There will be no ringing at Petersfield on Monday 20th January. It’s our AGM!
There will be no ringing at Petersfield on Monday 20th January. It’s our AGM!
During the Second World War, the Bells of Britain were silenced, only to be used to give warning of air raids or invasion. During air raids, many churches suffered damage from bombs and incendiaries, including such iconic churches as Coventry Cathedral, St Clement Danes and St Mary le Bow pictured in London, along with many others, saw their bells destroyed through indiscriminate enemy action.
On 8th May 1945, the news the nation had been waiting for arrived. The War in Europe was over. Six years of bloodshed that had killed millions of our armed forces and civilians had finally come to a close.
Bells across the country pealed, tugs on the Thames sounded their horns and planes victory rolled overhead. A sea of red, white and blue erupted as men, women and children rejoiced.
At 7pm on 8th May 2020, bells are invited to ring across the nation again in celebration of 75 years of peace, along with paying tribute to the millions that either died or returned home wounded during or after the war in Europe ended, along with remembering those civilians at home that went through so much while loved ones fought and died overseas, and those still in conflict with the Japanese until VJ Day on 15th August 1945.
The aim is to involve as many bells as possible to mark this important anniversary. To register go to the RINGING OUT FOR PEACE page of the VE Day 75 website – www.veday75.org – and register your involvement as soon as possible. All those taking part will be able to print a copy of the General Certificate of Grateful Recognition as a reminder of their involvement in VE Day 75.
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. Bellboard has an Event link – https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/event.php?id=11043 – for you to record your ringing on the day so that it can be collated for print in The Ringing World.
CCCBR Public Relations Officer
Thank you to Alan Bentley from Ringwood who sent in the following news:
We have a new recruit at Ringwood, Annie Longstaff, who features in the Cathy Booth’s ‘Fun with Bells’
podcast ‘Learning to Ring’. She co-stars with another, but more experienced novice; b
oth ringers talk enthusiastically about their newly found hobby, the patience of their teachers and the friendliness of the other ringers:
Annie has also submitted an entertaining article in ART’s latest Tower Talk newsletter:
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has issued a statement following a campaign to have church bells rung to mark the UK leaving the EU.
We have started to receive queries about bells being rung on 31st January to mark the UK leaving the European Union.
There are historical moments for which bells have been rung – end of world wars for example. In 2018 the Central Council worked with the government on a recruitment and awareness campaign to recognise 100 years since WW1 Armistice.
However the Central Council, as a principle, does not endorse bell ringing for political reasons. Individual towers have discretion to ring for such occasions but is on a case by case basis and typically needs permission from the incumbent.
Public Relations Officer
The bells at St Michael’s Basingstoke will be out of use from Sunday 19th January 2020 until further notice. Work is being carried out on the clappers.
Email: Use Form
Telephone: 07786 967923
Email: Use Form
We are holding a course at New Alresford on Saturday 7th March to help people learn how to deliver the Learning the Ropes scheme. This M2F course focuses of the stages from ringing rounds to plain hunting the treble to methods.
Learning the Ropes breaks the learning process down in to easily manageable steps, getting the basic skills right first, so that learners find it easier to make the transition into method ringing. The course introduces a series of exercises that even an inexperienced band can use. These exercises add variety, and are fun to ring as well! The only requirement is that you can plain hunt competently to methods yourself. However much of the course is spent in practical sessions and if you are learning the plain hunt yourself, we can also fit in a few ‘real learners’ for our trainee teachers to practice their teaching on. Even if you are an experienced teacher, you will find something new, and we need experienced teachers to help ‘mentor’ and guide the less experienced teachers afterwards.
Since its inception eight years ago, the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) has grown rapidly. Across the UK and overseas more than 3,300 teachers have attended one of the ART Teacher Training Scheme modules. The Learning the Ropes scheme has many benefits including:
To find out more and book a place visit: https://events.bellringing.org/courses-for-teachers
Members of the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild may reclaim ART course fees up to £20 from the Guild’s Training and Development Fund (subject to availability of funds). Applications should be made to the Guild Treasurer via the Guild’s website, https://wpbells.org/
If you want to come as an ‘Observer’ to find out more about the scheme or as a ‘real learner’, you can do this for free, but please do not book a place using the booking system. Send an e-mail to Roger Booth instead.
Download flyer here
It is with great sadness that we report the death of the President of our I.W.District – Peter Smith aged 91 and a Life Member of the Guild. Peter had been Tower Captain & churchwarden at All Saints, Freshwater for many years, teaching many people to ring.
