The Alton and Petersfield district AGM will take place at St.Peters Petersfield on Saturday 22nd January 2022.
Covid requirements (unless changed) will need to be observed by attendees unless exempt.
2.30 – 3.30pm Open Ringing at St. Peter’s Petersfield. Invited service touch @3.15pm.
There are rules in place for numbers in the ringing chamber, but we encourage especially the new ringers to join the more experienced and for those downstairs tea and coffee will be available.
3.30pm District Service including memories of ringers we have recently lost. Led by Alison Waterhouse, Curate at St. Peter’s (and a bellringer).
Approx 4.45pm Tea in the St. Peter’s Church Hall. Prior will a brief talk by Elaine Knox Chair of Trustees PACT(Peterfield area churches together) Food-bank and our collection will be given. (a huge thank you for your contributions, a table in the church and hall will be made available).
6.00pm AGM in the St. Peter’s Church Hall.
7.30 – 8.30pm. Open Ringing at St. Peter’s.
Names and dietary requirements for tea by no later than Wednesday 19th January to Madeline King. Telephone: 07776 157823
Looking forward to seeing you all and if you are feeling unwell please stay away.
A&P District Chairman
Ps. Don’t forget to do your lateral flow test and wear a mask.
Please see details of the first District Practice of 2022 which is at Wickham.
It would be appreciated if members take a lateral flow test beforehand and understand that if crowded those not ringing may be asked to wait downstairs between methods. Face coverings are required in line with the CCCBR recommendation.
Greg PainterPortsmouth District Secretary
Simon Poyser, Chairman and Roger Barber, Ringing Master of the Alton & Petersfield District Bell Ringers organised a Christmas ringing event at Warnford and East Meon on Saturday 4th December.
Ringers were given a warm welcome by Edwin Grimshaw, Tower Captain at Warnford Church which hosted an afternoon of general ringing. This was followed by afternoon tea, mince pies and cakes at The George & Falcon, Warnford, very much enjoyed on such a cold day. There then followed evening ringing on the ten bells at East Meon.
The photograph shows very happy ringers after the tea at The George and Falcon, Warnford.
St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers, Petersfield
After considerable organising behind the scenes between Steve Lamb and the Cathedral Chapter, the A&P District were given the green light to ring on Sunday 12th December following evensong.
About 30 ringers including a number from the ‘WP Youths’ team congregated at the designated ‘door’ and ascended the many steps to the ringing chamber, all masked, hands sanitised and lateral flowed….
The bells rang from 4.30pm to 6pm with many ringing on 12 and 14 for the first time. Thank you all for coming.
Huge thanks to the Winchester team especially Steve, Bevis and Bruce for helping make the afternoon possible.
The A&P District wishes Guild members all the very best for Christmas and for the New Year.
A reminder for next Thursday’s Surprise Major practice at Ringwood, 7.15 – 9.00 pm, 6 Jan. We’ll be keeping Cornwall as the special method. We endeavour to cater for as wide a repertoire as is possible on the night.
NOTE: From 4 Jan until November 2022 the slip road from Ringwood on to the west bound carriageway of the A31 will be closed. There appears to be no information on line about planned diversions but looking at Google Maps one option would be to travel east towards Poulner along “Southampton Road” from the roundabout/junction of the B3344/“The Furlongs”. This will enable you to join the westbound A31 further up Poulner Hill, adding about 5 minutes to your journey time.
Due to night time road closures in and around Ringwood we will be starting these practices, a little earlier than usual – 7.15 pm., allowing some to leave before detours come into force. Commencing 2nd December and for the foreseeable future. Finishing time will be 9.00 pm.
We had good support for the 4th November practice with single methods and 8-spliced. It’s been suggested we re-introduce an occasional special method and Cornwall has been suggested.
It will be good to have more support so that we can guarantee a wider ranging practice for all those coming along. Feel free to forward this information to all who you think will be interested in joining in.
Ventilation-wise, I recollect the 4th November practice achieved 800 ppm CO2 within the ringing chamber, so pretty-well ventilated. We also have a new heater that proved to be beneficial.
Alton & Petersfield District are holding an afternoon of general ringing at Warnford followed by afternoon tea/coffee, mince pies and cakes at the George & Falcon, Warnford, finishing off with evening ringing at East Meon. All welcome.
Please confirm name and numbers coming to A&P District Chairman asap. (to ensure we carry on ringing, can those attending please take a lateral flow test beforehand please)
Details as follows:
3pm to 4.15pm – Warnford (6, 12cwt)
Ringing at ‘The church of our Lady’ for the first time in a while for the district. Open to all. Ground Floor ring.
4.15pm to 5.30pm Afternoon tea/coffee cakes/mince pies now booked at George and Falcon Warnford. £4.50p per person.
5.45pm to 7.30pm – East Meon (10, 18cwt)
General ringing on 10 bells especially for those who haven’t had experience on higher numbers.
Afterwards = A Pub in East Meon.
Additional Precautionary Note: We have all been very careful so far in terms of our ringing and precautions even with a continued threat of covid in its various forms. For ringing, those who remain at risk and on high alert we understand if you don’t join us presently. We have all taken necessary measures, vaccinated, boosted, masks worn, used sanitisers rigorously. For this weekend and the following weeks leading to Christmas, we simply ask this: If you feel rough, stay home, if you are coming take a ‘lateral flow test’ beforehand, if you come along and you want to mask up, please do.
I hope that we can enjoy our time together.
