Outside interest: Bell-ringing

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 3 Jun 2015

Helen HerriottYou can hear Helen Herriott for miles around on a Sunday morning when she's bell-ringing. The NLP planner has been ringing for several years and hones her art in one of London's finest ecclesiastical landmarks, Southwark Cathedral.

How did you get into being a church bell-ringing?

I learnt to ring as a teenager as my parents and brother were all keen bell-ringers, so it was hard to avoid.

What does it involve?
Once you have mastered the basics, you typically ring a ‘method’ – a continuous piece of music learnt off-by-heart. Every Sunday morning I ring for a church service at Southwark Cathedral, and sometimes others after this, and attend a practice at least one evening every week - followed by drinks in a nearby pub.

Why do you do it?

Bell-ringing is a very social team activity that introduces you to a global group of friends. It also gives a continuous opportunity to challenge yourself and learn new 'methods'.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

Getting up on a Sunday morning can be tiresome but it eventually becomes routine and the prospect of coffee afterwards is always welcome. It can also be mentally and physically challenging when learning something new; you have to be able to concentrate on a lot of things at the same time.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

There is a sense of achievement you get from learning something and doing it successfully is rewarding. ‘Good’ or rhythmic ringing can sound incredible.

Are there any similarities between your day job and bell-ringing?

Both my day job and bell-ringing demand commitment and team work. The more effort you put it to it, the more you get out of it. Bell-ringing also gives the opportunity to travel the country on tours, often to obscure places, which echoes the role of a planner.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com