News & Events

A Special General practice was held on Friday 28th December 2007 at the famous old Bow Church, Cheapside (12; 42cwt) 

This was a highly successful event and the following were rung:  Grandsire Cinques, 171 Stedman Caters, Little Bob Royal, Cambridge & Yorkshire Surprise on the back 8 . 
Click here to watch a video of the Yorkshire 

St James's Society [Est. 1824].

It has been 104 years, but now the old St James's Society [Established in 1824] is working again with an image to match that of the old times.  Whilst the old LCA had patches of success, it - unfortunately - was cared for very little in latter years, and was supposedly closed.  It would appear this was to satisfy various ends.  The St. James's Society, in striking contrast to the LCA was a much smaller organisation which aimed at a certain way of carrying on, rather than trying to emulate many of the County Associations which had sprung up at the time of the renaming and enlargement of the old St James's Society into the LCA.  The LCA served its purpose in its time, and could have had a future, but ultimately this would have involved shaking off its image, and it would appear that few wished to bother with that.  Practices will be arranged to suit those wishing to advance themselves in the Art within London, placed above a territorial Association level, but below the standard for the two senior London Societies.  Whilst it will be useful to assist persons wishing to advance their ringing, it will also be as well for folk to note that it is a common misconception that the St James's Society was originally formed to allow ASCY and SRCY members to ring peals together, and this is not at all an aim of the current Society, any more than it was the aim of those who began the original St James' Society.  Until the 1850's the St James's Society was simply a Society which  was founded in part by Thomas Tolladay from a society calling itself  "The Westminster Youths" and Established about the year 1800.  Tolladay was very keen to revive ringing in London which had reached a low ebb.  From the 1850's, members of both SRCY and ASCY rang peals under the name of The St James's Society simply as a flag of convenience to allow them to ring peals of particularly Stedman Cinques on handbells and, for instance, the fourth peal of Superlative ever rung and the first in the Metropolis (on tower bells at St Matthew's Bethnal Green) on 9th February 1850.  It is an important distinction to make here that the  St James's Society was never founded as a way of members of ASCY/SRCY ringing peals together, and thus there is no suggestion that the current Society should be seeking to do this; rather more lately a "St James' Guild" seems to be used to this end.


The famous old ring at Stepney are now back in good going order, following the complete replacement of the tower roof, and building of a new sound lantern.  New lighting has also been fitted on the stairs between the ringing room and the roof.  The bellchamber floor has also been cleaned, and the Ellacombe hammers which had come loose replaced temporarily by the Steeplekeeper (although locknuts will be fitted later this year to avoid the hammers coming loose in future, which could damage the bells.)  All those wishing to book the bells should contact the Steeplekeeper.  The bells are readily available, and the church authorities pleased to have them rung.

A brief History of the Companies of The Eastern Youths, The Trinity Youths of Deptford  and The Westminster Youths

 The name encompasses two great old London Ringing Companies.  The first is the Eastern Youths of London, established probably around 1690.  Little is known about them other than the fact that they gave two treble's to St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street in 1718.  It is likely that the Eastern Scholars who formed later in the 18th Century were the result of an amalgamation between the Eastern Youths and British Scholars.

The Trinity Youths of Deptford were established in 1782.  They were based at St Nicholas Deptford (A Hadley and Newton 8 from 1701, outrageously scrapped at the end of the Second World War).  They faded out in the early part of the 19th Century, and were re-established in the 1870's, only to suffer a similar decline 20 or so years later.  In their second establishment they rang at Greenwich, Deptford (St Johns) and some other Towers in the vicinity.

The Westminster Youths were formed in the late 18th Century.  They were only a minor Company of ringers and faded out quite quickly, though the Society was re-established at St James Clerkenwell in 1824 as the St James' Society, which later became The London County Association.

The St James's Society continues today with its maintenance work, particularly focussing on preservation of interesting and rare installations, and historical towers.  It provides ringers for special occasions by Church Request at St Paul Shadwell, St Dunstan Stepney, St Matthew Bethnal Green and St John Deptford.