Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford Cathedral installs bell simulator to boost ringers

A computer-based bell ringing simulator has been installed at Bradford Cathedral to encourage more bell ringers.

The cathedral's bells have been ringing out for nearly 170 years.

There has been a decline in the number of people volunteering to ring them and a demonstration is being run on Sunday to try to reverse the trend.

The bell simulator has been installed in the tower, enabling practice sessions to take place at any time.

The simulator, known as a wombel, generates the sound of the bells through loudspeakers in the bell chamber.

'Becomes addictive'

Tower captain Ron Crabtree said he hoped the simulator would bring in more bell ringers to the cathedral.

"Hopefully, it will attract ringers back who used to be ringers," he said.

"We've got this wombel so that we can actually enable people to see, without going up the tower, a representation of the full bells up in the tower together with rope and how it's pulled."

Bradford Cathedral has 12 bells with the largest weighing 2.5 tonnes.

Mr Crabtree's wife, Sue, has been a bell ringer at the cathedral for more than 40 years.

She said: "English ringing is about changes, which means that the order of the bells changes each time the rope is pulled.

"It just becomes addictive over the years," she added.

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