All posts by Gary Marsh

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’.

Roger Booth

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Winchester District Plain Bob Doubles / Bob Minor Practice – Cheriton 7th Sept 19

Somehow this Winchester District course had passed me by. Whether I was distracted from ringing, or perhaps I saw Bob Doubles and subconsciously subtracted it from my mind, having barely become confident enough to Plain Hunt inside. My first reaction to Edmund’s email prompt to encourage me to attend was, “it can’t apply to me, surely?”. Apparently there were only two takers for the course with just a few days to go so some active marketing was required.
With a number of willing helpers and a tower available it would be have been a slap in the face to the good will of our neighbouring ringers were it to have been cancelled.
As it turned out there were six learners taken through Bob Doubles, each having three or four extended goes at it, supported by Edmund on our shoulder and well struck by the supporters. Some of the background crew took their turn at polishing up their Bob Minor.
The ringing chamber of Cheriton was comfortable with lots of ringing character about it. Easy access, through the vestry and up a short, broad flight of wooden stairs. Water was brought out to freshen us up halfway through which was a lovely touch. Really nice bunch of people. Although we did try to introduce ourselves at the beginning it never really works unless your used to doing it. I think stickers with a name and tower written on it would be good. If you end up connecting with someone, simple things like that help massively.
Sharon brought her Dad who was visiting and had never seen her ring. That was very touching. He took video on his phone of her and I took video on my phone of them! I am staggered that so few photos or video is taken of bellringing. Whilst the rest of the world is documented and promoted via images, bellringing, with all its archivists and attention to peal record keeping, a deep history of accuracy, doesn’t really see the camera as a recorder of our ringing legacy, let alone our best advertising tool.
A lovely afternoon of making progress with my ringing and bit of networking across some towers which will play out productively over time. Thanks to all involved. If I knew who you were and where to find you I’ll see you soon. Better still, send me a photo from your home tower to wpbells@gmail.com #bellringing #roguesgallery

Gary Marsh, Wonston Tower

 

Bellringing Cheriton Bob Doubles Practice 7Sept19-1

Winchester District Practice at King’s Somborne on Monday 16th September 2019 – Clare Thompson

My second district practice, and rather different from the first! Both were at King’s Somborne, but what a contrast! The reason was that the first practice occurred when I had only been ringing for a few months, and the bell controlled me and I had no concept of rope-sight! I was overwhelmed by trying to work out what was happening. Well, two years later, I have control of the bell most of the time, and now, when others are ringing, I can sometimes, albeit not that often, work out which bell follows another. Progress I hope!

So, after my first experience, it was with some trepidation that I went to the District Practice on Monday. However, I shouldn’t have worried. We immediately got down to ringing which forces one to get over those initial nerves. Throughout the evening, we rotated between ringing methods designed for the less experienced, such as Plain Hunt and Grandsire, and more complex methods designed to challenge the more or very experienced. I think the evening ended on a version of Cambridge Surprise, which looked extremely complicated. So, the evening catered for all levels, and everyone benefitted from several turns at ringing. There were a few “lost places” and clashing of bells along the way, but for the most part I think we all acquitted ourselves well, and had great fun.

To add to the enjoyment of the evening, a couple of the KS band produced cakes and biscuits to go with the tea and coffee. The biscuits occasioned much praise, and one of the visitors asked for the recipe at the end of the Practice, which was forthcoming! I saved my biscuits for elevenses the next day, and can confirm that they were delicious.

So, I hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as I did.

For those of us classed as “learners”, I would recommend attending a district practice at such time as you are encouraged to do so by other members of your band; it is well worth going, both for the pleasure of meeting other ringers, but also for the experience of ringing with others and watching experienced ringers in action.

Clare Thompson, King’s Somborne Band, Winchester District

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Headbourne Worthy Chimings

In amongst the many activities happening throughout the Worthys (a small series of villages north and easy walking distance from Winchester) for the week long Worthys Festival, were small pockets of bellringing.

