Antiques Road Trip visits the Cathedral

Barry giving a quick handling lesson whilst the cameras roll

The ‘Antiques Road Trip’ film crew, along with presenter Natasha Raskin Sharp, came to Carlisle Cathedral last year to film an episode of the show. It is scheduled to be aired in Spring 2023.

After filming within the Cathedral and grounds, the film crew then hauled a couple of cameras and various recording equipment up the Tower. Having negotiated the cramped steps and the clerestory, all were amazed to find our ‘spacious’, carpeted Ringing Room. The further few steps up to the Belfry proved too much for one of them – but Natasha and two cameramen carried on up to view and film the bells.

Many of you will know Glasgow-born Natasha Raskin Sharp from lunchtime shows like ‘Flog It!’ and ‘Bargain Hunt’ – as she is an antiques and art expert, especially in Scottish Contemporary Art. A lovely, warm women, who exuded enthusiasm for everything, she was keen to find out about the history of bellringing, how you learn to ring and why the Cathedral Tower sways! She interviewed Tower Captain Ron East in one take – which surprised the Director, but not those of us who have seen Ron present before. Watch out Natasha – you may be out of a job!

The Director’s plans intended that Natasha would be filmed being taught to ring and then ring along with the Tower Band. Afterall, ‘she has good upper body strength!’ The shocked look on all our faces should have been captured on film.

Barry Garrett did an admirable job of teaching Natasha the basics of bell-handling. She was filmed holding the tail end of the rope (along with Barry), pulling the backstroke, while Barry managed the sally for the handstroke. And so, in a fashion, she rang the bell. Having achieved that, the rest of the Band joined in ringing rounds – with Natasha, again ably assisted by Barry, sort of ringing in the right place. Let’s hope that does not make the final cut.

It was a jolly affair and Natasha thoroughly enjoyed her time as part of what she called, our ‘Heavy Metal Band’.

Sue Thomas

Photo cred: Hilary Ward