THE BELL ringers at Edington Priory are now able to practise to their hearts’ content without disturbing their neighbours, thanks to a high-tech computer simulator.
The new system at the church, the first of its kind in the county, produces a simulated bell ringing sound that only those inside the church can hear when they pull the bell ropes.
The bell ringing centre was officially opened on Saturday 2nd January by the president of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers, David Hacker.
Following a service of thanksgiving and dedication, David Hacker paid tribute to the Salisbury Guild of Ringers for providing the funding for the equipment and looked forward to this new training resource being available to all ringers. The computer system cost around £1,500 to install and has been planned for 15 months.
It will be available for all bellringers across the county to come and practise. The hope is that the ringing centre will promote and encourage Sunday service ringing and to further the art of campanology.
During the opening, a dumb-bell was installed in the church so anyone interested could have a go at ringing with rope and wheel.
The 50 bellringers who attended were also given a demonstration of what the ringing centre can do.
Dave Millier, the captain of ringers for the benefice of Bratton, Edington and Imber, Erlestoke and Coulston, said, “It’s a simulator, it allows the bells to be rung, but they are silenced so only the bellringers hear them. If you like you can programme it to sound like St Pauls’s bells, or other cathedrals. It’s very realistic.
“It’s a high tech computer that controls the sound, which works off an LED sensor.
“They are becoming more popular, the nearest other one is down in Dorset. This is a training facility for the group, it’s unique to the area. I’m very much looking forward to using it!”
The church has 10 bells, the oldest of which dates from 1647.
Anyone who is interested in learning to ring should contact the training centre committee 01225 704 934, or David on 01380 830 696.
Pictured above: David Hacker, Salisbury Diocesan Guild president, Rev. Dr. Graham Southgate and Christine Purnell, training officer.