News from the Belltower


On Saturday the 9th May 2015, we rang the bells at Teynham at 10.30am; then at Lynsted at 11.30am, This was for remembrance of 70 years.since V.E day. It also brought wonderful memories of that special day.

Ringing at Teynham on V.E day became emotional as this was the first time I had rung the bells open*; though then, just nine years old, I knew what we were ringing for, and what it meant for all of us.

I wonder how many people of the old Teynham are still with us, and can remember when the lights came on for the first time in six years. Who can remember the big bonfire we had at the ‘Railway Tavern’? Someone started the fire in the garden of the ‘Railway Tavern’, it was not long before it had spread down the garden wall, across the road, and ended up in the gardens of the ‘Crescent’.

At hop picking time, when a hop bine was picked, it was folded around the lower wire, there they were left to dry. The dried hop bines were cut off and bundled up. These dried hop bines were now called ‘Faggots’ and were stored at Mr Percy French’s farm; this brings me back to why the bonfire spread across the road.

Some one had brought one of these Faggots down from the farm and threw it on the fire. Then it was not long before everyone was going up to the farm to get these Faggots, it was like an army of working ants, just one big line of people going to-and-fro carrying these bundles. The fire lit up the sky, everyone was dancing and singing, the tears of joy, the cuddles. It went on for hours. What a wonderful sight to see, having had six years of black outs.

The Railway Tavern was then run or owned by the Bailey sisters, and I must say that the beer was flowing very freely. Even I was allowed to ‘Have a Pint’. What was left of that night was a whopping great hole in the road. 

“Lest we forget”

Bryan Tumber

[ringing 'open' are when the ropes holding the cllappers to silence the bells are removed and the bells are allowed to sound]