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***UPDATED 4th JULY*** – Latest CCCBR Guidance on Coronavirus and Returning to Ringing

We had a further update from the Church of England Recovery Group last night that Public Health England (PHE) now wants to issue specific guidance about bell ringing but they will not be able to publish it until next week. They expect it to be based on what we have produced. Although the Church has published guidance, which we shared, they are understandably nervous about ringing this weekend in advance of PHE publication, especially if it gets into the press. 

We had a conference call with Brendan McCarthy and Mark Betson of the Recovery Group this morning and whilst they stressed that anything published is guidance not instruction, they would really appreciate us waiting to restart ringing until after the PHE guidance is published. Given this is a new relationship that could be very important to us, we do not want to rock this boat for the sake of a week and some disappointment.

In the meantime, we have accumulated all of the questions we have received from ringers on the current guidance into a set of FAQs which we have publish on the website. This will include such things as why the guidance is still 2m rather than 1m, and whether family members can ring on adjacent bells. That can be found here:

https://cccbr.org.uk/frequently-asked-questions-on-covid-19-guidance/

We are studying the Scottish, Welsh and Irish guidance but in all cases church opening appears to be on a slower timetable than the Church of England. 

Simon Linford
President, CCCBR

________________________________________________________________________

The Church of England, working with UK Government, has permitted bells to be rung in its churches from 4th July, accompanying the opening of cathedral and church buildings to the public. It is on the condition that ringing is in accordance with the guidance on these pages. The full announcement can be found here, and the reference to bells is on page 9. The Central Council will continue to pursue a similar situation for other jurisdictions in which there are bells. These pages give all current and previous guidance (to the extent it has not been superceded). We appreciate not all jurisdictions are the same, even within the United Kingdom.  The guidance on these pages was agreed following a meeting held between representatives of the Council and Mark Betson, convenor of the Church of England’s Recovery Group, and Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s Adviser for Medical Ethics, Health, and Social Care Policy. The set of Guidance Notes published has been endorsed by them and forms the basis for the resumption of ringing. The pace of returning to ringing will disappoint many bell ringers who are missing the activity that is so much part of our lives. The Church is also missing the contribution that bell ringers make and wants ringing to resume. The Church is however very sensitive to the safety of its volunteers and the relaxation of restrictions will not necessarily be as rapid as it is in certain other settings where other factors are under consideration. This is not a return to ringing all our bells as we were used to, or to do anything other than service ringing. It is the start of the road back to normality. Not all churches will be opening for services on 4th July. It is important to work with incumbents and church authorities for your own tower. Ringing remains at the express permission of the incumbent. Note that there is a specific requirement in the Church of England guidance document that ringers have read this guidance and undertaken the ringing risk assessment. We have also included in these guidance notes for checking bell installations prior to ringing. Please see our checklist below for some key areas that may need addressing. The Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops’ Council confirmed that for jobs that cannot safely be done by one person, two or three should enter the bell tower to undertake them, following social distancing guidance if they are not from the same household. This guidance will be reviewed at least monthly, or inline with any changes in the Church’s own guidance and policies. which can be found at the bottom of the page. For instance the effectiveness of wearing face masks is currently under review and may be recommended.

Guidance Notes

  1. What are we worried about? (PDF)
    Recommended background reading for all
  2. Making your tower as safe as possible (PDF)
    Suggested for Tower captains and steeplekeepers
  3. Checklist for recommencing ringing (PDF)
    Summary for steeplekeepers but see also detailed document from SMWG below
  1. Running safe ringing sessions (PDF)
    Guidance for Tower Captains and Ringing Masters
  2. Can I go ringing safely? (PDF)
    Considerations for individual ringers
  3. How bell ringers are assessing risk (PDF)
    To be given to incumbents to explain how we are making our ringing safe

Click here to download the complete set of guidance documents as a single PDF.

