Bell ringing for DoE Awards

Our three DoE teens with their tutors, Kate and Paul

Our newest recruits – friends Ed, the two Maxes – Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award participants, reflect on their bell-ringing experiences.


Ed’s first go at PH6, under the tuition of Chris

I am Ed and I have taken up bell ringing for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award is a way of doing challenges with an award; I have taken this up with my school as many do. I have to do volunteering, physical and skills development. I chose bell ringing for the skills development part. I chose bell ringing because my grandma does bell ringing and I was always fascinated by how the bells worked so I saw this as my best opportunity to do it. 

For my award I had to be able to ring rounds on up to 12, be able to ring call changes on at least 6 bells and be able to ring plain hunt on one of any bells.

Some highlights of bell ringing are being able to ring plain hunt on the treble, second and third bell. Another highlight of bell ringing would definitely be going to all the different churches with the Surrey Association young ringers, the Surrey Strikers, and ringing the bells.

One of the things I like about bell ringing is the sociability of it, just getting to know everyone in the tower was very fun for me as everyone is so nice.

In the future I am looking forward to being able to ring complicated pieces like Cambridge Maximus or Stedman but that is still very far from this point.

Keeping it in the family!

Ed pictured ringing with his grandmother. They recently rang a quarter peal together. Ed’s first! A special occasion – you can like it on Bellboard.


Max (centre) ringing with fellow Surrey Strikers (Surrey Association’s youth band) band mates Fraser and Ed

I started learning bell ringing for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. The Duke of Edinburgh award is a youth programme set up to encourage self-reliance, responsibility, social interaction and teamwork and is active in over 144 countries. I chose to start learning bell ringing for the Skills element of my Bronze award, alongside my friends Max and Ed, whose grandmother is a ringer and introduced us to the tower captain at All Saints Church in Kingston. I have really enjoyed learning to ring, and my favourite part is going to different
towers across the country and meeting new people. In the future I hope to learn more methods and visit more towers.

Max C

We are continuing with tradition and when a second person joins the tower with the same name, the second person needs to use their surname initial and forever be called that, sorry Kate C and Max C!

“I started bell ringing in late February 2024 as I was looking for a fun, interesting activity to do for my skills section of my DofE. The DofE is comprised of 3 sections, skills, physical and volunteering, and an expedition. I chose my skill to be for 3 months as I didn’t expect to continue bell ringing but as soon as I started I got stuck in.

Some of my friends, Max and Ed, had started it before me and recommended it as they seemed to enjoy it and it would tick off a section of my DofE. I was taught by two lovely spirited people, Paul and Kate, who helped me become the great bell ringer I am today. It really is quite the skill and so took me some time to learn but after I had gotten the hang of it I really started to enjoy it.

It’s really interesting also to see the history of bell ringing on the walls of the ringing room – it seems to be a part of the Kingston community since the 19th century, maybe even further back. To complete my section I had to learn bell ringing up level 2 and participate in various social events. However it was only after I had completed it that I realised how fast it had gone by. The whole experience doesn’t feel like work and more like a fun hobby.

One of the highlights of my bell ringing journey so far would definitely be exploring different bell towers and trying to ring their bells. You get to see different towers and ring different bells, and belong to a strong community. I am looking forward I hope to become more able in different pieces such as plain hunt and then method ringing.”

The teens are proud to have represented Surrey Association in the RW National Ringing Competition – here they are with their medals