What full-circle ringing bells look like

A while ago I was trying to find pictures or video of bells being rung with the cameras on the bells themselves to help explain what actually goes on.

I was looking for another picture in my archives and discovered a few I took in 2011 when we arranged a belfry maintenance course. The following pictures were taken at Rostherne tower in Cheshire, which are a rustic 6-bell installation, all wooden headstocks, plain bearings and about as traditional as you’re going to get.

As explained elsewhere, in the UK the bells are rung full-circle. The pictures below are all shown with the bells in the ‘down’ position with the mouth of the bell pointing towards the ground. when the bells are rung-up, imagine the bell at 180 degrees from the position in the picture, with the bell upturned and the wooden stay pointing down and resting on a slider on the frame to keep it in position. ¬†When in the up-position the bells are dangerous which is why all work is done on them when they’re in the safe down-position.

This is one of the six bells. You can see the wheel to the left which the rope travels around (and down to the ringer below), the wooden stay on the right poking up and the bell bolted to the wooden headstock.

A bell attached to a wooden headstock with traditional stay
A bell attached to a wooden headstock with traditional stay

Rostherne was used in the training for two reasons. Firstly as already mentioned it’s a very rustic installation compared to some of the modern arrangements in other towers, so it’s of interest from that end. Secondly, there’s plenty of room to move around the tower and walk on the frame, something you simply cannot do at Norbury!

A group we were training on belfry maintenance
A group we were training on belfry maintenance

No practice this week

No ringing practice 18 Feb

Just so you’re aware, due to it being half-term a lot of the band have commitments away from the tower during the week and that’s left us short for the practice on Thursday.

Therefore there will be no Thursday night practice this week which is the 18 February 2016.

Normal service ringing on the following Sunday and business as usual for the practice on 25 February.

Hope to see you there!

What does bell ringing actually look like?

It is always interesting speaking to non-ringers who take an interest in our art/pastime and realising that something we take for granted is actually little known and that many people have no idea what goes on in the ringing room whilst the bells can be heard outside.

This is some footage taken in Liverpool by the Birmingham 12-bell competition band and shows off what is going on and how wonderful it’s sounding as well.

I’m on the look out for some footage which shows the movement of the bells as a split-screen with the ringers so you can see how it all fits together. The footage taken at Christchurch Victoria below gives you a bit of an idea.

Unfortunately we don’t have the space at Norbury to rig up some cameras as the bells would get in the way of each other on the film.