These documents are intended to be succinct and easily readable. They do not contain all the detail that could be put in them but instead focus on the key issues. A more detailed group of documents has been produced by the Stewardship & Management Workgroup and can be downloaded here.

  1. Ringing risk assessment post Covid 15 June 2020
  2. Tower and bells risk assessment after non use 15 June 2020
  3. Tower Safety and Risk Assessment 15 June 2020
  4. Risk assessment template (based on HSE)

Additional Information

A detailed analysis from Dr Philip Barnes and Dr Andrew Kelso is available to download.

This document seeks to provide information and advice for ringers and those responsible for bell towers regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and what issues ringers and church authorities should consider in responding to changes in Government guidance as we start to ease the current lockdown. It is focused on the situation in the Church of England, which is responsible for the vast majority of churches with bells hung for ringing. While the specific advice from leaders of other churches and in other countries may vary, the basic issues for ringers and ringing are the same wherever we ring.

Message from the Guild Master on the Latest CCCBR Guidance

Dear Friends,

I am sure you have been keenly following the latest CCCBR guidance about returning to ringing and how they have been working with the CofE on establishing safe working practices to do so.

The CofE have now released their latest update here.

This generally approves limited return to ringing from the 4th July SUBJECT TO APPROVAL FROM YOUR LOCAL INCUMBENT, following a risk assessment, and in line with the detailed guidance available on the Central Council’s website. In essence, any approved ringing has to be in sessions of a maximum of 15 minutes, only once in 72 hours, and by bands of ringers who stay on the same bells, two metres apart”.

Links to the C of E and CCCBR statements can also be found on the Guild website

You should read carefully the guidelines and advice from both the CofE and the CCGBR and stay within the guidelines for the safety of yourself and those in your band.

After 100 plus days of lockdown I feel that this gives us a hopeful glimpse of a way forward, however the 2 metre distancing is still a significant limitation even in the largest of towers. It is probably worth however, starting discussions with your incumbent to at least set the wheels in motion for a return to ringing hopefully in the not too distant future.

We hope that most towers should not have any problems undertaking the belfry risk assessment, however if you are unable to carry this out, please contact Martin Barnes (Belfry Stewardship Committee), who will coordinate with someone local to support you.

With best wishes to you all.

Pete Jordan

Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers

CCCBR Guidance on Returning to Service Ringing

The scene is set for a cautious return to ringing. It won’t be all the bells, it won’t be all the ringers, but it will be enough for ringing to be part of the resumption of church services and remind people which day is Sunday.

Returning to ringing is a subject dear to all our hearts. Simulators, Ringing Room and Zoom meetings are just not the same although we should applaud all those initiatives. On 12th June bellringing appeared in a list of activities which cannot take place in churches. That made us determined to find out who was advising government so that we could make our case. All the hard work being done on guidance and risk assessments is useless if the keys to the ringing room door have been taken away.

I am pleased to say we have now made a lot of progress. The people with the metaphorical keys to our ringing room doors are Mark Betson, convenor of the Church of England’s Recovery Group, and Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s Adviser for Medical Ethics, Health, and Social Care Policy. On Monday this week, Mark Regan, Phil Barnes and I had a Zoom call with them to position ringing in the church recovery plan. Note this is Church of England only initially. We intend to have similar discussions in Wales and Scotland and provide what support we can to those in other countries. Hopefully some of this guidance is useful anyway and can be adapted to local circumstances.

Our goal for the meeting was just to establish the Council as the trusted advisor to the CofE team and hence government on bell ringing. We had sent them our suite of six guidance notes, which have now been published on the Central Council website which they were very happy to approve.

Having not really considered bell ringing specifically before, they are 100% committed to making ringing part of the return of church activities. In the first instance though it must be just that. Our return will be about Sunday ringing as part of the church’s mission, not practice or self-indulgence, though they understood our longer-term desire and need to resume that as well. Mark Betson said it would be really good to get ringing going again, reminding everyone which day is Sunday, and letting the bells proclaim that the church is open. He wanted “a package of good news” to be launched together.

