All the Bells – Work No. 1197

At 8:12 am today I took part in ‘All the Bells’ to ring in the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The event was masterminded by Martin Creed and the aim was to ring all the bells in the country as quickly and loudly as possible for 3 minutes. It was timed to be exactly 12 hours before the opening ceremony of the Games, which starts at 20:12 this evening.

At St. Michael’s Church, Boldmere in Sutton Coldfield we chimed the heaviest 6 of our 8 church bells.  An official Olympic volunteer at the football in Coventry, Debbie, came along in her (very smart) uniform to support us and took the picture below (I’m the one in the middle with the black T-shirt).

All the Bells - Bellringing for London 2012 Olympics, St. Michael's Boldmere

All this Olympic mania made me wonder what happened to the 100 chosen to be ‘Olympic Storytellers’ after the invitation for us all to apply last year. I wasn’t successful and have heard nothing about it since. But a quick trawl of the web has thrown up the Olympic Story Tellers’ Website. Here each of selected writers has published their news and views of the Olympics. There are poems, photographs and blog posts – take a look if you get a minute.

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  1. #1 by Nigel Crowther. on July 27, 2012 - 11:15 am

    Thanks Sally. Good photo and the ‘chiming’ at that time of the morning was an unusual bit of fun!

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on July 27, 2012 - 11:37 am

      And it was nice to be part of a national event, wasn’t it, Nigel?

  2. #3 by Debbie Young on July 27, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    What a very special way to feel a sense of nationwide pride and community! Unfortunately I live too far from any church to have heard the bells (unless the wind is blowing in a certain direction from our village church). But my great-grandfather was an accomplised bell-ringer which gives me a certain affinity the subject – one of my favourite books is The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers, in which, some say, it’s not Lord Peter Wimsey who is the hero, but the bells! (They are the Nine Tailors in the title.) A very exciting way for you to have started this special, once-in-a-lifetime day for our country! (Unless, of course, you are as old as my parents, who remember the 1948 ones, when they were teenagers in austerity London – not quite the same thing at all!)

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on July 27, 2012 - 4:28 pm

      I like ‘The Nine Tailors’ too, I read it many years ago. No, I’m not as old enough to have seen the 1948 Games! So this is a once-in-a-lifetime for me too and I’m looking forward to the opening ceremony tonight.

      • #5 by Debbie Young on July 27, 2012 - 5:33 pm

        I adore all the Wimsey books. Have you tried the more recent ones by Jill Paton Walsh? I’m always guarded when an author muscles in on someone else’s characters, but she’s done a fab job.

      • #6 by Sally Jenkins on July 27, 2012 - 6:56 pm

        No, I haven’t seen those books, Debbie. I’ll look out for them.

  3. #7 by susanjanejones on July 27, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    How exciting Sally, you could write an article about it surely? Something People’s Friend would like.

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on July 27, 2012 - 6:55 pm

      Possibly, Susan – will have to give it some thought.

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