Bellringing at St Andrews

Just a few upcoming changes to the normal pattern of bellringing at St Andrews, Allensmore:

  • Wed 30th August, there will no practice at Allensmore, we’ll be ringing the bells at Madley instead this week.
  • Sat 2nd September, 10:30 – 12:00, we’ll be ringing to practice a method called “St Andrews Place Doubles” which is very rarely rung. This is the start of the preparations for a quarter peal on St Andrews Day in November to celebrate 20 years since our tenor bell was recast.
  • Fri 15th September 4:00 – 5:00 – ringers from Leominster will be visiting.

The Golden Valley Repair Café

The Golden Valley Repair Café is pleased to announce its Second session to be held at St Faith’s Church, Dorstone on Saturday 2nd September from 10am to 12.30pm.

We will have repairers who can mend:

  • small electrical appliances (toasters, kettles, radios, etc)
  • Bicycles (loose chains, brakes, etc)
  • clothing (knee & elbow patches, tears, etc)
  • small wooden items (drawers, chairs, stools, etc.)
  • Knife and small tool sharpening            

The Cafe will be open to serve tea, coffee, cold drinks, Cakes & biscuits.

If you have something you would like repaired please book a time slot by e-mail to or call Bill Giles on 07967 910666.

Please tell us what you are bringing to be repaired and what is wrong with the item and we will book you a time to see a repairer. If you just turn up on the morning we will do our very best to get you to see a repairer, but that may not be possible

Alternatively, why not come along for a drink and a bite to eat and see what goes on in a Repair Café.  Your support will help to make our session go with a swing.

Don’t worry if you can’t make this session, we will be running a Repair Café on the first Saturday of each month. On October 7th we will be in Kingstone Church and on November 4th we will be in Ewyas Harold.

So look out for us and save your broken items for repair, don’t just throw them away!

Village Walk and BBQ, 2nd September

At the moment the weather doesn’t look too bad for the last (?) ramble of the year, this time starting at 3pm on Saturday September 2, from Tything Barn HR2 9AD, at the kind invitation of Tracy Morriss. Non-walkers are welcome at 5pm to join us for the food and liquid refreshment.

It’s most likely then next event will be apple picking for next years cider at Steve and Carol’s. I’ll keep you posted…

Allensmore Ramble and Barbecue

Please note change of venue.

The first Ramble & Barbecue of 2023 will take place on Saturday 1st April at 3.00pm, meeting at Inkerman, HR2 9AT by kind invitation of Carol and Steve Williams.

A walk around the local footpaths, passing through some newly situated gates will be followed by a barbecue of local produce. The Allensmore cider will be available for tasting. Will it be better than last year?

Please join us for the walk at 3.00pm and/or the refreshments at 5.00pm. There is no charge for the guided walk around the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. Donations are very welcome for the food and drink.

Winter Warmer

The next Winter Warmer lunch to be held in convivial surroundings at Pateshall Hall will take place on Thursday 30th March from 12 noon ’till 2pm.

As last time, soups, bread rolls and puddings will be supplied by the committee at no cost to you, but a box will be available for voluntary donations to a local charity.

Hope to see you there.


St. Andrew’s Day is on Wednesday 30th November and this year is a particularly special occasion as it provides an opportunity to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the bells in the church. A complete ring of six new bells was cast by Abraham Rudhall II of Gloucester in 1722 (although the tenor bell was recast in 1890 and again in 2003).

To mark this historic occasion and celebrate three centuries of the bells providing the background music to the rich tapestry of parishioners’ lives, the following events are planned:

26th November – 4th December: A display about the history of the bells and ringers in St. Andrew’s Church. You will be able to read about

  • Rev. Barnabas Alderson – ‘the singing vicar’ from 1722 – (a very naughty vicar!)
  • The time the ringers got locked out of the church in the 1830’s because of concerns about drunken revelry
  • 17th, 18th and 19th century neglect of the church – ‘our parish church is all fallen down to ye ground, Tower and all’!
  • Bell ringer and first-class cricketer, Rev. Charles Gough Littlehales from the 1930’s
  • The bell restorations of 1890, 2003 and 2021
  • And much, much more.

26th November: A full “peal” of 5,040 changes will be attempted from 10.30 a.m. for the first time since 1986. Following this there will be an open session for visitors from 1.30 pm -3.00 pm. This will be an opportunity to see the bells in action, have a go (under supervision) if you wish and ask any questions that you might have. Some of you might even have your own recollections about the bells that you can share. Tea and coffee will be available, and you can also browse the history display.

30th November: Local ringers will ring a quarter peal before the service at 7pm for St. Andrew’s Day and of thanksgiving for the bells – everyone welcome. During the service, the Platinum Jubilee Cross will be dedicated [the cross was made specially for the Queen’s 70th anniversary as monarch in June 2022 by two of our parishioners: it re-used old timbers salvaged from the remainders of the porch gate].

Jubilee Cross on the altar

We do hope you will be able to share in the celebrations for this historic occasion.

Nick Chapman (tower-captain) & Yvonne Chapman (history department!)

Allensmore Litter Pick

SATURDAY 23rd July 2.00 PM – 4.00 PM

Come and join us for this year’s clean up around Allensmore, Cobhall and Winnal.