Brendan McCarthy was particularly cautious of any misinterpretation of the drop in the UK Government’s social distancing rule from 2m to 1m. He cited all the guidance coming to him that 2m was not sacrosanct, but that going from 2m to 1m represents a 10 fold increase in risk, and that he would remain cautious saying “Our first job is not to kill anyone.” Our return to ringing will therefore be cautious, socially distanced ringing, for a very limited period of 15 minutes, and only for services.

Mark and Brendan had meetings with Public Health England and UK Government that afternoon and this week. They promised to include ringing in the plans and coordinate with us. We advised that we would need a couple of weeks to get restarted, allowing for maintenance inspections, and they would clear such access with the Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings. They were happy to link our Guidance Notes from the main Churchcare website where their primary Coronavirus guidance sits.

Ringing three or four bells for 15 minutes for a service is not what keeps most of us ringing. The novelty is going to wear off quite soon. It could be a long time before peals or even quarters are possible, and we won’t be able to do any teaching. However it is an essential part of the strategy for us getting ringing going again that the church values our contribution, and we have managed to get them to include us in their plans and see ringing as a positive that we want it to be. If we do not get bells ringing for Sunday service in this first phase of resumption then it will slow down later phases of opening up. It will reinforce the impression of us that some in the church have. 

We don’t know exactly which day this will be from yet, although some Dioceses have said they expect to have services after 4th July. We received specific confirmation that access to towers to check bell installations ready for ringing was approved, provided it is done safely by more than one person, socially distanced.

We therefore need to try and find ways of making this positive. Perhaps it is the opportunity to get ringing going in all those churches which rarely have their bells rung at all. It could be the start of something for those churches.

Finally I would like to thank all my colleagues on the Central Council Executive and Workgroups (SMWG in particular) who have worked very hard in the last couple of weeks (and Giles Blundell for a dose of inspiration).

The full guidance can be found here https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/

Simon Linford
President, CCCBR

Published 25th June 2020

President’s Blog #12

Three months after most of us last rang tower bells there is a glimmer of hope. Bell ringing resumption, in a very limited way, is on the Church’s agenda alongside choirs and organs. Well done to Mark Regan for finding who it was in the Church of England who is advising government, and setting up a meeting with them yesterday morning. A separate report of this meeting will be published shortly, when the accompanying guidance notes have been checked by the Church (just in case they changed their mind today!)

Ringing for Grenfell highlighted how low down the pecking order of consultees ringers are when anything to do with ringing is considered. The Diocese of London announced that bells would ring for Grenfell on the same day that the Government published its guidance on opening churches confirmed that bellringing is still not a permitted activity. This is one of the reasons we are trying to raise the profile of ringing. We are firmly on the radar now and await developments.

The first of my three favourite ringing days of the year didn’t happen in fine style. I certainly benefitted from having at least 10 fewer pints. Matthew Tosh and his team’s wonderful “Not The Twelve Bell Live” helped compensate some of the 1,000 or so ringers who might otherwise have headed to Sheffield for the 12 Bell Final.

Virtual ringing continues to entertain and amuse. I laughed out loud at a comment in the Take-Hold Lounge when someone said they had an enquiry from someone who wanted to learn to ring and they were asked what timezone they were in! That must be the first time that has ever happened!

The custodian of the Lair of the Snow Tiger, Mark Davies (aka Embee Dee) put together a Zoom quarter peal of Stedman Triples with ringers in eight different countries. Is there no limit to how far boundaries can be pushed? “We choose to ring Stedman Triples in Ringing Room not because it is easy but because it is hard.”

Don Morrison has provided a US server for Graham John’s Handbell Stadium. How long before the rather disconcerting “Men in Black” avatars are replaced by people of your choice? Or maybe toy characters! I would so like to ring handbells with a band of muppets.

