A notable anniversary was recognised recently when Bert Rathbone was presented with an inscribed Table bell to record his remarkable achievement of 65 years as a member of the Tower ringing Band at St Chad’s, Norton in Hales.
The bell, made by the world- renowned bell founders Whitechapel Bell Foundry, was presented to Bert at the recent annual Ringers Supper. It is inscribed “Presented to Bert Rathbone to mark 65 years of Tower ringing at St Chad’s Norton”. Its cost was met by his fellow ringers and St Chad’s PCC.
In making the presentation, it was noted that Bert’s contribution to the regular ringing at the Parish Church not only included regular Sunday turnout , but in addition he had been a vital help over the years with the bell maintenance and fitting of muffles, new ropes and tower maintenance, often assisted by his wife Daphne. They have been married for 50 years, ironically at their wedding at St Chad’s there were no wedding bells because of repair work to the bellframe at the time.
Bert’s notable record as a ringer easily beat his other important local interest as one of the Village Cricket team’s demon fast bowlers. The rivalry (still continuing today) between Norton and Woore’s cricket teams is ironic considering that the two villages now share the same Rector , Woore however has no Church Bells !
St Chad’s Ringers wish all around the Parish a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Listen out for the Christmas Bells Sunday’s Carol Service at 10 30 and on Christmas morning at 11.15.