Reprinted from Newsletter 129, dated 2009 August

Victorian bellringers' graffiti uncovered in St John's tower

John Brunsdon

A dark wooden enclosure, with black iron hinges. Names and initials have been carved into it, appearing in a lighter brown. Much of it is difficult to make out, but some examples are J Bryant, W Cane, S Hols, E Crocker.

(Photo by Tom Billing)

Names and dates of bellringers dating back into the 19th century were revealed when paint was recently stripped from the doors of the clock cupboard in St John's church tower.

Among the names carved in the wood are HY Rice 1874, Job Parfitt Mar 10th 1871, R. Masters May 1860, W. Cane, J. Bryant, J. Bond. You can probably find more names in the photo.

The walls of the bellringing chamber are lined with elm panelling made from the old Georgian box pews [which furnished the church until a Victorian renovation].

Conducted tours up the tower take place on occasions such as church fetes. For current dates, see the St John's website.