Dorset tradition has it that the old year should go out like a lamb – and the new one come in like a lion.
That’s why in Chideock, late this afternoon, Dave Symonds – captain of the bells at St Giles’ church – has been up the tower there, muffling the clappers. See the video below.
The bells will be rung more quietly before midnight – there’ll be a break for refreshments in The Clock House over the road – then the muffles will be taken off and the bells rung loud and clear.
Chideock’s bells were restored earlier this year, so tonight will be the first time they’ve been rung on a New Year’s Eve. It should – as Dave Symonds suggests – be quite a party. Chideock’s bellringers are due to be joined by a small group from Whitchurch Canonicorum, including Dave’s nephew Mark Symonds, who is Captain of the Bells at the church of St Candida and Holy Cross in Whitchurch Canonicorum.