Easter 2018 – Bell-ringing in Ypres
It’s not often that we get the opportunity to indulge our personal obsession and be involved in an historic event that is of major significance. St. George’s Memorial Church in Ypres, Belgium, opened in 1929, has installed a ring of eight bells into the tower. The configuration of hanging the bells is known as the ‘English’ style and is the only such arrangement in mainland Europe. As a member of a team of instructors from England, I have been invited to teach the church’s fledgling bell-ringers.
In Ypres today there are two great memorials to the fallen of the First World War, perhaps the best known of which is the Menin Gate. St George’s church, however, can be viewed with equal importance in regards to perpetual remembrance. The Anglican Church serves as a permanent memorial to the dead and as a meeting place for the visiting relatives.
The new set of 8-change ringing bells were cast at the bell foundry of John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough. The bells were delivered using two lorries that saw service during the Great War, a Thornycroft and a Dennis, both originally built in 1915 and renovated specifically for this special delivery.
The bells were rung for the first time ever on Sunday 25th February 2018.