Ringing together in Gravesend
Deborah and Cerys Coaten
The following is written by Deborah Coaten and her daughter Cerys Coaten, who are learning to ring together for Ringing Remembers at St George’s, Gravesend in Kent, known for being where Pocahontas died and was buried in the 15th Century. Read more learner’s stories here.
Deborah: I have always been interested in learning to ring church bells and it was when I watched the news that I saw Ringing Remembers, looking for bell ringers across the country. We now ring at St George’s Church in Gravesend, Kent.
My grandfather was in the Second World War and when he retired he became a church warden in a tiny village in Nottinghamshire. They lived in the old vicarage and their kitchen looked out onto the graveyard, I remember the bells ringing and I have always loved the sound of bells.
British history is important to me and I would hate if ever the church bells stopped ringing. Bell ringing only recently returned to the church in 2015, after being absent for 20 years, and it is great to be helping them keep it going into the future. I know it is important to pass these skills down to the younger generations and that is why I took my daughter to my first practise. She enjoyed it and she was allowed to practise too. We have not looked back since and really enjoy this skill. It a good that the tradition is for adults and children, so I can learn together with Cerys who is 12. The training is going well, we arrive early, along with other new recruits and ring with the assistance of the more skilled members of the tower. When we have been trained, I am looking forward to visiting other towers and ringing bells for the occasion.
Cerys: I enjoy going with my mum to learn how to ring the bells on a Wednesday evening. It is relaxing and I enjoy listening to the bells ringing, it’s fun and interesting too.
The Ringing Remembers campaign is recruiting 1,400 new bell ringers in memory of the 1,400 who lost their lives in World War One. All new recruits will have once in a life time opportunity to ring on Armistice Day (11 November) this year to mark 100 years since the end of the war.
Posted 21 June 2018