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

Thursday 17 December

Just so you’re aware there will be no ringing on Thursday 17 December as the band are having their Christmas social instead.

We will be ringing as normal on Sunday 20th at 9.45am and also on Friday 25th December at 9.45am for the Christmas Day service.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Norbury Church Bellringers

Some firsts

I have been a little remiss recently in my updates on the website.

In particular we have had a couple of ‘firsts’ in 2014 with both of our most recent team members both scoring their first Quarter Peals. All the details are, unsurprisingly, on the ‘Quarter Peals‘ page and on Campanophile/Bellboard on the internet.

Do you fancy a new hobby? Why not come and visit us and find out what bell ringing is all about. We meet Thursday evenings at 8pm for our practice night. Just drop a line through the ‘contacts‘ page so we know to watch out for you.

A history of our bells

As part of a project for the Church, our very own Peter Broadbent has prepared a short history about the bells at St Thomas’ church, Norbury taking his details from a number of historic records about the bells.

This has been added to the site – visit the page ‘The Bells at Norbury’ for more details. Many thanks for Peter for allowing his history to be used on the website.

A busy practice

A varied practice night last night. Despite a number of our regular ringers being unable to attend, we had a number of visitors from surrounding towers. Although we did a couple of bob minor practices the majority of the  evening was 8-bell ringing, from rounds and call changes up to surprise major.

Come along to our practice nights if you’re interested in learning, or developing your ringing. Thursday evenings from 8pm-9.30pm. If you’ve never rung before and are interested in learning drop us a line on the Contact page so we can arrange to meet you before the main practice and show you what it’s all about.

The website – reloaded!

I have been conscious that the Norburybells website has long since been left – unloved and forgotten about.

So I am in the process of updating things.

It will probably be a little slow to begin with as I’ve changed platforms and am trying to make sure it all still works.

As it stands, the entry page will be the news feed. It’s possible this might change in the future. But all the important stuff is still here and will gradually be brought up to date.

Anything you think needs to be here – drop me a message and let me know.

Email contact list

Just whilst I’m thinking about it.

Every now and again we have a situation where we don’t have enough to ring on a practice night – this tends to be towards the summer period when people start going away on their holds. In order to see how many we do have I send an email out as a show-of-hands approach to make sure people don’t turn out un-necessarily.

If you are interested in coming along to the practices (Thursday nights 8pm-9.30pm) and want to be on this distribution list drop me a line on here and I’ll add you to it.