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We have ancient and beautiful bells at the Priory. They are a newly hung (2015), royal ring of 10 bells, but we only have a handful of Priory ringers, so please come along and help us out, if you have ever rung before!
Bellringing is an unusual hobby and is good for anyone who likes patterns and numbers. It takes several months to learn to handle a church bell. They are very heavy, but it's like pushing a swing. If you push at the right time, it doesn't take much effort.
Ringing always starts with "rounds", where the bells follow each other in size order, and the lightest, highest note starts first. The heaviest, lowest note is at the end of each round. Listen out for it! This deep note is also the same bell which chimes the hour on the clock.
A group photo taken after ringing for the Sunday service;
From the top: Steve, David, Gordon, Niilo, Cressida, Trevor, John, David Roskelly, Peter, Gill, Jane, Chris, Gemma. (Paul Lewis, and David James weren't there ).
At midnight we were ringing in the New Year, as is our tradition.
We learn different methods, with weird names such as Bob Doubles and Stedman. Each bell has a number, the lightest being number 1. The bells change speed, to swap positions, so that they ring in a different order each time. There are loads of different methods. Some are named after places like Oxford, London, Cambridge, where they were first rung.
We practise Thursday evenings 7.30-9pm and for Sunday services 9.45 - 10.30. Please contact our Tower Secretary, John Drage for details.
Ringing is for all ages, though it helps to be a reasonable size, say from about 13yrs old. Beginners are welcome at any age. If we have 2 or 3 people wanting to learn, we hold special practices for them, and can now use our new dumb bell for teaching. Once they have mastered the handling, they join us for the main practice on Thursdays. When they can ring without too many crunches, they are ready to ring for services!
We are a friendly bunch at the Priory, and can normally be found in the pub across the road, after the ringing practice.
Here is a link to the history of the Priory bells on another page of the church website.
Jane James, Priory Ringer