Thursday, 1 January 2015


For the first time in many years we marked the change of year in the best way possible, by bellringing!  Ringing out the old year requires a mournful sound. So the first task of the evening was to put leather muffles on one side of the clapper.  Traditionally bells are muffled on Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve.  They may also be muffled if the bells are rung for a funeral.  Normally you have open (normal) on one stroke and muffled on the other.  Traditionally bells are only muffled on both sides for the death of the monarch. As the volunteers prepared to head up the tower to put the muffles in place, Phil decided that his normal sandalled footwear would not be appropriate for this task, and to our amazement put on a pair of gleaming white trainers.

Whilst the muffle tying was taking place on the top floor, the KHT as the non ringer present, hoovered the carpet.  Our tower is quite draughty, so we decided that it would be a good way of getting her warm, before we wrapped her up in a couple of blankets and spare coats.  Mind you the carpet was looking rather messy, so her ministrations were timely!

We rang up the back 5 followed by the treble, and vowed that Phil would be ringing his own bell up by next Christmas, by Easter would be even better! We rang call changes on all six, which sounded glorious. Then we rang Bob Minimus on the front 5 to give Phil a rest and so we could have a more mournful sound in a minor key, to mark the ending of the year. I gave the KHT my camera to record this, so the result is, interesting!

Call changes on the six, was followed by getting the bells down into the safe position, so that the muffles could be removed.  Chris then chimed 12 to mark midnight, amidst the sound of rockets from the nearby homes.

After midnight we rang the bells open, to celebrate the arrival of 2015!  We then got the bells down again an attempted to take a group photo for Catherine, and failed!  We then welcomed the new year with exciting things like Ginger Beer, Elderflower Cordial, pork pie, Chorizo, cake and other delicacies before admitting defeat and going home!

What will 2015 bring?  I have absolutely no idea!  If you told me 12 months ago that I would have been ringing in the New Year I would have been extremely sceptical. Having said that I am delighted to be ringing again, and to be welcoming new recruits to the band.  During the evening we noted that a measure of our progress over the next 12 months would be how many people will be here to ring in the New Year  at the beginning of 2016.  We are very encouraged by the progress we have made, but we know our striking is not yet as good as it could be, and it will only improve with effort and practise.

On a personal level I haven't made any New Year's resolutions as such, but I do have a number of personal targets which I have set myself.  I have no idea if some of them are even possible!  However, I feel that 2015 is going to be an interesting year and one of change.

As we move into 2015, my prayers are with anyone who found the last 12 months to be challenging or painful, and I really hope that things will start to improve for them. I am not particularly sure that years are good or bad.  Good and bad things happen to all of us, I see a year as a period of time, without personality or character.  My prayer is that we will all make the most of the opportunities that are offered to us, to know that are choices we make are healthy and for the benefit of others, as well as ourselves, and will bring glory to God.  Happy New Year, one and all!