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The Church Bells


Back at my home in the village of Pangbourne one Thursday evening I was spending a convivial evening in The Cross Keys one of our local public houses. The Cross Keys is situated just
across the road from the Pangbourne C of E church. At around 7pm the church bells began to ring out, to us locals this is the normal routine, for Thursday evening is the bell ringers practise

Whilst I was up at the bar ordering a round of drinks the gentleman standing next to me asked in a strong foreign accent which I took to be German “Vye do de ring all those bells all de
time”. Now I know that in these modern times it is not considered good form to mention the Second World War to our Teutonic partners in the European Union, but I could not resist the
temptation. So I blithely informed that it was a very old custom dating back to the year 1940 when England was expecting to be invaded, and the ringing of the church bells all over the land
was the be the invasion signal.

Then saying that these days it was the custom to remind us all of those perilous times when the nation was in great danger, and to sound the invasion signal every Thursday night at seven o’clock
“Ya” he said incredulously and walked away, did he believe it? I know not, but I am inclined to believe he did.

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