Bell ringers ap-peal for more members
Hope chimes will encourage people to ‘give it a go’
A GROUP of gold medal winning bell ringers rang a church bell for only the 24th time in its history on Friday.
The bell, at St Mary’s Church, Denham, was rung by the Denham Bell Ringers at about 10.30am to celebrate the birth of the new royal baby earlier in the month, Princess Charlotte.
They rang a “successful”, full, three hour peal, which is a specific type of bell ringing used by this particular group in the past to commemorate or announce news.
But according to member Barry Wild they desperately need new blood to keep the team going, especially after the effort they went to
READYING THE BELLS: Untying the ropes in preparation for the special ringing of the bell at St Mary’s Church in honour of Princess Charlotte’s birth cleaning up the bell tower, which ultimately led to two gold medals from the East Berks and South Bucks Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild
RINGING THE CHANGES: Front row from left, Ken Dovenport, Alan Ainsworth, Roger Baldwin, Peter Blight and back row from left, James Crawley, John Keeler, Alan Regin, David Bassford of Church Bell Ringers.
He said: “People love listening to the bells, they just don’t want to ring them.
“Having done them up it’s nice to hear them ring.”
He added: “We need more blood, we need younger people. We used to have people come in on Duke of Edinburgh Schemes.
“Times are changing but we have to try otherwise you say goodbye to them and lock the door and throw the key away.”
While the group ostensibly rang the bells to commemorate the new royal birth, Mr Wild admitted the real reason was to encourage people to give it a go.
He said: “The
main thing we’re trying to do is publicise the bell ringing and we desperately need new blood. That’s the ultimate aim but you can’t really say you’re more important than the princess.”
Mr Wild, who is the bell tower keeper, said that of the 24 times the bell has ever been rung, three of them have been in the last four years.
The first one before that was 53 years ago, for what Mr Wild assumes was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
Friday’s event saw the group make £140 despite the inclement weather, which they will use to put towards four sensors for the simulator, allowing the front six bells to be rung silently.