LUSCR stands for Leeds University Society of Change Ringers: Leeds University Union’s church bell ringing society, which was founded in 1958. We ring at St. Matthias, Burley for Sunday Service, 9:45 – 10:30am, and practice on Mondays, 7:30 – 9pm, (followed by a trip to the pub), in term time. We are happy to teach people from scratch, as well as helping more experienced ringers to progress, with practices including 1 to 1 handling instruction by our experienced handling instructors up to Surprise Major, with a variety of methods and challenges in between.
In February 2018, Geordie Jess came along to sample bellringing. Here is what she discovered:
What is Bell Ringing?
Bell ringing is the English art of full circle change ringing. We ring church bells like this (courtesy of OUSCR):
This allows us to have more control over when the bell sounds, meaning we can ring in any order we like, to form a ‘change’, i.e. 13572468. Note that every bell number appears once in every change. (Bells are numbered from 1 to n, with 1 being the highest in pitch and n being the lowest). A collection of these changes is called a ‘method’, which is a bit like a tune.
Who can learn?
Anyone who can climb the stairs to the ‘bell chamber’ can learn to ring! You don’t need to be fit, musical, mathematical or religious.
Isn’t it boring just standing in the same place just pulling a bit of rope?
No. Different people get different things from ringing. Some people enjoy the challenge of ringing hard or very musical methods, whilst others like the collecting aspect, i.e. trying to ring at all of the 6000+ church with bells in the world. Others like: the physical challenge of ringing for 3 hours, conducting the ringing, composing methods or some just like the social aspect!
As a society, we organize a variety of social events each term, ranging from afternoon trips out to other towers near Leeds, pub crawls, pancakes parties, christmas parties, and full day ringing outings. Our main social event of the year is our Annual Dinner, which takes place in November, which also includes a Ceilidh! We also attend the Northern Universities Association (NUA) meeting each year, which is also held in November. This is an opportunity to spend a weekend ringing with other university societies from the North of England, (and Bristol!). Activities normally include a tower grab, a ceilidh, a striking competition, and a ‘boat race’. The 2016 NUA was held in Sheffield, with the 2017 NUA due to be held in Nottingham.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email .