Here is the latest update from Kirtlington and Bletchingdon ringers in Kirlington Village News, which includes experiences of ringing from the viewpoints of two members who have joined the Kirtlington and Bletchingdon band in the past 10 months:
“Many times in my life I have enjoyed the sound of church bells, and always thought, ‘I’d like to do that some day’. Finally in May I responded to an advertisement for new ringers in the Bletchingdon News and was very quickly inducted into the friendly team of ringers in the Bletchingdon and Kirtlington bell towers, with expert tuition from the Kirtlington Tower Captain.
English bellringing is an intriguing blend of art and science, involving both physical and mental exercise and, for me, a great sense of history. I’m excited to think that I’m learning an ancient skill, standing in a room in which our forebears stood ringing these same bells, some of which were cast three centuries ago in the early 1700s… Although a relative beginner I feel I’ve made good progress and joined a really friendly, supportive and encouraging group of people. I’m very much enjoying learning a stimulating and valuable new skill!”
Gus Bridges (joined May 2017)
“My motivation to take up bell ringing doesn’t sound as riveting as Gus’, however, I am so thankful that the ‘I need a hobby – why not?’ moment came to me. Over the last 10 months I have been exposed to a whole new side of British life which I have quickly become addicted to; I now regularly find myself humming tunes, guessing how many bells a church has as I drive past, downloading various bell ringing apps or competing with myself about when I can cross off another bell tower! This new found obsession is not least because of brilliant fellow ringers who generously give their time to help me learn, who share their stories, and have taken me under their wings to become part of their proud history.
My ringing experiences so far have been wonderfully varied. As well as my regular weekly practices, I have rung for 1 baptism, 5 weddings, a few evensongs and the village summer fair! I have also attended two courses: a day course in Radley, and the intense Bradfield 4 day residential – I never knew that hand bells at 1am could be such fun! All of these opportunities have allowed me to quickly progress, and also to experience some of the quirkier Church belfries, like the swaying tower of Little Milton, and the really tall ladder before the “trap door like” entrance of Mortimer, have all contributed to me beginning to feel like a real bell ringer!
My next goal is to attempt a Quarter Peal, to consolidate learning of the most recent method I’ve been learning; Plain Bob Doubles. I have no idea what to expect for my first attempt of ringing solidly for 45 minutes, but I’m tentatively ready to accept the challenge!”
Ellie Seddon (joined November 2016)