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Guild Newsletter – January 2021

This newsletter can also be downloaded as a .pdf

Contents

Happy New Year!

Now that the vaccination programme has commenced, there is every prospect that ringing in our towers will start to return to normal later this year. However, any return is likely to be very gradual and a lot of things will have changed. It may take us several years of hard work to get back to where we were before.

Recruitment and training is going to be one of the key issues facing us. Many towers will have lost some of their band, and will need help to resume. In addition some of us will not have touched a rope for well over a year. The newer ringers will need to re-learn some of the basics.

Since last April some towers have been holding regular virtual pub sessions and quizzes using Zoom. Some have also been holding virtual practices using ‘Ringing Room’. Less experienced ringers who were perhaps just learning to ring rounds can now ring methods inside. But will they be able to do this in the tower?

However, for the next few months there is going to be little opportunity for tower bell ringing. Therefore, in this issue we include details of a programme of training webinars which we will be launching in January. These will take us up to Easter and help us prepare for the gradual return to our towers.

Guild and District Officers will be discussing what support to offer ringers and towers after Easter, and details will be published in our next issue. Please do send us articles for inclusion in the next issue, which will be published at the end of March. Articles should be sent to: comms@wbells.org

Master’s Message

Dear Friends.

I hope you all had an enjoyable, if somewhat restricted and for some a little lonely Christmas. I know that some of us took the advantage of ringing tower bells on Christmas day or perhaps ringing handbells in the churchyard, a great way to remind the local congregation that ringing is still alive and not quite in hibernation.

There are many bands who are keeping closely in touch and active through social media, group video meetings and Ringing Room. If you are not, perhaps the New Year is the time to take the plunge and for ringers to reach out to other members of your band on a more regular basis. If you need help with this then please reach out to the communications committee comms&wpbells.org who will be able to give you some guidance. 2021 offers a brighter future to resume ringing at some stage and we need to be prepared to relight the touch paper when that happens.

I wish you and your families a happy and prosperous New Year.

Pete Jordan, Master

Introducing Steve Lamb – The New General Secretary

Steve Lamb took over as Hon Guild General Secretary in November. In this interview, he tells us a little about himself

Where did you learn to ring? I learned to ring at Elloughton in East Yorkshire – a 6cwt ring of 6 bells. I was appointed Tower Captain aged 15 as the former captain had to move away and we were short of ringers. It was surreal to lead the band as I was one of the youngest and one of my band was in her 80s. I really enjoyed teaching bell handling from scratch as well as helping the band be as musical as possible.

What age were you? I was 12 years old when I started learning to ring. I’m 48 now and aside from the pandemic I’ve rung without time away from ringing. I love ringing now as much as ever.

Where do you ring now? My home tower is Winchester Cathedral. They are my favourite ring of bells as I really enjoy their tone – especially the back 8. They are wonderful bells though can be tricky to ring really well. I’m happiest ringing Stedman on the backend though I still have a lot to learn. Ringing on higher numbers is a great deal of fun though Surprise Royal and Max often makes my brain hurt 🙂 I love the fellowship of our wonderful band and feel it’s a treat to ring there. The Cathedral is so full of history and I’m conscious that the ringing chamber has many stories to tell. I’m tower secretary and assistant steeple keeper. I really enjoy ringing regularly at several towers across the Guild and particularly appreciate the band at Hursley taking me under their wing.

Which tower would you most like to grab? Exeter Cathedral due to having heard such good things about them from friends who have rung there. I enjoy ringing heavy tenors.

What do you miss most in the current pandemic? Ringing Tower bells!!! Weekly video sessions with the bands I rang regularly with plus some International get togethers has really helped in the meantime. I’ve learned to enjoy RingingRoom – the regular “12 bell mayhem” session has been a highlight. 

Favourite football team, and why? San Francisco 49ers – I’ve followed them since I was a teenager. I don’t follow football in England – probably as my nearest team when I was a child was Hull and at the time they languished towards the bottom of the league table. My spectator sport is Formula One – following Lewis Hamilton.

Favourite book/film? Apollo 13 – I’ve always loved Space and this story is one of conquering near impossible odds through ingenuity and teamwork.  

Favourite TV series? The Crown

Favourite food? Roast Lamb with all the trimmings

Other hobbies/leisure interests? I’m a keen marathon runner and also enjoy trail running. I love taking photographs too – especially of landscapes and of people.

Training Webinars and Ringing Room Practices

On Saturday 14th November, Edmund Wratten delivered a webinar on ‘coursing order’ and how it can be used to help your ringing. There was an excellent turnout with 35 members Zooming in.

Following this success, a series of interesting webinars is planned for the period up to Easter:

Sat 16th Jan: Listening Skills. Andy and Sallie Ingram. Have you struggled to pick out your bell from the others? How do you know if it you or someone else that is wrong? How do you count your place, what is meant by ‘odd struckness’. All these and other mysteries will be revealed.

Sat 30th Jan: Learning methods I, Martin Daniels. This seminar will look at the different ways of learning methods. It will cover the circle of work, the blue line, place bells and how you can break this down into chunks of work that you can practice using Kaleidoscope sequences. Also covered will be place notation method construction, and how different methods are related to each other.

Sat 13th Feb: Calling simple touches of Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles. Speakers to be Confirmed. Starting from the perspective of someone who has never called a bob or single before, we will cover the basics up to the stage where you can call a 120 of Plain Bob or Grandsire Doubles, and some tips how you can at least keep track of some of the other bells some of the time!

Sat 27th Feb: Learning Methods II. Martin Daniels. Following on from the first session, this webinar will look at the methods to try after you can ring Plain Bob Minor. It will explore St Clements and Double Oxford Minor and how these methods can help you develop skills which will lead on to learning and keeping right in more advanced methods.

Sat 13th Mar: History of bells and Ringing in the Winchester and Portsmouth Dioceses. Phil Watts. This webinar will look at some of the more interesting aspects of the subject and the work of the Diocesan Bells Advisers. It will also include details of plans to update the survey of bells in the Diocese and compile a photographic record of all the historic peal boards in our towers.

Sat 27th Mar. Recruitment and Retention –  How to get more new ringers and how to retain them: Matt Lawrence. This workshop developed by the Central Council’s Volunteer and Leadership Workgroup will look at the problems facing us and ways in which we might overcome them.

How to join: Follow this Zoom link: Link to Webinars

If needed, the Meeting ID is: 897 2083 3001 and Passcode is: 519422

The link will be open from 10.00am for people to logon and perhaps have a chat. The presentation by the speaker will start promptly at 10.15am. Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for questions and answers. Depending on the content, the webinar will last between 60 and 90 minutes

Between webinars

Each Saturday between the webinars we will hold Ringing Room practices using Zoom. The link will be the same and we will split the group into a series of breakout sessions, each with an experienced group leader and helpers.

Whether it is practicing your listening skills, learning Plain Bob or Grandsire or a more advanced method,  or calling your first bobs, you will be able to do this in one of the breakout rooms, in a supportive environment.

After Easter

We may continue with these webinars and Ringing Room sessions for a while, possibly dovetailing this with establishing a network of towers across the Guild where you can go and attend training sessions targeted at helping you get back into ringing on real bells.

Well done for maintaining interest, I enjoyed Edmund’s presentation and feel sure it will have helped a little”

Debbie Matthias, Blackmoor

“I learnt a lot from the coursing bells training, Zoom’s a good way to convey the theory and it’s great to make a little progress when we can’t ring real bells together—thank you for organising it!

Cath Hart, Sherfield English and Romsey Abbey

Pre-recorded webinars, YouTube videos and on-line courses

There are a lot of on-line training resources and we have selected some of the best ones and sorted them, depending on your level of experience. Click on the hyperlinks below to find out more.

For newer ringers

Understanding call changes: This innovative on-line course delivered by Clare McArdle of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing aims to give you a good all-round knowledge of everything to do with call changes, from understanding what they are, to ringing and calling them. The course uses a ‘Moodle’ site to deliver a variety of content including interactive videos, presentations, worksheets and quizzes. There is also a domino game to play!

