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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!
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!
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.
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Just a reminder that tomorrow is the monthly 8 bell practice at Holybourne from 7:30pm.
The practices for Froxfield, West Meon & Warnford for September are as follows:-
Tuesday 11th September 7.30pm
Tuesday 25th September 7.30pm
Monday 10th September 7.30pm – WARNFORD
Monday 24th September – 7.30pm – WEST MEON
If you wish to come to Warnford and haven’t been before please contact me on 07799 831426 so that we can let you into the park.
The 2018 Alton & Petersfield District Striking Competition will be held at Warnford on Saturday October 6th.
Timings are a little loose at the moment, because we don’t know just how many teams will be entering yet, but the general idea is:-
2.30pm – The draw takes place
3.00pm – Competition begins
5.00pm – Tea – Names for tea please to Teresa Brown by October 2nd.
6.00pm – Autumn Meeting
We are not planning any evening ringing, but if enough people want to stay we might be able to arrange some.
Please let me know if your tower is planning to enter a team, so that I can print the appropriate number of certificates. Don’t forget that two towers can enter as a joint team if they do not have enough available ringers to enter a team on their own.
Contact Teresa Brown with names for tea
Contact Valerie Harris for team entries
Froyle has a wall in their tower where all important information was, and is, written. Whilst they may not have anything recorded there about WW1 ringing, they do have this record of the bells being fired in VJ Day in 1945. Only 3 ringers named though, perhaps they fired 2 bells each.
Also apparently, there is a record of snow in 1904, in June!! Somewhat different to June of this year then.
Linda Bulpitt has assured me that they will be adding to the wall when they ring at 11.00am and 7.05pm on November 11th.
Due to holidays etc. it has been decided to cancel this month’s 8 bell practice at Alton St. Lawrence.
We will start again on September 29th.
Sorry for any disappointment.
Wednesday 8th August – 7.30 to 9.00pm
General Practice at Winchester Cathedral
Meet at 7.15pm in the Cathedral Close by the south door.
Access will be via the south west turret staircase, as last year.
Saturday 11th August – 5.30 to 7.30pm
Plain hunting the treble and ringing inside to triples and major methods
Saturday 25th August – 5.30 to 7.30pm
8 Bell Practice at St. Lawrence
Last year’s picnic/barbecue took place in torrential rain, so it was great this year to be pretty certain of having sunshine.
I’m told that the afternoon ringing went very well (I was at work so couldn’t get there till later unfortunately), with plenty of ringers from at least 6 towers and a good range of methods rung.
When the ringing was over everyone flocked round to the village hall where the barbecue was already lit and ready to go, and there were games to play and a photo quiz to solve while we waited for the food to cook.
Many burgers, sausages, salads and desserts were consumed, washed down with beer, squash and cups of tea. All to the background clatter of Giant Connect Four or a falling Jenga tower and the occasional football scooting past. And, of course, lots of laughter.
Then a bag of marshmallows and some long skewers appeared, prompting more smiles and a queue at the barbecue while they were toasted to the desired colour.
Teresa Brown’s photo quiz caught a few people out when they couldn’t recognise places that they had rung in before. Sometimes, even their home tower. But David Hughes had no such problems and identified all 20 pictures correctly.
The raffle was drawn, participants were thanked, some of the youngsters disappeared into the hall to have a go at the curling, and the clearing up began. All in all a very successful and enjoyable event.
Thank you all again.
Funeral details for Lawrence Francis Ensor.
Monday 23rd July.10.30 Portsmouth Cathedral High St Old Portsmouth, burial 12.00 noon at Warblington Cemetery nr Emsworth and after at Brookfield Hotel close by.
All welcome. Details: Lee Fletcher Funeral Director. Cosham.
If you would like to attend please email email@example.com and you will be sent the contact address. Confirmation of attendance would be appreciated for planning.
Tomorrow is the first Tuesday practice at Holybourne again from 7:30 – 9:00. Ringing from plain Hunt on 7 upwards. Hope to have a good group again.
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