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Ringing 100 years apart

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Nov, 2019 02:51 PM

A band of Dorset bellringers has re-created an event from exactly 100 years ago.

On 30 October 1919, a peal of over 3 hours was rung to mark the dedication of a memorial in St Peter's church in Dorchester to those bellringers from the local area who had died during the First World War.

The only difference between the 1919 and 2019 version was that the bells were not 'muffled' as they were in 1919.

Muffling the bells makes them sound mournful, and is generally reserved for Remembrance Sunday or other solemn events. This time, the ringers want the sound to be more of a celebration of the period of sustained peace in Western Europe.

Tower Captain at St Peter's church, Will Haydock said:

"Ringing for this length of time is a serious challenge, which shows how much respect and dedication those ringers of a hundred years ago must have had for those who had died.

"One of the great things about ringing is its history. We can exactly re-create something from 100 years ago and feel that connection to the past. We know how people are transported by the bells, whether on Remembrance Sunday or happier times like Christmas, New Year or weddings.

"The challenge for us today is keeping this tradition alive. We always welcome people who would like to try bellringing for the first time, so if you enjoy the sound on Wednesday morning, why not come along to our practice on a Monday and become part of the next generation keeping the bells ringing?"

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