City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bells to Ring at 8.12am From "Highest Bell" to Bike Bell


By edg - Posted on 25 July 2012

If you are planning a lie-in on Friday morning, remember your earplugs. For 8.12am marks the start of All the Bells, where for three minutes people across the country will ring bells, any bells, "as quickly and as loudly as possible".

The event is Martin Creed’s Work No. 1197, an art event commissioned for the Olympics, designed to involve as many people in the celebrations as possible across the country.

"By ringing any kind of bell – hand bell, church bell, bicycle bell, door bell – you will be part of the performance and involved in welcoming the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the UK," says the London 2012 release.

In the Scottish capital, Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) Director, Jonathan Mills will ring what is possibly the highest bell in Scotland in the spire of Festival HQ, The Hub at 8.12am.

Last rung in the 1950s The Hub’s bell was cast in 1849 by Thomas Mears, of Whitechapel Foundry, whose other bells include Big Ben, the Liberty Bell and Westminster Abbey. It was installed in James Gillespie Graham and Augustus Welby Pugin’s building, originally called Victoria Hall, which opened as the Assembly building of the Church of Scotland.

Bell-ringers will also be meeting at the Fruitmarket Gallery just after 7.30am to participate in the bellringing on the nearby Scotsman Steps, the marble staircase that Creed created.

"The Fruitmarket Gallery invites everyone to bring a bell along to the Gallery from 7.30am on 27 July. From there, we will go across the road to the Scotsman Steps, where participants will be able to choose their step and prepare to ring their bell as part of this nationwide celebration," says the gallery.

The bell theme is picked up later in the day, when a gigantic, 27 tonne bell will ring from the Olympic Stadium in North London, at 9pm to mark the official opening of the Games.

Following the morning All the Bells, the 2012 Olympic Opening celebrations continue in Edinburgh throughout the day, with a Red Arrows flypast at 12.30pm, Edinburgh's Opening Ceremony Event at Festival Square from 6pm, before the official London 2012 Opening Ceremony begins at 9pm.

The official event posted on the London 2012 olympic site is to gather at St Giles Catherdral 8.00-8.30am.

This may be a better event for those more sensitive to noise, as it is open air as opposed to the Fruitmarket gallery event in confines of an enclosed marble staircase!

Thanks Sarah for info about the St Giles bellringing. I was just giving some examples. As you say the details on the Olympic site have 8am - 8.30am. However, there is no "official" venue. Creed's work - as detailed on the All the Bells web site - calls for 3 minutes of bell-ringing from 8.12am (i.e. 8.12am-8.15am). The slogan on the web site says: "Any bell. Anyone. Anywhere".

Lie-in or not, ear plugs probably advisable.