A funeral service celebrating his life took place on Friday 3rd January 2020. The church was filled with members of the congregation, family & friends plus many bell ringers from all over the Island. The bells were rung “open” to bring the coffin into church for the lovely service, then rung again as the cortege took Peter to his final resting place in the churchyard – always within the sound of the bells that he loved.
Download a copy of the poster here
Given the date and the number of regulars not available it was thought prudent to cancel this session.
Next practice Wednesday, 5th Feb., special method Deva.
In the run-up to Christmas, your District is pleased to offer you TWO events in the first half of the month, hopefully before you get too bogged down in Christmas arrangements and commitments.
Firstly, we have a District Practice a fortnight tonight, at Broughton, on Monday 9th December. Please note the start and finish times of 7.30 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., half an hour later than Broughton’s usual start/finish times, but arranged thus to spare anyone who cares to support this practice and coming from a distance from having to set out too early in the evening.
Secondly, we are looking forward very much to our Carol Service, a week later than previously mooted, on Saturday 14th December, at Northington, hosted by the Candover Valley Band. As you’ll be aware, the new six has but recently been consecrated, so the afternoon offers much to look forward to.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible – and, indeed anyone who’d like to join us from neighbouring districts/the rest of the world – at either or both of these events, at which you will be assured of a warm welcome. I’ve attached the usual flyers/posters – please bring to the attention of your band members, or anyone else you think would be interested.
Winchester District Secretary
Tuesday 10th December will be the last 8-bell practice for this year! As usual we will ring as many 8 bell methods as possible as well as rounds & plain hunt.
As a thank you to all our faithful visitors during the year, we will be having mulled wine refreshments at half time. Please come!
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Easton from 19:30 on Wednesday 27th November. All welcome from the district and beyond.
Please note: The Hinton practice on Tuesday, 12th November has been cancelled.
Steve Jolliffe organised a terrific day for our annual outing, focusing on the area around King’s Somborne and Stockbridge, arranging for us to ring at six locations. The day dawned dark and dreary, with the forecast rain arriving mid morning and staying with us for most of the day. We were accompanied by Valerie’s lovely Staffie, Harvey, who kept spare ringers entertained and encouraged the giving of extra walks.
An hour’s drive saw us arriving at the first location, the Grade II listed church of St Peter & St Paul at King’s Somborne SO20 6NU in the Test Valley between Romsey and Andover. Dating from the 13th Century, this lovely church houses bells which were generally heavier than my “home” bells – see the table below. When doing my preparation/homework, I realised just what a privilege it would be to ring a variety of new and old bells from a range of foundries.
|1||4-3-24||D||28.75″||1927||Gillett & Johnston|
|2||5-2-22||C||32.00″||1887||Gillett & Co|
|3||6-0-4||Bb||33.75″||1887||Gillett & Co|
|6||10-1-9||F||41.14″||1911||John Warner & Sons|
The ringing chamber was on the ground floor and the ropes went a long, long way up. Thank heavens for the guide rails! The bells were rung up and we quickly settled into little bands for rounds, call changes and then more exciting methods for the experienced ringers who had joined us. The heating had been put on and was greatly appreciated. Throughout the day, I found that some bells were easier than others to ring (for me, here, #3 was better than #2). If you have time, do read the Sopwith (Camel) panel at the rear of the church. After 45 minutes, the bells were lowered and we dashed off to….
St Peter’s Church, Stockbridge SO20 6HE where the bells had recently been rehung and were greatly enjoyed by most of us – an absolute pleasure to ring. David said they were very different when he previously rang there! The ringing chamber was accessed by a narrow set of spiral stone stairs to the left of the main entrance. Once inside, it was quite snug, with a few places for watching. The ceiling was fairly low and the sallies were nice and woolly! There has been a church on the site since the 12th Century. By 1866 the medieval church was in such poor condition that most of it was pulled down, leaving only the Chancel (now Old St Peter’s Church) and this new Victorian Gothic style church was built on Stockbridge High Street. The tower and spire were not added until 1887. Four of the bells came from the old church and two of them date from the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
|1||3-0-0||G||22.67″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
|2||3-1-0||F||24.40″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
|4||4-0-21||D||27.20″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
The overflow ringers stayed dry in the church and we were discussing the unusual 13th Century font, made of Purbeck marble and banded in iron. The font is so worn that a design of blind arcading on the bowl can hardly be seen.