Meet at the Village Hall at 2.00 pm for a briefing and to collect litter picking equipment and high vis jackets (all provided).

Well-deserved hot and cold drinks afterwards back at the Hall.


In support of Herefordshire “Stop the Drop”.

The Porch, its gates and the Platinum Jubilee Cross


The photograph left shows the porch at St. Andrew’s as it looks today – a little sad and in need of restoration. Whilst the formal process of enabling this restoration to take place is well advanced and the job of raising the necessary funds is underway [but sadly still well short of what is needed], the journey of exploring the porch’s history has been a time consuming although interesting one.

Peggy Davies wedding

This photograph from 1961 [of Margaret (Peggy) Davies] is the best one we have to show-case the heavy oak gates on the porch that village elders remember. Other wedding photographs collected for a Platinum Jubilee Exhibition, indicate that the gates were removed some-time between 1967-71. We are told that they were often pegged back although they needed to be shut when sheep were grazing in the church yard!

Fast forward to around 2020 and all that was left of this distinctive entrance feature was part of a single gate, decaying in the churchyard shed.

the old porch gate

As part of the research to ascertain the porch’s historical significance [needed to obtain the necessary legal permission or ‘faculty’ to restore it] the decaying wood from the gate was laid out like a particularly tricky jigsaw to check what might be salvaged.

Anthony (Tony) Cramp, from Church House kindly agreed to use his practical skills and creative talents so as to reconstitute a panel from the gate. This gives us (and indeed the church architect) a record of what has gone before. This re-constituted piece – heavily doused in treatment for woodworm – is on display in the church alongside the architect’s plans for the restoration of the porch.

Jubilee Cross

This left us with a jumble of bits and pieces, many crumbling away. One of our number had the brain-wave that a rustic cross could be made for the altar when the ‘silverware’ is not in use. As if by divine intervention, four of the remaining pieces were exactly the right proportions and needed no extra shaping. Tony, however, performed a small miracle in ‘invisibly stitching’ them together, as well as treating and cleaning the timber, but as the wood was pointed at the bottom it would not stand upright without some modification. The picture left shows that the cross looked beautiful, but given its weight, carrying it around looked rather like a one person Passion Play as it was best hefted up against your shoulder!

Jubilee Cross

Rather than destroying this feature in the original wood, we sought the advice of David Lloyd of The Butts Cottages about making a metal stand that would keep the cross vertical. Having given David a garbled specification together with the pious hope that it might be ready for the Queen’s Jubilee, we left him to ponder potential solutions; this was a real challenge given that the cross is so heavy. Several weeks later, David’s skill in metal work was apparent for all to see when the cross appeared back in my hall. Like Tony before him, David had done an excellent job – this time in creating a sturdy and yet delicate and aesthetically pleasing base which held the cross firmly upright.

The beautiful cross was proudly in place on the altar of the church for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. It was much admired by the many parishioners who came to the bell ringers ‘open session’ and to view the display of Allensmore photographs and memorabilia during the Queen’s lifetime. Our final picture shows how the cross complements the woodwork of the communion table.

Jubilee Cross on the altar

In our sustainability-minded times, we can truly take pride that our local crafts-people have RE-USED and RE-CYCLED to make this splendid new addition to St. Andrew’s. However, given its core purpose, perhaps the last word needs to be RESURRECTED!

Yvonne Chapman (Allensmore History Matters)

Allensmore Platinum Jubilee Picnic

Our community celebration on Sunday 5th June, got off to a splendid start with the bells at St. Andrew’s ringing joyfully. Around thirty residents watched the ringers in action, and some even had a try at ringing under supervision. They then joined other friends and neighbours at Little Village Farm for a picnic and various activities by kind invitation of Mark & Brigitte Ratcliffe who had prepared. The venue brought back happy memories of the Silver Jubilee party which was held in a field opposite.

In honour of the Queen’s historic Jubilee, our host gave the loyal toast and John Harris from Cobhall Common cut the first slice of the wonderful “jubilee” cake made by Carol Williams and iced in patriotic detail by Alison Pratlett. Using the hand-bells, several of the St. Andrew’s ringers then accompanied the party- goers in a rendition of “God Save The Queen”.

The Platinum Pudding Committee would surely have given Allensmore the first prize for the tables laden with delicious desserts! Many thanks to all those who brought a pudding to share to the event.

Picnic-goers enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce over the photographs & memorabilia of weddings and life in rural Allensmore during the Queen’s lifetime. Thanks to Yvonne Chapman for collecting such an informative display; this would not have been possible without the willingness of people to share information, for which we are grateful. Yvonne says, collecting local history doesn’t stop here, so keep those photographs and memories coming!

In spite of the British weather 100 plus people from across the generations supported our event, along with several very well-behaved dogs, which was brilliant to see. A sincere thank you to all who helped with the planning, setting-up and inevitable clearing away, and to all those who came to make it a truly memorable occasion. As someone summarised, what a wonderful community get together…who cares about the weather when we are having so much fun!

More pictures of the weekend are below – click on them to enlarge …

Even more photos of the weekend are here. If you have any pictures you’d like to add to this album, please email them to Nick at