On 29th June, seven children from the 'Powerhouse Kidz' (8 to 11 year olds) group at Teignmouth Baptist Church, and their youth minister, visited Dawlish tower as part of their summer outing. This came about as I had enthused about ringing to the youth minister Glenda Chadwick-Down, and the latter suggested a trip to find out more. With a Baptist church full of families and young people, it's only a shame we don't have our own ring of bells, as there would be no shortage of young recruits. Jaz tells the rest of the story in her own words below. See if you can spot when she describes chiming, and when they were ringing backstrokes with expert help.
- Lynne Hughes
"After a lovely morning at church, the power house kidz went to have our picnic lunch on the beach. After we had finished, we made our way to St Gregory's church in Dawlish.
When we got there, we walked through their big and very interesting cemetery and then went into the church. Unlike TBC, it wasn't modern it looked historical, I think we were all very amazed by the stone statues and the old bricks. After that, we met some ladies, who worked at ringing the bells. As we had all seen, there was an extremely small doorway and then we found out what it was for! It led up to the church's tower. When we looked at the stairs, I have to admit I think at least everyone of us felt a little anxious, I mean, the stairs were very narrow and we only had a rope to hold onto. When we reached the first door, we didn't go in but we saw it was the room where Lynne and her friends would ring the bells. Once we had climbed some more stairs, we reached the second floor, which was where the actual bells were. They were much bigger than I had expected, Lynne told us that there were eight bells and that they were all very old. We also talked about the dangers of the bells but that was just to keep us safe not make us frightened.
Then we carried on up and up! At last when we reached the top of the tower, we looked out across Dawlish and saw my house and the sea, as long as everything else! We had a few photos and then back down the narrow windy stairs. We passed the bell room and then, after a minute or so, we reached the room where Lynne would ring the bells. First we had a talk about our questions, and the things we needed to be careful about.
Then, excitedly, we rang the bells ourselves. It sounded like there was going to be an invasion, but when the pros rang them it sounded great! The bells were very heavy and even lifted Glenda off her feet. Again we had another go with the help of the pros. Afterwards we had a go at playing some tunes like twinkle twinkle little star on some small instrumental bells.
Then after a few more steps down, we had reached the bottom. Kindly the ladies made us some cakes and biscuits and then our parents came to fetch us! WOW! What an exciting day."