Kirrie rings in 2012 Olympics

BALNABOTH BELL: Making a first appearance out of Glen Prosen for 280 years - to take part in the Kirriemuir bell ringing ceremony on Friday morning was the old bell from the Episcopalian chapel at Balnaboth.

BALNABOTH BELL: Making a first appearance out of Glen Prosen for 280 years - to take part in the Kirriemuir bell ringing ceremony on Friday morning was the old bell from the Episcopalian chapel at Balnaboth.

0
Have your say

THERE were three noisy minutes in central Kirriemuir on Friday morning - as the Angus town played its roll in ringing in the 2012 London Olympics.

Bells rang out in unison with many other towns and cities in the United Kingdom shortly after 8 am - in an early morning nationwide event geared to herald the start of the games.

Up and down the country thousands of churches, monuments and individuals participated in an event that was the brainchild of Turner prize-winning artist Martin Creed.

Well-known local historian and current chairman of Kirriemuir Heritage Society, David Orr, encouraged many locals to congregate in the centre of town just before 8.12 am on Friday.

Around 40 people answered his rallying call to add to the bell-ringing noise made by three local churches.

Mr Orr was pleased with the support the Kirrie effort was given and was able to provide some background to two of the bells taken along to Kirrie square.

“One was the old bell from the Episcopalian chapel at Balnaboth, which was destroyed by fire in 1746,” explained Mr Orr. This was first time out of the Glen Prosen for at least 280 years for the bell.

The other was the hand bell which was rung by the last bell ringer of Kirriemuir, Robert McDiarmid, who held the post for over a quarter of a century, just before the First World War.

“This bell was rung by his great-grand-daughter, Eileen McKenzie”

“We had a good turnout of people of all ages, from babies to some senior citizens, who had every size of bell, all rung for three minutes.

“Thanks go to the churches for their co-operation and we hope not too many Kirrie folk thought that WW3 had started!”

The bell-ringing fitted in well with the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony the same evening, a ceremony the residents of Kirriemuir were able to watch live on a big screen in the Martin Park in the evening.

That event was organised by the Strathmore Christian Fellowship.

In addition to showing the opening of the 2012 London Olympics live on a 120 sq.ft. TV screen there was a free barbecue, performances from Sonnet 65 and We Are the Support Act, pipe band entertainment, a skateboarding display and sport tasters, etc. - all making for a community event bringing people together to celebrate a national occasion.