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500 sites to be opened up for bell ringing at Heritage Open Days

Bell ringers at Southwell Minster will take part in Challenge 500, as part of Heritage Open Days across the UK next month ...

Bell ringers at Southwell Minster will take part in Challenge 500, when churches and cathedrals across the country will help bring to life the 400-year old tradition of English-style bell ringing, as part of Heritage Open Days, from 8-11 September.
 
The call to the ringing world to open up 500 sites will provide a unique opportunity for ringing bands in England to share the heritage hidden inside their bell towers, as well as their passion, with millions of visitors who every year venture out to discover the treasures on their doorstep.
 
Tower Captain at Southwell Minster, Trevor Bryan has signed up the Minster’s ringers for the challenge. He says: “Bell Ringers love a challenge, this just adds another dimension on a country-wide scale. It will be great to know that so many towers will be ringing together and we in Southwell will be a part of the Challenge 500.”
 
In addition to the Challenge 500 ringers are invited to come together to create a collective bell ringing moment as part of the festival on Thursday 8 September from 6-7pm.
 
“We are ringing at Southwell between 6-7pm on 8 September … but it will be after Evensong has finished … Also, we will be including bell ringing demonstrations between 1pm  and 4pm on Saturday 10 September, incorporated into our tower tours, which we hope will encourage more interest in ringing,” adds Bryan.
 
The tradition of change ringing is a unique form of music that has its roots in England. Instead of 'tunes' the bells ring in orderly sequences that the ringers learn as patterns and then ring from memory. Ringers control the bell with a rope, while the bell turns full circle, mounted on a wheel. Famous people who are reported to have rung bells over the years include comedians Victoria Wood, Jo Brand and Timmy Mallett, gardener Alan Titchmarsh and entertainer and writer Frank Muir.
 
Also as part of the Heritage Open Days from 8–10 September between 1-4pm, there will be free guided tours of the Archbishop’s Palace, Minster & Education Garden, and Lunchtime at the Cathedral will feature Joel Newsome on trumpet and Simon Hogan on piano on Friday 9 September at 12.15pm. The Minster Library will be open 8-10 September from 1-4pm.
 
The next Minster Tower Tour, weather permitting, will be on August 13 from 2pm – 4pm, and from 8 – 10 September from 1pm-4pm, cost £3.50 (children under 7 not permitted).
 
For Heritage Open Days information go to www.heritageopendays.org.uk
 
For bell ringing information contact Trevor Bryan on trev.bryan@gmail.com

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