A group of more than 30 bell ringers from the UK will be visiting Texarkana on Wednesday/Thursday, April 11/12, 2018, staying at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Texarkana, Arkansas. They will be ringing the 8 bells at the First Presbyterian Church on Thursday from about 9:30am. The group are on a tour of the South-Eastern and Southern states ringing at a total of 18 towers en route, from Charleston in the East to Dallas in the West, and as far South as Miami. The party will arrive in Atlanta from the UK on 2 April and fly home from Miami on 18 April.
The group are all based in the UK, ringing at a wide variety of towers in different parts of the country, and ringing on a wide range of bell installations from the majestic ring of Exeter Cathedral, where the largest bell weighs in at about 8000lb to some small private rings where the largest bell weighs under 2lb. It includes people who have rung more than 1000 peals (a peal is a continuous period of ringing which usually lasts around 3 hours) and people who have rung no peals at all. All are united by a love of the interest, companionship, physical and technical challenges and service involved in ringing.
Tour organizer Andy Sutherland rings in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, in the North of England (scene of the well-known English folk song “On Ilkla Moor baht’at”), having learned to ring in Edinburgh, Scotland, nearly 40 years ago when at University. Andy said “…this trip follows an earlier tour I organized of the North-Eastern USA and Canada in 2014, involving many of the same people. We had such a fantastic time that I wanted to come back again, visit and learn about the more Southerly states, try the bells, and sample some of the famous Southern hospitality. We’re really looking forward to our visit to Texarkana and to ringing on this fine set of bells”.