Thanks to a lot of hard work on Saturday morning, particularly from Mickey Etches, we have managed to clear a bag full of dust and other debris from the base of the spire, the belfry and the clock-room. Nuts and bolts have been tightened and our CCTV camera above the bells is working again, as is the doorbell. This means that we can leave the door locked, and when you come to Christchurch you can ring the doorbell and we will be able to come down and let you in. The door is the main South door immediately underneath the tower, off Glenaffric Avenue, and the bell push is on the right hand side.
We have now started practicing at Christchurch on Wednesday evenings from 7.00 till 9.00, although at the moment we are mainly teaching people to handle a bell on their own. There will be a break on 23rd and 30th July for the summer holidays, but otherwise we should be there most weeks. Anyone who wants to learn to handle is welcome.
We also plan to teach bell handling on other evenings, by appointment. As the band grows we will also arrange some Saturday morning training sessions at Christchurch, probably from mid-August onwards, to get everyone ringing rounds, hopefully by mid September. We can then start thinking about ringing the bells on Sundays.
On Wednesday evenings there is usually a Mass between 7.15 and 8.00pm at Christchurch, and we have installed an electronic simulator system, the same as the one at Rotherhithe, which means that we can ring the bells without making a noise outside. So even if you cannot hear anything, please ring the doorbell and come up.
The advantage of Wednesdays is that the Meridian Ringers practice between 8.00 and 9.30pm at Greenwich, which is only 15 minutes walk away through the foot tunnel, or one stop on the DLR. Therefore if we meet short, or our new ringers want some extra practice, we can always go across the river.
I am currently trying to find enough people to help use a Mobile Belfry for the Christchurch Fete on Sunday 13th July. If you have not spoken to me about this, and would like to help, and perhaps try to recruit a few more ringers, please get in touch. You can see what the belfry looks like on this video:
and how it erected on this one:
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