The mysterious art of Campanology

 

If you are interested in the ancient and skilful art of bellringing, then why not come along and join us.  You will be made very welcome.  We have our practice evening most Mondays from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.   We have a very good tutor who will guide you through the basics of bell control and handling.  This does take a little time to master but with interest, practice and determination it will be achieved, so patience is required.  There is also a training centre at St Kyneburgha church at Castor on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am to 12:00 midday.  This is designed especially for beginners and well worth attending.
We have a lovely ring of five bells at our church (St Mary the Virgin) and ring regularly for services and weddings.  You could be part of that.   We also attend other towers in the area on their practice nights.  Bellringing is all about being part of a community and we all pull together (excuse the pun) to help other towers when they are short of ringers for weddings and services etc.
All the towers in our area are well worth attending and will make everyone welcome whether you are a beginner or experienced.
There is also a very good social side to bellringing.  Various towers organise outings, such as theatre, concerts and seaside etc. and everyone is welcome.
The invitation to join us at Nassington goes out to all people from our surrounding villages.
For those visitors who are unfamiliar with English Bell-ringing , ringing Methods or Change-ringing, here is a brief explanation of the "mysterious art":
  • Bells in most English Towers are large; ranging in weight from a few hundred pounds to several tons and, like many things in life, are referred to in the feminine gender.
  • A ring of bells will usually consist of four to twelve bronze bells.
  • A bell in her usual resting position is 'rung down' and is free to swing gently in the breeze without sounding.
 For further information, contact the Tower Captain, here:
 Drawing showing a bell 'rung down'
  • Bells for change ringing are hung in stout frames that allow the bells to swing through 360 degrees. Each bell is attached to a wooden wheel with a handmade rope running around it. The mechanism achieves such exquisite balance that ten-year-olds and octogenarians can control the largest bell easily. The harmonic richness of a swinging bell cannot be matched by the same bell hanging stationary, but each swinging bell requires one ringer's full attention. 
  • The bells are arranged in the frame so their ropes hang in a circle in the ringing chamber below. Into each rope is woven a tuft of brightly coloured wool (sally), which marks where the ringer must catch the rope while ringing. Bells are rung from the "mouth up" position. With a pull of the rope, the bell swings through a full circle to the "up" position again. With the next pull it swings back in the other direction.
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