Next time I visit, I’ll definitely make time to see the Old Church as many items were transferred there – services are still occasionally held there, including a pair of Elizabethan wall paintings celebrating the defeat of the Armada. Also stories about the civil war, with Empress Mathilda and King Stephen clashing at Stockbridge.
Our next port of call was St Mary’s Church at Broughton SO20 8AA with a ground floor ringing chamber. As we arrived, we passed a group of volunteers who’d spent the morning giving the Church a good and thorough clean – they’d made an excellent job of it. The ground floor ringing chamber was located at the rear of the church, accessed either from inside (a smart new partitioned area with kitchen, toilet and seating) or via the old oak external door. These were much heavier than the Stockbridge bells and we were careful to be matched to bells which we could handle. This was an 11th Century church with a beautifully carved 15th Century west doorway, with a 15th Century panel of a triptych in the Lady Chapel and a pillar piscina carved with the figure of a devil. Harvey and his buddies discovered a 17th Century Dovecote in the churchyard but it was raining too hard for me to venture out (what a wimp).
|1||4-1-13||E||26.88″||1934||John Taylor & Co|
|2||5¾cwt||D||31.00″||1774||Robert I Wells|
|3||4½cwt||C||29.25″||1681||Clement I Tosier|
|6||11cwt||G||40.25″||1763||Lester & Pack|
We were all beginning to feel cold and hungry so, when our time finished at 12.15 pm, the bells were rung down and we all headed to our lunchtime stop via various routes. By now, it was raining hard and puddles were stretched across the roads and the fords were rushing streams of indeterminate depth.
We were allocated a room of our own at The Black Horse in West Tytherley SP5 1NF, in the warmth where the food was welcomed and quickly devoured. I’m not quite sure what an older couple thought when they inadvertently joined our group by taking up a spare table at the edge of the rowdy ringers – I wonder if they were listening to tall stories. As if.. !
At 14.15 we headed to St Peter’s at East Tytherley SP5 1LG, used by some participants at the Listening Skills course earlier in the month. The ringing chamber was on the ground floor, in a room off the entrance porch. With 8 bells, there wasn’t much space for observers so the overflow stood in the porch or sat in the church and admired the vaulting. Maybe I was getting tired, but I found the #2 to be very hard work (David said I was making it so) but the #4 seemed smoother.
|1||4-1-4||F#||25.50″||1899||John Taylor & Co|
|2||4-1-15||E#||26.50″||1899||John Taylor & Co|
|3||4-3-0||D#||28.00″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|4||5-1-21||C#||30.13″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|5||6-2-2||B||32.63″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|6||7-2-10||A#||34.50″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|7||9-3-23||G#||38.25″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|8||14-1-5||F#||43.00″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
Known as “The Church in the Field”, St Peter’s dates to the 13th Century with a comprehensive rebuilding in the Victorian period, retaining three panes of 13th Century stained glass and a magnificent wall painting of St Peter. The memorial is to Richard Giffard who died in 1568.
The time was going past incredibly quickly now. We drove 2 miles down the road to St John’s Church at Lockerley SO51 0JJ and the small ringing chamber accessed via narrow stone spiral stairs around the left corner from the entrance porch. I liked these bells, as I’d spent time on them on the Listening Course day and felt confident. Until, that is, my left hand cramped up, and Alison kindly rescued me whilst I tried to regain a normal hand shape. Totally embarrassing. Fortunately I could carry on after a few minutes and managed to keep the cramp under control – easier once I knew what to expect. Everyone seemed happy on the bells, with various bands being put together to make the most of the time.
|1||3-3-3||E||26.13″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|2||4-2-16||D||28.13″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|3||5-0-11||C||30.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|4||6-1-19||B||32.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|5||8-3-4||A||36.00″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|6||12-1-15||G||40.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
At the time of the Domesday survey, Lockerley was a chapelry annexed to the church of Mottisfont, with the original simple chapel built C 1200. The present church was consecrated on 16 October 1890 and was built alongside the old Saxon church which was demolished – a “small mean building with tile roof and wooden belfry containing two bells”. In spring, rows of daffodils mark the outline of the walls of the old church. The parish registers of births, marriages and deaths date in unbroken sequence from Queen Elizabeth’s reign in 1583. There were separate seats for strangers and also “Wummen’s Setes”! The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 10th August 1889 by Frederick Gonnerman Dalgety of Lockerley Hall and he built the church at his sole expense. It is said that during the blackout of World War II, when services had to be held in the afternoon, the winter sun was reflected in the gilding of the paintings and lit the church.