There is a question of whether any of these ringing tools that have emerged in lockdown will survive and become ongoing support for ringers. Richard Johnston has founded ‘The Dumbbell Society’ and is organising practices for people with dumbbells linked together via Abel and a dose of magic. They have already managed to ring Bob Doubles on distributed simulators, and this is potentially very interesting.

The Council’s Strategic Priorities have now been published on the website, having been serialised in The Ringing World. These were developed at the start of the year and are guiding Council Workgroup activities. They can be found here

Julia Cater’s working party looking at gender imbalance in ringing is well into the data gathering and research phase. Her team of seven will be publishing a website shortly and via that will be asking people with stories to tell to get in touch.

Bryn Reinstadler has kindly agreed to develop a new multi media publication on learning to call and conduct. She is going to focus particularly on making sure it doesn’t matter where in the circle you call from, to try and get us away from feeling that you have to ring a back bell to conduct.

I am delighted that we are continuing to get new people to work on the Council’s initiatives. The latest recruit is Paul Mounsey, who has agreed to represent the College Youths in the Council’s initiative that no ringer should meet a barrier to their own progression (Strategic Priority 2). The officers of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths have also agreed to support this in principle.

By the time you read this in The Ringing World a new leader of the Historical & Archive Workgroup will be in place, taking over the reins from Doug Hird. Historical & Archive covers a range of activities from the Library to the Carter Ringing Machine. Next month, workgroup member Gareth Davies will be doing a star turn on the Churches Conservation Trust webinar series – his lecture ‘The Ringing Isle’ is on 16th July.

Would your project benefit from £1,000? Ecclesiastical Insurance runs regular awards programmes under which they give £1,000 to whichever causes have received the most nominations. A bit like choosing your favourite charity at a supermarket checkout. Does anyone else always just put it in the tub with the least tokens to even it up? (When I first went to ringers’ teas I used to have pieces of the least popular cakes because I didn’t want anyone to think their cake was unpopular. Does anyone else do that?) The Central Council managed to win one in 2017 and the Peterborough DG has also benefited. It just needs some coordination. Rather than apply again, we thought it would be better to bring it to others’ attention and see if anyone can suggest a project we can all support.

David Smith and Tim Hine in the V&L group have recruited Nich Wilson to lead on Ringing Centre strategy co-ordinating with ART which has its network of ART Hubs. Nich emailed us out of the blue a couple of months ago and said he was interested in getting involved so it’s great to find him a project.

Ringing Around Devon, the quarterly newsletter of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers, was circulated and had an astonishing 18 pages of tightly pack material. And that’s in a period of no ringing! Maybe we should circulate more lockdown newsletters and share more experiences. I remember a long time ago there was a competition for the best newsletter. Tony Kench submitted the College Youths Newsletter, which was produced by him with great pride, only for it to be discounted on the grounds of being “too professional”. A great injustice at the time!

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell ringers – Lockdown Newsletter – June 2020

Ringing in Lockdown

This is the first of an occasional series of newsletters being sent out to inform members about what is happening with ringing during the easing of Lockdown and to help prepare for the resumption of regular ringing.

It is being sent to all tower correspondents and Guild and District Officers whose e-mail address is published in the Guild Annual Report, and those on our database. It is important that we reach as many members of our Guild as possible, so please do forward this e-mail on to the other members of your band.

Guild Membership Database

The Guild is developing an electronic membership database, so that we can comply with data protection regulations, as personal data such as members names is published in the Annual Report. We also wish to improve communications with our members, which is important, especially in the current circumstances. We now have an electronic sign up form. Please do give us your consent to hold your personal data by completing the following on-line form, and encourage members of your band to sign up as well.

Message from the Guild Master

The first couple of weeks after lockdown came to me as a bit of a shock, as I am sure it did to you. The impact of having to stay at home was somewhat restrictive but understandably tolerable. Being unable to ring, particularly on a Sunday was however a complete shock to the system having been part of the landscape of my life for the past 40 years. The realisation that I was not the only one impacted and the possible effects on everyone in the Guild hit me very soon after. What would you all do without your weekly ‘fix’ of ringing….

