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Roger Barber presents a cup in memory of his Mum, Doris

Whilst sitting in a pub after ringing one evening Roger was reminiscing about his Mum, Doris, telling the story of when she accompanied him to Hawkley Church for his first quarter peal, inside to Grandsire Triples. Doris wanted to say hello to Ernest Salmons, a prolific ringer at the time, who was to be the conductor. Ernie asked Doris what she was ringing these days, and Doris replied that she could just about manage to ring the treble to a course of Grandsire Triples. When one of the band failed to arrive and Ernie said to her, “Come on girl you will have to ring the treble so that Roger can have a go at his quarter peal.” The look on his Mum’s face was one that Roger will never forget but, nervously, she agreed to give it a go. Completing the quarter peal was a real achievement for her, even to the extent of being a turning point in her ringing. That was in 1977.

Over the years Doris went on to ring 3 peals (her first at the age of 61) and to be part of 3 winning teams of the A&P striking competition something that, back in 1977, she could barely dream of.

Fast forward to the A&P practice and Spring Meeting held on April 13th at Selborne.

Whilst making out that what he had in his box was actually a giant Easter egg, Roger told the assembled ringers the story about his Mum and that, even though her achievements were made in small steps, they all added up and should never be forgotten about. He then produced a large cup from the box saying “With all that in mind I am going to donate this cup in memory of my Mum, so that other ringer’s achievements can be recognised.”

 The inscription reads :-

The Doris J Barber

Memorial Cup

for achievement in

Church Bell Ringing

Roger then explained how it would be awarded each year and that it didn’t have to be an individual award but could also be a team effort or for longevity in ringing, whatever we want it to be. He suggested that towers might like to nominate someone. He also said that ringers would only be able to win it once, so that a new name gets added each year and that, in future, the district officers would have the task of deciding who would be the winner.

The 2018 winner had already been chosen by Roger who described someone he had met at a district practice in Liss early in the year, when they were only confident in ringing plain hunt on 5.  This ringer attends regular monthly practices in order to improve his ringing and has progressed through plain hunt on 7 to plain courses of bob doubles inside, ringing his first QP on the way.

When Gordon Strachan of Blackmoor heard his name announced as the winner, he was rather surprised and just a little emotional, but it’s exactly this type of effort that Roger wants to recognise and reward, and he is hopeful that his Mum’s cup will go a long way towards that.

cup

Feedback from ‘Have your Say’ Event – 17th April 2019

There was a good turnout to the ‘Have your Say’ event on 17th April in the Undercroft. There were two brainstorming sessions and everyone was invited to put their ideas and thoughts on post-it notes, which were then stuck on the wall and sorted under headings. A lot of useful ideas and feedback were obtained and everyone really did get their say. The results of this session and the survey will be discussed by the Education Committee to help develop their future programme, and we hope by Districts too.

Results of post-it note brainstorming exercises

Attendees were each given three post-it notes each and asked to put down three issues/ideas for the Guild to address. These were then put up on the wall and grouped together under different headings. Attendees were then asked to vote on which three headings they considered the most important by placing a green sticky spot against the heading.

1. What does the Guild need to address?

Communication and engagement (12 votes)

Guild to communicate directly to members, not through tower captain

Look at towers that have young ringers and training to see what works

Increase involvement of ‘ordinary’ ringers

Help more members feel engaged

Better teaching – not just technically but in the right social environment

Get parents, children, schools involved

Involve parents – kids should go to the pub

Community spirit – is good to have that feeling of belonging and having friends

Communication

Help to progress (12 votes)

Additional learners practices (call changes, plain hunt)

Establish learning groups to get learners together and aid retention

Identify the needs for each tower

Establish ‘professional’ ringing courses

Organise scheme of education and training

More teachers, tower by tower, district by district

Districts to help more teaching

Clear learning pathway and better visual aids

Education and teaching aids

Use more technology to develop self-learning

Help ringers from smaller bands to feel welcome at practices at towers with larger/more experienced bands

Establish pathways for those progressing – encourage

Improve awareness of ringing learning resources

Get out more – experienced + learners

Help in own tower from one or two experienced ringers

Help in towers from experienced ringers to enable band to progress

Teach good handling (12 votes)

Teaching teachers/list of teachers (bell handling)

Hold regular masterclasses to correct/refine learners bell control skills

Teaching good handling

Improve teaching

Recruitment (8 votes)

Improve resources on website for non-ringers and raise profile – links from local information sites, libraries, adult education etc.

