Thinking allowed

connecting with culture

If you’re not familiar with the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity then I suggest you take a look. Amongst other things they have a weekly comment column entitled Connecting with Culture which is always worth a read.

This week Nick Spencer writes about an infamous advertising slogan and the marketing of a fashion chain, with important lessons about the limits of self-expression in a free society.


a touch of bob doubles

At the end of practice at St Ives tonight we rang a touch of Bob Doubles, and I volunteered to call it. I rang the 5 bell and called three ‘Homes’, i.e., called ‘Bob’ each time I came back to do my 4 blows in 5th place. The third time brought us straight back to rounds. This is the first time I have called a touch, and it was reasonably successful. I probably should have called ‘Bob’ fractionally earlier — when the treble was at backstroke before leading, rather than when I was about to pull at backstroke. And although I was unaffected by the bobs, I still managed to get slightly muddled in between so that I half missed a dodge. Fortunately I was able to recover and hadn’t lost my place. Of course, I could have chosen any of the inside bells (2,3,4 or 5) and still called three Homes. Must try and remember that next time — a disadvantage of ringing 5 with this touch is that the final bob brings the bells immediately to rounds, which doesn’t give much time for saying ‘That’s all’.

Next time!



I have moved the saga of my learning to ring bells out of this blog and into A Bellringer’s Progress. I don’t suppose anyone really cares, but although bellringing requires quite a bit of thinking and it is almost entirely practised in Anglican churches, it probably doesn’t really belong here on Thinking Anglicans.


The Nine Tailors

Cover design of the Folio Society edition of The Nine Tailors

Cover design of the Folio Society edition of The Nine Tailors

One of the things that long ago sparked an interest in bellringing (for we had no bells at the church I worshipped at as a child) was Dorothy L Sayers The Nine Tailors, which I saw in the BBC tv adaptation, featuring Ian Carmichael, in the mid 1970s.

It was many years, though, before I read the book, in the lovely Folio Society edition (pictured right), but now I belong to a reading group, which is currently looking at this book. Although I have read it a couple of times before, this is the first time I have read it since I learned to ring, and I have been writing posts explaining about bellringing. For probably all non-bellringing readers of The Nine Tailors, the details of the ringing included in the book are pretty opaque — they add lots of colour, but are largely incomprehensible. And the chapter titles all involve puns on ringing expressions and the like, and these puns are missed without some knowledge of ringing.

Since I have lived for many years on the edge of the fenland area where the book is set I have a second interest and specialist subject area as well, and on Saturday I got out the car and drove around some of the area, concentrating on the start and end of the Old Bedford and New Bedford Rivers, between Earith and Denver, taking lots of pictures. I shall have to plan another excursion in order to get some angel roof churches (March and Upwell, especially) and some pictures of fenland roads and other general scenery.

Perhaps I should turn the bellringing notes and the fenland pictures into a website about The Nine Tailors. Meanwhile, I have uploaded the pictures here.

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