Love them or hate them, church bells are a part of life in England. In 2012 Church Bells all around the country rang out to celebrate events such as the opening of the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

We know that there were ‘five large bells’ in St Etheldreda’s church tower (plus a Sanctus bell) in 1610 and the 17th century pub at the bottom of Fore Street was called The Five Bells. In 1739 three new bells were added and the pub’s name was changed to The Eight Bells.

These eight bells and the original wooden frame, reinstalled in 1786 are still there to this day. In 1929, two trebles were added in memory of Rupert Edward Gascoyne Cecil who was killed at Ypres in 1915.

One of the stories goes that the Rector at the time refused to allow the pub to be renamed because it was not a ‘church pub’. In any event the pub has remained ‘The Eight Bells’.

St Etheldreda’s bells have been ringing out for hundreds of years and for hundreds of Christmas mornings as they will for Christmas this year

The bell tower at St Etheldreda’s in Old Hatfield is short of ringers and without the input of new ringers the bells may fall silent. Imagine a wedding without the bells!!!

Ringing is part of our culture – for 400 years church bells have rung to encourage worshippers to services, nowadays they are rung for all manner of occasions, from the opening of the Olympics, to the Queens Jubilee and of course at weddings. Ringing is fun (some practice nights finish at the pub), it’s good exercise (you won’t see a lady ringer with bingo wings) it’s FREE, and who knows before long you could be getting paid to ring the bells for weddings – what other hobby pays you to do it?

If you would like to give bell ringing a go then come along on a Thursday evening between 8pm and 9.15pm or contact;
Mary Goss