The next Winchester District QDM will be held on Saturday 14th May at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Kings Somborne.
There will be open ringing from 3-4pm, a simple tea and then the business session will start at 4.30pm. After the meeting there will be more open ringing for those who would like to do so.
Please let Micki Nadal (Winchester District Secretary) for more details and to let her know if you intend to come along as this helps us with the catering arrangements.
Apologies for absence
Minutes of the previous meeting (ADM held on 12th February 2022)
Matters arising from the minutes
Loss of members through death
Confirmation of belfry elections
Election of new ringing members
District Communications – ‘Given the duplication that arises through the District using multiple channels of communication, and the need to maximise engagement with members across the District, a survey to be carried out to establish District members preferences for different types of communication. The results of the survey and any recommendations for action arising therefrom to be reported to the next Quarterly District Meeting.’
A proposal by R Booth to undertake a consultation exercise and report back with recommendations to a future meeting. Supporting documentation – please see attachment or the District Newsletter sent on 1/5/22 and to Tower Correspondents on 3/5/22
Training needs/purchases and programme – ‘That the District allocates £150 from its funds to purchase a set of four roller banners to be used for PR purposes across the District’.
A Proposal by Mrs C Knights-Whittome of the design and purchase of roller banners for PR displays. Supporting document from Mrs C Knights-Whittome attached.
Programme of future events
Younger ringers in the District
Improvers’ practices (WIMPS)
Jubilee ringing and Quarter Peal fortnight
Trout ‘n About Stockbridge, Alresford and Romsey Shows
Winchester District Annual Meeting – 12th February 2022
Held at 4pm in St. Mary’s Church, Easton, SO21 1EH and via Zoom
(Ringing from 3pm and following the meeting)
Attendees: The following 34 people, representing 17 towers attended the meeting, either in person, or via Zoom.
In person – Elizabeth Skinner (Bishopstoke), Jinny Kufluk (Hursley), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Gary Davies (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Micki Nadal (District Secretary, Stockbridge and Kings Somborne), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Caroline Fairley and Bruce Purvis (District Chairman) (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft (unattached), Pete Jordan (Guild Chairman, Basingstoke St Michael). Also present were the following five members from the host tower, Easton: Judy Bishop, Pam Chrismas, Sara Janssen, Lyn Russell and Trisha Shannon, and the District Ringing Master, Edmund Wratten (unattached).
Via Zoom – Amanda Bayford (Crawley), Christine and Ian McCallion and Tony Smith (Hursley), Margaret Goodfellow (Kings Worthy), Jen Churchill, Carol Higgins and John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), John Colliss (Winchester Cathedral), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore – guest).
Chairman’s Welcome: Chairman Bruce Purvis warmly welcomed guests to the ADM, particularly welcoming Guild Master Pete Jordan, and thanked Judy Bishop and her colleagues for arranging the tower and church facilities and refreshments for the meeting and Andrew Glover for organising the technical aspects of the hybrid meeting.
Apologies for absence: These were received from Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) and Brenda Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley)
Minutes of the previous meeting held on November 13th 2021 were agreed nem con and signed.
Matters arising: John Palk remarked that some of the Insurance matters discussed at the Executive Committee Meeting were still outstanding. Roger Booth advised that Helen Woolford (Guild Honorary Treasurer) had written a paper explaining the situation; also that Ecclesiastical Insurance could offer an online presentation. Guild Master Peter Jordan reported that the issues were being discussed with Marcus Booth from Ecclesiastical.
Loss of members through death: John Collier and Brian Billimore, both formerly of Easton. A minute’s silence was held in memory of these former members.
Confirmation of belfry elections
Geoff Robinson of Kings Worthy on 4 January 2022, proposed by Ted Banks, seconded by Jonathan Smith.
Richard Lording, Dylan Price and Stuart Price of Hursley on 11 January 2022, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Christine Saunders.
Jill Fuller of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2022, proposed by Lucy Hopkins Till, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till.
Norman Boakes of North Stoneham on 8 February 2022, proposed by Robert Ryder, seconded by Alison Martin.
Tim Conway, William Knowles and Clara Knowles of Cheriton on 10 February 2022, proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Election of new members:
David Dunning of Broughton and Houghton, proposed by Bob Gosse, seconded by Jenny Hebburn.
