A GROUP of campanologists have rung the bell after becoming part of an elite group.
Ten bellringers from Hartlepool who have helped mark some of the biggest nationwide events of the last 12 months, including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, have been recognised for their dedication.
The group has received membership of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers from president Karen Dickingson.
Presenting the awards, Ms Dickingson said she was very proud that Hartlepool has such a thriving, enthusiastic team of bellringers which has grown from two to more than 20 in the past three years.
She said: “Their willingness to learn how to ring has paid off with them becoming bellringers and you are joining a large band or ringers around the world.”
The group were part of bellringing extravaganza to celebrate the first day of the Olympic Games last year that saw bells chiming nationwide to mark the event.
Members were also involved in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and a string of further events in Hartlepool.
Andrew Frost, secretary of the Hartlepool Bellringers, said: “In the past three years, supported by the Hartlepool Mail, the number of bellringers in Hartlepool has grown from two to more than 20.
“During 2012 the bells in the town were rung from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics, Remembrance Sunday, weddings, funerals, church services and just for the fun of ringing.
“There’s always room for anybody to learn to ring bells in Hartlepool.”
He added: “It really is quite something to have ten bellringers who have received this award from the diocese. It’s a big turning point and it is absolutely superb.”
The Hartlepool bellringers will also be holding the annual general meeting for the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers on April 27, with a bell-ringing competition at All Saints Church, Stranton, and awards being handed out by an ex-president of the diocesan association. Anyone interested in a becoming bellringer can telephone Andrew on (01429) 281776.