Bells

Saint Martin’s bell, manufactured 1864

The first bells of the parish church were consecrated by the parish priest of Oberzier, Bernard Schweinheim, on 18th May 1864. The bells were supplied by the bell founder Joseph Beduwe of Aachen. The first bell, tone E, weighed 14.8 cwt and was called Joseph according to the parish saint. The second bell, tone F sharp, weighed 11.14 cwt and was called Mary. The third bell, tone G sharp, weighed 7.88 cwt and was called Martin. The sound of these first bells accompanied the people many years. However, the two largest bells were melted down during the First World War to produce weapons.

New bells, 1924

Thanks to a donation of Miss Josepha Lürken from Selhausen, several fund-raisers, and donations from residents, three new steel bells were be bought in place of the former bronze bells sacrificed during the war. The new bells arrived at Huchem-Stammeln on 7th August 1924. The first bell, Joseph, weighs 330 cwt and has a diameter of 155 cm. Its inscription reads: “Iron instead of sacrificed ore”. The second bell, Mary, weighs 17 cwt and has a diameter of 188 cm. In addition to the name of the original bell, it also has several inscriptions. The first reads: “Vivos vico, Mortous plango, Fulgara frango“, and the second: “After the sorrow of war consecrated to the Lord in dire straits”. The third bell, the Hubertus Guild bell, weighs 9 cwt and has a diameter of 104 cm. The three bells were manufactured by the bell foundry Ulrich and Wehe, Bokenem, Harz. The three new bells, tones E-G-B, harmonise with the old bell. The chimes sound in pure E minor. On 17th August 1924, the bells were consecrated by parish priest Siebert.

Towards the end of the Second World War, in 1945, grenades destroyed the iron framework of the bell tower, and the second bell fell onto the largest bell. The two damaged bells were provisionally repaired at the feast of Christ the King in 1947. In 1949/50, the bells were re-examined in detail and repaired by a bell expert. Finally, the operation of the bells was electrified in 1955 by Dingmar and Schock, Dorsten.

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