Bell ringing the secret to good biceps

Local bell ringers Geoff and Val Cawley (front) with visiting English bell ringers George and Diana Pipe, Jack Cummins (a veteran ringer from Murwillumbah) and Geoff and Vals original teacher, Enid Roberts.

Geoff Cawley knows the secret to good biceps.

Instead of gym, the 72-year-old gets his bi-weekly workout when he and his wife Val meet with 12 others each Wednesday night and Sunday morning at St Andrews Church to practise the ancient art of bell ringing.

The group was delighted to play beside three world-class bell ringers last week, when they were paid a visit by renowned English bell ringers George and Diana Pipe and their original teacher Enid Roberts, who first taught the group when the bells were installed at St Andrews in 2002.

Bell ringing is an ancient craft where bells are rung by hand using long ropes and Geoff said the eight custom-made bells at St Andrews weigh around 500kg each.

Whilst St Andrews Church has had a tower since it was first built, the bells were only installed in 2002 after a visiting bell-maker from England sniffed out the tower and suggested the idea.

The eight bells were purchased from England and the rest, as they say, is history.

The group is so dedicated to their craft that there have only been two occasions in the past four years where the bells did not ring.

I think it enriches the community, said Geoff. Its something other people dont get a chance to do. The beauty of ringing bells is you dont need any musical experience to make beautiful music.

Anybody is welcome to join the group regardless of denomination or religious faith. For information phone Geoff or Val on 6622 6244.

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