THOSE who have read Ken Best’s article in the 2017 Grammarian magazine about the £250 donation made in the name of former BGS pupils towards the Bells4StGeorgeYpres project will surely be interested in this follow-up information from the organisers.
The appeal target (which was reached) was £195,000 and the main element of the project has involved installing a ring of eight change ringing bells into the tower of St. George’s Memorial Church in Ypres, Belgium.
The bells were delivered to the church on 31 August and a test ring was carried out on Sunday 17 September. It was a special occasion with the Rev. Gillian Trinder welcoming the visiting ringers and then each ringer reading out the inscriptions on the bell they were about to ring. Cambridge Surprise Major was then rung. The bells sounded wonderful and handled very well.
Trustee Alan Regin has visited the works of Peartree Midlands Ltd. in Hinckley, Leicestershire, where staff have been working on the panelling for the ringing room. They have ‘built’ the ringing room in their workshop to ensure it will ‘fit’. This meant we were able to plot rope drops and make sure none of the fittings would get in the way of ringers – it is a very compact space!
They are also building a case that will house handbells donated by John Coles and also the Memorial Book that will be written by Timothy Noad.
Mick Angrave of Sapcote has been working with Mark and Ashley from Peartree Midlands Ltd. fitting the panelling – their first job was to build a new ceiling and it is already looking very good!
Next it will be the turn of the electricians to move in to complete work that was started some while back with the running of a new mains cable and the belfry lighting. They will install the air conditioning unit into the space created in the new ceiling, running power to the sockets, which will include UK, Continental and USB points, the lighting which will be fixed behind the cornice on the panelling along with the operational side of the sound control system, and all associated switches.
Also cameras will be fitted to the belfry and the ringing room to allow images to be viewed on a mobile screen that will be placed in the church for the dedication service. This work will be co-ordinated by Ian Staves of Northallerton who, along with David Gardner of Ainderby Steeple, designed, built and installed the sound control system.
The decorator will touch up any recent ‘rubs’ on his fine work and finally a carpet with acoustic underlay will be laid ready for the blessing of the finished installation on Sunday 22 October 2017.
The service will be full to bursting as we are already right on capacity – over 200 people will be attending.
Alan Regin recently collected the new set of muffles made for the tower by Big Wilf’s Bell Muffles. Big Wilf has very generously donated these and we are very grateful for this support. We have a trademark Big Wilf muffle bag and a picture of this is included. For those unsure about muffles they are leather covers that are placed on one side of the clapper to produce half muffled ringing, soft on one side, loud on the other. Look at:
Albeit on a much heavier ring of bells!
We hope you agree that we are closing in on a very fine outcome, to remember those that fought during the Great War and subsequent conflicts – May those who hear these bells remember their sacrifice.
As trustees, we are very grateful for all your support, we couldn’t have got this far without you!

Ian G Campbell, Alan Regin, David R Smith,
Trustees, Bells4StGeorgeYpres