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.
Alton & Petersfield District are holding a Virtual Christmas Evening on Friday 18th December from 8pm.
Contact Simon Poyser to receive the Zoom login details.
St Peter’s Church Bell ringer John Leary, one of the young ringers, tolled the tenor bell on behalf of the band paying tribute to the fallen, before the Sunday Remembrance Day commemorations in Petersfield. John, photographed in the St Peter’s Church Bell Tower is standing by the photograph, on the right of the picture of the Rev Victor Wardle former assistant Priest at Petersfield and a bell ringer. He died in an internment camp in Japan on 4th January 1945.
A poppy wreath was taken to the Petersfield War Memorial on Sunday afternoon and placed there on behalf of the St Peter’s Church Bell ringers by Caroline M Welsh, bell ringer, with the following card inscription.
From St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers
When you go home
Tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow we gave our today
We wanted to share with the Guild some fond memories from last years Ypres visit by the Alton & Petersfield District.
We felt especially at this significant time of year sharing a very moving and memorable clip of Emma Hornsby, Sam Marriot and Roger Barber from A&P District laying a wreath on behalf of the Guild would be fitting in time for Armistice Day.
The short clip was filmed during the Last Post Ceremony with over 2000 attending the Saturday 28th September 8pm ceremony at the Menin Gate Ypres Belgium. The band played ‘The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins’ as we watched the wreath laying by groups, families and societies from as far as Australia and Canada. There weren’t many dry eyes.
Just over a year on, our world is a very different place. We hope, and pray that by this time next year we’ll all be in a much better place and sharing once again the delightful sounds of our bells deliver across communities.
First Ringing Since Lock Down at St Peter’s Church Norman Bell Tower Petersfield Hampshire
A group of joyous St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers rang on Sunday 2nd August for the first time since lock down in March.
To comply with social distancing, the band rang up four of the eight bells, ringing rounds and call changes finishing with a ring down in Peal. The ringers are now allowed to ring for fifteen minutes for Sunday service and for weddings.
Mrs Vanda Leary, St Peter’s Church Warden has placed the ringing performance on the St Peter’s Church Face Book Page for those wishing to hear the ringing.
Names of ringers in the photographs:
Names of ringers in the photographs:
Left to Right: Jackie and John Downham, Mary Broadbridge, Tower Captain, and young ringer John Leary who rang the heavy 15 ½ Tenor bell which dates back to 1770.
Following guidance received today the following towers have ceased all ringing until further notice in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID19:
Alton (All towers), Blackmoor, Bramshott, Buriton, Froxfield, Hawkley, Holybourne, Selborne, Steep, Warnford and West Meon
Other towers will be added once confirmation is received that they are also cancelling their ringing activities
Hope to see you all soon and stay well…
A&P Communications Officer
Email: Use Form
Email: Use Form
Email: Use Form
Telephone: 07786 967923
Email: Use Form
Download a copy of the poster here
Folkestone and Ypres – Saturday 28th September
The date was finally set with emails and updates sent out. Passports dusted down or renewed, travel tickets purchased (yellow vests purchased just in case) and hotel rooms booked. Before we knew it, the date had arrived for our district outing to Kent and then on to Ypres in Belgium.
A bright morning in the UK and early start brought ringers to Folkestone and to the church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe. A fine 25 cwt 8. St Eanswythe was an Anglo-Saxon saint who first established the Christian church in Folkestone and whose name is given to the parish church. Plenty of time for call changes, Grandsire and half a course of Cambridge, before we headed off to the Channel Tunnel. Thank you, Matt, for ringing the tenor up (looked on by Andy) and for being the ringing master. Thanks to Julia too for ringing the tenor down (not looked on by Roger!)
After navigating the Town Centre, Costa’s, Starbucks (and other leading coffee chains), we all departed on our merry way. Heading to the Channel Tunnel for various boarding times; alas some delayed much longer than others!
Ringers who got through Passport Control without an issue:
The bright autumnal sunshine experienced in Kent, was greeted by a dull grey wet welcome into France (no topical comments please!) Sat Nav’s were set for Ypres for just over an hours’ journey to the city.
