Bellringing

“Being able to count is all the maths you’ll need and you can become a very good ringer without knowing anything about music.”

Bellringing is a hobby which involves being part of a team; it provides a service to the church, physical and mental exercise, a good social life and the opportunity to continually learn something new whilst perpetuating a traditional skill developed over the past 400+ years.

Once you have learned the basic technique you will always be made welcome when you visit other towers. There are more than 5,000 church towers and a small number of secular towers with bells suitable for change ringing.

Ringing is well within the capabilities of most people. The initial teaching takes several weeks, after which you can begin to ring with the rest of the band.

Change ringing is based on the simple idea of adjacent bells swapping places in a sequence to achieve the next change. The simplest form of this is called Plain Hunt, and is shown below for 4 bells:

1234       Each line is called a change and represents each bell sounding once.

2143       It can be seen that there is a positional progression in the sequence as high-

2413       lighted by bell number 1, until the original sequence of 1234 returns.

4231       By varying the sequence, different levels of complexity give rise to what are

4321       called methods.

3412       Each ringer must learn that method in order to know when his/her

3142       particular bell must sound in each row. This is known as method ringing.

1324       Ringers do not memorise lots of numbers but the order of the sequential

1234       change. This pattern is called a ‘blue line’; it is similar to a music score!