MORE than 120 bellringers from the Australia New Zealand Association of Bellringers (ANZAB) have arrived in the Central West for the association’s annual general meeting.
This year is the first time ANZAB has held its AGM in a regional area, usually settling on a capital city for the event.
Media liaison officer Jennifer Derrick said that the unique attractions in Bathurst, Orange and Lithgow were a factor in the venue decision.
“Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange were asked to host the 2016 ANZAB AGM as the three cities are in relatively close proximity and they each have a thriving bellringing band,” she said.
“Also, the Central West is an interesting region that has many attractions that appeal to visitors.
“The region is proud of its history and excellent wine and food culture and we are keen to promote ourselves to visitors from the UK, New Zealand and all parts of Australia.”
The bellringers will participate in four days of intensive bellringing sessions in bell towers throughout Lithgow, Orange and Bathurst.
“Ringing will be at Hoskins Church, Lithgow, All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral, Bathurst, and Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Orange,” Ms Derrick said.
There is also a social component to the bellringing festival, including historical and wine tours and a mayoral reception this evening.
While the bellringers are celebrating their craft, members of the public are encouraged to come along to hear their skilfully executed tunes.
“Bellringing is a highly skilled activity that can take several years to master. It has been compared to driving a car: Once you know what you are doing it is almost second nature but requires constant concentration; if you are unskilled it can be a very dangerous thing to do,” Ms Derrick said.
“Members of the public are invited to hear the bells and the best vantage point is actually outside the church.”
Anyone interested in learning to bellring should contact the tower captain through any of the bellringing churches.