The bells are not the traditional English bells played with ropes. They are fixed in position, and played with a hand clavier – a bit like a keyboard without the keys – that moves the clappers to strike the bells.
When they were first installed they also had an “electro-pneumatic tune-playing machine” which played hymns automatically using rolls of paper – a bit like a Pianola. It would also strike the hour automatically.
The bells are a war memorial and have names of 201 men who fell in the First World War cast into them. This is the largest number of names cast into a set of bells anywhere in the UK, possibly the world.
In this section you can find out more details about the bells and their history, and their restoration in the summer of 2011.
If you would like to visit Memorial Community Church and see the bells, please call the church office on 020 7474 6603 to arrange a time when someone can show you round, or use the contact form and someone will get back to you.
Click here to see and hear a video of the bells being played! Thanks to Sarah Acott for filming this.
Click here for a list of the names on the bells as written.