Bell Ringing 

 

Sunday, 9.30-10.00am

Mondays, 7.30 - 9.00pm

 

Tower Captain:  Jane Salt

Ringing Master:  Beverley Jarrom

Steeple Keeper:  Simon Britton

 

Contact Jane Salt

tel: 07740682372

 

e-mail: bells@knightonparish.co.uk

 

 

Welcome to the web page of the Church Bell Ringers at St Mary's, Knighton

 

The bells  of St Mary's, are rung for Sunday morning services, weddings and other special occasions such as baptisms or anniversaries when requested. Monday evening is practice night. 

 

The Ringers at St Mary's

 

Some faces and names of the tower team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are the church bells rung?

 

Church bells are, and have been, used for many purposes, for example: to call the congregation to a church service; joyfully at a happy event such as marriage,    

and sombrely as a final salutation to the departed.

 

To produce this variable sound requires a dedicated, and knowledgeable, team of bell ringers.

So, what do you need to be a bell ringer?

 

Learn to Ring at St Mary's

 

St Mary's tower ringers are always ready to welcome new people who want to join them. We are lucky to have a friendly team, everyone is always willing to help one another, and this is evident in the practice sessions held every Monday from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. There is a good mix of experienced ringers and those who are learning. The techniques that you need to start will be passed on freely and it’s up to you how fast you progress. If you are looking for a new and fascinating hobby why not contact us?

 

If you are willing to learn how to ring a church bell, are enthusiastic, and can attend practice once a week fairly regularly, that’s a great start.

The ringing chamber is situated up a steep flight of wooden stairs, so you will need to be able to climb these.

 

One myth that can be dispelled is that you have to be exceptionally fit to ring, not true. Whilst the bells are undoubtedly heavy, successful ringing  is all about technique, patience and perseverance!

 

A second myth to be dispelled is that you have to either "be musical or know about music". Untrue.

Bells are rung mostly for Sunday Church Services, and, although you are welcome to go to the service, there is no expectation that you attend it, in fact many bell ringers on Sunday morning do not.

 

Information for Visiting Ringing Bands

 

The ringer chamber is situated on the first floor of the tower and is accessed by flight of wooden stairs. The entrance to the tower is usually by the north door (side entrance) of the church. There are toilet facilities in the narthex (back of the church). Kitchen facilties may be available by prior arrangement for hot drinks. Please contact the tower captain prior to your proposed visit.

 

 

 

The Bells of St Mary’s 

 

St Mary’s has a peal of eight bells, the heaviest of which (the tenor) weighs 10cwt 2qrs 8lbs (537Kg).  The bells include six (mostly cast at Joseph Eayres of St Neots in 1762) which came from the church of St Michael, Stamford and two cast at John Taylor & Co in 1978.  The peal is hung in the double cast iron bell frame installed in 1978, below the original wooden frame and the new headstocks are marked with Taylor’s job number 630 and the number of the bell in raised numerals.  At the time of installing the new frame the floor of the ringing chamber was lowered and wooden cladding was fitted to the wall to cover the original fittings.   

 

Prior to 1978 there were five bells, the old tenor (the 5th) was cast by Watts of Leicester in 1627 and has probably only hung in one tower.  The previous 3rd and 4th were cast by Joseph Eayres of St Neots in 1770 and the 2nd was added by Edward Arnold of Leicester in 1796.  The treble was most likely to have been added by Taylor’s in 1880 when the Church carried out a major overhaul including the recasting of the 3rd and 4th.  Taylor’s records indicate that the old 3rd and 4th bells were melted down to make the current treble. 

 

The old early 17th c. tenor bell (known from its inscription as a Watts Nazarene Bell), was retained, fixed to the higher old timber bell frame and is struck from ground level, as a Sanctus bell.  The purpose of a Sanctus bell was to signal to the village and those not able to attend the service that Mass was being celebrated. 

 

The bells are located about mid-way up the square tower behind the lower level of louvres.  The lower louvres are partly filled to limit the impact of the sound of the bells on local residents and also make the sound rise and mix before it spreads out over the surrounding area. 

 

The bells are arranged in the bell frame so that they turn at 90 degrees to each other and in opposite directions, this evens out the dynamic loads on the tower.

 

In order to ring the bells in the English tradition of change and method ringing they must be rung up to their raised position (bell mouth up).  Once there, they rotate full circle and strike once, then rotate back full circle and strike once more.  The motion is controlled by the ringer through the rope and, if necessary, a stay and slider prevent over ringing.  It is this control that allows a ringer to place a bell in the right place in the changes.

Commemorative ringing

This is undertaken with the bells half-muffled.  Leather pads are tied to one side of each clapper.  This results in one normal note and a second, quiet, echo as the bell swings back. This form of ringing is reserved for commemoration of the dead e.g. Remembrance Day or funerals.  Fully muffled ringing is usually only carried out on the death of a sovereign. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

 

Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers

 

 

 

Tower Captain:  Jane Salt

The term 'Tower Captain' is an ancient title used throughout the ringing world for the person in charge. Elected by the Vicar and the ringing team to manage  the tower on behalf of the Church, she is the leader of the ringers and is supported by other members of the team including the Ringing Master and Steeple Keeper.

Ringing Master:  Beverley Jarrom

Bev, elected by the team, leads and coaches the team as they progress with their change ringing. She is the person who organises what will be rung for services, weddings and other special occasions. When the bells are ringing it is the Ringing Master who decides both what will be rung and for how long.

Steeple Keeper:  Simon Britton

The Steeple Keeper is elected  by the team to look after the bells in the bell tower. The bells and clappers are moving heavy machinery. Simon undertakes, and records, regular routine maintenance and inspection to the frame, bell fittings and ropes to ensure the bells operate correctly, easily and safely.