Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Noble politicians in ding-dong over bellringing claims
THEY may sit at opposite sides of the chamber but two political figures also found themselves divided on the seemingly innocent topic of bellringing.
Lord Cope of Berkeley, a Bath Abbey ringer, decided to challenge Lord Faulkner of Worcester’s claim that the city was “one of very few” where was was possible to properly learn bellringing skills.
Lord Cope had written to the magazine Ringing World about learning to ring at the age of 72 at the abbey.
In reply, the Labour politician Lord Faulkner pointed out to his Conservative counterpart Worcester Cathedral’s superiority as a leading bellringing training centre.
The light-hearted letter read: “Even though he and I sit on the opposite ends of the chamber, Lord Cope of Berkeley is a good friend of mine and the last person I would wish to fall out with over bellringing.
“I congratulate him on learning bellringing at Bath Abbey, and I wish him many happy hours pulling the ropes.
“I must though gently point out to him that there is a world of difference between a sensor on a silenced real bell attached to a laptop at Bath Abbey and our purpose-built set of eight dumbbells in Worcester Cathedral’s tower, situated in the home of the best ring of 12 bells in the country.”
It went on to explain the variety of teaching opportunities at the centre and how it became the blueprint for the creation of a similar centre at Adelaide Cathedral, Australia.
Signing off, he said: “At the first opportunity I see Lord Cope I shall invite him to Worcester to experience the multi-purpose teaching centre and to try our wonderful bells.”
With his comments the talk of the belfry at Bath, Lord Faulkner and MP Robin Walker welcomed Lord Cope and the Bath Abbey ringers to the cathedral on Monday.
And after trying the dumbbells as well as the cathedral’s peal of 12 bells, Lord Cope had to concede his friend’s point.
He said: “Worcester Cathedral’s Learning Centre is most impressive.
“One can learn to ring in thousands of towers across England and the world, wherever there is a good teacher.
“But Worcester must be one of the best places to learn to ring anywhere.
“Their learning centre is a triumph with eight dumbbells connected to a state of the art computer simulating system specially developed by them. “It is the ringing equivalent of a language laboratory – a real “ringing laboratory”.
Comments are closed on this article.