Devon call-change ringers

Exploring Devon call changes: Devon has a tradition of rounds and call-change ringing, performed by local teams to a high standard of striking. This presentation, delivered by Jon Bint of the Devon Association of Ringers, and a music graduate, explains how Devon call change ringing has evolved as a folk art from the mid 1600’s and compares the difference between it and scientific ‘method’ ringing as the same as that between Jazz and Classical music.

He explains the rivalry between the two systems which arose with the mid 19th century belfry reform movement, and then goes on to explain the key differences – the faster pace, the closed handstroke lead, and the importance of the raise and lower.

Abel Ringing Simulator: A series of YouTube videos with guidance for using the Abel ringing simulator software to practice your ringing on your PC or laptop. The videos are accompanied by notes from an online session delivered by Clare McArdle with additional guidance for using Abel effectively.

Towards better striking: In this 35 minute webinar recording, Tom Hinks focuses on how to achieve accurate striking, looking at various practice tools such as Abel and using sound clips to help you understand how to pick out different errors. He then goes on to discuss the confusing terminology that different ringers use and practical tips on how to make adjustments to your striking whilst ringing.

Virtual ringing – Zoom and Ringing Room workshop: An opportunity for those who would like to set up Ringing Room practices to try it out – with expert technical help. In the words of one user ‘it’s easier than you think!’ We’ve had some complete technophobes on the pilots who’ve left as Ringing Room converts. And it contains plenty of ideas about maintaining the interest of all the band. The workshop is a mix of theory and practical, supported by how-to videos and teaching tips gathered from experienced teachers.

The workshop is free and lasts approximately 90 minutes. This workshop will help you get the most out of lockdown ringing. And, of course, online ringing will still be useful even when we can start practising again. There’s a real sense that blended learning including tower bells, handbells and online ringing will be with us even when the pandemic is over. Follow the link to book a place.

For intermediate ringers

Doubles methods and variations: Steve Horton focuses on Plain Bob, Grandsire and Reverse Canterbury and how you can use different calls to produce a large number of variations on these base methods, quickly and easily extending your band’s repertoire, and adding interest.

How to learn methods: Tom Hinks talks about different ways of learning methods, such as the circle of work, blue lines, passing the treble, and place bells. Don’t worry if you are just embarking on learning your first few methods, everything is explained in simple terms. As Tom is a professional history teacher, he also explains some of the psychology, such as how frequency of repetition and being able to visualise a method in more than way can also help you master a method.

How to learn methods: Phil Ramsbottom highlights different ways to learn methods, and encourages looking for similarities and differences with other methods. He starts with Plain Bob Minimus and explains how this is related to Single Oxford Minor. Then how an understating of the secrets of method construction can be used to help you learn and ring Little Bob and Treble Bob, and how half-lead, double and reverse methods are related to each other.

Calling simple touches: Tom Hinks focuses on calling simple touches, looking at the basics of saying ‘go’, ‘that’s all’ and ‘stand’ through to calling Bobs and Singles in Plain Bob Doubles and Minor and Grandsire Doubles. He explains how different touches work and there are also some helpful resources discussed at the end.

A training session on the eight dumb-bells and simulators at the Mancroft Ringing Discovery Centre

First steps in calling bobs: This on-line course delivered by Nikki Thomas of the Mancroft Ringing Discovery Centre in Norwich teaches you how to call bobs effectively and in the right place, and shows you how to construct touches using all the calling options for Plain Bob Doubles. By the end you should be confidently be able to call touches and call your first quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles. The ‘Moodle’ site has a variety of content including five tutorials, downloadable presentations, and interactive quizzes.

Simon Linford and his daughter Charlie

An introduction to handbell ringing: Simon Linford of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing uncovers the mysteries associated with learning to ring handbells. He explains that there are three basic patterns which can be used to ring a pair of bells to Plain hunt on six and plain courses and touches of Bob Minor. When you know the secrets, it’s not as difficult as it might seem at first sight.

Guild Training and Development Fund

Once the current pandemic subsides our thoughts will turn to recruiting and retaining new ringers. It could be 18 months before we can recruit new ringers again. In a normal year the Guild looses about 8% of our members through natural wastage, and a higher percentage of learners. Therefore in these exceptional circumstances we could loose 20 –25% of our ringers.

The Training and Development fund is there to help. The object of the fund is to provide financial assistance to individuals and groups incurring expenditure on: the provision of training, attending courses and events, training materials, payment of tutor expenses, educational assets and any other worthy project to enhance and enable the development of a ringer or group of ringers.

Perhaps you would like to buy some attractive leaflets or roller banners for a tower open day, or hire a mini-ring or mobile belfry for your local carnival or festival. You may also want to equip your tower with a simulator.

  • Applications. To be forwarded to Helen Woolford the Honorary Treasurer in writing or e-mail
  • Decisions. An application for a grant from this fund will be considered by the Officials, and their decision relayed to the applicant in a timely manner.
  • To qualify for a grant, applicants must be paid-up members or probationary members of the Guild.
  • Grants towards the cost of residential training courses will normally be awarded up to a maximum rate of 50% of the course costs and not exceeding £100.
  • The cost of Association of Ringing Techers (ART) teacher training modules and workshops may be awarded in full.
  • Depending upon the funds available and the number of applications , awards may have to be scaled down accordingly.
  • Only one award will be made per individual in any one calendar year.
  • Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of expenses/course fees.

Click here to download the application form

In addition to the Training and development fund, Rule 16 provides that the“… First charge on District Funds (after administration) shall be for instruction (whenever possible) in change ringing…” so you can also apply to your District as well.

200 Club

Some years ago Mark Esbester ran a 200 Club to raise money for the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, with around 170 subscribers. When he gave this up in 2016, I thought it would be useful to restart it but to raise money to improve the ringers rather than the bells. 

The Guild set up the Training and Development Fund (TDF), with the object of giving grants to individuals or groups for training, attending courses, buying educational assets or other worthy projects to help in the development of ringers. The Fund officials are the Guild Master, Vice-Master, Honorary General Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. The 200 Club is run separately, solely to raise money for the Fund.

Club members pay a subscription of £12 per year, preferably by Standing Order to ease administration but alternatively by bank transfer, cheque or cash. This is spread over the year at £1/month. Draws are held three times a year, nominally at the March and November Executive Committee meetings and the Guild AGM. At each draw the total of members’ monthly contributions since the previous draw is split with approximately half going to the Fund, paid at the end of the year, and the remainder given out as six prizes.

The first gets 50% of the prize accumulation, the second 20%, the third and fourth 10% each and the fifth and sixth 5% each. To date £521 has been given out in prizes and £511 to the Fund. At present the Club has only 31 subscribers, so prizes are often small.

If you would like to join, and raise money for this worthy cause, copies of the form, plus a standing order details are on the W&P website: ‘200 Club’. The next draw will take place in March next year at the Guild Executive Committee meeting. Money received between now and the meeting will go into that draw. More members mean bigger prizes and more money raised for the TDF!

Robin Milford

Winners of the November Draw were:

  • 1st Tangley Ringers £20.00
  • 2nd Graham Nobbs £8.00
  • 3rd Anne LeMarechal £4.00
  • 4th Piers Armstrong £4.00
  • 5th Christine Hill £2.00
  • 6th Wendy Ling £2.00

Safeguarding

With the need to attract many more younger ringers, on-line safeguarding resources include:

Safeguarding in ringing: In this webinar, Dave Bassford and Ann White, safeguarding leads of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, and who both have substantial experience of safeguarding in their careers outside ringing, discuss DBS checks, L0, L1 and L2 safeguarding training, and the responsibilities of parish, tower, District and Guild officers. They also explain how to properly deal with incidents or concerns, and general ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’!

Levels C0 and C1 on-line safeguarding training: It is recommended that all ringers should complete these two simple on-line training courses which are available free of charge through the Church of England safeguarding training portal. The resources and training you can access here will equip you and your church to engage positively with the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults who ring at your tower, in both a practical and theologically informed way.

