From the Tower records - 1939 to 1940
The Declaration of War on Sunday Sept 3rd carried considerable interruption to ringing & from the Sunday following all ringing was stopped for the month by order of the Police. Permission was given to commence again on Sunday Oct 1st, this on the same date that evensong was introduced at 3.30pm on account of Black-out. Order prevailed for a time till Armistice Sunday when for some unknown reason we were again banned for the day. Since this service ringing has been uninterrupted.
It was felt by some it would be difficult to arrange afternoon ringing for service but luckily the majority were convinced it was our duty to carry on as often as possible. Up to this time practices had been suspended since August but by Blacking Out the tower we made a start on Handbells on Oct 3rd . Xmas early ringing 6-30am was as usual & we were pleased to find there were no restrictions in Ringing out the Old & Ringing in the New Year. As usual we had many interested spectators in the tower for the event.
Generally speaking, although we have suffered no depleted ranks through the war so far we have perhaps missed the longer evening practices which was beneficial to us all.
By broadcast on Tuesday June 13th that
1/ No person shall in any area in Great Britain sound any Church Bell or cause or permit any church bell to be sounded, except for the purpose of making a signal, in accordance with directions given by a commissioned officer of His Majesty’s Forces or the chief officer of police for the area, to indicate that members of an enemy force are landing or attempting to land, or have landed from the air.
2/ In this Order the expression “Church Bell” includes the bell of any church, chapel or other place of public worship ordinarily used or intended for summoning persons to public worship or for any like purpose and any bell ordinarily used or intended for tolling at a cemetery. 3 This order may be cited as the Control of Noise.
Defence Order 1940
During July the Priest in Charge (Rev Evans) approached the Captain on the subject of the Home Guards ringing the bells in case of invasion or as an alternative would the bellringers undertake to ring them themselves on the instruction of the proper authority. The former was pointed out as being entirely impractical, both from the safety of the H.Gs themselves as well as of the bells & fittings. They evidently imagined a Church bell was rung after the manner of a door bell. As regards the latter the ringers, however patriotic they might be, could not commit themselves for an unknown duration. On consideration what was finally arranged was for the H.Gs to chime 2 bells, 3rd & 4th with the chiming apparatus. This it was thought would be an altogether unusual chime in the locality.