23 July 2012
Visitors to the City of London for the three Olympic marathon races will be greeted by continuous bell ringing from some of the Square Mile’s most historic churches.
57 of the UK’s most experienced ringers will be ringing at St Paul’s Cathedral, St Mary le Bow, St Lawrence Jewry, St Magnus the Martyr, St Vedast and St Katharine Cree.
While the Olympic runners are pounding the streets, the teams of ringers will be performing their own physical feat: pulling the ropes continuously for around three to four hours, some of which weigh up to three tonnes.
For the women’s marathon an all-female band will be attempting a peal at St Paul’s, the first all-woman attempt on the bells.
Simon Meyer, Steeplekeeper at St Mary le Bow said: “The sound of bells and bell ringing is an age-old and uniquely English tradition and we hope runners and spectators alike will feel energised as they come into the City for this special event.”
Notes to editors
All the ringing for the 3 marathons (men’s women’s and Paralympics) has been co-ordinated by the Ancient Society of College Youths, a ringing society created in London in 1637, and still very active in the City of London’s churches and with members across the country and abroad. More information about the society is available from www.ascy.org.uk. Many of the peal attempts will feature members of the ASCY, with London-based ASCY bands ringing at St Mary le Bow for the Men’s marathon, St Magnus the Martyr for the Women’s and St Vedast for the Paralympics.
For the Women’s marathon, a band of Ringers from York Minister will be attempting a peal at St Mary le Bow and at St Lawrence Jewry by a University of London Band. Another London-based society – the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths – will be making the attempt at St Magnus and at St Vedast by their own local ringers for the Men’s marathon. The Cambridge Youths will be ringing at St Magnus for the Paralympics.
About the City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as the world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama; the Guildhall Library and Art Gallery and London Metropolitan Archive; education (including three independent schools and sponsor of three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge); the Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey; over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. It is also London’s Port Health Authority and runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. It works in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on the regeneration of surrounding areas and the City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects in London. The City of London Corporation co-funds the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands with the GLA and a number of other organisations and individuals. The City of London Corporation co-funds the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands with the GLA and a number of other organisations and individuals.