50 Virtual Ringing Things

Has been launched as part of the Central Council and ART’s Survival and Recovery Toolbox. The scheme is targeted at those who are new to ringing in the virtual world and is a series of challenges that you can try before we are able to go back to ringing in our towers. The challenges cover simulator software, online ringing, handbells and the enigmatically named tail ends (things that don’t fit into the other categories). When you’ve ticked off a challenge yourself, you can share your experience on the 50 Ringing Things Facebook group. Click on the image left to find out more and join.

The Charmborough Ring

The Charmborough Ring attracts a lot of attention at local carnivals and shows. It comes complete with a gazebo and roller banners to promote ringing. It has been used with a number of schools for activities days in the summer term, and although the bells are light, they are perfectly manageable.

We have found that young people can lean to handle a bell in about 15 minutes on them. Previously our main base was at Willingale, near Chelmsford in Essex, although since 2018 we have had a secondary base at New Alresford. Unfortunately Ian Kerwin from Willingale is no longer able to devote his time to the Charmborough Ring due to a change in his personal circumstances. Therefore our main base will now be at New Alresford.

We would particularly like to encourage towers in Hampshire and the surrounding counties to think about using us to help with recruitment, post pandemic. If you would like to hire the Charmborough Ring for an event later in the year, please visit our website.

Also, if you have a vehicle with a tow-bar capable of towing 2.1 tons and would like to help us take the ring out to events, please do get in touch. In 2019 the ring was used at eighteen different events. The more people that can help share the workload, the better. www.charmborough.org

The W&P needs YOUR help

Are YOU interested in helping the guild by supporting some of its committees? We have vacancies which need filling and would love to hear from you if you are interested. Please don’t be shy. You don’t need to be on the steep slopes of the red and black zones of ringing. You could be on the nursery slopes of the green zone, or gentle slopes of the blue zone, but you could have very useful skills from outside ringing that you could offer. If you want to know more please feel free to contact us to discuss the work of these committees further.

Guild Communications Committee. The primary role of the Communications Committee is to keep Guild Members up to date with what is going on in their Guild and Districts. The Committee works with the Principal Officers and District Officers promoting Guild and District events, practices, social events and relaying District, Guild and National Bellringing News. It is also available to help any tower with communications of their events as requested.

The Communications Committee is responsible for:

  • Maintenance of the WordPress website, Creating and archiving new pages and posts.
  • Maintaining the Guild membership and Communications database held on G Suite and Mailchimp.
  • Maintaining District email lists, approving new members
  • Running the Guild’s Twitter account (wpbells).
  • Posting to the Guild’s social Media sites

If you are interested please contact Andrew Glover.

Guild Education Committee. The Education Committee exists to improve members’ ringing abilities and confidence in all practical and theoretical aspects of bell handling and method ringing. We arrange training days and evenings, designed to help students to enjoy their ringing, and to learn in a friendly, relaxed, but concentrated environment.

They are a mixture of theory and practice, geared to each student’s needs. Students are divided into small groups, led by Group Leaders who will assess what students can do; students won’t be pushed into attempting the impossible, but they will be encouraged to try things. Each group has a dedicated band of helpers so that, when students ring, they will be surrounded by helpful, friendly experts.

The committee will have an important role to play in helping ringing recover after the pandemic. If you would like to act as a committee member, or as a helper on our training sessions, contact Andy Ingram.

Belfry Stewardship Commttee. The committee exists to give advice about:

  • Bells and their fittings in any Guild tower;
  • To inspect and report on all completed bell restoration works subject to grants from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, and
  • To continue the work of the Guild’s Bell Stock Survey.

In the late 1990s the Guild launched an ambitious pioneering project to compile a survey of every belfry in Hampshire with three or more bells. To date over ninety surveys have been completed, providing a wealth of valuable data on the condition of our towers and bells; However the project has only surveyed about half of the towers.

We would particularly like to hear from people with a background in Architecture, Surveying, Engineering or Construction who may be able to help with this and our other work. After the pandemic there will be many rings of bells which have not been rung and may need inspection, and we will also need to train new steeple-keepers. If you are interested, contact Martin Barnes.

Win-Port Email Group moves to Google Groups

With the closure of Yahoo!© Groups on the 15th December 2020, the Win-Port email group has been successfully migrated to a new Google email group. If you were a member of Win-Port whilst it was a Yahoo!© group, you are automatically a member of the new Google group. The Win-Port email group enables members to email other members within the Guild and is an easy method of communication to quickly reach a large number of ringers. It is especially useful for when a “cry for help” is needed when towers were short of ringers for weddings!

The group is intended to be for more social communications and is not to be confused with the Guild Communications Database; that will be used for official Guild and District communications to let you know about Guild and District events. Access to the database is restricted on who can send out communications so Win-Port is an email group for all members to use to reach out to members.

Currently there are just over 200 of us in Win-Port which only represents a small proportion of the 1,400 members of the Guild. There are several members with more than one email address, and others that reside outside of the Guild area. It would be great to get more people added to this group and improve our communications between Guild members.

If you wish to be added, please visit here to give your consent and I will add you to the group. You can only use it if you are a member of it, so please sign-up today! Don’t miss out!

Andrew Glover, Webmaster W&P

Bishop of Portsmouth retires

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster has announced that he is to retire as Bishop of Portsmouth. He will step down in April 2021. His wife, the Canon Sally Davenport, told worshippers at Holy Trinity and St Columba Churches in Fareham that she was also to resign as their Team Rector. The couple will retire together and live in Somerset.

Thank you to all those who have prayed for us and worked alongside us over the past 10 years, in the churches and communities of south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Sally and I will be sorry to leave so many valued friends and colleagues.”

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster has been Bishop of Portsmouth since 2010. He had grown up in the industrial West Midlands and in Surrey before studying economics at Durham and Manchester Universities and briefly working as an economics lecturer. He was ordained in 1980, served as a curate in Wolverhampton, and as chaplain of Wadham College, Oxford. He became vicar of Christ Church, Southgate, in London, in 1986 and then worked on the staff of St Albans Cathedral from 1994.

Bishop Christopher became the ninth Bishop of Portsmouth in September 2010, succeeding the Rt Revd Dr Kenneth Stevenson. Shortly afterwards, the Rev Sally Davenport was appointed as team rector of Holy Trinity and St Columba churches, both of which are near their home in Fareham.

District Annual General Meetings

The Basingstoke District virtual Annual District Meeting will be held on Saturday Jan 16, 2021 at 3pm To join on Zoom, click this link: Link to Basingstoke District AGM

If needed, the Meeting ID is: 835 5007 7104. The Passcode is: 135246

The Winchester District virtual Annual District Meeting will be held on Saturday Feb 13, 2021 at 3pm To join on Zoom, click this link: Link to Winchester District AGM

If needed, the Meeting ID is: 883 8896 9942. The Passcode is: 135246

Bell Restoration Fund News

Ecchinswell, St Lawrence. Everything that everyone has worked so hard for is beginning to feel very  real. For the last 8 years the trust has been fundraising and overcoming many obstacles to raise the very much needed money.

Then on 30th October, the three old bells were removed from the tower. The measuring up for the new framework is done, and very soon the six new bells will make their way to their new home and in the not to distance future we will hear their beautiful sweet sound. None of this would have happened without everyone who has supported us in some way and we thank you. The Guild is supporting this project with a grant of £2,500 from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund

Odiham, All Saints in the Basingstoke District. Whites of Appleton have overhauled the fittings of the six bells and strengthened the bell frame. Due to rot in some of the frame timbers, galvanised support steels have been installed under the frame and tie-rods fitted to reduce frame movement. The clappers and pulley units have been overhauled and the defective resin pads replaced. Rope guides have also been installed. This project has benefitted from a grant of £2,300 from the Guild Bell Restoration Fund

Silchester, St Mary. The five bells of Silchester also in the Basingstoke District have been turned and rehung on new fittings in the existing bell frame. The 2nd bell has been tuned. Rope guides have also been installed.

The work was carried out by Whites of Appleton and the project benefitted from a grant of £2,000 from the Guild Bell Restoration fund.