A&P District Chairman
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Winchester Autumn District Meeting held via Zoom at 10am on Saturday 13th November 2021
Present: Bruce Purvis (BP)–Chairman, Winchester Cathedral, Tony Smith (TS) – Treasurer, Hursley, Edmund Wratten (EW) – District Ringing Master (Unattached), Andrew Glover (AG)- District Webmaster, Romsey, Roger Booth (RB)– Acting District Newsletter Editor, New Arlesford, Micki Nadal (MN) – District Secretary, Stockbridge & Kings Somborne, Judy Bishop, Easton, Caroline Fairley (CF), Winchester Cathedral, Carol Higgins, Lockerley, Andrew Johnson (AJ), New Arlesford, Elizabeth Johnson (EJ), New Arlesford, Christine Knights-Whittome (CKW),Wonston, Brenda Palk, Lockerley, John Palk (JP),Lockerley, Tricia Shannon, Unattached, Elizabeth Skinner, Bishopstoke, Rodney Skinner (RS), Ropley, Pam Thomson, Hursley, Richard Thompson, Hursley and Jenny Watson, Sparsholt.
19 members attended, representing 12 towers, plus 2 unattached members.
- Welcome and Apologies
Chairman BP welcomed members and accepted apologies from John Croft (JC), Steve Lamb, Jen Churchill and Mike Hopkins-Till.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 were agreed with no comments and signed by BP.
- Matters arising:
Since Guild Executive Committee representative JC would be unable to attend the Guild Zoom meeting scheduled for Saturday 20th November, he had agreed with RB that a replacement could take his place. BP agreed that an alternative member would be satisfactory. TS agreed, providing only District matters were discussed by the replacement. He felt that Guild Executive meetings would, in future, be held online and that this would be a continuing issue. AJ asked which of the District Officers could attend normally – this would be the District Secretary and 1 other as elected.
BP proposed RB; seconded by RS and confirmed unanimously by a show of hands.
- Loss of members through death
BP led attendees in a short prayer and a minute’s silence for the District members who had died since the previous meeting:
Peter J Clarke (Bishopstoke), Rosemary Oakeshott (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Rosemary Haviland (formerly of Micheldever), Wally F Taylor (formerly of Wonston) and Jean Kelly (formerly of Candover Valley).
- Elections of new ringing members – the following probationary and new ringing members were proposed for election:
- Election of probationary members
Mary Richards of Stockbridge on 1 October 2021 proposed by MN, seconded by JP.
Jan Conway, Ruth Horner, Jane Parker-Brown, Rosie Reay, Melanie Rose, Robert Spencer and Tim Stone of Cheriton on 11 November 2021 proposed by C F, seconded by RB.
- Election of new ringing members
Benjamin Knowles and Elizabeth A Skinner of Bishopstoke proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.
- Training needs/purchases and programme
RB reported that a ringing simulator, borrowed from New Arlesford, had been used successfully for the training of the Cheriton learners. He felt the District should purchase a SIMBEL simulator for use around towers in the district; this would cost £420 and would not require a faculty. RB would offer a permanent loan of a laptop to run the programme. TS suggested the simulator and associated equipment be held in the charge of the District Ringing Masters and that guidelines be issued regarding the length of the loan to each tower. EW would be happy to be in charge of the simulator and its use and suggested a permanent ‘home’ be decided upon. Both EW and RB suggested motorcycle tyres muffles be used as an inexpensive way to silence bells. The simulator would be purchased by the District Secretary; RB would contact MN on this matter.
BP proposed a SIMBEL simulator be purchased. This was seconded by CKW and passed on a show of hands. Action RB/MN
- Programme of future events
BP felt he, MN, EW, AG and TS should meet to discuss the future programme; he opened the issue to the floor for attendees’ views. AJ suggested that, given the timescale before Christmas, plans be made for 2022. EJ welcomed a decision immediately on the date and venue for the District Annual Meeting, which all present believed should be a live meeting and not held online. Following a short discussion this was agreed as Saturday 12th February 2022 in St Mary’s Easton, with tower ringing and tea in the village hall. BP thanked JB for agreeing to this proposal; JB would check to confirm the church and village hall would be available for this date.
- Any other notified business
- Insurance matters – tower and Guild
As a result of questions, initially raised by a member of Andover District with Guild Treasurer Helen Woolford, regarding insurance cover for members and whether this was the responsibility of the PCC, Guild or individual members, a short discussion took place. All agreed there was a need for greater clarity on the subject. RB suggested District officers set up training sessions on insurance cover and risk assessments for towers and agreed to raise the matter with the Guild Executive at the next meeting. MN would contact Winchester District Towers and produce a list identifying those towers with no risk assessment.
Action MN/District Officers
- Recovery after the pandemic
EW felt that those towers needing help were probably not represented at the QDM; AG referred attendees to the questionnaire produced by RB, which had identified needs in certain towers, particularly with the loss of between 20-25% of ringers during the pandemic. It was agreed the District Officers should contact towers to establish suitable places for future events. Towers with ground floor rings and plenty of space should be identified; small towers should be given help from suitable venues nearby. RB suggested that, following the success of a recruitment programme in the New Arlesford area, the district should concentrate on 1 or 2 areas at a time for the next 2 years. EW suggested that, when the correspondence on tower risk assessments was sent out, tower captains should be asked again what help they need. BP agreed District Officers should proceed on that basis.
Action MN/District Officers
- Bell and tower project updates
Ropley: RS gave a short description of the overall damage to the church resulting from the fire in 2014 and the problems arising from increasing rebuild costs, insufficient levels of insurance and work stoppage due to the pandemic, resulting in costs which have escalated even further, by c. 25%. The huge project to strengthen the tower with a steel frame and replace the bells requires additional funds, in spite of magnificent fund raising efforts by the village to rebuild the church and replace the bells. It was hoped the District and Guild would be able to help the fund raising by allocating grants to Ropley. TS advised that the District supports bell projects with grants of £500 and proposed that this amount be allocated to Ropley; seconded by BP. The proposal was agreed unanimously.
Twyford: AJ gave a short review of work completed to date at Twyford. The recent visit by the Mayor of Winchester had stimulated interest in the bell improvements. From a total predicted cost of £85,000, around £67,000 had already been raised. Further fund raising events had been planned to help meet the shortfall of some £18,000. TS proposed that the District allocate £500 to the Twyford project; this was seconded by BP and agreed unanimously. MN reminded attendees that Diocesan grant information, including a grant specific to bells, had recently been sent out to all Tower Correspondents.
- GS2222 – church closures and churches at risk
BP reminded attendees of the recent Ringing World article from 03/09/21 and referred them to RB’s recent list of District churches at risk of closure and to examples of how church closures and sales can potentially affect the numbers of bell towers available. RB believed future ringing bands would be most likely made up of groups ringing at several different churches for services. EW felt that, since this was something which would affect churches from a Diocesan level, this should be first and foremost a Guild matter. Following a brief discussion on churches at risk, i.e. those with regular congregations of <25 and who do not meet their share of the Common Mission Fund (CMF); what could happen to bells in redundant churches; which towers have some representation on Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) and/or links with the Deanery Synods; identifying those churches with mediaeval non-matching bells which could make use of redundant matching bells, BP outlined a course of action:
- To find out which churches have representation on PCCs and to build and strengthen contacts with PCC members
- To ask Guild Executive representatives to find out Guild views on GS2222 and how to identify churches at risk
- To establish groups to obtain more contacts at deanery level with a view to gaining further information on diocesan plans at the grass roots level.
Action District Officers
- Any Other Business
AJ referred attendees to a fund raising concert at Twyford to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 24th November in Twyford church. MN would forward this to all tower correspondents.
JP reminded attendees that the Guild Report would be issued again following a year’s absence and a questionnaire would be sent to TS and MN for completion. AJ felt the numbers showing average attendance at Sunday services and ringing practices was very useful information.
The meeting closed at 11.17am
Chairman ………………………………………. Date……………………………………………….
C&S District Practice and Carol Service – Saturday 4th December from 3pm at Milford-on-Sea.
We ask that you take a lateral flow test before attending and do not come if the test is positive or you have symptoms.
Face covering preferred
|District Autumn General Meeting|
The next Quarterly District Meeting is t be held on Saturday 13th November from 10 am and will be held on Zoom. To join the Zoom Meeting visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83679702971?pwd=TGZoS0phSnk5STlUOE9qZTd1MFZRQT09
Meeting ID: 836 7970 2971. Passcode: 181501
I will open the Zoom link from 9.30 am. Since I don’t know many of you and need to note down attendees, it would be useful if you could make sure your name is visible when you join on Zoom and not a nickname or someone else’s name or the name of your computer or mobile! You can temporarily change the name showing on the screen by right clicking on it and renaming yourself.
Link to the agenda and unconfirmed minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th February 2021.
Please forward any apologies to me or 07563 753079
Micki Nadal, Winchester District Secretary
Twyford restoration project underway
One of the new Twyford bells being cast at Loughborough on 4th November 2021 (Elizabeth Johnson)
The project to restore the bells at Twyford is now under way and two of the three new bells have already been cast at Loughborough. The existing bells are due to be removed from the tower in January/February, and to go back around Easter 2022, once the frame has been shot blasted and repainted. There is currently a £13,000 shortfall on this £85,000 project, but this can be reduced if people come forward and volunteer to help the bell-hangers with the removal and installation work.
The parish also have a number of fund-raising events planned over the next few months to help reduce the shortfall, including a concert on 24th November and a quiz evening in January.
New band at Cheriton
Following a successful recruitment event at Cheriton Parish Fete on Bank Holiday Monday using the Charmborough Ring, nine people have come forward to learn to ring. A taster evening was held a few weeks later, followed by three weeks of intensive bell-handling lessons. Each new ringer came on average twice a week so they have each received about six hours of solid one-to-one practice on a solo bell. Special thanks go to Roy LeMarechal, Peter Hill and Ian Redway for their expert help. Caroline Fairley has also been helping as a teaching assistant and learning to teach.
The new ringers are now sufficiently advanced to start ringing rounds and we have started holding two practices a week. One on Monday afternoons at 2.30pm and the other on Thursday evenings, although for the next few weeks these need to fit round other events in the church, so some weeks we start at 6.15pm and finish by 7.30pm; other weeks we start at 7.30pm.
The band have set themselves the objective of ringing rounds together before the parish carol service at 3pm on Sunday 19th December 2021. The Alresford ringers have kindly loaned some of their simulator equipment, which helps reduce the need for help, although more help is always welcome.
Can you help?
Next year we would like to help other towers in the District recruit and train new ringers after the pandemic. A few months ago we circulated a short questionnaire inviting members to indicate whether they are prepared to help out with weddings, Sunday ringing, practices and teaching new ringers at other towers in the District. This has certainly helped with the work at Cheriton, but we could help more towers if we had more offers of help. If you have not already done so, please take a couple on minutes to compete the short questionnaire: https://forms.gle/Kyfm8mBf2NZiSUm67
Methods: Cambridge, Yorkshire, Bristol (Gathering afterwards at the Selborne Arms for those that would like to)
Selborne would again like to invite Surprise Major ringers in the area to a Practice!
The Practice held in October was very successful and it was so lovely to see so many of you again after the long interval. We will continue to focus on Cambridge, Yorkshire and Bristol (3 leads or a full Course if we have enough for that).
To help the Practice run smoothly, it would be much appreciated if you could please come prepared by looking up the methods you’d like to ring in advance.
Selborne is fortunate to have a well-ventilated ringing chamber, and space to spread out in the church. The Practice will be run by A&P District Ringing Master, Roger Barber.
Your support to get the A&P ringing these again is much appreciated….look forward to seeing you there!
There will be a district practice at St Mary Liss from 5.30-7.30pm on Saturday 13th November for general ringing.
Hope to see you there!
Ringwood Advanced Practice – First Thursday of the month, 7.30 – 9.15 pm, commencing October 7th.
The Ringwood ringers are happy for the advanced practices to re-commence in October albeit on a different evening. The change of evening has been set down so that all the local ringers will be able to attend all their regular practices, hopefully this will not impact significantly upon the advance practice and we can continue to ring the range of Surprise Major methods as in the past.
The local band are ringing with both stair doors open and the hatch to the chamber above the ringing chamber partly open, this appears to create a reasonable level of ventilation, I’ll be bringing along a CO2 meter so that we can monitor actual ppm levels during the practice. Wearing of face masks within the ringing chamber will be optional for everyone double Covid vaccinated, otherwise we would prefer ringers to wear one unless they have had a negative lateral flow test 2 days beforehand.
Looking forward to seeing everyone again.
PLEASE NOTE: THE TEST VALLEY RINGING FESTIVAL ON 18TH SEPTEMBER HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2022.
THE OTHER EVENTS ARE STILL GOING AHEAD.
Historic bells across the Winchester District will ring out for this year’s Heritage Open Days Festival. Because of Covid restrictions access to come and meet the ringers is limited to certain towers, but you are welcome to come and listen at all towers.
Saturday 11th September 2.30 – 4.45pm, St John’s New Alresford: Tower Open Day
Friday 17th September, 2.00pm Twyford St Mary
The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Vivian Achwal, will be visiting the church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford at 2pm on Friday 17th September. The Mayor’s Escort will be Dr. Sudhaker Achwal. They will hear ringing performed on the eight bells by a team of ringers drawn from across the Winchester area. The Mayor is offering her support to the team of ringers of Twyford, who are currently raising funds to restore their bells, and to the bellringers in other nearby churches in the Winchester District who are opening their towers to members of the public as part of the Heritage Open Days festival.
****POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2022****:Saturday 18th September – Test Valley Ringing Festival
The following towers will be ringing at various times during the day for the Test Valley Ringing Festival. Exact timings for each tower to be confirmed nearer the date
East Tytherley (8 bells, tenor 14-1-5 in F#)
Ground floor ringing room.
A relatively modern ring dated 1897 and 1999 by John Taylor & Co.
Mottisfont, St Andrew (5 bells, tenor 6-0-23 in Ab)
Ground floor ringing room
The bells are dated 1663, 1675, 1678, 1718 and 1891.
Houghton, All Saints (6 bells, tenor 2-2-21 in E)
Ground floor ringing room
In contrast to the other rings on this open day, this is not only the lightest ring of bells, but also a relatively modern one, with bells by John Taylor & Co (1950 and 1975) and four by Matthew Higby & Co (2015)
Broughton, St Mary (6 bells, tenor 11 cwt in G)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is by an unknown founder and dated 1617. Another by Clement I Tosier was added in 1681. Three more were added in 1720, 1763 and 1774. The last was added in 1934.
Nether Wallop, St Andrew (6 bells, tenor 14 cwt in F)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is dated 1585 by John Wallis and two more were added by John Hidgen in 1642.Two more were added in 1702 and 1770, with the final bell added in 1992.
Over Wallop, St Peter (5 bells, tenor 7cwt in A)
Upstairs ringing room
One of the bells is dated 1599, two others dated 1631 and 1636 are by John Dawton. A fourth was added in 1776 and the final bell added in 1875.
Stockbridge, St Peter (6 bells, tenor 7-0-20 in Bb)
Upstairs ringing room
Three of the bells are by Samuel Knight and dated 1691. The other three are by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel and are dated 1887.
Longstock, St Mary (5 bells, tenor 8cwt in A)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is by John Wallis and is dated 1593. He also cast another in 1617. The other three were added between 1879 and 1893.
Leckford, St Nicholas (5 bells, tenor 8-2-4 in A)
Ground floor ringing room
Three of the bells date from 1582, 1595 and 1629. The other two date from 1934 when they were added by Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel
Goodworth Clatford, St Peter (8 bells, tenor 7½cwt in A)
Well ventilated upstairs ringing room.
The ring of eight bells includes a bell cast in 1622 by John Wallis, one cast by John Dawton in 1627 and one in 1700 by Robert Cor. The others are by John Taylor & Co and the Whitechapel Bellfoundry.
Upper Clatford, All Saints (6 bells, tenor 9-0-16 in F#)
Ground floor ringing room
Five of the bells are by various founders from 1621 to 1721. They were augmented to six and hung in a new frame by John Taylor & Co in 1967.
Please revisit this page nearer the date to check the timings.
All towers will be open for 45 minutes general ringing. After this, slots will be available for pre-booked bands. All ringers are encouraged to let us know which towers they intend to ring at by submitting a booking form. This will also help with track and trace.
There is no charge for the open day, but it is suggested that visiting ringers leave a donation of at least 50p per ringer at each church for local tower/church funds.
Visiting ringers need to adhere to Covid protocols. Do not come if you are feeling unwell, and wear a face mask if unvaccinated ringers are present. Any unvaccinated ringers or those who have only had one dose should also take a lateral flow test beforehand. Hand gel to be used each time a new ringer touches a rope.
Members of the public are welcome to come and listen, and may watch the ringing from the nave in those towers where the bells are rung from the ground floor. However, it will not be possible to have a go.
‘Grandsire Doubles – from first steps to calling touches’
Sunday 8th August at 2.30pm
An online presentation introducing beginners to the plain course, explaining bobs and singles for those wanting to ring touches, and giving guidance on calling to those who want to call touches. A useful refresher on Grandsire Doubles as we return to our towers.
Zoom link open from 14.15
The presentation will be given by Edmund Wratten, Winchester District Ringing Master
Isle of Wight Half yearly meeting and Centenary Celebration
at Newchurch from 3 pm on Saturday 24th July
Please contact Mary Tester, District Secretary, to get all the paperwork for the meeting.
Hope to see lots of people.
There will be ringing from 3pm, all necessary precautions will be in place.
And a traditional tea with cake!
Sopley tower re-open practice evenings!
Tower Captain, David Lay, with gladness, has informed us that their Tuesday evening ringing practices, are resuming from Tuesday 15th June 2021 from 8:00pm until 9:00pm; followed afterwards, by the usual visit to The Woolpack.
Please support your district’s local tower practices.
Contact: David Lay
Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 on Zoom.
In the absence of the Chairman, John Croft, the Secretary, Bruce Purvis, took the chair. He opened the meeting at 3 p.m. and welcomed those present.
The following 29 District members (representing 11 towers) and three guests were present: Rita Bibbo (Candover Valley), Janice Higgins, Christine & Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine & Ian McCallion, Tony Smith, and Pam & Richard Thompson (Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne & Stockbridge), Jen Churchill, Gary Davies, Carol Higgins, and Bren & John Palk (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Roger Booth, and Elizabeth & Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Angela Forder-Stent (Twyford), John Colliss, Steve Lamb and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston), John Croft (by telephone) and Edmund Wratten (unattached), and Charlotte Colliss, Pete Jordan (Guild Master) and Allan Yalden (Guild Vice-Master) (guests).
Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from the rest of the Ropley band, John & Joyce Croft, and John Wesley. Further apologies were received from Trisha Shannon. [An apology was received from Amanda Bayford subsequent to the meeting.]
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 11 February 2020 at Hursley were signed as a true record.
There were no matters arising
Loss of members through death
Members kept silence to remember Gerald Lambert of King’s Somborne and Stockbridge, Brian Lovelock formerly of Hursley, Colin Slade formerly of New Alresford and Carol Ward of Candover Valley; also, although not members, Alec F Fry of Kings Worthy and John Breslain of Cheriton. Bruce said the words of the requiem.
Election of new members
The belfry election of Marion Attree of Sparsholt as a probationary member on 24 February 2020 proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson, was confirmed.
Officers’ annual reports
The Secretary’s report was received, subject to the addition of thanks to the Hursley band for hosting the last ADM, correcting the times when Easton’s bell was tolled to Thursday nights, and correcting “2022” to “2021” in the third paragraph.
The accounts had been independently examined and were approved nem. con. on the proposition of the Treasurer, Tony Smith, seconded by Bruce Purvis, and signed by Tony on behalf of the Chairman.
Election of officers
Bruce Purvis proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Steve Lamb.
Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson.
Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover and Elizabeth Johnson.
Edmund Wratten and Steve Lamb proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Micki Nadal.
Executive Committee Representative
John Croft proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Peter Hill.
Independent Examiner of Accounts
John Colliss proposed by Steve Lamb and seconded by Rodney Skinner.
Andrew Glover proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Tony Smith.
Acting Newsletter Editor
Roger Booth proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Micki Nadal said they had pencilled in the Charmborough Ring for Stockbridge’s Trout ’n About festival on the first Sunday in August. The festival was cancelled last year, but she won’t know until next month whether the organisers are planning to go ahead this year.
Peter Hill said that Hursley had been having a weekly quiz and other people were having striking competitions on Ringing Room and such events could be arranged between teams from towers in the District.
Roger Booth suggested a Murder Mystery event.
Guild Striking Competitions
As convenor of the Guild Striking Competitions Committee, Pete Jordan said although it would not be possible to hold the competitions in towers in May and June as planned, it may be possible to hold them later in the year.
Pete Jordan summarised the Guild Forum Recovery after Lockdown that had been held on 24 January 2021 with representatives from all the Districts including Ringing Masters, the notes of which had been distributed. Allan Yalden was assembling a package of available resources from the Central Council, ART and within the Guild. Pete hoped each District would take responsibility for their own recruitment and training and would come up with a plan.
Bruce Purvis had three observations from the Winchester District: towers especially in united benefices should share resources; it would be good to have access to the Guild database for contact details of District members so they could be called on to help; and offering revision in basic skills to address losses of confidence.
Roger Booth offered to survey towers using the questionnaire prepared by the Central Council Recovery Team, to establish basic information such as how many ringers they expect to lose, and suggested that this could be followed a Zoom call of tower captains to discuss the outcome of that survey and discuss the way forward.
Peter Hill suggested we should also identify those towers that had simulators, those in which it was easy to teach, and those who were able to teach and at what level, and offered to help Roger prepare the questionnaire.
Lastly Pete Jordan advised that the November meeting of the Executive Committee had appointed Steve Lamb as Honorary General Secretary.
Any other business
Jenny Watson proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring chairman, John Croft.
Roger Booth drew attention to his letter in this week’s issue of The Ringing World (p. 120) advocating reducing reserves held in society Bell Restoration Funds.
The meeting closed at 3.52 p.m.
Our first formal meeting of the year and since Lockdown was imposed will take place via Zoom, on Saturday 13th February. As you will see from the attached agenda we shall open the Zoom ‘room’ fifteen minutes early to allow people to sign in and be admitted. The link for the meeting is:-
or, if you with to sign in with the meeting id and passcode these are:-
Meeting ID: 883 8896 9942 Passcode: 135246
I fear that because I can only compose in plain text the link will not work simply by clicking on it, but it should work if you copy it and paste it into your browser. The link will work, however, from the agenda.
The accounts (long since signed off) and District Report will follow in due course, with my apologies for creating two instalments of the process of notification.
Advantages: We do get to meet; no travelling; your choice of sandwiches and cakes for the virtual ringers’ high tea.
Disadvantages: I have zero experience of hosting, we’ll just have to see how this goes; thank goodness Andrew knows what he’s about. No ringing … though I could set up a Ringing Room if anyone fancies catching hold afterwards.
Telephone: 07411 181583
Email: Use Form
Telephone: 01264 810567
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Email: Use Form
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The decision has been made to move back the date for the Alton & Petersfield District AGM to the 23rd January 2021. Minutes of the previous AGM will be sent out to your tower contacts in the very near future.
If you would like a copy sent to you individually, please let me know.
Hoping you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and, if your plans have been affected by recent tier changes, that you can still find ways to stay in contact with those who can no longer be with you in person.
For the last nine months, there has been very limited activity, and many ringers may not even have touched a bell-rope in this time. Even if they have, they will not have rung any methods.
However with the roll out of the vaccination programme, there is the real prospect that from late spring or early summer next year we will gradually be able to return to ringing all the bells and holding practices in our towers. But we still have this winter to get through.
Things have been happening behind the scenes to prepare for the recovery and we plan to issue regular District newsletters with news and interesting items to help keep members engaged and informed.
In this issue we include details of a programme of webinars which the Guld Education Committee will be launching in January.
During lockdown a number of District towers have been holding regular virtual pub sessions and quizzes. using Zoom. Some have also been holding virtual practices using Ringing Room, one of these being the Mayflies group which Micki Nadal has written about on page 2
Please do send us articles for inclusion in the next issue, which will be published at the end of March. Articles should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas ringing relaxation
The Central Council of Church Bellringers have agreed special arrangements for ringing over the Christmas period with the House of Bishops Recovery Group. Essentially between 23 and 27 December no matter which tier, we can ring for 15 minutes, provided that the ringers are 1metre + socially distanced, and those not in the same bubble are wearing face masks. Further details on the Central Council Website
Have you subscribed?
Around 50% of Winchester District members have now subscribed to the Guild’s new membership and communications database. We are now able to send this newsletter to each of you direct instead of it being ‘cascaded’ via tower correspondents and posted on tower notice boards. This is not practical in the current pandemic.
However, as we are only reaching about half of the membership, do tell your friends about this newsletter and pass a copy on if they have not seen it.
If you have not yet subscribed and this newsletter has been forwarded on to you, please do subscribe to the database by visiting the following link: Subscribe to Guild Membership and Comms Database
On Saturday 14th November, Edmund Wratten delivered a webinar on ’coursing order’ and how it can be used to help your ringing. There was an excellent turnout with 35 members Zooming in.
Following this success, a series of interesting webinars is planned for the period up to Easter. These will be held on
- Sat 16th Jan
- Sat 30th Jan
- Sat 3th Feb
- Sat 27th Feb
- Sat 13th Mar
- Sat 27th Mar
The final programme and joining details will be published in the next Guild Newsletter, to be issued at the beginning of January. Topics will include
Listening Skills: Have you struggled to pick out your bell from the others? How do you know if it you or someone else that is wrong?
Ways of Learning Methods: This will cover the circle of work, the blue line and place bells, and how you can break this down into chunks of work that you can learn.
Calling simple touches: Starting from the perspective of someone who has never called a bob before, we will cover the basics up to the stage where you can call a 120 of Plain Bob or Grandsire Doubles.
History of bells and ringing in the Winchester and Portsmouth Dioceses: This webinar will look at some of the more interesting aspects of the bells in our towers.
Recruitment and Retention – how to get more new ringers and how to retain them: This workshop developed by the Central Council’s Volunteer and Leadership workgroup will look at the problems facing us and how we might overcome them.
The webinar link will be open from 10.00am for people to logon and perhaps have a chat. Each presentation will start promptly at 10.15am, followed by the opportunity for questions and answers.
Depending on the content, each webinar will last between 60 and 90 minutes
If you’ve not already done so, complete our questionnaire and we will make sure you receive details of the upcoming webinars.
Each Saturday between the webinars we will hold Ringing Room practices using Zoom and breakout rooms, so that people can practice the topics that have been covered in the previous weeks, with an experienced band in a supportive environment.
Restoration at Twyford
The £91,000 scheme to carry out a major overhaul of the frame and fittings, including recasting of three of the bells is being supported by a grant of £7,500 from the Guild’s Bell Restoration Fund. The work will be carried out by White’s of Appleton.
However, Jennie Richardson reports that, because of Covid-19, fund-raising has ground more or less to a halt, so the start date for the works is not yet certain.
Currently, because of the pandemic, most Sundays just one bell is chimed, although the band did manage to ring three bells in memory of William Davies, who was on horseback and lost in fog on the local downs until he heard the bells ringing.
His will of 1754 left money to the ringers to ring for 30 minutes on 7 October each year.
Further details of how to donate are on the appeal website.
Mayflies – a Ringing Room Tower in action
Towards the end of May this year, when the Mayflies were emerging from the River Test in droves and buzzing round my head in the garden, I decided to take the plunge and set up a virtual tower in Ringing Room.
I didn’t want to call it after a particular tower, as I realised virtual ringing would not be for everyone and I wanted to attract people from all over the place, which seemed to me one of Ringing Room’s advantages.
The Ringing Room Take-Hold Lounge on Facebook showed that evening sessions often experienced some time lag, so 5pm seemed a good time – before people’s supper and the evening online rush. With the mayfly hatch in full swing, the name seemed a ‘no-brainer’.
So, at the beginning of June and with the help of fellow ringer Derek Smith, we had a go, just the two of us and then let various ringing friends know that Mayflies would be open for business Monday to Saturday at 5pm. We were immensely lucky that our brilliant District Ringing Master Edmund Wratten joined us to give us direction and advice from his base and our former Kings Somborne Captain Sue Spurling joined us from her new home in Sussex.
With old ringing friends from Kings Somborne, Braishfield, Sparsholt, Winchester and Houghton and new ringing friends from London, Epsom and Staffordshire we can generally count on between 6 and 10 people each day, although if there are only 4 or 5 initially, we’ll ring Minimus methods.
A little gossip tops and tails our practices, but on the whole ringing is what we are there for. For our local band the advantages of Ringing Room are huge – we normally ring at six-bell towers, so the chance to practice and learn 8, 10 and 12 bell methods is fantastic.
We have really progressed with learning touches and for those prophets of doom, who say that in the ‘real’ ringing world we will all be back to square one, I have this to say: the brain will, I’m sure, retain a lot of what we are learning about ‘what to do instinctively at a bob or a single’ and although we may have to relearn straightforward bell handling and using rope sight (and we fully appreciate this may take some time), when we are settled into a plain course of Bob Doubles and a bob is called, we will remember what we are supposed to do.
I don’t see Ringing Rooms just as a lockdown facility either – it will be just as useful for learning methods when things are back to normal, but with the added advantage of being able to practice in a real environment too.
Just as lockdown changed our lives, I believe Ringing Room has changed ringing practices too and given those of us lower down on the learning curve the opportunity and the confidence to metaphorically punch above our weight and try things we would be light years from trying in a real tower.
Kings Somborne and Mayflies Towers
Ropley Church is being rebuilt
In June 2014, our beautiful church was destroyed by fire. Two of the bells were cracked, one beyond repair and will need to be recast. Now at last, the rebuilding of the church is well under way, with the new roof installed and new tower built!
The rebuilt St. Peter’s will provide a wonderful venue for services as well as a place for the Village to gather. The space created will complement other village facilities and will be widely used by the village school, social clubs, concerts and meetings seven days a week, not only an hour on Sundays.
St. Peter’s was insured by Ecclesiastical Insurance for £2,854,962. Thus far a substantial sum in addition to this has been successfully raised. The current shortfall for Phase 1, to achieve a useable building was £201,500 (October 2019). Phase 2 fundraising for stained glass windows, bells, clock, furniture etc will follow.
Work undertaken so far includes the installation of the base of the new bell-frame by Matthew Higby & Co., and an order has been placed to recast one bell and weld and heat treat the other five bells.
Because of the damage done by the fire, the bells will be hung within an independent steel structure within the walls, and the ringing room will move to the ground floor level.
The bells will be the largest hung in a free standing tower, but we are assured that they will handle well!
Carol Ward (nee Herring) RIP
I have, I am afraid, sorrowful news to impart.
Carol served many years as the tower correspondent for the Candover Valley Ringers, and hers was a welcome presence at District meetings – including last December’s carol service at Northington, at which she – with the rest of the CVR – was a most gracious host.
Carol was also a doughty campaigner in the cause of combatting the cancer which eventually took her.
I shall miss Carol very much indeed, as I am sure many in the District will.
News from around the towers
Hursley: The band have been meeting for a Zoom call and quiz on Tuesday evenings as well as other chats, ringing room sessions and quarter peal attempts on other evenings. As tiering allows we have been exploring our Minimus range on 1, 4, 6, 8 of the 12 and that we have been using the 14 on Ringing Room to practice our handbell carols. The band are also holding a virtual Christmas dinner on 18th December. Peter Hill.
Lockerley: Have been meeting on Zoom on Thursday evenings for a chat followed by some virtual ringing and also on Sunday mornings. During the summer months the band were also able to meet socially distanced outdoors. Gary Davies.
Old and New Alresford: Have been meeting fortnightly on Friday evenings for virtual pub and quiz sessions on Zoom. We have installed extract fans in both towers to improve the ventilation which has enabled us to ring some of the bells on Sunday mornings and for a wedding, before we entered Tier 2.
Romsey Abbey: The bells are sounded on Sundays and for other special occasions by the Ellacombe apparatus, so most of the band have not rung a bell for nine months. It was fortunate we decided not to remove the Ellacombe apparatus when the bells were rehung in 2007!
Sherfield English: Various numbers of bells have been chimed for services by single households in the band. We have run our regular Thursday training sessions with the Romsey improvers using Ringing Room and Zoom. Nearly all are now able to ring inside to Plain Bob Triples and Cloister Triples without crib sheets! Using visual aids most can ring Stedman.
The new learning environment has encouraged counting places and listening to the ringing as well as upskilling internet knowledge. More ringers have run the practice and called touches. We have also learnt about and used place notation and coursing order, sparked by Edmund’s webinar. Ringing Room allows us to go past Sherfield 8 bell restrictions – if we have lots of ringers we open up a second tower so everyone rings more. We also have completed plain hunt Maximus (16 in here we come!).
We have just realised that we should achieve ringing all the methods set out in Martin’s 2020 wish list without attending the tower! Martin Daniels.
Sparsholt: The band have been meeting every Monday since first lockdown in March. At first it was a weekly quiz evening with attempts at Ringing Room on Tuesday evenings. We also met socially outdoors in the warmer summer months, for a drink and also a picnic. Since September we have met virtually in the Ringing Room with the sessions led by Edmund Wratten. Anyone wishing to join us on Monday evenings at 7.15pm would be very welcome. Jenny Watson.
Winchester Cathedral: The band have been meeting for a chat most weeks and when tiering permits have been ringing six bells for fifteen minutes before Sunday services. The large ringing room helps with social distancing. To keep the fellowship up some members have also been meeting up for walks and cycle rides. Steve Lamb.
W&P Diocesan Guild
Muster, Hants & Wilts.
Monday, 7 December 2020
1260 Bob Minor
1–2 Mary Edelsten (Winchester)
3–4 Ian Redway (New Alresford)
5–6 Gary Davies (Winterslow)(Cond)
First virtual quarter peal: 1-2
A new ring of eight for the District
When we retired to New Alresford three years ago, we had intended putting the Charmborough Ring in the loft at the back of our garage, when not in use.
However, we soon came to the conclusion that hosting it up and down was not something that we wanted to do regularly.
Instead Matthew Higby has recently cast us a new ring of eight, with a tenor of about ¾ cwt in E♭ which will be permanently hung in our garage in the spring
Although light, they will have galvanised steel wheels and handle like bells considerably heavier than they are.
The intention is that besides being available for quarters and peals, we will also run regular training sessions – a bit like Tulloch and Alderney. We also plan to work with local schools to help bring fresh blood into our local band.
As for the Charmborough Ring, they will remain available to help with recruitment post-pandemic. If you would like to hire them for an event next year, please visit the website: www.charmborough.org
Roger & Cathy Booth
Greetings to all members in what has been a very difficult and challenging year due to the pandemic.At the ADM last February I indicated that I would not be seeking re-election as chairman in February 2021.
Please feel free to contact me either by phone or email if you are interested in filling this post.It would be good if someone did come forward as I feel the district would benefit from a fresh face.
I am willing to continue as Executive Council Representative if re-elected.
As I write there is hopeful news of vaccines. I hope that next year we shall be, in time, to be able to meet and ring more normally.
May I take this opportunity of wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2021. Stay well and safe.
District Annual General Meeting – Saturday 13th Feb 2021
The District Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 13th February 2021 at 3pm by Zoom teleconference. To join, click on this link:
Alternatively open Zoom and enter the following:
Meeting ID: 883 8896 9942
This meeting will include the presentation of officers reports and the District Accounts for 2020.
At the meeting nominations will also open for all the officer posts in the District. John Croft has indicated that he does not wish to stand again for the post of Chair, and Bruce Purvis does not wish to stand again as Secretary. We also need to fill the vacant Newsletter Editor post, to help the Guild Comms team.
The District relies on volunteers such as John and Bruce to carry out all of its work. It’s not what the District does for you and your tower, it’s what you can do for the District, and there will be a lot to do to help ringing recover after the pandemic. Please do consider how you can help. The more people that share the load, the better.
Following a decision at the Guild AGM in September, no subscriptions will be collected next year, membership will last two years and a combined Annual Report will be published in 2022 for 2020 and 2021.
Copy for the next issue of this newsletter should reach us by Sunday 14th March email@example.com
Saturday 5th December 2020 at 4:00pm via Zoom from 3:50pm
Meeting ID: 837 4437 8746
The meeting will be open for everyone at 3:50pm
I need to ask that you mute yourself on entering. You can all talk to each other at the end when you have your Mince Pies and Tea. (Unless you want your mice pie)
Alan Butler (Brownsea Island) will be presiding the service, and Peter Murdock-Saint (St. Peter’s Bournemouth) will be providing organ music from his home tower.
If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me
LINK TO ORDER OF SERVICE BELOW: