An unusual celebration is taking place in Henlow on Sunday.
It’s the 200th anniversary of three Henlow men being arrested for breaking into St Mary’s Church.
But in an unusual twist, they were breaking in to play the church bells as they were all bellringers!
They had probably been drinking in the local pub, The Five Bells, so when they knocked on the Vicarage door asking for the church key, the Vicar, Rev Thomas Gregory, sent them away because they were drunk.
They were later seen trying to break the church door down, one using a crowbar. He was heard to say “Damn this door, I’ll break it all to pieces”. Another held a lighted candle to the door in an attempt to burn it down.
They were arrested and taken to the local house of correction until they were acquitted of the charge of Riotous Assembly at the Easter Quarter Sessions, it is thought because the Vicar didn’t want them to be transported!
On 12 March at 6.45pm a re-enactment of the events of that fateful night will take place in the churchyard, outside the west door of St Mary’s Church.
Everyone is invited to come and jeer at the drunken ringers’ comical attempt to break the door down and see them arrested and dragged off to Bedford to await their fate!
On May 4 there will be a Ringers’ Razzle - curry, drinks and entertainment in the Parish Hall - to celebrate the ringers’ return to Henlow, freed from the threat of a one-way trip to Australia.
Tickets £10 - email firstname.lastname@example.org