Bell Ringing

I first started learning to ring church bells at St James, Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire on 8th March 1993, shortly after their bells were recast. Since that time I've had the great pleasure of ringing a lot of very different bells all over the south-west of England – plus a few in Wales and some interesting examples in the Midlands – and I'm now a regular ringer at a number of local towers, including St John the Baptist, Keynsham, Somerset where I was elected Tower Captain on 8th October 2009. I also like to visit other towers, both nearby and further afield, where I always receive a warm welcome. Take a look at My Ringing Career to find out more about what I've been up to.

During my two and a half years (26th September 2001 to 31st March 2004) as Tower Secretary at Mangotsfield I was pivotal in their entry to the Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association's Best Kept Tower Competition in 2002. For some reason that inspired me to put pen to paper (or rather, finger to keyboard) and write a few Articles. They were originally published on the website of the St James Bell Ringers, Mangotsfield, but since that website no longer exists I have republished them here instead.

Also in this section you'll find details of all the Quarter Peals (274), Date Touches (none so far...), Half Peals (2) and Peals (6) I've rung. For the benefit of anyone reading this who isn't au fait with the jargon, a Peal comprises around 5040 changes (steps between different rows, in which the bells each sound once in turn) and usually takes about 3 hours to ring – non-stop. Half Peals and Quarter Peals are largely self-explanatory. And in a Date Touch, the number of changes normally matches either the current year, or a special year that's being commemorated. So even if you haven't got a clue what Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles means, hopefully you'll be able to appreciate the significance of these performances, and – considering the amount of concentration and physical ringing involved – maybe also understand why I've rung far more Quarter Peals than anything else!

While we're on the subject, I think that my Lyndenlea Bells website deserves a mention. Aside from the wonder that is the (now retired) Bristol Rural Tower Locator, you'll also find there the fruits of my ongoing research project into local bells hung for full-circle ringing, both past and present. New towers are gradually being added as my research progresses so keep checking back for updates.

My dad Colin has recorded some of the ringing in which I have participated over the years. Personally, I think he's more interested in dabbling with digital audio than recording bell ringing. But if you want to listen yourself, a few recordings can be found on his Colin's Audio Odds 'n' Ends web page.