Chatbox enthusiasts will recall debates in past years about the clock chimes from St James' church and did they, or did they not ring at midnight on New Year's Eve. After all, with all the noise in the Square and the fireworks, there's a fair bit of competition.
For the edification of all New Year revellers, Audlem Online has been researching the New Year's Eve bell ringing technique.
Until 11.55pm, the bells will be tolling out the old 'dead' year half muffled. Leather muffles had been tied earlier on one side of each of the six clappers to provide a muffled ring.
Then, at 11.55pm, at least four of the team race – like the clappers, we suspect – up two sets of ladders up the clock tower and remove the leather muffles.
At midnight, it's the clock's turn to spring into action signalling that the New Year has arrived. At just about this time, the firework display starts also which, with all the celebrations down in the Square, means it can be a trifle noisy.
Then, after the clock has finished its chiming, it's time for the bell ringers, now with unmuffled clappers, to joyously ring in the New Year.
A Happy New Year to the bell ringers and everyone for 2011.
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