Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Bears in the Belfry


An unusual approach to fundraising for a parish church,


Take money off children and then throw their teddy bears off the top of the bell tower, it’s all in a good cause you understand.


But only after adding a parachute;


it caused some tense moments


But it was Ok in the end

Duck 1

No soft toys were injured in the raising of this dosh, although some bears were a little ‘hefty’, they never the less made a safe decent.


It wouldn’t be a church belfry with out bats ( I love and champion bats, well some one has to, they are very ugly) however a rather beautiful velvety bat glove puppet made an elegant decent before reinforcing the myth, that bats get caught in you hair,

Bats do NOT get caught in your hair, OK

they don’t; well not real ones, their echo location if far to sophisticated for such an error

There has been a church on this site since the 12th century, one of the bells, still hanging in the tower but no longer rung, was cast in 1506. I love to hear church bells across the valley . The clock doesn’t seem to work, but never mind, it’s just marking time and that passes with or without a clock; take a look at the window (now blocked up) from a much earlier period than the clock, and gargoyles that surround it, they have been watching the passing of time for many years now.

Old time 2

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

21 thoughts on “Bears in the Belfry

  1. Great photo essay. Your images of both the toys and the children are humorous, and powerful. Very well done.

    I’m a friend of Robin’s, and will definitely be back.

  2. Are you/were you on drugs? you can’t chuck innocent soft toys off church spires! Who thought of that? The only time anyone in Ruralshire gets on a church roof is to nick the lead!

  3. Uh oh. Stevo’s found you. Now you’re in trouble. 😉

    Wonderfully told in pictures and words. I love the photos of the children looking up. You’ve captured the tension brilliantly.

    This is such a clever way of raising funds. Fun too, from the looks of it.

    I’m a fan of bats as well. Granted, they’re not much to look at, but they do a good job of keeping down our pest population.

  4. What a wonderful entry, and terrific photos! For me this is blogging at it’s very best.
    Very well done indeed! xx

  5. Bats aren’t ugly, I think their squashed little faces are really cute!

    Love love LOVE the fundraising idea.

  6. Well ive not smiled all day but this has put a smile back on my face. what an ace idea.
    I bet the kids loved it .
    The cockrel out of the film chicken run would have done well tied to a chute.
    A very nice clock.
    John Smiths of Derby near my home have made a lot of these church clocks

  7. Love the photos, especially the ones of the children. Sounds like a fun fundraiser.

  8. Wonderful pictures! Sorry to say Husband gives my teddies “flying lessons” around our bedroom occasionally!!!

  9. A delightful entry 🙂 Children have such expressive faces…Looks like everyone had a lot of fun, including the bears and other critters. Very intersting about the church as well. I enjoyed your entry very much.

    Reminded me of the ‘egg throw’. The children try to make a ‘package’ that will protect a raw egg and then the package is thrown from the roof of the school.

  10. What a great idea! My son has the attic bedroom adn he would love to do this with his teddies. He’s growing out of them now anyway so it won’t matter too much if they land in the pond!

  11. A brilliant idea for a fundraiser and I _love_ your photographs.

  12. Bears parachuting from belfries! Velvet bats! Small children extorted for pocket money! The extraordinary things that clock has seen . . .

    Louan Lechler wrote a poem that begins, “I own my grandfather’s watch/It no longer tells time/But it remembers time . . . “

  13. Ah that added a smile to my day, parachuting plushness… it doesn’t get much better than that!

  14. I love all your posts, but you’ve outdone yourself with this one: parachuting plush toys! This could catch on. Has Ty Inc. penetrated the British market with their “Beanie Babies?” My inexpert guess is they would make excellent paratroopers.

  15. What a fun idea! I hope all bears had a text-book landing. Were there any bear parachute display teams? Teddies trailing red smoke? hehe.
    Oh I like it. 🙂

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  17. We are having a similar event at our local church in July. But, can anyone tell me how to make a good parachute for a teddy? And how do you attach it to teddy?
    Thanks for your advice. Great website.

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