Did you realise that the bells were not rung properly from the beginning of lockdown until Christmas Day?
BELLRINGING IN LOCKDOWN JUNE 2020 by Richard Major (download)
NATIONAL COMPETITION WINNER. 2017
Oswestry bell ringers are delighted to have a national competition winner
amongst our ranks! I’ll let Richard explain.
The bells we have today at St Oswald’s were first cast 300 years ago and the English style of ringing we use has been developing, nationally, over the last 400 years. Although ringers rely on pulling ropes to control the
bells nobody knew, until now, how hard ringers should pull.
In December 2016, John Harrison, who had been chair of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Education Committee, issued a challenge to see if anybody could come up with a system to measure the pulls and I suggested that, locally, we should have a go.
Based upon work I had done in Northumberland I started work, and assisted by Pete Neil, developed a means of measuring the force in bell a rope as it changed with bell position.
During 2017, with the forbearance of the other
ringers, things developed to the stage where I
believed we could do it. On 28th November,
John visited and tried the system out. He
agreed that we had demonstrated stage
one of his challenge, showing feasibility,
and presented me with a cheque for £750,
with Gift Aid worth £937.50, which will be
put towards a ringer training system to go
in the tower. My thanks go to all who have
supported this endeavour. We now move on to the next stage of making a system generally available.
Brian Rothera & Richard Major