Here in the UK, a centuries old tradition of church bell ringing is under threat. There isa shortage of new recruits. A BBC local radio survey suggests it’s getting more and more difficult to persuade new comers to take on the task. So how do you attract a new generation? Joe Tillie is a tower captain at St Dunstan’s in Stepney in east London. What first lured him to bell ringing?
I think part of it was just curiosity because you hear the noise and behind stain glass windows you can see shadow if figures moving around, and you think, oh what is it that they are doing. So yeah I suppose it’s just curiosity really and then once I got in the tower and found out what the mechanics of it, that’s really what motivated me to do it. And I think what I found was when you first try it, you think it looks really easy. And it’s actually much harder than it looks as most things are. And so you get a real motivation to try and perfect your technique and to do it correctly.
So share some of the skills you found out you needed in case any of our listeners also have a dream to be a bell ringer.
So you are doing an activity that has maybe six, eight or ten people. So your communication has to be very good. You can’t really talk whilst the bells are ringing. So a lot of it is to do with listening. So you are listening for other people’s bells and your bell in relation to that but also the visual clues. So you are looking to see where they are looking, to see where you should be ringing. Or perhaps you might go a bit wrong and someone will turn at you and smile. And you’ve got to pick that up and think “ah, right, what am I supposed to be doing? Am I ringing after that person? Are they telling me to ring more quickly?” And the other aspect of it would be the physical strength. So ringing that requires quite a lot of energy. And so you are perfecting your technique to get the bell up to the balance which with something that big can be quite difficult.
You don’t look like the hulk. So is it the way you pull the bells down cuz usually it’s a big rope, isn’t it or it’s a technique rather than strength?
Yeah, so it relies a lot on I suppose gravitational potential energy. So the bell is, we call it “up”, so it’s balancing. And you just need a tiny pull for it to swing on a wheel. And so that’s where the skill comes because if you pull it too hard, it will spinround too quickly and potentially break. And if you don’t pull it hard enough, then it’s not going to go anywhere. But we have a ringer and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me saying she is quite petite.
1. Under threat 受到威胁
例：A third of Africa is under threat of desertification.
2. Stain glass 彩色玻璃; 彩绘玻璃
例：In this room there were beautiful stain glass pieces all around.
3. Visual clue 视觉线索
例：Shadows are an important visual clue about the spatial structure of an object.
4. Gravitational potential energy 重力势能；引力势能
例：Notice that the gravitational potential energy increases.
5. Spin around 旋转
例：When you spin round and round, and stop suddenly, you feel dizzy .
在英国，教堂敲钟这个百年传统受到了威胁，因为新员工短缺 。一家BBC当地电台调查显示，劝说新人承担这项任务变得越来越难 。那该怎么去吸引新的一代人呢？乔·蒂利是伦敦东部斯特普尼圣邓斯坦的塔楼长 。是什么吸引他来敲钟呢？
我觉得就是好奇心吧，因为听到钟声，看到彩色玻璃窗里面有影子晃动，你就会想，他们在干什么 。所以我认为真的是出于好奇心，进到塔楼里探究机械原理是真正促使我去做这件事的原因 。我发现第一次尝试时会觉得它看起来非常简单，但其实要难得多，大部分事情都是这样的 。这就会让你有动力去努力完善自己的技巧，把工作做到位 。
你所从事的这项活动有6个、8个或10个人参与，所以必须有良好的沟通能力 。钟在响的时候是不能说话的，大部分精力要放在听上，听其他人的钟声以及你的钟声与那些钟声的关系，同时还要利用视觉线索 。你要看他们的目光在哪里，从而判断你敲钟的位置 。你要是做得有点不对的话其他人朝你微笑，这时候你就得迅速做出反应，想“啊，我该怎么做？是让我在他之后敲钟吗？他们是在告诉我敲快点嘛？”另一方面就是体能 。敲钟需要消耗非常大的能量，你得完善自己的技巧让大钟平衡，那么大一个东西，有时候很难平衡的 。
对，我认为主要借助于重力势能 。钟，我们称“起来”后，也就是在平衡的过程中，你只需要给它很小的拉力就可以让它在轮子上转动，这就考察技术了，因为用力过猛钟会转太快，甚至会摔下来，而力道不足钟就上不去 。但我们有一个敲钟人，她不会介意我这么说的，她非常小巧 。