This bell ringer has been ringing the bells for 70 years

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there wil

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there will be a celebration of Herbert's 70 years of bellringing at St Margaret's Church in Starston. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

When Herbert Websdell rang his first church bell, George VI was on the throne and Clement Attlee was in Number 10.

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there wil

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there will be a celebration of Herbert's 70 years of bellringing at St Margaret's Church in Starston. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Seventy years on, and he is still ringing.

Mr Websdell was 13 when he tried the activity, in the Pulham cluster of villages, near Diss, in October 1946.

He developed a love of ringing which, over the decades, has seen him pull the ropes at churches in Pulham St Mary, Redenhall, Fressingfield, Wingfield and Stradbroke.

The 83-year-old still rings the bells at Starston's St Margaret's Church on Sundays to help call people to worship.

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there wil

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there will be a celebration of Herbert's 70 years of bellringing at St Margaret's Church in Starston. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016


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To mark his 70 years, a special service at the church near Harleston has been organised.

On Sunday, July 17 St Margaret's Church will hold a Festival of Bells, which includes a service at 3pm with the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

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Mr Websdell, of Wilderness Close, Harleston, has been ringing at Starston since the early 1970s,

He is still as keen as ever to join the other seven members of the Starston Ringers, who take turns to ring the six bells at St Margaret's.

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there wil

Herbert and Julie Websdell who between them have been ringing bells for 117 years. In July there will be a celebration of Herbert's 70 years of bellringing at St Margaret's Church in Starston. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

He said: 'It is like an addiction to me. People get addicted to it and many say they don't know why. Ringing and practising is a social thing for us.

'A lot of other places are more serious. But here it is more of a social thing and that is how you get the best out of people I think.'

He used to ring the tenor bell at the church, which weights eight and a half hundredweight, but now rings a smaller one.

Mr Websdell's love of bellringing saw him introduce his wife, Julie, to the hobby and she now has an impressive 47 years of experience.

Are you organising a church event to celebrate someone's achievement? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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