Ring out the bells for peace


Armistice 100, the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War, falls on November 11 this year. Bellringers from all over the country will be remembering the 1,400 ringers who lost their lives in this war.
There will be the usual half-muffled ringing before Remembrance Services, and it is also hoped to have 1,000 towers ringing at 7:05pm that evening along with beacons being lit as part of the Battle’s over – a Nation’s Tribute’. The country is hoping to recruit 1,000 new ringers as a tribute to those who gave their lives. Rye ringers would like to play a part in this initiative. Lance Corporal William Bennett from Rye was killed in action, aged 29, on October 12 1917.
It is not necessary to be a churchgoer to be able to ring, it is a very inclusive exercise and any age can try it. Being physically strong is not a necessity as bells are different weights. There are safety rules to follow and teaching is done on a one-to-one basis with the bells silenced. Once bell control has been achieved, it’s ringing in rounds with the band and then memorising methods where all the bells keep changing places at every pull of the rope. It is a very good physical and mental exercise.
The primary function of the bells is to call people to worship and being part of all the special occasions within the church and national celebrations gives great satisfaction.
We really need to recruit some new ringers from Rye to join the band to keep the bells of St Mary’s in the future. Many of the current band are retirees and several come from outside the town. Under 18s need a parent present to witness how teaching is carried out and they will be required to sign a consent form.
Anyone interested please contact Gaye Hardiman at mghardiman@hotmail.com or Anne Wenham 015807 64423 or 07597 196956.

Photo: Kenneth Bird

Image Credits: Rye News library .

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