All posts by valerielharris

Tower Captain at Blackmoor and Publicity Officer for Alton & Petersfield District

A&P annual visit to Winchester Cathedral. Roger’s report.

Hi all,
I would just like to say a big thank you to you all for making my life very easy last evening at our visit to the Cathedral. I like to think of it as an experience rather than a 12 bell practice. It was nice to see so many of you there, we had a good cross section of learners and experience. Yes I know, lots of rounds on 12 and 14 and I think most had at least 4 goes. It was nice to have some visitors from outside the district from Frensham and Crondall. Good to see so many learners keen to have a go and I feel you all did very well. I find it quite a daunting prospect to ring on the higher numbers as I haven’t had that much experience of it and with that in mind I would like to thank Hugh and Mo for keeping a steady front end, and Andy Sparling for taking on the calling of the Caters and Cinques, and of course the chaps who took care of the heavy end.
I nearly forgot, we did manage a couple of leads of Cambridge Royal.
The next practice is at Petersfield this Saturday, 5.30-7.30pm for Triples and Major,
so hope to see you there.
Footnote from Valerie
There were around 40 ringers present, representing 16 different towers. Plus some members of a choir from Hamburg, who had been singing in the Cathedral during the week, heard about our visit, and asked if they could come up to watch.

A&P practices for August 2018

Wednesday 8th August – 7.30 to 9.00pm

General Practice at Winchester Cathedral

Meet at 7.15pm in the Cathedral Close by the south door.

Access will be via the south west turret staircase, as last year.


Saturday 11th August – 5.30 to 7.30pm

Plain hunting the treble and ringing inside to triples and major methods

at Petersfield


Saturday 25th August  – 5.30 to 7.30pm

8 Bell Practice at St. Lawrence

A&P Annual Practice at Winchester Cathedral. Wednesday Aug 8th

The Alton & Petersfield ringers will once again be taking over the Winchester Cathedral bells on Wednesday August 8th from 7.30 to 9.00pm and Roger has agreed to take charge of the practice.

Access will be via the SW turret staircase as it was last year so we will need to meet in the Cathedral Close by the south door at 7.15pm.

Please try not to be late or you might not be able to get in.

Whilst everyone is welcome to attend this practice (even non ringers who just want to come and have a look), to minimise the risk of mishaps we would request that a reasonable level of bell control has been achieved before taking a rope at the cathedral.

There is a ‘dumb bell’ in the ringing chamber for beginners to ring should they wish to.

If you are planning to park in the Cathedral Close then you will need to put a permit slip on your dashboard. These will be available once we have been let in.

I look forward to seeing you there.



Fun, games and toasted marshmallows at the A&P barbecue

Last year’s picnic/barbecue took place in torrential rain, so it was great this year to be pretty certain of having sunshine.

I’m told that the afternoon ringing went very well (I was at work so couldn’t get there till later unfortunately), with plenty of ringers from at least 6 towers and a good range of methods rung.

When the ringing was over everyone flocked round to the village hall where the barbecue was already lit and ready to go, and there were games to play and a photo quiz to solve while we waited for the food to cook.

Many burgers, sausages, salads and desserts were consumed, washed down with beer, squash and cups of tea. All to the background clatter of Giant Connect Four or a falling Jenga tower and the occasional football scooting past. And, of course, lots of laughter.

Then a bag of marshmallows and some long skewers appeared, prompting more smiles and a queue at the barbecue while they were toasted to the desired colour.

Teresa Brown’s photo quiz caught a few people out when they couldn’t recognise places that they had rung in before. Sometimes, even their home tower. But David Hughes had no such problems and identified all 20 pictures correctly.

The raffle was drawn, participants were thanked, some of the youngsters disappeared into the hall to have a go at the curling, and the clearing up began. All in all a very successful and enjoyable event.

Thank you all again.


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A&P District Barbecue July 21st at Blackmoor. All welcome.

The Alton & Petersfield District Barbecue will be held at Blackmoor with general ringing from 3.30 to 5.30pm and the barbecue from 6.00 to 9.00pm

Everyone is welcome so feel free to bring family and friends.

£7.50 for adults (well technically anyone over 9), £3.50 for the under 9’s, under 3’s are free.

Price includes barbecue food, salads, desserts, beer, wine and soft drinks – if you can contribute a salad, side dish or dessert please do (costs can be reimbursed if necessary).

There will be a raffle – donations of raffle prizes will be very welcome.

