Folkestone and Ypres – Saturday 28th September
The date was finally set with emails and updates sent out. Passports dusted down or renewed, travel tickets purchased (yellow vests purchased just in case) and hotel rooms booked. Before we knew it, the date had arrived for our district outing to Kent and then on to Ypres in Belgium.
A bright morning in the UK and early start brought ringers to Folkestone and to the church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe. A fine 25 cwt 8. St Eanswythe was an Anglo-Saxon saint who first established the Christian church in Folkestone and whose name is given to the parish church. Plenty of time for call changes, Grandsire and half a course of Cambridge, before we headed off to the Channel Tunnel. Thank you, Matt, for ringing the tenor up (looked on by Andy) and for being the ringing master. Thanks to Julia too for ringing the tenor down (not looked on by Roger!)
After navigating the Town Centre, Costa’s, Starbucks (and other leading coffee chains), we all departed on our merry way. Heading to the Channel Tunnel for various boarding times; alas some delayed much longer than others!
Ringers who got through Passport Control without an issue:
The bright autumnal sunshine experienced in Kent, was greeted by a dull grey wet welcome into France (no topical comments please!) Sat Nav’s were set for Ypres for just over an hours’ journey to the city.
A staggered arrival into beautiful Ypres and once parking spaces found with chocolate shops avoided, ringers and friends headed to St. George’s Memorial Church.
Initially, there was competition from across the road at St. Martin’s Cathedral and their bells being rung for weddings. Guesses were made at the tenor’s weight, but the heavy three were no competition to St. George’s delightful sounds.
Ringing started with call-changes; Grandsire, Plain Bob and getting a number of the Ypres ringers to start plain hunting on 6 some for the first time!
For the A&P ringers, this was a delight to see. Beaming smiles after completing a number of courses says everything! Let’s hope their progress continues and support comes from all visiting ringers. Helping them achieve should be seen equally as rewarding as scoring a peal there!
And… those who couldn’t fit into the ringing chamber had a grandstand view (emphasis on the stand part). From the ground floor church entrance via live feed cameras into the belfry and ringing chamber. A great way to watch the bells being rung and maybe a subtle recruiting tool we could see rolled out one day!
Owing to late arrivals a planned quarter peal attempt was delayed until later in the afternoon. Finally, after everyone had a good chance to ring, a well struck quarter of Grandsire Triples was scored in 42 minutes.
This, we believe, was the first Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild quarter peal on the bells. The details are adjacent here, dedicated to the memory of Derek Yates from the Guild and a footnote to Gregory the Ringing Master at Ypres, who had retired earlier in the week:
After the successful quarter, the ringers congregated in the adjacent hall and what a feast had been laid on. Liz Millward, Tower Captain ‘extraordinaire’, worked wonders! A huge thank you to Liz, Martin, Gregory and the Ypres ringers for laying on everything was given by our Chairman Mike Novell. He then continued with a second or third helping of trifle!
Ringers enjoying themselves in St. George’s Hall. Roger deep in conversation with Nick, planning what to ring on the next visit!
The outing concluded with what was perhaps the most memorable part of the whole day.
Despite an early start, the long drive to Belgium and an afternoon ringing the beautiful bells, it was wonderful to have a short early evening stroll through picturesque Ypres, to congregate at the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony.
Upon arrival, crowds had already assembled to be at least six deep awaiting the eight o’clock ceremony to commence. The variety of ages attending was noticeable, especially the number of young attending and reassuring this ceremony will be in safe hands for many generations to come.
Picture: Within the Menin Gate prior to the Act of Remembrance with the archway lit as the focal point for the wreath laying ceremony.
Precisely at 7.45pm the invited band of ‘K.F Sint-Lambertus Eindhout’ struck up and marched the short distance to the Memorial ready for the short act of remembrance to commence.
Many organisation’s were represented laying wreaths including our Guild. Earlier in the year we had been given permission by the Last Post Association to take part in the ceremony.
Organisation’s taking part on the 28th September were:
We were permitted three representatives to lay a wreath on behalf of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. Whilst the band played a very fitting arrangement called ‘Benedictus by Karl Jenkins’, Emma, Sam and Roger joined the wreath laying procession. The fitting words were:
‘Remembering Those Ringers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice’
After the moving ceremony had ended, tears wiped and noses blown; ringers joined the crowds to spend time looking for the inscription of a family member or distant relative to pay their respects amongst the thousands of names.
To conclude events in the most traditional of fashions, one last thing… to the nearest pub! Off we went to sample some of Belgium’s finest beers! A number of ringers selected to stay over and ring on Sunday with the Ypres team, whilst others heading back to the UK.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming the Ypres ringers who will be visiting us in the District between the 15th -17th November, and Guild support to join them ringing here would be warmly welcomed.
Thank you all who came to share in this special day. Will we return to Ypres? You bet we will!
Derek Yates from New Alresford sadly passed away on Friday 20th September at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer. He was a long-standing member of the Guild, having previously rung at Binsted, in the Alton & Petersfield District.
A Service of Remembrance for Derek will be held at St John the Baptist, New Alresford on Thursday 3rd October at 2pm.
W&P Guild Webmaster
Many of you have asked when we will be running another Belfry Maintenance course – here is your answer! The Education Committee’s final course of this year, which will run alongside the Plain Hunt course on Saturday 23 November, will be Belfry Maintenance, also based at Hawkley.
The tutor will be Roger Barber who has a wealth of experience and has run this course for us before, and whilst it will be based at Hawkley, Roger will take students to two different towers during the day for a closer look at different types of fittings (and much more), giving students the chance to ask questions about these and their own towers. It will cover many aspects, showing the basic things which need to be checked, ropes, stays, bolts, and much more. If you are a steeple keeper who, perhaps, has been thrown in at the deep end because nobody else will do it (!), or if you just help out occasionally, you may find this a helpful day.
I have attached below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) but if there are any queries I’ll do my best to help, as, of course, will Roger.
For: The Education Committee
Please find below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for a Guild Education Day, taking place on Saturday 23 November, based at Hawkley, which will cover Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods. This is the very important building block on which future ringing is based, and can be an invaluable step to getting ringers started in the right direction.
Have a word with your Tower Captain and see if this is something which will help you. Talk it through with your friends – perhaps it will help them too. This is a day for learning in a relaxed atmosphere alongside others at the same stage, working at your own level, with plenty of experienced help. The closing date for the receipt of applications is a week earlier than usual so you need to get them in early.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
There will be no ringing at Hambledon until further notice as there is a problem with no. 2 bell. A gudgeon pin sheared, allowing the bell to fall into the pit, causing cracks in the crown of the bell. The bell will have to be taken out and recast or replaced and the headstock repaired or replaced.
Firsts Fortnight is here from 11th to 27th October, and this is your ideal opportunity for your learners – or more experienced alike, to do something new for the first time.
Don’t forget to upload it to Bellboard under the W&P Firsts Fortnight link so we can all celebrate your successes!
Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Wonston from 19:30 on the 25th September, all welcome from the district and beyond. A chance to practice anything from Grandsire Doubles and Stedman to Kent and Cambridge.
The Guild were represented at the Romsey Show on 14th September. A show that this year was blessed with exceptional fine weather, reports on attendance vary between 25,000 and 30,000.
The centre piece for us being the Charmborough Ring. We were at the far end of the show site so it took a little while for the crowds to reach us, but from about 9 o’clock we were kept very busy. About 240 visitors (not all signed the visitors book), which included some from from as far afield as Bridgwater and Hitchin tried their hand at ringing. Sixteen of our visitors, which included the ladies from Bridgwater and Hitchin expressed an interest in taking things further, so we live in hope.
During the day we were also visited by reporters from Radio Solent and The Southern Daily Echo/Romsey Advertiser. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, they made of the ringing opportunity.
To conclude the day a Quarter Peal of Bob Minor was rung. The details being
Romsey Show, Broadlands
Saturday, 14 September 2019 in 34 minutes
1260 Plain Bob Minor
1 Martin Willson
2 Stephen N Hough
3 Jonathan P Daniels
4 Rhoda Willson
5 Andrew J Palk
6 Martin J E Daniels (C)
Rung on the Charmborough Ring for the conclusion of the Romsey Show 2019, Broadlands Estate, Romsey.
A big thank you to: Alan Bently, Roger Booth, Caroline, Martin and Jonathan Daniels, David Forder, Steven Hough, Pete and Lynne Jordan, The Maddams family, Andrew, Bren and John Palk, Sue Spurling, Jennie Toze, and Martin and Rhoda Willson for making the day a success.
Photo by John Palk
Photo Romsey Advertiser
A bumper bundle of District events awaits your company in September.
Firstly we have the District Practice at the Cathedral – your opportunity to practise ringing on higher numbers in a welcoming environment, on Wednesday September 4th. I should say that the spot where we foregather before ascending to the ringing room has not been included on the poster as I am not sure whether we shall be using the south door entrance or that from the south transept slype. Further information to follow.
Next we have a training afternoon at Cheriton on Saturday 7th September, featuring Plain Bob Doubles and Minor. If you are proficient at bob doubles and wish to progress to bob minor you will be especially welcome as you can be a helper for the doubles and have the opportunity to progress to minor.
Finally we have a District Practice at King’s Somborne on Monday September 16th, at which you’ll be very welcome.
There is more to follow – watch this space.
Winchester District Secretary
Posters to download available here:
The Guild Education Committee is running another of its very popular Listening Skills courses, on Saturday 12 October, based at Lockerley. This is a day for ringers at all levels and covers all sorts of things you may not have tried before in order to help you listen to the bells – or, more precisely, to interpret what you are hearing. It is a non-competitive day where you can have fun with ringers from across the Guild, learning quite a lot in the process, involving listening exercises, hand-bells, ringing exercises, and much more; you do not need to be an expert. And we also include a hot lunch!
A poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) are available on the links below, so please talk about it amongst your friends and send in your applications.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
The Communion service at Curdridge this morning, 11th August, had an unusual feature – the dedication of a framed document in memory of Edwin Wellstead. Edwin was a bell ringer at St Peter’s church before the First World War, and was unfortunately killed one hundred and four years ago this August 13th when the transport ship ‘Royal Edward’ that he was travelling on to Gallipoli was torpedoed north of Crete. Over seven hundred men died.
Ringing in Edwin’s memory took place four years ago near the centenary of his death, but I thought it would be good to have a more tangible memorial.
I researched his history for the local history society booklet in memory of those killed in WW1, but since then was able to obtain a photograph of Edwin from Mrs Jean Aburrow, the daughter of Edwin’s younger sister. I therefore rewrote the notes to include Edwin’s picture, had it framed by the Penny Farthing Gallery in Botley, and it was dedicated this morning by the Reverend Jane Richards, as shown in the attached photograph. It is now displayed on the wall of the ringing room in Curdridge church.
Interested in history and heritage? Then this is the event for you. Yet more interesting talks and exhibits to come along and see.
Confirmed exhibitors relating to the heritage of ringing so far include:
- Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust;
- Central Council Library;
- The Rolls of Honour;
- Carter Ringing Machine
Doug Hird and members of the Historical & Archive Workgroup will be considering various ways in which computer technology can be used to help historical researchers and the casual enquirer. With technology being widely available to all, there is an opportunity for ringers to record, share and learn.
Alan Regin will tell the story of 1,400 Ringing Remembers biographies and the challenges of getting from a list of Name / Tower / Association to a much broader story of the brave men who made the supreme sacrifice during the Great War.
Steve Coleman will deliver a keynote session on “When ringing had to stop”. The astonishing, exciting and highly entertaining story of ringing during the Second World War. Based on his painstaking research of the National Archives – together with the letters, diaries and newspapers of the time. Steve will be bringing this fascinating and long-untold story to life – with the aid of six first class readers, Mary Bone, Mike Trimm, Kath Johnson, Mike Winterbourne, Emma Rouse and Fred Bone.
To get your own piece of bellringing history, why not order a London2019 polo shirt or sweatshirt featuring the London2019 logo on navy garments. Visit https://events.cccbr.org.uk/product/london-2019-shirts/ for details and ordering. Please note that your order and payment must be made by 5pm on Tuesday 13th August.
Make sure that you have booked your place at all the events on offer over the weekend at https://cccbr.org.uk/about/annual-meetings/2019-meeting/mini-roadshow/ Booking for some elements is essential.
Since the Winchester District Practice at the Cathedral is on the first Wednesday in September a quick show of hands at last month’s Beyond Bob Doubles indicated that there would be enough for a practice in August this year. The practice will be at Stockbridge on Wednesday 28th from 19:30 – 21:00, all welcome from the District and beyond. Anything from Grandsire Doubles and St Simon’s to Double Oxford and maybe Cambridge.
The bells of All Saints, Odiham are in need of some TLC. The frame requires some fairly
substantial supports in the form of steel beams, to be installed, and the bells themselves
require attention to various fittings, including some clappers. The report of the survey
carried out also recommended installation of rope guides.
To this end, the ringers of All Saints have been involved in various fundraising events.
This is our latest fun event and we send out a warm invitation to all our bell ringing friends and partners to come and enjoy this classic film so aptly named.
Due to several ringers being away there will be no Monday evening ringing practise at St Peter’s, Bishops Waltham during August 2019.
We will recommence on Monday 2nd September 2019.
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Easton on the 31st July, from 19:30 – 21:00. Please feel free to spread the word, anyone wishing to practice methods from touches of Grandsire to Stedman and Cambridge is welcome to attend.
Download a copy of the above poster here
Update from Roger Booth – 19th August:
The Charmborough Ring will be an attraction at the Romsey Show on 14th September. We have received an excellent response to our earlier request, and now have more than enough people to man our stand throughout the day of the show.
Whilst there was some concern that we might not recruit anyone, and it could rain on the day, at similar shows the Charmborough Ring attracts a lot of interest. The record is the Milton Keynes ringers who collected 90 names and contact details in one day. Around half came to the taster day a fortnight later. Most of these learnt to handle a bell, attending a programme of intensive handling lessons over the next couple of weeks. They then went on to join a local band. Half of these were still ringing two years later. Even if we are only partially as successful, it will be an excellent result, and we will also have exposed a lot of people to ringing.
Our taster day is 12th October at Hursley. So far we have heard from the following towers about help with following up enquiries and teaching people afterwards: Basingstoke (St Michael), Bishopstoke, The Candovers, Kings Somborne, Lockerley, New Alresford, Old Alresford, Petersfield, Ringwood, Romsey, Sherfield English, Stockbridge and Twyford. If you would like us to put people who express an interest in learning to ring in touch with your tower, or would like to help with the teaching, please do let us know as soon as possible, using the Google form below. All teachers are welcome, you do not need to have attended an ART Teaching Module. We will then be in a position to follow up each interested person quickly after the show:
The Winchester District will have the Charmborough Ring at the Romsey Show at Broadlands on Saturday 14th September. The show attracts up to 24,000 people from across an area stretching from Portsmouth to Bournemouth, Salisbury, Andover and Winchester, and even beyond, and our primary aim is to raise awareness of ringing and ringers amongst members of the general public. We require assistance in many ways during and after the show:
Firstly – On the Saturday 14th September
It requires 14 people at any one time to ‘man’ the stand. If you would like to help us in the morning or the afternoon or indeed all day to ring or to talk to members of the general public, we would like to hear from you. At the show the Ring attracts a lot of attention, and there are usually many people who would like to find out more about ringing. However the key to successful recruitment and retention of new ringers is in the pre-planning and the quality of the follow up afterwards.
So Secondly – On Saturday 12th October
We plan to hold a ‘taster morning’ at Hursley on Saturday 12th October, for those members of the public who are interested, so that they can have a go and find out more about the commitment involved in learning to ring.