Three miles away were the Clock House Bells at Awbridge SO51 0HN. What a surprise and a fabulous way to end the Outing! Housed in a specially built annexe, this mini-ring of 10 bells had been lovingly installed by John. The Clock House bells have stays but use bungee cord instead of sliders so, the harder you pulled, the more the bell would bounce back. I’d attempted the tenor of the Charmborough Ring and made a right mess of it, so was rather dreading this final port of call. I needn’t have worried – they were lovely sweet bells and once we’d all found the balance, various bands ventured into call changes, plain hunt and other methods. The owner seemed rather impressed and said that our group had done better than most others. WHAT a result. Valerie took a video which you can view here: https://youtu.be/x-PAmecJTaU
|1||0-3-16||G#||14.13″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|2||0-3-25||F#||15.00″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|3||0-3-24||E||15.63″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|4||1-0-5||D#||15.88″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|5||1-0-22||C#||17.00″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|6||1-1-2||B||17.88″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|7||1-1-21||A||18.88″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|8||1-2-4||G#||19.50″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|9||1-3-22||F#||21.38″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|10||3-1-2||E||25.13″||2012||John Taylor & Co|
John had a beautiful book detailing the history of his Mini Ring project and I read that he’d rung on a mini ring at Liss. Sure enough, David Cooper had taught some of John’s friends to ring in the distant pass and modestly said that his input was modest and they very soon overtook David’s own ringing abilities. What a nice connection!
Extract from the website: Clock House Bells are a privately owned ring of 10 bells, hung in a purpose built garage extension. The bells were cast by Taylors of Loughborough back in 2000, weighing in at 2-2-0 cwt. On Friday 15th August 2009, the first changes (1260 Plain Bob Doubles) were rung on the bells without stay/slider mechanisms in place.
Since then the ringing room has been heavily decorated, toilet and kitchen facilities put in place, a new tenor (3-1-2 cwt) installed and hundreds of quarters, peals and long lengths rung.
The bells are available to be booked anytime of the year, whether it’s for a 30 minute stop on a ringing outing or a record length peal.
Throughout the day, everyone who wanted to take part was included. As a newbie, I really appreciated being included and knowing that support was on hand, should it be needed.
We are also indebted to the contacts who kindly opened up the churches and turned on the heating for us, and then locked up again. Our sincere thanks go to all.
And finally, thanks to Steve and Gill Jolliffe who organised the day so beautifully and maximised the number of places we could ring at, most within 5-10 minutes’ drive from each other.
Thank you all, it’s a day that I will treasure. And now to prepare for the Plain Hunt training day … eek!
5 November 2019
In my first year of ringing, I have rung 41 bells over 15 locations,
Heaviest bell: 12 cwt (Lockerley Tenor).
Cumulative weight, taking whole cwt figure only: 192 cwt
Here is the poster for the upcoming C&S District Practice in November.
St Michael’s, Southampton on Saturday 16th November from 2:30 – 4:30pm
All abilities welcome from rounds upwards.
Method of the Month: Stedman.
C&S District Secretary
As we approach Armistice Sunday for this year, here is the article that was published in The Ringing World on Friday 25th October 2019 about the archives of Armistice centenary ringing presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals earlier this year .
The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (W & P) is an active Guild representing ringers across the Channel Islands, part of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. As reported in 2018, our Guild had successfully undertaken a mammoth task, creating an archive of many special memorial ringing performances that had honoured those who had died as a result of World War One.
Two bound volumes of the archives were to be presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals at special services. It was wonderful to see how many folk came forward to volunteer their time and expertise. A project mascot was adopted; ‘Tommy’ – a 30cm high, clear Perspex silhouette in the form of a World War One Tommy soldier who travelled across our large Guild area. The archive continues to be updated digitally, available to see here.
The two Cathedral services took place in May 2019; what wonderful occasions!
At both venues we displayed project material in advance of the services. Both Cathedrals’ bands ensured there was splendid service ringing. Visiting ringers were able to ring in the areas during the day; at Winchester, the Chamborough Ring created much interest to members of the public, in addition to the Cathedral tower bells. Both services had been well-crafted and supported by the Cathedrals’ clergy, organists, choirs, vergers, staff and volunteers. We were delighted and honoured to welcome large congregations of ringers, their families and friends and local dignitaries. We all shared the emotions of the Archive presentation ceremonies and reflected as we heard the lovely handbell ringing, a very fitting accompaniment to the presentations.
