All the Bells

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All the Bells
courtesy National Theatre
'Big Bell Breakfast' at National Theatre
To mark the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, take part in Martin Creed's 'Work No 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and loudly as possible for three minutes'. The title is self-explanatory; door bells, hand bells, sleigh bells, cowbells, school bells, chuch bells, bicycle bells – Creed is hoping all will be rung by a 'ringing community' of national volunteers. The event will be broadcast by the BBC to a live audience of over ten million people across the UK online and on TV and radio, including on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show and BBC local radio stations. Go to to find out more about taking part. A way for Londoners to take part is by heading to the National Theatre where, at 8.12am, the giant bell from Danny Boyle's production of 'Frankenstein' will be rung on the Baylis Terrace, everyone attending is invited to ring the bell, or bring along one of their own. Alternatively, traders and customers at Borough Market will be participating in the event, tapping into the history of the market, where traditionally a bell was rung to mark the beginning of the day's trading. All are likely to be upstaged by Big Ben, though. The hour bell of the Palace of Westminster will chime more than 40 times from 8.12am to 8.15am. It's believed that this will be the first time that the strike of Big Ben has been rung outside its regular schedule since 1952, when it tolled every minute for the funeral of George VI. And HMS Belfast will also do her bit: a shot from the onboard four-inch guns will be fired at the start and finish of 'All the Bells' (they'll be blanks, of course).


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