A staggered arrival into beautiful Ypres and once parking spaces found with chocolate shops avoided, ringers and friends headed to St. George’s Memorial Church.
Initially, there was competition from across the road at St. Martin’s Cathedral and their bells being rung for weddings. Guesses were made at the tenor’s weight, but the heavy three were no competition to St. George’s delightful sounds.
Ringing started with call-changes; Grandsire, Plain Bob and getting a number of the Ypres ringers to start plain hunting on 6 some for the first time!
For the A&P ringers, this was a delight to see. Beaming smiles after completing a number of courses says everything! Let’s hope their progress continues and support comes from all visiting ringers. Helping them achieve should be seen equally as rewarding as scoring a peal there!
And… those who couldn’t fit into the ringing chamber had a grandstand view (emphasis on the stand part). From the ground floor church entrance via live feed cameras into the belfry and ringing chamber. A great way to watch the bells being rung and maybe a subtle recruiting tool we could see rolled out one day!
Owing to late arrivals a planned quarter peal attempt was delayed until later in the afternoon. Finally, after everyone had a good chance to ring, a well struck quarter of Grandsire Triples was scored in 42 minutes.
This, we believe, was the first Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild quarter peal on the bells. The details are adjacent here, dedicated to the memory of Derek Yates from the Guild and a footnote to Gregory the Ringing Master at Ypres, who had retired earlier in the week:
After the successful quarter, the ringers congregated in the adjacent hall and what a feast had been laid on. Liz Millward, Tower Captain ‘extraordinaire’, worked wonders! A huge thank you to Liz, Martin, Gregory and the Ypres ringers for laying on everything was given by our Chairman Mike Novell. He then continued with a second or third helping of trifle!
Ringers enjoying themselves in St. George’s Hall. Roger deep in conversation with Nick, planning what to ring on the next visit!
The outing concluded with what was perhaps the most memorable part of the whole day.
Despite an early start, the long drive to Belgium and an afternoon ringing the beautiful bells, it was wonderful to have a short early evening stroll through picturesque Ypres, to congregate at the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony.
Upon arrival, crowds had already assembled to be at least six deep awaiting the eight o’clock ceremony to commence. The variety of ages attending was noticeable, especially the number of young attending and reassuring this ceremony will be in safe hands for many generations to come.
Picture: Within the Menin Gate prior to the Act of Remembrance with the archway lit as the focal point for the wreath laying ceremony.
Precisely at 7.45pm the invited band of ‘K.F Sint-Lambertus Eindhout’ struck up and marched the short distance to the Memorial ready for the short act of remembrance to commence.
Many organisation’s were represented laying wreaths including our Guild. Earlier in the year we had been given permission by the Last Post Association to take part in the ceremony.
Organisation’s taking part on the 28th September were:
We were permitted three representatives to lay a wreath on behalf of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. Whilst the band played a very fitting arrangement called ‘Benedictus by Karl Jenkins’, Emma, Sam and Roger joined the wreath laying procession. The fitting words were:
‘Remembering Those Ringers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice’
After the moving ceremony had ended, tears wiped and noses blown; ringers joined the crowds to spend time looking for the inscription of a family member or distant relative to pay their respects amongst the thousands of names.
To conclude events in the most traditional of fashions, one last thing… to the nearest pub! Off we went to sample some of Belgium’s finest beers! A number of ringers selected to stay over and ring on Sunday with the Ypres team, whilst others heading back to the UK.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming the Ypres ringers who will be visiting us in the District between the 15th -17th November, and Guild support to join them ringing here would be warmly welcomed.
Thank you all who came to share in this special day. Will we return to Ypres? You bet we will!
52 ringers, mostly from across the A&P district but with a handful from elsewhere, gathered at Blackmoor on August 10th to take part in a Rounds Striking Competition.
There were no rules as such, just that each team should aim to strike their best rounds for 4 minutes with everything from the pull off to the stand being marked.
