A TEAM of bell-ringers has failed in its attempt to set a new
world record for the longest peal of 12 bells.
It took two years' planning to bring a dozen expert ringers from
all over the country to the parish church at South Petherton, near
Yeovil, last Saturday. But, after four hours, the sequence was
broken when two bells "shifted course", meaning that they were rung
in the wrong order.
"Unfortunately, that is the end of that," the captain of bells
at the church, David Purnell, told ITV News. "You are not allowed
to have a shift course, because the bells will not ring true to the
pattern they should be rung from. So we cannot call it a world
record. It was an attempt that failed due to human error.
"I went up into the tower when they'd finished, and there was a
distinct electrified atmosphere up there."
The team had wanted to challenge the current record of 16,368
changes, set at Birmingham Cathedral in 1965, with their own effort
at ringing 21,216 changes of the method Cambridge Surprise Maximus,
scheduled to last 14 hours.
He said that they might make another attempt on the record in
the future, "but we'll leave the dust to settle for a little while
The ringers were subject to rules laid down by the Central
Council of Church Bell Ringers, and had to be locked in the bell
tower for the duration of the attempt. Each ringer had to ring his
or her bell for the whole time without a break.
The village planned a day of community events around the effort,
as part of an attempt to raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer
Support, and the church and village groups.
Shops in the area were specially decorated, and refreshments
were served to visitors to the churchyard. For those not keen on
hours of bell-ringing, the bell loft was soundproofed to keep noise
to a minimum.