What is it?....It’s a cross between a hobby and a team sport that involves just as much physical and mental exercise as you want. It can be very light (we have ringers in their seventies who aren’t as strong as they were) or as physically hard and / or mentally challenging complex as you want.
The physical work comes from the weight of the bell you choose to ring. This ranges from something light and easy to a bell that’s the weight of a small car, and can be a very good workout for back, abs and stomach. But it’s certainly not all about muscle – good technique makes a huge difference to the effort needed to ring a heavy bell, so the skillful do well!
The mental work stems from the complexity of the ringing patterns. They begin very simply indeed, so everyone can be involved pretty quickly. Eventually they become mind-blowingly complex, and we each progress as far along that spectrum as we want!
It’s a team activity insofar as the better we work together, the better the bells sound.
Who can do it?.….anyone from age 8 (ish – it depends upon height and strength) to…well….as old as you like, so long as you can handle a bell, concentrate a bit and get up the tower stairs!
How much does it cost?……nothing! It’s completely free 🙂 Apart from whatever drinks etc you want to buy down the pub after practice (if you want to come along – it’s not obligatory!).
What are the obligations?...There is no requirement to be a church member or attend church services – some ringers do and some don’t, and that’s fine. But, whilst change ringing is a great hobby for us ringers, its important to remember that it has a purpose: to call people to the church service. So each tower band tries very hard to ensure that there are enough people to ring for the Sunday morning services. Once you have moved past the learner phase you should expect to turn up on Sunday mornings, barring holidays etc. For those of us who enjoy the ringing, that’s no hardship!
See Alan Titchmarsh’s Daily Telegraph article reminiscing about ringing at Ilkley, and his attempt to explain method ringing here.
For more information, contact:
Ilkley – Sue Green on 01943 864081 or 07746 950214 or Andrew Drury on 07949 536574
Addingham – Patricia Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew Drury on 07949 536574