This Friday, Big Ben will ring out for three minutes as part of a massive nationwide musical event to open the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
At 8am, members of the public across the UK will take to their nearest bell towers for Martin Creed’s one-off musical spectacular, Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes. The bells will be rung out at 8:12, precisely twelve hours before 20:12.
Become part of Olympic history and join the thousands who’ve already signed up to take part by registering now online at www.allthebells.com.
Don’t have a nearby belfry or local church tower to takeover on Friday morning? Bring your own set of bells to your local All The Bells gathering, or download the free ringtone to your phone to ring in the Olympics in whatever way you can!
People are encouraged to tweet before, during or after the event using the hashtag #dingdong to tell the world about their ringing. The event will also be covered live across the BBC on the Chris Evan’s Breakfast Show and BBC Breakfast on BBC One.
Events have been planned across the UK and beyond, with just some of the highlights listed below:
Three hundred people will be ringing bells on HMS Belfast, which will fire its canons in a countdown to 08:12.
Six hundred Girl Guides will all be ringing bells at an Olympic-themed camp in the New Forest.
A research team from the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera station in Antarctica are looking forward to making as much noise as possible with any instruments that they can find and joining the Olympic celebrations.
In Skaw, a tiny settlement on the Shetland island of Unst, people will be ringing bells outside Britain‘s northernmost inhabited house.
St Alban’s Cathedral has decided by popular vote to play Chariots of Fire on their carillon of bells.
In towns across Yorkshire several Town Criers are enthusiastically organising bell-ringing events for their local communities.
At a Jo Jingles session at Hadleigh Castle, near to the mountain biking Olympic track, 150 under 5’s will play sleigh bells.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the most famous bell foundry in the world, will be ringing a variety of bells in their courtyard and on the pavement outside.
Cheddar Gorge will echo with the sound of the U3A Handbell Ringers who will be ringing their bells.
The Parish of Dunkeld Handbell Ringers have organised a bell-ringing procession through scenic Dunkeld in Scotland.
In Aberystwtyth, Wales, a Church Warden is organising an All The Bells event for children from four schools within a fifteen-mile radius who are all very excited to be part of the Olympic celebrations.
Tresco Bike Store on The Isles of Scilly will supply bikes for people to ride to the most Westerly church in the UK, and ring bicycle bells alongside the church bells.
5000 people at the Cambridge Folk Festival will be ringing bells.
Over a hundred people will be joining The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh for bell-ringing on the famous Scotsman Steps, an important part of the cityscape featuring Work No. 1059, a public artwork by Martin Creed that was commissioned in 2010 and has been central to the renovation of the steps.
In Coventry hundreds of cyclists will be ringing bicycle bells in front of the BBC Live Site. The Coventry Transport Museum will be joining in with historic bikes with bells including penny farthings, and the Godiva Awakes ‘Cyclopedia’ are also expected with dozens of bike bells on one vehicle.
St Columb’s Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Church of Ireland, and its Catholic counterpart, St Eugene’s Cathedral, face each other in Derry and will be ringing in unison.
The Australian Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra in Queensland, Australia will be joining in and ringing bells at the start of a concert.
The historic bells from St. Martins in the Fields, London, are now housed in the spectacular Bell Tower in Perth, Western Australia, and will be ringing to join the celebrations.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will be ringing bells at 2.12 am local time to be part of All The Bells, along with the Rockefeller Chapel and the University of Chicago.
British Embassies around the world will be joining in, including the British Embassy in Beijing, which is inviting the sole survivor of China’s 1948 London Olympics team to ring a bell that was cast to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Outside the British Embassy in Bangladesh they will be ringing rickshaw bells and in Botswana they will be ringing cattle bells.
The Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will be participating across the UK and overseas with as many ships, shore bases and naval establishments as possible, including HMS Bulwark and RFA Mounts Bay in Weymouth, HMS Ocean in Greenwich and HMS Alliance in Gosport.
A number of National Trust properties will be ringing bells, including Castle Drogo, whose Chapel Bell can be heard across the Teign Gorge on Dartmoor. At famous Shaw’s Corner, the home of writer and playwright George Bernard Shaw, in the village of Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire, staff will be ringing the hand bell that Shaw’s housekeeper used to call him in from the garden and that he used later in life to call for attention.
Want to find your nearest All The Bells event? Register at www.allthebells.com and get involved!
Also, check out Martin Creed’s video below on the project: