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The second weekend in September is Heritage Weekend, when many historic buildings across the country are opened to members of the public. This year we again opened the tower, and John Smith organised tours of the church and churchyard. Over the summer we worked on publicity and organisation with the team led by Wokingham Town Council, which was planning events in the Town Hall and elsewhere.
We opened on the Sundday afternoon, and had over 100 visitors, each of whom spent around an hour seeing all that was in the tower, as well as learning how bells work and hearing about the history and tradition of ringing. The visit culminated with a chance to view Wokingham from above on the tower roof.
This year Wokingham’s theme was ‘the 1950s’, and in keeping with that we produced a set of posters about ringing at All Saints in the 1950s. You might not think there would be much to show, but in fact there was quite a lot: the names of the 37 people who rang here in the 1950s (with pictures of eight of them), details of work on the bells, photos of ringing outings (with some very dated clothing) and a few other curiousities. You can see the posters on the tower website at: www.allsaintswokinghambells.org.uk/notices/1950sPosters.pdf
John Harrison (October 2011)
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