All Saints Bell Tower in Inveraray, visible for miles along the lochside, is the proud possessor of the second heaviest peal of bells in the world. They were commissioned at the end of the Great War by the then 10th Duke of Argyll, as a memorial to the dead of Clan Campbell.
The ring of 10 bells was cast in 1920 by John Taylor and Company of Loughborough – one of only two surviving bell founders in Britain and trading from the same site today.
The smallest of the ten bells, the Treble, weighs 311kg. The heaviest, the Tenor, weighs 2,112kg.
With these weights in mind, it is hardly a surprise that getting the bells to Inveraray was far from being a breeze. It was done in November 1921, not the best time of the year to try to haul this sort of load up and over the pass at Rest and Be Thankful. The only difficulty that appears not to have been offered was a landslide.
One lorry broke down in Lancashire. Another refused to move from ‘the little Rest’ – and the story then became a laborious and backbreaking job of progressively removing bells to the roadside to let the lorry get something over the top before making repeated trips back down the pass to haul the rest.
This magnificent peal of bells is on the wish list of bell ringers all over the world and every year the Scottish Association of Change Ringers carries out a programme of peals.
Below is the programme for 2013.
- Sat 27th April 10:30am – 12:30pm – Quarter peal
- Sat 4th May 12 – 5pm – Peal
- Sat 15th June 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Sat 13th July 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Fri 26th July 6pm – 8pm – Festival
- Sat 27th July 2pm – 4:30pm – Festival
- Sat 27th July 6pm -7:30pm – Festival
- Sun 28th July 1:30 – 3:30pm – Festival
- Sat 10th Aug 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Sat 31st Aug 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Sat 14th Sept 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Sat 28th Sept 11am – 4pm – Peal
- Sat 26th Oct 11am – 4pm – Peal
The peal on 10th August will be the special anniversary peal for the 75th anniversary of the first peal rung at Inveraray. The band ringing it (they say ‘attempting it’) will be local Scottish Association members.