Bellringing

July 12, 2017 | 1 Comment | Filed under: 2017, August 2017

On Tuesday, August 15th, beginning at about 9.30 am Tideswell church bells will be rung for a whole peal by a visiting band from St. Mary Abbots in Kensington, London. This will take about 3 hours and we should hear some magnificent ringing.

A full peal has to be at least 5000 changes, each change being a row of 8 bells, and no row must be repeated, each row having a different order of bells from every other row. On our 8 bells at Tideswell, a descending scale or ‘rounds’ would be 12345678, and the next row (change) might be 21436587, where each pair of bells has swapped places , only moving one place at once. Each bell could stay in the same place for 2 consecutive rows, but many move up or down the order by one place only.

These rules have great fascination for mathematicians, but other ringers may find the attraction of different orders of bells more interesting from a musical perspective, or the engineering aspects may appeal, or even the physical movements in controlling the rope and metal. Other ringers are attracted by the history of bells and the ‘English’ traditions of bellringing.

At Tideswell we practice each Friday evening from 7.30 to 9.00 pm, and we also ring for Sunday morning service from 9.00 to 9.30 am. Other churches in our area have different practice nights, and ringers being a very sociable lot, we get together to ring more complicated methods and try to improve our skills.

We frequently have visiting ringers at Tideswell either as individuals who come and join us or as the Kensington ringers come with a complete band.

If you would like to know more about this ancient tradition, or fancy learning yourself, please contact Geoff (872891) or Josh (872639). We hope you enjoy the bells when they ring out for regular services and to mark special events.

Geoff Goodall (Ringing Master)

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One Response to Bellringing

  1. Neil Speller July 1, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Hello Geoff, it sounds like fun, and the bell ringing sequence and mathematics involved incredible. It had me wondering how far you may live from the church itself. Having stayed in Tideswell for a well earned holiday recently I found it incredible that the bells rang through the night every 15 minutes, and ended on a Sunday morning with a 30 minute mind bending flourish. As the long night progressed I was fascinated by the fact that the order of bells didn’t seem to repeat themselves once. Thanks for this, it’s great that you keep this historic tradition alive. I may start a bell ringing class in my own house when I return home as I find the sound leaves no space for other thoughts to enter my mind, and if they do they don’t seem to want to stay for long. Who needs sleep anyway?

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