Bellringing at the Bell Tower, Perth
Welcome to the website of the St Martin’s Society of Change Ringers.
We are the band of ringers who practise and teach full-circle bellringing at the Bell Tower in Perth, Western Australia.
New members are welcome!
The Sounds of Time
700th anniversary of the first mechanical clock to play a named tune
On Sunday 28 November 2021 we joined ringers and musicians around Australia in the Sounds of Time project. Members of the society rang handbells to the notation of the hymn Conditor alme siderum (Creator of the Stars of Night).
One of our members, Rhys, programmed the carillon on level six of the Bell Tower to play the hymn. The carillon played throughout the day.
Sounds of Time commemorates the 700th anniversary of the first mechanical clock to play a named tune, Conditor alme siderum. The clock was installed in St Catherine’s Monastery, Rouen, France, in 1321. This makes the hymn one of the first examples of recorded music!
This event is a collaboration between churches, secular musicians and the Australian Research Council project The Sounds of Time. You can find out more about the project at http://soundsoftime.org.
Thursday 27 January at 6.30pm: Quarter peal to celebrate an 80th birthday
Saturday 29 January: Private function
Saturday 12 February: Private function
Thursday 3 March: Quarter peal for the HMAS Perth (I) commemoration
St Martin’s Society: who we are
Our name comes from the origin of twelve of our bells – the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. Now known as the Swan Bells, and with new bells added, they are one of only three peals of sixteen change-ringing bells in the world. This makes the Bell Tower a highly desirable destination for visiting ringers, especially from overseas. The Bell Tower is also one of the very few places where visitors may walk around and observe the bells while they are ringing, as well as the ringers below.
St Martin’s members range in age from teenagers to people in their eighties, and are from all walks of life. Many learned to ring in England as youngsters, others were taught right here in Perth.
The society is an independent incorporated body under the leadership of an elected tower captain and committee.
Our current Tower Captain is Michael Collinson, who learnt to ring at the Bell Tower. Please contact Mike with any queries about the society and ringing with us at the Bell Tower.
Listen to the 16 bells being rung together:
We ring the bells in full-circle change ringing at the following times:
12.00 – 13.00 (General ringing. Please confirm your attendance.)
10.30 – 11.30 (Handling and simulator training)
11.30 – 12.00 (Hand bells)
12.00 – 13.00 (General ringing)
Please contact the tower captain for confirmation and more information, if you are not already on our email list.
There is ringing on other civic days and holidays by arrangement. Please see our calendar for more information.
Please see the Bell Tower website for opening times when it is possible to see the Swan Bells, many other exhibits and the ringing chamber.
Please remember to sign in on arrival at the Bell Tower using the SafeWA app (or the paper register) at reception or at the door to the ringing room.
Education and training
There is an ongoing education and training program in conjunction with the WA branch of ANZAB. Please see the calendar for forthcoming events. We welcome all who want to improve their ringing. For more information, or to suggest a topic for future training, please contact Mike or Julie.
Visiting ringers from other towers are always warmly welcomed at ringing times, regardless of their proficiency, and are offered a St Martin’s polo-shirt once they have rung the bells (but, sorry, this will cost $40.00…) Please send us an email in advance so that we can confirm ringing is taking place, look out for you, and ensure that reception staff do not request the admission fee!
Please let us know if you are interested in ringing a quarter peal.
We look forward to welcoming you at the Bell Tower!
- David Nicolson, photographer
- Tony Murray-Feist
- Irene Mackenzie, secretary, St Martin’s Society
- Heather Patman
- Richard Offen
Acknowledgement of Country
The St Martin’s Society of Change Ringers acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we ring, and their continuing connection to the land and river. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.