THE ORANGE Pealers are preparing for the biggest event of the year for bell ringing enthusiasts at Holy Trinity Church.
Tomorrow afternoon, The Ancient Society of College Youths will be visiting Orange in their tour of Australia.
The Orange Pealers tower captain, Joy Fabrey, and her bell ringing colleagues are excited about the group’s visit which precedes their next performance in London in April - the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“It’s like World Cup soccer’s coming to town for them,” Canon Frank Hetherington said.
Joy Fabrey couldn’t agree more.
“These are the cream of the cream of bell ringers in the world,” Mrs Fabrey said. “They are the best that Orange will ever see.”
The 25 bell ringers are from the United Kingdom, based at St Paul’s in London. They have already visited Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Geelong and Sydney and will make stops to Lithgow and Bathurst on their way to Orange.
Tomorrow’s performance is an opportunity for The Orange Pealers, who have been playing the bells since 2006, to see world class bell ringing firsthand and learn some new skills.
For local bell ringer Rod Wykes, the most difficult part is the change, which is the reversal of the order of bell rings to create interest within the pealing.
“Out of all the different methods, change ringing is the big challenge and there is certainly a lot that we will learn from the visiting group,” he said.
In Orange, there are 10 core pealers but numbers are growing and will potentially soon be 16. Many of the group have already tested their skills in England and New Zealand and one Orange member will even play at an Easter service in the UK this year.
“There is a great sense of camaraderie with bell ringers internationally and, just as garden enthusiasts visit renowned gardens, bell ringers are notorious for visiting towns with bells,” Mrs Fabrey said.
“We love it for different reasons. Traditionally it is a call for worship for all people, but it doesn’t take much to get us to ring the bells!”
Holy Trinity’s tower was dedicated in 2007 and boasts eight bells, five of which were acquired as second-hand bells from England, and the remaining three from the Ex-Services club and other donors. It also claims the oldest ringing bell in eastern Australia which was made in 1754.
To hear The Ancient Society of College Youths playing the Holy Trinity bBells, the community is invited to stand outside of the church, where the sound is best, tomorrow afternoon from 3.30pm-4.30pm.