The Haworth Guild of Bell Ringers has recently rung the first full peal of bells heard in the village since 1950. It was performed by a band of six ringers headed by captain Simon Burnett on the bells which were installed in 1846 at the time the Rev Patrick Brontë, father of the three famous Brontë sisters, was in charge of the church.
The peal took two hours and 46 minutes and involved 5,040 individual strikes to ring the “Plain Bob Minor”. “We felt elated and mentally exhausted,” said Mr Burnett, a retired Bradford Grammar School teacher whose wife, Sue, is also in the team. “We have a team of ten people but we need more so that we have enough strength in depth to allow us to go on and ring another peal,” he said The band rang the peal at St Michael and All Angels to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
“Undertaking a peal of this kind is quite an achievement for any bell-ringer as it requires total concentration for the whole of the time. Also there are not many towers around with a band of ringers capable of undertaking such a peal,” added Mr Burnett, who has been captain for 20 years. The peal marked the 19th since the first, which was rung in 1848, shortly after the six bells had been installed and paid for by subscription. Among the people who subscribed was Mr Brontë and his name is inscribed on one of the bells. The Rev Peter Mayo-Smith, the rector of Haworth Parish Church, said: “It was an amazing achievement and we hope that the people of Haworth thought that the sounding of the church bells in such a spectacular fashion enhanced their enjoyment of the royal wedding day.”