Hambledon, SS Peter & Paul. This ring of six in the Portsmouth District have been out of action following an accident when one of the gudgeons of the 2nd bell sheared and the bell was cracked in the crown as a result. The bells were last rehung by The Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1978, so the fittings were generally in good order. The bells and their fittings were taken to John Taylor & Co in Loughborough where the second bell was repaired by specialist bronze welding to its crown. The headstocks of all six bells have had new gudgeons fitted by forge welding. New bearings have been fitted and the bells have now been rehung, and await lifting of the Covid restrictions. A £3,000 grant to this project was approved at the Guild AGM in October 2020.

Donate to the Bell Restoration Fund

If you wish to donate to the Bell Restoration Fund, please contact the Guild Treasurer hon.treasurer@wpbells.org  who will provide you with the details required in order to make an electronic transfer. You will also be asked if you would like to gift aid your donation, and if so provide a gift aid form for you to complete.  If you are a taxpayer, Gift aid enables us to reclaim an additional 25% of your donation from HMRC

If you wish to apply for a grant, when you have decided on a specific scheme send a completed Application Form to the Guild Secretary a minimum of one month prior to the AGM in June or the March and November Executive.  Meetings.  The Belfry Stewardship Committee can help you with advice from an early stage when you are considering options and putting a scheme together.

Covid Winter Plan – updated guidance for England Wales and Scotland

England comes out of lockdown on Wednesday this week and enters the three Tiers system. The rules in Wales have not changed since 9th November and the Tiers will not apply. In Scotland, Covid restrictions are governed by five Protection Levels. Central Council guidance is now moving to respond to the Tiers and Protection Levels and so will now be different in England, Wales and Scotland.

England

First the good news and perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel for other areas. Just before we went into lockdown for the second time a month ago, we had reached agreement with the House of Bishops Recovery Group to drop down to 1m+ distancing, and then introduce local risk assessment based on the characteristics of the ringing environment and also risk assessment based on personal circumstances. Our guidance is that in Tier 1 this can now happen, although at first we only recommend ringing for 15 minutes until ventilation in towers is better understood. However look to the end of this statement for our plans in that regard.

In Tiers 2 and 3 we are still recommending that we stick to the government’s guidance that is the same for both Tiers, and that is that “No mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles.” As was discussed when the lockdown started, one can argue the definitions of mixing, interacting and mingling, some might even try and argue that ringing is an act of worship or even employment, but the clear intention of the public health experts is to reduce interactions as much as possible so that we get through the winter without another wave of infection. That restricts ringing in Tiers 2 and 3 to families that live together and other households, or the ringing of single bells as currently.

Handbells

The opportunities for handbell ringing will improve over the lockdown conditions. In Tier 1 we revert to the ‘Rule of 6’ which allows six people to meet indoors or outdoors, so handbell ringing is possible (but stay distanced and ventilate well). In Tier 2 a maximum of six people can meet in any outdoor setting only, including a domestic garden, so provided you are warm enough, socially distanced handbell ringing is viable. Tier 3 is slightly more restrictive in that mixing of households outdoors needs to be in a public space, e.g. parks, public gardens or churchyards. Again this give the opportunity to meet perhaps outside the church and ring handbells. Not that you should not travel from a higher tier to a lower tier for handbell ringing.

Wales

Wales does not have the Tier system but does have social distancing of 2m and a recommendation that indoor gatherings other than with your household or extended household is avoided. However, the Church in Wales has specifically recognised ringing in its guidance for places of worship and specifically permits ringing as follows:

“Bell ringing is permissible, but bell ringers should observe two-metre physical distancing and hygiene and cleaning regimes should be implemented. Careful consideration of how bell ringers will access the building suitably distanced from other attendees needs consideration e,g diff erent entry points or staggered arrival times. Bellringing arrangements should comply with guidance available from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers at https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/ ”

Our guidance in Wales is therefore that ringing should still follow 2m social distancing and be restricted to 15 minutes. Ringing for longer could come following the ventilation trials explained below.

Handbells

Ringing handbells outdoors in a public space is allowed subject to the overall guidance on social distance and avoiding large gatherings. Handbells in gardens is allowed however there is a rule that only householders and their one extended household can meet in their gardens. However that still might present some handbell opportunities on warmer days.

Scotland

There is an overall social distancing restriction of 2m between people (not ropes) which is a key driver for practical ringing.

In the top Protection Level 4, ringing has stopped because public worship has stopped. However, in all other Levels ringing is possible provided the social distancing guidelines are possible and duration restricted in accordance with previous guidance.

Handbells

Ringing handbells outdoors is allowed subject to the overall guidance on social distancing. In Levels 2 3 and 4 up to six people from two different households could ring handbells outdoors, subject to social distancing and woolly hats. In Level 1, that increases to eight people from three households. The household restrictions do not apply to 12-17 year olds.

A summary of all the different levels and guidance can be found on the main website here, which is also linked from the Virtual Hub on Bellboard.

Ventilation and increasing ringing time

At first the guidance in Tier 1 is still only to ring for 15 minutes (as it still is in Wales also), however we are going to be working with some ringers on the Isle of Wight and in Cornwall, the two regions with bells that will be in Tier 1, to understand the benefits of ventilation using CO2 meters.

The use of CO2 meters as a means of measuring the effectiveness of ventilation came from studies summarised in a recent review from the Royal Society. Indeed CO2 measurement is the industry standard used to demonstrate effectiveness of commercial ventilation systems. In an enclosed space like a ringing chamber, our breathing causes CO2 levels to increase. Ventilation brings in fresh air and the CO2 level drops. A CO2 meter is a pretty good proxy for the adequacy of ventilation, which in turn will help us estimate if ringing for longer than 15 minutes is safe (because Covid infected aerosols don’t build up). If the CO2 level in the room does not increase, it is likely that the ventilation is good, and we can ring for longer.

Phil Barnes and David Pouncey have both bought a particular kind of CO2 meter from Canada which can be connected to a laptop and display the change in CO2 levels over time. In the Isle of Wight trial, a couple of bands of relatives will ring for 30 minutes in towers with a broad range of ventilation characteristics and measure how the CO2 levels change. This will then be used to give much better guidance on what other towers need to do to improve ventilation. By the time other regions drop into Tier 1 we hope that this work done by the Isle of Wight and Cornish ringers will enable us to move straight to ringing for longer in towers where the characteristics show that aerosol transmission risk is low.

Conclusion

Overall, there is cause for optimism. There will be disappointment for many in Tier 2 areas particularly that the Tier restrictions do not enable us to get back to where we were in the summer, but then that is something the government has thought about in maintaining and indeed increasing their overall restrictions. December 16th may bring more Tier 2 areas into Tier 1. Hopefully the work that will be done with CO2 monitoring will help us to increase ringing times in more towers as more regions drop into Tier 1.

As has been said by various ministers and public health officials, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to, and the Tier rules “are not boundaries at which to push, but limits of what you can do.”

Ultimately being sensible and being aware of the risks is a sound basis for deciding on whether to ring or not.

Simon Linford
President, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Content taken from https://cccbr.org.uk/2020/11/30/covid-winter-plan-updated-guidance-for-england-wales-and-scotland/ with permission.

Hand Bell Ringing Teaching Session at St Peter’s Churchyard Petersfield Hampshire 2020

(Social Distancing Rules were in place)

A few weeks ago, Mary Broadbridge, tower captain at St Peter’s church Petersfield Hampshire organised a special hand bell ringing teaching session taken very kindly by Iain Hayden who has been ringing with the St Peter’s tower band over the last year. There were six learners who under Iain’s tutelage managed to ring rounds and one or two call changes.   Every one very much enjoyed the morning and we are all hoping it will be one of many teaching sessions when with practice we can progress to ringing methods.  Of course, depending on what Covid restrictions are in

A few weeks ago, Mary Broadbridge, tower captain at St Peter’s church Petersfield Hampshire organised a special hand bell ringing teaching session taken very kindly by Iain Hayden who has been ringing with the St Peter’s tower band over the last year. There were six learners who under Iain’s tutelage managed to ring rounds and one or two call changes.   Every one very much enjoyed the morning and we are all hoping it will be one of many teaching sessions when with practice we can progress to ringing methods.  Of course, depending on what Covid restrictions are in place in the future.

