Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Bells of St Nicolas.

Bells in the Bell Tower.

Bells: Some of the Bells in St Nicolas Tower, Newbury.

Some of the Bells in St Nicolas Tower, Newbury.

I am really spoilt for choice today. I have been up the tower of St Nicholas Church, Newbury. So many pictures to choose from! I could have opted for one of the views from the top, but it has to be one of the shots of the bells in the tower.

I have always been fascinated by campanology (bell ringing). For part of my Maths A-Level, I did a study on changes – including how long it would take to ring all the possible changes for a given number of bells. Anything from a few hours to over a lifetime…

St Nicholas boasts a peal of 10, ranging from 250kg to 1 ton. You will notice that some are facing upwards, whereas one is facing down. Down is the resting position, whereas the ones facing up are in a “ready to ring” position.

Part of the tour involved an explanation as to how it all worked. Not visible in the photograph is the slightly heath robinson, but nonetheless extremely effective, way the bells are held in their upward resting position. It is all very clever.

With the full 10 bells in the tower, it is pretty tightly packed. When they are being rung, it is enough to sway the tower. I was unable to get far enough away to include them all in the shot. However, this does give a good idea of how it all looks.

If you ever get the chance to go up this tower, or any other tower with a decent peal of bells, then do so. If it is half as good as the tour I had today, it will be fascinating. There is clearly a lot more to campanology than meets the eye (or ear!). Nonetheless, at some point I wouldn’t mind giving it a go.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 6 June 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkII
  • Lens: Olympus 14-42 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 14mm
  • F/3.5
  • 1/60 Sec
  • ISO 2000
  • Flash

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