Become more efficient at passing details of those at Guild level on two towers who can teach them

Commitment, teaching fundamentals, recruit families

Recruitment old and young, could argue a case for either strategy

Improve recruitment and retention

More innovative recruitment

Improve recruitment

Improve retention (6 votes)

More encouragement of groups of churches to have a combined band to aid teaching etc.

Improve retention

Make learners feel welcome at special events – like the annual Winchester Cathedral district practices

Retention

Improve retention

Improve retention

Image (6 votes)

Bellringing needs a better image

Improve the recruitment pitch/take down barriers (church membership)

Change the culture – more inclusive and ethnically diverse

Improve relations with the neighbours – i.e. Less public noise

Young ringers (4 votes)

Develop young leaders

Youth practices

Environment (1 vote)

Improve comfort of ringing rooms

Improve state of ringing rooms

Improve ringing environment (ringing room)

2. How can the Guild address these issues?

(We didn’t have time to vote on these)

Encourage group teaching at a local level

Collaboration with local towers for ‘targeted’ practices

Local tower collaboration more regular and focused on ringing level

Focus on creating hubs with large numbers of teachers and teaching sessions

Group churches/teachers together so tasks and learning can be spread out

Collaboration between local towers

Encourage more ringers to be involved with local initiatives (e.g. Group/tower networks)

Benefice based teaching and learning

Get good ringers, not just tower captains involved

Group training (several towers) sounds good

Benefice practice

Education committee being able to supply 2 to 4 teachers for group tower sessions

Holiday courses for school-age ringers (intensive training)

One of my Ringing Remembers recruits said that if they got a few learners together for a class to let them know.

Training by Districts

More district learning courses

More courses may be at district level

Very, very simple stuff (rounds and call changes or plain hunt)

Favour (centralised, if need be) training sessions for Learners Only,

Encourage/reinforce good bell handling teaching skills

More ‘improvers’ sessions of the Alton/Holybourne type – LOCALLY BASED

Invite learners to special sessions (not too few, keep within districts)

Establish trainers and location for REGULAR masterclasses, especially in BELL CONTROL

Handling masterclasses and listening skills

Targeted practices for each level

Newer ringers can feel quite intimidated by the ‘experts’

More systematic ongoing practice provided and District level for learners completing one day courses

Two day courses (not just a one-off training day, but follow up each pupil afterwards)

A slide at the end of the course notes, suggesting the learners ask to ring the method at their local practices/district practices or organise people to ring a quarter or practice with them

Districts to provide extra instructor support for practices run by local groups of towers at a particular level

Guild education committee (group of experts) visit tower practice nights.

Support and develop tower captains

Encourage tower captains – surveys and questions on what support they need to improve their teaching

Create system for teachers to get together and share best practice and encourage each other

Annual meetings for towers – to many towers with un-elected TC’s or TC’s been in role for too long

Leadership courses

Tower captain/ringing Master courses

Too many teachers demanding learners to ring on Sundays (once progressed)

Develop more teachers

Teach more teachers

Teach to teach courses

Run courses explaining ‘other pathways’ encourage people to take an interest in maintenance, history etc.

Teaching to conduct courses

More and better use of technology

Show/teach how computer programs and phone apps can be used for self-help away from tower. Also books available as well

Look at practicability of fitting and using dumbbell for teaching bell handling

One tower with simulator in the area that is available to use the practice

Dumbbell

What teaching centres have we (W & P) got locally? Publicise them!

General

Newcomers – target with invite to ring (welcome pack)

Initiate projects that are sustainable over the long term with ideas from good practice

 

 

 

Invitation for all ringers to attend a service at Portsmouth Cathedral or Winchester Cathedral and Presentation of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild Record of Ringing in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918

Invitation for all ringers to attend a service at Portsmouth Cathedral or Winchester Cathedral and Presentation of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild Record of Ringing in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918

Firstly, thank you all for the ringing which took place during November 2018 to commemorate 100 years since the Great War.  It was a marvellous response!   Since this time the WW1 project team has been beavering away recording this ringing and any other celebratory ringing which took place from 1914 to remember those fallen who died during the Great War.  The book has now been completed and is with the printers – 480 sides of A4 – over 1,400 records.  A remarkable achievement!  Please be reminded though that we are still recording any further performances from 1st December 2018 in a Digital Archive which we are updating until the end of the year, so please continue to record any appropriate ringing in Bellboard so we can pick this up.  A link to the Digital Archive will be available in due course via both Cathedral websites as well as our own Guild website.  More details of this to follow.

