[Bell Historians] Tower Classification required

Ted Steele bells@tedsteele.plus.com [bellhistorians] bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Sat Apr 16 17:48:21 BST 2016

On 16/04/2016 15:47, alan Buswell aaj.buswell at gmail.com [bellhistorians] 
> Both the Ringing World and Dove say that these publications are for 
> 'Church Bell Ringers'. In my annual Q.P. reports is a list of towers 
> that lead their county. Some have been in this position for a number 
> of years. Not included in these records until last year were quarters 
> rung on mini rings. Quarters on these may be a growing trend. 
> Presumably they are secular as they are not church bells and could 
> also be a  leading tower. Is this fair for church towers who, 
> hopefully, try to be at the top?
Are you suggesting that some may think quarters on mini-rings are easier 
to score than those on church bells and that this may prevent church 
towers becoming top in your qp analysis? Or is it that the mini-rings, 
being secular may be too readily available to the owners acquaintances 
and that this would have the same effect? In either event I don't think 
sorting out the secular towers will make any difference.

While I think that your analysis has much to commend it and I always 
find it interesting, I fear that focus on the towers rather misses the 
point. It is not the towers that score quarter peals but ringers and 
there are many towers that could be quarter peal factories just as 
happens with peals. In my local area if we wish to ring a quarter peal 
for some reason of progression or learning we may arrange to ring at a 
tower where there is no local band at all. We could, at least in theory, 
ring enough quarters like this to come out as top tower but the actual 
tower would have no bearing upon that achievement at all.

I hope to ring a quarter peal next weekend in a secular tower that was 
previously a church. The bells, when they went in were not just bells in 
a church but were bells of a type and style known as church bells; (a 
style that I acknowledge was also used in other situations).  Have they 
ceased to be church bells now because they are no longer bells in a 
church? Are church bell ringers ringers only of bells in churches? In 
the case of RW and Dove I am certain that they are not. I think your 
problem is not just about separating the secular and sacred but, as 
others have observed, what those designations mean, and also about what 
we mean by church bells.

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