Ringing out the old and in the new

REVELLERS in the Market Place knew exactly when to celebrate the new year thanks to the Morpeth Clock Tower Bellringers.

As 2012 drew to a close, the bells pealed out from the building in Oldgate and in the final minutes they fell silent one-by-one until just the deep-toned tenor tolled the death knell of the old year.

Tower Captain Roger Dye said: “After a pause, and precisely on time, one of our curfew chimers and up-and-coming young ringer, Tom Roxby, rang the 12 strokes proclaiming the arrival of 2013 to loud cheers from the assembled crowds.

“Immediately afterwards, its seven companions joined in at their merriest.

“Inside the tower, Coun Mark Horton and Mrs Lynne Horton enjoyed the ringing and festive celebrations of the ringers and their families and friends.

“Well supplied from the Town Hall, a toast was raised to the Mayor and Mayoress, the town council and the good citizens of Morpeth for a very happy new year.”

On the following Saturday, the local ringers – with friends from Rothbury and Newcastle – played a celebratory full Quarter Peal of 1,260 changes of Plain Bob Triples, conducted by Morpeth’s very own Ringing Master Chris Teasdale, to shoppers and townsfolk.