The Old Bells
The old bells came originally from Disley Church and the ring of six was installed in the tower at Norbury in 1837.
Two of the bells, dating from 1617, are inscribed: "Jesus be our speed" and "God save the King." These are such fine examples of the old bell founders craft that they were preserved when the bells were recast in 1925. They are now placed on display on beams high over the entrance to the church in the lower bell tower room whose ceiling has the painted decoration shown here.
The other four bells date from 1682, 1748, 1750 and 1837. The oldest of these was re-cast in 1873. In 1925 these four bells were re-cast and re-tuned, and new inscriptions added; and four new bells were added, making a ring of eight bells instead of six, with a new cast-iron frame.
The Current Bells
The old and new inscriptions are as follows:
Treble - (PETR LEE, Esq. 1750)
Re-cast 1925, as the Gift of the Nonconformists of Hazel Grove.
"Behold how good and joyful a thing it is,
Brethren to dwell together in unity."
2nd - (PETER LEE, Lord of Lime. Daniel Hedderley FR 1748)
Re-cast 1925. In Memory of the Men of this Parish who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918.
"For God, King, and Country."
3rd - Ringers Bell, 1925
In Memory of Private Herbert Williamson, Loyal North Lancs. Regiment, who died December 15th, 1918, aged 38, for many years a Ringer at this Church.
4th - 1925
Dedicated by the Freemasons of Hazel Grove and District (Square and Compass.)
" Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth."
5th - (God save this Church. Thomas Legh, Esq., Lyme Park, 1837)
6th - (All people may behold and see the workes of good SIR PEETER LEIGH, 1682.)
Re-cast 1873 and again re-cast 1925.
7th - TE DEUM LAUDAMUS
A Thank-offering from the Congregation, 1925
Tenor - NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA. 1925.
The work in 1925 was done by Messrs. Taylor and Co., of Loughborough, at a cost of about £800.
This information has been taken from the commemoration programme for the dedication of the bells which took place on October 24th 1925.
The tradition of church bell ringing (campanology) has existed since the early 17th Century and is a familiar sound in English villages, towns and cities throughout the country.
Norbury Parish Church has a ring of eight bells which are rung primarily for Sunday services and weddings.
Can anyone learn to ring?
Bell ringing is a hobby which can be taken up by almost anybody who is willing to learn! Providing you are over the age of 11 and are reasonably fit, you should be able to give bell ringing a try.
Learning to do anything new takes time and practice so you need to put a little time aside for this. Initially a beginner must learn how to control the bell. Once competent at this (usually taking a few weeks/months), the new ringer can join the main practice and learn to ring with the rest of the band.
There are more than 40,000 bell ringers in the UK coming from all walks of life. They are young and old, men and women, short and tall, girls and boys, non-musical and musical, church-goers and non-churchgoers.
What's in it for me?
All sorts of things! If you are interested in:
- Working in a team
- Joining a social crowd of people
- Learning something all the time
- Doing something for the church which is slightly 'different'
- Having a hobby which allows you to turn up to towers all over the world (they're not all in the UK!) and be made welcome
then why not give it a try?
When do we meet?
We meet for a practice night every Thursday from 8pm until 9:30pm in the tower. This time is spent teaching, learning and of course practising!
We ring for two Sunday services and meet in the tower at 9:45am for the morning service and at 6pm for the evening service.
Where can I find out more?
You can visit us at any of the above times, but you may wish to let us know first so we can look out for you - please visit our own web site to make contact: www.norburybells.org.uk/contact.htm.