Two copies of the book will be presented; one to Portsmouth Cathedral and one to Winchester Cathedral at evensong services as follows:

Portsmouth Cathedral – 12th May at 6pm

Winchester Cathedral – 19th May at 3.30pm

We have just finished sending out invitations to all of the 180+ churches where ringing took place and the responses have started to come in.  Whilst this has been happening we have been in discussion about what else we can provide for you, the ringers.  We have not completely tied everything down but would like to give you an update of where we are and send out a formal invite.

12th May – Opportunity to ring at other churches prior to the event including Portsmouth Cathedral itself.  Tea, coffee and cake to be provided after the service.

19th May – Mini ring will be provided in front of Winchester Cathedral.  See link http://www.charmborough.org.  Opportunity to ring at the Cathedral before the service.  Tea, coffee and cake to be provided after the service.

So are you interested in attending?  We really hope that you are and “Ringing Remembers” ringers please wear your badges proudly!

So what do you need to do?

1) If you are able to attend can you please email me at letting me know your name(s), tower and which service(s) you would like to attend.  Partners and families are also more than welcome.

Please include whether you would like to ring or not and if so at Portsmouth area or Winchester.

2) Are you able to help at all?  We are looking for helpers to:

  • Make Cakes
  • Assist with serving cakes, teas and coffee after the services, to ringers and invited dignitories
  • Be around before and after the services to chat with the invited clergy and other guests

If you can help then please let me know at wphonsec@gmail.com

Full details of churches where you can ring and timings will follow as soon as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Heather Frazer

Hon. Gen. Sec. W & P Guild of Church Bellringers

01256 465554

Have your say – Wed 17th April from 7.30pm – Winchester

The Guild Education Committee are holding an open event ‘Have your say’ on Wednesday 17th April (Holy Week) at 7.30pm in the Undercroft of Winchester Cathedral. The next decade will present many challenges and the object of the event is to consult with members, and all those with an interest in education to develop a strategy for the delivery of training by the Guild Education Committee into the 2020’s, and how this dovetails with the training provided at District and tower level. This work will also feed into the updating of the Guild’s three year action plan.

We particularly want to find out how we can help individual towers, how we can recruit and retain more young ringers, and how we can best support individuals who wish to make progress with their ringing. For this reason we are circulating tower correspondents with a short on-line survey to collect some information about the current state of ringing in towers. We can then present some statistics at the open meeting to aid discussion. The questionnaire asks about the ringing and the number of ringers present on a typical Sunday (3rd March) and at practice the following week.  Obviously the more towers that respond the better.

We intend to share the results of the survey on the Guild Website and Facebook Group before the meeting. On the night we will be sitting Guild/District officers, Tower Captains, new ringers (including Ringing Remembers recruits) and other ringers together in separate groups to discuss the findings, and report back, so no-one should feel inhibited. Everyone will have their say. We are particularly keen for newer ringers and young ringers to come along and do hope that at least some of the ringers from your tower will attend.

To give us an idea of numbers, please contact Christine Knights-Whittome,  before Monday 15th April.

Last Ringing at Swanmore (Ryde), Isle of Wight

Unfortunately, Swanmore church is closing their doors on the 31st December, meaning there will be no more ringing at Swanmore in 2019 at all.

Our last practice is Friday 21st, 6.30-7.30pm.  We will be ringing on Christmas Day and we will be ringing on Sunday the 30th for the last time.

Ringing times for Christmas Day is to be confirmed. Sunday 30th December is 2 till 3.30pm.

All ringers are welcome to join us for the last ringing on the bells at St Michael’s Swanmore before the church closes. If you haven’t rung there yet, this WILL be your last chance!

Lexi Skeldon

 

 

 

Christmas Ringing Times 2018

Please send in your Ringing Times so that visiting ringers can join you for practices and Sunday Ringing.

