Ringing Remembers

At this church in Pinner the bells rang out to mark the centenary of the Armistice. They rang:

- at 8.45 before the combined service at 9.30

- at 10.30 before the National Memorial Service

- at 12.30 as part of National Ringing, coinciding with the nation’s tribute as thousands marched past the Cenotaph.

Each year, by tradition, on Remembrance Sunday the bells are half-muffled. A muffle (in the form of a leather pad) is attached to one side of the clapper of each bell, so that all the bells produce a loud strike followed by a soft one, like an echo. Later the bells rang out un-muffled, in a chorus of celebration, as they did to mark the peace 100 years ago. Finally, the bells rang out again before the Evening Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for The Armistice of November 1918.

Those observant among you may have noticed a new ‘method’ introduced this Remembrance Day. As people gathered for the service at the War Memorial the bells were introduced one by one, starting with the treble, adding one more bell in sequence until all eight were ringing. As the treble alone sounded we remembered John Parr, the first British soldier to die in 1914. The reverse happened just before the service began with each bell in turn fading away until the tenor bell alone rang its mournful sound. This time we remembered George Ellison, the last British soldier to die in 1918. I believe all of us in the tower felt a sense of emotion as the tenor came to rest.

The ‘Ringing Remembers’ project, launched in November 2017, aimed to recruit 1400 new bell ringers in honour of the 1400 that lost their lives during the 1st World War. Those ringers came from all walks of life, as we ringers still do today. In Pinner, one new member joined our band and rang with us as part of the National Ringing.

We also have one ringer who lives in Switzerland and visits Pinner periodically. She too joined our band for the National Ringing and again in the evening.

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