A CUMBRIAN bellringer has been given an international award for his excellent abilities.

Andrew Moncrief, from Cleator Moor, has autism and specific learning difficulties. He found bellringing and quickly managed the skills needed.

After receiving the Highly Commended Award at the Achievement Awards 2020 from the Association of Ringing Teachers the proud musician said: “It’s an honour to receive this award and thanks to my teachers and thanks to my dad for taking me to the churches.”

“I am glad to be a bellringer and I encourage people my age to come and have a go. it’s great fun and exercise.”

Chris De Cordova, is one of the people who have encouraged him to take part in bellringing, she said: “He persevered, quickly becoming very physically skilled at managing his bell, whether tiny or massive. His memory for facts is amazing and he can tell you how many bells are at each cathedral, the weight of the biggest, what key they are in and which saint each is dedicated to.

“Learning to ring changes seemed impossible at first, because of the complexity of processing three instructions at once and acting on them and having many big jumps from one process to the next.

“We devised an alternative to the traditional learning path and again achieved success, at basic change-ringing which is growing, as he builds up new mental patterns to follow.”