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Tower News Archive for 2015

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This page will present news about the tower with the most recent at the top of the page

December November October September August July June May April March February January
Other Archive Pages:
2014 2013 2012 2011

All images © Andrew Pollock (www.barrowbells.org.uk). To ask permission to use - please see contact us page.


December 2015

Thursday24Rang the bells for the Crib Service on Christmas Eve.
Sillhouette of St James on Christmas eve
Monday14Rang the bells of St James for the Evening Mail Community Carol Service
Photo of congregation at Carol Service looking to Chancel
St James congregation for NWEM Carol Service, children from St James C of E Junior School on the right (South) aisle

Meandyrings #3 - Cartmel to Flookburgh

Walk aborted due to the miserable weather, but we (Andy & Cameron Pollock, Jo Sweeney, Sue Fryer, Ken Parkinson, and Alan Dewar) still enjoyed a ring at both Cartmel (joined by Adele and Sandy) and Flookburgh (Branch ringing meeting) and filled in time in-between in rather indulgent manner at Cartmel Coffee and then at the Cartmel Cheese, before driving to enjoy a pub lunch at The Rose and Crown in Cark! It's a tough life!

Inside Cartmel Priory  photo of Jo Sweeney on roof access to ringing room/tower  Photo of Cartmel Ringing Room  Group photo in Cartmel Ringing Room  Photo of Adele and Sandy  Photo in Cartmel Coffee  Photo in Cartmel Coffee  Photo of Cartmel Cheese counter  Photo of food at Rose and Crown, Cark  Photo of the church of St John the Baptist, Flookburgh  Photo inside the ringing room at Flookburgh

Tuesday8Rang the bells for Chetwynde School Carol Service

The Clear-up

During Sunday Service, Sue Fryer and Andy Pollock spend an hour cleaning up and emptying buchets of water. The collection jar was full to the brim of water.

In addition to the buckets with water, we used a carpet cleaner to suck up probably about 2 to 3 gallons of water from the carpet.
The exterior of the church showed the west face of the tower is still damp, while most other surfaces have dried, despite that west facing wall being on the windward side of the tower. It looks like water must still be draining slowly out of the brickwork.

We were unable to ring for service, but we hope to be back in action by Tuesday's Carol Service for Chetwynde School.
Ken hopes to bring along a de-humidifier to help dry the room further.



The storm that was called Desmond has caused much flooding and disruption all over Cumbria and further afield. With the storm force winds and persistent rain, the tower of St James suffered a deluge down through the tower.

On inspection the galebreaker weather protection was working well, catching most of the rain that was blowing in and directing it down drainpipes. However rain was coming through the wall lower down the tower, especially west wall of new location of belfry, and also the window in the ringing room.

The rain getting through the wall in the new belfry was spraying over bell number 3, but mainly running down the inside of the wall and spreading out in puddles on the belfry floor and sub-belfry floor, before dripping over the SW corner of the ringing room and down ropes of 3 and 4.

Andy Pollock and Brenda Pearce set out adozen buckets and containers of various shapes and sizes to catch all the drips.

Thankfully it is not as bad as the time when we had an open day one stormy friday night on 22nd June 2012, and would surely have been worse this time if it was not for the Galebreaker.

November 2015


Welcome Revd. Jack Knill

Radio broadcast (recorded on Wednesday practice night, and broadcast this morning

The bells were rung for the Licensing of Revd Jack Knill-Jones as Priest-in-Charge (Team Recotor Designate) of the North Barrow Team Ministry, and to the Licensing of the Revd John Hodgkinson as Priest-in-Charge of St John, Barrow Island by the Rt Revd Robert Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, and their installation by the Ven. Penny Driver, Archdeacon of Westmorland & Furness.

The band was predominantly local ringers with kind help from Beryl and Alan from Ulverston.

Photo of bellringers at St James, Barrow, with Jennie Dennet from BBC Radio Cumbria in centre of picture  Licensing Service at St James, Barrow-in-Furness on 21st Nov 2015

The ringers were: Ken, AlanJ, Sue, Beryl, Cameron, Gwyn, Jo, AlanD, and Andy.


