The Bells of St. Mark's Church
The eight bells in St. Mark's church tower were installed in the early 1970's. The original bells, dating from the 19th century had been donated from two different sources, cast by two different bellfounders and were somewhat less than musical.
In the early 1970's, parts of the ringing mechanisms were falling off quicker than the local ringers could repair them. "Every week one of us was trekking round the local industrial estate, begging local tradesmen to replace or repair a piece of wood or metal," said Peter Sotheran who led the original restoration team.
The ringers undertook to remove the old bells and frame and to raise the funds to install a new peal of bells. Several local industries volunteered their professional help and the ringers undertook the massive 'do-it-yourself' task of installing the new steel frame and the bells.
It took two years to raise sufficient money to replace the original six bells and the first six new bells were installed in time for Christmas 1973. Provision was made to add two tenor bells to complete the octave of notes. Fifteen months later, the project was completed and the eight bells rang out at Easter 1975.
Details of the bells
Five of the six smaller bells were cast by John Taylor & Company of Leicester in 1973. Bell no.6 is a medieval bell, retrieved from the ancient church of St. Germain on the cliff tops above Marske beach. It had stood, unused, at the back of St. Mark's church for decades.
It is believed to have been cast by a founder called Ellerker, of York. The style of lettering on the bell suggests that it was cast beween 1390 and 1410. The two heaviest bells were cast by Taylors and added in 1975.
The late Revd. Canon Richard White and
Tower Leader Peter Sotheran inspect
the newly delivered bells in 1973.
1 Gift of Teesside County Borough Council 1973
4 The Ringers' Bell 1973
5 Gift of Saltburn & Marske Urban District Council 1973
6 Maria demus laudes omnipotenti Deo circa:..
7 St. Germain 1975
8 St. Peter Gift of Susan Clare and Peter Sotheran 1975
1973 2cwts-0qtrs-0lbs (102kg) B-flat
1973 2cwts-0qtrs-26lbs (113Kg) A
1973 2cwts-1qtr-19lbs (123Kg) G
1973 2cwts-3qtrs-4lbs (142Kg) F
1973 3cwts-0qtrs-7lbs (156Kg) E-flat
1390-1410 3cwts-2qtrs-12lbs (183Kg) D
1975 4cwts-2qtrs-23lbs (239Kg) C
1975 6cwts-3qtrs-21lbs (352Kg) B-flat
No. INSCRIPTION DATE WEIGHT NOTE