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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
                    
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 91

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Bellringers

The Bellringers originally joined the Kent County Change Ringers in 1885, the subscription was then 4d per week per member.
   List of members in 1885:-
      F.G. Meyers (Schoolmaster) Captain
      Richard Rogers } Uncles of John and the late
      John Rogers      }       Charles W. Rogers
      Charles Rogers – Father of John and 
                                       late Charles W. Rogers
      Emery Mills
      Henry Glover } Brothers of Mrs Meadway
      Albert Glover }
      George Pratt (Senr)
      William Bishop (Honorary Member)
      Frank Fletcher joined in 1886 at the age of 12 years
                and learned to ring, and always had 2nd bell.
   There was a one day outing for the ringers yearly. In 1886 they visited St Alphage, Greenwich with its 10 bells, in 1887 Folkestone and in 1888 Maidstone and rang 10 bells at All Saints. Maidstone was visited again and they rang at St Michaels and All Angels, Tonbridge Road. In 1891 the ringers went to Tonbridge Parish Church. After this date no records of visits can be found.
   On New Years Eve the members had a supper at "The White Swan" and adjourned to the church at 11.45 p.m. to ring the Old Year out and the New Year in.
   George Pratt and his five sons rang for a Sunday Service one Sunday in 1910.
   From people of the Village it is learned that the following have been bellringers:-
      Sidney Smith (rang as a boy was
                                    ultimately Captain)
      Albert Smith } brothers of above
      Joe Smith     }
      George Smith } sons of Sidney Smith
      W.S. Smith     }
      Charles W. Rogers } sons of Charles Rogers
      John Rogers           }
      Jim Stephens
      George Stephens
      Bill Stephens
      Bill Glover ( brother of Mrs Meadway)

   During the years that Sidney Smith was Captain of the Bellringers he introduced hymn playing on the six bells, of course the tunes were rather limited.
   Henry Oliver who died in 1929 at the age of 90 years, was for many years a bellringer.
   Jack Cole of Berry’s Maple, started bellringing in 1910. He was for a time Vice-Captain of the team and in 1936 became Captain, Secretary and Treasurer. Those in the team at that time were:-
      J. Reynolds
      J. Tester
      R. Tomkins
      S. Berry
      D. Berry
      E. Evans
      S. Evans
      F. Cole
      L. Sharman
   In addition to Sunday ringing, the team at that time rang at 6 o’clock on Christmas morning and Easter Sunday morning, a muffled peal on Armistice Day.
   By Government order all church bells remained silent throughout the Second World war. They could be rung only as a warning in the event of invasion.
   After the War Denis Berry formed a team of bellringers as follows:-
      D. Berry (Captain)
      J. Robinson
      J. Rogers
      S. Evans (Jnr)
      D. Evans
      L. Evans
      F. Packnell
      J. Packnell
      G. Jennings (Jnr)
      T. Duckworth
      A. Farnham
      P. Dunkley
      J.V. Muller
      R.M. Villiers
      T. Austin
      Miss Lorna Berry
      Miss Joan Packnll
      Miss Annette Villiers
      Miss Ann Martin (junior ringer)

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