Bell ringing

Would you like to join Thirkleby Bellringers?  If you would like to come along to a practise evening on Mondays from 19.00 to 20.15  and have a go, or if you are a group who would like to try our 6 bells at Thirkleby (which are suitable for change ringing) please contact Doug Gillanders on 07919 127922.

Bell ringing is a great hobby, suitable for all ages and it’s free!  Bell ringers come from all walks of life and anyone reasonably fit can take part. It involves gentle physical and mental exercise, and a lot of fun!

What’s it all about?! ….. with thanks to Egg99Rhubarb (

Most bell towers have 6 or 8 bells, while others may have 5, 10 or 12. Towers with 4 or less bells are generally not used for change ringing.
Bell ringers stand in a circle, facing inwards so they can all see each other. The ropes come down through the ceiling of the Ringing Chamber and the bell ropes are arranged in a circle clockwise around the room, in descending pitch. The first bell is called the Treble. The last bell is the Tenor. Ringing chambers can be on the first floor of the tower or on the ground floor of the church.
Bell ringing is a recognised skill leading to badges in the Girl Guides Association and awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme.

Want to practice?  Download an Abel Simulator onto your computer, iphone or ipad! Visit for details or to purchase. All proceeds go to charity.

History of Bell Ringing
The art of bell ringing is a typically English tradition dating back to the 1600s. Bells have been associated with religious and national events for centuries and they are very much part of our culture. Village churches have used bells not only at church services, but also to announce the arrival of mail, the death of a villager, or to sound a curfew.

When bells were installed in churches in the Reformation period, new technology was used to hang them from a bell wheel, so they could be swung ‘full-circle’ and much more control was possible than just hanging them from a hook. bells could be rung at different speeds and in different order. This led to the development of Change Ringing which became a very popular hobby. Various patterns ( or Methods) were devised, so that the bells changed places in the order they were rung.

Today there are over 6000 churches in the UK with a peal of bells and over 40,000 bell ringers.
Once able to control a bell, ringers are usually very welcome at any tower in the country and it’s a great way to make friends when moving to other parts of the country, university, on holiday, visiting etc. However at some large towers and cathedrals bell ringing may be by invitation only.