Cathedral bells ring in honour of prime ministerial pēpi

Cathedral bells ring in honour of prime ministerial pēpi

The Wellington Combined Society of Bellringers were so pleased to hear the announcement of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy that they rang a quarter peal of a previously unnamed minor method for six bells, and named it in her honour – calling it “Jacinda’s Surprise Minor” method.

Amanda Cunningham, Secretary of the Society, emailed the Prime Minister with a copy of the ringing record (click here to see it) and wished her well for the coming months of pregnancy – and received this reply from Ms Ardern:

Dear Amanda
I wanted to write a personal note of thanks. Your email notifying me of WCSB’s successful completion of a quarter peal brought a huge smile to my face.
Thank you again

Best
Jacinda

 

So what’s a method?  According to Wikipedia, it’s a form of change ringing that creates a continually changing form of bell music, based on changing mathematical permutations rather than instructions from a conductor.  The ringers memorise the rules for how the ringing order is to change, and ring according to the rules – meaning that what they play never sounds like a recognisable melody.  Method ringing dates back to 1650 in England, and the earliest method is known as the Plain Hunt – you can see an example of this being played in this one-minute YouTube clip.

By the way, although the Prime Minister’s baby is a minor, and the news came as a bit of a surprise, it turns out “surprise minor” is a bellringing term, in case you were wondering.