Many of you will have heard the joyous sound of bells ringing on the morning of Saturday, 10th March 2013 (in particular those involved in the Sewing day in St. Mary's Hall and our dedicated team of gardeners who were busy tidying the churchyard!)
At 10.30am, eight ringers from local churches rang a quarter peal at St. Mary's (1260 Grandsire Triples in 48 minutes), followed by a second quarter peal starting at 11.45am at St. John's in the Valley (1280 Cambridge Surprise Major also in 48 minutes). This was to mark a significant event for the town of Caterham - the formation of the Caterham F1 Team.
The date was chosen because it was one week before the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season. By the time you read this, Caterham F1 will have taken the grid at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne and the name of Caterham will have been seen by the hundreds of millions who watch the races both live and on TV. It is the only town in the 60+ year history of the sport to have a team named after it.
As well as this unique feature in Formula One, Caterham is also unique in the bell-ringing world, acquiring two rings of bells in under 20 years. Caterham had no bells before 1975 when eight bells were moved to St. John's in the Valley from St. Mary the Virgin (adjacent to Lambeth Palace) due to the closure of the church. Then, in 1994, the six bells from All Saints, Hamer, Greater Manchester were sold after a severe fire there, and these bells - together with two new treble bells cast specially - were installed here at St. Mary's.
I hope you enjoyed the ringing as much as I did taking part.