The Hazards of Bell-ringing

Edward Swift/Wikimedia Commons

By John Martin

Church bell-ringing comes with risks, even for people fully trained in the art. The lesson struck home when Ian Bowman, 51, was hoisted 80 feet into the air after catching his foot in a rope in the bell tower of Worcester Cathedral.

He was one of 20 campanologists from Devon visiting Worcester Cathedral as guest ringers. The Worcester Fire Service freed him and the accident left him with a broken bone in his back.

He told reporters, “We were raising the tenor bell, which takes two people, and the rope caught my heel,” he told reporters. “It pulled me up in the air and I came crashing down on the floor with a big bang.”

Worcester cathedral has a peel of 16 bells, together weighing 16 tons.

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