CHURCHES in Ryedale are looking to recruit bellringers as part of a symbolic national campaign to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The Government and the Central Council of Church Bellringers (CCCBR) are this year running the Ringing Remembers campaign, which recalls that many bell ringers joined the war effort, and many lost their lives.

Just after the war, the CCCBR wrote to all bell towers to compile the roll of honour.

At the time, 1,077 men were reported as lost. More recent research has uncovered more than 300 ringers who died in service, so in total some 1,400 bell ringers lost their lives in the war.

Ringing Remembers is hoping to recruit at least this number of new ringers.

The project says that “ringing is open to adults and children alike, with the youngest learners normally about the age of 10”.

When the bells rang out on November 11, 1918, after several years of silence, they announced the end of the First World War, so as part of the campaign, campanologists nationwide are getting ready to ring the bells on November 11 to mark 100 years since the end of the catastrophic conflict.

Locally, towers such as Helmsley are also appealing for new members.

Teresa Jones, of the Helmsley bellringers, said: “There’s lots of towers in the area, and everybody would like to recruit.

“People can just come along, see the bells, ask questions and have a try. There’s a lot of people who come to it later in life.

“I don’t think people think of bellringing as a hobby but it’s very sociable - we always go the pub afterwards. It keeps your mind alert as well - you have to think and concentrate.

“You meet a lot of life-long friends ringing. And you’re doing something that people like to hear. It’s a very English thing.

“This is an age old tradition which should be preserved.”

In Helmsley, the group ring at 7.30pm on a Monday and for Sunday service. Email Teresa on for details.

There is also more information on the Ringing Remembers campaign, with instructions on how to join, at and at