Now, 12 weeks or so into lockdown things seem a little brighter with the ringing community making great efforts to keep in touch with each other using social media, virtual tower pub nights and online practices. Talking to the district Chairs over the last couple of weeks there seems to be pockets of such activity in most parts of the Guild, but by no means everywhere. If you have not already done so and you feel able please reach out to your neighbouring towers to check that they are ok and to support them with our new virtual world if they need it.

With best wishes to you all.

Pete Jordan

Youth ringing

The Ringing World National Youth Competition was due to take place in York on 4th July.  There were due to be three teams from the Guild participating, the W&P Youths from the mainland, Vectis Youths from the Isle of Wight and Channel Island Pirates.  The youth bands are naturally disappointed that this fantastic event has had to be postponed, but hopefully these bands will be able to participate in next year’s event.

Youth ringing practices on the mainland will start again when possible.  Practices are generally on the first Sunday of the month, are open to all ringers aged 18 and under (the youngest regular attendee is now 6), and cater for all abilities from rounds up to Surprise Major / Stedman Caters.  Look out for details of practices on the Guild Facebook site and website, or contact Andy Ingram for more information.

When will ringing be able to resume?

Socially distanced handbell ringing is now permissible outdoors, and tower bell ringing has been able to resume in the Channel Islands. However on the mainland, whilst churches will be permitted to hold Sunday services again after 4th July, this limited to a maximum of 30 participants and is subject to ‘social distancing’ measures remaining in place. 

Even though it has been reduced to ‘one metre plus’, social distancing in belfries is extremely difficult, and there are a number of detailed considerations to be thought through as part of the risk assessment which parishes are required to undertake beforehand. Mitigation measures will be required Therefore, even when ringing resumes, it may need to be limited to short durations and with just a small group of people. Ringing as we knew it, and especially teaching new ringers, which requires close contact, may still not be possible for a significant period of time.

We will update you in a future newsletter once things change significantly. In the mean time The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is working with the CofE and detailed guidance, which is regularly updated, can be downloaded from: https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/

Virtual pub visits, quizzes and webinars
During lockdown, to keep in touch some bands, such as those at Basingstoke, Hursley, Eling and Alresford are holding virtual pub visits, quizzes and even practices. Zoom is the most popular way of doing this. All that is needed is a computer connected to the internet with a microphone, camera and loudspeakers.
The software can be downloaded for free by each of the users and although it’s not the same as meeting people in person, it is a really good way of keeping in touch with each other.
There is also a growing list of training webinars which have been delivered on Zoom.
Virtual Practices
In addition to Zoom, some ringers have taken this a stage further, using internet gaming technology. Several applications have been developed, the most popular being www.ringingroom.com. Users can make a virtual bell to sound by pressing the ‘J’ key on their keyboard. Local bands have then been practicing ringing rounds, call-changes and even methods together. It takes a little getting used to a first, but it is a really good way of helping newer ringers to count their places, and understand ringing theory, as well as good fun.
Other applications include Handbell Stadium and Discord where it is also possible to use motion sensors and dummy handbells to practice double handed handbell ringing.

Training webinars

The Guild Education Committee is putting on a webinnar to help those who have not yet used Zoom or Ringing room to find out more. The webinar will last between about 45 minutes and one hour. There is a choice of three dates/times:

  • Wednesday 1st July  – 7.30pm
  • Saturday 4th July – 10.00am
  • Sunday 5th July – 6.00pm

Places on each webinar need to be limited, so please use the booking form below and we will send you login details before your selected date/time.

Please also use the form to tell us what future webinars you would like us to put on. This could be theory of call changes, listening skills, how to learn a particular method, bob calling and conducting, steeple-keeping; introduction to handbell ringing, etc.

We would also like to hear from people who have specialist skills or spare time to help the Guild and its members. You may have some IT skills or communication skills that could help individual towers update their websites and prepare for the resumption of regular ringing, or you might be able to help with delivering on-line training webinars. There is much which could be done. Book your place here.

