Ring my bells!

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 17 December 2016

One of the oldest forms of mass communication – after smoke signals but before Snapchat – was the tradition of ringing church bells to signal what was happening in your neighbourhood.

The bells marked births and deaths, wars, feasts and marriages, a bit like a community noticeboard or a newspaper in the good old days before the printing press and the internet.

Even with uncapped broadband plans and free wifi to get the latest global updates, people are still ringing bells here in New Zealand! In fact, the country's featuring on bellringing bucket lists, with Dunedin having the southern-most bell tower in the world.

That's just one of the surprising things Simon Morton discovers on a visit to the Wellington Combined Society of Bellringers.