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Fun with Bells - bell and handbell ringing interviews

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Cathy Booth interviews novices and some of the most famous ringers in the world to reveal the mysteries of this heard, but often hidden art.

Cathy Booth interviews novices and some of the most famous ringers in the world to reveal the mysteries of this heard, but often hidden art.
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Cathy Booth interviews novices and some of the most famous ringers in the world to reveal the mysteries of this heard, but often hidden art.






Rope-sense not rope-sight

You may have heard of rope-sight but have you heard of rope-sense? Podcast host Cathy Booth discovers that this highly developed sense of rhythm is just one of the many tools and techniques that has helped Rebecca Legowski on her ringing journey. Rebecca, who has been blind from birth, is learning to ring on both tower bells and hand bells, and is already lighting up Bell Board, scoring her first handbell peal in March 2019. Rebecca talks to Cathy about both the extra pressures she faces to...


Cornish call change compositions

The Fun with Bells cream tea debate rages on in this episode as host Cathy Booth’s quizzes Cornish ringer Owen Borlase - but there’s much more to this interview than cream and jam. Call change ringing in Cornwall is seen as an art in its own right and Owen is clearly championing the cause through his promotion of call change peals, the book he co-wrote and his success in getting this unique style of ringing recorded. How does a call change peal work? Helpfully Owen describes the maths...


Towers, tours and tall tales

In this episode, host Cathy Booth catches up with Bruce Butler in the USA and teases out some top tips to arranging a successful ringing tour. Bruce has been organising ringing tours to the UK since the 1990s - the logistics of arranging transatlantic ringing tours in the days before the internet are mind-blowing. Having rung in almost 4,000 towers you might imagine the Bruce has some great stories to tell, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Hear about inaccessible spaces, strange ringing attire...


Ringing Remembers champion

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 ran 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...


The how-to and history of hand bell ringing

Hand bells, bell plates, hand chimes and boomwhackers - who knew there was so much variety!?! In this podcast Cat Nettles talks Cathy Booth through the wonderful world of handbell ringing, filling her in on the history, range of instruments and styles of ringing, Cathy discovers that hand bellringing allegedly began when church bell ringers, unable to get into their towers for one reason or another, asked manufacturers to make small bells so that they could practice in the pub - smart move....


Ringing in NZ, Oz and more...

What’s different about ringing in Australia to ringing in the UK? How is ringing on eight similar to rowing in an eight? How does it feel to be involved in the inner workings of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers? David Smith’s amazingly diverse and wide-ranging ringing CV means he can give fantastic answers to all of these questions, and many more, put to him by podcast host Cathy Booth. In this thoroughly entertaining episode, David also explains the benefits of ringing...


Ringing 'rounds' for Armistice Day 2018

Sparked originally from her interest in family history, the national Ringing Remembers campaign inspired Diane Smith to step forward to learn bellringing to honour the 1,400 ringers that lost their lives during the First World War. But what does it feel like to learn a new skill in order to take part in such a high profile event? In this episode, Cathy Booth catches up with Diane after the big day to find out how it all went and hear about all the fun and hard work that’s gone on behind the...


Bell ringing on your CV

This interview smashes any pre-conceptions that bellringing is something that only older people do, with an inspirational interview with a ringer in her twenties, Emily Hall. Emily started learning to ring at the age of seven and then, when aged just nine, set up the Derbyshire Young Ringers so that she could spend time in the tower with people of her own age. In conversation with Cathy Booth, Emily reveals what it’s like to be a young ringer and the huge benefits ringing can give to young...


Ringing differently in Devon

They do things differently in Devon, so Cathy Booth discovers in this interview with Devon call change ringer Ryan Trout. Not only do they have a distinctive cream tea, Devon also has its very own unique style of bell ringing. With a great sense of regional pride, Ryan fills Cathy in about this fast and furious ringing style which has it’s own terms and traditions. Listen in to discover more about cartwheeling, Sixties on Thirds, which is also known as the Queen’s Peal, and when to employ a...


'Learning the Ropes'

Church bells are an integral part of our everyday life. We all hear the bells ringing on Sunday and other special occasions but do you know what goes on in a church tower and what it feels like to be a bell ringer? Have you ever really thought about who is ringing them and how they learnt? In this podcast, Cathy Booth chats to Nic Boyd about Nic’s exciting journey of discovery since taking up bell ringing four years ago. Hear why Nic started ringing and why she loves it so much; the highs...


What bell ringers say

Coming 28th February 2019, the Fun With Bells podcast will be bringing you true and entertaining stories from the people who ring them. Tune into our trailer to hear clips from our first five interviews and get a taste of the terrific tips and tales we’ve got coming up. You can also watch the video, of this trailer with images, on the website: where you can sign up to be notified of new episodes. Alternatively, subscribe on your favourite podcast app by clicking on the...