Back in 2006 we watched the last and largest of the bells being lowered to the ringing gallery. The tenor bell, with a diameter of just over three and a half feet, was made by the John Taylor Bell Foundry of Loughborough back in 1912. It has hung for over 90 years at the top of the tower and stayed in tune despite the battering it has taken from the weather, and years of neglect. Inscribed on the side of the bell are the names of the rector, the Reverend William Horsburgh and churchwardens Hawkey and Flamank. Click on the “play” button on the vid clip below and give it a minute to load!
The Reverend Horsburgh appears to have hailed from Ireland and the Flamank family is one of the most famous in Cornwall, as Thomas Flamank was one of the leaders of the famous Cornish rebellion of 1497. Quite incredibly, I have traced one of the Flamank descendants through marriage to Kris Flamank in Australia! Kris turns out to be an expert on the Flamank family and is pretty certain that the R.H. Flamank whose name is inscribed on the bell was a local butcher and farmer who may have worshipped with our Methodist brethren for some time.
Well, let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 100 years to get this marvellous bell back in action again!