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Rochester's Bells Reach the Finish Line!

September 2015

by Helen D Haller

Neil Thomas, the bellhanger from Whitechapel, was here for two weeks and completed his tasks with time to spare (we even took him to Letchworth State Park on Labor Day, and to a folk music evening concert, and to the Seneca Park Zoo!) The result of his work, in close collaboration with our local contractor, Catenary Construction, is truly marvelous. We have ten beautiful bells above a ground-floor ringing room.

On Saturday September 12, six capable and helpful ringers visited us from Toronto for the afternoon: David Wilcox, Robin Clarke, Madeleine Cheesman, Chris Sawyer, Michael Hinton, and Melissa Campbell. With them (and Neil, who left for home the afternoon of the following day) we pulled off all ten for the first time in Rounds; we rang Plain Hunt on nine and on ten; we rang Cambridge Surprise Minor; a number of the local interested beginners had bell-handling lessons; and to top off the afternoon, the six Torontonians plus Neil and our Chris Haller rang a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Triples.

Pulling off all ten for the first time: Look to!

Treble's gone!

and Tenor's gone!

Helen and Chris celebrate

Handling lessons

The Quarter Peal Band

Champagne for all!

Since then we have rung for the 10:15 church service, before and after, on two Sundays, once with six of us, once with four and then three of us -- but it's all good and to the glory on God, and our numbers will increase as our half-dozen students come along. We have not yet decided on practice day(s) or time(s); we'll settle that when we return from the Shreveport AGM.

The ceremony of blessing and dedication will take place the afternoon of November 21, with our diocesan bishop presiding, and will be followed by the Dedication Peal. Details will follow.

Posted Sep 21, 2015


Alice HeilkerSep 30 2015, 1:06 pm

I think most people would have given up years ago but Chris and Helen persevered.I am still amazed that you guys have a tower with bells. And all those courses Sue took. Think how skilled she'll become if she can ring tower bells more than twice a year. I am so happy for all of you

Bruce N ButlerSep 22 2015, 2:15 pm

Congratulations! Eileen and I are so excited and happy for all of the Rochester ringers, especially for Chris and Helen who have finally seen their dream come to fruition. We are looking forward to celebrating and ringing the bells. Thanks for sharing this fantastic news.

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