St Albans bells ring out for Olympics

WIND chimes, bicycle and school bells were among those ringing in the start of the Olympics in St Albans this morning.

Residents took part in a nationwide bell-ringing event, London 2012 Festival’s biggest community project, to ring bells of all shapes and sizes for three minutes from 8.12am, Friday July 27.

Bells at local landmarks including St Albans Cathedral and the Clock Tower in the city centre were rung as quickly and as loudly as possible.

At Camp School, parent Nicola MacKinnon joined about 40 people including teachers and holidaying pupils to ring bells.

She said: “It was very, very loud. The children were excited because they felt they were part of the opening ceremony. They wanted to be part of the Olympics.

“There is no other country in the world that would have thought of something like this. It was lovely, very overwhelming.”

On the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia, a parent of a former Camp School pupil joined in the event ringing a bell at the same time, in support of the school.

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In inner St Albans, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Cathedral to hear a tune never played before on the carillon to celebrate the opening of the Games.

Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire rang out across St Albans at 8.12am as part of Martin Creed’s Work No. 1197: All the Bells.

Reverend Richard Watson, Sub Dean at the Abbey, said: “The bells here have rung out over the city for centuries and we very much wanted to be a part of this special occasion. It was a wonderful event and we were very pleased so many people came here to join in with their own bells.”

The carillon joined thousands of bells across the country, from church to bicycle bells, all ringing to mark this historical moment and to celebrate the Games.