Contents:

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Change ringing on handbells, Fun With Bells podcast, 9 Sep 2021

Change ringing on handbells, Fun With Bells podcast, available via this link.

Interview with Tina Stoecklin and Simon Gay: Just as change ringing on handbells requires each ringer to have two bells, this perfectly formed podcast on the subject has two guests. Host Cathy Booth chats with Tina and Simon, authors of the latest must-have handbell manual.

As always, this podcast asks all the right questions. What is best, tower or hand bells? Will online ringing last post lock-down? Is bell ringing music? And should you start with hand bells and then move onto tower bells, or vice versa?

As well as addressing the big issues Cathy also finds out the fascinating process behind writing and publishing their book, discovers the joy of e-bells and gets insider information on the progress of Volume 2 and likely publication date.

Think handbells aren’t for you? Then listen to this podcast and think again.

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Bells on Sunday from All Saints, Inveraray. BBC Radio 4, 29 Aug 2021

Bells on Sunday from All Saints, Inveraray, available via this link.

Bells on Sunday comes from the detached tower of All Saints, Inveraray, in Argyll. The 126-foot-high tower was completed in 1921 as a memorial to the members of the Clan Campbell who died in the First World War. The tower contains a peal of ten bells cast by John Taylor and Company of Loughborough in 1920. The tenor weighs forty one and a half hundredweight and is tuned to C. They are the second heaviest ringing peal of ten bells in the world, Wells Cathedral being the heaviest with a tenor weighing 56 hundredweight. We hear them ringing Horton's four Spliced Surprise Major.

This is quite an old recording but, before too long, these bells will ring out again!

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Ellacombe Chimes, Bicentenary, 26 Jun 2021

On 26 June 2021, Ellacombe chimes around the world rang out at 12noon local time to celebrate the bicentenary of the chimes. In Scotland they were heard at Lamlash (Isle of Arran), Dunblane, Inverness, Edinburgh St Cuthbert's and Peebles.

  • The ten at St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness were augmented for the day with the Sanctus bell to broaden the repertoire (video here). The ringing was Heather Preece on the chimes, Cynthia Preece on the Sanctus bell, and Lynn Wiseman recorded the ringing.

  • Edinburgh was treated to a Worbey and Farrell Concert on the chimes at St Cuthbert's (video here via facebook).

  • The Arran Banner published an article about the Lamlash bells (see below).
  • The bells at Peebles can be heard via this link.
  • Here's a dedicated facebook page: click here, and a list of performances here.
  • Bells on Sunday on 27th June came from Bitton, Gloucestershire, where Rev Henry T Ellacombe devised the chimes in 1821: click here.

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Lamlash church bells ring out in global celebration. The Arran Banner, 25 Jun 2021

Available via this link.

The bells at Lamlash will ring out at noon tomorrow (Saturday 26 June) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the invention of the Ellacombe chiming apparatus ...

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Bells on Sunday from St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh. BBC Radio 4, broadcast 30 May 2021

Bells on Sunday from St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh, available via this link. Of course historical recordings are currently being used for this weekly slot on Radio 4.

This week's Bells on Sunday comes from the church of St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh, Scotland. This Grade A listed building was completed in 1784 and serves the Edinburgh New Town Parish. The church is notable for its elliptical plan, the first as such in Great Britain. The tower holds a peal of 8 bells cast by William & Thomas Mears of London in 1788. The tenor weighs fourteen and a half hundredweight and is tuned to E. This week we hear part of a full peal of Marlborough Surprise Major.

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Three generations of ringers!, 13 May 2021

Inverness ringer Rachel Milner was thrilled recently to find some records on Bellboard of her grandfather Fred Avery’s ringing in the 1960s and 1970s. Rachel is grateful to Stephen Elwell-Sutton, who found 46 entries in the Ringing World archives from 1944 to 1981 for Fred, who was born in 1912. Fred was a civil servant and was posted in Surrey during the Second World War. The photo from the Ringing World in December 1944 lists Fred’s first 720 (bottom right column), rung in Haslemere. Interesting that they were allowed to ring in December 1944. Fred died in 1989 and a band rang a quarter peal of Grandsire Triples at his funeral in Wilton; in the other photo, Rachel and her father Roger Avery are holding the board that commemorates that quarter.

Rachel’s great-grandfather, Frederick Avery, was one of the many who died in the First World War; he died in 1918 from injuries sustained at the Battle of the Somme. In October 2018, Rachel and her father coordinated so that they both rang a quarter peal to commemorate the centenary of Frederick's death. Here’s a link to an article in Devon Calls about that; it’s on page 5 at this link.

Three generations of ringers! What a pedigree!

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Grand Tour of Scotland's Lochs. BBC Scotland, 28 Feb 2021

An exploration of Loch Fyne by Paul Murton, including a visit to Inveraray bell tower. Available until March 2022 on BBC iPlayer: click here.

