January 31st, 2013
If you live in Chideock or Whitchurch Canonicorum, or in the Marshwood Vale, or in Bridport or Lyme Regis, there’s a very good chance that you’ll know somebody in this video, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
It’s also – I think – a good illustration of the pleasures of bellringing, which, needless to say, don’t always actually involve bells.
This video was filmed in Chideock late on December 31, 2012, and early in the morning of 1 January, 2013, but there’s much more to it than just ringing out out the old year, and ringing in the new.
For example, it’s also about how traditions get carried on. Dave Symonds, Captain of the Bells at Chideock, tells how he was encouraged to learn ringing, growing up as a boy in Whitchurch Canonicorum.
Will any of the spectators pictured in this video be inspired one day to take up bellringing? Will you? New recruits are always made very welcome. Watch and see!
A few explanatory notes: the bells are muffled before midnight, and then, as you see in the video, Dave Symonds performs the potentially dangerous task of taking the muffles off.
Dave is also well known as a very experienced thatcher, hence the joke in the video about his interest in people’s roofs.
The pub just over the road from the church of St Giles is The Clock House. People do sometimes stand outside to enjoy the sound of the bells.