A practice full of pleasant surprises!

Jennie Dennett (BBC Radio Cumbria) asked to visit our weekly bellringing practice to do a feature about bellringing, as we prepare to ring for the service on Saturday when our new vicar Revd Jack Knill-Jones will be licensed by the Bishop of Penrith.

Tower captain Andy Pollock met her just before the practice and was given a tour of the tower before ringers began to arrive on this blustery evening.

Another wonderful surprise was the arrival of Keith Newby - complete with a short ladder which he has donated to the tower to make it easier to climb up/down the bell frame. Keith is one of our longest serving bellringers, who volunteered and spent a lot of time and effort removing and then installing the restored bells in a new frame. Unfortunately he was injured soon afterwards falling from a bicycle, and has been unable to ring since.... until tonight! He believes his injured shoulder benefitted from the ringing action, and wondered whether he should have come back and tried to ring earlier!

A couple of our local ringers were unable to come to practice, but we were very grateful for visits from Owen and Beryl, and Paul (who is working for a few months locally)

Our youngest ringer who has just started secondary school this year, has made really fantastic progress in the last few weeks, and demonstrated this by ringing the 5th in rounds on his own without any assistance. Next week he is looking forward to updating his one-per-learner book with an attempt at setting his bell frequently

Sue is reliably ringing the treble to plain courses of Grandsire and is learning to think about her 'place' (with a bit of prompting) rather than just the bell she is ringing over.

Jo rang treble to a 120 touch of Grandsire Doubles almost flawlessly, and no one made a mistake ... not even the conductor Andy Pollock, and that really is a surprise!

Beryl, Keith and Alan all rang plain bob minor, and everyone was supported by Owen and Paul

Everyone rang well, and gave a very warm welcome to Jennie, who enjoyed seeing the bells ring from the old belfry looking down on the bells swinging beneath her. She also had a go at ringing the 'backstroke', which she did very comfortably,... much more comfortably than Andy Painter looked holding the microphone!

Jennie's feature on bellringing at St James will be broadcast on Richard Corrie's show at around 7.45 on Saturday and again on Sunday morning (but not necessarily the same time), and will also be on iPlayer for a week afterwards. I am very much looking forward to listening in to the programme.

Photo of bellringers at St James, Barrow, with Jennie Dennet from BBC Radio Cumbria in centre of picture  Jennie Dennett (BBC Radio Cumbria) stood with Tower Captain Andy Pollock

L-R: Paul Bradley, Jo Sweeney, Andy Pollock, Beryl Jefferson, Sue Fryer, Jennie Dennett, Andy Painter, Owen Osmotherley, Alan Jones, Keith Newby
Photos by Jo Sweeney (mostly)

October 2015


Tower Maintenance: Headstock Treatment - Bell #6.

Following the successful treatment of Bell #4 with expanding foam to stop some significant pieces of metal clanging inside headstock when bell is rung (particularly noticeable in ringing room when bells tied), the exercise was repeated for bell #6 which was almost as loud.

Bells 1 and 2 were left untreated because the volume of noise eminating from headstocks was not sufficiently significant to warrant the procedure.


Tower Maintenance: All frame bolts (30mm & 24mm) checked tight with torque wrench, and smaller bolts through wood for wheels and stays checked for any that were loose.

Inspected headstock of 4th with endoscope, and confirmed several (at least 3) large pieces of slag loose inside. Previous attempt to fill with foam in January only showed up on endoscope as a few puffly lumps of foam - clearly attempt had failed due to low temperature or for whatever other reason. Photographed image on endoscope display of pieces of metal, and filmed bell being rung without clapper to demonstrate noise level of these items moving inside headstock during ringing. Finally applied recommended solution/fix proposed by Nicholson Engineering Ltd (already applied to No.7) and filled headstock cavity with expanding foam. Did not ring to pick up other pieces of swarf, because feared large & heavy pieces of slag might compress soft un-cured foam, and undermine effectiveness of fix. Will test before practice on Wednesday.