Lockdown resources

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and Association of Ringing Teachers have put together a selection of links to ringing related videos, blogs, quizzes, podcasts and training webinars which will be of interest to members of your band. There’s a lot of material and it’s well worth a look! http://ringingteachers.org/resources/COVID19-ringing-support

Guild Annual General Meeting

The Guild AGM has been re-arranged for Saturday 26th September. Further details will be published in the next edition of this newsletter.

Solo ringing during the Coronavirus lockdown

Message originally posted on the CCCBR website

There have been several enquiries as to whether the ringing of a single bell or a set of Ellacombe chimes should be permitted as they are only rung by one person, especially for Easter Sunday.

It is clear from the UK government that we are being asked to stay at home to help halt the spread of coronavirus and that all unnecessary journeys should cease.  It is also clear from the Church of England that all churches are to remain closed for the time being:

Staying at home and demonstrating solidarity with the rest of the country at this testing time, is, we believe, the right way of helping and ministering to our nation. Therefore, for a season, the centre for the liturgical life of the church must be the home, not the church building.”
(Letter from Archbishops and Diocesan Bishops of the Church of England to all clergy in the Church of England 27 March 2020).

We did seek explicit guidance on this point from Lambeth Palace and were referred back to this guidance, and that churches are closed as part of wider legal restrictions.”  The Central Council Executive does not think this needs to be made any clearer.

STOP PRESS!! – Guild Exec meeting on Sat 14th March postponed

Message from the Guild Master

Dear Friends

After further consideration and reviewing the content of the agenda, the Principle officers and I have decided to postpone the EC meeting on Saturday until a future date. The covid-19 risk is probably low but there is still a risk and your safety is paramount.

The only time critical item on the agenda is the approval of the reports for the handbook. These have been distributed to you by email with the EC papers and we would ask that you review them and if you have any comments / questions that you email Adrian by midnight on Monday 16th March. If we don’t hear from you by that time we will assume that you are ‘in favour’ of acceptance of the reports.
The reports are proposed by Pete Jordan and seconded By Adrian Nash.

Any other business on the agenda can be deferred to the next meeting or covered outside the meeting.

I will discuss with those who have information agenda items if they would like Adrian to send information to you by email or defer to the postponed meeting date. At this time I am unable to confirm when this will be however.

I know that this is not an ideal situation but I am sure you will understand in light of the current pandemic.

With Best Regards

Pete Jordan
Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Winchester District Training Evening – Friday 15th November – Raising and Lowering in Peal

PLEASE NOTE: This has been rearranged from Friday 1st November.
Dear All,
We’ve found a gap in the schedule enabling us to offer a training evening on Friday 15th November, on Raising and Lowering in Pea, at Sparsholt.
Please let Jenny Watson know, on 01962 808167 or email, as early as you can, whether to learn or to help.
Best wishes
Bruce
Winchester District Secretary

20191115 - WIN Training Evening - Sparsholt

Firsts Fortnight is here!

Hello Everyone.

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!

Thanks

Pete Jordan
Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

FirstsFortnight2

CANCELLED: C&S District Annual Trip Saturday 21st September 2019 to Axe Valley CANCELLED

THIS OUTING HAS SADLY HAD TO BE CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF CONFIRMED NUMBERS (FEWER THAN 8), MAKING THE DAY FINANCIALLY NOT VIABLE.

I would appreciate feedback – you can contact me via the link further down, below.

Best wishes,

Peter

 

Dear District!

Following the poster that went out to tower contacts last week, here are all of the finalised details I have been busy working on.  If all goes to plan, looks to be a great trip, in an Area of Natural Beauty.  Historical towers for ringers, bygone trams and cream teas along the coast for those that join us that do not ring.

Please let me know names and numbers as soon as you can, plus your lunch choices.  There is a downloadable pdf pack below, so you can print of all, or the pages you need. Also screen grabs of the pdf for instantaneous ease of viewing if you’re going paperless!

I hope to see many of you there! All are welcome.

Peter

Click here to contact Peter Murdock-Saint

CLICKHEREtoDownloadWPBellsDistrictAnnualTrip2019pdf

September District Practice, Meeting and Hinton Trophy Striking Competition 07.09.2019 Fawley.

Dear all,

Here are the details of the next meeting. Apologies for the delay as we were trying to organise skittles for after the meeting, however that has proven too hard this year, watch this space for next year.

Everyone welcome to come along even if you are not taking part in the striking contest. If there are any teams for the striking contest, please let Colin Butler know.

A general poster for the Outing at the end of the month will be sent out after this e-mail. Please encourage all your members to come along. Full details will be released at the meeting.

Look forward to seeing you next week.

Sallie

Contact Sallie Ingram

Contact Colin Butler

PDFs below of Meeting and Hinton Trophy information:

September Practice and Hinton Trophy

September 2019 Agenda

ADM 2019 Minutes

 

Guild Education – Listening Skills – Sat 12th October – 9.30 – 5.30 at Lockerley

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.

Christine Knights-Whittome

For: The Guild Education Committee

 

Downloads:

ApplicationForm – Listening Skills 12.10.19 Word Version

Application Form – Listening Skills 12.10.19 – PDF version

Poster – Listening Skills – 12.10.19 – Word version

Poster – Listening Skills – 12.10.19 – PDF version

 

 

Charmborough Ring will be at the Romsey Show – Sat 14th September – PR and recruitment opportunity!

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:

https://forms.gle/HGJYLpuG8mPewX1n9


Original article:

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

Romsey Show banner

 

Guild Education – Raising and Lowering in Peal – Bishopstoke – Sat 14th Sept. 9.30am – 12.00 noon

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.

Attached is the poster giving all the details, together with the application form (both Word and pdf versions) – have a look and talk to your friends

As always – any queries, let me know.

Christine Knights-Whittome

On behalf of:  The Guild Education Committee

Link to poster to download to display in your tower please.

200 Club Summer Draw Results

The Summer draw of the 200 Club took place this afternoon at Freshwater immediately after the Guild AGM. A total of £89 had accumulated since the last draw in March, giving £43 to go to the Training & Development Fund and £46 to be split for prizes. These were drawn as follows:

Prize Prize Accumulation £46.00 Winning Numbers Winners
First 50% £23.00 18 Tony Smith
Second 20% £9.20 6 Pete Jordan
Third 10% £4.60 11 David M. Hughes
Fourth 10% £4.60 9 Margaret Winterbourne
Fifth 5% £2.30 25 Nikki Brown
Sixth 5% £2.30 34 Margaret Downer

The next draw will take place on Saturday 16th November 2019 at the Guild Executive Committee meeting in Southampton. Money received between now and the meeting will go into that draw. 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‘.

Robin Milford

2019 Guild Sweatshirts and Polo Shirts

A huge thank-you to everybody who bought new sweatshirts and polo shirts bearing the Guild logo earlier this year; in all, there were nearly 70 items and, even keeping to 2016 prices, this resulted in an unexpected surplus going into Guild funds.

What a wonderful advertisement this is for our Guild, and nowhere was this more apparent than at Winchester Cathedral on 19th May. With those attending the WW1 Evensong, and those who helped outside all day on the Charmborough Ring, it was fantastic to see so many Guild logos as well as District and individual Tower logos on display, proclaiming our pride in our art.

One of our Guild ringers inadvertently ordered himself a Guild sweatshirt instead of the polo shirt he really wanted. Does anybody have a new polo shirt, XL, preferably Royal Blue, which they would be prepared to swap for a sweatshirt, XL, also Royal Blue? Or do you have one which, having ordered it, you now find you don’t need? If so, please get in touch with me.

Contact Christine Knights-Whittome

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