Platinum Jubilee ringing
Over the course of the Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, Otley ringers featured in five successful quarter peals, and one successful peal.
This included a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles (see announcement below) on Sunday 5th June; a first inside for the tower's youngest ringer Jamie Ross.
Durham University ringing tour On Friday 17th June 2022 ringers from Durham University will visit the tower and ring from 3.30-4.15pm
Ringing update April 2022
Since Covid restrictions have been relaxed, ringing has gradually been returning to normal.
Sunday: 10-10.30am before the morning service. Normally all 8 bells are rung, or fewer when ringers are unavailable.
Monday: 6.15-7.15pm. Silent practice with the bells muffled, and sound via a simulator in the ringing chamber. A great opportunity for new ringers to learn rope handling, and for regular ringers to hone their skills, without annoying the good people of Otley!
Thursday: 7.30-9pm. Regular practice.
Ringing for weddings, funerals and other occasions as requested.
Changing the Guards at Otley tower (July 2021)
Meg Morton grew up within the sound of the Shelford church bells in Nottinghamshire but became more curious about bell ringing after hearing the bells of St Magnus church whilst on a visit to Orkney. However it was not until after moving to Otley in 1980 that 2 years later she and husband Tom started learning to ring and by the late 1990’s Meg became tower captain.
The band for many years was strong and well peopled. Ringers would come from other local towers to join in on practice nights and ring for weddings. Meg organised ringing weekends all over the country and on New Years Eves the old year was seen out on half muffled bells and the new welcomed in on open bells followed by shots of whiskey for the ringers!
Gradually over the years as younger band members moved away or took up other interests and older members went – we hope (!) - to glory, numbers began to dwindle so that often there sometimes only 2 or 3 people ringing. However Meg always ensured that there was a Sunday bell rung, believing as she did that if the sound of bells ceased, the bells which have rung out over Otley for at least three centuries, would fall silent for ever.
However in 2012/2013 there was a renewed interest in bell ringing at Otley and by the time of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire for the Tour de France in 2013 all 8 bells were rung by an Otley band as the cyclists rode through the town.
-------- and now – post covid (or nearly we hope) all the ringers are back, ringing for practice nights, Sunday service and weddings again. After over 20 years as tower captain at Otley All Saints, Meg Morton is passing the baton on now to Julia Thornely. At a service on Yorkshire day Aug 1st, Meg was thanked for her service and Julia introduced to members of the congregation.
Of course Meg will continue to ring at Otley, help to teach new ringers and advise on all those tower matters about which she has such wisdom and knowledge. The ringers, church and community are immensely grateful for her long and committed service to the tower and wish her all the best with new ventures.
Meg’s byword has always been tower safety and good striking so as to give pleasure primarily to those listening outside the tower. We in the tower aim to continue that legacy.
Thank you Meg