Visitors from within the Blackburn Branch or anywhere further afield are more than welcome to attend practice nights at Colne or even Sunday service ringing (check the Ringing Times to find out when we ring). Practices are very occasionally cancelled or rearranged at a different tower due to the proximity of a local theatre. If you would like to confirm before visiting, please feel free to contact the a couple of days in advance.

Finding Us
St Bartholomew's is in the centre of Colne at the top of the hill (along with the town hall) and can be seen from miles around. Check a 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey map or a 1:10,000 scale street map of the area to locate the church.

Parking
There is limited parking immediately in front of the church and also a free car park opposite with around 50 spaces.

 

Practice Night Visitors
We've had the odd visitor from far flung parts of the country who are usually in the area on business or even sightseeing, but in April 2002 we had a group visit when most of the Accrington ringers came over to Colne for a specially arranged Friday practice. Ian Benson, webmaster of Accrington's website, took a couple of snaps with his digital camera and kindly gave permission for us to use one of them on our site (right).

However, most of our visitors come along as part of an outing to the area in general. Over the last few years St Bart's has hosted the Nabbers, a Cycling Bellringer's group, visitors from Settle and other bands. The most recent people to come along to Colne were from Leeds Parish Church who left us a thank you message on our blackboard!

click for larger image Accrington's visit
click for larger image Leeds say thanks!

Church bellringing can be a very rewarding pastime. It combines a unique blend of mental and physical prowess and fosters a great camaraderie, plus there's lots of other social occasions like tower tours, quiz nights, treasure hunts, and of course the pub after practices! The only real requirement necessary to learn the art of campanology is to be able to count to six or eight and back at a steady pace. You don't need to be Einstein, musical knowledge is not a necessity and neither are Schwartzenegger-sized muscles! Anyone from the age of about 12 onwards can learn to ring church bells competently, some are even younger. Best of all it's FREE!

Once you have been taught one-on-one how to control a bell and ring on your own, you will progress to ringing with other people, at first in "rounds" (ringing the bells in tonal sequence). By this time you will have probably been bitten by the bellringing bug - maybe one from our tower! - and will go on to ring called changes (where the conductor changes the order of the bells regularly while ringing). In most parts of the country, once you can manage called changes and rounds you'll make a start on method ringing (methods are what ringers call tunes, though they are based more around mathematics than music). There are so many of these that it would take a lifetime to master even a modest selection of them - no one ever really stops learning the Exercise, you can take it as far as you wish.

Guide to learning to ring
John Sturdy's extensive site provides a much more detailed introduction to bellringing.

Glossary of ringing terms
Also by John Sturdy, this is a comprehensive A to Z description of most ringing topics.

History of change ringing
This American site has some interesting information on origins of change ringing, including a few nice pictures.

If you would like to have a go at bellringing please e-mail the who will try to find the contact details for someone in your area. Alternatively, if you would like to have a ring or maybe even start learning seriously at Colne, please and we'll try to sort something out for you. Why not have a go and be part of a centuries-old English tradition?

 
The ringing room at St Bart's boasts a fine collection of minibugs from several parts of the UK. If you are thinking of coming to visit us, either during a practice, branch meeting, or just a one off request, we'd be very grateful if you could bring along a minibug from your own area to add to our collection. All bugs will be given a good home and treated well (unless they happen to stray too near the vacuum cleaner...).
click for larger image St Bart's minibugs!
 
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