The west end tower contains a ring of six bells which are hung in the uppermost of the four stages, approximately on a level with the large louvred openings. The bells were cast at John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd in 1864, to the order of the then vicar, Revd. J.W. Holmes. The work, including six bells, clappers hanging and framework in English oak, carriage and installation, cost £438. 8s. 0d. The forwarding weights of the bells were:
In 1936 the bells were removed from the tower and restored at John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd. They were turned to present new unworn surfaces to the clappers, and they were retuned using modern machinery and tuning fork technology. The finished weights after tuning were:
The re-tuned peal is in the key of F#, the nominal tenor frequency being 726.5Hz. They are tonally a pleasant ring of bells.The present bell frame dates from 1864, and comprises headsills and base sills, these being interspaced by means of diagonal bracing struts, with mortice & tenon jointing.The bells were rung regularly throughout the end of the 19th and most of the 20th centuries with a lapse of about 20 years or so between the 1970s and the early 1990s after which the current band was formed. Between the 1860s and 1960s, the New Mill band was highly regarded as one of the outstanding bands of ringers in the area and regularly competed, often successfully, in the (Yorkshire) Heavy Woollen District Cup and Halifax Cup contests. These were prize contests, originally for money, as the contests lasted all day with all the ringers having to miss work and lose a day’s pay to compete.
Today’s band tries to emulate the successes of its forebears but rings for only one contest per year, the Yorkshire Association Branch Striking Contest. However, the bells are rung for all main Sunday services and other occasions where possible, and the band practices on Friday nights between 7.30 and 9.00pm. We always welcome other ringers to join us and equally non-ringers who are curious to see what happens and who possibly might wish to ‘have a go’.
The refurbishment of the ringing room was completed in 2007 and now provides an attractive and welcoming atmosphere. To arrange a visit, please contact Mrs. Stella Southam, Downshutts Farm, Far Lane, Holmfirth (tel O1484 6816OO), or Wynford Carter, 12 Orchard Road, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield HD5 0EQ (tel O1484 3O3272)