March - Calling Past Bell Ringers And Their Descendants.

Along with many other groups nationally and those associated with All Saints, Bingley, the tower bell ringers must give some attention to new data protection rules which come into place in May 2018.  These rules require consent from anyone on whom we keep personal details for contact and communication purposes.  It is one of those odd coincidences that as we are required to become more protective of details of current ringers, we are actively trying to locate past ringers through old records.  Why so?  We are now beginning to plan our 250th anniversary celebration of the first peal on the bells.  This will take place on Sunday 22nd April 2018,  beginning with a specially themed church service, to which the bishop and other dignitaries are invited.  This will be followed by a social event and activities related to bell ringing at All Saints since 1768.  As part of this we would like to welcome back as many ex-bell ringers and the descendants of as many past bell ringers as possible.   

Local bell ringer, Karl Grave’s excellent book “Yorkshire Tails – The Story of Bingley Bells and Ringers” gives us the names of all known ringers from the past.  We will now put some effort into tracing forward to find any living descendants of these men (generally speaking, it use to be a male dominated past time).  In addition we would hope that some current church members, reading this, may know the whereabouts of some of our ex-ringers and ringers’ descendants, if so we would be very pleased to hear from them using the contact details below.  

As required, in terms of 21st century data protection, we are happy to state that: “we will not use contact details for any other purpose than to extend a very warm and sincere invitation to our up and coming celebrations!

Ann Cossavella

January / February  - The Bells Reverberating, Mellow, Sweet and Clear

Throughout December, those who live anywhere near the centre of Bingley have been exposed to the daily noise of tree felling on the St. Ives Estate.  The sound of power-saws, chippers and the crash of trees, as they fall, has been a daily background noise, which has carried up and down the valley.

This has led us to reflect on how far the sound of All Saints’ Bells carry and indeed if denuding the valley side of some of its trees will affect that sound.  As usual over the Christmas period we have rung for additional church services and community celebrations.  We have reports that under certain weather conditions, over that period, the bells have been heard on Druid’s Altar, in Eldwick, at Beckfoot and occasionally in Castlefields.  John Nicholson the Airedale Poet (1790 - 1843) was fond of the bells and often remarked on the extraordinary echoing of the bells, caused by the hills which rise steeply near the church.  His descriptive poem “Airedale” contains the lines; 

“While the sweet bells in tuneful changes ring,

When ev’ry tone the echoing wood receive,

And thus delightfully the ear deceive,

Reverberating, mellow, sweet and clear,

As tho’ a far more dulcet peal was there.”

We intend that the bells will continue to reverberate, mellow, sweet and clear throughout 2018, which is their 250th anniversary year, and hope that there is enough left of the “echoing woods” to carry the sound 
throughout the parish.

Ann Cossavella