If you are interested in learning how to ring the bells in Tickenham Church, please contact our Secretary, Mandy Banks on 07972 696870.
Our practice evenings are on Wednesdays between 8pm and 9pm in Tickenham Church
THE BELLS ARE RINGING OUT FOR MAR-MAL-ADE!
The Dalemain Marmalade Festival takes place in Cumbria in April. What’s that go to do with bell ringing?
Well, in recognition of a team of bell ringers ringing a quarter (peel) peal (approximately 45 mins ringing) called Marmalade Delight, there is a category in the competition specifically for bell ringers to enter.
What is a peal?
A peal is the ‘gold standard’ performance during which the bells are rung continuously
in over 5000 different sequences,without visual aids, typically taking 3 hours.
As a band in Tickenham, this won’t be happening anytime soon. However, occasionally we
have had a visiting team ringing a peal.
an article by Lynne Purcell (March 2023)
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ANCIENT ART OF BELLRINGING
- Tickenham Church is endowed with a fine bell tower and a set of 6 bells.
- In addition, it has a dedicated band of bell ringers, most of them fairly new to the art of bell ringing, who want to improve their change ringing skills and the number of ringers
- Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a tightly controlled manner to produce precise variations in their successive striking sequences, known as “changes”. This can be by method ringing in which the ringers commit to memory the rules for generating each change, or by call changes, where the ringers are instructed how to generate each change by instructions from a conductor.
- The bells are rotated through 3600 each time they chime.
CHANGE RINGING IS VERY “ENGLISH”
- Change ringing emerged in England in the 17th century.
- It is often referred to as “ringing in the English style” and with considerable justification:
- In 2018, there were over 7,141 English style ringing towers across the world
- Netherlands, Belgium, Pakistan, India, and Spain have one each.
- The Windward Isles and the Isle of Man have 2 each.
- Canada and New Zealand have 8 each
- The Channel Isles 11.
- Africa as a continent has 13.
- Scotland 23, Ireland 38, USA 48, Australia 61 and Wales 227
- The remaining 6,191 towers (94%) are in England
- One other thing – it isn’t as easy as we sometimes make it look
A LITTLE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR SIX BELLS
- Bells 1, 2 and 5 are youngest but still 139 years old (1882)
- Bells 6/4 are 268/269 years old (1753/1752) – George II on the throne, and Britain still had colonies in America
- Our oldest bell (number 3) is 389 years old (1632) and listed. It was cast during the reign of Charles I pre-dating the English Civil War.
- Bells 1 to 4 weigh around ¼ton each, with bells 5 and 6 weighing approximately ½ton and ¾ton respectively.
- The bell frame (the large oak beams that holds the bells up and allows them to rotate through 360°) dates to c.1724, with additions in 1882.
- The bells are made of bell metal. It is a form of bronze with a higher tin content, usually in approximately a 4:1 ratio of copper to tin. The higher tin content increases the rigidity of the metal, and increases the resonance. Cymbals are made of bell metal.