High Sheriff of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness tried her hand at bell ringing during a recent visit to All Saints’ Church in Oakham.
Dr Furness had such a good time she is considering taking up the hobby when her year in office comes to an end in April.
Dr Furness said: “For me the sound of bell ringing is quintessentially English and usually so joyful.
“It would be such a loss if people don’t continue to learn how to do it. Bellringers are desperately needed across the country and Rutland is no exception.
“I could see what brilliant physical and mental exercise it is – and also what friendships are formed in the bell tower.
“People of all ages and both sexes were intent on producing ‘bobs’ and some really complex changes such as the Cambridge Major.
“It was impressive. I think I may succumb and learn once I step down from my High Sheriff role in April.
“I remember my parents telling me how church bells were silenced in the war – and the joy when they were sounding again and the war was really over.
“They mark great occasions. An English wedding requires the clamour of the bells to mark the completion of the ceremony and the sad muffled peal marks a death.
“I first realised that Princess Diana had died when I heard the wonderful muffled peal of the bells of St Andrew’s Whissendine.
“Rutland has some experienced bell ringers. I look forward to them ringing the 12 bells of Peterborough Cathedral before the Rutland Service on February 26 at 3.30pm.
“All are welcome.”