Bellringers keep tradition alive and ring in New Year

Waltham Bellringers (from left to right) - Christine Matthews, John Matthews, Ken Matthews, Barry Gilchrist, Laura Lord (missing) - Maurice Hallifax and Ken Brockway 'PHOTO: Supplied

Waltham Bellringers (from left to right) - Christine Matthews, John Matthews, Ken Matthews, Barry Gilchrist, Laura Lord (missing) - Maurice Hallifax and Ken Brockway 'PHOTO: Supplied

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Bell ringers at St Mary Magdalene church in Waltham rang in the New Year in the usual tradition.

On New Year’s Eve the muffled bells rang from 11.20pm until 11.55pm when the muffles were removed to give the full sound of the bells at the stroke of midnight to welcome in 2016.

Waltham bellringer Barry Gilchrist said: “This event normally attracts ample ringers as we all enjoy taking part in this long running custom.

“This year however, four of the regular ringers were unavailable, but despite this, we did manage to get seven ringers to take part.

“Bell ringers tend to support other local towers when they can and in this instance we got a little help from a ringer from Stathern and one from Asfordby.

“Our most senior ringer Maurice told us that he first rung the new year in at Waltham some 50 years ago, so this was a special anniversary for him.”

If you would like to be part of the local bellringers and maybe take part in the New Year ringing next time email barrysg@yahoo.com or call the Waltham Tower captain John Matthews on (01664) 464313.