Ringing on muffled bells produces a mournful, sad sound. Bells are rung half muffled at funerals and on Remembrance Sunday. Bells are only rung fully muffled (with the backstroke of the tenor left open) for the death of the Sovereign, the incumbent Vicar or the Bishop of the Diocese.
Before fitting muffles for half muffled ringing you should be sure which side of the clapper ball to fit them (usually the back stroke strike is muffled). They go on the opposite side of the clapper to the pulley. If the muffle is loose, use gaffer tape to secure it and stop it from slipping. In some towers, cable ties are used, or velcro straps.
Once you’ve helped fit the muffles, if you then go downstairs and ring, don’t forget to tick off another challenge by ringing on half of fully muffled bells.
If any of the muffles fall off or spin round during the ringing, you may notice other members of your band glaring at you. This is a good time to take a keen interest in reading the peal boards or scrutinising your rope mat.
Safety – only ever fit or remove muffles when the bells are down.