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1902 band  

The monochrome photograph shown here was taken at the time of King Edward VII's coronation in 1902, and shows the ringers who had just rang the bells to celebrate.

The 2024 bellringers recently decided that we ought to have an up-to-date photograph of the band (the last was 25 years ago) and the result is shown here in colour.

The first photo is restricted to the eight ringers who were the enrolled 'stated ringers' at the time whereas for the second we assembled as many members as we could. Even so there are three modern-day member ringers missing, and, because we very often welcome lots of friends of the band, they could legitimately have been included (but for this photo we elected to show only members).

You'll also notice the colour of the stonework surrounding the church's west door – the friable pudding stone has now been covered in white-ish render.

More noticeable is the gender of the ringers. The first woman to join All Saints' band did so only in 1918 and she was a rarity.

But it's the clothing that strikes one the most. Ringing can be hard work (depending on which bell is rung) and doing so on what was in 1902 an exceptionally hot summer's day in waistcoat and tie is something no sensible member would do nowadays –maybe they discarded them for the ringing and donned them again for the photo. Wearing bright and colourful clothing was simply not on. And then there is the evolution in footwear ......!

Note the Alberts (the watch chains) they are all wearing compared with wrist watches on the modern day folk; I wonder how soon even those will become obsolete in favour of mobile phones.

Thanks to Sue James for the photo (the recent one!)

Stephen Smith (June 2024)  


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