In all 11 teams took part, some ringers were in more than one team, some teams were made up of members of several towers, but everyone was welcome to have a go whatever their level of experience. From Blackmoor’s newest learner who just rang the back stroke whilst his teacher rang the hand stroke, to the Life Members, of which there were several present, everyone gave it their all and, judging by all the smiles, had a great afternoon.
As a few people left after the competition finished, more arrived for the barbecue swelling the numbers to around 65, the most we have had at a social event for some time. As the food was cooking, games were borrowed from the Scouts’ shed (with permission), the raffle was set up, ringing related quiz sheets were handed out and dogs tried to keep out of the way of bustling feet.
Once everyone had finished tucking into their burgers, sausages and salads, beer, wine, soft drinks and an impressive array of desserts, Roger Barber announced the competition results with a short critique of each performance and certificates were handed out. Roger thanked everyone who took part and hopes that the success of the event will encourage more teams to enter the annual district striking competition in October.
Thanks were also given to everyone who helped to organise the myriad of elements that go into running a successful event such as this. Pretty sure we’ll be doing it again.
It’s a friendly competition focusing on our core skill and the foundation of all our ringing – Rounds –
Teams can be made up of any ringers from the district, they don’t need to be just from one tower and the same ringer(s) can be on more than one team.
Whilst sitting in a pub after ringing one evening Roger was reminiscing about his Mum, Doris, telling the story of when she accompanied him to Hawkley Church for his first quarter peal, inside to Grandsire Triples. Doris wanted to say hello to Ernest Salmons, a prolific ringer at the time, who was to be the conductor. Ernie asked Doris what she was ringing these days, and Doris replied that she could just about manage to ring the treble to a course of Grandsire Triples. When one of the band failed to arrive and Ernie said to her, “Come on girl you will have to ring the treble so that Roger can have a go at his quarter peal.” The look on his Mum’s face was one that Roger will never forget but, nervously, she agreed to give it a go. Completing the quarter peal was a real achievement for her, even to the extent of being a turning point in her ringing. That was in 1977.
Over the years Doris went on to ring 3 peals (her first at the age of 61) and to be part of 3 winning teams of the A&P striking competition something that, back in 1977, she could barely dream of.
Fast forward to the A&P practice and Spring Meeting held on April 13th at Selborne.
Whilst making out that what he had in his box was actually a giant Easter egg, Roger told the assembled ringers the story about his Mum and that, even though her achievements were made in small steps, they all added up and should never be forgotten about. He then produced a large cup from the box saying “With all that in mind I am going to donate this cup in memory of my Mum, so that other ringer’s achievements can be recognised.”
The inscription reads :-
The Doris J Barber
for achievement in
Church Bell Ringing
Roger then explained how it would be awarded each year and that it didn’t have to be an individual award but could also be a team effort or for longevity in ringing, whatever we want it to be. He suggested that towers might like to nominate someone. He also said that ringers would only be able to win it once, so that a new name gets added each year and that, in future, the district officers would have the task of deciding who would be the winner.
The 2018 winner had already been chosen by Roger who described someone he had met at a district practice in Liss early in the year, when they were only confident in ringing plain hunt on 5. This ringer attends regular monthly practices in order to improve his ringing and has progressed through plain hunt on 7 to plain courses of bob doubles inside, ringing his first QP on the way.
When Gordon Strachan of Blackmoor heard his name announced as the winner, he was rather surprised and just a little emotional, but it’s exactly this type of effort that Roger wants to recognise and reward, and he is hopeful that his Mum’s cup will go a long way towards that.
RINGING FROM 6PM ‘FIZZ N BUBBLES’ FROM 7PM
QUIZ STARTS 7.30PM
AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH HALL, BENTLEY, Church Lane, Bentley GU10 5NA
Plenty of Parking, the Hall is behind the Church
The Alton & Petersfield District Bellringer’s 2019 Quiz!
Bentley hosting, in our new Church Hall, ringing from 6pm and a glass of fizz for early arrivals & non-ringers!
We are planning a pudding auction, so get baking! Anything with alcohol going in always works a treat! As does ‘gooee’ puddings or a cheese board as a great accompaniment!
