important occasions ranging from weddings to the Lord Mayor’s Show. Passers-by can view the ringers in action through the first floor tower windows.
The bell ringers practice on Monday nights when there is a teaching session from 6.00 to 7.00pm, followed by open ringing. For details or to contact the tower captain, Thomas Lawrance, email the Administrator and include ‘Bell ringing’ in the subject line of your message, or telephone him on 07807 604 344.
The Bells at St Vedast:
Number of Bells: 6
Tenor: 16-2-12 in F
Frame: 1960 Mears & Stainbank (timber)
Full details can be found on the website of the Church Bells of the City of London.
History of the Bells
Prior to WWII there were eight bells, first cast by John Darbie of Ipswich in 1671/72, hanging in the tower. They were not considered to be a very good ring, at least not by the mid 18th century when the Rambling Club of Ringers visited the tower, reporting:
St Vedast Foster next I name
Some Calls it St Vedast Foster Lane
We rung Seven Hundred College Single
But those bells have a nasty gingle.
The tower with its graffiti dating back to 1709 survived WWII, but the war-damaged bells had to be recast. In 1958 Whitechapel Bell Foundry produced the current fine-sounding ring of six with a tenor weight of 16 ½ cwt (1 cwt heavier than the old ring).