Bell-ringing record attempt abandoned at Somerset church

Bell ringers at South Petherton church
Image caption The record attempt was called off after about four hours

An attempt to break a nearly 50-year-old bell ringing world record at a church in Somerset has been abandoned after a mistake was made.

Campanologists were trying to ring 21,216 changes on the 12 bells of South Petherton church, near Yeovil.

It was called off after about four hours just before 11:00 BST after two bells shifted course - meaning they were rung in the wrong order.

The current record of 16,368 was set at Birmingham Cathedral in 1965.

Organiser and captain of bells at the church, David Purnell, said: "We rang for about four hours, then we had two bells shifting course.

'Leave dust to settle'

"As such that made the composition false, so as it was false the umpire said it could not be counted.

Image caption The record attempt was taking place at South Petherton church

"I went up into the tower when they'd finished and there was a distinct electrified atmosphere up there."

Mr Purnell said they might attempt to break the record again in the future, "but we'll leave the dust to settle for a little while first".

The record they were trying to beat was for the longest duration of ringing for 12 church tower bells in a method known as Cambridge Surprise Maximus.

The record attempt was hoping to raise £20,000 for various charities.

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