I hope that as an old acquaintance of the National Cathedral and a lover of accuracy, Henry Mitchell will be pleased to have the record put straight on some points in his column "At the Cathedral, Ringing in the New" {Style, Oct. 5}.

As one of the "boys up there" ringing the changes for the Friday service, let me enlighten him on the difference between the carillon, which was rung before the service, and the 10-bell ring, which was rung following the service.

The former is rung by a single person, using a keyboard to play 53 bells hung mouth down; the latter is rung by 10 people, each pulling a rope to move one of 10 bells in a complete circle, balancing mouth up, thus producing changes or permutations in the order of the bells.

If Mitchell was indeed sitting in the Bishop's Garden after that service, I don't know whether to congratulate him on his eyesight in admiring the Michaelmas daisies or to commiserate with him on his hearing, because it was 9 p.m. when he could have heard the change ringers bring the bells round after a successful full peal of Grandsire Caters taking three hours and 20 minutes.

By the way, the cathedral was being consecrated, not dedicated; it had been dedicated 83 years before, surely not a time span indicative of "dawdling" when compared to the time required for the great medieval cathedrals and considering the intervention of two world wars and a depression.

The final pinnacle was dedicated at the Friday service, but the actual consecration was on Sunday. The Friday evensong was essentially a family affair, those who had worked at the cathedral joining together to rejoice at its completion. Most tickets were allotted in advance and offered only to members of the National Cathedral Association, so Mitchell's statement that "most of the people present had never been in the cathedral before" was most unlikely to be accurate.

One of the talkers to whom he referred was my mother, who had made the happy discovery that her neighbor was one of the original 10 Englishmen who had come over to ring the changes when the central tower was dedicated in 1964. Probably many such discoveries were being made that day in a cathedral packed with old friends.

-- Ann G. Martin