A team of bell ringers from Dartmouth and the local area practice together for their Mayflower Peal, specially composed for the event by Dartmouth Bell Ringers.
The aim is to take a team of bell ringers to all Trail Towns to ring a number of special peals of 400 changes. These will be rung on 6, 8, 10 or 12 bells and will take just over one hour each to ring. The team taking part would like to spread the special “Devon Call Change” style of ringing to make it better known and to bring a quintessentially English art to the areas where the Mayflower has a significant impact. A usual set of changes is around 60 changes long and taking 8 minutes to ring, so this will not only be a mental challenge to remember 400 changes but a physical one too.
These peals will be officially recorded in the Ringing World “Bellboard” database, which is a reference for ringers throughout the country. The photograph shows a typical entry, recording our team’s practice at Ugborough on 6 February.
The team is planning to practise once a month in churches in Devon and Cornwall to get everyone used to ringing with each other and on different bells.
For more information about the “Peal of Bells” project see the Projects page.
Three bells in Dartmouth were in existence at the time the Mayflower left the town in 1620. These three bells are hung in St. Clement’s church and were cast in 1480 by William Chamberlain of London; they are still rung regularly today. There are also two bells in Kingswear church that were cast in 1599 by Thomas Birdall of Exeter.