[Bell Historians] Ringing bells backwards as a signal

lauradi at rcn.com lauradi at rcn.com
Fri Sep 24 22:57:08 BST 2021

    I assume backwards means back rounds? Were townspeople long ago observant enough to notice that rounds is the usual way? Why is rounds as it is (highest note to lowest) the usual way? Someone practicing a scale now starts at the lowest note.  This has seemed confusing to our learners (including me, decades ago) but I've never been told the background.

Laura Dickerson 


----- Original Message -----
From: c.j.pickford.t21--- via Bell-historians <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
To: Bell Historians Mailing List <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
Cc: c j pickford t21 <c.j.pickford.t21 at btinternet.com>
Sent: Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:46:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Ringing bells backwards as a signal

<div dir="auto">Add Eckington (Worcs), 1714. See Walters C B Worcs<div>Chris<br><br>Sent from my Huawei phone</div></div><div style="line-height:1.5"><br><br>-------- Original Message --------<br>Subject: [Bell Historians] Ringing bells backwards as a signal<br>From: Richard Smith <br>To: Bell Historians Mailing List <br>CC: <br><br><blockquote style="margin:0 0 0 0.8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><blockquote class="quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><br>I'm sure we've all heard anecdotal accounts of bells being <br>rung backwards, for example to signal an impending German <br>invasion last century.<br><br>I've just come across two much older examples.<br><br>During the Civil War, in orders dated 2 Jan 1642/3, the <br>Mayor of Wigan refers to the bells being rung backward as a <br>signal in the event of an asault on the town.  [Wigan <br>Archives, D/D An/Bundle 16/11]<br><br>During the Rising of the North, a letter possibly from <br>Richard Lowther to the Earl of Westmorland dated 13? Nov <br>1569 refers to the Earl of Northumberland having taken <br>Topcliffe Bridge and ringing the bells backwards.  [Cal SP <br>dom., Eliz. Add. 1566-79, p 105]<br><br>Richard<br><br><br>_______________________________________________<br>Bell-historians mailing list<br>Bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk<br>https://lists.ringingworld.co.uk/listinfo/bell-historians<br></blockquote></div>

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