…bell ringing is a great hobby, I’d advise everyone to have a go!
What is bell ringing?
Ringing bells in the fashion we do today originated in the 17th century and the actual technique has changed little since then.
We ring by pulling a rope attached to the bell’s wheel which makes it rotate and the clapper strikes the bell. The bells are rung in patterns which are called methods, these are sequences that the bells strike in. It is all very simple, and you don’t need any special talents to do it!
Who does bell ringing?
With 5,000 towers all over the world and over 40,000 bell ringers in the UK, the answer is lots of people do bell ringing! And that is because it is so easy to become a bell ringer! Nearly anyone over the age of about 10 or 11 can learn to ring, that (probably) includes you!
People from all over the world and from many different backgrounds are bell ringers, some are old, some young, some musical, some mathematicians, some church goers and some none of these.
Bell ringing is done by such a wide variety of people that is would be impossible give the characteristics of a ‘normal’ bell ringer.
The point about bell ringing is that it is open to nearly everyone. Ringers do need to be over the age of about 10 or 11 but that means everyone is welcome to try their hand. And for those not quite old enough, many places offer handbell ringing too.
It is commonly said that anyone who can ride a bike can learn bell ringing. And predominantly that’s true. You don’t have to be strong to be a ringer, its the technique that makes it happen; you don’t have to be mathematical or musical but if you are then thats even better; you can be of any faith or not religious at all, and whether you 18 or 80 you can become a bell ringer.
So you can become a bell ringer, and you should – its a lot of fun! It has no nasty environmental effects, it challenges you to use your brain and keeps you fit. You can join a huge group of friends, have a learning experience that is as hard and as lengthy as you choose, preserve a tradition and ancient skill and above all have a good time!!
What’s in it for me?
Ringing is an excellent hobby, which is unique in giving opportunities for not only physical exercise, but also mental challenges (there is always something new to aim for and achieve), team working, musical and architectural appreciation, travel opportunities, and all this at little or no cost to you.
Bell ringing is good fun! Once you’ve learned the basic technique you will always be made welcome at towers all over this country and the world
The majestic and impressive sound of bells is a part of British history, but it still very much alive today.
Here is the sound of the bells of All Saints, Loughborough:
Find out more…
Find your nearest tower today, and BECOME A BELL RINGER!
Contact the Education committee to find out more about becoming a bell ringer. We’d love to hear from you and are happy to answer any questions, or to help arrange for you to try bell ringing at a tower near you.