weddings and national events. 

But now this much-loved peal of bells is under threat.  The eight (8) bells, some of which date back to the 17th century, are literally “clapped out” and therefore becoming unringable.  Not only are the bells themselves worn, but the frame in which they hang has started to move, risking damage to the tower itself.   St. Wilfrid's award-winning band of ringers, whose ages range from 17  to 90, have put together plans to ensure that ringing can continue for at least another hundred years.  A new, more musical ring of ten bells will be cast and installed in a brand new frame, whilst the most important elderly bells will be retained in the tower in ‘semi-retirement’, and chimed for services, available to view by visitors and used for the clock chimes.  The clock, which is also of historical significance, will be retained and renovated ensuring that the clock chimes can be heard in Grappenhall. 

Tower Captain, Mike Thomson, said “The relevant authorities have approved the plans, so now ‘all’ we have to do is raise the funds, estimated at £175,000.  We are in the process of applying for any available grants, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and are planning a number of fund raising events – watch this space!”

Events planned include:

Tower Open Day on Sunday 10th September 2017 between 1.30pm and 4.30pm

-       A chance to see the existing bells, climb to the top of the tower and view the surrounding area.

          -       Just come along on the day, no tickets required

Quiz Night on Friday 13th October 2017 starting at 7.45pm in the Parish rooms next to St Wilfrids’ church Grappenhall.

-       For more information or tickets (£10 each including food) please contact  Nick Thomson by e-mail at

St Wilfrids’ Grappenhall launched the fund raising on Sunday 14th May 2017 at the regular morning service, followed by a presentation in the parish rooms. Anyone who would like to learn more about the project should follow the link below:

More information about the bell appeal here.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Test Ring

On the evening of Thursday 26 Nov 2016 there was a test ring of the new 10 bell installation at St Thomas’ Stockton Heath. A group of around 30 people, comprising the novice band plus those who have been tutoring us, ascended the tower steps.

The front six were rung up by a band of experienced ringers who then rang some rounds. The 7 and 9 followed by 8 and 10 were then set. Some of the new band members joined in and all 10 bells were rung. And so it continued until every had rung two or three times.

The architect, who had to sign the project off and declare that we could ring, went round the tower placing his palms and leaning against various parts of the walls as if he was a healer laying on hands. We followed him closely to see if we could detect any sign of the outcome from his inscrutable expression. He had the face of a poker player.

This might seem a little un-necessary but there have been instances of bells being installed, rung once, and the tower being declared un-fit and the bells never rung again.

A small group were sent outside with a meter to check that our sound proofing was effective and that the decibel levels were within the acceptable range. When they returned they went into a huddle and poured over the results before emerging to say that all was well.

Ringing continued until 9pm when, in deference to our neighbours, we stopped and we received the welcome news that we all hoped for that ringing could go ahead.

On the 3 Dec we are hosting the AGM of the local branch of the Guild of Bellringers. Bellringers love to “grab” new towers, or ones at which they have never rung at before, so we expect that the meeting will be more popular than usual. Particularly as we are the only 10 bell tower in the branch.

The following week, 10 Dec, we will be opening the tower so that members of the local community can come in and see the completed installation.

We will start to hold our weekly practice sessions in our own tower. Up until now we have been scattered between local towers. For the first six months these sessions will be closed to other ringers so that we as a band can get it as much practice as possible.

We anticipate that groups of other bands from all over the country will be in contact to come and ring. Our plan is to open the tower for a few hours one Saturday a month to accommodate them and not subject the village to excessive ringing.

We hope to ring for Christmas and New Year’s eve but we will not start ringing for services until after the bishop’s visit to dedicate the bells on 8 Jan 2017.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Doon The Watter

Razzle Dazzle
The leaving o' Liverpool
I canna change the laws of physics
She's gonna blow Captain
Heave ho
The pier
Photo shoot
Throwing some shapes on the promenade
Gone fishin'
Homeward bound

Sunday, 10 July 2016


A smiling face.

One of us couldn't resist a ride on the choo choo train.

A proud man.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Walking Day 2016

Walking day is a colourful spectacle.

All the different denominations come and walk together.

A familiar face among the walkers

Both young and old walk together.

This year there were three bands.

A feature of walking day is that when spectators see children they know they rush out on to the road to give them money. This money is usually spent at the fair after the parade.

A rainbow nation.