This type of arrangement is called a ‘carillon’ and is very common on the Continent. There are about half a dozen carillons in Scotland, including a very large one in Aberdeen. The keyboard is on the same level as the clock faces while the bells are housed in the floor above – the part which, when seen from outside, has the slatted windows.
From 1947 until his death in 1988, the bells were rung by Wilbert Whitie, an elder of the church and well-known local bookseller. After his death, a Bellringers Group was formed and consists of about a dozen people who take turns each Sunday to ring the bells. The group, which is very enthusiastic, includes members from other churches in the town.
The donor of the bells was Dr Alfred Ernest Maylard. He was a well-known physician and the author of many medical books. He was also a founding member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and was the author of the book ‘Walks around Peebles’. He retired to live at Kingsmuir and died in Peebles in 1947, aged 92. He gifted the bells in memory of his wife and the largest ( tenor) bell (over 1 tonne in weight) bears this inscription:
These bells are dedicated to the memory of his dearly loved wife, Jane, daughter of Charles and Margaret Reddie and granddaughter of the late Sir George Burns, Bart., of Wemyss Bay by Alfred Ernest Maylard. M.B., B.S., F.R.S.E. Hon. Consulting Surgeon to the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow 1940