Seven of the ten Team churches have bells which are rung regularly (full details here), and are all ready to welcome new members to their bands of bell ringers.
Learning to ring bells could be the new hobby you are looking for! New skills, new friends, new places, all ages. You don’t have to be strong – the lighter bells don’t need much effort at all – its the knack that’s important. People as young as 10 and those well into their 60’s can learn quite successfully.
Learning to ring in Oakham and Rutland
All Saints Oakham aims to be a centre of excellence for campanology (that’s bell-ringing if you weren’t sure) in the northern part of Rutland, and is currently looking to raise funds to acquire an 8 bell wireless simulator to help attract and train new ringers. Uppingham is the only other 8 bell tower in the county, and already has a fixed simulator which has been very successful in attracting and developing learners young and old.
The simulator will allow us to not only lead teaching of campanology at Oakham but being wireless means that we can take it to other towers on loan, so taking the ability to teach ringing out to the smaller towers and making it more readily accessible to ringers young and old. The estimated cost of the simulator will be around £1,500.
We are also looking to raise funds to cover essential maintenance work to keep out peal in top condition and we believe early estimates will be in the region of £4000.
Do something different
We need some more people learning to ring in Rutland. It could be the hobby that you are looking for. There is a place for you in one of our towers – your village needs you! If you are interested, you can get more information from Louis Totaro, Tower Captain at Oakham and Ringing Master of the Rutland Branch of Bell Ringers – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01572 492555 / 07990 621583.
What is a Bell Simulator?
Very simply, the simulator allows Bell Ringers to practice in their own towers with tied clappers (so the bell makes no sound) but still getting the feedback they need with the bell sounding at the same time it would do if the clappers were not tied. This is achieved via a wireless connection from the Belfry to the Ringing Chamber, with sensor/transmitter units installed on the bell frame, which send a signal to the receiver that is connected to a laptop in the ringing chamber. When this signal is detected the software then waits for an appropriate amount of time and then plays the sound of the bell.