Thorpe Bay – St Augustine’s Open Tower

On 23rd September 2018 St Augustine’s had an open tower after morning service, so we took our granddaughter Poppy along to have a look at the bells.

First of all we climbed up to look at the view from the roof, but it was very wet and blustery so we came down again!

I only had my phone with me unfortunately, and so the pictures are pretty bad. I should have been better prepared . . . anyway, here are some photos of the bells.

We came back down to the ringing room. The event was well supported and several people had a go at pulling the sally. Jane and Lisa were also there. After everyone had seen the bells and had a go, 8 of us rang Queens just to demonstrate what they sounded like. We were: Steve H, Judy and Phil H, Phil B, John Woollard, Anne, John Crooks and me.

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Afterwards we went down and had a quick look at the interior of the church. Poppy was delighted to find a children’s play area at the back, but I got a panicky text from Grace saying that Hunny was sitting on our bed and wouldn’t stop barking, so we left sharpish to go and rescue her and baby Ava from Hunny 🙂

It didn’t mean much to Poppy at just 3 years old but she loved climbing all the stairs: concrete spiral staircase up to the ringing room, metal spiral staircase up to the bells, and wooden staircase up to the roof.

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Leigh-on-Sea – St Clement’s

I came along to Leigh tower to ring for the switching-on of the Christmas lights on 24th November 2017. It’s a big occasion with a parade (which I was in a few years ago as a bellydancer!), stalls, all the shops open and giving out mince pies and drinks, some rides for the kids, lots of fun.

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Looking south towards the Christmas lights on the tower of St Clement’s

 

The church was open with lots of craft and food stalls inside the main body of the church, and a welcoming Santa at the door.

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All the lights shining through the stained glass windows looked so beautiful, lovely to see illuminated in the darkness.

There were a full 8 of us to ring, we rang for about half an hour.

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South Ockendon – Holy Cross

I visited the Catholic church of Holy Cross in South Ockendon on 18th November 2017, to take part in a call changes competition (we came second out of four teams, yay!)

We arrived in the gloomy rain and I didn’t get a photo of the outside unfortunately.

Afterwards we had tea in the church hall.

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I didn’t win anything in the raffle 😦

Great Wakering – St Nicholas

I visited this church on 16th September for an EACR District Meeting, with ringing followed by a service and then tea.

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St Nicholas, Great Wakering

It was a beautiful day, sunny but with rain clouds amassing in the distance, making a wonderful contrast between the bright church and grounds and the dark sky.

The church has a ground floor ring of 6 bells, of which the treble and #2 are very flat (and the #2 is a quarter tone higher in pitch than the treble) and the #3 is slightly flat. Long draught, and the treble ringer is squashed up against the a cupboard!

Lovely situation at the end of the long High Street in Wakering with some old cottages surrounding it.

Exterior:

Interior:

 

Thorpe Bay – St Augustine

This church is relatively new, having been built in the 1930s, from brick. It’s not a beautiful church, but it’s in a good location in Thorpe Bay, just a road or so back from the seafront. It is on a traffic island in the middle of the road, but unlike e.g. Hadleigh St James the Less (also on a traffic island), the area is quiet and there is barely any traffic. There are some mature trees around it.

The church has a bell tower with a very fine ring of 8 bells, and also a set of chimes.

These photos are all from 30th June 2017, and there aren’t many. I was actually there to ring for a funeral and didn’t have time to walk all round taking photos.

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St Augustine’s, Thorpe Bay
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The west door at the base of the tower, the main entrance into the church
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Looking down the nave to the chancel, with the added bonus of the vicar standing at the pulpit

The ringing room is large and airy, with a comfortable spiral staircase up to it:

Two noticeboards:

Rayleigh – Holy Trinity

I have got photos from a couple of dates: a walk past on the 14th March 2012, and a visit to the church and tower on the Tower Open Day on 25th May 2015. I did get a couple of shots inside but not many. Most of my photos are of the view from the tower . . .

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Holy Trinity, Rayleigh

Exterior:

Interior including bell-ringing chamber:

View from the top:

Tower and noticeboard:

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Tower and noticeboard

Prittlewell – St Mary the Virgin

St Mary’s in Prittlewell is a Grade I listed building which now comes under the borough of Southend-on-Sea.

I have got so many photos of this church, taken on many occasions between 2007 and now (May 2017) but I haven’t actually got a particularly good one of the whole church! Photos have been taken with a variety of cameras, lenses, and my cameraphone. Anyway, here it is and a selection of exterior shots:

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St Mary the Virgin, Prittlewell

The exterior:

The interior of the church:

Prittlewell church has 10 bells, 18-0-9, in E:

The view from the tower:

Eastwood – St Laurence and All Saints

St Laurence is a very old church which now finds itself at the end of a runway at Southend Airport! There is a sarsen stone at the base of a pillar, very difficult to photograph. These pics were taken on a visit to the church on 5th May 2017.

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St Laurence and All Saints, Eastwood

I couldn’t embed a Google map so I will give you the address instead: St Laurence & All Saints Church, Junction of Aviation Way and Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6UN

Exterior:

Interior:

St Laurence is a ground floor ring of 6 bells, here the ropes are kept up out of harm’s way with a spider

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Noticeboard

Canewdon – St Nicholas

Canewdon is near where I live and I have got photos from six visits, ranging from April 2008 to March 2017. The church is on a hill (all of the village of Canewdon is on a hill) and is clearly visible for miles around. It has 8 bells, and I rang them on March 18th 2017.

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A bit dramatic, using a wide-angle lens, but at least I have got most of the church in shot

Exterior and environs:

Interior:

 

View from the top of the tower:

 

Bell ringing at an Essex Association of Change Ringers Southern District meeting on 18th March 2017

 

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The mossy noticeboard