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as mentioned previously in my post Chruch Bells are ringing, I got to help ring the 5 minute bell calling worshippers to service 🙂  I have hereby added some info about bell ringing.  Before I left the Tower Captain gave me a wee book that all learners receive called : ‘This book belongs to…..who is learning to Ring Bells at…… and a whole load of other information on the front. Inside the book is a treasure trove of information on bell ringing as well as do’s and dont’s! One of which is never go near bells which are ‘up’.

My little escapade involved ringing the bell on the back-stroke (=tail-stroke).  So here is some info about that:

Rules to remember:

1. Keep hands together

2. Arms straight

3. Look ahead

4. Feet slightly apart

5. Pull should be:-

-straight, vertical, close to body

-gentle and even: just keep the rope tight & “feel your horse’s mouth”

-all the way down, until your thumbs point downwards – try to throw the rope thru a hole in the floor at ‘X’ (metaphorically speaking)

6. Catch the sally at about waistheight and allow it to rise to the balance.

Other info:

all ringing starts and ends with rounds.

there are different ‘methods’ of ringing;  the names of which alone, are melodic:

“Grandsire Doubles”; “Cambridge Surprise Minor”; “Oxford Bob Triples”; “kent Treble Bob Major”

Some different types of ringing:

‘Method Ringing’; ‘Plain Hunting’; ‘Good Striking’; ‘Coursing Order’; ‘Plain Bob’; ‘Bobs’; ‘A Touch’; ‘Plain Bob Minor’; ‘Treble Bob’; ‘Stedman Doubles’.

Ringing is based more on rhythm and method than musicality, and having an ear for music is not essential.  There is a method for tying the rope, pulling the rope, the count, standing and calling out. Fascinating world and far more involved than I ever imagined, it takes months, even years to learn to ring properly and takes dedicated attention.

The church where I got to ring the bells is St Edward’s King & Martyr in Cambridge 🙂

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how fortunate I am….today I got to realise a long-held dream….to ring church bells.

I accompanied my client to church this morning, and without any warning as we entered he suggested to one of the vergers that I be allowed to help ring the bells!!!

I was gob-smacked and delighted, with no hesitation, I was up the stairs in a flash before they could change their minds.

What a thrill.   I had to stand on a special spot, and helped to ring the 5-minute bell calling the worshippers to service. My role was the back-ring, and I pulled the rope in harmony with the leader of the group. I had to hold the lower end of the rope firmly in my hands one above the other, and pull down firmly towards the ground and then she would pull the upper part of the rope and release it.  I had to hang on though as the rope lifted my arms above my head and not let go.  It was great fun and I felt the pull of the rope, lifting my feet off the floor.  I was reminded of Christmas cards that depict the Monks pulling the ropes and being lifted off the floor, skirts flying 🙂

Rope pulling is not just a case of yanking a piece of rope and hoping the bell will ring; it has a definite method and rhythm with a leader who calls time.  there are a number of different patterns and names for the different tunes played. 

The church where I enjoyed this little escapade has stood on that spot for over 800 years and has enjoyed a few re-incarnations, starting off in wooden form.

So dreams do come true….and sometimes at the most unexpected times. 🙂

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