Bell ringing is a social hobby that has bells and towers all over the globe. Cathy Booth, a bell ringing mum and wife, brings the world of bell ringing together as she interviews fascinating, famous, frank and funny people every month. The fact-filled histories will enlighten you; different perspectives will challenge you, fun quizzes will test you. If you like entertaining and thought-provoking information about our #bellringing heritage, then this is for you.
Ringing in Redundant Churches - part 1
What do you get when you cross The Churches Conservation Trust with bell ringers? Show host Cathy Booth finds out, in the first of two special episodes. In this month’s show, Cathy meets Neil Skelton, David Bagley and Neil Dodge to discover what exciting projects can develop when ringers get involved in supporting historic places of worship.
From remote rural churches where ringers breathe new life into neglected spaces, through redundant churches that become popular unofficial ringing centres, to urban towers reclaiming their proud ringing heritage - the CCT and bells appear to be a winning combination.
As well as hearing about some inspirational projects, there are also some great tips for towers to visit and fascinating bits of history. And it wouldn’t really be a Fun with Bells podcast if there wasn’t a rollicking good tale about a high-profile dispute between some determined ringers and a disagreeable vicar.
What Ringers wear
This episode sees host Cathy Booth explore the question of what ringers wear. You may or may not be surprised to hear that the answer is not bell-bottom jeans.
Guests Deb, Alex, Elizabeth and Michaela touch on history, safety and decorum as they share experiences, research and anecdotes on what to wear, or more importantly what not to wear!
At times this could be mistaken for an episode of ‘carry on campanology’, particularly when it comes to the topic of wardrobe malfunction. Preserve your modesty at all costs by avoiding floaty frocks, bringing back braces and being mindful of who is following you up the ladder.
And as always, bell ringers love a controversy - polo shirts with tower logos on? Good or bad? You decide ...
For more info and photos go to the Episode page at www.funwithbells.com.
Social media competition
This month instead of a podcast episode, we are launching a social media competition.
The podcast will be back in the Autumn.
For more details about the competition, go to funwithbells.com/competition.
ART's new Avanced Call Change Scheme
Hot on the heels of the launch of the new Learning the Ropes Advanced Call Change Scheme, show host Cathy Booth chats with four call change aficionados.
Clare, Dee, John and Ian are all delighted to see the new scheme in place and look forward to the huge benefits it will bring. With the focus on good listening and bell control, the scheme aims to recognise the skills of call change ringers across the country and result in accurate, musical and stylish ringing.
But should you call the changes up or call them down? Possibly the most controversial question tackled by this podcast since the ‘jam or cream first’ cream tea rumpus! Thankfully Cathy’s guests handle this and other sensitive subjects knowledgeably, diplomatically and amicably. That is, until someone brings up the handstroke gap …
For more information and photos go to www.funwithbells.com.
Reviving ringing on the Lizard
What should you do if the number of ringers is falling, your towers are in dire straits, and you need emergency measures to give ringing any kind of future in your area?
This was the problem faced in the Lizard in Cornwall prior to COVID lockdown, and in this episode, podcast host Cathy Booth talks to the team who, against all the odds, have turned the situation around.
The first step, is seems, is to find a Hayley, Miranda, Andy, and someone called Bob who has lots of mojo! By coming together as a tightknit team with the right set of skills, the Lizard ringers have created a successful hub for ringing recovery, recruitment and teaching.
Once you have someone to work on the spreadsheets and strategy, someone who seems to know everyone in the local community, someone who wants to teach and someone who wants to learn to teach, then everything else falls into place.
Add Facebook, fun and cake into the mix and local ringing will not only recover but may even experience a resurgence! A very inspiring yet practical podcast for all those struggling with empty towers and cancelled practice nights.
For more information and photos see www.funwithbells.com.
Stories from 'A history of change ringing in Scotland'
In this month’s fascinating episode, Simon Aves takes host Cathy Booth on an entertaining romp through Scotland’s bell ringing history. You may be surprised to learn it is very different to England’s.
Who knew the Scots were so fond of peace and quiet? Cathy learns that in the past the best way to annoy people in Dundee was to travel up there and ring all their bells. And beware of the constable waiting at the bottom of the tower to arrest you for that very noisy peal you just rang. Or worse still, the constable might well follow you to the pub and then ban you from ringing, perish the thought!
Of course, all of this is history - very colourful history and brilliantly told at that. First bells, first peals, first women ringers, colourful characters, court cases and ringers being sick after their eight pints, this podcast has it all.
For more information and photos see www.funwithbells.com