Donhead St Mary Bell-Ringers - August 2019 Report

From a Vancouver wedding to one in Donhead! On the 29th of June 2019, Dulcie Patten and George Fraser married at St Mayy’s, and we rang both before and after the wedding. We wanted to make sure that all went to plan, so we checked out the ropes and bells beforehand. One of the ropes had begun to fray so Paul Dewey took his knife and marlinspike and cut out that section. He then repaired the rope with a neat long splice. A long splice is quite thin and is used where the rope passes through pulleys or holes; a short splice, though stronger, is thicker and bulkier.

The church was beautifully decorated, and we had a chance to admire the flowers as we are there well in advance of most of the guests. This time we had a fewT connections between the ringers and the families. One ringer goes to the Pilates class run by Dulcie, and another is related to George. And, of course, there is the local connection as well.

The local aspect is part of what makes ringing in a village so enjoyable. Whereas towns and cities have a greater pool to recruit from, the population is more transient, and friendships are usually made through the shared hobby of ringing, rather than having been made outside. However, there is the disadvantage in a village that it can be difficult to progress to more advanced stages; this is common for all village activities! It is a maxim that one learns more away from one’s usual tower than one does at home. It is not entirely true; the bedrock of the hobby is what one does each week. When we visit other towers, for instance on holiday, the people there have no preconceptions of our abilities and occasionally we are “thrown in at the deep end” and ring something challenging that our local tower captain would not have suggested!

At the end of the wedding, we rang the bells, timing it as the happy couple reached the door, to greet them into their new married world. We continue for about 15 minutes. Sometimes, we come downstairs to find the church deserted; this time, everyone was still there, taking many pictures in the sunshine and enjoying the occasion

Christopher Sykes