The 'Cumbrian Codgers' visited for a ring at St James in the middle of the day, between visits to Millom and Dalton.
Photo OMD-M1_20151008_PA080015 of 'Cumbrian Codgers' ringing inside tower at St James, Barrow-in-Furness  Photo OMD-M1_20151008_PA080016 of 'Cumbrian Codgers' ringing inside tower at St James, Barrow-in-Furness  Photo OMD-M1_20151008_PA080022 of 'Cumbrian Codgers' group photo outside St James, Barrow-in-Furness  Photo OMD-M1_20151008_PA080023 of 'Cumbrian Codgers' group photo outside St James, Barrow-in-Furness

Local ringers ring for concert this evening by St James CoE Junior School Choir and Barrow Male Voice Choir, as a thank you for helping to raise funds for the bell restoration just over two years ago in summer of 2013. Several have only learnt to ring since the bells were rededicated after restoration, and proud and pleased of progress and standard of ringing all round.
Photo OMD-M1_20151008_PA080036-pshopped of local ringers for choral St James school & BMVC concert
Andy, Jo, Alan, Sue, Geoff, Gwyn, Cameron

September 2015


Dalton tower (& friends) ringing outing - 2015

Visiting (outing handout):

Dalton Tower Outing 2015 - Lytham & Garstang area
Friday25Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Kerry Anne Evans to Joseph Michael William Evans.

Heritage Open Day

HOD Website: See/hear Barrow’s ring of church bells - at St James

Andy Pollock setup displays in advance, and Geoff Holme helped with visitors during the session, while Andy Pollock gave talks and demonstrations.
Clarissa was available in reserve to demonstrate the bells, but as there were only a few visitors, managed to help tidy the lawn edges between tower and entrance porch! Andy Painter managed to come along briefly too.

Thanks to everyone that helped, and despite the most interested people coming from Accrington and Southport, it was still worth taking part.
Perhaps next year we will make it a bigger event and try use it as a platform for recruiting new ringers, with group demonstrations etc.

View from HOD poster on gate of St James' Tower and spire  Handbells dating to 1870 lying on sides on ringing room window sill  Sun catching west window and spire of St James' church  View from NW corner of St James' church
Wednesday9Practice night ringing included a dedication to HRH Queen Elizabeth II for reaching and exceeding the longest reign of a British monarch.

Branch Treasure Hunt - Bowness

Two teams from Barrow take part in the annual branch treasure hunt, Jo & Brendan Sweeney, and 'Muddled' (aka family Pollock - Jo, Andy, Jason & Cameron).

We set off looking for clues on buildings, signs, posters, and manhole covers and many other devious & tricky little questions to be answered as we explored Bowness on foot, around a course plotted by Mike and Barbara Fletcher.

The predicted 1 hour complete took somewhat longer... in fact 2 or 3 times longer! but we all had fun hunting down clues, solving anagrams etc.

We returned to enjoy the refreshments and await return of other teams, while Mike marked the sheets. When Hilary came in to complete teams returned, the winners were announced... despite nearly getting disqualified for disputing an answer with Mike ;) the Muddled won!

So the prize of a tub of Quality Street was awarded and has been taken to St James tower to indulge local and visiting ringers on practice nights.

paintings and a 1m tall driftwood elephant sculpture, at a gallery in Bowness
An art gallery passed along the route, tucked away in a back street of Bowness, with impressive paintings and driftwood elephant scupture

August 2015

Friday28Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Louise Anne Garnett and Michael William Purves.
Saturday8Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Byrne & Leeson.

July 2015


St James' day peal

On the 138th anniversary of the bells, tower captain Andy Pollock manages to call his first peal with a specially invited group of friends who kindly agreed to take part.

This peal was also to be dedicated to the lovely Mona Tomlinson who passed away earlier in the month

On Saturday, 25 July 2015 Group photo of peal ringers lined up with treble ringer on left and tenor on right
in 3 hours and 5 minutes
A peal of 5088 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Composition: N J Pitstow
1Helen Midwood
2Alison L Brooke
3Ann S Thompson
4D Robert Pettifor
5Simon D Woof
6Patrick L H Brooke
7Roger Fellows
8J Andrew Pollock(C)
Dedicated to Mona Tomlinson, long serving
Churchwarden at this church, who passed away at
St Mary's Hospice on 4th July 2015, aged 88 years.
First Peal - 7
First Peal as conductor - 8
300th peal for LACR - 3
Previous and only other peal in 1971 - 1

Congratulations to Roger, Helen, Ann and Andy. Peal Details Online: Ringing World BellBoard and Campanophile.

