On Saturday 16th December 2023 the Leeds Ringers return at 2:30pm for a quarter peal attempt. We spoke to Matthew from the ringers to find out more about their plans.

You are coming to Bradford Cathedral for a quarter peal attempt on the 16th December – are you looking forward to it?

Definitely. The Bradford Cathedral bells are really enjoyable to ring and they sound great, so it’s always a popular tower for visiting bellringers.

Is this part of a general ringing session, or are you preparing for an event?

This is just a general ringing session. We’re going to attempt a quarter peal in a method (which is a set pattern of changes for 12 bells) called Zanussi Surprise Maximus. It’s quite a tricky method, and something we’ve been learning to ring as a band for a few months, so this is really an opportunity for us to get some extra practice in.

Could you tell us a little bit more about the Leeds Ringers?

We ring the bells at Leeds Minster every Sunday morning (before the Sunday Eucharist) and every Thursday evening (our practice session). Twice a month, we run more advanced sessions, which attract bellringers from further afield – some regulars come to Leeds once a month from Manchester, York, and elsewhere. Attendance at our sessions is generally very high, and has continued to increase over the past six months. We’re a very close-knit group: we go to the pub after Thursday practices, and have coffee/breakfast together after Sunday ringing too.

What events / activities have you been involved in recently?

I’m quite new to the Leeds band – I only moved to the city in July – but throughout the year the band has entered quite a few regional and national bellringing contests. Leeds rang in the final of the National 12-bell Striking Contest at Sheffield Cathedral back in June, and on a more local level we also participated in the White Rose Striking Contest at Ripon Cathedral in October. The national contest takes up a lot of practice time and focus each year, so we’re already beginning to prepare for the 2024 contest! We also have several ringers under the age of 18 at Leeds who rang for the ‘Yorkshire Tykes’ band at the National Youth Contest in July. We have ringers of every age at Leeds, which is a healthy sign for the future of ringing.

How can people find out more about you online?

We have our own page on the Leeds Minster website where you can find out more about the band, what we do, and when we ring. There are contact details on the website, and we’d love to hear from anyone who wants to find out more about ringing, or who wants to pay a visit to one of our practice nights.

You will be able to hear the Leeds Ringers from around 2:30pm on Saturday 16th December, ringing ahead of our Nine Lessons and Carols service, which begins at 6pm – all are welcome to attend!

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