Heritage Open Days at St. James

Name of walk Heritage Open Days at St. James
Date of walk 2016-09-11

On Thursday evening and Saturday and Sunday, St. James Church, Barrow, opened its doors for everyone to come in and have a look around at the various displays, listen to talks, watch videos about bell ringing as well as live demonstrations of rope splicing and bell ringing. They were given the opportunity to view the bells from above and have a go at ringing too. Helping the St. James’ ringers were also ringers from Dalton, Ulverston and Kendal towers.


St. James' Church, Barrow.


A Quarter Peal of Grandsire Triples successfully rung in 50 minutes on Thursday 8th September for Challenge 500 event of Heritage Open Days 2016. Front row: Dennis Ellisdon, Linda Marshall, Clarissa Caroe, Andy Pollock; Back row: Jo Sweeney, Jacqueline Preston, Owen Osmotherley, Jonny Bamford


St. James has a capacity of over 1,000 worshippers and is the largest place of worship in the town.


The church organ designed and built by William Hill and originally installed in the Chapel Royal of St. James's Palace, London. This organ would have been used for the wedding service on 10 February 1840 between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


There were various displays and videos on show in the church.


Ringers Cameron and Iwan next to our collection of hand bells.


Owen was demonstrating how to splice bell ropes and being watched by Margaret, a Kendal ringer.


Tower captain, Andy's collection of items to be used in his 'Tower Talks'. With a video about local bell ringing on the screen behind.


Owen and his ropes for splicing.


A display board containing the details of the Barrow bells' refurbishment.


One of the display boards containing an introduction to bell ringing.


The live video feed of both the bells and the ringers in the ringing room. A useful tool for those unable to climb the spiral staircase up to the ringing room, belfry and viewing platform.


Andy giving one of his 'Tower Talks' to members of the public, who were then invited up to the ringing room to see the ringers ring, and then to have a go at ringing a bell themselves. Visitors would then go up to the belfry, then up to the viewing platform to watch the bells swinging from above, wearing ear protectors, as the sound is very loud!


Andy teaching one of the visitors the backstroke on one of the Saturday morning 'Tower Tours'


We had many teenagers wanting to have a go.




We also had some younger visitors, who can still ring if we add an extra box.



At Barrow we like to encourage even the very youngest of future ringers! Dalton ringer Carl with daughters Katie and Lillian.


Some of the general ringing that we did on Sunday afternoon.



Cameron and Iwan take a break from ringing.


Two of the eight bells in the belfry.


The view from the viewing platform above the bells.


Some of the visitors from Sunday afternoon's 'Tower Tours'


Furness Master, Hilary, a Kendal ringer, teaching Jennifer.


Dawn Roberts, who rang at St. James in the 1990's as a child, and was also one of my former pupils at Thorncliffe School. She remembered how to ring and did a great job!

An excellent weekend which saw many new people visit the church and having a go at bell ringing for the first time. Thanks to Jonny and Owen from Dalton Tower for ringing and demonstrating rope splicing over the two days. Thanks also to ringers Carl, Rachel, Phil and Jacqueline from Dalton tower; Beryl, Paula and Alan from Ulverston tower; and Helen, Hilary and Margaret from Kendal tower. Thanks also to St. James’ ringers, Clarissa, Cameron, Iwan, Sue, Gwyn and Tower Captain, Andy for all his organising for the event. Special thanks to churchwarden, John Simpson and members of the parish for supplying the tea and biscuits.