About the film

'The Craft of Bellringing' is a documentary about change ringing, made in 2006. It has six chapters, each of which offer an in-depth view of the various aspects of bellringing. Starting from the origin and hanging of the bells, the film gradually progresses to the advanced mathematics of methods, modern day ringing and bellringing societies.

Chapter 1

History

An introduction to how bellringing became a popular secular activity in Britain. In an interview with Dr. John Eisel, steward of the Central Council Library, we explore the first edition of the Tintinnalogia, the first book to be published about bellringing in 1668.

Chapter 2

Parts of the bell

Frank Lewis from the Kent County Association explains how English-stlye bells are hung. This chapter includes a split-screen demonstration featuring the ringing chamber and the bell chamber at the same time. The dangers of ringing are also shown as we also find out what happens when the ringer pulls too hard and the stay breaks.

Chapter 3

Methods

Michael Moreton, tower captain at South Croydon gives a comprehensive introduction to the basis of methods and talks about 'ropesight'. In an animated sequence the fundamental mathematics of methods are revealed. He also demonstrates his unique technique of teaching methods to beginners.

Chapter 4

Practice

We pay a visit to the ringers at Addington at their practice night and accompany them on an outing to Basildon, where they get to ring in the famous glass tower. Eric Godfrey talks about the social life of bellringing and how one can improve their skills over the years.

Chapter 5

Cathedrals

Ringing in cathedrals is a higher level of the art, mainly because of the number of bells, but also the handling of them can be quite different. Dr. Ian Campbell, ringing master at Exeter Cathedral gives an insight into cathedral ringing at an 'open day'. The film also takes us on a tour of Liverpool Cathedral where the World's heaviest set of bells can be found.

Chapter 6

Societies

The Ancient Society of College Youths practise at St Paul's Cathedral, while their old-time rivals, the Royal Cumberland Youths are based at St Martin-in-the-Fields. These societies represent the elite in bell ringing, where ringing methods is taken to perfection. Derek Sibson, president of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers talks about the importance of these societies and associations.