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Video: Grantham St Wulfram’s bells to ring in memory of First World War soldier

There will be a couple of bellringing performances starting today at St Wulfram’s Church to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Private Lawrence Edlin Mears, of Grantham, who died on August 7, 1915, aged 22.

Pte Mears was a member of the Lincolnshire Regiment 6th BN and a bellringer at St Wulfram’s.

The Society of St Wulfram's Change Ringers. Photo: MGJP-28-07-15-0333A
The Society of St Wulfram's Change Ringers. Photo: MGJP-28-07-15-0333A

A Lincolnshire/Leicestershire band will attempt a Quarter Peal of Cambridge Major (1,250 changes of eight bells) starting at 7.30pm for one hour.

Tomorrow (Saturday) a team of ringers from around the country will attempt to ring a Full Peal of Cambridge Maximus (5,040 or more changes on 12 bells), starting at around 9.30am and taking between three to four hours to complete.

Meanwhile the Society of St Wulfram’s Change Ringers is looking for more people to join it.

Anyone from as young as 12 can learn to ring the bells. The society meets once a week for 90 minutes to practise.

Tower captain David Braunton said: “It’s a very sociable pastime and only requires enthusiasm. It’s also a very good way of keeping fit – 80 steps up to the ringing chamber, plus a good arm, shoulder and back workout whilst learning how to ring the bells along with 12 other people at the same time.”

And if you can ring the largest bell, weighing in at about one and three-quarter tonnes, you are well on your way to mastering the art.

David added: “The combination of bells that you hear are known as ‘methods’ and are very easy to grasp once you learn how to ‘feel’ the weight and balance of each particular bell. One of the other great aspects of change ringing is you can be anywhere in the country where bells are rung, simply turn up and join the locals for a ‘grab’ if you wish. It’s one of the lovely unique features of ringing that means you can practise wherever you happen to be.

“Anyone regardless of religion is welcome, and you can even make the pastime pay, too. It’s rare that a wedding doesn’t have bells ringing as part of the event, and so you can earn and maintain your ringing skills at the same time.”

Practice sessions take place on Tuesday from 7.30pm to 9pm. The society often rings at other local towers as well on other nights.

If you’d like to have a go, contact Mr Braunton on 07967 566943, or email bellsgrantham@outlook.com

You can also see and listen on Sundays between 8.45am to 9.25am, and again between 5.45pm and 6.25pm.

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