A couple of Sunday’s ago three of us spent a few hours painting the clappers on all of the bells, cunningly missing out the bits which actually strike the bell. Why? Well, we have bought some new muffles which enable us to ring “half-muffled”, that is for each bell, one loud strike followed by one quiet one. We ring like this for Remembrance Sunday and similar occasions, and it produces a rather nice soft echo effect. The previous set we had were very old and falling apart, and were attached to the clappers using laces and insulation tape (the latter being needed to stop the muffle rotating in use). Our new muffles are fixed using velcro which makes them a lot easier to fit (and remove), but requires that the clappers are coated with a non-slip finish. Hence the painting, which used a special paint containing little bits of rubber.
If you are interested in listening, we may be trying out the new muffles during the practice this Friday (the 15th September).
A quick heads-up for later. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the bells being installed. We are hoping to hold a special service on Sunday 22nd October, which will dedicate the new bell ropes and remember the architectural historian Matthew Hyde, who died almost two years ago, and who contributed towards their cost. Following the service we shall hold a tower-open afternoon when you can both hear and see the bells being rung. The book of subscribers to the original cost of the bells will also be on show. Maybe one of your family is in it?