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Brief History

During the Second World War there was a ban on bell-ringing. The bells were only to be used as a signal of invasion. Towards the end of the war this ban was relaxed and ringing for Sunday services, special occasions and practices was allowed. However following the war there was a shortage of ringers.

Albert E. Sellers wrote to 21 local towers stating"...There is not sufficient number of experienced ringers in any one tower in the area to give the necessary tuition and encouragement to learners in the art of change ringing...". The letter invited representatives from the towers to a meeting to discuss forming a District Society.

The meeting was held on the 19th August 1946 in the vestry of Holy Trinity Church, Hull with representatives from 11 towers attending and letters of support from a further 3. Mr Clement Glen and Mr Clement R. Robinson proposed and seconded the formation of the society.

Mr George F. Williams chaired the inaugural meeting and was elected as the first President of the Beverley and District Ringing Society. The other officers were
    Clement Glen, Ringing Master
    Albert E. Sellers, Secretary and Treasurer

A committee of six was elected and together with the officers they were empowered to draw up rules and standing orders for the Society.

In the first year membership rose steadily to 114 with regular attendance of 50 members at general meetings. Also during the first year a project to install a ring of six bells at Hutton Cranswick was well under way and the society contributed to this scheme, the first of many that the B & D came to support over the coming years. The vicar of Hutton, Revd George Storer was elected as the society's first Chaplain.

The B & D's first peal was scored at Nunburnholme on the 7th June 1947, 3 minor methods conducted by Leonard Rodmell. A commemorative peal was rung during the society's fiftieth anniversary year, Mr John Hobson rang the same bell as he rang in the first peal. Peal ringing continues to be strongly supported by B & D members with the total number of peals now approaching 1000.

During the seventies the BnD developed a strong Maximus band with assistance from the South Yorkshire area. This developed a strong peal ringing band that pushed the boundaries of ringing in the BnD area. This momentum continued through the eighties as records for the Society show. This period showed a major increase in peal ringing activity that continues to this day. As part of the Society's fiftieth year (1996) an effort was made to ring 50 peals during the year, this total was achieved largely as a result of organisation by David Johnson.

From 1978 to 1980 the Society had a marquee at the annual Humberside Show in which a miniature bell tower was built. Princess Anne, to whom the Society President presented a tape recording of change ringing, visited the marquee. For the Show, Hornsey Pottery were commissioned to produce a limited edition of 2500 bell ringers' mugs. These were advertised in the RInging World and the Sunday Times becoming one of the society's greatest fundraising successes.

A trophy was given to the Society in memory of Mrs Joan Castle in 1984. This is presented annually to the tower that has rung the most quarter peals in a year.

During the 1980's and on through to 2000 the Society membership has increased steadily to over 200, this represents an overall increase over the peak membership of the Society's early days, but on a seemingly more sustained level.

The Society planned to celebrate it's fiftieth anniversary with a series of events coordinated by a group under the chairmanship of Paul Andrews. For the first time ever a band drawn from Society members entered the National Twelve Bell Competition, various displays were constructed to advertise ringing to the general public, a 'rolling ring' in which all the bells in the area were rung starting at Bridlington and running southwards, and a tower open day was staged during August bank holiday weekend. There were many social events during the year, but the climax of the celebrations was a commemorative service at Holy Trinity Church, Kingston upon Hull, followed by a civic reception in the Guildhall, on the 7th September - the anniversary of the founding of the Society.

This brief history is drawn from the Society's handbook.

 

Bell Repair Fund

The Bell Repair Fund was established in 1971. Throughout the seventies there were many fundraising events and members also undertook a lot of practical maintenance work. The BRF was registered as a charity in 1976 when a covenant scheme was started. The 100 club was formed in 1979 and currently donates £1000 to the BRF a year.

As well as the successful sale of Ringers' mugs other notable fundraising drives include a booklet 'Churches of the East Riding of Yorkshire' compiled by an editorial group under the chairmanship of Michael Henshaw this contained a short history of each Church written by one of the ringers at avery tower in the BnD vicinity. The other success was the 1995 'Ringing World' calendar, photographs of churches in the BnD area by members of the society were compiled by Derek Watson, with his enthusiasm for the project a superb calendar was produced which earned over £2,000 profit in support of the BRF.

The BRF has supported many projects over it's life including augmentations at Market Weighton, Filey, Flamborough, Kilham, Barmby Moor, Escrick and Hessle, and general maintenance or repair work at Burstwick, Hedon, Sutton, Nunburnholme and many other towers in the area.

Bells are one of the most valuable single items of equipment a church may own and ringers have long recognised their obligations to help maintain these bells in a safe and usable condition hence the BRF offers continued support for towers in the BnD vicinity.