Preston Candover Photograph by Andrew G Craddock for TowerBase

Gary Marsh reports from Winchester District Practice at Preston Candover on 27th June 2018

Winchester District Practice  Preston Candover  27th June 2018

A couple of weeks ago I attended the ringing practice at Brown Candover and if you read my Ringer’s Write-up you will have heard about the great time I had with the two locals, Carol and Rita, teaching me a method for three bells.

I returned to the Candover Valley for the Winchester District Practice in the village of Preston Candover. On that night the Candover Valley band fielded 3 ringers. Peter Willis, Tower captain, and two younger ringers, Lewis and Emma. All told there was 10 of us there including Winchester District Secretary Bruce Purvis and the two District Ringing Masters, Edmund and Jenny. With two experienced ringers from Lockerley and one from Ropley, plus myself, two years in, from Wonston, we settled into introductions, signing the visitors book and acclimatising to the heat in the ringing chamber. With a cramped chamber those not ringing on the small-wheeled, light and fast six had to wait and natter on the spiral, open treaded steps. It was cooler there anyway!

As I live only 15 minutes away from the Candover Valley I elected to just have a couple of rings before leaving them to it. Going to Wonston I have the enormous benefit of being tutored by Edmund every Saturday. So it was only right for me to take an early, cold, bath. As the band are mostly used to ringing with three on any of their rings, having extra hands afforded a great opportunity for extra learning, especially for the younger ringers, and a chance to ring as a 6 on their home bells. So I did a bit of covering whilst some hunting practice took place and I’m grateful to Rodney for supporting me and keeping me in time. And I did a bit of call changes too. The light ropes, speed and narrow confines meant I had to focus on my handling. I really got a lot out of it even in a short amount of time. No issues with my Tennis (treble) Elbow.

It was really nice to meet a few more of the ringing band of Candover Valley. It really is an exceptionally beautiful part of the county with a string of churches along its length. I’m sure they can’t wait to get St. John’s, Northington augmented and running on 6. What a tremendous setting to ring church bells. I hope that the sound and location of the improved ring adds gravitas and purpose to compliment the combined enthusiasm of the Candover Valley Band.

Gary Marsh
Winchester District

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