Church Bells - update

I have just found out I am living in the Truman Show!

In our village the church bells sound is a recording. Is this the norm everywhere?

Ps even though they are digital they are 3 minutes late :laughing:


I went to a funeral last week, church (RC) had 4 bells which were tolling, but not moving , so maybe a recording too

I’m sorry about the funeral.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon nowadays. Bell-ringing is a dying art. It doesn’t require much skill (unless you ring complicated changes) or strength, but you need to have an enthusiastic Captain. (I don’t know what the equivalent French term is.)

Oh no! I feel cheated :bell: :no_bell:
Always fancied a bit of campanology, but never had the time!

The bells often don’t move, they are struck by a hammer usually. We don’t have such a thing as change-ringing in France. What we do have in the NE are keyboardy things which pull hammers on wires so you can ring out tunes from bell-towers.


Hmm… can only speak about our own set-up but must admit you can’t see our bells unless you are on the opposite hill and thus on a level with the belfry… or on very tall stilts :wink:
Anyway, we have 3 bells, each of which has a very different sound.
They are no longer worked by pulling the ropes, but by an electric motor system.
The bells can be rocked or struck and there are a number of preset “tunes” which can be achieved … (depending on Wedding, Funeral etc etc…)
These are preprogrammed into the electric master keyboard, on the wall in the sacristy and the commands pass on to the motor system in the belfry.

Nowadays, for time-keeping, we have the main bell clang the hour (twice) and the half-hour (once) and at midday and 7pm, as well as the hour clanging (twice) we have the Angelus which uses all 3 bells (rocking and clanging 150 times) and sounds great.

The night before a funeral, just the 1 bell is tolled… by hand this time (albeit via the keyboard)

We had the annual Bell Contrôle Technique last week… absolutely fascinating.


We had the keyboard operation in the school chapel in the late sixties as did the nearby RC church.

Ah… this tiny village is a little behind the times.
Electricity only arrived in the mid 70’s, allowing housewives to finally have a washing machine instead of using the lavoir… :roll_eyes:
The church bells went “all electric” when the church was reconsecrated in 2000.

You might find this interesting.

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Thanks, you might have met him - big tall dutch man, 17 days older than me!

Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m not sure that I met him but what sad news. Take care.

This local parish has 27 churches and they all use the electric keyboard control for ringing their bells.
Of course not all the churches have the same number of bells… which means the “music” varies.

Are you sure yours is just a recording???

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That’s what a neighbour told us. It came up in conversation last weekend as the new(ish) shop owners who live opposite had asked for the bells not to ring during the night. They have a new baby.

It never bothered me, but it was quite loud. I can see if it is a recording,(that can presumably be adjusted) it may have been frustrating.

I had always thought it would be some sort of lever controlled thing but lots of people here have been surprised to find out it isn’t.


At the request of some locals, our keyboard was adjusted to stop the bells ringing after 10pm and stay silent until 7am…
When the crashing bells of the hour + Angelus… make everyone jump out of bed…
Hmm… everyone that is… except OH and myself…
We live right opposite the belfry and are so attuned to the bells that we don’t even notice if they don’t chime (silence sometimes follows a storm…) :wink:

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Yes a carillon, I suppose it is called the same in English, I hadn’t thought about it, what a moron I am.

No way the volume of our bells can be adjusted… it’s take it or leave it… :wink:

A similar situation exists at Bourneville in Birmingham (the chocolate factory place installed by George Cadbury). The keys are played like an organ with hands and feet.