This Grand Tour starts at Loch Glashan above Loch Fyne, where Paul Murton travels back in time to learn how to paddle a coracle. At Old Castle Lachlan, he dabbles in Victorian virtual reality, courtesy of George Washington Wilson and his stereoscopic camera. At the open-air museum of Auchindrain, Paul follows Queen Victoria on the trail of poverty tourism, before having fun with the tale of MacPhunn - a man who cheated the noose. The wreckage of a WW2 Superfortress and stories of diamond smuggling emerge as Paul visits a sacred Tinker's Heart before ringing the changes at Inveraray.

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St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, virtual Advent Calendar, 11 Dec 2020

St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh had a virtual Advent Calendar, and the location for 11 December was the ringing chamber for some Plain Bob Minor. Beautifully filmed! Available here.

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Secret Scotland. Channel 5, 13 Nov 2020

Susan Calman's tour of Argyll and Bute, including a visit to Inverary bell tower, available here.

In Argyll, Susan Calman visits an ancient valley that is home to the Scotti people who gave Scotland its name. On the shores of Loch Fyne, she discovers the secrets of oyster cultivation ... and the bell tower at Inveraray.

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Remembrance Sunday, St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh, 8 Nov 2020

Here is a clip of the Remembrance service at St Andrew's & St George's West, Edinburgh on Sunday 8 November 2020. It was extremely well received by those who heard it live and similarly appreciated by those who stayed home and watched remotely. A number of comments were received about how nice it was to hear bells again.

Other Remembrance Sunday ringing: Thanks to the largest ringing chamber in Scotland, and well-spaced ropes, a band at Edinburgh's St Mary Cathedral rang six half-muffled bells to several Doubles methods... the spacing allowing for a pentatonic scale. And in St Andrews, 3 bells were rung half muffled for 15mins on Remembrance Sunday.

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"Dublane's bell-ringing tribute to Notre Dame", Stirling Observer, 24 Apr 2019

Available via this link.

Dunblane Cathedral has shown solidarity with Notre Dame in Paris by taking part in a bell-ringing tribute to the fire-devastated landmark ...

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"Scots youngsters find fresh appeal in the ancient skills of bell ringing", Sunday Post, 31 Mar 2019

Available via this link.

Many thought it was at the end of its rope but the ancient art of bell ringing is enjoying a new lease of life as more youngsters ring the changes. A UK-wide recruitment drive has attracted more than 1,700 young recruits in the past two years as school kids and students are pulled in by the appeal. Many are north of the border ...

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"Why Scotland's bellringers are changing", The Herald, 27 Oct 2018

Available via this link.

On the 11th November, the bells will tell their story. They will ring first in Dunblane at half past nine in the morning, followed a few minutes later by Edinburgh, then Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling. It will be a solemn act of remembrance to mark 100 years since the bells were rung in 1918 at the end of the First World War, but there will be an echo of the future too: the next generation who have signed up to ring the nation’s bells in the years to come ...

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"Bell ringers are ringing in the changes", The Herald, 30 Dec 2017

Available via this link.

It's a tradition that endures as campanologists ring in the New Year changes. The Scottish Association of Change Ringers is dedicated to marking the end of the year with bells. An SACR spokesperson said: "There are ten bells with the heaviest bell - the Tenor - weighing 32 cwt - hundred weight - dating from 1901. "Rather than tunes, we ring changes and methods in a style called ‘full-circle’ ringing. There are 20 towers with ringing bells in Scotland and we form the SACR. We welcome everyone and are willing to teach anyone of any age or faith over 12 and as long as they can make it up the stairs. We ring for services and civic occasions but mostly for fun."

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Sunday Worship from the Edinburgh Festival. BBC Radio 4, 20 Aug 2017

From St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh with the Rev Ian Gilmour. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers visits the Church with Scotland's oldest peal of bells. Transcript and audio available via this link.

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"Bell tolls for the old order as ruling body aims to attract people to ancient art", The Herald, 22 May 2017

Available via this link.

The peal of church bells has for centuries signalled celebrations from coronations to Sunday services with familiar melody. However, changes are expected next week when the governing body of the ancient art of bell ringing meets for its first Scottish gathering of campanologists from around the UK ...

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"Learning the ropes of bellringing", The National, 15 Oct 2016

Available via this link.

During the 1980s, when shoulders were big and hair ever bigger, I was promised that the rhythm was definitely, at an undisclosed point in the future, gonna get me. Well, Ms Gloria Estefan, 30 years on and I still can’t keep a beat with a metronome and a steel trap ...

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"A 'Compleat Chyme' Restored", The Ringing World, 1 Dec 2006

Article about the restoration of the bells at St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh, available via this link.

Last Sunday, 26th November, the Church of St Andrew's and St George's, Edinburgh celebrated the dedication of its restored eight-bell peal. The bells are of enourmous historical significance, being the oldest full peal and the first ever installed for full-circle ringing in Scotland. They have not been rung full circle since 1903 ...

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