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Almighty ding-dong as church bell ringer gets in a tangle

A novice campanologist has discovered that church bell ropes can produce a powerful pull.

  • Andrew Hough
  • United Kingdom
  • November 7, 2012
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A church bell-ringer was rescued by fire crews after becoming entangled in ropes in a belfry, it emerged tonight.

Helen Springthorpe was knocked unconscious in the tower of St Nicholas Church, Bathampton, near Bath, Somerset on Monday night.

Authorities said the campanologist, who had only been in the job for three months, was "thrown around the belfry" after tripping and becoming "entangled in a bell ringing rope".

The 58 year-old, who had hit her head on the belfry wall, was on her first "pull" of the night with six other campanologists, during regular bell-ringing rehearsals.

At least 20 firemen and paramedics spent more than an hour on a delicate rescue operation that involved raising part of the bell-ringing gallery floor.

Mrs Springthorpe was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath with a suspected pelvic injury, but only suffered heavy bruising and was released.

As she recovered at home in Bath tonight, she described herself as “just a bit unlucky” and could recall very little of the incident.

"I don't really remember very much about it," said the mother-of-one.

"The other bell ringers all had a go because I am new. I have only been doing it for three months and I am learning.

"I was having a go with one other person showing me how it is done."

Mrs Springthorpe, an administrative worker and typist for an architect, added: "I then tripped and hit my head on the wall.

"I don't recall much more, and next thing I know I open my eyes and there are paramedics looking at me. I'm still trying to get myself together now. I remember lots of people around.

"The bell tower was full of firefighters and paramedics. It was an amazing sight."

She continued: "I remember being strapped to a stretcher and lowered through the trap door, seeing all the plaques on the wall in the church as I was lowered down."

Her 30 year-old daughter found out after it was reported in the local press, and "laughed very hard when I told her about it".

Full Story: Almighty ding-dong at bell-ringer's tangle

Source: Telegraph
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