At the end of September last year, Hatherleigh bellringers welcomed a very special guest to their ringing practice. Sir Michael Morpurgo, soon to turn 80, visited the bellringers (he is third from left in the photo above) and the team wished him a very happy birthday by ringing a short peal in his honour. Sir Michael was shown the ropes by ringing captain Richard Harrison and had a go at ringing one of the bells. 

On Saturday, February 24, Sir Michael and Lady Clare Morpurgo are revisiting Hatherleigh Parish Church and taking with them friends Carol Hughes and the four musicians who form the Iddesleigh String Quartet. They are raising funds for the bellringers’ bell restoration fund. The concert title, My Heart Was a Tree, is a line from a Ted Hughes poem and the title of one of Sir Michael’s recent books. The programme will include poems by Ted Hughes, Sean Rafferty and Michael Morpurgo on the theme of trees and the countryside, with music by Elgar, Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Vivaldi. Find out more from Hatherleigh Post Office, contact Isabella Whitworth on [email protected] or take a lookat the Hatherleigh Bellringers Facebook page.