St Albans Abbey ringing out for the Olympics

RESIDENTS in St Albans will all have a ringing in their ears tomorrow morning.

But don’t worry, it isn’t tinnitus – bells around the district and throughout the country will be ringing in unison to signal the start of the Olympics.

Cow bells, church bells and even school dinner bells will be chiming at precisely 8.12am on Friday, July 27.

Bells at local landmarks including St Albans Cathedral and the Clock Tower in the city centre will be rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes, as part of the nationwide mass bell-ringing.

Pupils of Camp School, St Albans, are also participating in the event, despite it being the first week of their holidays.

Head teacher Louise Cornock said the school boasted a variety of bells including a traditional one above the main building.

Louise added that when she heard about the unique event, the brainchild of Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, “it seemed too crazy not to take part in it”.

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She went on: “Our pupils are really excited about the Olympic Games and this is another brilliant way for them to get involved with it.

“We hope the residents on Camp Road will join in with the fun too.”

A tune never heard before on the carillon of St Albans Cathedral will ring out to celebrate the first day of London 2012.

Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire will be played on the carillon as part of Martin Creed’s Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes.

Canon Kevin Walton said: “We are delighted to share in this innovative nationwide celebration of the Games and we hope to hear bells ringing across St Albans and the region.”

Volunteers from the Archaeological and Architectural Society (Arc and Arc) will ring one of two Clock Tower bells.

Helen Bishop, Clock Tower volunteer coordinator, said: “We are going to ring the market bell for the city. It is the only medieval town clock tower in England.”

The nationwide bell-ringing is London 2012 Festival’s biggest community project. Website has also launched an official join-in app for London 2012, including a ‘shake to ring’ facility featuring the All The Bells ringtone, Work No. 1372. See