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Bell-ringers

St Nicholas Bells

Regular ringing times:

Sunday Service

8:50 to 9:30 am

Practice

Tuesday 7.00 to 8.30pm

(except in Holy Week)

 

 

 

 

All ringers are of course welcome to join us at Sunday morning ringing and at our Tuesday practice.

 

If you would like to learn to ring come along to the practice evening to see how it is done, or phone Alf Armstrong (01287 636372) or Richard Henbest (01287 635469)

 

The bells

 

The ring of six bells were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry by Thomas Mears II in 1824, and hung in a wooden frame by Thomas Inman of Bingley

The weight (cwt) and note of the bells as made at Whitechapel were:

 

TREBLE: 4 cwt (E)    2: 4.5 cwt (D) 3: 5 cwt (C)

4: 5.5 cwt (B)   5: 7.5 cwt (A)   TENOR: 9.5 cwt (Approx G)

 

In 1927 John Taylor (Loughborough) modernised the Bells and fittings to give 8 / cwt and a note of A (872hertz). In 2002 John Taylor strengthened the frame with corner brackets and long tie bolts between the top and bottom of the frame. The new metalwork is red in the photograph of the bells. The approximate weights of the bells today are:

 

TREBLE: 190kg   2: 230kg   3: 260kg

4: 300kg   5: 340kg   TENOR: 440kg

 

Change Ringing.

Change ringing is an art practiced extensively in the British Isles, especially in England, and in only a few other parts of the world. A wheel is attached to the bell and the bell is swing by a rope passing round this wheel. This allows bells to be rung through a full circle allowing control of the ringing of the bell. Each bell is swung through 360 degrees from the ‘mouth up’ position, and then back again, with the bell being struck by its clapper once only each time. The ringer controls this through the rope and wheel and can hold the bell upright at the end of each cycle. There is a slider and stay mechanism that allows the bell to be rested in the “up” position.

bell_dbell_u

 

These photographs show a bell ‘down’ and ‘up’, ready for ringing.

Because it takes the bell time to complete its swing, tunes cannot be rung. Instead the bells The changes can be instigated by a Conductor calling the changes or by following a ‘method ’start by ringing in order from Treble to Tenor and the order changed by swopping pairs of bells.

 

Method Rnging

Bell-Method

In method ringing each ringer learns the pattern for their bell to follow. This may be quite complicated but the principles are illustrated by the diagram which shows the changes for a simple method for only 4 bells. Note how pairs of bells change, alternately two pairs then the middle pair. The treble bell (1) does a simple ‘plain hunt’ pattern but if all did this the method would repeat after 8 changes. So to allow the full 24 changes that are possible on 4 bells the course of the 2, 3, and 4 alters each time the treble comes to the front.

There are of course more changes possible with more bells – 120 for 5 bells, 720 for 6, 5040 for 8 and so on- and a method will be composed to ring a succession of changes without repetition. The ultimate test of a method and a team is to ring a full peal of over 5000 changes. This can take about three hours.

 

 

      

 

 

Who can ring?

Ringing requires only modest fitness and ability and can be learnt, practised and enjoyed by people of all ages from school age to post retirement.

 

Why ring?

Church bells are there to call people to the church for Worship, Celebration or Commemoration and ours are used primarily for these purposes. In addition to fulfilling this duty, ringers can get pleasure and satisfaction from mastering a traditional art and progressively developing skill and knowledge. There are always more things to be learnt, more challenges to be met, more towers to ring in and more people to ring with. It can become an absorbing hobby!