The St Peter’s Church band ring for Sunday Service at 09:00 for fifteen minutes and on Wednesday practice for fifteen minutes, ringers taking it in turns to ring on different weeks.  

Caroline M Welsh

Archivist St Peter’s Bell Ringers

Guild Newsletter – September 2020

This is the second of an occasional series of newsletters being sent out to inform members about what is happening with ringing during the easing of Lockdown and to help prepare for the eventual resumption of regular ringing.

It was sent to all tower correspondents and Guild and District Officers whose e-mail address is published in the Guild Annual Report, and those members who have signed up to our database. It is important that we reach as many members of our Guild as possible, so please do forward this newsletter on to the other members of your band who may not yet have signed up.

Guild Annual General Meeting – 3pm, Saturday 26th September
The Guild AGM will now be held online using Zoom. You will be required to register in advance if you wish to attend:

Instructions on how to register are available here.


Once your registration is approved you will receive further instructions on how to join the webinar and guidelines on how to participate in the meeting.
At the time of registration you will also be given the opportunity to send in any questions you would like answered during the meeting. You will be able to ask questions during the meeting, but it would helpful to the Guild Officers’ to know of any in advance.

Due to the added pressures of running the AGM online, we need to streamline the process as much as possible to minimise delay on the day. To help with this, please register apologies of absence with your District Secretary in advance, so that they can be passed to me before 26th September.

Tony Smith has provided links to the AGM papers in pdf and web format here:
Link to pdf version
Link to web version

Adrian Nash
Secretary – Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Channel Islands District future move to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild


As you may be aware, the episcopal oversight of the Channel Islands is planned to be transferred to the Salisbury Diocese. This decision which was approved by both Houses of Parliament in July 2020. There is still ongoing work to complete this process which is expected to be completed in 2021.

In discussion with the Master of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers we both felt it was important to understand the wishes of the Channel Island District members, as to whether they wanted to remain in the W&P or to move with their churches to the SDG.

Over the summer there has been much discussion in the Channel Islands District and a vote of all district members returned a 65% wish to move to the Salisbury Guild. The W&P and SDG will be working over the coming months to agree the final date and what needs to be put in place for a clean transfer.

This will be a sad day for the W&P, having enjoyed many years of association with the Channel Islands. We have made many friends in the ringing community through close association, and I am sure that we will continue to enjoy ringing together in the future after the move.

We will keep you up to date as things progress and perhaps – COVID allowing – we can mark the transfer in due course with a decent bit of real ringing!

Hoping you all stay safe and well.

Pete Jordan
Master – Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

Changes to Guidelines on Social Distancing?


We understand that a change to social distancing guidelines from 1.5m to 1.0m between ringers ‘in a line’ and with mitigations (e.g. face-coverings) may be approved by the CofE Recovery Team soon. As soon as this change has been approved, the updated guidelines will be published on the CCCBR website, which is updated every Friday:

Of course, this will have limited impact as most ropes in most towers are between 0.8m and 0.9m apart, and we will still be limited to 15 minutes ringing. However, we also understand that changes are in the pipeline which may permit the use of simulators in small groups for longer periods.

We also understand that the Rule of Six does not apply to Church services, where the limit remains at 30 participants.

Ironically, the rule of six does now allow up to six people form different households to meet indoors, subject to social distancing. Therefore those ringers who have up to now been meeting outside to ring handbells (socially distanced) will be able to meet and ring indoors.

Virtual Ringing


Quite a few bands throughout the Guild are holding virtual meet ups using Zoom in order to keep in touch, and some are also holding virtual ringing sessions using Ringing Room. We hear stories of relative newcomers making excellent progress on virtual platforms, improving their listening and place counting skills. Even quarter peals are now appearing on BellBoard, with firsts for both new and experienced ringers who’ve never touched a pair of handbells before.

Current estimates are that the results of vaccine trials are likely to start to come through by Christmas, but even if we are lucky and one is approved it will be next summer before sufficient vaccine is manufactured for it to become widely available. We may therefore have to wait till at least next summer, and probably longer before practices and meetings can resume. Even then, older ringers may be reluctant to venture outside their home tower. Therefore, especially with the long winter evenings, virtual ringing has an important role to play.

Michaela Nadal of Stockbridge runs an open session on Ringing Room most weekday afternoons at 5pm – Mayflies tower – and visitors are always welcome. If so, contact her for further information at: emnad@btinternet.com.

You can also join the ‘Ringing Room Take Hold Lounge’ Facebook group. You can meet up with other users by clicking on the ‘Events’ tab to see a listing of practices taking place each day.

Would you like to run your own Zoom/Ringing Room sessions?


The Education committee is also running a further webinar targeted at Tower Captains and others who would like to run their own virtual practices. The workshop session has been developed by Gill Hughes and Lesley Boyle who have been running virtual practice sessions in Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire for some months. Lesley also rang in the first ever virtual peal! The workshop will include lots of tips and tricks to help yo get the best out of the applications, overcome typical issues and run successful practices. Therefore there may even be something for more experienced users!

The session will take place on Saturday 10th October, starting at 10.15am and will last about an hour.

If you would like to join, please register by e-mailing us at comms@wpbells.org and we will send you the Zoom link.

Lockdown resources


The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and Association of Ringing Teachers have added further material to their selection of links to ringing related videos, blogs, quizzes, podcasts and training webinars which will be of interest to members of your band. There’s a lot of material, it grows every week and it’s well worth a look:
http://ringingteachers.org/resources/COVID19-ringing-support

Guild Membership Database


We now have 351 members who have consented to join the Guild membership database, which is about 25% of the total Guild membership. In this period of Covid-19 it is more important than ever that we keep in touch with our members. Therefore please do encourage others in your tower to sign up. There is a link on the Guild website or they can sign up here: Link to database sign up form

Ringing for VJ Day at Petersfield

On Saturday 15th August after the two minutes silence to commemorate VJ day John Leary of the St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers Petersfield rang the number six bell seventy-five times to pay tribute to the remaining VJ Day Veterans and to remember the fallen one of whom was a Rev Victor Wardle former assistant Priest at Petersfield and a bell ringer. He died in an internment camp in Japan on 4th January 1945.

In January the Rev Wardle was also remembered by St Peter’s Bell Ringers ringing a quarter peal.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Caroline Welsh

Petersfield

Message from the Guild Master on the Latest CCCBR Guidance

Dear Friends,

I am sure you have been keenly following the latest CCCBR guidance about returning to ringing and how they have been working with the CofE on establishing safe working practices to do so.

The CofE have now released their latest update here.

This generally approves limited return to ringing from the 4th July SUBJECT TO APPROVAL FROM YOUR LOCAL INCUMBENT, following a risk assessment, and in line with the detailed guidance available on the Central Council’s website. In essence, any approved ringing has to be in sessions of a maximum of 15 minutes, only once in 72 hours, and by bands of ringers who stay on the same bells, two metres apart”.

Links to the C of E and CCCBR statements can also be found on the Guild website

You should read carefully the guidelines and advice from both the CofE and the CCGBR and stay within the guidelines for the safety of yourself and those in your band.

After 100 plus days of lockdown I feel that this gives us a hopeful glimpse of a way forward, however the 2 metre distancing is still a significant limitation even in the largest of towers. It is probably worth however, starting discussions with your incumbent to at least set the wheels in motion for a return to ringing hopefully in the not too distant future.

We hope that most towers should not have any problems undertaking the belfry risk assessment, however if you are unable to carry this out, please contact Martin Barnes (Belfry Stewardship Committee), who will coordinate with someone local to support you.

With best wishes to you all.

Pete Jordan

Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers

COVID-19 and ringing Central Council position statement May 5th 2020

It is expected that the UK Government will announce plans for a gentle easing of the current lockdown on Sunday May 10th and ringers have already been asking if that means they may return to ringing as normal. The key consideration at all times must be the safety of individual ringers, others with whom they ring and those with whom they live or may come into contact.

