Bell-ringing brings everybody together

From left, Mike Winterbourne, lady mayoress, David Mattingley, Connor Hewitt, Charlie Ware, Lizzie Hough and the lord mayor
From left, Mike Winterbourne, lady mayoress, David Mattingley, Connor Hewitt, Charlie Ware, Lizzie Hough and the lord mayor
Leamington House

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WE were exceptionally privileged to have been joined by some very special guests recently.

A taster session took place at St Agatha’s Church, Cascades Approach, Landport on Sunday, February 5, and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller and Lady Mayoress Leza Tremorin came to take part.

This all came about through an arrangement at our annual meeting for the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild, which was held in Southsea; the lord mayor and lady mayoress were both in attendance – we all got chatting with one another and we decided to invite the pair of them along to one of our bell-ringing sessions.

The lord mayor also invited some of us to have tea at the Guildhall, which was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them better.

The lord mayor is interested in, and supportive of our guild’s activities. This made him very keen to try out bell-ringing with the lady mayoress.

I think that what makes bell ringing truly special is that it brings everybody together. It doesn’t really matter who you are, everyone is connecting with one another through a shared passion of bell-ringing. It unites everyone in the room and that is something which is truly special.

Of course, there is also the beautiful sound that is made by the bells – I think that is something which is very special, not only to the city but to many surrounding areas. It is a well-known sound that has become part of our culture, and it would be a real shame to someday lose that.

So what is next for the bell-ringing guild? Well, I think one of our main objectives should be to inspire the next generation of bell-ringers.

It is our hope that this newfound connection with the lord mayor and lady mayoress will, in this regard, work in our favour.

It would be brilliant if we could bring in more schoolchildren and other young people, so that they can learn about the wonderful world of bell-ringing and, perhaps, one day take our places – after all, we can’t go on forever.

If we are able to speak to people inside schools, then we would be able to inspire the next generation.

I believe that the small groups of people that we have in each session – usually groups of up to eight people – lends to creating a tight-knit group of friends that share a common passion.

I have been bell-ringing since I was a teenager. If you would like to get involved with bell-ringing in the area, please email me at ryderingeragainhooray@gmail.com