New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
UK >

Bell-ringer knocked out

by Paul Wilkinson

Posted: 09 Nov 2012 @ 03:22

A NOVICE bell-ringer sparked a full-scale rescue when she was knocked unconscious after getting caught up in her rope and hauled off her feet.

Rescue services took almost an hour to bring Helen Springthorpe to safety from the first-floor gallery in the 15th-century tower of St Nicholas's, Bathampton, near Bath, in Somerset, on Monday.

Paramedics suspected that she had damaged her hip and gave her morphine, while emergency crews, including a specialist cliff-rescue team, lifted a section of the gallery floor and lowered her on a stretcher 20 feet to the ground.

Ms Springthorpe was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath, but discharged shortly after. She told reporters later: "I have no memory of being caught up. I started pulling the bells, and the next thing I knew I was looking at a paramedic."

Ms Springthorpe, 58, a typist from Bath, has been a bell-ringer for only three months. "I just like the church bells," she said. "I've always liked hearing them; so I thought I'd have a go."

The tower captain, Peter Powell, aged 79, said: "Helen was just taking her first pull of the session. It went all right for the first stroke. Then, all of a sudden, she just lost the rope and it went all round her, and she collapsed on the floor."

The Rector of Bathampton, the Revd Paul Burden, said: "This is the first time that that has ever happened in Mr Powell's experience, which is a very long time. It's a reminder that bell-ringing is a very skilled hobby, and there needs to be careful training."

A spokesman for the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, Barrie Dove, said: "Bell-ringing is a very safe past-time. I know of only one fatality in the past 50 years. But you need to be careful: bells weigh several hundredweight and should be treated with care."

Job of the week

Reporter

London and Home Counties

REPORTER Salary range: £21,000 to £27,000, depending on experience Closing date for applications: 1 June Interviews: Friday 12 June A full-time reporter is sought to work in the Church Times's ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Grey beard — but no loon

Grey beard — but no loon

A study day on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner taught Malcolm Doney the link between poetry and theology  Read More

Question of the week
Does your church engage in this level of social action?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

How about trying the politics of love?

Relationships, not strong leadership, should be at the heart of political life, argues Justin Lewis-Anthony  Read More

Fri 22 May 15 @ 21:37
'Just like Midsomer Murders' - Armed police disturb Greenwich church's garden party http://t.co/U8Nh9aE0Mi http://t.co/Bzr2iobFSP

Fri 22 May 15 @ 21:10
Where kindness can kill An army chaplain on life in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak http://t.co/GM7nlfzF3p http://t.co/JxfL4tqw3c