Founded in 1891, the The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers today represents 67 affiliated societies, which cover all parts of the British Isles as well as centres of ringing in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Italy. These societies in turn comprise the members of the local companies of ringers in their areas. The central site has plenty of links to other relevant sites about Bell Ringing and in addition is the home to the on-line Doves Guide to bell towers.
The The Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers is one of the societies described above and Marcham belongs to the Old North Berks Branch
If you want to see what ringing is like then there is no substitute for going along to your local tower on practice night. You will be made very welcome and we will be happy "to show you the ropes". The Washington (USA) Ringing Society has a collection of animations of what the bell is doing when it is rung on its web site one of their animations was actually created by our close neighbours at Chilton.
There are howeversome ringing simulators and programs to help you along (from Steve Scanlon) which you can download and run on your own PC for free. There is also a Java web applet available from Philip Abbey and a paid for version you can download to support the St. Mark's Cheltenham bell fund. A slightly more expensive but very popular simulator is Abel, again the profits go to charity.
Once you become proficient you will want to start learning methods and many of the programs above will help you on your way, here are some very useful diagrams in PDF format for many popular methods with lots of helpful hints about them from the Chilton web site.
Here are some more useful ringing links (more suggestions welcome):
Change Ringing Resources http://www.ringing.info/
Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers (on-line version)http://www.cccbr.org.uk/dove/home.php
For the age of web 2.0 we have Bell Rope Spider on twitter and a both entertaining and informative map of some of the towers and other location of interest to bell ringers with a twitter presence. This map is also embedded below for your convenience or follow the link at the bottom of the map to open it in a separate web page.
View Twitter map of bellringing in UK. in a larger map
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