Jo Sweeney has written a blog starting with striking competition and ending with the peal and meal that followed at the Red Lion in Dalton. See Striking Competition and St. James’ Day Peal


Branch 6-Bell Striking Competition at Millom

The Furness & South Lakeland Branch (of LACR) hold a 6 bell striking competition at St George's church in Millom.

Noticeable by their absence are teams from the East end of the Branch, it was a pity none of them could make the trip across to Millom, but there were still 6 teams who entered (2 x Barrow, Bowness, Dalton, Flookburgh, and Ulverston) with a further two 'scratch' teams to enable Dave (who had come from the other end of the branch to volunteer as timekeeper) and Jeg to take part.

The judge was Barry Brown who had travelled all the way from the midlands to officiate.

It was a significant achievement for Barrow finally to enter not one, but 2 teams, having had an extended absence from the competition of over 15 years while the bells were out of action, and one of the teams had a number of ringers that had only started to learn after the Barrow bells had been restored in 2014.
BARROW TEAM#1 = Andy Pollock, Sue Fryer, Linda Marshall, Jo Sweeney, Ken Parkinson, and Gwyn Murfet.
BARROW TEAM#2 = Andy Pollock, Rachel Hallows, Jacqueline Preston, Jonny Bamford, Owen Osmotherley, and Jo Sweeney.

While the teams took their turns in the tower, the other teams took part in a fiendishly challenging quiz set by quizmaster Keith Hackney, all about Historical Anniversaries, and tucked into multiple helpings of sandwiches, snacks and lashings of puddings.

At the end of the evening, Dalton won both Striking Competition and Quiz, but scratch teams (which took part for fun but were ineligable for placing) both scored better with fewer faults. Barrow 1 & 2 came a creditable 5th and 3rd respectively, and we look forward to improving for next year!

Jo Sweeney has written a blog for both this competition and the peal that followed on the Saturday at Striking Competition and a St. James’ Day Peal,
and a couple of photos taken by Andy can be seen below:

Sue, Lucy, Jo, Gwyn, Keith and June enjoy quiz  Jo Sweeney and Gwyn Murfet enjoy moment as runners-up in quiz
Saturday18Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Katie Hannah Dickinson to Paul Simon Caine.

Mona Tomlinson

Funeral service for Mona Tomlinson at St James with bells as she would enjoy.


MEANDYRINGS #2 - Bell-Ringing and Fell-Walking : Hawkshead to Bowness via Latterbarrow and Sawrey

Day begins and ends with ringing and has a satisfying dose of Fell-Walking filling in the middle!

Bowness has turn for the branch monthly ringing meeting, so today Jo parked at NT car park on West of windermere ferry, and Andy parked in field with participants of Tour-de-Hawkshead, and we met John Gunner, Mike Maxwell, and Angie at Hawkshead for a very friendly and enjoyable ring, and set off shortly after 10am - meandering over Latterbarrow, and Claife past Sawrey (with a delicious and relaxing break for food at the Tower Bank Arms) before using ferry crossing to reach Bowness for branch monthly ringing meeting.

MEANDYRINGS #2 - Hawkshead to Bowness

More photos and comments available at Jo Sweeney's blog "Bell-ringers’ Walk: Hawkshead to Bowness"


Mona Tomlinson

Sad to announce the passing of Mona Tomlinson, long-serving churchwarden of this church

May 2015



To Ash & Andy Painter on the baptism of your son Charlie James Painter at St James' church today.
It was also great that Andy Painter took part in ringing the bells before the service.

