We hope you heard our ringing in honour of our Welsh guests. It was a pity, though, that our musical exhortations didn’t result in a home win !
However, Welsh Weekend is always a happy occasion and we hope our Welsh friends enjoyed our musical offering.
2012 UP THE BELL TOWER
2012 has been a busy year for our Bellringers. We started the year in good style with a visit up the Tower to see the bells themselves and then on to the very top for those brave enough to wriggle along the catwalk and climb the ladder through the trapdoor. Our thanks once gain to Jim and John for leading us and encouraging most of us to make it to the top.
With this being both the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year, we were involved in extra ringing for each of these events. The Olympic torch came through Peebles in June and we responded by ringing suitable tunes, Chariots of Fire featuring prominently, ringing again for the official opening of the Games later in the summer. We are indebted to ringer Alison whose professional musical skills have been invoked on many occasions giving us arrangements of tunes suitable for the bells and widening our repertoire greatly. Thankyou Alison. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was marked by suitable tunes being rung, not only on the official Jubilee Day but also simultaneously with the celebrations in London when bells throughout the UK were asked to take part in a nationwide ringing. On a less cheerful note, 2012 also marked the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic and on 14 April, the anniversary of the sinking, we rang some of the hymn tunes reputed to have been played on that fateful night.
We took part once again in the Arts Festival. Our morning bells ‘concert’ was a great success, judging by the many comments on the High Street but it was disappointing to have an unusually small turnout for our Open Afternoon when members of the public are invited up the tower to ‘have a go’. This event has been very well attended over a great many years and despite the same level of publicity as in the past, we didn’t attract more than about 20 people as against the usual 50 or 60. We can’t even blame the weather as it wasn’t raining on that particular day !
Our regular ringings include Beltane Saturday morning, the Christmas Lights Switch-on on and for Christmas shoppers on the Saturday before Christmas and they continued as usual though sadly we had to cancel our St Andrew’s Day ringing due to unforeseen circumstances.
All the ringings you have read about above are extras rung by volunteers from the Team. Our core work remains, as always, to ring as a call to worship each Sunday morning, and this we do faithfully every Sunday. A big thankyou to all the team for their efforts throughout the year.
Anne Derrick, Fiona Taylor, Roger Trueman, Wilma Smith, Kirsty Davidson, Cathy Davidson, Jeanette Mackison, Malcolm Lumsden (St Andrews Leckie), Alison Cruickshanks (St Peter’s), Mary Hudson (St Joseph’s)
If you are interested in becoming a Bellringer, talk to any of the above members of the team or contact Anne Derrick on 01721 721075, email: email@example.com. If you can read music, it’s not a difficult task and you are only on duty once every 8-10 weeks on a Sunday which suits you. The extra ringings described in this article are purely optional ! Oh, and we don’t have meetings or committees !!
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 .
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.
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;
What an awesome sight
Thanks to those who helped us
Brave the dizzy height.
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