An interview with Alan Regin MBE
In this fascinating podcast, Cathy Booth catches up with top bellringer and inspirational driving force behind the recent Ringing Remembers campaign, Alan Regin MBE. This is a must-listen interview for any new ringing recruit as Alan reveals the origins of his idea for this amazingly successful initiative.
A prolific ringer, Alan confessed to having ran over over 5,900 peals, with nine of those being in the last seven days! Don’t worry if you’re not sure what a peal is though, as Alan enthusiastically guides Cathy through both the history and technicalities of change ringing, ringing methods and peals.
Not only has Alan’s ringing career resulted in an MBE for services to campanology and heritage, it has also taken him all over the world. Find out what it’s like to go on a bell-ringing tour from listening to Alan’s terrific tales – and why wait for hours at an airport, when you can nip off with your friends to ring a peal at the nearest church instead?
Peals and Ringing Remembers aside, one of Alan’s greatest achievements has been his involvement in installing bells in the church at Ypres to provide a lasting memorial to the fallen, a project so very clearly close to his heart.
Cathy asks Alan about his own bellringing heroes – well, we don’t know about you, but after listing to this amazing interview, Alan is certainly one of ours.
About Alan Regin
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers’ Rolls of Honour commemorate those ringers who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 and the 1939-1945 War. Alan Regin is the current steward of these rolls of honour. He provided the inspiration behind the Ringing Remembers campaign, which aimed to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers and to ring bells across the land to mark the passing of every fallen Great War soldier who had been a bell ringer. He gained an MBE ‘For services to Campanology and its Heritage’ in 2018. Alan has served as the master of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths and is also a prolific peal ringer having rung over 6,000 peals, the second highest number of peals as recorded on the Pealbase website.
- The Ringing World – ringingworld.co.uk
- CCCBR Rolls of Honour – cccbr.org.uk/rolls-of-honour/
- St George’s memorial church, Ypres – stgeorgesmemorialchurchypres.com/
Top five takeaways
- Ringing can take you further afield than just the UK – there are towers in countries like Australia, South Africa and the USA.
- As a bellringer, wherever you travel you will find friends who share your hobby and enthusiasm.
- All sorts of people from different ages and backgrounds ring – once you’re in the tower you’re all equal and so it’s a great example of teamwork.
- Peal boards in churches record historic feats of ringing – look out for them when you visit a tower.
- Bellringing has had its own weekly newsletter since the 1800s and still has one today called The Ringing World
Ask the Expert
Pip Penney answered the following questions in this episode:
- Maddie: “I’ve heard the people in my tower talk about ringing methods. How long does it take to get to the stage where you can ring methods?”
- Katie: “Apart from practice in the tower, what else could I be doing to help me progress my learning to ring?”