Ring Out @ Frome Festival 2023
Presented by Rook Lane Arts Trust and Artmusic
RING OUT celebrates Frome and the surrounding area through our local bells. During the 17th to 19th centuries, the town was home to the Cockey family of bell-founders. At least 23 church towers in Somerset and 40 in Dorset and Wiltshire still include Cockey bells in their rings. Bell-founding and bell-ringing are an industry and activity currently under threat in Britain. RING OUT aims to contribute to a resurgence of interest in bells and bell-ringing; to encourage curiosity about bells and their history and invite everyone to ring, listen, learn and enjoy.
There are bell-themed events throughout the festival including walks, talks, concerts, and workshops. You can go on a guided visit to a bell foundry and engineering firm, explore bell towers in local villages, create your own bell tune, have a go at handbell ringing, or even try your hand at ringing a tower bell when the Charmborough Ring portable belfry comes to town.
Throughout the festival you will hear the new Frome Carillon ringing from high above the market place. The carillon will mark the hours with chimes and tunes telling you where you are and what time it is, just as clocks and bells have done throughout history.
Our finale at Rook Lane Chapel includes a miscellany of bell sounds and stories, a performance of newly composed bell music by local composer Helen Ottaway and a few surprises. After it’s all over, you can download a RING OUT ring tone to your phone to remind you of Frome’s bells.
Photo Credit – Mary Hooper