I first started learning to ring tower bells at the church of St James, Mangotsfield in Gloucestershire on 8th March 1993, nine months after their bells were recast. I was just nine years old at the time, an age which is still considered to be young to learn to ring. Since that time I've had the great pleasure of ringing a lot of very different bells all over the south-west of England – plus a few in Wales and some interesting examples in the Midlands – and established myself as a regular ringer at a number of local towers. I also enjoyed visiting other towers, both nearby and further afield, where I always received a warm welcome.
In November 2021, however, I retired from church bell ringing for a few different reasons, not least of which was my failing health that had already caused me to withdraw from all of my other voluntary activities. Take a look at My Ringing Career to find out more about what I used to get up to.
Occasionally I have found myself writing Articles about bell ringing for non-ringing audiences. As they are no longer available elsewhere and could be of continued interest, I have republished them here.
Also in this section of my website you'll find details of all the special Bell Ringing Performances in which I've taken part.
My dad Colin has recorded some of my ringing over the years, although I'm pretty sure he's more interested in dabbling with digital audio than recording bells. If you want to listen yourself, a few recordings can be found on his Colin's Audio Odds 'n' Ends web page.
Archived projects and research
In July 2003 I created the Bristol Rural Tower Locator. This amazing feat of programming was almost a year old when I moved it from my old personal website onto its very own "Lyndenlea Bells" site in May 2004, and despite being retired in April 2006 (not to mention largely redundant), for many more years it did a fine job of providing driving directions between 22 towers in the Bristol Rural Branch of the Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers. Some of the directions are now inaccurate following changes to the road network, but it remains in working order as a curiosity and museum piece.
For almost two years the Bristol Rural Tower Locator fulfilled an additional task of providing detailed information on each of its towers, but when in April 2006 I decided to concentrate my efforts on researching towers and bells, not only in the Bristol Rural Branch but also in some of the neighbouring branches, that rôle was delegated to the Local Tower Information section. As my research continued I crawled around all sorts of dark and dusty belfries to compile a detailed survey of more than sixty towers around Bristol and Bath.
More recently I split that section into two, creating the Lost Rings section to host all of my research into bells that have been either removed from their original tower, or simply rehung for chiming (and therefore lost to the art of full-circle ringing).
Following my retirement from church bell ringing in November 2021 I will no longer be updating these research projects.