Wilbarston Bells
A project to restore the bells of All Saints' Church
Meet the Ringers 
  
Tower Captain 

Peter Chilton moved into the village around Christmas 2013 
Peter hadn’t rung for well over 34 years and happened to hear the bells in Stoke Albany being rung early the following January by a visiting band and thought he should perhaps consider ringing again and made enquiries having seen a notice in the local parish magazine. This happened to be for Ashley. However, he still went along to see if he could still ring. Peter found it was like riding a bike. 
About a year and a half later he discussed the option of restarting ringing in Wilbarston, put a notice in both village magazines and had 7 replies initially from people wishing to learn. Along with Nick and Helen Churchman lessons started in October 2015. The beginners have progressed really well and are now able to ring without assistance. 

If you are local and would like to come and see us ring and even have a go, you are more than welome. Just contact me in advance.
The Wilbarston Ringers - Ringing for the Queen's 90th Birthday
Tower Contact 

Rosalind Willatts has lived in Wilbarston since 1987 and is one of the main stays of the established ringers. Rosalind is the main contact in the bell ringing directory for the tower. Amongst Rosalind’s activities in the church and village are PCC member, Parish Council member, Secretary to the Deanery, organises the Poppy appeal each year and takes an overview of the commemoration. Rosalind also keeps an eye on the local roads and lanes and liaises with the Highways department on behalf of the village. She also monitors the street lighting 
 
Principal Teacher  

Nick Churchman learnt to ring in Wilbarston initially back in 1985 after the repairs to the tower and the bells following the lightning strike. Nicks parents used to own the village post office and shop. Nick has since branched out to be a very seasoned and accomplished ringer. Nick has rung at many Cathedrals and churches throughout the land, has been involved in ringing almost 1000 peals to date and still counting. Nick was more than receptive to the idea of restarting the bell ringing team and said he would give Peter his full support if he could get the venture off the ground.  
 
Teacher 

Helen Churchman, Nicks wife, has been an absolute stalwart to both Nick and Peter in the teaching department and brings many innovative ideas to the table relating to fund raising for the rehanging and the augmentation of the bells. Helen keeps everyone relaxed and happy in their hour of need. 

Members of the band 

New Ringers 

These are the people who started to ring as a result of the notices in local magazines
 
Jeremy Burrell, works in the local Post Office / village store and therefore is our eyes and ears of the village people and life. Jeremy is also on the Parish Council and is ably assisting with the fund raising for the bell renovation.  
Diane Atter, in her words is a full time mum to two young boys. However, she does find time to serve on the PCC and village hall management and social committees. 

Siobhan Lovell is a mum to three children the youngest being 11-year-old James. James started to ring the bells with his Mum but they became rather difficult for him to ring and is one of the principal reasons for embarking on the renovation project. The ringers want to encourage the young of the village to learn the art of bell ringing for generations to come and this project will enable them to do this. Siobhan has put forward one or two interesting ideas for fund raising and has worked on tidying the church grounds. 

Ann Dowling is a very keen horse rider and competes in dressage events in the local area. Ann has been very active on the fund raising front for the project and in particular the music event taking place in October.
 
Callum Broomfield. Callum, who is 12, is currently the youngest member of the team and has been ringing for a couple of years now. Callum is a member of the 1st Welland Valley Scouts and has a younger sister Melissa. Callum’s mum, Debbie, is the editor of the local church magazine for Wilbarston and Stoke Albany and gets involved in various activities in the village.
 
Mike Southwell, is one of the readers for the benefice and although he comes from Weston by Welland Mike often helps out at practise nights and Sunday ringing.
 
Rose and Andy Bimson are from Stoke Albany and moved into the area fairly recently. Both are capable ringers who help out at practises, Sunday service and special occasions when they are not riding the canals in their narrow boat. 
Trudy Winn Also lives in Stoke Albany but is a former Wilbarston resident, and her family are very well known in the village. Trudy started to ring at Ashley and now comes along to the Wilbarston practise nights and helps out occasionally on Sunday 
 
Established Ringers from the Village
  
Frank Wilkes has been ringing for a number of years in the days of the benefice ringing team and “came back” to ringing as a result of this initiative. Frank drives a refrigerated lorry all over Europe so his time to devote to village activities is limited. Caroline, Franks wife runs the Guides. 

Rachael Crooks is a seasoned ringer with two junior school children which in itself is a full time job. Rachael learnt to ring in her native Yorkshire and helps the Sunday ringers when time allows. Rachael is the Chair of the Parents Association at the village school. Rachael is really looking forward to ringing on the rehung augmented bells.
 
Nick Le Poidevin is a barrister based in London. Nick learnt to ring in Wilbarston some years ago with his daughter, then aged 7, and helps out with the Sunday service and special occasions ringing when he is able. In the past years Nick was a school governor and PCC treasurer.  

Malcolm Robinson is a ringer from the past and helps out when time permits. Malcolm helps keep the church grounds tidy, helps with village bonfires when the occasion needs one and with the village fete.
 
David Madams is another ringer from the past, he is a local solicitor with his practice based in the village. David helps with various activities around Christmas time in the village and rings at special events during the year 
 
The Result of all this hard work  

As a result of all the hard work put in by the team since October 2015 they have been able to ring the bells for some quite memorable and noteworthy events and these include 

Remembrance Day  
The Queens actual birthday and St Georges day 
The Queens official birthday along with many other towers down the Welland Valley 
BBC Music day
 
We now ring for all Sunday services and practise regularly on a Tuesday evening. Local Weddings. We recently started to introduce members of the new team to this activity and hope eventually to have a full local team to ring at them.

Comments from many people in the village is most encouraging and we even get mentioned on Face book. One such comment was “I’m sat out in the garden on a lovely summers evening having a glass of wine and the ringers are practising their ringing. This is so quintessentially English”