• Britain’s Got Bell Ringers!

    Back in April last year (2011) the world was introduced to a novelty way of ‘bell ringing’ with hand bells, by two ‘bell ringers’ who entered the TV competition show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

    Now I don’t know if they were ‘real’ bell ringers in the true sense of the word (i.e. belong to a society or studied campanology ) or just people who like bells, but their tunes ( I believe the end theme from ‘Titanic’ composed by James Horner was one of them) are not ones you’d find in a diagrams book or coming from the tower of St John’s.

    However, if they’d have rung Stedman or Grandsire, they might not have been so popular.

    Why bring this up?

    Because, when I was at work during the period they were on the show, what was the first thing I was asked by people who knew I rang church bells?

    What tunes do you play?

    When you try to explain to them that the tunes they’d heard were made-up to suit the ear and are not real methods ( as we call them) , they get all confused.

    So what do I play ?They ask.

    When you try to explain a method as a mathematical sound looking like a graph

    ( showing them a diagrams book at this point ) they get even more confused.

    ‘ Britain’s Got Talent’ sure brought hand bell ringing to the nation’s attention.

    The national papers even had articles on church bells in Britain, but it sure brought confusion to the passing public who knew of bell ringing, but not what it involves.

    It certainly confused the people I know.

    Until next time



Bellringing at St. John's Leytonstone


Photo crop (passport)

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