East Layton News

A band of bellringers from Cumbria is visiting the benefice on Wednesday 7 December to ring a peal on the 4 bells at East Layton. This will take a total of 2hrs 30 mins approximately if they are successful. It means ringing all the possible combinations of the four bells without repeating themselves and following a set of instructions called a 'method'. 

The bells in the church were cast especially for this church and have a lovely sound to them. Unfortunately without a regular band in our villages it is not possible to ring them other than when visiting ringers ask to have the privilege of doing so.

The ringers mentioned above succeeded in completing their peal and for the ringing cogniscenti the details are here. The ringers were:

1   Jane Holland
2   Andrew J Holland
3   Kevin M Price (C)
4   Andrew W Gordon

The numbers refer to the bell each rang, 1 being the treble (lightest) and 4 being the tenor (heaviest). (C) refers to the conductor as the band need one person to start and stop the ringing and make calls to indicate when certail actions are to be taken.

This peal was historic in being not only the first full peal ever rung there (and we can assure residents a full peal is a rare occurrence) but also East Layton was the last church in Yorkshire with four bells to have a full peal. 

Ringing is a peculiarly English activity and is not so much a musical activity as an exercise in mathematics and statistics. The bells are rung in a different order at each stroke and this is called a 'change'. The number of possible changes is determined by the number of bells and with 4 bells only 24 changes are possible. This is known as a 'minimus' ring. The pattern by which the changes are made to ensure no change is repeated is called a 'method' and these often have fascinating and historic names. With 7 bells a total of 5040 changes are possible and that is known as a full peal. To ring a full peal on four bells obviously does require some repetition and so it is something of an esoteric hobby. The four ringers at East Layton rang on behalf of the Yorkshire Association.


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