- Bells that still can ring. BBC Radio 4, 8 Dec 2022
- A quasi-decent recruit tries his hand on the ropes at Scotland’s oldest ringing bells. Channel 5 News, 3 Nov 2022
- Belfry Sunday, St Cuthbert's Church, Edinburgh, 23 Oct 2022
- What Ringers Wear, Fun With Bells podcast, 13 Oct 2022
- For whom the Inveraray bell tolls – HM the Queen. Argyllshire Advertiser, 16 Sep 2022
- Church bells ring out across the nation in commemoration of the Queen, The Press and Journal, 9 Sep 2022
- Queen Elizabeth II: Bells ring out in St Mary's Church, Haddington to mark the death of the Queen, Edinburgh Evening News, 9 Sep 2022
- History of change-ringing in Scotland, Fun With Bells podcast, 14 Apr 2022
- Feature on learning to bellring in Haddington on "Sunday Morning". BBC Radio Scotland, 3 Apr 2022
- Opportunity to learn how to ring the bells at historic Haddington church. East Lothian Courier, 8 Feb 2022
- Ringers' breath of fresh air. East Lothian Courier, 20 Jan 2022
- Centenary for Inveraray's Fyne set of bells. The Argyllshire Advertiser, 26 Nov 2021
- Bells on Sunday from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow. BBC Radio 4, 31 Oct 2021
- Change ringing on handbells, Fun With Bells podcast, 9 Sep 2021
- Bells on Sunday from All Saints, Inveraray. BBC Radio 4, 29 Aug 2021
- Ellacombe Chimes, Bicentenary, 26 Jun 2021
- Lamlash church bells ring out in global celebration. The Arran Banner, 25 Jun 2021
- Bells on Sunday from St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh. BBC Radio 4, 30 May 2021
- Three generations of ringers!, 13 May 2021
- Grand Tour of Scotland's Lochs. BBC Scotland, 28 Feb 2021
- St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, virtual Advent Calendar, 11 Dec 2020
- Secret Scotland. Channel 5, 13 Nov 2020
- Remembrance Sunday, St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh, 8 Nov 2020
- Keeping the right chime, The Press & Journal, 28 Dec 2019
- Dublane's bell-ringing tribute to Notre Dame, Stirling Observer, 24 Apr 2019
- Scots youngsters find fresh appeal in the ancient skills of bell ringing, Sunday Post, 31 Mar 2019
- Why Scotland's bellringers are changing, The Herald, 27 Oct 2018
- Bell ringers are ringing in the changes, The Herald, 30 Dec 2017
- Sunday Worship from the Edinburgh Festival. BBC Radio 4, 20 Aug 2017
- Bell tolls for the old order as ruling body aims to attract people to ancient art, The Herald, 22 May 2017
- Ding dong merrily on high. The Courier, 24 Dec 2016
- Learning the ropes of bellringing, The National, 15 Oct 2016
- A "Compleat Chyme" Restored, The Ringing World, 1 Dec 2006
- Scottish Association of Change Ringers Formed, The Ringing World, Jan and May 1932
John Taylor & Co in Loughborough is the only major bell foundry left in the UK. The bells it has produced ring at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and chime in clocks, bell towers, churches, universities, and public buildings in over 100 countries. Some of Scotland's bells were cast in Loughborough, including Inveraray's. Click here for the programme via BBC Sounds.
A quasi-decent recruit tries his hand on the ropes at Scotland’s oldest ringing bells. Channel 5 News, 3 Nov 2022
Central Council of Church Bellringers on a mission to recruit for the King's Coronation #ringfortheking ...
Call changes to roller coaster and a touch of Grandsire Caters ahead of some handbell-ringing at St Cuthbert’s for Belfry Sunday ...
What Ringers Wear, Fun With Bells podcast, available via this link.
“An interesting breed of ringer” Alex Linton gives an eloquent description of his ringing career through Covid lockdowns… including sending his glasses flying across the ringing chamber at St Andrew and St George West, Edinburgh, while wearing a mask… and other amusing stories.
This episode sees host Cathy Booth explore the question of what ringers wear. You may or may not be surprised to hear that the answer is not bell-bottom jeans. Guests Deb, Alex, Elizabeth and Michaela touch on history, safety and decorum as they share experiences, research and anecdotes on what to wear, or more importantly what not to wear! At times this could be mistaken for an episode of ‘carry on campanology’, particularly when it comes to the topic of wardrobe malfunction. Preserve your modesty at all costs by avoiding floaty frocks, bringing back braces and being mindful of who is following you up the ladder. And as always, bell ringers love a controversy – polo shirts with tower logos on? Good or bad? You decide.
