The bells of St Andrew’s in Kirkby Malzeard, which have been silent for several years, could ring again this year to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
Jonathan Couchman of Two Dales Bell Ringers, which is an informal group that encourages and promotes bell ringing in Wensleydale and Swaledale, said:
“St Andrew’s church has six beautiful bells but nobody to ring them so in liaison with the church, we would like to mark the jubilee by establishing a bell band there.”
Last year, the Wensleydale ringers held a course of short, interactive online presentations on bell ringing, which resulted in nine new recruits.
The activity does not require great strength and children as young as 10 are able to participate.
This spring, a second course is planned, with hands-on training in local towers, including St Andrew’s, and other church towers in Askrigg, Aysgarth, Grinton and Richmond.
Training will be interspersed with online presentations. Times and dates of sessions will be arranged in agreement with participants and the aim is to hold the first session in late February.
- Ripon plans Platinum jubilee extravaganza
- Arguments continue over the future of former Kirkby Malzeard pub
Mr Couchman said:
“We invite everyone to join us, from those who have simply wondered about how the bells are rung through to those interested in whether bell ringing is for them.
“It is a team activity that keeps your brain active and your body agile. Some do it for the community of friends, some do it to contribute to church life, some to keep the glorious sound of bells alive, and some do it for the pure pleasure and feeling of wellbeing it brings.”
For more than 500 years church bells have resounded across Wensleydale and Swaledale, but for the first time since World War II, they fell silent because of social distancing requirements and covid lockdowns, which put bell ringing on hold.
Anybody wanting to find out more and how to participate, can email David Scrutton at [email protected]