'Believe in Barrow' mission

ringers gathered at St James for 'Believe-in-Barrow' visit from Canon Roger Simpson Believe in Barrow mission logo
Canon Roger Simpson (Archbishop's evangelist of the North) visits the tower at St James as part of 'Believe in Barrow' with Paul Myers.
Our vicar, the Rev. John Hodgkinson made some very positive, thoughtful and well considered words and prayers.
Afterwards there was some general ringing intil 5.30pm, and then a quarter peal to follow:
Lancashire Association of Change Ringers Group photo of quarter peal ringers

Ringers stood in order they rang from treble ringer (Linda Marshall) on left to tenor ringer (Jo Sweeney) on right

We are delighted that Jo successfully completed her first quarter peal, and congratulate her on her well deserved achievement.

St James the Great, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 in 50 mins (12-0-24)
1260 Plain Bob Triples
1Linda Marshall
2Jacqueline Preston
3Stanley Walmsley
4Alan Dewar
5Andy Painter
6Owen B Osmotherley
7J Andrew Pollock (C)
8*Jo Sweeney
First Quarter Peal: 8
For the Believe in Barrow mission and to welcome Archbishop of York, Bishop of Carlisle, and Canon Roger Simpson to Barrow-in-Furness.

After the quarter peal we made a hurried trip across to Barrow Park where a service with The Archbishop of York (John Sentimu) and his Evangelist of the North (Canon Roger Simpson) along with many other clergy and general public from all around Barrow were treated to musical performances and a very entertaining and inspiring talk from John Sentimu

Archbishop of York (John Sentimu) with arms round shoulders of sons of tower captain  Pale sunset behind silhouetted St James church

Quarter Peal details are also available at Campanophile and Ringing World (BellBoard)

Jo Sweeney also has a blog for the whole day at My First Quarter Peal for ‘Believe in Barrow’

Friday8 Ceramic Poppies at the Tower of London Page from tower log book - click for larger image and transcript 


Ringing on 70th anniversary of VE Day to mark the cessation of hostilities in Europe in WWII.

The tenor (heaviest bell) was tolled half muffled 5.45pm for 10 minutes - to remember those who gave their lives, or suffered in body mind or spirit during and following the war

From 6pm to 6.45, ringing on all 8 bells open to commemorate the relief and thankfulness for the end of the conflict across Europe

The coalition government (Prime Minister's Office) has requested that bells are rung across the land on Saturday (ideally 11am but welcome churches taking part at other times appropriate to their circumstances). This is supported ny the central council of church bell ringers (CCCBR).

We chose to ring the bells on VE Day - exactly 70 years after ringers at Barrow rang (see tower log book excerpt above)

The tower log book image and transcript (attached on the right), suggests the significance of VE Day for those that lived through it, particularly of relief and thankfulness for the end of hostilities in Europe. It is in this context that we hope the bells were received by those who heard. Our thoughts and prayers were, and remain with those who gave their lives, were injured in body or mind, lost friends and relatives, and lived through the war.


Branch Outing - West Cumbria (Whitehaven area)

Bank Holiday Monday saw ringers from across the branch making trip to West Cumbria to ring at a couple of churches (Arlecdon and Cleator Moor) that are being made redundant, ring at a ring of 12, and enjoy a day with a great meal at Vagabond near the quayside in Whitehaven. Another enjoyable day with fair weather (as ordered :), this time organised by Andy Pollock, only marred with regret & disappointment when we were locked out of the Priory at St Bees due to no fault of Andy. At least we were grateful that we were permitted to begin early and extend the ring at Hensingham.

[OS Landranger]


St. MichaelDovemore...814-1-00NY052198between
CA26 3XW
& CA14 4RY


St. John the EvangelistDovemore...821-2-00NY015153CA25 5BT10.20am11.20am


St. MaryDovemore...813-2-00NY011105CA22 2AY11.40am12.40am


Priory Church of SS Mary and BegaDovemore...813-0-00NX968121CA27 0DR2.30pm3.30pm


St. John the EvangelistDovemore...813-3-00NX985166CA28 8QW3.45pm4.45pm


St. JamesDovemore...1216-0-00NX976184CA28 7PY5pm6pm

FSL Branch Outing to West Cumbria

More photos and comments available at Jo Sweeney's blog "Furness Bell Ringers Tour West Cumbria 2015"

April 2015

Thursday23 St James' bells were rung at 6pm on St George's Day.
Bells are being encouraged to ring on St George's day with the "RINGING FOR ENGLAND" campaign.

