All The Bells at Yeovilton
The Bells at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton rang out as part of the “All the Bells” project taking place simultaneously across the country as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. At 0812 precisely bells at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church in Yeovilton village, St Augustine’s the Air Station church, and HMS Heron ship’s bell were all rung non stop for three minutes.
The London 2012 Festival commission project allowed everyone in the country the opportunity to be part of a work by a Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. Individuals, communities or organisations took part by ringing any kind of bell for three minutes; from church tower bells to hand bells, bicycle bells and doorbells. Thousands of people took part in an extraordinary project carried out 12 hours before the start of the opening ceremony.
Ashore and afloat the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary participated across the UK and overseas. Even Big Ben got involved and was rung 40 times over the three minutes.
The Turner prize winning artist Martin Creed has named his conceptual art project, Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes. “It’s was a gargantuan thing, setting up all the bells to ring in Britain, even though it’s was set up to fail. Whenever I’ve been to a rock concert or a football match it’s amazing to be with people all doing one thing,” said the Artist.
Chaplaincy team leader at RNAS Yeovilton Chaplain Tudor Botwood said, “It’s a wonderful project that unites the country and the Royal Navy. Yeovilton has certainly taken up the challenge and it was brilliant to hear the church bells rung so early in the morning.”
The ceremony of “All the Bells” echoes a long British tradition with bells being rung to celebrate historical events. Two examples of which were the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and the end of the Second World War in 1945.