We do not know what the Government will propose but it is clear that, as lockdown is gradually eased, the re-opening of sections of the economy will be a priority and major restrictions on the activities of all of us will remain in place for a significant period. Government and public health teams working with others will be maintaining a very close watch on new cases and hospitalization of people with COVID-19. Ways of tracking of where such patients have been and tracing of all of their contacts will be key. All of this will take time to put in place.

The Central Council’s guidance to ringers is that currently it is too early for any return to ringing and that the current suspension of all ringing of any kind should remain in place. This includes chiming of single bells and the use of Ellacombe chimes. We will be sharing this guidance with the Church of England and ringing societies and where possible with other bell owning organisations.

Over recent weeks Dr Phillip Barnes, a recently retired NHS Consultant and Medical Director as well as a member of the CC Executive, has been reviewing the emerging scientific and medical evidence about COVID-19 and what it means for the safety of ringing. The key issues which affect the safety of ringing are the physical environment of towers including access to ringing rooms, the space between ropes, how to maintain hand hygiene in towers and the numbers of people in a restricted space for a relatively long period of time. Even if churches reopen, the environment in towers is very different.

This evidence review is being published online this week via the Central Council website and an article will appear in next week’s edition of The Ringing World. Guidance on how it might be possible to restart ringing and what restrictions and precautions would be needed to do so are an integral part of this work.

The evidence and guidance will be reviewed formally at least monthly as well as in the light of any significant developments. We are all as keen as anyone to get back to ringing as soon as possible, but that must only occur when it is completely safe to do so.

SIMON LINFORD
Dr PHILLIP BARNES
For and on behalf of the CC Executive.

200 Club – Results of March 2020 draw

The March draw of the 200 Club, raising money for the Guild Training and Development Fund, was meant to take place at the Executive Committee meeting on 16th March. This was cancelled, and for reasons we all know I have been unable to do the draw at any ringing event since. I thought that the draw should take place anyway, so on Saturday afternoon my son Paul drew the numbers at home. He did suggest we live-stream it to avoid any accusations of bias, but I thought that was going a bit far – fortunately he didn’t draw my number!

The results were as follows:
Draw Date: 28/03/2020
Prize Accumulation: £60.00

Winners
First 50% £30.00 25 Nikki Brown
Second 20% £12.00 31 Wendy Ling
Third 10% £6.00 16 Graham Nobbs
Fourth 10% £6.00 27 Christine Hill
Fifth 5% £3.00 24 Marie Boniface
Sixth 5% £3.00 6 Pete Jordan

Nikki is currently living in Norway and has very kindly asked that her prize be donated to the Netley Abbey Bell Fund. Payment of the others may be delayed but I won’t forget.

Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Update from CCCBR

Coronavirus – Covid-19 – Update – 16th March

New updates on the Coronavirus have been issued by the UK government today, which include avoiding any “non-essential” travel and contact with others and avoiding pubs, clubs theatres and social gatherings.  If you haven’t already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so.

We must all ensure that we are following the most up to date advice from the Chief Medical Officer (or overseas equivalent) with regard to the Covid 19 outbreak.  Of course the Central Council is not in a position to provide professional advice, however there are some simple guidelines to consider to ensure that we adopt sensible precautions and support each other through a period of rapid change and uncertainty.   The advice is changing almost daily and the latest messages concern potential restriction of movement of people over the age of 70 in the coming weeks, if not sooner.

The demographics of the ringing community has a large proportion who fit in to the over 70 year old and/or medically vulnerable category, and ringers can be quite stubborn when it comes to continuing ringing, insisting that we “keep calm and carry on”.  However, under the current circumstances, we have a duty to be responsible for ourselves and towards others we ring with.  If you fit into a category that has been advised to socially distance yourself, please heed that advice.  If not for you, then to help prevent putting other people at risk.

Having said that, socially distancing yourself can create a sense of isolation, and we must ensure that we maintain contact with our ringing friends, and offer any help and support where we can.  Please check in with those who are advised to stay home, phone them for a chat to ask how they are, drop them a quick text, Whatsapp or social media message to let them know they haven’t been forgotten.

If you find yourself self isolating, consider how you might get your ringing fix if not on the end of a rope.  There are many apps for phones and computers that you can utilise to learn methods, practise listening skills and so on. There’s a multitude of YouTube videos on various aspects of ringing, ringing up and down, rope splicing and many other tower tasks that need doing.  Get out some good old paper and pencil to write out methods, learn the place notation, write out touches etc  – that’ll keep you busy for hours!  Keep in touch with friends on the various bellringing social media communities, maybe even start one of your own.  Get that tower website up to date.  Get around to writing up last year’s tower AGM minutes.  Plan what you are going to do once the restrictions have been lifted, maybe organise a reunion.

Keep up to date with the latest advice from the government, ensure that you support each other, keep calm and keep safe.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Many people are concerned about the effects of the current Coronavirus outbreak and what impact that has on us and our ringing activities.  Whilst the CCCBR cannot offer any professional medical advice, we would recommend that you adopt sensible precautions and follow the advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Information about the virus, signs and symptoms can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ but there are some very simple guidelines to follow during every day activities:

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands before and after ringing
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards or use sanitiser gel
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • lick or spit on your hands before catching hold of a rope, use other methods of increasing grip e.g. liquid chalk

We all have a duty to adopt sensible precautions to protect ourselves, our friends and families and to follow the current advice.  Sources of information for the UK can be found here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Other territories may also have regular advice updates for which territorial associations may be able to provide further guidance.

Vicki Chapman
CCCBR Public Relations Officer

Ropley ringers need your help please!

As you will know Ropley has no church and no bells at the moment, but we do have a band of ringers. We practice on the second Thursday of the month at Old Alresford in the winter and Bishops Sutton in the summer. We do have a problem, half the band are ill. Two are needing an operation in the near future which will put them out of ringing for some time, another is getting over an illness which put them in hospital before Christmas and they are still weak and a fourth has a sick husband. I do not want to stop practices but with only three ringers it may happen. I am asking if you could give an evening a month to help? If there is no response then practices will stop, meaning it will be very difficult to start again. Please contact me if you can help.

Rodney Skinner

**UPDATED**Winchester ADM – Sat 8th February 2020 at Hursley

Link to Minutes from Autumn District Meeting

Link to Agenda

Dear All,

Our Annual District Meeting – this year, at Hursley – is fast approaching, so, please find attached poster. Please affix to your noticeboards, put the word round, forward to your band members, however you communicate such matters.

The papers for the meeting – the Agenda, the minutes of the last meeting, the District Accounts and the Report of the last year in the District’s annals – will all follow in due course, with time enough for everyone to read and if necessary comment.

I’ll be in touch anon, best wishes meanwhile,

Bruce
District Secretary

20200208 WIN ADM Hursley

200 Club – November 2019 Draw Results

The November draw of the W&P 200 Club took place earlier this week at the practice at Upham. The results were as follows:
Draw Date 20/11/2019
Prize Prize Accumulation £74.00 Winning
Numbers
Winners
First 50% £37.00 27 Christine Hill
Second 20% £14.80 31 Wendy Ling
Third 10% £7.40 26 Wendy Smart
Fourth 10% £7.40 28 Peter Hill
Fifth 5% £3.70 18 Tony Smith
Sixth 5% £3.70 1 Robin Milford
If anyone was wondering why the draw was at Upham practice night rather than at the Executive Committee meeting last Saturday, I forgot to take the bag of numbers with me! However, I did remember the cheque book and was able to give the Guild Treasurer a cheque for £166 for the Training and Development Fund from this year’s draw proceeds.
The next draw should (hopefully) be at the next Executive Committee meeting in March 2020. More members always welcome.
Robin Milford

 

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.

GuildEd20190928-2

GuildEd20190928-4

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Guild AGM Papers – Sat 15th June – IoW

Update – 4th June

Subject: AGM 15th June- venue for Striking competition results, BRF meeting and lunch

Hi all

For those who are intending to be at the Freshwater Village Hall on the 15th June for the striking competition results, lunch or BRF meeting prior to the AGM, please note that the venue is in Victoria Road, PO40 9PP. It is not at the Memorial Hall in Avenue Road.