All monies raised will go to the District Funds!
Fish n chips. Bring your own drinks, we’ll have plenty of glasses and nibbles & pens for scribbles!
Prize for winning team! Prize for Most Original Table Name!
Prize for the Best Pud Maker!
First come first served places limited so hurry or you might not get in!
We ‘really’ look forward to seeing you!
Saturday 9th February at Bramshott from 5.30-7.30pm.
Methods will be any Doubles or Minor, treble to it, ring a new method or have a go at calling a touch.
At our Tower AGM chaired by Revd. Canon Will on 7th January Madeline King stood down from the role of Captain, which she has occupied for 10 years. She was presented with a bouquet and gift from the other members of the band.
Reflecting on her time in office Madeline said that the strength of the ringing band was due to everyone working together in harmony and that this could be achieved only by having leaders who were committed to having a happy successful band. She paid tribute to the ringers who had served in other capacities over the years, assisting as steeple keepers, treasurers, house keepers and teachers, and with administration, organising wedding bands, letting in visitors and arranging outings and social events.
Madeline stressed the necessity of good clear communications with the Vicar and the Parish Office, especially in regard to ringing for weddings and for special occasions like this year’s Armistice Commemorations and New Year, and to ensure safety procedures are followed by workmen and other visitors to the Tower.
The Band has certainly grown and flourished under Madeline’s leadership – we are now regularly able to ring all 8 bells for the Sunday morning service. Not only is the overall standard of ringing improving, but individual ringers are achieving personal targets too. The band is happy and cohesive and that makes the ringing fun and enjoyable. Thank You Madeline!
Our new Captain is Mary Broadbridge.
Email: Use Form
Email: Use Form
Just a reminder that tomorrow is the monthly 8 bell practice at Holybourne from 7:30pm.
The November 10th practice will be at Hawkley from 5.30-7.30pm.
The bells will be half muffled ready for Remembrance Sunday.
It will be a general 8 bell practice from rounds up. A suggestion is to have a go at Double Norwich so have a look at it.
This will be the last practice for 2018 and l will organise more starting on the 3rd Saturday in January and after that back to the usual 2nd Saturday.
I hope you have enjoyed this years practices and have learned a bit more along the way. If you have anything in mind for next year then please let me know.
All best wishes
Alton and Petersfield District Striking Competition
Held at Our Lady of Warnford
Saturday 6th October 2018
The weather wasn’t great, especially as the week had been so unseasonably warm. It was cold, wet and windy but this didn’t dampen the spirits of those taking part in this year’s competition. Six teams entered and for those learners who came along to listen to the ringing we also put together a scratch team so that they could experience what it was like to be in a competition. We had teams entered from Alton, Blackmoor, Bramshott, Buriton, and a combined Froxfield and West Meon team. Alton entered two teams one to ring Call Changes and one to ring a method. Unfortunately, on the day, Bramshott had to withdraw leaving five teams to battle it out. To quote our adjudicator, everyone did very well because these bells were not the easiest to ring. The results were as follows;
In 5th place Blackmoor. Unfortunately none of the team was able to attend the meeting but well done to you all.
In 4th place West Meon / Froxfield.
From left to right, holding their certificate, Theresa Brown (Froxfield) and Edwin Grimshaw (West Meon).
In 3rd place Buriton.
Holding the certificate for the team is David Hughes.
In 2nd place and winner of the Call Changes section Alton.
From left to right Penny Rehbein, Matt Watts (back), Emma Hornsby, Sam Marriott and Julia Day.
In 1st place, overall winner and winner of the Method section, Alton.
From left to right Mike Novell, Steve Marriott, Andy Sparling, Liz South, David Sluter and Jess Hornsby.
Our adjudicator for the day was Roger Barber who was assisted by Andrew Banks and I would like to thank them both for doing such an excellent job.
Note: The Scratch Team only has the competition experience and is not counted in the place order or awards but well done to those who took part. We hope to see you in future competition bands.
As the title says; there will be an eight bell practice at Alton St. Lawrence on September 29th from 5.30 to 7.30pm.