Happy Father’s Day, and Happy Birthday to those who’s special day it is…
Today started out spectacularly. I will deal with yesterday in a separate post.
I went to the church of Our Lady and St. Nicholas, who have a ring of 12that we saw yesterday in an open house because of the Mersey River Festival. More about the festival in the later posting. Because they only had 10 ringers (including me) this morning, I didn’t feel quite so intimidated by a 12. Rang there, with several different bells, but also met the tower captain of the Cathedral. I had intended to show up there just to observe (Cathedral, heaviest bells in the world, highest bells in the world, Sunday service, etc.etc.). The Tower Captain, Peter, (Ooops- I’ve been advised his name is Len. Sorry about that!) refused to allow me just to watch, and although they only had 7 ringers, (including me), made sure I was going to ring. I was a lot intimidated. First rang a bell that was 701kg- I have rung that weight before, and no major issues. Interesting: the bells are the heaviest, but very hard to hear the fundamental strike from within the ringing chamber. The harmonics are much more prominent, but there is almost a half-muffled effect, with the backstroke much less audible. Then I was asked to do rounds and call changes on the #8 bell, 1260kg, which is more than 250kg heavier than anything I have ever rung. As we made ready, the tower captain said, “why not do Grandsire- you ok with ringing that behind?” Hmmm. A different system, a very heavy bell, and a new tower I can’t hear well. OK. We made it through, though I was a little faster than they wanted me to ring (the tenor sets the pace). They rang some methods while I had a rest, then we finished (so I thought) with rounds as I rang the #4- setting on backstroke. The tower captain then took out a separate piece of rope, hitched it to the bell-rope of the #12 (HEAVY!) bell, and called me over to ring. I was VERY nervous: this bell weighs 4175kg. The sound is AMAZING. He then had me strapping on this bell (assisting in pulling such a heavy bell), and we rang for a while. I was totally impressed, didn’t break things, and was very appreciative of the opportunity and kindness shown by this tower. A very cool Father’s Day