Caroline Stockmann, Central Council Public Relations Officer
We know many of you are eager to have some guidance on next year’s Remembrance Day ringing (for and around 11th November 2018) but, as ever, there are so may considerations and people we need to talk to – so it’s great if you can bear with us in the meantime! But we do have a lot to say and to share already, and we hope this will mean that the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War will really be something special.
More than 1,400 of our bell ringing community laid down their lives for peace in the ‘war to end all wars.’ We know in retrospect that wars were not ‘ended’, but we also know that there is an ever increasing movement to address this. Our fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we ringers still do today (from skilled workers to academics to business people – you name it!), and today we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace around the world.
Many of you have been asking: for 2018, the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day, how will we make this really special for bell ringing? Here are a number of things we would like to support and help you in (and of course get your support for):
- On Nov 11th 2018 we would like as much bell ringing as possible (goes without saying!)
- We recommend half-muffled ringing in the morning, and opening the bells in the afternoon and evening – the idea being that we start with commemorative ringing, which naturally has its sombre tone, to recognise the loss of so many lives, and then later in the day we move to a more forward-looking tone of affirmation, - to acknowledge that our fallen have contributed to the future in terms of helping secure peace, and to make the clear statement that bell ringers want peace
- We have been speaking with relevant government departments around the general commemorations and they would like to work with us in an official capacity; in particular they would like to support the idea of recruiting new ringers. One thought is to ensure that in 2018 we recruit 1400 ringers, the same number as those who fell in the Great War. These new ringers could be involved in some supported ringing on the actual day. We anticipate a more detailed announcement on this quite soon
- Ringers will need to coordinate with their Church and work together on making the day very special. The more prominence on this special day for ringers and ringing, the better, as it will no doubt have a positive effect in terms of raising awareness for potential new ringers
- We would like to share ideas as to what to ring on the day, providing a pool of ideas to tap into: varying from ‘whole pull and stand except the tenor’, which most bands would be able to do, to ringing appropriately-named methods such as Ypres and Gallipoli Surprise Major; we would love all ringers around the world to do something special this day to ring out for peace, and to send in their ideas to share with others
- Another thought is to have 1400 quarter peals rung around the date (one for each of the fallen), for which we can set up an event on BellBoard and issue certificates
- There is also an opportunity to ring as part of the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening; this organisation (fully backed by all the key military) would like to encourage 1000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day, if this fits with local arrangements – (towers do not need to be aligned with the beacons).
So, in summary, we suggest half-muffled ringing in the morning to tie in with the normal solemnities and, where possible, to ring open at other opportune moments during the day (with more to come on that in due course). We are looking at how to acknowledge the various efforts made around the world, eg in the form of certificates for the various activities (there is already one available to download from Battle’s Over). And you might want to consider a community lunch or social between ringing, – why not make this a really special day for your whole ringing (and broader) community?
To input your ideas for things to ring to commemorate our fallen, or indeed ring out for peace, for all levels of ringing and numbers of bells, please write to . We will then share what we hear on the CCCBR website, in the Ringing World and via other forms of communication.
ALSO, and finally: a call to all towers to check their muffles, and order more NOW so that you’re not caught short!