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:
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,
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.
There will be no practice at Romsey Abbey on Wednesday 22nd January 2020 as we will be having our AGM.
Tuesday 14th January. First 8-bell practice of 2020. Bring your perfect vision to consolidate treble bobbing and to ring triples methods.
We will, of course, ring rounds, call changes & plain hunt so catering for all levels of ringing.
There is NO service ringing at St. John’s on
Sunday 12th or Sunday 26th due to combined morning service at St. Michael’s.
See you there!
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:
- A series of attractive publications aimed at new ringers.
- A dedicated website for new ringers where they can access further learning material and videos.
- A quarterly e-mail newsletter ‘Tower Talk’ aimed at new ringers, with further advice and articles.
- An annual Learning the Ropes festival, masterclasses and an awards scheme.
- A ‘Facebook’ group where new ringers can share their experiences, and find they are not alone.
- There are five levels to Learning the Ropes, from bell handling, to ringing Plain Bob and Grandsire inside to quarter peal standard. New ringers are able to follow a clear pathway, all the way through.
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.
All are welcome to St. Peter’s for New Year’s Eve ringing on our heavy Taylor’s eight.
Meet at the main door at 11:00pm, please let Peter know you are coming, in order that we can lock the door behind us.
There will be drinks and snacks, feel free to bring something along.
If anyone would like to park within the church grounds, please let me know, and I can provide a temporary pass for the evening.
I hope to see you there!
Just a reminder what is happening during this next week.
Monday 30th December 2019 is Method Monday – 6:00pm until 7.30pm. Methods will be St Clements College Bob Minor and variable hunt doubles. We will also be ringing the usual repertoire, followed by beer and Wetherspoons pizza.
Tuesday 31st December 2019 – New Years Eve – Ringing at St Peter’s from 11:00pm with bubbles and nibblettes. Please let Peter know you are coming, so he can tell you how to get in and make the ascent!
Wednesday 1st January 2020 – Ringing for lunchtime Mass – 11.30am – 12.15pm (following an earlier quarter peal).
Sunday 5th January 2020 – usual ringing from 10:00am (also 9:15am at St. Peter’s).
Monday 6th January 2020 – Practice is cancelled due to a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the church. BUT we may be meeting elsewhere for something completely different….. Watch this space.
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.
Just a reminder, that this Monday (2nd Dec) is our next Method Monday.
We are planning to ring touches of St Nicholas Doubles and variable hunt doubles.
Practice time 6 till 7.30 followed by beer and Wetherspoons pizza.
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.
The last Basingstoke District Practice of the year will take place just outside the District at Crondall (8 bells, 14cwt tenor) on Saturday 16th November from 7pm until 8:30pm. As always all levels and abilities will be catered for.
Hope to see many of you there.
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 .
Guild presents archives of Armistice centenary ringing to its two cathedrals in special services
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.
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.
The next Basingstoke District Practice will be at Newnham (5 bells, 5cwt tenor) on Saturday 19th Octobet from 3:30 pm to 5pm. As always all levels and abilities will be catered for.
There is currently a road closure on Newnham Road shortly after the Newnham clubroom. Anyone approaching from the Hook or Odiham direction is advised to approach either via Rotherwick or to take the Crown Lane turning from the A30 just down the hill from the Basingstoke Country Hotel which will take you to the church
Hope to see many of you there.