show episodes
 
Explore the world of bell ringing with insightful interviews, captivating histories, and challenging quizzes. Join us on this monthly podcast as we journey into the lives of multifarious bell ringers, uncovering their passions, favourite towers, and the essence of quintessential English change ringing. Tune in for a unique and comprehensive perspective on this timeless tradition.
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show series
 
‘Unique’ is often overused as a word, but host Cathy Booth’s guests on this wonderful episode, John, and Debbie, can certainly claim it for their ringing experience. That’s because they ring at St Thomas’s Church, Kilifi in Kenya which is one of the remotest rings of bells in the world, with the nearest bells hung for change ringing being at Harare…
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Why do you ring in a gallery? Who were the ringers whose names are on the peal boards behind you? Where can you find an example of an art deco ringing association certificate? Host Cathy Booth quizzes knowledgeable guests Chris Ridley and Gareth Davies about the amazing range of historical sources at your fingertips to help answer these questions a…
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In this special fifth anniversary episode, the Fun with Bells Podcast celebrates by turning the tables on host and producer Cathy Booth, as she takes her turn on the other end of the microphone and is grilled by team member Emily Roderick. Emily digs into the background to the podcast, its aims, and the entire podcast process from idea to launch. T…
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In this episode, David Smith makes a much-welcome return to the podcast for another conversation with host Cathy Booth that’s brimming with insight. Find out about about the differences between ringing associations in the UK and those in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. With David’s global ringing teaching experience there are plenty of …
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This episode sees host Cathy Booth catching up with three Ring for King recruits to find out what their first year of ringing has been like. And what a year it’s been! Jessica, Lindsey and Andy have notched up an amazing collection of ‘firsts’ since starting their ringing adventure. First tower tour, first wedding ringing, first quarter peal and fi…
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The debate around ringing and music is taken to an entirely new level in this fascinating conversation between show host Cathy Booth and composer Helen Ottaway. Deeply inspired by the sound of bells, Helen’s passion for this shared soundscape has led from the creation of individual musical works to an entire bell-inspired festival! It’s amazing to …
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Show host Cathy Booth aims high this month in conversation with accomplished ringer and leading light Linda Garton. Linda strongly believes that “success breeds success” and, as you’ll hear, this is amply illustrated in both her own ringing career and the winning bands that her leadership has inspired. So muster your motivation, make a plan and put…
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How many bells are enough? Six, eight, ten? As show host Cathy Booth discovers from Peter Heard, once the offers of help and support came rolling in to Nevern Restoration Project, it was easy for their ambitious plan to grow and grow! There’s something for everyone in this engaging episode, whatever your interests. Church history, restoration proje…
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Terrified of Twitter, hesitant about hashtags, tentative about TikTok? This practical podcast sees host Cathy Booth take a closer look at social media and how ringers can make the most of it, whether it’s to recruit new ringers, keep the neighbours engaged or impress other towers with what you’re up to. And if it’s tips you’re after, this podcast d…
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What, if anything, is worth keeping from the COVID lockdown period? Well definitely the Wensleydale Clusters online ringing course! Host Cathy Booth hears from ART award winners David Scrutton and Jonathan Couchman, who tell the story behind their successful recruitment scheme, now in its third year. In just five hours of online learning and practi…
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Is Phil Gay a typical ringer, an atypical ringer or just total legend? Show host Cathy finds out as she delves into a ringing life very well lived. From inventing a mobile belfry, developing the Keele Ringing Summer School, teaching his family to ring and hanging his own mini-ring in his garage to notching up 1000 peals, Phil has made a massive con…
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Struggling to strike in the right place? Anxious about unpredictable sallies? Getting no satisfaction from your ringing? You’ve come to the right podcast! Ace ringing teachers, Ruth Suggett, Judith Frye and Greg Russell, talk host Cathy Booth through the most common bell handling problems and, more importantly, how to solve them. From slow hand tra…
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In this second episode focusing on engaging the media, host Cathy Booth looks at two sides of one ‘Ring for the King’ interview by talking to broadcast journalist Tim O’Callaghan and Simon Linford, President of the CCCBR. Cathy learns that it’s hard to set the news agenda so if the media pick up on your story, you’ll need to act fast. And once a ne…
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This episode is jam-packed with practical tips as host Cathy Booth, with the help of three engaging guests, explores how to get positive bell ringing stories into the media. First off, ringers Matthew Butler and Kate Flavell talk Cathy through their experiences of making the news - either after being contacted by local radio, TV and the press, or t…
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Ever wondered what it’s like to learn how to ring church bells? Podcast host Cathy Booth catches up with both learners in Winchester and teachers at the Association of Ringing Teacher’s conference to find out. It’s clear that all the beginner ringers love the challenge of learning, especially enjoying the feeling of being focused and in the present…
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This thought-provoking episode sees host Cathy Booth catch up with Emily Roderick, who after volunteering to support the podcast now finds herself featuring in it! One of the age-old questions that ringers rarely agree on is ‘what exactly is ringing?’ - is it a sport, is it music, or is it art? Ringer and artist Emily is currently exploring ringing…
