My second blog post and as promised, much more interesting than my first – primarily because it’s not about me, but about my mum and dad who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today.
My parents have been living in rural France for the past 20+ years. They love it except there is one major drawback – the French simply do not know how to ring church bells correctly! When they retired (or possibly a little time before), my parents decided to take up the ancient art of campanology and they used to ring at least 3-4 times per week (note: there are more church towers with bells in the UK than there are trained bell ringers – it’s not a trivial matter and regular training is important if you don’t want accidents to people or property!) Thank goodness I never became hooked on bell ringing, as it would be completely impossible in my current state of health.
Enough digression: So this year my parents will have been married for 50 years and either they or some of their bell ringing chums decided that their golden wedding anniversary provided the ideal opportunity to celebrate by ringing a ‘quarter peel’. (Sorry, there’s a bit more jargon to come because these bell bringing types all like to speak a kind of dialect understood only by those in the know.) But of course my parents are at distinct disadvantage here, because living in France means that they are unable to put in the usual practice hours. They do make the annual (at least) visits to England to go on bell bringing tours and the like – they say it’s to visit me, but we all know the real purpose!
Anyway, having spent the last 5 days in their old haunt in Somerset and after multiple crash courses (no pun intended) from some of their aforementioned bell ringing chums, the appointed day arrived! SUCCESS: I am pleased to be able to report that after ringing for about 40 minutes a ‘quarter peel’ of Grandsire Triples was rung on 8 bells at Buckland Dinham in Somerset. (See photo of intrepid bell ringers celebrating with glasses of champagne!)