So that we know how many to cater for, please book your place by contacting Judy Sparling by July 17th. Please state if a vegetarian option is required.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Thank you, Valerie


8 bell practice – Saturday June 30th – 5.30 to 7.30pm

Don’t forget there is an 8 bell practice at Alton, St. Lawrence this Saturday (June 30th) from 5.30 to 7.30pm. A perfect opportunity to catch up on those methods that you may not always have enough ringers for in your home tower.
Several of the Alton ringers, and other regular attendees, will be away this weekend so Roger has volunteered to run it. He’d love to see you there.
Many thanks, Valerie

A&P take 2nd place in the inter district 8 bell striking competition

Hi all,

Just to say that a team from the A&P District took part in the W&P Guild Inter District 8 Bell Striking Competition held at St Micheals Basingstoke. 4 teams entered and we came a very pleasing 2nd with 84% of clean rows from 224 changes of Plain Bob Triples. Well done to Mike Novell, Hugh Routh, Liz South, Mo Routh, Nick James, Jess Hornsby, Roger Barber and Simon Poyser. The team from Winchester District won with 95% and Basingstoke 3rd followed by The IOW 4th.
We intend to enter a team for the Guild inter district 10 bell competition in September to be held at East Meon.

A & P District Ringing Master to take a short break.

Unfortunately I have to announce that Graham Cane is to take a break from his role as our District Ringing Master due to other more pressing commitments. I have agreed with Graham that he take the rest of the year off and we will review things after this time.  I should stress that Graham is not standing down as Ringing Master he is just taking a break.  Graham’s break will take immediate effect and his duties will be taken up by me and other members of the team.
Mike Novell
District Chairman.


Thank you Roger

I just wanted to say thank you to Roger for running yet another superb practice last night.
We had 15 ringers from half a dozen towers, so everyone had a really good go. We rang a lot of spliced touches, some of which sounded absolutely glorious, some, not so much. But determination and concentration won through and, even when there were wobbly starts, everyone made it through to the end. There were also plenty of plain courses too, for those taking their first blows in either method and for a couple of ringers who came to practice their trebling.
The practice finished with a touch where Roger was ringing St. Simon’s and the rest of the band were ringing St. Martin’s. So you had to remember that, when Roger was on the front with you, you had to dodge with him not make seconds over him. Something most of us had never done before, but will almost certainly do again.
All in all a hugely enjoyable and rewarding practice.
The Blackmoor ringers had specially requested this practice and Roger would like to remind you that, if you have any requests of your own, to let him know and he will organise a practice for you.
Thank you, Valerie

Practice at Steep on June 12th

Hello All,
We are going to have a practice at Steep on 12th June and, as ever, all are very welcome to join us.
On 1st July I will be giving a talk about Steep bells in the church, for which I would like to video some sample ringing on the 12th to show as part of the talk; however, there will be no need to take part if you don’t want to!
Hoping to see at least six of you then!

St. Simon’s & St. Martin’s Practice at Blackmoor. Saturday June 9th – 5.30 to 7.30pm

Please join us for a practice of St. Simon’s and St. Martin’s at Blackmoor on Saturday.

We will be ringing plain courses, touches and hopefully splicing the two.

I have just discovered that the Alton ringers have a wedding at 5.30 so will not be able to come as planned, which is disappointing, but does mean that there will be more space for anyone else who would like to come.

Links to the blue lines for both methods, with instructions for touches, are below.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


post script from Roger

Hi all,
If you are coming to the St Simons and St Martins practice at Blackmoor this Saturday please make sure that you have looked at the methods beforehand.
See you there,

Itinerary for the A&P Alton Outing on Bank Holiday Monday May 7th

Anyone who would like to join the Alton ringers in Guildford, for all or part of the day, will be most welcome.

Alton Outing Itinerary

7th May 2018

The Guildford Tour

 10.00am till 10.45am.     St Mary, Worplesdon, GU3 3RE.

11.15am till 12pm.    St John the Evangelist, Stoke-next-Guildford, GU1 1HB.

12pm till 2.15pm.    LUNCH

2.15pm till 3pm.   Holy Trinity, Guildford, GU1 3HN.

3.15pm till 4pm.   St Mary, Guildford, GU1 3TY.

4.15pm till 5pm.   St Nicolas, Guildford, GU2 4AW.

