Whilst occurring outside our Guild, this may be of interest to people wondering “how can I restart ringing at an under-used tower?” RM
Eleanor Wallace Writes:
As some of you may know, I have been working with Mike Pitman recently to try and formulate a plan to get the practices and quarter peal nights up and running at Kingston again. They are such a beautiful ring of bells, and being a Kingston ringer myself for years I hate to see them not being rung as much as they should and going to waste.
As I have finally finished university and returned to the area I now have time to dedicate myself to re-establishing a regular practice night. However, I need as much support from everyone as I can and am asking for your help. Mike and I have come up with a concept of having two practice nights and two quarters a month on a friday so that the bells are rung every week, and we hope that it at least one night a month may appeal to all ringers of any standard, so that people don’t feel pressurised to dedicate themselves every single week.
The below is the monthly structure which I am trying to introduce, and I would love to hear what you guys think, advice etc as have never done anything like this before.
From Friday 3rd March practice nights and quarter peal nights will be resuming at Kingston from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, and we would really love for you to join us. We have a lovely sounding and very easy-going ring of ten bells (tenor 26-3-16) and we want to get them ringing regularly again with the long-term aim
of becoming a supportive teaching tower. We are aiming to create a monthly structure that caters for ringers of all abilities; whether you are a called change ringer or a surprise ringer we hope to provide something for everyone.
1st Friday of the Month – Open Practice Night
Any ringer of any ability who is interested in getting practice at ten bell ringing is more than welcome. Ringing will range from Rounds and Called Changes to Plain Caters and Royal, as well as any six to eight bell ringing if its requested. Whatever you’re learning, come along! Any more advanced ringers who can help out will also be very much appreciated too.
2nd Friday – Advanced Ten Bell Practice
For ringers who want to challenge themselves learning Surprise Royal or just want to keep the cobwebs off. We will be practicing the Standard Eight Surprise Royal methods (and others as time goes on) with a special method to focus on every week.
3rd Friday – Open Quarter Peal
Whatever the method or number of bells, if you fancy ringing a quarter peal then let us know and we will try to organise it for you. This night is aimed at giving people of all standards quarter peal practice and achieving firsts in method etc. Just pop an email to Eleanor Wallace (form below)
4th Friday – Advanced Quarter Peal
We will be working through the Standard Eight Surprise Royal (and others afterwards) quarter peals. If you’re interested in getting involved, achieving firsts in Surprise Royal etc. just send an email to Eleanor:
- Teaching from Rounds to Plain Hunt with David Smith and Roger Booth. St. Peter’s Parish Church, Bournemouth – 28th September
We were delighted to host this event in our bijou conference centre/kitchenette located in the cellars underneath the main body of the church. We were warmly welcomed by our brave module leaders, David Smith and Roger Booth, with our informative and exhaustive personalised pink module packs, containing course books and other vital information.
The initial theory session spoken along with visual cues for us, and easy to absorb bullet powerpoint notes on the projector screen, was informative, and guided us well in understanding the various learning processes we encounter teaching ringing.
These sessions were followed up with some instruction behind the forthcoming practical sessions. There was a very useful discussion in building a ringing band. We had plenty of practical hands on sessions in small groups, led by our module
tutors, who gave us the conﬁdence to try out new techniques, such as calmly handing/taking the rope over to somebody safely, circle-clapping exercises in order to help hearing one’s own bell and counting one’s place, to the very effective Kaleidoscope technique of ringing, where up to three different groups can each practice a different exercise or handling skill simultaneously, from starting in rounds, one pair dodging, one pair place-making, and another pair making long places – and how this can be varied inﬁnitely with ease to suit the band you have that day. It was very helpful also to focus on how to organise practices with lesson plans, games with ﬂuffy dice to instruct handling skills, and domino style cards to get the brain thinking in the Kaleidoscope manner of ringing.
Lunch was a little on the short side, delicious supplied by our own in-house ringing team, but we did have so much to cram in, especially practical, throughout the day. The round-up session at the end of the day was a useful time for discussion and questions, and instructions on how to move forward using SmART ringer, and accreditation details. There was a useful little shop with ART merchandise and useful ideas/tools for learners across all ages.
The ART people clearly listen to their members and feedback, as they appear to constantly hone, personalise and ﬁne-tune the courses to suit each speciﬁc course and group. What they have put together really is marvellous, dedicated, and in depth series of modules, pulling in and centralising many teaching ideas, ‘hacks’ and solutions to teaching issues, from right across the board. Take a good pencil and notepad!
Peter Murdock-Saint, Tower Captain St. Peter’s Bournemouth.
