There is an annual event called the Heritage Open Day; in reality it is a series of events which take place across the country over several days. Anyway, we decided we would take part in this event and would open St Andrew's for a day in early September.
Saturday 8th September was a bright but chilly day, which turned out to be just the sort of day for visiting your local (or not so local) church. Leaflets, posters and even a mention on BBC Radio Cornwall all helped to persuade fifty enthusiastic souls to venture up to the church.
Visitors watched ringers in action and were able to see the bells turning on a computer screen linked to a camera in the bell chamber. There were also displays showing pictures of the bells which highlighted some of the problems that the re-hang will address, as well as a see-and-touch arrangement of items such as pulleys, muffles and a rope. A handful of sturdy individuals were escorted up the tower to see the bells at close quarters and several adults and a couple of very small youngsters had a go at chiming a bell. Our ringers discovered just how much effort is needed to make a bell chime repeatedly with a small child "helping" on the tail end of the rope.
Back at ground level an octave of hand bells attracted a lot of attention, including from the tower ringers who had great fun trying to make them sound; it seems our limited talents are better suited to bells on the end of a rope rather than on a piece of leather. Calstock ringers were joined by several others from around the county who helped to keep the bells ringing for most of the day.
Best of all, we were kept well supplied throughout the day with tea and cake by Mary and Fred Staff.