St John the Baptist Church, Plymtree – Bellringers
Trainee Ringers Wanted !
St John the Baptist Church, Plymtree has a ring of 6 bells which range in weight from the treble at 4 cwt 2 stone and 14 lbs (or 1230 kilos) to the tenor at 11 cwt and 8 lbs (or 2733 kilos). We know that there were three bells in the tower from at least 1432, a fourth was cast in 1549, a fifth 1826 and the sixth in 1829. No doubt you have heard the bells on special occasions such as Easter, Harvest Festival, Christmas, Weddings and Christenings, also on Wednesday evening our practice night.
The ringers of Plymtree have always favoured the “Call change” method of ringing which concentrates on the rhythm of the bells speaking rather than on the complicated changes of bell order called “method”.
We continue to ring for weddings. However, Bell ringing for services is at present limited almost exclusively to the festivals because of the difficulties in assembling a team for each occasion.
In order to carry out these commitments we are grateful for the dedication of those who ring the bells, both from the village and from other towers, without whose help we would not be able to keep going.
We do occasionally have ringers from visiting touring teams come to the tower, as the Plymtree Bells are considered a very good ring.
The Christmas service of 2016 saw history being made when we had three members of the same family ringing for the first time since the 1960s, when three members of the Cheal family rang.
On 11th November 2018 we commemorated the 100th Anniversary of World War One and the 1400 bell ringers who were killed by ringing before the Remembrance Day service and also for the National Armistice Ring.
The bell ringers meet weekly for practice on Wednesday evenings between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at the Church of St. John the Baptist. We aim to keep the tradition of bellringing in Plymtree alive and to teach and encourage anybody who wants to learn particularly younger members (from 12 years or over). Anybody interested in learning is welcome to just turn up at the tower-end door of the church. If you wish to have a chat before you come please contact Joan Mackintosh, who is the tower captain, via email@example.com.