St. Mary’s, King’s Worthy, 5 bells, full-circle, had an hour or so of open tower as did St. Swithun’s, Headbourne Worthy, with it’s historic three bells, millenially restored and swing chimed to reduce tower stress, bringing in visitors near and far.
St. Swithun’s has a band of around 6, with irregular practices, but always enough, at least 3, every Sunday, to call to worship, be it for Morning Prayer or Eucharist. The ring may be simple but it is and has always been consistent. Up the wooden stairs to the gallery at the west end of the nave and turning right into and over the white-grey diagonal oak beams into the ringing chamber, a sense of calm could be felt, boxed in within the internal bracings of the wooden structure. Three short Sallies, set at chest height, greeted us, along with Jill Prince and Colin Child, regular ringers and custodians. Beaming through the beams they welcomed all visitors. Some were touring the villages on bike, some were travelling the area via King Alfred’s vintage buses, some accidentally happening upon the tower whilst waiting for the duck race to begin in the pretty chalk stream which runs through the churchyard.
Here’s a clip of the chiming in action, all novices on the ropes, but it gives you an idea!

 

 

Wonston – No August Practices

Wonston Tower begins it’s usual month of August cessation of practice and will return to it’s regular Saturday morning 10am till 11:30am slot from September where ringing from Rounds & Call Changes up to Doubles Methods will be rung.  Learners, Improvers and more advanced ringers from across the area are very welcome to join us!

Service and Wedding ringing continues as normal.

News and other updates about our activities can be found on our Facebook page here.

Best Wishes, Gary Marsh

Winchester District Practice -Sherfield English, Tuesday 2nd July 2019 7.30pm

Dear All,

Please be advised that our next District Practice will be next week, on Tuesday 2nd July, and it will be at Sherfield English, which, if not the finest light eight in the Guild, is certainly one of the finest. Postcode is SO51 6FN, and there is parking on the other side of the road from the church.

I’ve attached a poster, so if you can bring it to the attention of all your band members I should be grateful.

Quite close by on the Romsey Road there is the Hatchet PH, if anyone is feeling thirsty, which if this weather carries on I would imagine is likely. Doom Bar, St Austell (Tribute, I presume) and Taylor’s Landlord on the engines.

Hope to see lots of you there.

Best wishes meanwhile,

Bruce

Win. District Secretary

 

Terrific turn out for the Winchester District practice at Wonston 15th June!

Terrific turn out for the Winchester District practice at Wonston today 15th June!

On the day of the 2019 W&P AGM we were thrilled to be able to enjoy the company and experience of seven visiting ringers who gave their own Saturday morning to help us at our regular practice. Our band was fairly complete, missing the Barretts and the Nunns, so we had a busy tower of 16!

Call changes, Grandsire on 5, Reverse Canterbury and Stedman doubles were all tried out and, regardless of success or otherwise, it was a relaxed, learning and unifying atmosphere. Our thanks to those who travelled to us from towers like Lockerley, Crawley, Stockbridge and Sparsholt and a special mention to Jonathan who cycled the 4 mile round trip from Kingsworthy in poor weather.  We did warn them about the possibility of dust and crud coming through the rope holes after our recent refurb. Hope they didn’t find too much in their hair afterwards! Jenny made off with Gerry’s keys but we made her hand over both them and his coat in the carpark! She got her own coat back in return! Maybe we should have home team pegs and away team pegs?
Thanks Edmund, Jenny, Bruce and all our friends in ringing. It’s a nice way to feel connected to our local ringing community and, more widely, the Guild.

As ringers we run a wide gamut of emotions whenever we ring. In an unfamiliar tower, with vaguely familiar or new-to-us ringers with unknown skillsets , these can be amplified. There’s no doubt that the exercise is an intellectual challenge. But what also should be celebrated is our emotional resolve to be vulnerable, to perform, in a tight space, on the end of a rope, out of our comfort zone. And remain or become friends.

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Gary Marsh