The Charmborough Ring – a portable belfry : with Roger Booth

An interview with Roger Booth

For this podcast, show host Cathy Booth stays close to home and interviews her ringer husband, Roger, a trustee of the Charmborough Ring. 

Not just your average mini-ring, the Charmborough Ring is the heaviest portable ring of bells in the country. Heavier, believe it or not, than some rings of tower bells. 

So how many people does it take to put up a portable belfry? Roger expertly talks us through the answer to this and all the other essentials, such as how much it weighs, how long it takes to put up and how big your car needs to be to tow it.

As well as talking through all of the practicalities, Roger shows how portable belfries and mini-rings are an inspirational recruitment tool and can lead to ringing in the most exciting places. Anyone up for ringing a quarter peal on a boat?

The message comes across loud and clear – if you can’t get people up to the bells then take the bells out to them!

About Roger Booth

Roger learnt to ring in Gloucestershire as a teenager, and is now living and ringing in Hampshire after spending 40 years in London. Roger has held various posts within local ringing societies and on committees of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

As a Chartered Surveyor, Roger combined his professional career with pleasure and played a leading role in major bell restoration projects at Bermondsey. Isle of Dogs, Limehouse, Rotherhithe and Walworth in London, as well as the transfer of several redundant rings of bells to new homes.

To help ensure there were adequate numbers of ringers to ring these restored bells, Roger turned his attention to issues of recruitment and training. In addition to his roles within the Association of Ringing Teachers, Roger is also the owner of the Charmborough Ring and particularly interested in new initiatives to grow the number of  new ringers.

Top 5 takeaways

  • The difference between a mini-ring and a portable belfry is the weight of the bells
  • Why not think about hiring your nearest mini-ring for your next recruitment campaign
  • If you’d like to hire the Charmborough Ring or just find out more then visit their website at www.charmborough.org
  • If you’re interested in what other mini-rings there are, try www.campaniles.co.uk or https://www.nsacr.org.uk/LDMB/
  • Imagine ringing on a boat or the back of a lorry! What unusual location would you like to ring in?

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