At Portsmouth Cathedral’s Choral Evensong, on 12th May, The Lord Mayor and
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire were greeted by the Dean of Portsmouth, The Very Reverend Dr Anthony Cane, and our Guild Master,
Mike Winterbourne. The Right Reverend Christopher Foster, Bishop of Portsmouth, welcomed the congregation. During the service, Alverstoke ringer, Soul Stanford and Portsmouth Cathedral ringer, Chris Cockel, presented the archive; it was received by
Bishop Christopher. Guild Officers Mike Winterbourne and Heather Frazer read lessons. Intercessions were led by Canon John Owen, Vicar of Steep and Froxfield with Privett. The congregation stood for the Act of Rededication led by Charlotte Mossop, a ringer at St. Michaels’, Basingstoke. After the service we enjoyed hearing Louis Verne’s Organ Voluntary ‘Les Cloches de Hinckley’. The Reverend Canon
Dr. Jo Spreadbury, Canon Precentor, was instrumental in the service and all of the prior arrangements; we were pleased to thank her personally at the lovely informal refreshments reception provided by the Cathedral ringers.
On 19th May at Winchester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle,
Dean of Winchester, together with Guild Master Mike Winterbourne, greeted the
Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, the Mayor of Winchester and the
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. The Dean conducted the Choral Evensong service; our Guild Master read a lesson. The archive book was presented to The Dean by
ringers Matthew Dancy of All Saints’, Basingstoke and Isla Ingram from
Milford-on-Sea A candle was lit and the congregation was asked to
‘Individually and together, commit to the cause of peace and reconciliation’. As the final part of our act of worship, we were invited to listen to the Organ Voluntary ‘Carillon-Sortie’ by Henri Mulet. The very pleasant refreshments served to our guests by local ringers and enjoyed by us all brought a lovely, quiet conclusion to the day.
The last word here to ‘Tommy’ then:
‘People ask me why I am transparent?
After 100 years none of my comrades are still alive,
But I hope that their children, grandchildren and future generations will not let them disappear completely;
but once, every now and then, catch a glimpse of me and remember.’
Public Relations Officer for W & P
The next Winchester District Practice will be on Monday 11th November at Old Alresford from 7.30 – 9.00pm.
Poster available here.
Here is a link to download the latest version (as at 26th December 2019) of the Record of Ringing in Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918 – The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.
Bound copies of the original version were presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals in special services held in May 2019.
Please continue to submit your performances here. The details will be recorded in the digital form of the archive until the end of 2019 at least. A decision as to final ‘cut off’ date will be made shortly.
The digital archives have been available on our website since 19th May and will continue to be updated.
The Cathedral services took place in May 2019 after a great deal of liaison with both Cathedral Teams over several years; they have supported us well, alongside both Dioceses. The services were well-attended, much enjoyed and the beautiful archives recording performances to 30th November 2018 were presented. The Chamborough Ring was enjoyed by many all afternoon at Winchester and we recruited several new ringers there. The occasions raised the profile of ringing greatly in the community. The project gave us all many occasions to work even closer with our churches and local communities. We are pleased to report that feedback from ringers and non-ringers relating to the archives, the services and the project overall has been complimentary indeed; it seems our very ambitious project has been seen as a resounding success.
Thank you everyone for all of your time, efforts and encouragement over many years now.
An update of the Project’s finances was set before the A.G.M in June.
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Kings Somborne from 19:30 on Wednesday 30th October. With the District training session on Cambridge Minor coming up we will be doing things like Little Bob and Double Oxford which are useful steps to Cambridge, as well as Cambridge itself. However we will still be catering for those who want to ring other things too, everything from Grandsire Doubles upwards, just let me know what you would like to practice on the night. All welcome from the district and beyond.
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me, as well as to reach out to those of you whom I either know, or our paths have crossed as ‘nodding acquaintances’ from time to time at Guild events.
I have been a member of the Guild for around 28 years, as member of St Michael’s church in Basingstoke where I have in the recent past held various positions including Tower Captain for 5 years, Steeple Keeper and Treasurer.
For me, the pleasure of ringing is not only self satisfaction, but also to help others to develop their skills in the tower. Within my own tower this may include bespoke practices to benefit learners specific requirements, quarter peals to give them the opportunity to both learn a method well and to enjoy the reward of achievement, and generally supporting all of the ringers in their goals and ambitions.
Having served as Guild Vice Master for 3 years I am now delighted to take on the role of Master and look forward to working with you all to strengthen links within the Guild and to enhance your enjoyment in ringing.
One of the main assets of the guild are you, the ringers, and without your skill and dedication, regularly attending Sunday ringing and practices, our ringing would be in a very sorry state.
W&P Guild Master