The bells rang out on New Year’s Day as Starston Tower Ringers held their annual meet, greet and mardle at St Margaret’s Church.

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About 40 visitors from near and far dropped in at the village church for food, mulled wine and, in some cases, to have a go at ringing the bells.

Herbert Websdell, from Harleston, who looks after the bells and the ringers, said many ringers from other churches attended, along with some people who had never tried bellringing before and just wanted to have a go.

“It was great,” said Mr Websdell, who started bellringing at Pulham Market in 1946 and now teaches others. “We had a lot of ringers from other churches, several from Suffolk and others from around here – some I taught a long while ago. So the bells were ringing for quite a long time, which was great – the bells spread the word that the church is alive.

“A lot of people came to admire the windows which were recently refurbished; others just came for a chat and a bit of a mardle – it was very informal.

“Margaret Griffiths, who is a ringer, Sheena Duncan, the organist, and some of the PCC ladies did the catering and they did a great job.”

The event started about 20 years ago, he said, when the ringers brought their wives and families, then members of the public turned up and the event was opened up to everyone.

The day also saw the launch of a pin badge by the ringers to help church funds.

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