The world’s oldest bell-ringer, a couple who have fostered more than 100 children and a man who escaped the holocaust, Dennis Brock was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to bell ringing in 2019. At 100, he was then the bell captain of St Mary’s, Sunbury on Thames and still climbed the bell tower every week, as well as ringing at other local towers.
Dennis was also presented with the Order of St Mellitus medal in 2016 by the Bishop of London. This was also in recognition of his long service to St Mary’s and to the world of bell ringing. He is one of only a few hundred recipients of this award.
Dennis has been both instructor and examiner of bell ringing as one of the skills for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. As such he has attended the award of the gold medal at the palace.
Over the years Dennis has taught “several hundred” in the skill of bell ringing, taking around 3 months to reach competency. He has said: “It is not a matter of strength (although the 3 1/4 ton tenor bell at St Paul takes some!), but you need rhythm and a musical ear to ring”.
This entry was written in April 2020.
Originally timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE day, this unique episode sees host Cathy Booth, joined by a whole cast of ringers, bust the myths about ringing during World War II. This is the full version of ‘thirty voices, seventy-five years, one story’ . And what a story! Bell towers across t...