A Marsden bell ringing group have said “Sorry” to the resilient local community after spending two years learning the ropes.

The joyful six-strong group from St Bartholomew’s Church has not always brought sweet music to the sounds of residents’ ears through their at times very avant-garde renditions, since they formed at the beginning of 2012.

But now, after a lot of dedicated practice and thanks to very patient, or perhaps very deaf neighbours, they are at last hitting the right notes which are filling the village with a more tuneful sound of music.

Conductor of the sextet, Nuala Nevill, is one of those who has been practising every week in the church’s tower.

She performs alongside ringers Alan Trebble, Michelle Waterhouse, Lorraine Trebble, Don Lodge and Stuart Mills.

She said: “After a year or so of not having a band, we took on five people to learn bell ringing.

“The whole of Marsden will have heard the pretty dreadful noise on Monday evenings during the learner band’s first two years but there’s simply no quiet way to learn to ring because listening to your bell is part of the process.

St Bartholomew's Church, Marsden
St Bartholomew's Church, Marsden
 

“With three learners ringing out of six at any time, it was bound to be awful.

“But we were lucky that local residents have been so accommodating and in the last year things have improved greatly.”

She said that the group had benefitted from the help of experienced hands, which enabled them to successfully perform their first Quarter Peal of Grandsire Doubles, which was the first to be conducted by Nuala.

Nuala said: “We were lucky to get help from experienced ringers from other churches and, as a result, our band has become quite proficient-so much so that some of us managed to successfully ring the Quarter Peal, which is about 45 minutes of nonstop ringing.

“It was Michelle’s first time ringing one and it was a big achievement for her and a great birthday compliment to both her and Don.

“We were very lucky to have Alan, who is currently the Ringing Master of the Western Branch of the YACR and Lorraine, ringing for us.”

Following her success, Michelle will now become a Qualified Member of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers (YACR).

Nuala said: “All the other Marsden ringers are now feeling under pressure to get their first quarter peals and we always welcome new people to the tower who would like to learn.”

For more information, contact Dave Fisher on 07427613529.