It all started with a visit to the French Market in Coleshill on a bright but very cold day last April. The tower at the church was open and on our way back down we paused in the belfry and chatted to the bellringers, and quite fancied having a go at bell ringing. We are local so decided to learn at St Giles. We were made very welcome by the lovely ringers and have really enjoyed learning to ring. I am a very slow student; Isabella is much better than me, but nobody seems to mind, and it is great fun. We are so hooked that we often go to St Cuthberts at Shustoke on Tuesday nights as well as St Giles on Thursday evenings. I am not at all musical, but you don't have to be. I now know that there is a great community on bell ringers across most of the country; and when we went up to Stirling a few weeks ago Quentin, the Tower Captain, put us in touch with the bell ringers and we rang in the church there, which was lovely. But as well as being great fun, what I absolutely love is the knowledge that the bells we are ringing are hundreds of years old, and that for the last three of four hundred years people have been ringing out the same bells across the landscape, making the same sounds. To me, that is amazing.
It seems it does pay to advertise as we had two people come and join us tonight wanting to try their hand at the ancient art of bellringing having seen the ringers at Coleshill church and reading about what we do. Certainly the learners did well tonight and have promised to return. So if you want to join them or to take up something new this summer, come and see what we do one Thursday evening.
After the excitement in the village over the Diamond Jubilee the ringers ended up being rather depleted with a number of the band on holiday and away. There was not actually enough of us to ring so we were unable to actually ring to celebrate the event. We do plan to ring on the opening of the Olympics as all church bells have been asked to ring at various points connected with the torch relay and the opening ceremony.
Lea Marston bells have once again been in action being rung for both the United Service at the beginning of June and for a wedding later on. They continue to ring nicely and the clean environment is much better to ring in as we no longer get dust and other undesirable dirt dropped on our head!
We have a new recruit who has now been learning for a couple of months now and is just getting to grips with ringing a bell in rounds. Emily has done well but needs a lot more practice yet but is also stirring John into action as she is fast catching him up! As usual if you fancy a new hobby or are curious as to what happens come and visit us on a Thursday practice night from 8pm.
St Giles Bellringers
The trials and tribulations of a small village bellringing band.