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Gail Cater celebrates 70th birthday with bell ringing at Norton church
10:42am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
A THREE-HOUR full peal will ring from St Peter’s Church in Norton on Saturday.
The parochial church council has agreed to host the peal after a request from Gail Cater, the longest-serving member of York Minster ringers, who is celebrating her 70th birthday at the weekend. Mrs Cater, who lives in York, chose St Peter’s for the full peal.
She said: “When bellringers want to celebrate something special they often choose to ring a peal. I chose to do my special ring at Norton as the church has such a lovely ring of bells and it will be a great pleasure.”
Mrs Cater said she started bell-ringing 50 years ago after being introduced through a friend.
“It is a lot like learning a musical instrument and then joining an orchestra,” she said.
“Bell-ringing does take a lot of practice and for the full peal I have a very experience band of friends to join me on the day.”
Mrs Cater said as a full peal lasted almost three hours it was both physically and mentally demanding.
“It will be a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday, and I will be joined by my husband Robert and daughter Julia, who are also bell-ringers, as well as some long-standing friends and a couple of younger ringers.
“I do feel it is important to encourage younger people to get involved – bell-ringing has been going for more than 300 years and is so English, we certainly don’t want it to die out.”
The Rev Rachel Hirst, from St Peter’s, said they often got requests from groups to use the bells but it was rare to have a full peal of bells.
“It is a great honour to have someone from the York Minster ringers ringing at the church,” she said.
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