- Basingstoke District Practice at Newnham – Saturday 19th October – 3:30pm to 5pm
The next Basingstoke District Practice will be at Newnham (5 bells, 5cwt tenor) on Saturday 19th Octobet from 3:30 pm to 5pm. As always all levels and abilities will be catered for.
There is currently a road closure on Newnham Road shortly after the Newnham clubroom. Anyone approaching from the Hook or Odiham direction is advised to approach either via Rotherwick or to take the Crown Lane turning from the A30 just down the hill from the Basingstoke Country Hotel which will take you to the church
Hope to see many of you there.
- New Alresford Band reaps a First for Tichborne Harvest
After ringing for morning service today at New Alresford, six members of our band went to ring for the harvest festival service at our neighbouring parish of Tichborne. These bells have no band of their own, but members of the congregation were very appreciative and thanked us for our efforts. The Rector said it meant a lot to the village to hear their bells being rung, even to those who did not manage to come to the service. It was also Nathan Smith’s first quarter, rung as part of the Guild’s ‘Firsts Fortnight’.
- Winchester District Practice – North Stoneham – Tuesday 15th October at 7.30pmDear All,We have a District Practice, up-coming, for which I apologise for the short notice in putting the word round. It is at North Stoneham, next Tuesday, and I am sure that anyone who can make it to look in on the practice will be very welcome.Posters attached, as usual; probably a bit late for notice-boards, but including useful information such as postcode for SatNavs.Best wishesBruceWinchester District Secretary.PS. Next date for your diaries is the Autumn District Meeting, Easton, Saturday 9th November. Further details to follows.
- 8 Bell Methods Practice Night at Bournemouth St. John’s Surrey Road 08.10.2019 at 7:30pm until 9:00pm
Tuesday 8th October at 7:30pm (until 9:00pm) is 8 bell practice at St. John’s. Following a series of well attended practices, we continue with Plain Hunt, Single Oxford Bob Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples. We will, of course, be ringing other request methods & rounds & called changes as usual, so all ringers most welcome.
This is not an elite practice night. All are welcome.
- Method Monday at Sacred Heart, Bournemouth 07.09.2019Dear All,This coming Monday (7th Oct) is our next ‘Method Monday’.The methods this month will concentrate on Touches of Little Bob Minor, we will also attempt Plain courses of Cambridge.Plain hunters – Try ringing the treble to Little Bob Minor (it only goes upto 4th place). Intermediate ringers have a look at treble bob hunt.We will also be ringing rounds and call changes in between the methods. If this is your level, have a look at calling a few changes.See you all on Monday 6 – 7.30, followed by beer and Wetherspoons Pizza.KimMethod Monday starting at 6:00pm
- Report from Alton and Petersfield District Outing 2019
Folkestone and Ypres – Saturday 28th September
The date was finally set with emails and updates sent out. Passports dusted down or renewed, travel tickets purchased (yellow vests purchased just in case) and hotel rooms booked. Before we knew it, the date had arrived for our district outing to Kent and then on to Ypres in Belgium.
A bright morning in the UK and early start brought ringers to Folkestone and to the church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe. A fine 25 cwt 8. St Eanswythe was an Anglo-Saxon saint who first established the Christian church in Folkestone and whose name is given to the parish church. Plenty of time for call changes, Grandsire and half a course of Cambridge, before we headed off to the Channel Tunnel. Thank you, Matt, for ringing the tenor up (looked on by Andy) and for being the ringing master. Thanks to Julia too for ringing the tenor down (not looked on by Roger!)
After navigating the Town Centre, Costa’s, Starbucks (and other leading coffee chains), we all departed on our merry way. Heading to the Channel Tunnel for various boarding times; alas some delayed much longer than others!
Ringers who got through Passport Control without an issue:
The bright autumnal sunshine experienced in Kent, was greeted by a dull grey wet welcome into France (no topical comments please!) Sat Nav’s were set for Ypres for just over an hours’ journey to the city.
A staggered arrival into beautiful Ypres and once parking spaces found with chocolate shops avoided, ringers and friends headed to St. George’s Memorial Church.
Initially, there was competition from across the road at St. Martin’s Cathedral and their bells being rung for weddings. Guesses were made at the tenor’s weight, but the heavy three were no competition to St. George’s delightful sounds.
Ringing started with call-changes; Grandsire, Plain Bob and getting a number of the Ypres ringers to start plain hunting on 6 some for the first time!
For the A&P ringers, this was a delight to see. Beaming smiles after completing a number of courses says everything! Let’s hope their progress continues and support comes from all visiting ringers. Helping them achieve should be seen equally as rewarding as scoring a peal there!
