Thursday, 13 September 2007

"Treble's going...she's gone"

I had the chance recently to photograph inside the bell-ringing chamber of a local eighteenth century church. Each peal, led by the treble bell, was preceded by the ceremonial-sounding "Treble's going....she's gone", as the treble bell was pulled into its first swing.

At the end of the ringing the trailing ropes are hoisted back up out of the way. There's a beautiful symmetry about this – the bells and the ringers finished for the time being, their attention turning to other matters.

But there was a moment before the ringing started when the hanging ropes and the small seated audience seemed to be awaiting the outcome of something far more sinister...

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