Let the bells ring out! (21st April)

This item of news regarding European Bell Ringers (not change ringing)  is offered to you for consideration…many of us will be ringing that day for HM Queen Elizabeth’s birthday… we might like to consider supporting the event?  This sentence struck a chord with me….

“We wish to draw attention to the importance bellringing has had in our history and society until the last half century, and to stress the danger of its disappearance in various European regions and countries.”

Viv Nobbs

Dear Bellringers,

As many of you already know, 2018 has been declared European Cultural Heritage Year. Hispania Nostra, INTBAU, Campaners d’Albaida and MitMac, the Museu Internacional del Toc Manual de Campanes, thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, through a contribution to the Chicago Community Trust for the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Fund have joined forces to invite all European bellringers who still employ the manual form of bellringing to ring their bells on 21 April at 12.00 noon, in celebration of this declaration.

As mentioned in a letter sent in January this year, we invite you to take part in this event aiming to stress the importance of this element of immaterial culture representing a sonorous or collective language of the European heritage, propagated to other continents. We wish to draw attention to the importance bellringing has had in our history and society until the last half century, and to stress the danger of its disappearance in various European regions and countries. Our final objective is for manual bellringing to be declared Immaterial Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In order to join forces and gain visibility we request each of you to record the bellringing of 21 April (in horizontal format), so as to be able to created a video reflecting the joint sucess of the event. The videos should be sent by e-mail to toquemanualdecampanas@hispanianostra.org


In addition to the initiative of 21 April and to reflect the indispensible work of bellringers we are compiling an inventory of belltowers, bells and bellringers in Spain and Europe. On the website of Hispania Nostra you can find a map, which is still under construction, where we are geolocating manually rung bells and associations or groups of bellringers. It is accompanied by a list to assist searches on the map. Both are linked to a data sheet about each belltower containing the information you provide on the form mentioned in our previous letter.

We request those who have not yet completed the form to do so on this link. We hope to include on the data sheets of each tower the photographs, videos and other information you send us.
In Spain the first peal will take place in a solemn ceremony at the belltower of Albaida attended by various personalities, followed by bellringers throughout Europe.

We request you to spread information on this event to people and organizations who might be interested, and to inform the press in your region or country. We should be grateful if you would send us press cuttings, radio or television coverage, so as to pass them on to other participants.

We offer our thanks for your interest and participation in the simultaneous bellringing initiative of 21 April at 12.00 noon.

Our cordial greetings,

Araceli Pereda
President of Hispania Nostra
Antonio Berenguer
Coordinator, Campaners
Remei Arévalo
Director, MitMac
Harriet Wennberg
Executive Director of INTBAU UK

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