Celebratory peal hits wrong note

BELLRINGERS have fallen just short of completing a new celebratory peal — but there could be another attempt.

Eight ringers from across the region gathered at Morpeth Clocktower on Sunday to attempt the marathon peal in honour of the clock’s 75th anniversary.

The task involved 5,075 changes, different patterns in which the bells are rung, using all eight of the tower bells.

The challenge required a massive effort of concentration throughout the three-hour peal.

But sadly, after a gruelling two-and-a-half hours of ringing the bells, there was a slip-up and the group could not recover to finish.

However, the bellringers refuse to give up completely and hope to return to the Clocktower in the run up to Christmas to make another attempt.

Tower Captain Richard Major said: “There was two-and-a-half hours of excellent ringing, but then ten or 15 minutes from the end something went wrong.

“The ringers all have to concentrate throughout the peal and a couple of them perhaps lost their concentration a bit and it proved to be too much to rescue. It is just one of those things that happens.

“I’m inquiring about attempting the peal again. We do have restrictions on how often we can ring peals because of the location of the tower and we will have to leave it for a couple of months, but there might be a possibility of re-ringing the peal around Christmas time.”

He added: “I did sit and listen to some of the peal and it was lovely. People noticed that the bells were ringing and said it sounded nice.

“The tower did have the bells ringing for the clock’s birthday, but unfortunately it wasn’t as successful as the ringers would have liked.”