MEANDYRINGS #1 - Bell-Ringing and Fell-Walking : Brathay to Chapel Stile (Langdale)

Day begins and ends with ringing and has a satisfying dose of Fell-Walking filling in the middle!

Langdale (Chapel Stile) has turn for the branch monthly ringing meeting which is also followed by half yearly exec meeting, so today we met Clive at Brathay at 9am and enjoyed an hour ringing before walking to Chapel stile at a gentle pace and enjoying some views, waterfalls, and refreshments along the way including bar at Skelwith Bridge and the Wainwright at Chapel Stile. A great success and an idea definitely worthy of repeating for future meetings.

Me-Andy-Rings - Brathay to Langdale

More photos and comments available at Jo Sweeney's blog "Bell-ringers’ Walk: Brathay to Chapel Stile"


Memorial Service Ringing for Freda Keturah Standish (nea Limb)

Freda was the daughter of Fred C Limb, a bell ringer at this church for many years.
Freda had many fond memories of her father at the tower, and a great affection for the sound of the bells at St James.

Freda would love to have heard the bells rung open (rather than muffled) for her memorial service, and that everyone who comes could share the sound of the bells. We certainly thought of lovely Freda when we rang, and hoped the friends and relatives thought of her too when they heard the bells.


March 2015


Branch Training Day (plain hunt)

Full day course is shortened to a morning due to weddings.

Flookburgh is sacrificed, but the Cartmel session is very constructive and helpful to all the learners present, including our own Jo Sweeney. In fact so successful and popular that when asked whether there would be interest for another, there was a unanimous calls for another session.

Thursday12"Cumbrian Codgers" visit. After a stuttering start with a poor raise, things improved with touches of original and other ringing. Comments were quite favourable about the bells.

Tower open day and meal

view of open day exhibits in sputh aisle of St James church  Handbells on show  Andy Pollock begins tour with talk

looking down on circle of ringers  looking at bells ringing through metal grid floor  Sue and Derek Fryer  Ken and June Parkinson

Tower meal, one of the tables at Francesca's  Tower meal, one of the tables at Francesca's  Tower meal, one of the tables at Francesca's

More photos and description at Jo Sweeney's blog

February 2015


Visit from a band from YACR (Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers), organised by president of the association Andrew Aspland.

By all accounts some advanced ringing including Bristo, London etc.

Noted that bells were bit disappointing peal of bells on a previous visit before the restoration, and think they found them a definite improvement.. PS thank you for the donation.

Sunday15Fitted handles to trapdoor in the ringing room.

Quarter Peal

Visiting band of ringers from West Somerset, taking part in a ringing and walking holiday in the Lake District, successfully rang a quarter peal of Plain Bob Triples between 10.30 and 11.30am
Sadly due to illness, the band was short of two ringers, so Alan Dewar and Keith Hackney (two members of the local Furness & South Lakeland Branch) stepped into the breach.

Details of the Quarter Peal have been submitted to Campanophile


Candlemas service ringing

St James annually has a candle-light procession from the church through Hindpool
and back again for Candlemas service in the church.

Candlemas celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, 40 days after birth.

The bells were rung for half an hour as people gathered in preparation for the procession.
The ringing was of a good standard, aided by ringers from Dalton, and
one of our learners stepped up to the mark and rang particularly well.


Candlemas Procession Returns
More pictures at end of Jo Sweeney's walk photo blog at josweeney.net

January 2015

Tuesday27Tenor (heaviest bell) tolled Half Muffled for Holocaust Memorial Day ahead of showing of Schindlers List at Cookes Studios.
P1190984_web  P1190981_web
Monday5Andrew Nicholson visits and meets Andy Pollock to help to silence some swarf/galvanising that is loose inside headstocks on 1, 2, 4, and 6. Tackle 6 then 4 initially, but despite our best efforts, and perhaps because the low temperature is at the extreme end of the operating envelope of the expanding foam, the attempt is unsuccessful. Will try again when the weather warms up.

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