Don’t forget to let Mary Tester know if you want lunch.

Thanks

Heather


Anyone intending to travel along the M27 on their way to the Guild AGM on the Isle of Wight should note that the M27 will be closed between J9 and J11 from 9pm Friday 14th to 9pm Saturday 15th June.

Here is a link to download all the papers you need in one single PDF file for the Guild AGM being held on Saturday 15th June at Freshwater on Isle of Wight.

Link to the Guild AGM 2019 Papers

Please remember to consider nominations for your Guild Officers – see this link for more details.

Guild AGM Poster - Freshwater IOW 15.6.19

 

Press Release: WW1 Centenary Commemoration Service Days at Portsmouth and Winchester 12th and 19th May

This Press Release below has been issued to  Winchester Diocese and Cathedral promoting church/ringers/community working together and a young ringer very much involved.

Here is Leigh, Ringing Remembers Ringer, proudly showing her Ringing Remembers certificate. Leigh gave a presentation to her school and the text is displayed here.

Leigh - Ringing Remembers.JPG

Ringing Remembers: Leigh’s learning to ring story.

In February 2017 at Brighstone we had two bells cast at Whitechapel foundry in London. They were cast on the penultimate day of casting before the foundry closed after being in continuous business since 1570. The new treble was funded by the Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Church Bells and the new number 2 by local ringers and friends. Leigh was there on the 4th April when the bells arrived. Leigh’s dad helped with the augmentation of the bells. We were able to ring all eight bells on 24th April. Leigh has been learning to ring the church bells at St Mary’s church since August 2017. Sadly, 1,400 bell ringers died during World War 1. To honour there memory, the campaign Ringing Remembers set out to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers to be able to ring on Remembrance Sunday. Leigh signed up and rang four times during Remembrance Sunday. She rang twice for the service and twice in the evening to coincide with the beacons that were being lit nationally. Leigh mostly rings the number 2 bell, but she has rung the 1 and 4. She rings rounds and call changes during Friday evening practice and for the Sunday morning service. Leigh is currently the youngest ringer on the island. At the moment she can confidently ring either the handstroke or the backstroke with help from Beccy her instructor. Leigh’s next step will be to ring both stokes gaining complete control of the bell. If anyone fancy giving ringing a go, speak to Beccy Noyes who is tower captain at Brighstone. Practice night 19:00 to 20:00 on Tuesdays. “I really, really love ringing.”
Leigh.


Winchester and Portsmouth Anglican Cathedrals will be hosting special services to give thanks for all people lost in World War One and to acknowledge the role of bell ringers during that conflict and in all our communities.

On 12th May at 6 p.m. in Portsmouth and on 19th May at 3.30 p.m. in Winchester, local dignitaries will be joining bell ringers and cathedral congregations as part of the commemorations of the Centenary of the end of The Great War. As a mark of respect for all those who made the supreme sacrifice for us, members of  The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers will present each cathedral with an archive; the volumes detail the Guild’s ringing performances, rung since 1914, in honour and memory of the men and women who died in World War One.

Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth says ‘The ringing of church bells across the U.K. remained restricted throughout World War One. How wonderful that we are free to play our part in honouring all those that died as a result of the dreadful conflict.’ He recognises the special performances in the printed volume as ‘recording over a century of bell ringing from the tolling of a single bell to the most complicated of peals, from tiny village churches to Cathedrals.’

Bishop Tim of Winchester reflects ‘The statistics are abhorrent: more than nine million fighting men, out of 65 million from 30 countries, died in  World War One. It was devastating and hard to escape its impact. On 11th November 1918 peals of bells once more rang freely, breaking the near silence that had been brought about by the four years of war. Today, almost everyone of us, whatever our ethnic, national or religious roots, is aware that we have inherited a world deeply shaped by The Great War.’

On Armistice Day 1918 records from Portsmouth describe the outpouring of relief that four years war had ended…’The bells of St Thomas and St Mary were much in evidence.’  The ringers who were working in the Royal Dockyard had been allowed to leave work early to ring the bells ‘ simultaneously with a service in the front of the town hall and with hooters blowing’.

100 years on to the day, Portsmouth heard the cathedral’s half-muffled bells ring out 7000 ‘changes’ over four-and-a-half hours, remembering and honouring the 7000 residents of Portsmouth who had lost their lives in World War One.

In Winchester Cathedral the, then, Winchester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers’ own war memorial is to be found; an oak tablet recording the names of the fallen. A significant tribute to the Guild’s members lost in The Great War are two bells, cast especially, and installed in the tower in 1921.

Over 1,400 bell ringers died as a result of World War One – more than 60 were ringers from The Winchester and Portsmouth Guild area. ‘Ringing Remembers’ was a worldwide recruitment campaign to symbolically replace those 1,400 bell ringers. There were many new  ringers of all ages recruited from the two Dioceses in 2018. Leigh Ruszczyk, aged 5, from Brighstone, Isle of Wight was one of the 2,804 new ringers who rang bells on  Remembrance Day 2018.

In Winchester Cathedral grounds during the afternoon of 19th May there will be the Chamborough Mobile Belfry. Passers-by will be invited to have a go on the delightful, tiny bells….there will be plenty of help on hand for visitors wanting their first attempt at tower bell ringing.

WP service flyer - Portsmouth

Viv Nobbs

Winchester ADM Minutes – Feb 2019

Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 9th February 2019 in the Memorial Hall, Butts Green, Lockerley.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.32 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Vicar and Wardens for the use of the bells of Lockerley and the Tytherleys, to John Niblett for ably leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Lockerley and East Tytherley ringers Bands for hosting the day and for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause].
2. Attendance. The following 35 members of the District (representing nine bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), Gary Davies, Sam Fussell, Sheila Piper, John Palk, Alan Sparrow and Mark Warner (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth, Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (all of New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels, Andrew Glover (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Maggie Lippiett (Twyford), John Colliss, John Gawne-Cain and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), John and Joyce Croft (both unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore) Rob Hatch (Botley) and Mike Winterbourne (Guild Master – Tangley) comprising the guests. Also present were Graham Wright (Bishopstoke), Alison Fydler and Carol Ward (Candover Valley Ringers), Jen Churchill (Lockerley) and Edmund Wratten (unattached)
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Judy Bishop, Gerry Cornick, Carol Higgins, Ann and Roy LeMarechal Micki Nadal, Sue Spurling and Tony Stirling.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 10 November at Houghton Village Hall was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Andrew Johnson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising. Minute 10.ii Transfer of towers. Rodney Skinner remarked on the Andover District apparently shedding towers: Tony Smith advised that King’s Somborne and Stockbridge were rung by the same band, and Andrew Johnson added that the transfer of Stockbridge and Leckford to our district were subject to ratification by the Guild AGM.
6. Loss of members through death. The Chairman, John Croft, having recently attended the funeral, remarked on the passing in January of Graham Grant, successively secretary and, for twenty years, Captain of the Cathedral Bell-ringers. Graham was for many years Bell Advisor to the Diocesan Advisory Committees and was appointed a Life Member of the Guild in 1996 for services to the Guild; he assisted John’s father – Guild Master in the centenary year – with a unique contribution to the artwork for the centenary. We mourned also the passing of Ivor Trueman, formerly Captain at Romsey Abbey. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections. Probationary members: Carrie Blythe of Crawley on 12 June 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Lisa Rodrigues of Crawley on 2 October 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Nikki Archard of Lockerley on 12 November 2018, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Andrew Hughes and Jacqui Smith of Candover Valley on 2 January 2019, proposed by Alison Fydler, seconded by Carol Ward. Eva Nunn of Wonston on 12 January 2019, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick. Elloise Clark of Easton on 17 January 2019, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Jon Butler of Romsey on 23 January 2019, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Alice Kernick and Claire Stirman of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2019, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.

