BELL RINGING NEWS FROM BLEWBURY TOWER

June 25, 2019

The bells of St Michael’s have been ringing out over the village for hundreds of years, for both special events and weekly service ringing. One such special event was a successful quarter peal rung on June 6th to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D Day.

Although the bells are heard ringing out, very few of us have actually seen them. The picture shows bells 2-7 of our 8 bells. The bells are in the ‘up’ position, with the mouth of the bell (the sound bow) facing skyward. This is the position from which most English bells are struck by swinging the bell full circle, giving more control over the striking. In most other countries, bells are swing chimed from the downward position which makes it impossible to control exactly when each bell strikes and explains why the sound of bells in European cathedrals and churches is more random. It was the bells in the ‘up’ position that was the inspiration for the Resound window design. The design also depicts the sound waves from the bells radiating across the village map. During the installation of the new window this autumn there will be no bellringing for several weeks. This is because ringing the bells creates slight tower movement. Without the window and its supporting bars (ferramenta) there is a small risk of damage to the masonry, and we don’t want to take any chances. We are however very confident that you will be hearing the bells again well in time for the Christmas festivities!