Craig Robb of Cheriton [lapsed, re-election], proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Christine Hyde of Sherfield English, proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Martin Daniels.
Marion Attree and Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.
Officers’ Annual Reports
Secretary’s Report: copies were distributed. The move to adopt the Secretary’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis and agreed nem con.
Treasurer’s Report: – There were no questions to Treasurer Tony Smith from the floor. The move to adopt the Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis, agreed nem con and signed as a true record.
Election of Officers: The following people were proposed and elected for posts as follows:
Chairman Bruce Purvis proposed by Jenny Watson and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson;
Secretary Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;
Treasurer Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Joint Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, proposed by Elizabeth Johnson and seconded by Micki Nadal;
Executive Committee Representative Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;
Independent Examiner of Accounts, John Collis, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson;
Webmaster Andrew Glover, proposed by Trisha Shannon and seconded by Micki Nadal;
Newsletter Editor Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by John Croft.
John Croft was thanked for his work as Executive Committee Member and it was agreed he would review his decision to step down if meetings were once again held in person. Roger Booth agreed to carry on as Newsletter editor, but would co-opt people to help with the task over the next year.
Attendees welcomed the list of proposed events. John Palk questioned who would pay for the use of the Charmborough Ring at 2 events. Micki Nadal reassured him that the Trout ‘n About Committee would be paying for the use of the ring in Stockbridge. Roger Booth hoped to obtain a grant from the Education and Training Development Fund for its use at the Alresford Show, adding that no funds had yet been raised for that purpose. There was also a possibility of the ring being installed at the Cheriton Fête, which would not necessarily result in a claim on District funds, but any contributions would be gratefully received.
Twyford Bells – Andrew Johnson gave attendees an update of works in progress at Twyford. Four bells would be taken out on Tuesday 15th February and the other four on Wednesday 16th, all to be taken to Appleton to be retuned (1,2,6 and 7), recast (3 and 4) and newly cast (5), with the existing 5 (the last survivor of the original 1766 ring) being retained as a chiming bell. The frame would be retained, the running gear replaced. The fundraising was nearly complete.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Initiated by Roger Booth, a wide -ranging discussion took place between attendees. Roger intimated that is was not certain that the Twyford bells would be in place in time for Jubilee celebrations; he suggested that it would be good if a quarter-peal could be attempted within the District. It was agreed by all that ringers would be encouraged to help out at as many towers as possible over the weekend. Attention would be given to publicise events in parishes where bells are not often rung. It would be essential to co-opt helpers to organise the various ringing events around the district. Bruce Purvis would start the process for this in the near future. John Palk suggested establishing the plans organised by each PCC. Judy Bishop aimed to organise a quarter-peal in Easton on Thursday 2nd June and would be asking for help from ringers for this event. Jenny Watson advised that the CCCBR had requested all towers to ring on the morning of Friday 3rd June when a service of thanksgiving was taking place. Micki Nadal felt that an element of flexibility was required as many ringers would be involved in organising village and street parties. Elizabeth Johnson felt it would prove impossible to have all the bells rung on Friday as there were simply not enough ringers. Andrew Glover suggested the district aims to have every tower ringing at some point over the weekend. Roger Booth emphasised we should encourage all standards of ringing, not just quarter peals, and that less experienced bands’ ringing should be encouraged equally enthusiastically.
Beyond Bob Doubles – In response to an enquiry from Jenny Watson, Micki Nadal explained this was a wish list rather than written in stone and would depend on the availability of our Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, who would jointly put together a programme based around Easton, Cheriton and Stockbridge (the use of these towers being kindly offered at the meeting).
District Practices – These would be arranged at suitable towers spread around the District.
Quarter-Peal Fortnight – The idea was received enthusiastically. Andrew Glover suggested it be incorporated into the Jubilee weekend.
Striking Competitions – With Andrew Glover’s warm support for a competition, Bruce Purvis offered to research a simpler form of striking competition (Strictly Come Ringing) used in his daughter’s Diocesan Association [Derby].
Winchester Cathedral Tower Visit – The visit on 31st August had been proposed to the Cathedral ringers. A response is still awaited.
QDMs – The next two meetings would be held on Saturday 7th May and Saturday 12th November.