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Are your bells too loud, or too quiet? Could some simple tips help your hard-of-hearing ringers to cope better in the tower? This podcast sees host Cathy Booth and guests explore the fascinating world of sound. First, Alison and Chris share their experiences of ringing whilst using hearing aids, and come up with some terrific tips to make life easi…
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No, we’re not talking about tyrannical tower captains, caustic conductors or belligerent tenor ringers here, but the wide and wonderful variety of wildlife that ringers and steeple keepers share their bell towers with. David Bagley fascinates host Cathy Booth with descriptions and anecdotes of both welcome and unwelcome species, and advises on how …
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This second sojourn into ringing in redundant churches sees show host Cathy Booth discovering two more exciting projects where ringers have joined forces with the Churches Conservation Trust. When someone suggests you take the keys and check on the bells in a redundant church, big things can happen. Such an invitation proved inspiring to Andy Cope …
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What do you get when you cross The Churches Conservation Trust with bell ringers? Show host Cathy Booth finds out, in the first of two special episodes. In this month’s show, Cathy meets Neil Skelton, David Bagley and Neil Dodge to discover what exciting projects can develop when ringers get involved in supporting historic places of worship. From r…
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This episode sees host Cathy Booth explore the question of what ringers wear. You may or may not be surprised to hear that the answer is not bell-bottom jeans. Guests Deb, Alex, Elizabeth and Michaela touch on history, safety and decorum as they share experiences, research and anecdotes on what to wear, or more importantly what not to wear! At time…
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This month instead of a podcast episode, we are launching a social media competition. The podcast will be back in the Autumn. For more details about the competition, go to funwithbells.com/competition. Podcast team: Anne Tansley Thomas Emily Roderick John Gwynne Emily Watts Cathy Booth Ringing by: The Cambridge Youths (supplied by David Richards) a…
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Hot on the heels of the launch of the new Learning the Ropes Advanced Call Change Scheme, show host Cathy Booth chats with four call change aficionados. Clare, Dee, John and Ian are all delighted to see the new scheme in place and look forward to the huge benefits it will bring. With the focus on good listening and bell control, the scheme aims to …
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What should you do if the number of ringers is falling, your towers are in dire straits, and you need emergency measures to give ringing any kind of future in your area? This was the problem faced in the Lizard in Cornwall prior to COVID lockdown, and in this episode, podcast host Cathy Booth talks to the team who, against all the odds, have turned…
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In this month’s fascinating episode, Simon Aves takes host Cathy Booth on an entertaining romp through Scotland’s bell ringing history. You may be surprised to learn it is very different to England’s. Who knew the Scots were so fond of peace and quiet? Cathy learns that in the past the best way to annoy people in Dundee was to travel up there and r…
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In this inspiring show, podcast host Cathy Booth meets Tim Sunter and hears about his amazing seven-year ringing journey from learner to teacher and Association of Ringing Teachers committee member. Who could have imagined that a thought-proving tweet in the middle of a field could have such a domino effect, propelling Tim on a path to both individ…
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In this special Anniversary episode, podcast host Cathy Booth has two special guests discussing both the beginnings and the future of ART. No, Cathy’s not exploring painting or sculpting, but a landmark development in the teaching of bell ringing. ART stands for the Association of Ringing Teachers, currently marking it’s tenth year. Founder member …
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This month, show host, Cathy Booth meets with three frank and formidable female ringers to understand the reasons why, although women make up about half of all ringers, they are greatly underrepresented in positions of responsibility and peal ringing, and conducting. Elva Ainsworth, Julia Cater and Tessa Simpson - who have all participated in ‘grou…
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Fingers on buzzers, or perhaps that should be “look to”, as host Cathy Booth resumes the role of quizmaster in this latest Fun with Bells podcast quiz. This time the focus is on the bells themselves, so tune in, listen up and get set for a different sort of hearing test. Everyone can play along, whatever their level, with straightforward questions …
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Show host, and adulty adult, Cathy Booth meets three more young ringers in this month’s episode, this time all founder members of the Young Change Ringers Association. Josephine, Emily and Matt share the aims behind the new association, discuss the support that enables young ringers to become tower captains of the future and reveal the power of piz…
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What’s got 40 members, stretches across a large part of the country and is a brilliant way to have fun, improve your ringing and make friends? Well, if you are a young bell ringer, the answer must surely be the Liliputters. Not, as host Cathy Booth discovers, a group from the fictional kingdom of tiny people, but an exciting national Guild for youn…
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Avoid all ladders, black cats and don’t whatever you do break a mirror in your rush to listen to this month’s Fun with Bells podcast on bells and superstition. From birth, through to death and beyond, bells have had played a fascinating role in the customs around our key rites of passage. Amongst the many special powers of bells include making the …
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Just as change ringing on handbells requires each ringer to have two bells, this perfectly formed podcast on the subject has two guests. Host Cathy Booth chats with Tina and Simon, authors of the latest must-have handbell manual. As always, this podcast asks all the right questions. What is best, tower or hand bells? Will online ringing last post l…
