Bell tolls as Jim notches 5 decades

IT’S a hobby that requires a good memory, physical fitness and a fair amount of hand, eye and ear co-ordination.

Bell ringer Jim Jefferies has been ringing church bells for 55 years.

He started in 1957 in his home village on the outskirts of Bath, England, when bell ringing was something many young boys did at the time.

About 50 years ago he was elected to the Ancient Society of College Youths, London’s premier “change ringing” society.

He’s about to return there to personally collect a certificate recognising five decades of membership.

Though he notes many of his old friends in the society have “left him for dead” when it comes to bell ringing, with some performing in high-profile events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession down the Thames.

The Ringing Master at St Matthew’s said his biggest change-ringing highlight was taking part in a half peal — a bell ringing performance that lasted about an hour.

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