Carol Service – This would be held on Saturday 3rd December at Twyford Church. Micki Nadal had organised a priest and an organist for the service.
Register of ringers – Following questions from the floor on whether this useful directory could be reintroduced in an updated format, attendees agreed it would be useful to investigate whether, data protection rules applying, it could be resurrected. Andrew Glover explained the use of the consent form for GDPR and that it had proven ‘incredibly difficult’ to secure people’s consent. Tony Smith offered to contact tower correspondents to find out what, if any, information their members would be happy to provide. It was felt by attendees that, as a minimum, the directory should include e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and preferably home locations, if not addresses.
Guild Master’s Address
Pete Jordan thanked attendees for their warm welcome at this, the 6th meeting of 7 he would be attending. He was enjoying meeting people face to face once again and added that it was encouraging to see ringing getting back to normal.
Guild Secretaryship – Pete advised attendees that the Guild still needed to fill the role of Guild Secretary as no replacement had been found for Steve Lamb. In June the Guild triennial elections would be taking place. Any volunteers for the post would have the opportunity to try out the role for three or four months before undertaking a permanent commitment at the Guild AGM.
Guild action plan – Pete explained that, as part of the action plan, a new ringers’ welcome pack was being produced for new probationary members. The Guild certificate had been revamped and incorporated into an A5 booklet with Guild and District information included, plus an introduction to the work of the Central Council and information on young ringers’ groups. The aim was to supply these to new probationary members; they would probably be issued to towers via the district secretaries or via John Palk with the Guild report, with the District Secretaries holding the balance of the copies.
Bruce Purvis thanked Guild Master Pete Jordan for his presentation.
Any other notified business
Subscriptions – Roger Booth reminded attendees that it had been over 10 years since the Guild had reviewed subscriptions and members were starting to question what, apart from the Annual Report and third party (public liability) insurance, was provided. Insurance is covered under PCC insurance. Some members, on the other hand, felt that existing subs, with only£2 for probationers, was too little and with churches under increasing financial pressure we will need to help more if we want churches to restore bells. In some guilds up to 20% of restoration costs are provided. With various restoration projects assisted and others in the pipeline, the amount of money in the BRF (bell restoration fund) has reduced considerably and will further do so, and this will need to be replenished. In 2009 the age profile of the Guild consisted of 33% seniors paying reduced fees. By 2019 this percentage had increased to 50%, reducing Guild income. By increasing subscription levels, the BRF could be topped up and monies available for recruitment and training. An additional idea would be to set up a District Young Ringers Group and to pay the first year subscriptions to the new Young Change Ringers Association. By increasing the amount going into the Guild Training and Development Fund, more would be available to help towers. John Palk felt that an increase in subscriptions to members who already felt they received little from the Guild could be counter-productive. Bruce Purvis would support an increase in subscriptions to say, £15 or £20, provided an increased amount was put into Guild training, recruitment and advertising. Elizabeth Johnson reminded attendees that, in the past, as well as the 200 Club, other fund raising events were organised by the Guild, such as dinners and open days.
Church closures – Bruce Purvis reminded attendees of GS2222 and brought their attention to St Barnabas’ Church in Southampton which, due to small congregations, was due to be sold to developers, with no plans for the fate of the bells, a ring of 6 which were hung in 2000. He encouraged attendees to study the lists of those churches likely to be in some danger of closure and to consider the bells at risk from this. Micki Nadal remarked that there were several churches at risk of closure and members would get a feeling for which churches were under threat from the list. John Croft added that there were 900 such churches at risk nationally over the coming years, mostly in outlying areas. Andrew Johnson added that once closure of a church was mooted, its bells had to stay put until the future of the church was determined, although local planning rules might afford some protection. Elizabeth Johnson remarked that once a church was closed it could be difficult to get the bells out.
Youth ringers – It was felt that the District needed to establish a strategy for the future, using school visits, youth groups, such as Scouts and guides, open days and presentations as a basis for recruitment. In addition, towers with only one or two younger ringers could join together to provide small hubs. Roger Booth would come back with detailed proposals at the next quarterly meeting.
