Learning to Ring

or The Ap-peal-ing Tale of a Novice Campanologist

When I tell people I am learning to ring the bells this is usually followed by, “What made you want to do that?” (and the look from my work colleagues who now have confirmation that I am a bit mad). So I thought this would be a good place to start.

I had enjoyed listening to the bells ever since we came to Goldhanger particularly as they were ringing as we were walking around the sea wall with the dog or on Christmas Eve whilst staggering home from the pub. Continue reading “Learning to Ring”

What is a ‘Gotch’

Have you ever heard of a gotch? I came across it recently in an article in a regional newspaper, and as it was related to bell ringing I asked Andrew, our tower captain, if he had ever heard of one. His reaction was “Is it something rude?” Well dear readers, fear not. It is in fact a relic from the bell ringing past.

A gotch is a large jug, either two or three handled, that was filled with ale or beer and kept by the ringers to give them some liquid refreshment. Continue reading “What is a ‘Gotch’”

Friendly Brother’s Annual Dinners in the Past

Friendly Brothers annual dinners weren’t held at Christmas, as they are now. The Society was originally a form of mutual sickness benefit scheme and working men’s club with a registered address of The Chequers Inn. As it still exists today it is probably unique.

In a 1993 PM article the late Cecil Chaplin recalled that a big wooden box with three locks containing china plates and cutlery used to be held in The Chequers, but it was destroyed in the 1950’s. Continue reading “Friendly Brother’s Annual Dinners in the Past”

Goldhanger’s Red Brick Walls

The red brick walls in the centre of the village could well be unique as nothing similar, and to the extent, has been seen elsewhere. In the mid 1800s the Rector, the Revd. C.B. Leigh paid for the village school, a new rectory (now Goldhanger House), restored the Church and built the walls around the Church. Continue reading “Goldhanger’s Red Brick Walls”

Frank Wellington

Perhaps the best known early photograph and postcard scene of the village is the one that has been hanging in the Chequers for many years and is on this month’s front cover. The man in the car is Frank Wellington. The photo was taken in 1906 and at the time he lived in Danbury, but was related to the local Page family who were farmers. In his day Frank was a very well known automotive engineer, vehicle manufacturer, dealer, motor and motorcycle racing enthusiast.

In 1897 he was photographed driving “the first car through Goldhanger” Continue reading “Frank Wellington”