Call for new bell ringers to learn the ancient art in Sheffield

People across the city are being urged to consider taking up a new hobby and help to save the ancient art of bell ringing.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 5:58 am
Newspaper: Dewsbury Reporter Series. Story: Mirfield's St. Mary's church bell ringers are 'a peeling' (appealing) for new ringers as not only are they in decline, but their Tower Captain, Mr. Ian Ackroyd, retires at Christmass 2017. Pictured: Molly Pratt, Tower Captain Ian Ackroyd and Mark Jennings. Reporter: Chris Lever. Photographer: Andrew Bellis email: [email protected] Twitter: @SnapperAndrewB Mobile: 07885 426 523 Photo date: 20/11/17 Picture ref: AB267a1117

According to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, there are 66 working bell towers in South Yorkshire, including seven in Sheffield .

However, the future of bell ringing in the city could be under threat due to a lack of new recruits.

As part of the council’s Ringing Remembers campaign, which aims to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers nationwide in memory of the 1,400 bell ringers who died in the First World War, they are asking people in Sheffield to learn to ring bells.

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Lead bell ringer Alan Regin said: “I was a youngster when I started ringing peals - that’s the more advanced bell ringing for extended periods - and wherever I rang, I was often the youngest bell ringer in the band.

“Now - close to half a century later - I am, on occasions, still the youngest, and this concerns me. I’d love people in Sheffield to help 2018 become the Year of the Bell.”

Bell ringing is a distinctively British tradition and are few other places around the world that ring bells in what is known as the English style. Bells are a familiar sound to many people.

The Ringing Remembers campaign aims to make the ancient tradition of bell ringing open to all and preserve it for future generations.

If you are interested in trying bell ringing, email [email protected]

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers will connect you to your local bell ringing teacher. It takes around three months to learn to ring the bells. Classes are usually once a week and generally free. All new recruits in 2018 will receive a Ringing Remembers badge for their participation.