Restoration of the bells and mechanisms, which has taken in total some six years, is now complete; they are back in situ, ringing and sound truly amazing.Looking on from the side lines, the restoration of the Buckland Newton church bells has taken hours and hours of mental and physical effort in some shape or form. After endless paperwork, submissions and discussions — and finally permissions, the bells were taken down from the church tower in January 2012, handed over to the bell hangers (Nicholson Engineering) in Bridport, retuned, refurbished and finally returned to the bell ringing chamber for everyone to enjoy.There were of course the unexpected hiccups on the way, like the extra requirement for a sound proofed ceiling and essential welding of the third bell in Newmarket, so that it did not break in use. All the problems were overcome, thanks to the willing and hardworking team who wanted to ensure that the project would succeed to benefit the village with a harmonious new sound. This now means that the bells will be up to scratch and available for use by our local and visiting ringing teams until the next major overhaul in 2100!All over the country bells were rung on Saturday, May 6th to mark the coronation of a new king, in response to the request, ‘Ring for the King’. It was after this request went out that people started to realise how few bellringers there are in the country and, like ringers in many other places, our band rang in our home tower of Buckland Newton, Mappowder and Bishops Caundle on the morning of the ceremony. At festivals, like Christmas, we often go to ring in two or three towers so that the bells can be heard in these communities, as they have over the centuries.Of course, bells are rung for big national occasions, as they have been for hundreds of years, with only a break during wars and Covid. The bells are also rung for more local events including weddings, baptisms, in memory of a villager who has died, special birthdays and for regular church services.Ringing is an ancient art which is in decline so, if you have ever wondered what goes on in the tower on most Wednesday evenings, why not come and join us from 7.30pm to see how it’s done? Bellringing can be a lifelong learning curve and a great way to make new friends.The photo shows some of our band who ‘Rang for the King’.Left to right: Brian, Pam, Will, Stephen, David, Jane and Nick (our Captain)The leading light is Nick Baker, the Tower Captain. Nick has been ringing for 20 years, since he was 11. Bridget, his mother, introduced him to the team and he has enjoyed bell ringing ever since. He is currently Assistant Ringing Master of the Dorset County Association of Bellringers, a committee member of Bradpole Ringing Centre and Steeple Keeper of Sherborne Abbey. Bradpole is one of the centres specialising in teaching, including the use of a simulator, to introduce new ringers and improve the standards of teams across the county. Nick is one of a very select group of experienced ringers in Dorset who practice the 'surprise' methods of change ringing, the most advanced. If you didn't know it is "a treble bob method in which an internal place is made every time the treble is going from one dodge to another." Nick rings generally between 4 and 6 days every week. He thoroughly enjoys the very sociable company and says the friends he makes is what it is all about. He is also very keen on training and helping new team members. He never has been a churchgoer and cheerfully admits he would be just as happy if the bell tower was in the middle of a field!Practices are held on Wednesdays at Buckland Newton church, except for the first Wednesday of the month at Mappowder. If you have been a bell ringer and are interested in joining us or would like to learn, please give Nick a ring on 01300 345386 to arrange to join us on a Wednesday evening. You would be very welcome.