8a. Election of new ringing members. Robert A Eames and Stephen Wise of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright. Kristine Wright of Bishopstoke, proposed by Graham Wright, seconded by Roy LeMarechal. Cara Bennett and Victoria Bennett of Crawley, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Tom Burnell of Easton, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Sheila Piper of Lockerley and East Tytherley, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Sharon Reynolds of Micheldever proposed, by Juliet Pattinson, seconded by Mary Tiles. Reuben Burbidge, Cath Hart, William Lay and Peter Maddams of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Christine Nicol of Sherfield English, proposed by Wendy Nash, seconded by Caroline Simpson.  Elaine Pickering and Paul Tanner of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley. Helen Ellerby and Kate Kernick of Winchester Cathedral, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till. Tomas Nunn, Janet Ryan and Ian Waites of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick.
8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were presented to Roger Booth and Jinny Kufluk, and were taken for members at Broughton and Houghton, Candover Valley, Micheldever, New Alresford, Romsey, Sherfield English and Winchester Cathedral. A first quarter-peal certificate was presented to Alan Sparrow, and a first peal certificate was taken for Carol Higgins (both of Lockerley and East Tytherley).
9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: With the addition of a note that Romsey had won the Guild inter-tower six-bell competition, adoption was proposed by John Colliss and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was proposed by Peter Hill and seconded by John Palk. Both reports were adopted on a show of hands. Caroline Daniels remarked on the growing credit balance, and enquired what use might be made of it. Tony advised that, as an example, £500 had been voted to local bell-restoration funds; Rodney added that Ropley would be calling upon the District for financial assistance. Tony advised that according to the rules of the Guild, monies could only be spent by vote of a District meeting. Andrew suggested that the fund could be used to support teaching in the District, and Tony replied that this was practice in times past.
10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, took the opportunity to thank his fellow officers for their support – without whose support he couldn’t do the job that he did – and to ringers throughout the district, remarking with gratitude upon the co-operation and shared sense of purpose tin the District. With that, he was prepared to stand for 2019. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’, or if anyone felt like understudying the office with a view to taking it on. Tony added that the requisite skills were good personal organisation and enjoyment of looking after finances. The secretary was prepared to continue for this year, but he would be happy to stand down if anyone else wished to take on his post (no-one was) but in the absence of a successor, entered a plea for some assistance with the office. The other sitting officers were likewise willing to stand for 2019, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by Rodney Skinner;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Carol Ward;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by John Palk;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Carol Ward;
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Palk;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Caroline Daniels;
Newsletter Editor: John Palk, proposed by Carol Ward, seconded by Caroline Daniels; all elected on a show of hands.
11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was, thanks to Jenny Watson’s sterling efforts, been confirmed up as far as the October District Practice, with the exception of May’s quarterly meeting. The remainder of the programme had been devised and was subject to confirmation. Andrew Johnson advised the meeting that Twyford was holding an open day on 11 May, to raise funds for the target of £20,000 for overhauling the bells, and suggested that the District Meeting might usefully be combined with the Open Day. Action – the Secretary to explore. The District Practice at Wonston was brought forward by one week to prevent a clash with the Guild AGM.
Christine Knights-Whittome outlined the Education Committee’s programme for the rest of the year, as follows:-
17 April: Discussion panel on future directions for the Guild and Districts, the Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral Close
17 May: Evening tutorial on Basic Raising and Lowering, Bishopstoke
14 September: Day-school on Raising and Lowering in Peal, Bishopstoke
12 October: Day-school on Listening Skills, Lockerley
23 November: Day-school on Plain Hunting
23 November: Bell Maintenance, Hawkley
12. Romsey Show. The secretary advised the meeting that the organisers of the Romsey Show had once more invited the District to participate. John Palk added that the show was attended by between 20,000 and 25,000, so was potentially a huge showcase. Martin Daniels spoke eloquently in favour of participation; Bruce Purvis cautioned that success depended on positioning and marketing: in 2017 the organisers had listed ringing under “Just for kids” – when we might more usefully have been grouped with local crafts/activities and (physically) near classic vehicles or agricultural machinery. As regards costs, John advised that these were practically met by our investment in the 2016 and 2017 shows: the sole cost now would be one of time. Further points included the need for publicity beforehand, following up enquiries at the show, the need for a steering committee. The consensus of the meeting was that we go ahead. Tony Smith proposed, and Christine Knights-Whittome seconded, that a budget agreed in previous years be allocated to meet expenses arising: carried on a show of hands. Action – John Palk
A final observation was that it might be necessary to reschedule the training morning, Cheriton, 7 September
13. Guild Striking Competitions. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Wickham and Shedfield on Saturday 18 May. The Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 15 June at Brighstone. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District Competition, and his offer was accepted with gratitude.
14. Guild Master. The Guild Master, Mike Winterbourne, expressed hearty thanks to everyone who takes on a role, or a task, at tower, district or guild level to keep bells ringing whether for divine service or practices. Turning to the World War One
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commemorations, he urged everyone to look at their tower’s page on the Record of Commemorative Ringing to check that names and other details were correct. The book would be presented to the Bishops at evensong services, on May 12 at Portsmouth at 6.00 p.m. and on May 19 at Winchester at 3.30. The Charmborough Ring would be present at the Winchester service. All Guild members were invited, and the Master hoped that any and everyone who had rung for the Centenary of the Armistice would be present.
15. Any Other Business.
1. Funding for Youth Training. Martin Daniels, harking back to the points raised at item 9 above, wished to propose funding for youth training and development, for example, to participate in the Ringing World National Youth Competition. Tony Smith advised that it was open to District members to request assistance, such individual cases being subject to consideration by the District officers. However, what was not possible was for a substantive proposal to be sprung upon a meeting under “AOB”, such a matter being too complex to consider with neither notice nor an adequate briefing. What was needed was a reasoned proposal, brought before a meeting as a substantive agenda item. Other suggestions from the floor included creation of a bursary scheme, with disbursements made at the officers’ discretion (Peter Hill), a proposal to provide £100 to assist any young ringers going to Liverpool for the National Youth Competition in July (the sum to be shared amongst all those so travelling – maybe six or seven (Christine Hill), and advice from Mike Winterbourne that there was a Guild training fund available; also, by the way, that the Guild Youth Bells and Bowls event was taking place next Saturday, 16 February.
2. Education. Christine Knights-Whittome advised that she had application forms for the upcoming Grandsire Doubles and Triples day-school (6 April) and for Guild sweatshirts and polo shirts (closing date for orders, 1 April, delivery around Easter)
3. Candover Valley News. Carol Ward reported on the success of a presentation she had made to her local Women’s Institute – with thanks for the loan of the Cathedral’s model bell – and that the band had gained a new recruit as a result. The Northington augmentation was almost finished, with the installation of a false ceiling for sound control. The ring would comprise a light six with one of the original three bells, dating from 1602, retained for tolling. A date had yet top be established for the bells to be blessed and an inaugural quarter-peal.
4. Guild Executive Committee. The Master reminded the meeting that the next Guild Executive Committee meeting would be held on 16 March, should anyone have a topic which they wished their representative to raise.
5. National Twelve-Bell Competition. Peter Hill reminded the meeting that the eliminating heats for the National Twelve-Bell Competition would take place at St Mary Redcliffe on 23 March, with the final taking place at Exeter.
6. Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the Bell Restoration Fund raised £26.54.
The meeting closed at 6.49 p.m.

Striking Competitions – Reminder

Just a reminder that CLOSING DATE for the Guild 6 and 8 bell INTER TOWER competitions is SATURDAY 11th MAY

So far we only have 2 entries for the 6 bell and NONE for the 8 bell so now is your opportunity to enter your tower whilst there might not be too much opposition perhaps? Don’t forget, call changes is all you need to ring if you are not confident to ring Changes.

The CLOSING DATE for the Guild INTER DISTRICT 8 bell competition is a couple of weeks later on the 25th MAY.  Please can districts confirm to me if they definitely know they are NOT able to field a band if they have not already done so. Its not too late with perhaps a little persuasion to find 8 ringers within a district to ring call changes as a minimum.

Rules and details are on the guild website. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks

Pete Jordan
Striking competition convener.
Vice Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers.