It is that time of year when the poppies are prevalent and people take time to remember those who have fought for our freedom. It seems one of the lesser known acts of remembrance is the half-muffled ringing of bells. Although not restricted to remembrance Sunday, every year in November, steeple keepers ascend towers up and down the country in order to attach muffles to one side of the clapper.  This results in one stroke sounding “normal”, and the other being considerable softer (i.e. muffled).

Here is an excellent example of half-muffled ringing on a rather nice peal of bells.

Other occasions where bells are rung half-muffled are following funerals, in memorial, and, as described above, on remembrance day. Interestingly, when a Monarch dies, the tradition is to ring fully muffled. Since this is a rare occasion, I imagine that may towers are not equipped for this (though there are other situations where bells may be fully muffled).

Many find the sound of half-muffled bells extremely pleasant, and if I am honest, I am one of them. Indeed, it is a very fitting way to remember.

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