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You may not have given ringing simulators a second thought before, but this episode will definitely get you scrambling up your belfry, with some sensors in hand. Steve Farmer, tells host Cathy Booth the fascinating story of Simbell. Wanting an easy way to get get extra rope time without annoying the church neighbours with his noisy novice ringing, …
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Take a few deep breaths, relax, and tune into this month’s episode where host Cathy Booth meets ringer, counsellor, hypnotherapist and trauma care practitioner, Nicky Carling to talk about building up confidence for returning to the tower. Yes, it’s probably time you changed out of your pyjamas, dragged yourself momentarily away from Ringing Room a…
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Cathy Booth’s special guest this month is ringer and project manager par excellence Tim Keyes who gives us the inside scoop of Ledbury’s rather exciting bell restoration and augmentation project. Tim very helpfully talks through all the different stages of the project, step by step, with plenty of top tips for those of you planning your own bell pr…
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In this fast-paced episode, podcast host Cathy Booth meets 20-year-old ringer, Oliver Lee, and discovers his passion for ringing and ringing history. Oliver is clearly fascinated by all aspects of ringing and takes Cathy on whistle-stop tour of a huge range of ringing-related subjects, ranging from Ellacombe chimes, through belfry reform and on to …
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In this month’s show, podcast host Cathy Booth transforms into the next Anne Robinson as she joins the ringers of St John’s in New Alresford for their fortnightly Zoom quiz. Fingers on buzzers as the ringers introduce each other and ask their two allotted quiz questions. There’s one point for each correct answer, so why not play along at home and s…
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One of the very best things to have happened over the past year is the development of the online ringing platform, Ringing Room. In this special Valentine’s podcast, host Cathy Booth interviews Leland and Bryn, the driving force behind this amazing achievement and now one of ringing’s most famous couples. Of course, for Ringing Room to have happene…
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Love is very definitely in the air at the Fun with Bells Podcast this Valentine’s Day, as host Cathy Booth explores ringing’s tender side. First, we hear the heart-warming story of Jo and Graham, whose romance continues to deepen from Ringing Remembers, through Ringing Room, and to a very memorable lockdown proposal. Be warned, if you get invited t…
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For Don McLean over in Ireland, one of the joys of bell ringing is teaching others and delighting in their achievements. In this charming episode, Cathy Booth, podcast host, shines a light on Don’s motivation and his own considerable achievements, including masterminding the training of 17 new recruits at St Mary’s Kilmood on ‘The Peace Bells’. Don…
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What do ringers do when they are not ringing? Well, judging by this latest episode they write, film, podcast and blog about it! Podcast host Cathy Booth chats to no fewer than six leading lights in the ringing community who are all doing their bit to share and support the hobby they are all so passionate about. From Mancroft to Minecraft and from t…
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Home of the first true peal, St Peter Mancroft in Norwich is now home to the brilliant Mancroft Ringing Discovery Centre. Podcast host Cathy Booth catches up with Simon Rudd and Nikki Thomas to find out what’s been happening. Well, there’s been so much going on it’s hard to know where to start! Training courses at all levels, lunchtime pay as you g…
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For this episode, we have provided a Transcript with photos Ringing can be spooky at the best of times – you may get shivers down your spine with a nicely struck touch of Stedman, or perhaps an eerie sensation of being watched when you’re on the treble. However, for Halloween, Fun with Bells turns up the terror with this chilling collection of ghos…
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The ‘Ringers’ Arms’ image used for our Halloween special episode is a fake pub sign created by Maggie Willans. Podcast team: Anne Tansley Thomas Emily Roderick John Gwynne Emily Watts Cathy Booth Ringing by: The Cambridge Youths (supplied by David Richards) and for later episodes, The Liliputters Guild (supplied by Simon Edwards).…
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Following on from last month’s edition, podcast host Cathy Booth reveals another dodgy dozen or so weird and wonderful towers. WARNING - this podcast contains details of hair-raising ringing environments, definitely not for the nervous ringers amongst you! Enjoy another litany of trapdoors, spiral staircases, beam scrambling, comedy pulleys and 17t…
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These tales of weird and wonderful towers are definitely not for the faint-hearted ringers among you. Podshow host, Cathy Booth, invites us behind the scenes of 15 of the most outlandish ringing environments from across the world, featuring trap doors, vaults, ventilator shafts, crawlways and external ladders. Clock cases also play a starring role,…
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This episode sees host Cathy Booth in conversation with Andrew Wilby for a fascinating insight into the Taylor Bell Foundry's past, present and future. Based in Loughborough, we hear all about the history behind the foundry and some of the exciting attractions on site. The foundry has its own museum, 12 bell tower renowned for being the site of the…
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Can one ever have too many belfries? In this fascinating podcast, show host Cathy Booth finds the answer to this is no, as she quizes Helen McGregor about the amazing ringing centres at Tulloch and Alderney. Helen’s bell ringing started as an excuse not to commit to babysitting for a neighbour but quickly turned into a lifetime’s addiction. What’s …
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Originally timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE day, this unique episode sees host Cathy Booth, joined by a whole cast of ringers, bust the myths about ringing during World War II. This is the abridged version of ‘thirty voices, seventy-five years, one story’ aimed at non-ringers. And what a story! For more information, including photo…
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