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 confesses to having rung 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.
Alan Regin with the bells for St George's memorial church, Ypres
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 listening to this amazing interview, Alan is certainly one of ours.
- The Ringing World – ringingworld.co.uk
- CCCBR Rolls of Honour – cccbr.org.uk/resources/roh/
- 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?”
Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART). To find out more about learning to ring, learning to teach or other resources to support your ringing go to bellringing.org.