A framed notice in the church says:
The bells are in the key of F sharp. The back six were cast in 1804 by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel and the treble & second in 1895 by Charles Oliver of London.
The bells fell silent through disrepair in the early 1960s. In 1969 a generous legacy by Miss Dorothy Collett, a devoted member of the church, initiated the commencement of the restoration. Remaining funds were raised by the Friends of Carshalton Bells, a charity set up by the PCC & the Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers. Much support was also received from the Rotary Club of Carshalton. Donations included £1000 from the Surrey Association belfry repair Fund & £100 given by Mr Leonard Reece, for many years Tower Captain, in memory of his wife.
The bells were retuned by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry who provided a new frame & fittings. The rehanging was carried out by members of the Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers & the service of re-dedication took place on Saturday 22 December 1979.
|Weight in cwt of the bells after tuning:|
Map Ref: TQ280645, or use Streetmap Post-code: SM5 3PD.
Sunday Service Ringing: 10.00 to 10.30 am. Practice: Monday (except Bank Holidays) 7.45 to 9.15 pm. The bells were not rung for a while due to contractors working in the tower, but normal ringing resumed on Easter Sunday 2017.
Entry is via the tower door in the churchyard at the south side of the church.
Email contact: Rosemary Lilley by e-mail to email@example.com.
We also have a web-site www.surreybellringers.org.uk/towers/carshalton-all-saints.
You can also find information from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
There were bells at All Saints long before the 19th century. In 1552 Edward VI was advised to carry out an audit of church property. A report from Carshalton in response showed that many effects had been sold to fund 'the reparacions of the steple, the bells and other necessaries".
Later church records show repair work carried out in the early 18th century, and the churchwardens' accounts for 1793 record "Lyon and Lamberts Extravagant bill for work done at the bells: £12 10s 6d".
More tellingly, the ringers, (or more commonly entries about 'ringing liquor'), appear regularly in the parish accounts, such as the entry in 1704 of a publican's 'bill for drink for the ringers for 3 years' of 5 guineas.
For special occasions they were, however, given cash and in 1805 the ringers were paid an unprecedented £1 6s for ringing the new bells to celebrate 'Lord Nelson's Victory'. These new bells that Rosemary talks about cost £412 13s, but the parish sold the old bells for £295 9s 7d plus one guinea for the clappers.
Hanging in the Ringers' room is a list of rules and regulations drawn up in 1893 by the then Rector, Victor Seymour.
The highlights include the banning of liquor, smoking and strangers in the Belfry, and hefty fines for absence of 1d up to 6d for Easter Day, with a whopping one shilling penalty for swearing or behaving improperly....
Marion Williams, March 2019, using material from
'From Medieval Manor to London Suburb'
A E Jones, 1965
The bells we ring today date from 1804 and 1840. A new ring of 6 was ordered from Mears and Stainbank in Whitechapel in 1804, and tradition has it that they were first rung to celebrate Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. Two trebles were added in 1840. These were cast by C Oliver, a Mears and Stainbank employee whose idea of moonlighting was to cast a few bells on the side.
Sadly, the wooden frame was always weak and by the end of the century the "go" of the bells left much to be desired. Gillett and Johnson, bellfounders of Croydon, had condemned the frame and fittings by 1930, but the bells continued to be rung off and on, and even in the early sixties the Beddington band rang several brisk quarter peals (lasting around 45 minutes). However, one night in 1963 it all proved just too much and, during the ringing, the tenor gudgeon broke, leaving the bell mouth upwards in the pit with its wheel demolished. (The tenor is the largest bell, then weighing around 12 cwt).
With a local band of only one person, and considerable reconstruction work needed on the tenor fittings, there was little prospect of anything being done, until in 1969 the church was left a legacy by Miss Dorothy Collett, to be used for restoring the tower and bells. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry put the bells back into ringable order to enable a check to be made on tower movement. The bells were then lowered and stored in the church, the old frame removed and the building work carried out, including the installation of a concrete ring beam.
By now inflation was galloping along, the available funds were nowhere near enough to pay for the new frame and the work on the bells, and it looked as though things would grind to a halt. At this point the Surrey Association Belfry Restoration Committee, masterminded by the indefatigable Bob Cooles, took an active interest. In 1977 we set up a charity, the "Friends of Carshalton Bells" to raise the money to complete the job.
This was when I first stepped through the doors of All Saints. Our Treasurer was Bill Wedge, I was the secretary, and Jill Hale was the driving force. With the help of the late Dr Ian Smith, we obtained a great deal of support from Carshalton Rotary Club — one of our joint activities was raffling a mini. I remember it cost us about £2,000 to buy the car, (of course covered by the ticket sales) and it was won by the late George Blanks of Elwyns. Other fund raising events were jumble sales, sponsored swims and at least one Auction. The Surrey Association of Church Bell Ringers gave us what was then a landmark grant: £1,000.
In order to save money, the bell foundry allowed us to carry out the rehanging ourselves, under the supervision of one of their professional bellhangers for the trickier bits. Thus ringers from various parts of Surrey and South London threw themselves enthusiastically into the work, which got under way in September 1979 with the goal of getting the bells ringing by Christmas. All went smoothly and the dedication service took place on 22 December 1979, conducted by the Rev Leigh Edwards who always keenly supported the project. We were delighted with the go and the sound of the bells. In the retuning, a certain amount of metal was shaved off the bells resulting in a very slightly lighter ring with a somewhat higher pitch.
Over the next few months, with the help of ringers from neighbouring towers, we trained a new band. This included Lesley Page, who recently passed away at the age of nearly 100, and Jonathan Cady, the very bright older son of Roger. Jill Hale's two daughters were ringers, as were the two daughters of her fellow churchwarden Norman Longley.
In May 1980 we hosted the Surrey Association's centenary AGM. Carshalton was an appropriate choice for this, as it was in the King's Arms, (which stood in the High Street a hundred yards from the church), that the Surrey Association was founded in 1880.
Rosemary Lilley, March 2019
On Thursday 8 February 2019 people all over the village (as well as visitors inside the church) were treated to a wonderful 2 and three quarter hour session of bell ringing from the Kent County Association, as they successfully completed a Moulton Surprise Major full peal of 5,088 changes.
The ring was composed by D F Morrison No 2580 (Gadebridge Surprise Major) and the ringers were: Stephen Davis, Shirley McGill, Elizabeth Barnes, Phillip Barnes, David Kirkcaldy, Adam Brady, John Keeler (Captain) and David Grimwood.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for general enquiries.