In 2014, church bells took centre stage in the Tour de France Opening Ceremony and all along the race route. We now have the chance to do it all again in 2015.
The 2015 Yorkshire Festival runs from 1 April to 3 May, concluding with the Tour de Yorkshire pro-cycling race from Friday 1 May to Sunday 3 May.
Click above to listen to Rod Ismay talking to Paul Walker, live on the BBC Radio Sheffield Breakfast Show. Rod’s interview starts at 1:39:15, including a recording of Yorkshire Surprise Major. Rod’s interview is preceded by the Yorkshire Festival Director, Mark Fielding, discussing the broader festival from 1:37:50
Following our excitement at being invited to ring the bells of Yorkshire for the Opening Ceremony of the Tour de France on 3 July, we were delighted to welcome ITV Calendar News to come and find out more. And so on 18 June we chatted on camera outside Penistone church, met the enthusiastic local team from Cycle Penistone and then took the camera up the narrow spiral staircase to the bells.
Click here to see an excerpt from the interviews on ITV Player
Then click here to listen to 20 seconds of Penistone bells. This is an extract from 6 minutes of call changes. Call changes is where the order of the bells is changed by the conductor telling pairs of bells to swap with each other. The specific sequence you hear in this instance is called “Queens” 13572468.
And for the story in photos.
As a small crowd assembled there were rumours of an ITV van approaching.
The TV camera was soon set up and our Twitter master was soon lying on the floor looking up at the camera. Can’t resist those tricky angles
The interview was great. Colm was a very calm and clear interviewer. And when you’ve been planning bellringing for Le Tour for 18 months its not hard to think of a few things to say!
Colm filmed the ringers and then we went higher still. This is the second bell. The second lightest of the eight bells at Penistone. We rang it for him. Nice but loud!
Never tried looking down through the rope holes before. Well now I have.
With only 17 days to the Tour that means we must have had 83 days of the Yorkshire Festival already. Our filming with ITV seemed like a great reason for a formal presentation of a YFest badge to David.
Here’s the clock mechanism, bright and shiny. Whirring as the hour approached.
And here is the bellrope spider, which holds the rope ends to lift them safely out of reach when not being rung. Dennis carved it. And here he is.
I was 20 minutes early. Hey, I know, I’ll run down to Cycle Penistone. “They’re having a committee meeting” I was told. “Well I think they won’t mind being interrupted for this!” And in a matter of minutes Le Tour de Penistone was shaping up outside the lychgate.
Family fan club. My Mum is now an experienced YFest fan having attended The Grand Departs on Cragg Vale, The Bike Show at Barnsley Civic, Handmade Parade in Todmorden and Gary’s dry stone wall bike (of which more will be revealed in the coming days).
Not forgetting that there is still some tarmac to be laid for Le Tour
And despite The World Cup squeezing the half hour Calendar news down to 5 minutes today, here we were on TV. And online for fans worldwide.
All this happened because of bells being part of the Opening Ceremony of Le Tour on Thursday 3 July in Leeds. We are invited to get the bells ringing all across the county so please do join us. If you are church bellringer, please ring at the time to be confirmed between 8.30 – 9pm that evening. We welcome you to ring whether your tower has 1 bell or 12 bells or whatever. Please do join us to give a loud welcome to Le Tour.
And if you aren’t a ringer but have a bell or a bike bell or a bell app on your phone, you are welcome too. Let’s get ringing!
Dewsbury Minster Fest was a rip-roaring success on Saturday 14 June. Bells were part of it. But there was so much more to do aswell.
Well done Derek and Ronalda and all the team at Dewsbury for their hard work and enthusiam.
This was a fringe event for the Yorkshire Festival. Formal advert available via the link at the foot of this post.
It attracted good crowds to come and have a go at huge range of activities from drumming to creative writing, from biscuit dressing to bicycle yarnstorming, from learning ukelele to learning handbells. And trying church bells up the tower and on the Wombel training bell.
We were also joined by local press from Dewsbury and Huddersfield so watch out for stories in the papers.
Find out how churches all along the route of Le Tour are planning to get involved. Offering drinks to fans, hosting concerts, making quiet prayer spaces available and of course bellringing. Loads more ideas and stories on the excellent website below: