Sunday, 3 June 2012

120,000 Hits and I’ve Dropped a Clanger in the Belfry

WHILE you were all sleeping off a Sunday morning hangover, two major events were taking place in and around the ‘umble ‘ovel on the ‘ill.
Firstly, the hit total on this blog since February 9th breached the 120,000 barrier and it has now been read in 1,752 towns or cities in 125 countries.
This means were are now neck and neck in the circulation war with that esteemed mass-circulation publication Every Athlete’s Guide to Sensible Pipe Smoking. Can’t tell you how chuffed I am!
Secondly, I was despatched into the belfry by The Rev to reattach the bell-rope to one of the bells at our village church. All bats and cobwebs. And bunting? For the Jubilee? "No, the relief of Mafeking!"
This was my first task as the brand new bell-ringer in this small enclave of Esher, Surrey.
It was the first time any bell-ringer has had to do this since they were installed in 1953, which we thought could be a bad omen. Lots of windy steps up the rower followed by a dizzying vertical ladder climb to the belfry.
After hooking up the bell, I scrambled down again to practice what I’d been taught by the retiring incumbent who has been doing it for 50 years and must have biceps like Popeye and a punch that would sink the Bismarck.
Lots of overenthusiastic clanging and lots of mistakes as I have to control all six bells single-handedly using ropes and pulleys. At the moment, I’m more Norman Wisdom than Quasimodo – I’m sure there’s going to be cartoon disaster with me catapulting up the bell tower and striking bottom C with my head. Or worse still, top C with my bottom.
Am now avidly reading up on different peal formations. Sunday mornings in the village will never be the same again you lucky people!
I’ve a couple of major projects on the go at the moment which I will reveal to you all later. I’m effectively working flat out every day which is leaving very little time for blogging and tweeting so apologies for being a little quiet recently.
Thank you all for reading and for all your emails too.


  1. Anonymous7 June 2012 14:00

    Best keep very quiet about your flagrant breach of the currebnt draconain 'Elf n Safety' laws.

    Did you carry out a risk assessment?

    Are you ladder trained?

    Have you £5m worth of public liability insurance?

    In the likely event of no,no and WTF are you on about.... then you'll definitely be for the moderately high jump me laddeo!

    Modern 'Bwitain'...Grate doesn't it.

    1. Neville Thurlbeck16 July 2012 13:00

      Yes, yes. Full and detailed risk assessment is carried out before each bell-ringing session - "Oo-er! Will the bell-rope get tangled with my braces? Hopefully not. Right, here we go..." CLANG!

    2. Reply
  2. Jane Griffiths8 June 2012 09:41

    what kind of belfry is it? English churches mostly have a ring of bells, each of which is rung by an individual. Do tell. Also read "The Nine Tailors" by Dorothy L. Sayers if you have not.

  3. Neville Thurlbeck12 June 2012 17:36

    Hi Jane. The bells sound like those in Greek Orthodox churches on small Greek islands, more "ting-tang" than "ding-dong". Each bell is about 18 inches in diameter at the base and are just light enough to be rung by one ringer swiftly pulling on narrow ropes which lead from the foot of the bell tower to the belfry. The ropes are all fixed close together so the ringer isn't running around like an idiot. I do a peal of six ending on bottom C. It's fun!

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