“We are all ringing the church bells at Willingale for the first time this Christmas since World War II as we have just finished the restitution”, Chris Evans announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show last Friday (21 December 7.29am). This was a text message to the show by the dedicated group of local people at Willingale who had, during 2011/12, constructed a new mezzanine ringing floor, new bell frame, and increased the number of bells from four to six. A new bell was cast at Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 2011, the other five – four from Willingale and a fifth from Prittlewell – were retuned. The Dedication Service was on 27 May and the first showing of a video showing the work involved in construction, casting the bell, making bell-wheels and lifting all in position, was first shown at the end of October. If there are any doubts that Britain does not make anything any more, watch this video. ‘Willingale Bells: Made In Britain’.
The short film above was made on Sunday 23 December 2012, as bells rang out ahead of a Nine Lessons and Carols Service. To hear the bells rung for the last time prior to the work go to http://blackmorehistory.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/willingale-bells-of-st-christopher.html