And… those who couldn’t fit into the ringing chamber had a grandstand view (emphasis on the stand part). From the ground floor church entrance via live feed cameras into the belfry and ringing chamber. A great way to watch the bells being rung and maybe a subtle recruiting tool we could see rolled out one day!
Owing to late arrivals a planned quarter peal attempt was delayed until later in the afternoon. Finally, after everyone had a good chance to ring, a well struck quarter of Grandsire Triples was scored in 42 minutes.
This, we believe, was the first Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild quarter peal on the bells. The details are adjacent here, dedicated to the memory of Derek Yates from the Guild and a footnote to Gregory the Ringing Master at Ypres, who had retired earlier in the week:
After the successful quarter, the ringers congregated in the adjacent hall and what a feast had been laid on. Liz Millward, Tower Captain ‘extraordinaire’, worked wonders! A huge thank you to Liz, Martin, Gregory and the Ypres ringers for laying on everything was given by our Chairman Mike Novell. He then continued with a second or third helping of trifle!
Ringers enjoying themselves in St. George’s Hall. Roger deep in conversation with Nick, planning what to ring on the next visit!
The outing concluded with what was perhaps the most memorable part of the whole day.
Despite an early start, the long drive to Belgium and an afternoon ringing the beautiful bells, it was wonderful to have a short early evening stroll through picturesque Ypres, to congregate at the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony.
Upon arrival, crowds had already assembled to be at least six deep awaiting the eight o’clock ceremony to commence. The variety of ages attending was noticeable, especially the number of young attending and reassuring this ceremony will be in safe hands for many generations to come.
Picture: Within the Menin Gate prior to the Act of Remembrance with the archway lit as the focal point for the wreath laying ceremony.
Precisely at 7.45pm the invited band of ‘K.F Sint-Lambertus Eindhout’ struck up and marched the short distance to the Memorial ready for the short act of remembrance to commence.
Many organisation’s were represented laying wreaths including our Guild. Earlier in the year we had been given permission by the Last Post Association to take part in the ceremony.
Organisation’s taking part on the 28th September were:
We were permitted three representatives to lay a wreath on behalf of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. Whilst the band played a very fitting arrangement called ‘Benedictus by Karl Jenkins’, Emma, Sam and Roger joined the wreath laying procession. The fitting words were:
‘Remembering Those Ringers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice’
After the moving ceremony had ended, tears wiped and noses blown; ringers joined the crowds to spend time looking for the inscription of a family member or distant relative to pay their respects amongst the thousands of names.
To conclude events in the most traditional of fashions, one last thing… to the nearest pub! Off we went to sample some of Belgium’s finest beers! A number of ringers selected to stay over and ring on Sunday with the Ypres team, whilst others heading back to the UK.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming the Ypres ringers who will be visiting us in the District between the 15th -17th November, and Guild support to join them ringing here would be warmly welcomed.
Thank you all who came to share in this special day. Will we return to Ypres? You bet we will!
- Derek Yates – Sad News
Derek Yates from New Alresford sadly passed away on Friday 20th September at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer. He was a long-standing member of the Guild, having previously rung at Binsted, in the Alton & Petersfield District.
A Service of Remembrance for Derek will be held at St John the Baptist, New Alresford on Thursday 3rd October at 2pm.
W&P Guild Webmaster
- Belfry Maintenance Course (Guild Education) – Sat 23rd November 2019 based at Hawkley
Many of you have asked when we will be running another Belfry Maintenance course – here is your answer! The Education Committee’s final course of this year, which will run alongside the Plain Hunt course on Saturday 23 November, will be Belfry Maintenance, also based at Hawkley.
The tutor will be Roger Barber who has a wealth of experience and has run this course for us before, and whilst it will be based at Hawkley, Roger will take students to two different towers during the day for a closer look at different types of fittings (and much more), giving students the chance to ask questions about these and their own towers. It will cover many aspects, showing the basic things which need to be checked, ropes, stays, bolts, and much more. If you are a steeple keeper who, perhaps, has been thrown in at the deep end because nobody else will do it (!), or if you just help out occasionally, you may find this a helpful day.
I have attached below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) but if there are any queries I’ll do my best to help, as, of course, will Roger.
For: The Education Committee
- Guild Education – Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods – Saturday 23rd November at Hawkley
Please find below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for a Guild Education Day, taking place on Saturday 23 November, based at Hawkley, which will cover Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods. This is the very important building block on which future ringing is based, and can be an invaluable step to getting ringers started in the right direction.
Have a word with your Tower Captain and see if this is something which will help you. Talk it through with your friends – perhaps it will help them too. This is a day for learning in a relaxed atmosphere alongside others at the same stage, working at your own level, with plenty of experienced help. The closing date for the receipt of applications is a week earlier than usual so you need to get them in early.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee