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Practice Night Report – St. John’s Bournemouth Tuesday 13th October – Monthly 8 bell practice

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

The ringing chamber at St. John's BournemouthThe plan on Tuesday at St. John’s was to ring plain courses and touches of Little Bob Major. It was a very productive evening with people working on their trebling (to 4ths place and back, so different from the “average” plain method” and ringing inside (lots of treble bobbing, so not only does it sound nice, but it’s a very useful stepping stone towards Surprise Major).

A simple touch that Angie had brought with her, proved to be the most successful as it left the back bells unscrambled and was not too challenging for the rest of the band! The success of the evening has inspired the local band to pursue the method, aiming towards spliced Plain and Little Bob Major. For that reason, forthcoming special practices are planned to be:

  • 10th November – Touches of Plain Bob Major
  • 8th December – Plain and Little Bob Major Spliced

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CCCBR provides Health and Safety Policy for Associations

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

Dear Secretary.

The Tower Stewardship Committee of the CCCBR have been asked if we can produce a health and safety policy for use by societies/associations/guilds of change ringers.

We have now produced such a document, which is now available on our website.  I also attach a pdf copy

This is a generic document, that can be modified and used by societies/associations/guilds.

This document is prepared by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Tower Stewardship Committee for the guidance of
Society/Association/Guilds of Change Ringers when drawing up a Health and Safety Policy to cover activities of the Association.

In all cases the policy should take account of the actual activities, facts and circumstances of the Society/Association/Guild in question.

It is up to individual Societies/Associations/Guilds as to whether such a policy is implemented or not,
but the Tower Stewardship Committee would recommend such a policy is put into place.

If you…

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District Quarter Peal Scored

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

District QP oct 13 2015 iconThe first of the District Quarter Peals took place at Brockenhurst last night. The original vision, of providing members of the District with additional opportunities to ring good quarters, was realised, as the band rang a fluent, well struck quarter peal. The fact that almost all volunteered to ring in the next one is proof they enjoyed it!

If you want to join the list of ringers and be included in future events please contact Rosalind.

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C&S District 12 bell practice – 10th October 2015 at Christchurch Priory

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

Christchurch Priory 12 bell practice 2015 iconThe District 12 bell practice at Christchurch Priory on Saturday 10th of October will feature Grandsire Caters and Cinques as the special method. As always ringing will include Rounds and Call Changes (this time on up to 12 bells) with plenty of support from people to stand behind you when you need it, plus other methods by request.

Do listen to this video to inspire you – Grandsire Cinques is a glorious, tuneful method and absolutely worth the effort to learn.

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WP Surprise Royal Practice – Southampton 2pm Sunday 18th October

Click for poster

Daniel Graham writes:

The first (new) guild surprise Royal practice will take place on Sunday 18th October from 2pm – 3:30pm at St Michael’s Southampton.

Focus methods for this first practice will be Cambridge and London No3 Surprise Royal, with other methods from the standard 8 as required.

Look forward to seeing lots of you then!

Guild Education Day, Listening Skills, 14 November at Lockerley

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

listening skills poster icon 2015Saturday November 14th 9.30 am to 5.30 pm in the Lockerley area .

This course is for ALL levels of experience, including beginners.

Cost £13 Including a hot lunch.

Applications by post or by email with online payment by Wedenesday 28th October..

Poster (pdf)   Poster (doc)   Application Form (doc)   Application Form (rich text)

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Double Court and/or Double Oxford – Friday October 23rd 7pm – 9pm at Bishopstoke.

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

Double Court MinorFriday October 23rd 7pm – 9pm at Bishopstoke.

Double Court and/or Double Oxford.

Applicants must be able to ring touches of Plain Bob Minor, and should look up their method/methods in advance.

Cost £4

Applications by post or by email with online payment by Monday 12th October..

Poster (pdf)   Poster (doc)   Application Form (doc)   Application Form (rich text)

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High Level Resignation from Central Council

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

Elva AinsworthElva Ainsworth today posted on Facebook:

Have just resigned from my position as Additional Member of the Central Council to support the “Future of Change Ringing” project as have come to the conclusion that the Associations/Council desire and ability to modernise do not match mine sufficiently to justify continuing. I love ringing and what it provides and think I can make more difference from outside the Council than from within the current structure but I would like to sincerely thank those who have allowed me to contribute to this conversation – it has been an absolute privilege to work with ringers across the exercise who are supremely committed and extraordinary in so many (good) ways.Thank you and best wishes Elva Ainsworth

Those of us who heard  Elva speak at our Winchester “Change Ringing for the Future” Event will remember  that she was working within the Central Council, on the committee which is…

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A brief History of the bells at Brighstone by Steve Noyes

Brighstone Logo_smallIn 1740 the Brighstone bells were recast, rehung and augmented to five. The work was done by Joshua Kipling of Portsmouth, known as a good producer of moulds but a poor designer of bells. A brass gun which was housed in a ‘gun house’, at one time next to the north side of the tower, is believed to have been incorporated into the bell metal at this time. The original treble (the present second) became cracked in 1780 and was recast by Thomas Mears in 1800. The bells were again rehung by Mears and the second bell (present third) was recast in 1877; the inscription “SUCCESS TO THE GREAT ADMIRAL VERNON” and the impressions of the Vernon medal are thought to have been lost from the bell during this casting. In 1961 the present bells were recast and rehung and a new treble was added, being the gift of Frank Cheverton in memory of his wife.

 3-2-6  G
3-3-17  F
 4-1-27  D#
 4-2-27  D
 5-3-5  C
 7-1-15  A#

Guild Mid Monthly Meeting Sept 16th 2015

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Mid Monthly Meeting

Wednesday September 16th 2015

11.00 – 12.00 Stratford sub Castle, Wilts, S Lawrence, 6, 5-3-6 in C,
SU130326, SP1 3LL

Lunch “The Black Horse”, Black Horse Lane, Hurdcott, Salisbury, SP4 6HW


14.00 – 15.00 Winterbourne Earls, Wilts, S Michael & All Angels, 5, 6-2-6 in
A, SU174344, SP4 6EZ

15.15 – 16.00 Nether Wallop, Hants, S Andrew (GF), 6, 14cwt in F, SU303364,
SO20 8EY

Please display the attached poster in your tower.

Organised by Mike Winterbourne

All are welcome whether beginner or expert.

There is, as yet, no organiser for the October meeting. If you think you
might be prepared to take this on please contact – David Forder
023 8087 2399

Kind regards

Winchester QDM Minutes Aug 2015

Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 8th August 2015 in the yard of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Micheldever.

 1. Chairman’s welcome

In the absence of the Chairman, Bruce Purvis (Secretary) opened the meeting at 1.00 p.m. with a welcome to those present and with thanks to Mary Tiles and local helpers for providing teas, coffees, etc, to go with attendees’ picnic lunches, to the Vicar, the Revd Sue Forster and the Wardens for the use of the bells, also to Gerry Cornick for arranging the use of the bells at Wonston, and the Rector and Wardens.

2. Attendance

The following 13 members of the District signed the attendance register (representing nine towers with one member unattached): Pam and Richard Thompson (Hursley), Jonathan Smith (King’s Worthy), Mary Tiles (Micheldever), Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley and New Alresford), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Gawne-Cain, Bruce Purvis, (Winchester Cathedral), Gerry Cornick, Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston) and Joyce Croft, (unattached).

 3. Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Judy Bishop, John Croft, Gary Davies, Christine and Peter Hill, Rosemary Oakeshott, John and Bren Palk, Juliet Pattinson, Nicola Plummer, Tony Smith and Trish Spink

 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 9 May in the Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul, King’s Somborne, were accepted as a true record, following corrections to the number of faults and the equivalent peal speed of the Lockerley Team in the Striking Competition: proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Joyce Croft, passed on a show of

 5. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

6. Confirmation of belfry elections.

 Compounding members:

Timothy B Davis of Leek prior to a peal at Stroud on 4 May 2015 proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by John Colliss.

Probationary members:

Bevis Clarke Smith of Winchester Cathedral on 31 May 2015 proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Nick Bucknall.

Megan Bucknall of Winchester Cathedral on 31 May 2015 proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.

7. Election of new ringing members

Imogen Smith of King’s Worthy and David Frowd of Wonston, proposed by Jonathan Smith and seconded by Gerry Cornick, both elected on a show of hands.

8. Romsey Show

 By way of background, Bruce Purvis explained to the meeting that John Palk had approached the organizers of the Romsey Show to suggest that the District have a pitch at the show to demonstrate and explain ringing and, following a positive response had arranged for a pitch, to include Graham Wright’s Mini-Ring. To meet incidental costs, the following motion was put to the meeting: That the District officers be authorised to spend not more than £100 on incidental expenses associated with running a stall incorporating Graham Wright’s mini-ring at the Romsey Show on 12 September 2015″, to be proposed by Tony Smith (District Treasurer), seconded by Bruce Purvis (District Secretary. Bruce explained that the costs so far – for a map of the Diocese showing ringing towers, at £16 and 300 of the Central Council recruitment leaflet, at £9 plus postage – were running at about £30. The motion was put to the meeting and passed on a show of hands.

Suggestions from the floor that, on the day of the show, a record of people interested in learning, or resuming, ringing be taken, and relevant tower secretaries be forwarded the details.

9. Future Events

 The Secretary presented the programme of events for the rest of the year and as far as the annual district meeting at Romsey next February. There were two amendments to the list as presented: the training evening scheduled for 12 September was planned to take place at Sparsholt, and at the suggestion of the meeting would be put back to 19 September (so as not to coincide with the Romsey Show) subject to there being no serious clashes on the Guild calendar. The District practice in the New Year would be held at Crawley on 13 January. Andrew Glover, who had organised this year’s outing on 17 October in the New Forest area outlined the itinerary: Minstead (new ring of six), Brockenhurst, Lymington, Milford on Sea, Hordle and Ringwood (all eights, ranging from super-light to fairly heavy), and was thanked for his efforts.

Commenting on the Secretary’s report that the previous two training events (6 June, Surprise Major, Twyford and 11 July, Call Changes, Cheriton) had had to be cancelled for lack of support, Rodney Skinner suggested that a greater degree of proactivity in gathering support for the fixtures would pay dividends.

10. Any Other Business

Richard Thompson advised the meeting that there would be no Surprise Major Practice at Hursley on the following Tuesday, 11 August, because of holiday commitments.

Elizabeth Johnson advised the meeting that on Sunday 9 August, at the annual Mothers’ Union Commemoration Service at Old Alresford, a new window, honouring Mary Sumner, founder of the MU, would be dedicated by the Bishop of Basingstoke. She asked for anyone available to ring from 3.15 for the 4.00 service to contact Heather Galley.

Joyce Croft advised the meeting that the bells of St Michael, Stoke Charity – on the route of the afternoon’s walk – would be available for chiming.

No collection was taken for the Guild Bell Restoration Fund. The meeting closed at 1.27p.m.

Congratulations Graham Hounslow and Mike Martin – First Peals 5th June 2015

Rosalind Martin, Tim Martin, Colin Butler, Mike Martin, Simon Edwards (C), Graham Hounsleow
Rosalind Martin, Tim Martin, Colin Butler, Mike Martin, Simon Edwards (C), Graham Hounsleow

Graham (Fawley) and Mike (until recently also a Fawley ringer) both scored their first peal at the first attempt on Friday 5th June at Fawley. The target across the whole ringing community is for 300 First Pealers to be successful during 2015, to mark the 300th anniversary of the first recorded peal. Peals in C&S District have contributed 9 people towards this total so far, and anyone else wanting to ring a first peal is invited to contact Colin Butler,  District Ringing Master.

A video of some of the ringing has been posted on the District Facebook Group.

Many thanks once again to Simon Edwards who came down from Swindon to conduct the peal.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 09.00.26Congratulations are also in order for Daniel Scott (Sacred Heart) who scored his first quarter peal of Surprise Major the previous day, also conducted by Simon Edwards.

A Weekend of Firsts in The Christchurch and Southampton District (Feb 2015)

The last weekend of February saw a busy weekend of ringing at the Western end of the Christchurch and Southampton District including several important firsts.

quarter peal at Hinton Admiral
Simon, Tim, Rosalind, Dan, Graham

The weekend began with a pleasant quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles on the recently rehung five at Hinton Admiral on Friday evening. This was a first of Grandsire Doubles for Daniel Scott and only his third quarter peal. It also gave Tim Martin the chance to ring his second quarter at Hinton after his first ever quarter there 36 years ago.

firstpeal2015-band-at-the-priory Feb 2015
Simon, Tim, Rosalind, Dan, Graham

Saturday morning saw four of the same band heading to Christchurch Priory for a peal attempt. A well struck peal of Minor in three methods was achieved in 2h 53m. The band contained two first Pealers, Rosalind Martin and Daniel Scott at their first attempt and was also the first inside for Jack Pease and to mark his 16th Birthday. Apart from the conductor, Simon Edwards from Swindon, all the band were either members of the Priory band or regulars at the Priory practice night so a good local effort.

Simon, Tim, Rosalind, Dan, Graham

After a lengthy lunch break three of the band headed out into the New Forest to the recently augmented 6 at Minstead where a well struck quarter of Grandsire Minor contained three firsts of that method inside plus a first of minor.

Used by permission from the church

After service ringing on Sunday Morning at Christchurch Priory and Sacred Heart Bournemouth a quarter peal of Stedman Triples was rung on the fine Taylor octave at St Peter’s Bournemouth being the first of Stedman for Rosalind Martin.

priory sunset
Christchurch Priory

Finally, another quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles was scored back at the Priory for evensong to enable another of the local band, Aila Peacock to ring her first Grandsire inside.

Thanks must go to Simon Edwards for helping us by conducting most of the ringing and for converting that “must do it sometime” plan into a definite reality. The list of achievements is as follows:

First peal

  • Rosalind Martin – Christchurch Priory
  • Daniel Scott – Sacred Heart Bournemouth

First Peal inside.

  • Jack Pease – Hampreston

First Grandsire Doubles

  • Aila Peacock – Christchurch Priory
  • Daniel Scott- Sacred Heart Bournemouth

First Minor

  • Graham Hounslow – Fawley

First Grandsire Minor

  • Rosalind Martin
  • Oliver Chaloner – Southampton City
  • Polly Osborne – Minstead

First Stedman

  • Rosalind Martin

It was also the first time that the Middle six at the Priory have been rung to a peal.

Tim Martin

New release of Abelsim bellringing software for Windows

Chris Hughes, the developer of Abelsim, writes:

New Look Abelsim
New Look Abelsim

I have just released Abel 3.9.  For those who have already bought Abel, the update is available as a free download from  You must install the previous update (3.8.0a) before you can install 3.9.

The main improvement is a lot of extra feedback on your striking, both as you ring with the simulator and in the striking summary when you have finished ringing.  You can also save data on your striking in a file that can be read by the CAS striking analysis software used in the National 12-bell Striking Competition.

There are also some new facilities designed for those using Abel for teaching (or learning), for example Abel can now count your places for you (on up to 8 bells), and it includes a “learning exercises” method collection containing various exercises used on the Learning the Ropes scheme.

This does not include Mobel or Mabel, the Mac and iPad versions of Abel.

Minutes of ADM held 10.1.2015 at Hurstbourne Priors Village Hall Andover District



Founded 26 June 1879 as the Winchester Diocesan Guild



Andover District ADM 

Saturday 10th January 2015

Minutes of ADM held 10.1.2015 at Hurstbourne Priors Village Hall

Item 1. Welcome and Vote of Thanks

The Vice-Chair, Eve Lind-Smith, (acting as Chair) welcomed the Guild Vice Master, Christine Hill and her husband Peter.

She thanked the following people:

Rev. Craig Marshall for the use of St. Andrew’s Church and the Bells

Rev. Dodie Marsden, for taking the service

David Blake for playing the organ

Marilyn Smith for providing tea

The Chair requested those present to stand in memory of Scarlett Holbrook, ringer at Amport and ex-treasurer for the District who died in December and Brenda Monaghan, correspondent for Leckford.

Chris Caryer suggested a card or letter of condolence be sent from the District to Matthew Holbrook, Scarlett’s husband.  All were in agreement.

Action Point: Secretary to action.

Item 2. Apologies for Absence

Barbara Townsend Andover, Matthew Holbrook Amport, Sharon & Mike Morris, Sarah Bates, Tim Pink, Vanessa Martin, Ian & Geoff Downing, Bridgit Farren Kingsclere, Alex Pugh Abbotts Ann, Rosemary Lailey Burghclere, Joanne Waller St. Mary Bourne, John Young Longparish.

Item 3. Minutes of the previous ADM

The minutes of the previous ADM held on Sat. 11th January 2014 had been distributed by the secretary.

The minutes were accepted, by the meeting, as providing an accurate record. Proposed by Simon Lipscombe, seconded by Ros Brandwood and carried unanimously.

Item 4.Matters arising from the minutes

Item 4.  There being no incumbent the DAC was not prepared to continue discussions regarding the proposed gallery at St. Mary Bourne.  However, now a new incumbent is in place a meeting is to be held in the very near future.


Item 5. Reports

Chair’s Report for the year 2014

No report was available.

Secretary’s Report for the year 2014

The Secretary, Maggie Hiller, read out the report for 2014 (attached)

Following the Report, Chris Caryer stressed the disappointingly low attendance at some District practices.  The Ringing Master, Peter Niblett, asked that if anyone had any ideas which might increase attendance they would be welcomed.

The hospitality at SMB, in December was very much appreciated.

Treasurer’s Report for the year 2014

The Treasurer, Ros Brandwood, distributed the annual accounts and reported briefly on them.  The accounts were adopted by the meeting, the adoption being proposed by Gill Gardner and seconded by Helen Piper.

2015 subscriptions are now due. The Treasurer thanked those towers who had already paid. 

Carol Waller was thanked for independently examining the accounts.

Chris Caryer asked about the percentage of subscriptions paid on line.  The exact number was not known but the Treasurer confirmed that although it was small, it was increasing.

Ringing Master’s Report for the year 2014

The Ringing Master, Peter Niblett, delivered a verbal report.

The highlights of 2014 had been, firstly a peal rung at Burghclere by a local band and conducted by Simon Lipscombe.  The band consisting of no fewer than three first-pealers!

Next, the District outing to Somerset, which involved heavier bells than most of our ringers are used to.  The now inevitable mini-ring was fun, with several laudable performances.  The lunch, excellent.

St. Mary Bourne’s second place in the 6/8 bell striking competition was to be congratulated.  SMB was the only tower in the District to enter a striking competition in 2014 so all were encouraged to consider having a go in the coming year – especially younger ringers.  All members were encouraged to attend 10-bell  practices.

A seminar entitled ‘Future of Ringing’, held in Winchester, in March, provided much food for thought.

Finally, towers were encouraged to continue to support each other and to work together.   

Guild Executive Report

The Secretary outlined minutes of last November 2014 Executive meeting (attached).

Following this Chris Caryer asked why there had been so little consultation over the Guild dinner.

The Guild Vice-Master, Christine Hill, explained that too few people had committed prior to the dinner to warrant paying the large, non-returnable deposit.

There have been other problems which have prevented social committee members from carrying out their duties.  The committee requires new members to come forward and organise events.

(At this point (6.25pm) Philip Chalk, Hurstbourne Priors tower secretary, joined the meeting, warmly welcomed by the Vice-Chair, Eve Lind-Smith.)

Item 6. Election of New Members

Kevin Rogers and Lin Rogers of Kintbury (Oxford Diocese) were voted in as Compounding members prior to a peal rung at Burghclere on 2nd August 2014.

Proposed: John Simpson, Seconded: Helen Piper.

7. Venues and Events 2015

District Practice venues for April, July and October were identified.

Simon Lipscombe, Vice-Ringing Master, again kindly volunteered to organise a District outing.  An email will be sent out to gather people’s preferences.  Feedback will be much appreciated.

Striking competition and Education event dates were identified. 

An updated calendar of events for the Andover District is attached.  Dates and venues have been included where known.  Those missing will be sent out by email when confirmed

or consult the Guild website for further details

8. District transfer request from Houghton tower.

In September, an email was received from Bob Gosse, a ringer at Broughton tower.

It outlined plans to install a new ring or of 6 at nearby Houghton.  Members of the parish are keen to get the bells ringing in the village and a band is being trained for that purpose at Broughton.  A quote for the work has been accepted and a Faculty obtained.

Assuming all goes well, Houghton would wish to change Districts from Andover to Winchester as the other towers in their Benefice, Broughton and Mottisfont, are Winchester District towers.

Would the members present please indicate whether they are in favour.

Proposed by Simon Lipscombe, seconded by Brian Oakes and carried by a  majority.

Ken Waller pointed out that the Andover District had already lost Broughton and Barton Stacey and wondered if Chilbolton might also follow suite.  Benefice and Deanery changes have complicated the situation.

The Secretary asked members, through the Chair, whether this might be brought to the attention of the Guild Executive at their next meeting.  The majority were in agreement.

Action Point: District Secretary to contact Mo Routh, Hon. Secretary of the Guild.

9. Guild Officer’s Report

Christine Hill, Vice Master of the Guild, addressed the meeting.

Viv Nobbs Guild Master sent her apologies and best wishes.

Young Ringers

The Guild currently has no further information on the initiative mentioned in the District Secretary’s report regarding events aimed at involving young ringers; to be organised by Dan Graham at Southampton University.

A question was asked – what is the definition of a ‘young ringer’?

Christine replied that this was under consideration and that there may be various groups, considering the differences between 10 year olds and young university students.

2015 Guild AGM

To be held in Portsmouth.  The Exec. Is considering a change in format to make the day more cohesive.  This might include an organised lunch between the striking competition and the meeting itself.

The Ringing World 2016 Calendar

The W&P Guild is featured in this edition.  Wherwell tower, of the Andover District is featured.  Something to think about nearer Christmas.

2016 Meeting of Central Church Council of Bell Ringers

The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild is to host the Annual Meeting of the Central Church Council of Bell Ringers in 2016 (Spring Bank Holiday) in Portsmouth   Lots of help will be required so if you would like to volunteer look out for information on the website.

Guild Database

The Guild has no central record of members at present.  All records are held by District Treasurers.

At the ‘Future of Ringing’ conference, held earlier this year in Winchester a speaker from Sussex reported on their experiences when setting up their database.  There are people available and willing to advise the W&P working party which is currently researching what might be put in place.  The working party is to report back at the next Guild Executive meeting in March.

10. AOB

a) Officer elections

Due to an oversight, nomination papers were not sent out to members in time.  A decision needs to be made as to what action to take.  Two options have been put forward:

Elections be held over until the 2016 AGM when it will also be considered whether the District might move to annual elections, rather than 3-yearly as they are now, to bring it into line with other Districts.

An extraordinary meeting be called, to be held at the District practice in April to elect officers for a 3-year term.

Mike Hopkins Till pointed out that if the 3-yearly option (option 1.) was chosen it would need to be for a 2-year period (2016/17) initially and 3-yearly thereafter.

The chairman then suggested that at the next ADM on 9 January 2016 a vote would be taken on the following

     a)  To change to an annual election of offices

     b)  To continue with a three yearly election of officers

     c)  If the decision is to continue with the three year cycle then those elected in

          2016 stand for 2 years and the next election of officers to take place in

          2018 thereafter elections would return to the three year cycle

Option 1 was proposed by Helen Thomas, seconded by Gill Gardner.

Carried by a majority.

b) Scarlett Holbrook’s memorial service is to be held at Amport on Saturday 17th January at 2pm.

Refreshments will be served at the Hawk Conservancy following the service

Donations to the Meningitis Society please.

Matthew requests that normal dress, rather than mourning, be observed.

c) For 2016 ADM, Gill Gardner proposed that as a change from the normal service, an Epiphany carol service be held, which would be open to members of the church congregation.

Carried by a majority.

d) Christine Knights-Whittome, Guild Education Officer reminded people that there were two events in the offing.

Fri. 27th February 7-9pm at Bishopstoke – St. Clement’s Minor.  Although billed as a seminar this would be a hands-on session with just a little theory.

Sat. 21st March 9.30-5pm at St. Mary Bourne – Plain Hunt on 5/Trebling to Doubles.

e) Quarter Peal Fortnight

Vice Ringing Master, Simon Lipscombe, reported to have been a little disappointed that only five QPs had been rung.  These were at Kingsclere, Burghclere, SMB, Bradfield College and 120 of call changes at Nether Wallop.

f)The Ecchinswell Project

The 6 bells required have now been obtained and are being held by Higby’s Bell Hangers. 

The request for a faculty is in progress.

£18,000 is required to get the work underway. Grant applications are being completed and sent out.

Anyone who would like to support the project by becoming a member of the Trust can contact the tower.

g) District Officers Forum – Gill Gardner asked if there had been any report back from this.

No one from the District was able to attend on the day as it coincided with the District ringing outing.  The 2015 meeting will be held on Saturday 3rd October.

Christine Hill said she would email the minutes through if no report could be found.

Action Point: Secretary to investigate.

h)Guild Social Events – reports of discussions regarding this will appear in the Guild newsletter.  Members should feel free to state their views to the Executive.

i)Ringing Anniversaries – Chris Caryer announced that this year sees the 300th  anniversary of the first recorded peal.

j)Following a question from the floor it was reported that Mike Winterbourne is recovering well.

Philip Chalk acknowledged that in the near future, he would be unable to continue as correspondent for Hurstbourne Priors.  He thanked Brian Oakes warmly, for his work at Hurstbourne Priors practices and with teaching their new ringers.

The acting Chair spoke for all members when she expressed her delight at seeing Philip at the meeting.

The next ADM

The next ADM will be on 9.1.2016 at Kingsclere, St. Mary

Meeting closed 7.10pm

The raffle was drawn.

Signed_____________________________ Date_________________

Guild Rules (as at July 2014)


  1. TITLE

    The Society shall be called ‘The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers’ (hereinafter called ‘The Guild’).


    To unite the Church Bell Ringers in the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth for mutual support consistent with:

    1. promoting in co-operation with incumbents an appreciation and observation of the tower as part of God’s House.
    2. the recognition of the position of ringers as church workers.
    3. encouragement of ringing for Divine Service, cultivation of change ringing and the preservation of the church bells in an efficient condition.

    The Guild shall consist of Patrons, Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Members. The following shall be appointed ex-officio:-Patrons: The Very Rev The Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev The Dean of Portsmouth; Presidents: The Right Rev The Lord Bishop of Winchester, The Right Rev The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth; Vice-Presidents: The Right Rev The Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, The Right Rev The Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke, The Very Rev The Dean of Guernsey, The Very Rev The Dean of Jersey, The Venerable the Archdeacons of Winchester, Portsdown, Bournemouth, The Meon and The Isle of Wight. The Diocesan areas shall be divided into Districts, each being self-administered.


    The Guild shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and shall observe its rules and decisions. Representatives thereto shall be elected for a triennial period in accordance with the constitution of the Council. The Guild may pay fares and reasonable out of pocket expenses for not more than three days to its representatives attending the meetings of the Council. Representatives shall make a report of the proceedings to the next Annual General Meeting of the Guild.


    The administration of the Guild shall be vested in an Executive Committee (of whom seven shall form a quorum) consisting of: the Master (Chairman), Vice-Master, immediate Past Master, Honorary General Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Recorder of Peals, Honorary Librarian and Archivist, Honorary Report Editor, Minute Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Child Protection Officer, Central Council Representatives, the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund, the Convenors of sub-committees, and District Representatives (who shall normally include the District Secretaries or their proxies) to be elected by the annual District meetings. Districts with more than 100 members (associate and ringing) may send one additional representative. The Executive Committee has the authority to co-opt members on to the committee for special purposes, delegate any of its duties to sub-committee(s) or co-opted members and fill any vacancies arising among officers until the next General Meeting qualified to elect officers. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once annually. Reasonable expenses of members attending meetings of the Executive Committee may be defrayed by the Guild.


    A General Meeting of the Guild shall be held annually in each of the following Districts in turn: District 1 Andover, District 2 Portsmouth, District 3 Winchester, District 4 Christchurch and Southampton, District 5 Basingstoke, District 6 Isle of Wight, District 7 Alton and Petersfield, District 8 Channel Islands, to receive reports, a statement of accounts and applications for grants, to fix the place and date of the next Annual General Meeting and to transact any other Guild business. Every third year to elect a Master, Vice-Master, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Recorder of Peals, Honorary Librarian and Archivist, Honorary Report Editor, Minute Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Child Protection Officer, Honorary Independent Examiner and Central Council Representatives. Officers elected shall remain members of the Administration (Rule 4) ex-officio for a period of three years when, with the exception of the Master and Vice-Master, they will remain eligible for re-election. The Master and Vice-Master will remain eligible for re-election unless they have previously been re-elected. The election of an officer(s) to fill a vacancy (Rule 4) must be confirmed at the next General Meeting of the Guild. A Special General Meeting may be called at any time upon a request to the Hon General Secretary, signed by either the Presidents, the Master or not less than twenty ringing members of the Guild. The Secretary shall give three weeks’ notice to the Guild of Special General Meetings, by posting to each local secretary, for display in the towers, particulars of the business.


    There shall be the following classes of membership of the Guild:

    1. Ringing membership shall be open to those ringers who normally reside within, or ring at towers within, the two diocese, and any ringer from outside the two diocese who wishes to be a full member of the Guild.
    2. Life membership shall be conferred upon those who have completed 50 years ringing or associate membership of the Guild. The Executive Committee may also recommend any individual for election to life membership at an Annual General Meeting of the Guild in recognition of their services to the Guild.
    3. Associate membership shall be open to non-ringers who wish to be associated with and support the objects and activities of the Guild.
    4. Compounding membership shall be open to those ringers who reside outside the two diocese and who do not normally ring at a tower within the diocese. Compounding members shall have no vote at meetings of the Guild and shall not propose or second a belfry election.
    5. Probationary membership shall be open to those learning to ring at a tower within the two diocese. Probationary members shall have no vote at meetings of the Guild, nor be eligible to hold any District or Guild office.
    1. All classes of member, with the exception of life members, may be elected at any District meeting.
    2. Life members may only be elected at a General Meeting of the Guild.
    3. Members may also be elected prior to a peal which is intended to be rung by the Guild, provided that at least half the band are already life and/or ringing and/or compounding members who have transferred from ringing membership, and subject to the peal being successful and the election being confirmed at the next meeting of the District in which the election took place. In the case of an election prior to a peal outside the Guild area, the election may be confirmed at the next meeting of any District.
    4. Probationary members may also be elected at any tower within the two diocese, by two or more Guild members other than probationary members, and subject to confirmation at the next meeting of the District in which the election took place. The
    5. Executive Committee shall have the power to veto any election, or to dismiss a member for misconduct; but the person concerned shall have the right of appeal to the next Annual General Meeting of the Guild. In the event of a dismissal, such members shall be debarred from further re-election for such period as the Executive Committee may determine, unless reinstated at the Annual General Meeting of the Guild.
    6. On election, new members (excluding probationary and compounding members) shall be supplied with a copy of the current annual report (if available) free of charge.
    1. Subscriptions fall due upon election and subsequently upon 1st January each year. A member who fails to pay his subscription for the current year by 30th June shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Guild.
    2. A proportion of each subscription shall be allocated to one or more ringing-related charities. The amount of the subscription and proportion allocated to each ringing-related charity 3for each class of membership shall be determined from time to time at the Annual General Meeting of the Guild, or at a Special General Meeting called for the purpose, and published in the Guild’s annual report.
    3. Ringing members in full-time education or over the age of 60 and associate members over the age of 60 may pay a reduced subscription as determined at the meeting. Life members are not required to pay a subscription. The subscription paid by a probationary member will form part of their subscription as a ringing member if elected as such during the same calendar year.
    4. A member, other than a probationary member, leaving the two diocese may transfer to compounding membership without further payment on application to their District Secretary.
    5. Any increase in subscription or alteration in the proportion allocated to each ringing-related charity shall take effect immediately following the meeting at which it was made.

    Each tower in the Guild area, regardless of whether it has Guild members in its band or not, shall be deemed to be ‘in union’ with the Guild.


    Each tower in the Guild shall appoint a local secretary, who will be responsible for conducting such correspondence as required, rendering an annual report to the District Secretary and collecting subscriptions from Guild members for transfer to the District Treasurer.


    No tower shall be transferred from one District to another without the consent of the majority of ringers of the tower concerned and of the Annual General Meeting of the Guild.


    In each District a Chairman, Ringing Master, District Treasurer and Honorary Secretary shall be elected and such other officers as the District may determine.


    An Annual Meeting shall be held in each District as early in each year as is practicable, but not later than 21st February, to receive reports and statements of accounts, to transact any other business, including fixing the date and place of the next Annual District Meeting, and at least every third year elect District officers. Such other District meetings may be held as decided by the members, practice meetings being encouraged. Only members of a District may vote in the business of that District.


    Each District Treasurer shall receive ALL subscriptions of members in his District, pay from the funds all the expenses of the District, and at the end of the year prepare a balance sheet which shall be independently examined and, after presentation to the Annual District Meeting, forwarded to the Honorary Treasurer of the Guild not later than 28th February, together with the proportion of the subscriptions due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund (Rule 15). District funds may only be expended for administration and for such purposes as are sanctioned by these rules or by a General Meeting of the District concerned. First charge on District funds after administration shall be for instruction (whenever possible) in change ringing. If District funds prove insufficient for this charge, the deficiency may be met in whole or part by a contribution from the Central Fund. The instructor(s) may claim travelling expenses and any other out of pocket expenses.


    Seventy per cent (fifty per cent from the Channel Islands District) of all subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to each ringing-related charity, shall be allocated to a Central Fund for the general administration and expenses of the Guild and for any other purpose that the members in General Meeting may direct. The Honorary Treasurer shall receive, not later than 28th February, all monies due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund and shall be empowered to disburse all accounts properly incurred in the central administration of the Guild, either in cash payments or by cheques drawn on the Guild current banking account, which cheques he shall be authorised to draw. He shall maintain a statement of central accounts. The remaining thirty per cent of subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, shall be retained by the Districts, except in the case of the Channel Islands District where fifty per cent is retained, for the purposes of meeting expenses of the Districts incurred under these rules. If there be any deficiency in the Central Fund, the Annual General Meeting of the Guild may, by resolution, require the Districts to meet the deficiency in proportion to the amount of each District’s receipts retained that year. At any time during the year the Executive Committee may, if necessary, direct the District Treasurers to pay over to the Central Fund all, or part of, the proportion of subscriptions actually received and due to the fund.


    Districts are requested to compile a list of instructors who are willing to assist towers (Rule 14).


    The Honorary Librarian and Archivist shall be responsible for the safe keeping of the Guild library and any other property acquired by the Guild unless other arrangements are made by the Executive Committee. He shall maintain an inventory of such books and property and shall render annually a report to the Executive Committee.


    Local secretaries shall forward an annual report on the activities of their tower to their District Secretary not later than 4th January of the following year. Each year the Honorary Report Editor of the Guild will issue a questionnaire to each District Secretary for completion. District Secretaries shall forward the completed questionnaires and an annual report on the activities of their District to the Honorary Report Editor for publication, not later than 28th February. Funds permitting, an annual report shall be published, the contents of which shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee. A copy will be supplied free to all except probationary and compounding members.

  19. PEALS

    Peals which are to be recognised by the Guild and have their details published in the annual report must be rung by bands composed entirely of members of the Guild other than probationary members, at least half of whom must be life and/or ringing members and/or compounding members who have transferred from ringing membership. An account of each peal including details of compositions on seven bells and above, together with the peal fee for each ringer participating, shall be sent to the Honorary Recorder of Peals within one month of the peal being rung. If the above conditions are not fulfilled, the peal shall not be recognised by the Guild, nor its details published in the annual report, excepting that the Annual General Meeting of the Guild shall be able to recognise such peals in exceptional circumstances. At the end of each calendar year, the income from peal fees shall be transferred to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund and to the General Fund (towards the cost of printing details of peals in the annual report). The amount of the peal fees and the proportions transferred to the Bell Restoration and General Funds shall be determined from time to time by the Annual Meeting of the Guild, or a Special General Meeting of the Guild called for the purpose and published in the annual report. Any alteration in the amount of fees and proportions in which they are transferred to the General and Bell Restoration Funds shall take effect on the following 1st January.

  20. DAMAGE

    The Guild may accept responsibility for any damage done by members to the bells, etc. in any tower in which a meeting of the Guild is being held. In such circumstances the officers of the District concerned are empowered to take steps to make good the damage which shall be a charge on the District concerned. In the case of a General Meeting of the Guild, the Master, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer will take the necessary action and make a charge on the Central Fund.


    In the event of either: (a) redundant bells coming into the possession of the Guild or (b) the advice of the Guild being sought on the disposal or movement of redundant bells, the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund shall be empowered to decide upon the disposition of such bells or offer such advice as they feel is appropriate. Where possible, such decisions or advice shall be subject to confirmation by the Guild Executive or Annual General Meeting of the Guild.


    No alteration or addition to the above rules may be made except at a General Meeting of the Guild or Special Meeting called for the purpose, when the number of eligible members voting in favour must be at least 20 and double those voting against the proposal. Notice of any such proposed alteration or addition must be given in writing, at least two months before the date of the meeting, to the Honorary General Secretary of the Guild who shall inform all tower secretaries of the Guild of this proposal at least one month before the aforesaid meeting. Any alteration or addition to the rules shall become operative on the following 1st January.

Bell Restoration Fund Rules Guild rules

  1. TITLE

    The fund shall be known as the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers Bell Restoration Fund.


    The fund shall be registered as a charity.

  3. AIMS

    The object of this fund shall be to provide financial assistance by way of grants to Churches, within the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth, incurring expenditure on the provision, maintenance, improvement or acoustics of their bells and bell installations, or for the maintenance of the fabric of their towers and belfries, to enable their bells to be properly rung in full circle.


    References to ‘the Guild’ shall mean the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. References to ‘the Executive Committee’ shall mean the Executive Committee of the Guild.


    The Trustees of the fund, referred to hereinafter as ‘the Trustees’, shall be the Master, the Honorary General Secretary and the Honorary General Treasurer of the Guild, and two Trustees, one from each Diocese, elected triennially by the Annual General Meeting of the Guild.


    The Honorary Independent Examiner of the fund shall be the Honorary Independent Examiner for the time being of the Guild.


    The fund shall be administered by the Trustees.

    1. An application for or proposal to make a grant from this fund shall be considered only at a General Meeting of the Guild or at a meeting of the Executive Committee, provided at least two months notice in writing has been given of such application or proposal to the Honorary General Secretary.
    2. Following notice duly given, the Trustees shall consider such applications or proposals and shall make recommendations to the meeting of the Guild or Executive Committee at which the application or proposal shall be discussed.
    3. Grants shall be made from this fund only for the purposes outlined in the objectives in rule 3 above. A grant may be made, subject to the requirements of rule 8a above, if approved by two-thirds or more of those members of the Guild present and voting at a General Meeting of the Guild or at a meeting of the Executive Committee. To be eligible to vote on such matters, members must fulfil the requirements of the Guild on voting. The Trustees shall inform the Guild of any grants approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee at the next General Meeting of the Guild.
    4. Following such approval a grant shall be made, except that the Trustees shall be given absolute discretion to reduce, but not to increase, a grant, in the exceptional circumstances that they unanimously feel it in the interests of the fund and of the Guild to do so. They shall inform the Guild of any such action at the next General Meeting of the Guild.

    Any payments drawn on this fund under rule 8 above, or required under rule 11 below, shall be made over the signature of the Honorary General Treasurer for the time being and one other Trustee of the fund. No payment shall be made until the work is satisfactorily completed. All administrative and other expenses incurred in respect of the fund other than those specifically relating to the acquisition and realisation of investments shall be borne by the Guild.

    1. The Honorary General Treasurer shall prepare accounts, consisting of a balance sheet at 31st December each year, and an income and expenditure account for the year ending on that date.
    2. These accounts shall be presented to the Independent Examiner of the fund who shall satisfy himself as to the correctness thereof.
    3. These accounts, duly independently examined, shall be submitted for approval to the Annual General Meeting of the Guild next after the 31st December to which the accounts of the fund have been prepared.

    The Trustees acting together shall have the power to invest or otherwise deal with the assets of the fund and such sums as the members of the Guild shall contribute or from time to time decide to transfer to the fund, in such manner as they think fit in the best interests of the fund.

    1. If it shall be decided to dissolve the fund, such decision being taken only at an Annual General Meeting of the Guild, one month’s notice having been given by the Honorary General Secretary to Tower Secretaries of such intent, the assets shall be disposed of to either or between both of the following:-
      1. To other charitable Bell Restoration Funds as the Guild may select
      2. To the Cathedrals of Winchester and Portsmouth for the religious and charitable purposes of the said Cathedrals.
    2. In the event of the Guild becoming defunct, it shall be allowed for the Registrar of Charities after five years non-working of the fund to cause it to be dissolved and its assets applied as under rule 12 a ii.
    1. No amendment of, addition to, or deletion from these Rules shall be made which would cause the fund at any time to cease to be a charity in law.
    2. No alteration or addition to the above Rules may be made except at a General Meeting of the Guild, or Special Meeting called for the purpose, when the number of eligible members voting in favour must be at least 20 and double those voting against the proposal. Notice of any such proposed alteration or addition must be given in writing at least two months before the date of the meeting to the Honorary General Secretary of the Guild, who shall inform all Tower Secretaries of the Guild of this proposal at least one month before the aforesaid meeting.

This page created by Tony Smith

Last updated 1 January 2006

Finals of the 12-bell contest – for those planning to be there..

We hope many of you are planning to come to Oxford for the 12-bell final on Saturday 28th June.

You may have seen the front page article in this week’s Ringing World andwe can now confirm some of the details for the Friday evening:

  • 18.30-19.30 General ringing at Carfax Tower (6 bells)
  • 19.00-20.00 General ringing at Mary Mag (10 bells) – TO BE CONFIRMED
  • 19.30-23.00 Drinking in the Old Kitchen Bar at Magdalen College

We have exclusive use of the Old Kitchen bar at Magdalen for the evening. You enter Magdalen through the lodge on the High Street (just before you reach the tower if you are heading out of town). People will be on hand to direct you to the bar.

Updates about the availability of the towers and full details can be found on the website:

We look forward to seeing you!

Michael Williams on behalf of the Oxford Society

Update from Ropley – a message from the Tower Captain

A detailed report about the Fire at Ropley is scheduled to appear this week in the Ringing World, but the tower captain has written this message of thanks to all the ringers who have been so supportive since the fire last Thursday.

It looks like we’re still many years off of ringing the bells again, and at the moment we’re stuck with the heartbreaking scenes of seeing the 5 and the 6 exposed through the remaining charred beams of the tower. Trying to keep positive, we’re excited about recreating that dedication service when the church has been restored, again remembering Mariana Sophia Hagen, linking the past while using the opportunity to get a new generation of people involved in ringing.

The damage could have been worse, our practice was due for that Thursday night, when the bells would have been left up, ready for a wedding on the Saturday. We’ll never know, but If the fire had been a day later, we suspect the bells might have come down, pulling much of the tower with them.

The response from villagers contacting us to let us know how much they loved the bells, how much comfort it brought them, reminding them of loved ones who are no longer with us, as well as the bell ringing community, has meant so much through these tricky first few days. As anyone who runs a tower knows, it can be a struggle to keep the belfry chiming week after week, getting enough ringers together when modern life can so easily get in the way. To see all those years of hard work literally go up in smoke was devastating, so it means an incredible amount that others understand the loss, and are standing by us, offering help of storing the bells, places to keep practicing, we don’t know how much help we’ll need yet, but we couldn’t have asked for more support from the bell ringing community.

Many Thanks

Jason, and Lucy Clements

In case the you would like any extra information, there’s this web page written about the last restoration of the church, including what is inscribed on each of the bells, and a poem written by M.S Hagen, who was responsible for their restoration, and gifting a new treble bell:

Special Offer – DVDs of historic copies of Bell News and Ringing World – from CCCBR Library Committee

The price of Bell News (1881-1915) and Ringing World (1911-1940) DVDs have now been reduced to £25 and are available from the CC Library Committee.  Ringing World (1941-1970) is also available at £35.

Details of these and other publications can be found here
and an order form here

Some early issues of Bell News and other publications are available online here

Work is in progress in extracting ringing related material from Church Bells, the general church paper which started in 1870.  We hope to make this available on the CC website.

Paul Johnson

Planned maintenance at St. Mary’s Southampton

A reminder that following service ringing this Sunday morning 09:45 – 10:30 (15th June), St Mary’s Southampton will be unavailable for any ringing through until Sunday 27th July. This is due to a period of planned tower maintenance including re-painting of the frame and installation of sound control.

For locations of the Southampton practices and Sunday morning ringing please check the calendar on the website:

Daniel Graham
Steeple Keeper
Southampton City Ringers