Wheathampstead Bell Ringers at St Helen’s Church
Bell-ringing at St Helens is both challenging and fun!
St Helens has eight of the finest bells in Hertfordshire, cast and fitted by Taylors of Loughborough in 1935, with the Tenor weighing in at just over 14cwt. We also have the longest ropes in the county and ring from the Crossing at the centre of the church – which provides the aforementioned challenge!
The band meets at 8.50am each Sunday to ring for the morning service at 9.30am. Weddings are celebrated from time to time, and the bells are rung, half-muffled, to commemorate the fallen from two world wars each Remembrance Day.
Practice night is on Monday, from 8.00-9.15pm. Everyone is welcome: both experts and beginners, young or old, regulars and visitors. Practice provides the fun of bell-ringing. Bell-ringing is a team ‘sport’, and it is a real thrill for a learner when they are able to ‘join the band’, and in due course are invited to ring for Sunday services. Sunday ringing at St Helens is a public occasion, in full view of the congregation, and a real achievement for a beginner.
Bell-ringing is an activity for the body and the mind. For the beginner, the challenge is to control the bell: co-ordinating muscles and nerves to move the rope and the bell at the right pace. As one improves the mind is increasingly involved: call-changes, plain-hunting and finally method–ringing and conducting make bell-ringing one of the most satisfying of hobbies.
St Helens always needs new ringers and you are never too old to begin; so long as you are tall enough to reach the sally (the woolly part of the rope) you can be as young as 12 or as old as 70. If you would like to try out this most traditional skill, contact Roger Gedye (01582 832374), or Gill Clark (01582 832579) and come along to a Monday evening practice. We shall be pleased to ‘show you the ropes’!