A ringing endorsement

Bellringers celebrate the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Morpeth  market place.
Bellringers celebrate the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Morpeth market place.
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MORPETH has given a ringing endorsement to the Paralympic Games.

Bell-ringers gathered in the Market Place yesterday to herald the start of the sporting event with a five-minute chime.

Amateurs and experienced ringers alike took part in the celebration using handbells, and groups of people with disabilities travelled from Alnwick and Berwick to show their support.

The ringing, which started at 12.20pm for the year 2012, was organised by Richard Major following successful bell ringing at County Hall in the national All The Bells initiative at the start of the London Olympics.

Elsewhere, members of the Tranwell Pegasus Riding for the Disabled Centre were invited to showcase para dressage at the Paralympic Flame Festival at Beamish Museum.

The event, which featured a splinter of the Paralympic flame, aimed to celebrate disabled sports and the Pegasus team performed a routine to music based on British heritage, devised by former international dressage competitor Cathy Burrell.

Kim Chapman and Louise Forrest took centre stage, riding Jetta and Goodnight Mr Tom, while Gayle Bloomfield, whose horse Bartie is stabled at the Pegasus Centre, showed some of her trophies from the RDA National Championships, where she became Champion for Grade 2 Dressage and Dressage to Music, as well as taking the Carl Hester Trophy for the highest score.

All riders and volunteers talked to spectators about the opportunities open to people with disabilities through riding.

Centre Manager Martin Peagam said: “We were honoured and delighted to take part in this prestigious event.

“We worked with our friends from the Riding for the Disabled Association Group at Washington and with British Dressage to create a display which showed off para dressage in a fun and exciting way.”