The following news has already been sent in:

Send in your times:

 

Final call for WW1 performances to be included in the printed archives

Please send us your WW1 Centenary Commemoration performances, including Remembrance ringing, up until 30th November 2018 if you haven’t done so already. We’d like to include them in the printed volumes of the archives. We need them now, please…. ww1bells@aol.com

Thank you and well done everyone!

Cheers,

Guild PRO

Micheldever Refurbishment

The following is an article the Micheldever Band is very grateful to have had printed in the Dever News as part of their appeal to raise funds for new ropes and ahead of their Tower Open Morning of the 17th November.

Please look out for a follow up report next week with some good news!
Gary Marsh – Wonston

The Bells of St Mary’s

It was thanks to the curiosity of new bell-ringer Sharon Duncan-Reynolds that we made the discovery. Sharon wanted to go up the tower to see what the bells actually do and as local ringing master Edmund Wratten happened to be present that day, he led the way. Donning ear defenders, they watched carefully as a ringer below pulled the bell ropes. That is how we discovered that, even when the lightest bell was rung, the huge metal bell frame moved against the wooden frame on which it is mounted. That was last autumn and as a result we were prompted to give serious thought to the whole state of the bell chamber.
Work immediately started to stabilise the frame and until it got too cold for further work most of the 60 or so rusted lower bolts,which are over 60cm long, were loosened (with more than a little effort) greased and retightened so stopping any movement of the metal frame.  Since the spring the 40 or so top bolts have received similar treatment. Next we tackled the rusting frame itself – cleaning with wires brushes and white spirit, followed by the application of rust preventing undercoat and rust preventing top coat. The plain bearings on which the bells hang, having accumulated years of solidified grease, have been cleaned out, new felt pads inserted and the bearings re-greased.   The wooden frame has received wood preserver and the whole bell chamber cleaned out.

Micheldever Bells - BeforeMicheldever Bells - After

The pictures reveal the difference that has been made but probably don’t quite show how awkward it is to get at some parts of the frame or how dirty we have been getting crawling around it.  It is clear that little maintenance has been carried out for quite some time. Apparently Harry Symes, blacksmith, bell ringer and steeple keeper for many years, who made the rope guide for the church but died in 1991, used to keep the bells in immaculate condition.  It is said that his family kept the bells maintained while there was no ringing during WWI so that when peace came they were ready to ring out.

The current team cannot claim to live up to those standards but has put in its best effort and it has been a team effort; there is no way this could have been done without lots of hands on the job and even so it has taken a couple of months intensive work each Tuesday to get the cleaning and painting done.  We now at least all have a better appreciation of what it takes to keep the bells going.

We do have one thing to ask though.  We have all put in labour and some cash to do this work; no charge has bee made to the Church.  The Church did pay £200 this year to replace a rope for us, for which we are very grateful. But our 5 remaining ropes urgently need replacing; one has a temporary repair and another will very soon need the same.

We need £1000 to allow us to replace our 5 remaining ropes and keep the bells ringing at Micheldever for the next 10-15 years.  Please can you help.

Micheldever - Ropes

Any donations would be gratefully received. They can be given to Belinda Hughes, or posted into the box in the door to the tower in the corner of St Mary’s. Cash is great or cheques should be payable to Micheldever PCC. Please consider completing a gift aid envelope so we can claim the tax back on your donation.

Battles Over - Armistice 100 -11112018

We will be ringing for the service of remembrance  on 11 Nov and again at 12:30 pm as part of the national celebration of the centenary of the Armistice in 1918 – Ringing Remembers.  Church bells across the country will ring out and Big Ben will strike. We invite you to join us if you would like to see the bells being rung and to get a feel for a bell rope afterwards.  We always welcome new ringers.

