Bell ringing is a traditional and very English hobby. Bell ringing, as we know in this country today began in the 16th century when wheels were fitted to bells, allowing the speed of the bell’s swing to be controlled.
The bells swing too slowly to ring conventional music, so music is created by continually altering the sequence of bells in sequences called methods.
The simplest change is the lightest bell (treble) to the heaviest bell (tenor), for example on eight bells, the bells would ring in sequence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. The idea is to ring as many changes as possible.
On 8 bells, the maximum number of changes is 40320, which takes approximately 23 hours, although generally we restrict ourselves to a maximum of about 5040 changes (a peal) lasting approximately 3 hours for special occasions.
There are 8 bells at Neston, four of the original Abraham Rudhall bells cast in 1731 with four bells from Mears & Stainbank in 1884.
The weight of the tenor is just over 14 cwt, and is tuned to F#.
The main focus for our ringing at Neston is ringing for Sunday service. We also ring for weddings, special services and civic and national occasions. We practice on Friday evening between 7.30 and 9pm and all experienced and potential ringers are encouraged.
Ringing is an excellent hobby for all ages, at Neston we range in age from 12 to 70. It is a team activity which both stimulates the brain and improves fitness and has been recommended by the Daily Telegraph’s medical expert Dr James LeFanu, as being beneficial for back pain!
For more details or if you would like to start (or resume) bell ringing please contact David Jones, the Tower Captain, on 0151 336 6857 or email [email protected].
Alternatively come and see us on one of Bell Tower tours at either the Summer or Christmas Fairs.