Bray community news: New church bell to ring out... Silently

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

The bell-ringers of St Michael’s Church in Bray have a new, state-of-the art training bell installed in the bell tower.

The new training bell is actually a weighted wheel, designed to simulate the feeling of ringing a traditional bell.

“Teaching people how to ring is very difficult,” said Tower Captain Maggie Ross.

“A real bell is a big, expensive piece of kit, and it takes a lot of time to get used to it. It’s hard work.”

“This training bell gives you the same experience but without any danger of breaking anything – including yourself,” she said.

The training bell has other advantages. It does not actually ring, but rather strikes a sensor, hooked up to a computer. This allows for adjustable volume.

“This way, you don’t have to silence the bells so they’re not making loud noises at unsociable hours,” said Maggie.

This gives the bell ringers more flexibility with practice time without being inconsiderate to neighbours.

Maggie hopes that the new training bell will attract a new generation of bell ringers; though the current bell-ringing band are also intrigued by it, as it promises to help even an expert bell-ringer to improve even more.

“You can watch your progress much more easily,” said Maggie.

“Some ringers play by ‘rope sight’, rather than by ear. The training bell lets you focus more on the sound you’re making, and the computer can tell you how well you’ve rung.

“It’s a great way to train – I’d like to invite anyone to come along and give it a try,” she said.

Anyone interested in a bell-ringing lesson can email Maggie on

Residents concerned over fair and LakeFest clash

Residents are concerned about a clash of dates between the Holyport Fair and LakeFest, a fundraising day on Bray Lake to raise money for the new Thames Hospice. Both events take place on June 6.

The clash came to the attention of residents when both parties applied to for licensing, allowing live entertainment and the sale of alcohol on site. The last day to raise objections to the Royal Borough is Monday, March 9.

Andrew Cormie, chairman of Holyport Residents Association will be objecting to the Thames Hospice event, on the grounds that the fair is traditionally always at this time of year.

He added: “It will cause traffic congestion on the Windsor Road between Holyport Road and Fifield Road, the residents of which area are sick of the bad traffic effects caused by the Thames Hospice.”

Sarah Bissel of Thames Hospice said: “We were sad to hear about the clash. We searched carefully for local event dates and we believed we had managed to avoid them all.”

Mike Dyde, chairman of Holyport Community Trust, which is in charge of organising the fair, said: “There may have been some confusion because we amended the date of the fair last year from it’s traditional ‘first Saturday in June’ slot.

“I’ve agreed with Thames Hospice that we’ll ensure we touch base ahead of next year’s festivities to ensure the clash doesn’t happen again.”

Neighbourhood Watch welcomes new families

Four families who recently moved onto Hibbert Road were welcomed to the area with a Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) refresher meeting.

Jeffrey Pick of Thames Valley Police, RBWM community warden Clive Dent and John Diack, chairman of the Maidenhead Police Area NHW Association, provided a talk on various aspects of Neighbourhood Watch.

This included: what community wardens do, how they relate to the police and the counciland how to avoid being scammed.

Anyone who would like the team to come and do a talk can email

Fisherman's Friends' screening

‘Fisherman’s Friends’ will be the next film for Holyport Cinema Club. It will be showing on Friday, March 13, at 8pm in Holyport War Memorial Hall. The film is based on the real-life story of a group of Cornish fishermen who find unlikely chart success with their sea shanties. Tickets are available for £5.42 (including booking fee) at

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