Bell ringing team:-  Andrew Tollyfield (steeple keeper), Juliet Pattison (tower captain & secretary), Mary Tiles, Felicity Botham, Belinda Hughes, Sharon Duncan-Reynolds, Ben Bell and with help for practices from Charlotte Smith (Kingsworthy).  Also special thanks to Charlotte for her help working with the team on maintenance.
Continue reading Micheldever Refurbishment

200 Club – November Draw – Results

The November draw of the 200 Club took place last Saturday morning prior to the Guild Executive Committee meeting.  A total of £95 had accumulated since the last draw in July, giving £47 to go to the Training & Development Fund and £48 to be split for prizes. These were drawn as follows:

Prize % of prize fund Amount Winning
Numbers
Winners
First 50% £24 16 Graham Nobbs
Second 20% £9.60 27 Christine Hill
Third 10% £4.80 14 Ros Brandwood
Fourth 10% £4.80 4 Rob Hatch
Fifth 5% £2.40 25 Nikki Brown
Sixth 5% £2.40 9 Margaret Winterbourne
The next draw will take place on Saturday 16th March 2019 at the Guild Executive Committee meeting in Southampton. Money received between now and the meeting will go into that draw.
There are at present only 25 members actively participating in the draw, so prizes can be rather small. More members means more winnings and more money for the Training and Development Fund!
Please send me your forms, which may be found on the Guild website under ‘200 Club‘. I shall shortly be sending the Guild Treasurer a cheque for £148 as this year’s contribution to the Fund.

Robin Milford

***URGENT*** – WW1 Centenary Commemoration performances up to and including those rung on 30th November 2018

WW1 Centenary Commemoration performances up to and including those rung on 30th November 2018

1259 individual performances harvested to date!

Please:

– submit your performance details, including footnotes, to us urgently. This will give our team the best possible assistance in ensuring their inclusion in the printed volumes

– consider what was rung on Armistice 2018, including any references to Ringing Remembers ringers, those new and returning.

–  send the details direct to ww1bells@aol.com and

– remember to add them to the event on BellBoard, if appropriate, In which case, please include “Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild”.

We’d love to see every tower in our Guild recognised in the printed archives especially.

Performances post-30th November 2018 will be included in the digital archives.

Please be encouraged to ring more!

Thank you.

Viv Nobbs
WW1 Centenary Commemoration Team

Bells on Radio Solent this weekend!

This is the latest we have from Tim Daykin at BBC Radio Solent re: Bells this weekend…

Tim Daykin is broadcasting live from Royal Victoria Country Park Chapel.

Hopefully there will be a clip from the ringing of 1918 Plain Bob Triples at New Alresford recently reported here and a talk-up about the national ringing. This will most likely be towards the end of the programme.

Francis Mitchell has kindly supplied information to Tim re: the Chapel and its bells.

“Yes, I opened the Chapel and ran Tower Tours with volunteers from the Friends Group for over 4 years until the Chapel closed for the recent refurbishment.

The Chapel tower holds a clock chime of 3 bells (Whitechapel 1862) which were hung dead and sounded by clock hammers. The largest is the half ton hour bell which also has an internal clapper to which a rope was attached so it could be sounded as a service bell. I eventually persuaded Hants County Council to get a rope reattached so the bell could be “rung” on Tower Tours, as it is now.”
Tim’s show is broadcast from 6-9am on Sunday

 

Message to all our “Ringing Remembers” Ringers

To all our “Ringing Remembers” ringers, we wish you well for Sunday. Wear those badges with pride, you deserve to, for sure!

Armistice 2018 will be very meaningful for all of us ringers and we’re pleased and honoured to have you join us for this special Commemoration ringing tribute for the nation. Thank you all for your hard work and personal commitment that was necessary to reach the stage of being able to participate in Armistice  2018 ringing.

Most likely, you will have spoken to David Mattingley or me when you were first introduced to our Guild, or our conversations might have been by email. We look forward to meeting you all in person in a ringing room in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, best wishes once again for Sunday and please consider letting me know of your experiences of your WW1 Centenary Commemoration ringing on Sunday.

Thank you all and your tutors who have worked vey hard consistently to achieve amazing results.

Guild Public Relations Officer

The Call of Bells

For centuries the bells have called
through countless ringers’ hands
To come to worship, prayer and song
the people of these lands

The bells fell silent one by one
as ringers went to war
They’d heard the call to go to fight
the war to end all wars

Four years on the guns fell still
and most of them returned
Their families embraced them back
they went to join their bands

The broken bones that many had
would mend in time they hoped
But those whose limbs were lost in war
would never hold a rope

And men with shell-shock could not bear
to hear the bells again
The sound brought back the crash of shells
the cries of dying men

Now fourteen hundred ringers lie
beneath a distant sky
Though silent, still we hear their call
their spirits ring on high

They call to us to ring the bells
to learn the ancient art
So England evermore shall hear
the nations beating heart