JUBILEE BELLS

The Bellringers were busy on Sunday June 3rd as they ensured that our bells rang out to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The timing was arranged to coincide with people leaving the Jubilee Lunch in the Burgh Hall but, by a happy coincidence, it also coincided with the peal of bells being rung from a barge on the Thames during the Jubilee Pageant. This peal of bells was answered by churches in London as it passed down the river, so we were well and truly part of the celebrations.

Our next ringing is on the morning of THURSDAY 14 JUNE prior to the passing through of the OLYMPIC TORCH .

TITANIC SUNDAY

As everyone knows, this Sunday, 15th April, sees the centenary of the sinking of the ill-fated liner ‘Titanic’. We must never forget that amidst all the drama, the lives of over 1500 people were lost in this great tragedy.
In remembrance of those who were lost, and indeed also of the survivors of what must have been a terrifying experience, the Bellringing prior to Sunday’s service will include ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ which is thought to have been the last tune played by the heroic Titanic band (all of whom were lost) before the great ship went down.
Some maintain that the last tune played was the Episcopal hymn ‘Autumn’, but ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ has a strong place in popular mythology and is forever associated with that night.
‘Eternal Father Strong to Save (Tune Melita) will also be rung. Always thought of as the sailors’ hymn, it would almost certainly have been sung at the church service held on Sunday April 14, 1912. The ship struck the iceberg at 11.40pm on the 14th and foundered the next morning at 2.20am.

VERSES INSPIRED BY A VISIT (UP THE SPIRE !)

Our resident poet, Fiona Taylor, provides us with these delightful verses following our trip up the tower:

 

Onward Christian bellringers

 

Onward Christian bellringers

Climbing up the tower

 Past the massive brooding bells

 Silenced for an hour;

 In these dark surroundings

 Clad in oldest clothes

 Why on earth we’re doing this

 Goodness only knows.

 

 

Up the dusty ladders

 Faithfully we plod

 Treading in the footsteps

 Captain Edgar trod;

 Crawling on the catwalk

 Cobwebs in your face

 With a helping hand from John

 Through the trapdoor space.

 

 Looking out on Peebles

 All seems very neat

 Tweed Green, bridge and river

 And our own High Street;

 Glory Hallelujah

 What an awesome sight

 Thanks to those who helped us

 Brave the dizzy height.

 

 Fiona Taylor

 

MORE PICTURES FROM OUR TRIP UP THE BELL TOWER

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A dozen of us – bellringers with family members for moral and physical support – gathered to make the climb up the tower. That being said, a goodly number decided not to go all the way up as it was too scary !
Here are some pictures from those who did make it.
NB Trips up the tower are not for the faint-hearted and are not available to the general public. On this occasion we were escorted by John and Jim, who know what they are doing up there,both being Merchant Navy officers to trade, and who have both been up the tower a number of times.[slideshow

TO THE TOP OF THE TOWER

A party of Bellringers and some of their families made the trip up the tower. Some folks decided not to opt for the full thing and were content to just have a wee look up the ladder at our bells. However, a good number of intrepid souls, under the leadership of Jim Edgar and John Derrick, made the trip up to the bell chamber and then beyond to the very top of our tower. This involves climbing an iron ladder then wriggling on your tummy along a plank before squeezing through a trapdoor and is not for the unfit or those suffering from vertigo or claustrophobia ! Those who made it found it a great experience and comments ranged from ‘Fantastic’ to ‘Well, that’s one off the bucket list’.

LOOK OUT FOR MORE PICTURES FROM FURTHER UP THE TOWER COMING SOON.

ST ANDREW’S DAY AND CHRISTMAS RINGINGS

A busy  time ahead for the Bellringers with two extra ‘ringings’ as well as additional services over Christmas. Listen out on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) when, at 11am, we’ll hear a fine selection of Scots tunes played by Fiona Taylor, Judy Cairns and Mary Hudson.

Again on Thursday 1 December, a group of Ringers will climb the Tower to ring in the Christmas Lights Switch-on in the town’s High Street. Our programme lasts from 6pm until 6.30pm and the ringers will be Cathy Davidson, Anne Derrick, Malcolm Lumsden and Jeanette Mackison.

A VISIT TO DUNFERMLINE ABBEY by Anne

Yesterday we decided to visit Dunfermline Abbey as we had another message in that direction. To my shame I have to admit I had never been there before. It was of additional interest as the Abbey has a true carillon of 25 bells in its tower.
We spoke to the Custodian who then, to my surprise, pointed to a minute console beside the pulpit. This is where the bells are now rung from. Previously they had been rung by pulling ropes, although I understand they are, like ours, hung ‘dead’. Nowadays someone wearing earphones just sits at this keyboard and plays the tunes. The earphones are there  to deaden the sound of the organ, which is close by, as they ring their bells right up to the start of the service. However, they only ring for 15 minutes, and their bellringers team consists of only 4 people. On the upside, they don’t have to climb the stairs but on the downside I can’t imagine it’s nearly as rewarding as our our ringing is. I left the best wishes of our Bellringers group in their visitors’ book.
(To find out more about Dunfermline Abbey bells, just Google ‘Dunfermline Abbey’ and they have a good website.)

ARTS FESTIVAL DAY A BIG SUCCESS

Our contribution to Peebles Arts Festival  was highly successful. Many thanks to all our ringers who took part, whether it was in ‘Bells Across Scotland’, our recital which went down well with Saturday morning shoppers, or the ever-popular Open Day when we showed 60 people, including 16 children, up to the Tower and let them have a go at ringing. Although not primarily a fund-raising exercise, we nevertheless took in just over £90, which has been divided equally between the Church and the Arts Festival. Well done, everybody.

ARTS FESTIVAL : BELLS RECITAL AND OPEN DAY

Listen out next Saturday, 3rd September for the following two events:

 

  • ‘Bells Across Scotland’ A programme of Scottish music rung for us by Fiona Taylor and Alison Cruickshanks. Free.
  • Open Afternoon – members of the public are invited to climb the bell tower and have a go themselves. Hosts will be Bellringers Wilma Smith, Jeanette Mackison, Malcolm Lumsden and Anne Derrick.
  • Admission: Adults £2 Children Free.

 

A Bellringers’ Double Act !

It was great to see Cathy and grand-daughter Eilidh up the Tower on the last Sunday in July. There can’t be many granny-and-granddaughter bellringers’ teams around !
Well done, both of you !