On New Year's eve we will be ringing-in the New Year in the traditional manner. In our case, this will involve meeting at one of the ringer's homes at about eight o'clock in the evening for snacks and appropriate liquid refreshment. At about 11.30 we will gather in the bell tower and ring-out the old year with the bells half-muffled until a few minutes before midnight. The muffles will be hastily removed, and at exactly at midnight, 12 strokes will be rung on the Tenor bell, following which the rest of the bells will join in and ring for maybe 15 minutes. This is a tradition which has taken place for many years and we all hope it will long continue.
On the subject of ringing, I find it disappointing that I haven't heard any on the television or radio over the Christmas period this year. Classic FM, which has probably provided more Christmas music than any other UK station sadly forgot all about the bells. Some readers might argue that this is not music, but as far a I'm concerned, the changing rhythms of well rung bells are far superior to much of the modern, so-called, music, both classical and pop.
I tried to find some recordings on the web of bell ringing, but unfortunately there seem to be very few good recordings around. Personally, I prefer eight bell ringing to that on higher numbers, but I've found these two of the St Paul's Cathedral ringers ringing twelve bells, one of them at Trinity Church, New York, and the other in the National Twelve Bell striking competition, which was held this year at St Paul's.
I am assured, by those who know far more about it than I do, that this is some of the best ringing that that you can find.
St Paul's Ringers at Trinity Church, Wall Street, N.Y.
Or try this link, sound only
Happy New Year Everybody
I pray that 2010 will be a far better year than 2009, both for everyone personally and for England a a whole.