After the opening peal in 1877 by the College Youths, only one other peal was rung on the bells before they were augmented to 10 in 1973.
Between then and 2010 35 peals were rung all by visiting bands although one in 2009 had 5 Inverness members in the band. In September 2010 eight Inverness ringers rang a peal of Grandsire Triples, the first by a local band
Following the replacing of the ‘out of tune’ 9 th bell in 2012 the first peal with the new bell – Plain Bob Caters – was rung in May 2013 by a band of 7 Inverness ringers and 3 from the Scottish Association
A third peal board now hangs in the tower to record a peal rung on remembrance week end 2014 to mark 100 years since the start of WW1 by Scottish Association members. 5039 changes of Grandsire Caters. The board especially remembers Fredrick Harold Winchester, killed in 1917, who was both secretary and treasured of the Cathedral’s Bellringing Society by 1912.
In 2014 we excelled by ringing 17 quarter peals on the tower bells, more than any previous year.
An ‘Open Day’ held in March 2015 attracted a good flow of interested people to climb to the ringing room and have a try at ringing bells under the supervision of experienced ringers. In the back of the Cathedral a Six Bell ‘Mini Ring’ – made by the ‘Steeple keeper’ – allowed those not wanting to climb the stairs to see what ringing is about to have a try at ringing
In 2015 the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers asked ALL bell ringers to mark the Tri-centenary of the first recorded peal – rung at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich – by adding 300 first peal ringers to the lists of those who have rung a peal.
At Inverness we had one ringer we could add to this list – Struan Maclean – now 15 who has been ringing for three and a half years. On October 18 th six ringers from Inverness joined owners Peter and Helen at Tulloch ringing centre and rang a respectable peal of Plain Bob Major in 2 hours and 47 minutes. Well done Struan.
Following the success of the 2015 Open Day a repeat was arranged for Saturday 13th of February 2016. Posters around the City and features in the ‘Inverness Courier’ brought a good crowd to the tower to find out more.
In the back of the Cathedral once again the Mini Ring was set up, ideal for the younger generation to get their first touch of a bell rope. A dumb bell i.e. a wheel with a weight that is rotated by pulling a bell rope demonstrated what happens in the tower above. CCTV showed the bells ringing in the belfry and refreshments were served.
In the ringing room those sufficiently interested were given instruction in the first steps of learning to ring a church bell. As a result 16 people added their names to a list of those wanting to come back again. An invitation was issued to come to the tower at 18.00 on a Thursday evening when further instruction will be given.
INVERNESS RINGERS’ ALL DAY PRACTICE AT TULLOCH
Although illness and other commitments prevented everyone from attending another all-day practice at Tulloch on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, the event proved to be most useful. Much of the time was devoted to call-changes on six bells for our new recruits, but we also focused on perfecting treble ringing to Doubles, as well as introducing one of our ringers to Plain Bob Doubles on an “inside” bell.
There was some ringing on the back eight, but most of the time we rang on the middle six. Even though the bells are so light, they are easy to handle and not too tiring to ring throughout such a long practice.
The day finished with a very respectable quarter-peal of three Doubles methods.
1 Edward R Venn (Conductor)
2 Roy Dyckhoff
3 Hugh G Collins
4 Michael A Neale
5 Michael Foulds
6 Michelle Wiseman
Rung on the middle six
We stopped off at the Lovat Arms Hotel in Fort Augustus on our way back to Inverness to review the day, which all agreed was a great success. We were helped during the day with the presence of two ringers from other towers: Roy Dyckhoff from St Andrews and Mick Foulds from Derby. Their support and encouragement was very much appreciated.
We’ve enjoyed several all-day practices at the Tulloch Ringing Centre now, and intend to arrange at least one a year in the future, as these practices bring everyone together as a social group, which then leads to more relaxed ringing due to nervousness disappearing. Now that Inverness possesses a 10-bell simulator we could organise similar practices in our own tower and will probably do so, but Tulloch remains a very attractive proposition with excellent facilities, and with both peals of bells having short draughts it makes teaching that much easier.
The following pictures show just how much fun was had during the day:
On Saturday July 26th, Ted, Struan*, Hugh, Nick*, Michael Foulds* and Mike* successfully rang a quarter peal of Stedman Doubles, first time for those starred *
Although the February ‘open day’ has not yielded any new recruits, Ellen from 2015 has now rung the cover bell to three quarter peals and Dawn who started to learn in June is making good progress.
We opened the tower on ‘Doors Open Day’ September 17. Nick introduced the visitors to Church Bell Ringing as each group ascended to the ringing room. As a result we now have 2 recruits learning to ring.
This year the Annual Tower meeting was held on Saturday November 12th. Before lunch Struan Maclean called his first Quarter Peal. 480 of Plain Bob Doubles and 780 of Grandsire. – well done Struan.
After lunch Open ringing was followed by the meeting.
Over the year 2016, 14 Quarter peals have been rung at the Cathedral by Inverness ringers plus 2 Peals, one including Inverness ringers.
Ted, Hugh, Sue and Evan have been busy on the hand bells and have rung 10 quarters at Alcaig and 2 at Edderton, for details see ‘Bell Board’
Significant Events in 2017.
On Saturday 12th of August Clare Caley was ordained a Decon by Bishop Mark in the Cathedral. We are the nearest tower as Clare lives in Gairloch, and she has rung with us on various occasions . Before the ordination a quarter peal of Plain Bob Triples was rung by 7 Inverness ringers and 3 other SACR members.
Following the service a second quarter peal of Plain Bob Royal was rung by :- Ted Venn (C), Margaret Williams, Nicola Marshall, Michael Foulds, Susan Brice, Terry Williams, Sally Thomas, Antony Cole, Nicholas Sturgess, and Christopher Thomas.
Saturday/Sunday, 2nd/3rd September. These were designated Open Doors Days.
The tower was manned by Hugh and Rachel on Saturday and Dawn on Sunday, A number of people came up to see what happens in the tower, Time will tell if any new ringers result.
Sunday 3rd September, A special Choral Evensong was held to celebrate Bishop Mark’s appointment as Primate of the Scottish Episcopal Church. As our contribution, we rang a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Minor on the back six bells by :- Hugh Collins, Sarah Cole, Evan Roderick, Mike Neale, Ted Venn (C), & Nicholas Sturgess