2017 Bells Run on Sunday 8th October 2017
starting at 11.00am from Pattingham Playing Fields
Visit www.pattinghambellsrun.com for full details >>
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The Birth of the Pattingham Bells Run.
In the late 1980’s cracks in the fabric of the tower of St Chad’s Church, Pattingham in South Staffordshire had become a major cause for concern and could not be ignored. Following a survey it was felt continued ringing might cause further substantial damage to the structure. At the same time the bells in their wooden frame were becoming increasingly difficult to ring. Estimates indicated that approximately £60,000 would be required to strengthen the tower, and a further £30,000 was quoted to renovate the bells. This included retuning, renewing and renovating the fittings, and constructing a new metal frame which would also serve to strengthen the tower.
After much consideration the PCC decided to mount a fund raising campaign to obtain the necessary funds both for the tower restoration and for renovation of the bells. Over a three year period from November 1989 a series of concerts, balloon races, raffles and the now famous “Bells of Pattingham Cross Country Run” all helped to swell the fund, together with donations from local benefactors and well wishers. The target was reached by the end of December 1991.
On the 8th September 1992, following the necessary restoration to the tower, staff from Whitechapel foundry arrived to begin to remove the bells and dismantle the old frame. Just two months later on the 16th November 1992 the bells were returned in all their splendour. In the space of three cold damp weeks, the frame was carefully erected piece by piece and set into the structure of the tower. The bells were gently hoisted to the belfry and installed, and the wheels were reassembled with all the necessary fittings. Finally a smart coat of cherry red paint was applied to the frame. The first tentative trial ring took place on Wednesday 9 December, the local band eager to put the bells to the test.
From the very first Pattingham Bells Run in 1990, the multi-terrain race is now an extremely popular event taking place every year around mid-October. The race covers 7 miles across the beautiful countryside around the village of Pattingham and in 2005 attracted a record number of runners and raised approaching £4000 for local charities and the church.
Each runner and all helpers on the day receive a ‘Bells Brass’, individually designed each year, a full set of which has been attached to a damaged bell wheel and is displayed in the Ringing Room of the church tower.
The design for the Bells Run brass changes every year and they are highly sought after having become collector’s pieces. The picture shows the 2005 design.
For more information on the bells of St Chad’s Church in Pattingham, visit the Bells Ringers’ own site at www.pattingham-ringers.org.uk
The first run back in 1990, was organised to raise money to replace the old wooden bell frame in the belfry of St. Chad’s church in Pattingham. Because of its popularity, the run has continued over the years and now is a respected event in the running world with up to 800 runners taking part. All main race finishers will receive a specially designed Brass.
All proceeds from the race are now used for local charities, such as the West Midlands Air Ambulance, and also to help St. Chad’s church funds. All runners finishing receive a ‘Bells Run’ brass and the first runner from the Parish of Pattingham with Patshull will be presented with a cup to be held for one year.
The design for the Bells Run brass is changed each year and they have become collector’s pieces.
The run starts and finishes in Pattingham in South Staffordshire over a 7 mile off-road, multi-terrain course, under UKA rules.
1st Lady from Parish of Pattingham with Patshull
1st Runner from Parish of Pattingham with Patshull
Race Organiser/Director : TONY AINSWORTH Tel:01902 700960