And Finally – After that
Whilst we would like to direct people to their nearest tower, not all towers have an active band, so we would also like to hear from you if you and your tower are willing to help teach people who express interest. Ideally we would like to match potential new ringers with teachers/towers where they can receive intensive ‘one to one’ bell handling lessons, so that they can handle a bell in a few weeks and be ringing rounds in time to ring for Christmas.
Anyone in the Guild (and beyond) is welcome.
There is an on-line form here where you can let us know. https://forms.gle/nmMHNrYg3YoicdaWA
The Central Council are hosting a mini-roadshow, which is taking place on Sunday 8th September at Goldsmith’s College in London. There are some great exhibitors, speakers, stalls, resources and mini rings for all ringers to visit.
You can find out more about the weekend events at https://cccbr.org.uk/about/annual-meetings/2019-meeting/
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Public Relations Officer
Registered Charity Number: 270036
September seems a long way ahead ….. but with families about to go away for the school summer holidays, and some towers not holding practices during August, we want to catch everybody early. Attached are details of our Education Morning on Raising and Lowering in Peal, to be held at Bishopstoke on Saturday 14th September, 9.30 am to 12.00 noon. This is NOT basic raising and lowering, but is specifically for those ringers who are already confident and competent in the basics, but need help to keep in place when raising and lowering in peal.
As always – any queries, let me know.
On behalf of: The Guild Education Committee
Link to poster to download to display in your tower please.
Following the recent AGM on the Isle of Wight there have been some changes to the Guild officers.
See here for details.
Telephone: 07813 000679
Email: Use Form
News from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
The 8th May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the second World War in Europe. It provides us with an opportunity to remember the sacrifice made at home and abroad which heralded the arrival of peace, despite conflict still taking place in other parts of the world.
The UK Government has moved the early May Day Bank Holiday from the Monday to Friday 8th May so that as many people as possible can take part in the celebrations that day.
At 7pm on 8th May 2020 church bells are invited to ring out for peace. The Central Council encourages all ringers to respond as they see fit, taking into account the wide variety of local circumstances. Ringing open at 7pm (local time wherever you are in the world) is the ideal and recommended option, but any time that afternoon / evening, and indeed throughout the weekend of events planned, is also supported.
A full programme of planned events is listed on the VEDay75 website and to register your intention to ring go to https://www.veday75.org/register/ which takes you to a Ringing Out for Peace registration page. In due course there will also be a Bellboard event set up where you will be able to register and from where you will be able to download a Certificate of Grateful Recognition to record your ringing on the day.
Any further advice received about plans for the weekend will be publicised when they become known.
I propose that we learn/practice Erin this month and the line is attached. Some of us have had a “go” recently and found it quite challenging.
It is a principle that looks a bit like Stedman, but ringing it feels very different as the entire front work is “wrong” and there is no quick work. The start is as plain bob (briefly).
It has also become apparent that we need to polish our act with Bob Minor and we’ll concentrate on touches – especially singles which still seem to spook us! Once we’ve mastered this we can move on to other minor methods.
Looking forward to seeing you there (please let me know you’re coming)
Address: 10 Broome Close, Yateley, GU46 7SY
Telephone: 01252 874740
Email: Use Form
To mark our move into the Winchester District a training morning was held at Stockbridge yesterday morning (Saturday 22nd June).
We were really happy to welcome learners from nearby towers, but special thanks must go to Ringing Masters Jenny Watson and Edmund Wratten, together with Bruce Purvis and his kind helpers from Winchester – Charlie and Colin, and Jen Churchill from Lockerley who were all amazingly patient and encouraging as they led us through our journey into Reverse Canterbury Doubles.
We had a brilliant morning – thank you all. PS. If I’ve missed out any of the helpers – sorry and thank you too!
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at East Tytherley on the 26th June from 19:30, all welcome from the district and beyond. We shall be ringing Grandsire and Stedman Triples, and Little Bob Major, but other methods too depending on what people want.