History was marked last week at Inveraray bell tower, after the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II – and primary school students from the Royal Burgh were there to witness it ...
Church bells ring out across the nation in commemoration of the Queen, The Press and Journal, 9 Sep 2022
Queen Elizabeth II: Bells ring out in St Mary's Church, Haddington to mark the death of the Queen, Edinburgh Evening News, 9 Sep 2022
History of change-ringing in Scotland, Fun With Bells podcast, available via this link.
In this month’s fascinating episode of the Fun with Bells podcast, Simon Aves takes host Cathy Booth on an entertaining romp through Scotland’s bell ringing history, which is very different to England’s.
Who knew the Scots were so fond of peace and quiet? Cathy learns that in the past the best way to annoy people in Dundee was to travel up there and ring all their bells. And beware of the constable waiting at the bottom of the tower to arrest you for that very noisy peal you just rang. Or worse still, the constable might well follow you to the pub and then ban you from ringing, perish the thought!
Of course, all of this is history – very colourful history and brilliantly told at that. First bells, first peals, first women ringers, colourful characters, court cases and ringers being sick after their eight pints, this podcast episode has it all.
Simon's book is available as an e-book via Amazon (no print copies are available).
What is it like to learn to ring? BBC Radio Scotland’s show “Sunday Morning” has a feature about bellringing in Scotland, looking at the Haddington ringing course, which Sally Thomas ran over six weekends for new ringers, and discussing the history of change ringing in Scotland with Simon Aves. The feature starts at 1:28 into the programme. Click here for the programme via BBC Sounds.
Opportunity to learn how to ring the bells at historic Haddington church. East Lothian Courier, 8 Feb 2022
A six-week, bell-ringing basics course is being held from February 26 at St Mary’s Parish Church. The bells at the Haddington church were installed in 1999 in preparation for the millennium celebrations. ...
Community grants awarded to Haddington for air purifier and CO2 monitor to allow for longer ringing sessions, as reported in East Lothian Courier. The article also includes a call for new learners. ...
It’s the tallest building in Inveraray and you’ve probably passed it numerous times, but you may be unaware that the tower of All Saints Church houses one of the world’s most important sets of bells. They are the second-heaviest ringing peal of 10 bells in the world, after Wells Cathedral in Somerset, as well as the heaviest peal of bells in Scotland ...
Bells on Sunday from St Mary's Episcopal Catherdral, Glasgow, available via this link.
On Saturday 30th October, many cathedral bells rang out across their cities on the eve of the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow. And so it’s from St Mary’s Scottish Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow that the bells comes on Sunday 31 October. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and raised to Cathedral status in 1908, the cathedral has a ring of ten bells, cast by John Taylor. The tenor sounds C sharp and weighs thirty two hundredweight. We hear them ringing Yorkshire Surprise Royal, recorded inside the ringing chamber.
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.
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!
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.
- Here are some recordings and photos from the Cathedral Church of St Blaan and St Laurence, Dunblane: changes, Leaving of Lismore, and Love Divine, and the Dunblane performance on 26 June is available via this facebook link.
- 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.
The bells at Lamlash rang out at noon on Saturday 26 June to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the invention of the Ellacombe chiming apparatus ...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ring out the old, ring in the new. A dedicated team ensures the bells of St Machar's Cathedral do not fall silent. St Machar’s Cathedral is cloaked in darkness, with only the faint glow from a lantern at the gateway. The occasional sound of footsteps and the sharp ting of a bicycle bell echo on the cobbles of Old Aberdeen, as students cut through Seaton Park on their way home. The historic building seems at peace in the gloom, and frost has already started to settle on the winding paths of the graveyard ...
Dunblane Cathedral has shown solidarity with Notre Dame in Paris by taking part in a bell-ringing tribute to the fire-devastated landmark ...
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 ...
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 ...
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."
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.
Bell tolls for the old order as ruling body aims to attract people to ancient art, The Herald, 22 May 2017
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 ...
Bell ringer Peter Valuks teaches us the ropes of his ap-pealing passion. He might not have been born within earshot of Bow Bells but over the last 40 years Peter Valuks has rung every bell of significance in the country ...
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 ...
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 ...
The inaugural meeting of the Scottish Association of Change Ringers was held in Edinburgh on Saturday, April 23rd, when between 40 and 50 ringers were present from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Paisley, Alloa and Leith. The business meeting was held in St. Mary's Cathedral belfry at 3 p.m., after all present had had a pull on the grand ring of ten there ...