The bells of Ripon Cathedral have rung out across the city since at least 1354 and today – more than six centuries later, plans are afoot to ensure they are ready for a new generation of ringers.
Charlie Brown, Ripon Cathedral’s Steeple Keeper, takes up the story: “The bells here have an excellent reputation. We receive applications from people all over the country who want to come to Ripon Cathedral specifically to ring a peal here.
“However, our smaller bells are currently a bit unpredictable – it’s difficult to get the accuracy that we want. We are looking to adapt some of the smaller bells to make them easier to handle and a more pleasurable experience to ring.
“This is particularly important as we are currently training six new ringers and we’d love to get them started on these smaller bells. This work will help us all ring better together.”
The sound of bells is synonymous with our English heritage – not only calling us to pray – but ringing in celebration and in mourning and announcing peace – at the end of war.
The Very Rev John Dobson, Dean of Ripon, said: “We are fortunate at Ripon Cathedral in having a great peal of bells and a wonderful team of ringers who are dedicated and determined to sustain the ancient art of change ringing for the benefit of this community and region.
“I am very grateful to those involved in this project as it will help enhance ringing for both new and experienced members of the band.”
The work, which will cost some £5,000, is currently being explored by Ripon Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee.
If you’re interested in learning the ropes new bell ringers are always welcome and details can be found at www.riponringers.wordpress.com