Monday, 13 August 2012

The Bells, The Bells! And an update

UPDATE:  see end of post

Have you listened to the new video feed from our tower webcams, yet?

If so, you will no doubt have heard the cathedral bells ring out every quarter hour. But have you listened at 9am, 12 noon or 6pm when the automated carillon plays its tune?

Our brand new live video and audio stream is just the first element to be delivered as part of our Heritage Lottery-funded scheme to enhance everyone's experience of Derby's Peregrine falcons. As well as letting everyone hear our peregrines, it seems to capture the very heartbeat of our city in the rhythm chimed out by the cathedral bells. We are very grateful to SERCO for their help in configuring this stream for us, which up till now was only available to your Project Team. SERCO are amongst the first of a new wave of supporters to be joining us to help deliver our HLF targets over the next few years. But more on these developments later.

If you'd like to get really and close up to Derby Cathedral's bells, why not come along to the annual Derby Cathedral Bellringers' Tower Open Day. It is being held on Saturday, 25th August, between 10am and  2pm.  We've just received this press release which we wanted to share with everyone . . .


Most of us have heard the bells ringing as we pass a church or cathedral, but have you ever wondered how it’s done?

Well, Derby Cathedral is inviting you to find out more about this unique form of music-making at its annual Bellringer’s Open Day, which is taking place on Saturday 25th August.

During the day, visitors to the Cathedral will be able to tour the tower, watch bell ringing demonstrations and try ringing a real bell under careful supervision.

Doors to the Cathedral tower will be open from 10am – 2pm and admission is just £3 for adults and £2 for children (only the over eights can be admitted).

Visitors on the 11.30am tower climb will get the chance to watch and hear the clock carillon in action and those unable to make the climb to the top of the tower will be able to enjoy an exhibition of photographs of the bells just inside the Cathedral.

Developed in England in the 17th century, change ringing is a unique form of music-making, which forms a significant part of English culture. Yet it remains taken for granted by most people – for instance, have you ever though how people ring a bell weighing the equivalent of a car with such acute accuracy?

Derby Cathedral boasts ten bells in its tower one of which, the tenor, was cast in 1520 and is still in use almost 500 years later, making it one of the oldest working objects in Derby.

If you are one of our many overseas blog readers,  
or can't come to Derby on the 25th, 
you might like to see videos of the carillon in action 
and find out more about them here

UPDATE 16th August: two juveniles have been seen recently on the tower, plus the adults from time to time.
If you have time/interest, you might enjoy watching satellite tagged Scottish ospreys fly south (sometimes over Derbyshire) on their autumn migration by going to Roy Dennis' website (just search for 'Roy Dennis'). 'Beatrice' has already got down to France (she flew just W of us) but there are more birds to follow. Last autumn a young male called Rothiemurchus flew over Carsington Water and was also seen from the ground as he passed by! NB