I love this story of bells and bikes from Holmbridge St Davids, at the foot of Holme Moss. Wonderful. Thank you Holmbridge.
Holmbridge Le Tour
The church of St David’s Holmbridge has no particular historical features, has only one bell (? Does it have two – another one for the chiming of the quarters??) and isn’t on anyone’s list of churches to visit, but last weekend, it was happy to show off its modest glories!
Their position on a tight bend at the very foot of the Holme Moss climb, meant that the church, and the cricket club and pub of Holmbridge were well placed to join together to provide hospitality to visitors and locals alike.
A last minute comment in an email from Welcome to Yorkshire, mentioning something about bells ringing on the Thursday evening at the end the end of the Welcome ceremony in Leeds led one of the St David’s to investigate further and make contact with Rod Ismay. Although we soon found that Rod’s plans were based around churches with full peals (? Terminology), we didn’t want to miss out.
With minutes to go, there were just a handful of people, but a crowd appeared from all corners, including the local scout troup – fully uniformed and on bikes, all with bells! So at the appointed hour, the church bell was joined by bikes and bells, grannies with cowbells, teachers with school bells all making a joyful noise (or deafening racket depending on your viewpoint!). The kids’ favourite was a very old handbell without a clapper, which when hit with a wooden spoon, literally left your ears ringing! Cyclists on their way up Holme Moss, dog walkers and even the bus stopped to see what was going on. Two minutes ringing, then it was all over and we dispersed for bike rides, to the pub or over to the cricket field for a run around. It was a fun and fitting way to begin the festivities for Le Tour.
For the weekend itself, St David’s provided many visitors with a welcome repose from the crowds and sustenance for the soul in a wonderful labyrinth – an exhibition that reflected on the journey of life. We also offered hospitality in the way of indoor camping and breakfasts in the hall, parking for campervans and cars and the usual best of English church tea and cake in the church itself.
Holmbridge Cricket club provided beer and hogroasts as well as large screen to watch as the race continued up over Holme Moss into Derbyshire. The Bridge Pub also had live music all weekend, and a viewing platform.
When to ring the bell? Tourmakers told us to watch for the red official car followed by a gendarmes, so the bell was rung again, welcomed by a loud cheer from the assembled crowd. The noise of helicopters overhead signalled they were here and the bellringer rushed out just in time to see the leader…..
What a weekend – and a great community event. We raised nearly £2000 for some urgent tower repairs and a donation to our partner charity, the Memusi Foundation