Martley Guild History Webpage

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On Saturday 9th Nov 1974 - a typical cold, wet and windy winter day - 24 bellringers 
attended the Church of St Philip & St James, Hallow, for the inaugural meeting and 
service of the Martley & District Change Ringers Guild.

The Guild was formed to promote the art and science of Change Ringing within the 
district and to foster a strong sense of fellowship amongst its members. 
The Parishes originally covered were Broadwas, Clifton-on-Teme, Grimley, Hallow, 
Martley, Ombersley, Shelsley Beauchamp and Suckley. Since then, Astley, Leigh and Shrawley 
have been added.

The strength of the Guild lies in its role as a local body working within and in 
partnership with the Worcestershire & Districts Change Ringers Association. 
All members of the Guild must be fully-paid-up Association members; and many are 
long-time supporters of wider Association activities.

By the end of its first year, regular weekly practices had been established at most towers.  
A Quarterly ringing rota was drawn up with the aim of ringing bells at two churches each Sunday. 
Thirty years on, members still follow that same example, supporting each others’ practices 
and helping to ensure that bells are rung for all main - and many minor - services in the 
district, as well as for numerous special occasions. 

For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee on 7 June 1977, quarter peals were 
attempted at every tower in the Guild. Commemorative scrolls hang in the towers and one was 
presented to Her Majesty.  Such is the continuity that a similar attempt was made for the 
Golden Jubilee on 4 June 2002 with many of the original ringers involved.  
The Guild also loudly welcomed in the second Millenium ! 

Today, as we celebrate our work and fellowship at the Guild’s annual service, 
we give thanks that our organisation has grown in membership, stature and activities. 
Bells which were once subdued now ring out regularly across the Teme and Severn valleys, 
due largely to the far-sightedness of those ringers who gathered in Hallow on a cold day in 1974.

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