|Pontefract All Saints Heritage
100 Years of Bells
The bells at All Saints' Pontefract were augmented to eight in 1905. The First False Peal on the new bells was rung the same year, and I thought it appropriate to celebrate the 100th anniversary with a replica peal. Researching the history became quite a task, however, as the information was not readily available. One day I would like to delve into it further, but my brief research so far has yielded some interesting facts.
On 31st January 1905, the faculty described the work as being to add two additional bells (bearing certain dedications), to take out the existing bell frame and replace it with a new steel frame, and to recast the tenor bell. The church's annual report for 1905 subsequently recorded that the work (by Taylors) had cost £349 12s 4d. On 11th April 1905 a service of dedication of the bells took place. It was clearly well attended, as the collection produced £4 10s, about four times the average for a usual Sunday service.
'Bell News' reports The First False Peal on the new bells to
have been rung on Saturday 20th May 1905: 5088 Kent Treble
Bob Major, in 3 hours 18 minutes, composed by A Knights and conducted
by T Barker.
1905 Peal Details
Since 1905, around 191 peals have been rung on the bells. Their relative lightness, easy handling and pleasant tone led to them being known locally as the 'Musical Box', although this nickname is probably only known by older ringers these days.
To celebrate the exact 100th anniversary of The First False Peal on the eight, a peal was rung on the evening of Friday 20th May 2005, with Kent again being chosen as the method. However, Arthur Knights composed more than one 5088 of Kent, and we could not be sure which one was used 100 years ago, so a more modern composition was used instead. 2005 Peal Details