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    • #11822
      Carolyn Whitlock

      I just found this among my mother’s bell memorabilia:

      Columnist George F. Will on the ringing of church bells:

      High on my list of reasons for regretting the 20th century is that the sound of bells is no longer a part of society’s life, and people are poorer for this change. Bells were part of society’s communication system.

      In his book Akenfield, Ronald Blythe recorded the memories of a bell ringer in Suffolk, England. ‘The bells tolled for death when I was a boy. It was three times three for a man and three times two for a woman. Then the years of the dead person’s age would be tolled, and if the bell went on speaking, ‘Seventy-one, seventy-two,’ people would say, ‘Well, he had good innings!’ But when the bell stopped at eighteen or twenty, a hush would come over the fields.

      Proper bells produce one of the man-made sounds worth preserving, but they have been largely dispensed with everywhere. Of course, we hear bells all day long, thanks to cash registers and telephones and feeble, lisping doorbells. The bells we have indoors are pesky nuisances; the bells we used to have out-of-doors provided decorous counterpoint to the symphony of nature’s sounds.

      If you are one of those pitiable peoople who do not understand that bells are part of the magic of life, consider this legend, recounted by Amoret and Christopher Scott in their essay, The British Way of Death:

      When the Duke of Wellington died in 1852, the dean of his old parliamentary constituency at Trim ordered the bells be tolled in full peal. No sooner had the ringers begun than the tenor bell, the pride of the church, shattered. When it was examined, it was found to have been cast in 1769, the year the duke was born.

      If that doesn’t give you pause, well, the more’s the pity.

      The Pursuit of Virtue and Other Tory Notions, published by Simon & Schuster
      From The Readers Digest, 1984

    • #16514
      Green Grass

      The Frebruary 1999 Main Street magazine, a publication that is distributed to mayors & councilmen nationally, published a seven page article with advise on community amendities that would reduce school shooting violence, that had just occurred for the first time.
      One whole page is devoted to church bell ringing. The article advises that the sound of church bells sounded into the community provides a sense of prosperity, a sense of well being, and that a higher authority must be accounted to, concluding that the sound of bells will definately reduce the community violence.

      August 28, 2010, The Tuscaloosa News ( artical “Churches help curb criminal hotbeds” reports statistics on crime reduction within the community of Tuscaloosa & the University of Alabama. Fourteen churches & UA’s Denny Chimes sound bells into the community.

      Go outside and ring your bells! John Eachus

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