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

Bell-ringer knocked out

by Paul Wilkinson

Posted: 09 Nov 2012 @ 03:22

SWNS

Click to enlarge

Winched down: firefighters at St Nicholas's rescue Ms Springthorpe

Credit: SWNS

Winched down: firefighters at St Nicholas's rescue Ms Springthorpe

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

Priest in Charge

Wales

Esgobeath Bangor The Diocese of Bangor Eglwys sy'n Dysgu A Learning Church The Bishop of Bangor wishes to appoint a Priest in Charge of Conwy & Gyffin and Ministry Area Leader Designate Th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Counting the cost

Counting the cost

Huw Spanner hears tips for people who are interested in banking, investing, and saving more ethically, but who are unsure where to start  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the UK take in more refugees fleeing Islamic State's terrorists?

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

Looking for new funds? Pass the ice-bucket

As charities seek to attract a new generation of donors, they are having to find more targeted methods, reports Nick Jowett  Subscribe to read more

Thu 23 Oct 14 @ 16:23
Prayers urged after Parliament of Canada shootings http://t.co/VbSZ9JieF1

Thu 23 Oct 14 @ 15:26
.@JohnSentamu's inquiry into sex abuse allegations against the former Dean of Manchester finds 'systematic failure' http://t.co/2BqxO7c81I