This morning C and I went #bellringing as usual.  Just the 2 of us keeping things going during lockdown, making a noise and making sure the community doesn’t forget the church is there and the church doesn’t forget the bellringers are there.

When we arrived, we signed in as usual and there was an A4 enveloped waiting for us address to the Cathedral Bellringers, with a stamp on, so we know if wasn’t from the office.  They’d usually email or phone me anyway.

First thoughts turn to it being a complaint.  But about what?  We’re only #bellringing for about 15 minutes, only 2 bells and only on a Sunday morning.

This particular letter had a covering letter and a covering, covering letter.  It turns out that there’s someone from Berkshire who has severe autism, has written to us asking us to ring a full peal when lockdown ends.  From the covering covering letter, which is from their parents, it seems that this person has been researching #bellringing, listening to #bellringing at churches that are local to them, and has even been looking around complib, the compositions library to find something suitable.  Presumably the mathematics of it appeals to them.

The request is well worded and uses the correct terminology, although there are several things wrong with what they are actually asking us to do e.g., ring a full peal, un-muffled (both correct terminology), and the composition requested is 5040 Grandsire Triples composed by Alan S Burbidge (correct).  Apparently, Burbidge’s composition is one of the trickier ones.  The request has asked us to ring it on bells 2-9 of our 12 which would sound horrid. Not least to say that to ring a full peal will take some time to build up to, given that ringers haven’t been active for a year, we’ll need to build up some muscle tone and calluses again.

From the look of the letters, they appear to be photocopies, and given that its not from a local address, I’m assuming that other towers would have received something similar.  It must have cost a small fortune in postage stamps.

Whilst there are many things that we cannot accommodate with the request, I have to say, that it was a lovely surprise receiving a request, in writing, the good old-fashioned way, asking for bells to be rung, rather than silenced.

I wonder how many other towers received a copy of the same letter?


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