Bell ringers ap-peal for more mem­bers

Hope chimes will en­cour­age peo­ple to ‘give it a go’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­

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.

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