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Calling all freshers

Coming to Bristol as a new fresher? Are you a bell ringer already? Have you never rung a bell in your life? Do you like meeting new people and drinking on a work night?

If you answered yes to any of the above, come and join us! We welcome all students of any ringing ability from the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England and all other higher education institutions in Bristol.

How do I join?

  • You're welcome to come to any of our practices on Tuesday nights, at St Matthew's Kingsdown. See the calendar for dates.
  • You can email our master Matthew Jerome, or email our secretary Sebastian Small for further details

We look forward to seeing you soon!


The Society of Change Ringers (aka UBSCR) is one of the University's oldest societies! Established in 1943, we're a group of bellringers who ring on church tower bells across Bristol, practising the ancient art of change ringing. We welcome ringers and non-ringers of all abilities to join us.

Our home tower is St Matthew's Kingsdown. We go there every Tuesday night from 19:30-21:00 during term time. We're lucky in that we can ring at several other towers, including St Philip & Jacob, St John-on-the-Wall, St James, St Lord Mayor's Chapel and St Michael on the Mount, Without.

More information about the society is available here.

Change Ringing?

Before going to the pub, when we ring the bells, a team of ringers (any number, but often 8) ring one bell each in turn. Each person's bell is numbered from 1 to 8, with the lightest bell sounding the highest note numbered 1, through to the heaviest and lowest bell numbered 8. When rung in a descending scale this creates the first 'row': 12345678. In order to produce different rows, a pre-learnt mathematical pattern is rung which changes the order of the bells. This is known as 'change ringing', as the bells continuously change order from one row to the next. Learning the patterns and ringing them in a team is where the fun really starts!

What makes Change Ringing fun?

Ringing the 'changes' provides an excellent challenge for anybody to try. Once you have mastered handling the bell itself, there is the mental task of learning and ringing the patterns; this requires a lot of concentration. There is also the musical task of keeping in time within a band and striking your bell accurately and evenly spaced among the others. As a team we try and maintain a good sense of rhythm so that we can ring well together - this is important as we frequently ring in towers where the public can hear us! The bells can also be quite a physical challenge to ring. At the tower we ring at, the first bell weighs around 250kg (5 cwt.), but the eighth and heaviest bell weighs over 1000kg. It can be very hard work ringing it in time with the lighter bells. So after a good practice we all go to the pub to reward ourselves!


We're not just a ringing society. We spend at least as much time drinking as we do ringing! The society has many socials (Fresher's Bar Crawl, Cheese and Port night, Pudding Party, Summer BBQ to name a few!). We also have a Christmas Dinner and a Formal Dinner in January to which all past and present members are invited. We go on at least two weekend tours a year where we travel across the country, ringing and drinking as we go! In November we compete against other universities at the famous SUA and NUA (Southern/Northern University Association) events.

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