Border Mini Bells at Dalemain 20th April

Andrew Warboys writes:

A delightful day of spring sunshine saw the Borders Mini Bells team make their third visit to the Dalemain World Marmalade Awards and Festival, held for the 19th year.   An early start for the well rehearsed transport of the bells and frame from their Powfoot base, and a proud place for our display on the lawns in front of the main house.   With Cross Fell visible in one direction, and the shores of Ullswater the other, the location was superb with plenty of space for festival goers to watch, and then step forward and try their hand.  Situated between the gin tasting, and the route to the Marmalade marquee, this provided an ideal opportunity for allcomers to receive some expert tuition in mini bell handling from our dedicated band of teachers.

We met a number of accomplished ringers and lapsed ringers, and enjoyed a constant stream of young and not so young to practise their skills, and to get a taste of bellringing for the first time from without the walls of a church tower.   Our tutors were pleased to welcome, in particular, Paddington Bear on their first sticky steps towards the Peruvian ART achievement Level 1.  Paddington tried so hard ‘to get things right’.  Other personalities to try their technique were the High Sheriff of Cumbria and a range of Paddington look alikes.

On a very much family oriented day, this was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate our bells on their away day, and to hopefully kindle enthusiasm in some to explore ringing at towers nearer their homes.   Members of the Mini Bells team were also successful in the keenly contested Marmalade competitions, after their hours of work at the stove in preceding weeks.   This was truly an event not to be missed, the air of eccentricity and quirkiness that ringing on mini bells brings, being ideally suited to this unique occasion at such a historic venue.  Let us hope to be back in future years.