St Salvator’s Society of bell ringers

Home • The bellsThe SocietyWhat we doLearningNewsContactInside the tower

The Bell Ringers
with thanks to Peter Jupp for introducing me to the St Salvator’s Society of Bell Ringers, and to the bells: Annie, Agnes, Elizabeth, Katharine, Margaret, George

They stand in a ring of six, feet planted,
facing each other. Arms raised
to the great ropes with their sallies, they wait
like a still tree, its branches spread
to catch the quickening wind.

Which comes, as clapper hits bronze,
and the ringers let the pattern go hunting: Annie,
the treble, changes places with Agnes, with
Elizabeth, Katharine, Margaret, George:

Each bell sings out in turn, gives tongue
as the branches thresh, their music taking flight -
clamouring, tumbling, ecstatic - flung
from the top of the tower and out, out
over the roofs and spires of the town.

Anna Crowe, 2018

Website by Simon Chadwick