Culture Night 2013

Culture Night was held on Friday Sept 20 2013 and events were held all over the country. St Mary's Cathedral Bellringers took an active part in the Limerick event. It was decided to hold an open night in the Cathedral and tower and bring groups of 15-20 people to the ringing room and into the bell chamber to see how the 'full-circle' ringing is accomplished. A short talk on the history of the bells and a brief display of bell-ringing would also be provided. With the approval of the Dean, Reverend Sandra Pragnall, to open the Cathedral from 17:30 to 21:30 on Culture Night, it was full steam ahead with our plans.

Video cameras were bought and installed and 2 screen were secured to be put close to the tower entrance showing the ringing room and the bells.

Sarah Gough, our good friend, one-time ringer and artist extraordinaire would have a clay bell making workshop for the children who could bring home the bells they made.

The  refreshments station was decided and tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biccies were provided by some of the ringers. The station was manned by ringers wives and family with cups and facilities provided by the Cathedral. All we needed now was the visitors to turn up.

At 6:00 our first visitor, a young mother with her 2 children. While Mum learned a little about the Cathedral and bells the children were trying out the mini-bells and making clay bell decorations. Then another visitor and another, soon we had our first group up the stairs and the Cathedral was ringing to the sound of the mini-bells. Before long we had a queue for going upstairs, the mini-bells were going strong and the clay bell making was going full tilt. The video screens at the bottom of the stairs relayed relayed the pictures from the tower and everyone could see the bell ringers and the bells.

The tea and coffee were doing great business, maybe we should have charged, the Bell Restoration Fund coffers would have been filled!!

Before we knew it, 21:30 had come and it was time to close. We were all exhausted and overwhelmed at the turn out of visitors. Over 700 people visited the Cathedral and the tower Visitors Book had 120 new entries and not everyone signed the book!!

A great many people gave up their time for Culture Night and we would like to thank everyone who helped, it would be impossible to name them all but there are a few who deserve special mention, Dean Pragnell, Sarah Gough, Andrew Elleker,Julia Lysaght, Barbara Mulcahy, my wife Mary and daughter Lucy.

Many thanks to all for a great, successful night, without your efforts the night would not have been so good.
Looking forward to the next Culture Night!!!


Christy Pratt