You are invited to join the Alton Outing which will be on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th in Guildford

Hello all
For those of you who weren’t at the meeting last Saturday, here is an update for the Alton Outing.
This will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th, with visits to 5 towers in and around Guildford. The towers and timings have yet to be finalised but I will let you know as soon as I can. The day will start with two towers on the outskirts of town and afterwards I am assured that, having parked up at one of the three towers to visit in town, the other two are within walking distance. There will also be plenty of time to catch a lunch at the many food outlets that Guildford has to offer.
The usual, longer distance, trip was not viable this year as the coach company used in the past no longer offers private hire, and the costs quoted by other companies was just too high. By keeping the outing more local it is hoped that people will happily travel by car.

Bramshott ringers, Di and Dave Hart, finally get their membership certificates. Only 25 years late.

At our AGM in January, as certificates and badges were being presented to newly elected members, a voice from the back of the hall said something along the lines of  “My wife and I have been members for years, and have never been given certificates and badges”.

Well, that could not be allowed to pass unnoticed so our Chairman, Mike Novell, vowed to rectify the oversight.

Mike looked back over the old District minutes until he located their elections, in 1993! Mo Routh told him that Barry Fry would have been Guild Master at the time and Bob Cater was Secretary. As luck would have it, Mike bumped into Barry at the Guild Exec meeting and he was only too happy to sign the new certificates, but Bob’s name had to be written in instead, as he’s moved away and Mike didn’t have any contact details for him.

Here is a photo of Di and Dave Hart finally receiving their membership certificates at our Spring meeting last Saturday, along with Guild badges and a leaflet showing all the A&P towers with their respective practice nights, just in case they don’t already know them.

It looks like it was worth the wait.

Di & Dave

Calling Touches of Plain Bob, Grandsire & Stedman ( Doubles & Triples) at Liss. April 14th 5.30 – 7.30

As the title says, this is a practice at Liss on Saturday April 14th from 5.30 to 7.30pm, for calling touches of Plain Bob, Grandsire and Stedman.

Even if you don’t feel ready to call touches yet, Roger would still like to see you there because you can learn plenty from just listening to what others are doing and, of course, there still needs to be people ringing the touches that others are calling.

A&P Spring Meeting – April 21st at Privett

Saturday 21st April

District Spring Meeting at Privett

Ringing from 3.30 – 5.00pm

Tea will be in the Village Hall from 5pm,

followed by the meeting starting at 6pm.

Evening ringing 7.00 – 8.30pm at West Meon.

Please book your tea by Wednesday 17th latest with Teresa Brown

preferably by email by clicking here –

or, if necessary, leave a message on 01730 828003

There is going to be a book sale in Privett Church over the weekend of 21st & 22nd April
in aid of flowers for the Privett Church Flower Festival,.
So you might like to arrive early (with some change in your pocket) to buy some books


April 1st shenanigans at Blackmoor

The Associate Rector/Vicar at Blackmoor, Alice Wood, delivered Easter cards to all the houses in the local area last week. In her message Alice said that she hoped, as it was also April Fools Day, there would be no shenanigans by the choir or bell ringers on Easter Sunday.

I don’t know about the choir, but the ringers couldn’t let an opportunity like that go passed unchallenged. So we rang backwards rounds and call changes, backwards Plain Hunt a very nice touch of April Day and then finished with some firing.

I suspect that no-one outside the ringing chamber had any idea of what we were doing and, when it came to the firing, probably thought that it was quite normal for us, but we had fun.

Hope you all had a great weekend, Valerie

Roger says “Thank you” for a very well attended practice night.

Hi all,

Just to say what a wonderful turn out on Saturday at Petersfield for the Plain Hunting practice, and I hope you all got something from it on what was a very busy night, with 26 attending, and can I say a big thank you to all of our helpers. Its not to difficult to organize a practice for what ever method, however it only works when we get the type of result that we had on Saturday, and make no mistake it does make me feel good, so thank you one and all.
The next practice will be at St Mary Liss on Saturday 14th April, 5.30-7.30pm for calling touches of Doubles and Triples, Plain Bob, Grandsire or Stedman, however if we have enough on the night and you would like to try something else that will be OK, such as Minor or Major. You will need to have looked something up before the night and if you need any help I,we are here to help.
I am arranging  a practice for Surprise Major on Saturday 12th May 5.30-7.30 and hope this will be at Holybourne, to be confirmed!
For future practices I do have some things in mind, however if there is something that any of you would like to try then let me know and I will do my best to get it sorted for you.
All best wishes,