The Bellringers Information Print

Captain of the Tower: Paul Gaade(01829 270659)

Practice times:  Monday 7.30pm to 9.00pm

Sunday Service Ringing: 9.00am to 9.30am

Bellringing is a passtime which combines physical exercise, mental concentration and teamwork. It is rooted deep in the history and tradition of village life as the bells were first cast and hung in the tower in 1714. The Holt band of ringers practice on Monday evenings and ring before the service on Sundays. They also ring for weddings, village events and to mark national occasions. New members are welcome and experienced teaching is available. Visitors are welcome on Sundays or Mondays and visiting bands should contact the Tower Captain.

Types of bells in the Tower:

There are six bells in the tower, all cast by Abel Rudhall in the 18th century.

 They are inscribed as follows and have different weights.

Treble    Prosperity to all our benefactors 1714 A.D.    Weight 4 cwt
II           Peace and good neighbourhood 1714 A.D.    Weight 5.5 cwt
III          Recast by Able Rudhall 1738                          Weight 5.25 cwt
IV          Abel Rudhall cast us all 1714                          Weight 5.75 cwt
V           Recast by Abel Rudhall 1752                           Weight 7 cwt
Tenor    The Reverand John Adams Minister 1714        Weight 9 cwt


The Band of Ringers

The noise (beautiful or otherwise) which you hear on Sunday mornings, for weddings and at other times is not artificial in any way. When all six of our bells are ringing there are six people up the tower, each with a rope attached to a bell above. They have all learned the basic technique of how to handle the bell safely and they are all learning continuously to strike the bell more sweetly and to ring more complex and interesting tunes (methods)

Last year we were asking for people to come forward to learn the art of bell ringing to help us strengthen our band.  Judith and Robert chose to join us and Mike has been working hard teaching them. They are now regular Sunday ringers and our band is stronger as a result.

Mike has also taught 3 youngsters and we know they will soon catch up. We need 6 ringers every Sunday and that relies on having a team of at least ten. We have been a bit short throughout 2011 so we really welcome these newcomers.

Once again, now these five latest recruits have settled in, we would like to welcome and train some new ringers. If you think you would like to learn contact Paul Gaade on 01829 270659.

Everyone in Holt thanks our ringers who are ‘always there’. It is a precious part of our village life.



Church bells are so important for celebrating special community and national events. This has been the same throughout history. The bells of St Chad’s Holt were the first in the land to announce the birth of the Prince of Wales in 1948. Fifty two years later they were restored and a new band of ringers was trained to ring-in the Millennium.


In 2012 bells will be prominent in announcing and celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. At Holt we have the special honour of having one of our ringers carrying the Olympic Torch. Gemma Smith will run with the torch through the village of Pant, just south of Oswestry, on the morning of Wednesday 30th May.


The previous evening Holt ringers will participate in the annual Wrexham Branch striking competition. This year it will be held on the evening of Tuesday 29th May at St Cynfarch Church in Hope. In honour of the Jubilee the Holt ringers have chosen a piece which is based on the Queen’s Change . This is when the normal order of the bells, 1 2 3 4 5 6 is replaced by the order 1 3 5 2 4 6. It will also be a fitting announcement of the passage of the Olympic torch through our area.


The following weekend is an extended Jubilee holiday and the bells of St Chad’s Holt will be at the forefront of the celebrations. On Saturday 2nd June the bells will kick-start the village Jubilee celebrations at 1pm. On Sunday they will ring before the church service at 9am and again at 3pm to coincide with bellringing all around the country.


On Monday 4th June, along with many churches nationwide, St Chad’s will light a Jubilee beacon on top of the 15th century tower at 10.20 at night. The bells, installed way back in 1714, will ring before, during and after this historic event.


Ringers Outing and Social

On St Patrick's Day the Holt bellringers set out on a visit to three local towers to extend their experience and improve their ringing.

At Tushingham two of our band had their first experience of ringing on bells other than at our home tower in Holt. We made a good job of the challenge and rang some of our special pieces which we are practising for the Jubilee and Olympics.

Then we went to Tattenhall where access to the ringing chamber is via a vertical ladder and a trap door. Finally we rang at Tilston where there is no climb because the ropes hang down to the ground floor. This means that there is lots of rope between ringer and bell but our learners handled this well.

The day ended in the Tava restaurant where ringers and their partners met for the annual ringers social. It was a time to restore our strength, quench our thirsts and look ahead to an exciting year ringing for the village, the Jubilee and the Olympics.


Abseiling Down the Tower

It was the bellringers, of course, who came up with the idea of a community abseil! The event took place on Saturday 27th August 2011.

Nearly 40 people paid £10 each for the privilege (!) of abseiling down the 15th century tower of St Chad's which is about 22 metres high. A professional team organised the event and local people were invited to participate. They were invited to get sponsorship and the money raised went to Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham. First down was Mike Carding, the tower captain for the first decade of the new millennium. Among those who followed were a seventy-five-year-old and a mere fifteen-year-old.

The 12 noon start was delayed by half an hour due to a downpour of rain but that did not dampen the spirits of those brave souls who had decided to rise to the challenge. Each had a scheduled time slot and as they trouped to the top of the tower they were cheered on by a group of onlookers who had taken up a great vantage point in the Peal O' Bells garden. Lanldlord Phil Liddell added to the festivities by first making his own descent and then organising a BBQ in the pub garden.

The sponsorship was fantastic and with the raffle and 'guess the diameter of the clockface' competition the total amount raised was over £3500. This will be formally presented to Nightingale House Hospice with a donation going to St. Chad's Church.  

After everybody had finished, the abseiling professionals gave a demonstration by abseiling down to the clockface and measuring it for the competition.  



Abseil Success:

I would like to thank Cheryl, Gemma and Marilyn who helped me organise this event, all those who had the courage to do it, all the people who sponsored them, all those who were there on the day for their support in person and their contribution We raised £4,000 for Nightingale House. I would like to thank the P.C.C. for allowing us to use the Church Tower for the event and the bell ringers would like to give a contribution to the church as a gesture of their appreciation.  Paul Gaade. (Tower Captain).

Snowdon :

Inspired by their abseil, four members of the Holt bellringing band set out to climb Snowdon on Saturday 24th September. Mike led the expedition assisted by his friend, Tony. Cheryl, Gemma, Sacha and her mum Dawn all managed to reach the summit. Leaving Holt in bright conditions they encountered mist and rain in Snowdonia all day. However, they reaped the benefit of their weekly ascent of those steps in St Chad's tower and managed the demanding climb up the PYG track and the descent by the Miner's track in fine style if a little wet!

 Muffled Bells

A half muffled bell is rung when in mourning. The clapper which is suspended from the centre of the bell, then hits the bell on both sides when the bell is being rung.
The muffles are made of leather and strapped to the clapper just covering one side of the clapper. This this gives you the muffled sound on one side of the bell when it is rung.