History and Traditions
Proof exists that bells have rung from the tower of All Saints' Bingley for at least 350 years. In all probability there were bells from the time of Henry VIII. In the eighteenth century the "Bingley Youths" were at the forefront of the development of six-bell ringing with decades of peal ringing success. In 1873 the bells were made up to eight.
The Pancake Bell
One Bingley tradition which has survived is the ringing of the Pancake Bell on Shrove Tuesday.
There are a few other towers which also perform this ritual but surely not many who do it with no connection whatever to pancakes, races or any other local celebrations !
It is due to the dedication of former Tower Captain Dorothy Winup that the tradition survived through recent decades.
Number 7 is the favoured bell and it is simply tolled for 5 minutes from 11am each Shrove Tuesday.It's good to know that this utterly redundant event appears to have a secure future at All Saints !It is not known when the tradition commenced in Bingley but a careful look at dates of the old records of century and a half ago reveal that great ringing revelswere held on Shrove Tuesday.
It is said that “shrove” is a corruption of shriving, that is the confession of sins before Lent and that in pre-Reformation times a bell was sounded to call the penitent to Church.
Later the Pancake Bell was rung at 11 am and marked the start of a holiday for local apprentices. An account of 1620 states :-
“...by the time it strikes eleven which (by the helpe of a Knavish Sexton) is commonly before nine, then there is a bell rung cauld (sic) the Pancake Bell, the sound whereof makes thousands of people distracted and forgetful of either manners or humanity”
Traditionally we call Golden when others would call Queens.
We call the bells down instead of up.