Bruce Purvis thanked members for their participation. The meeting closed at 5.30pm.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 8th February 2020 in the Parish Hall, Hursley.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.28 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including the Master of the Guild, Peter Jordan, and our other visitors, and with thanks to the Rector and Wardens for the use of the bells, to the Rector, the Revd William Prescott for leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Hursley Band for hosting the day and in particular Christine Hill and her helpers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause], and all those present for supporting the meeting.
2. Attendance. The following 28 members of the District (representing eleven bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Robert Eames and Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) Janice Higgins, Christine and Ian McCallion, Tessa and Tony Smith, and Martin Waldron (all of Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne and Stockbridge),Gary Davies and Brenda and John Palk, (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels and Jennifer and Nigel Herriott (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Joyce Croft, and Trisha Shannon (all unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Pete Jordan (Guild Master – Basingstoke) and Jennifer, Martin Waldron’s partner, comprising the guests. Also present were Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine and Barry Saunders and Derek Stewart (all of Hursley), Caroline Fairley (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft and Edmund Wratten (all unattached); a total of 35.
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Jen Churchill, Drew and Sue Craddock, John Gawne-Cain, Philip Gillibrand, Andrew Glover, Carol Higgins, Sara Janssen, Elizabeth.Johnson, and Charlotte and Jonathan Smith.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Subject to amendments (‘Northington’ from ‘Broughton’, item 9, Future Events refers and ‘Elizabeth Johnson’ from ‘Rodney Skinner’, item 10 no. 3, Channel Islands District refers) adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Autumn District Meeting held on 9 November at Easton Parish Hall was proposed by Rob Eames, seconded by Jenny Watson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising.
Minute 5, ‘Romsey Show’: John Palk remarked that the potential for securing as many as 60 names for follow-up at the Romsey Show was a ‘pipe-dream’, and questioned the value for money of the outlay of £300. Roger Booth disagreed and explained that at similar events there had often been as many as 50 or 60 enquiries. On this occasion some 15 people had left their details to be contacted, and some of these had started lessons, but there could be better follow up by local towers. Events such as this had the potential to be excellent value for money, both in terms of PR and attracting new ringers, and when so much money was locked up in District, Guild and BRF funds, a great deal of outreach work was possible for the outlay of a very small proportion of these funds. Nigel Herriott observed that, at Romsey at least, recruitment was not a problem. Roy LeMarechal pointed out that the Romsey Show was visited from across the county of Hampshire and beyond and many other towers would benefit.
Minute 5,’Donation to the Youth Ringers’ Outings’: Tony Smith reported that the £100 offered to the organiser to support these outings was taken up in due course.
Minute 5, ‘Ringing World National Youth Competition’ Martin Daniels sought reassurance that the failure of any District ringer to be chosen for the Guild entry for the RWNYC did not mean that the District’s offer of financial support would not be renewed. The Treasurer confirmed that the offer was on-going.
Minute 9 ‘Future Events’. The Secretary remarked on the resounding success of the Carol Service at Northington.
6. Loss of members through death. None notified.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections.
Emily J Crowder of Kensington on 9 November 2019 prior to a peal at Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.
Douglas Page and Oscar Schultz of Winchester College on 12 November 2019, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt on 6 January 2020, proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson.
Hephzibah Murray of Winchester College on 28 January 2020, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
Christine Hyde of Sherfield English on 4 February 2020, proposed Caroline Daniels, seconded Martin Daniels.
Hannah Whaites of Wonston on 8 February 2020, proposed by Gerry Cornick, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.
8a. Election of new ringing members.
Richard Eames of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Peter Clarke.
George Mansfield, Bailey Riches, Harriet Riches and Nathan Smith of New Alresford, proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Roger Booth.
Jon Butler and Alison Jones of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Rhoda Willson.
Che Haefner and Claire Webster of Winchester College, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Ella Kesterton, Rianne Li and Esther Sweeting of Winchester College, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
Milena Nunn of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick.
8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were taken for members at Bishopstoke, Lockerley and East Tytherley, and Sherfield English, and certificates for members at Romsey.
9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: the secretary’s report was presented for scrutiny for errors and omissions: with none noted it could be forwarded to the Guild Report Editor for publication. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was approved by the meeting, and they were signed and dated by the Chairman.
10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, remarked that if elected he was prepared to serve for a further term of one year, but felt it was right not to remain in office for too long, so that the District might benefit from the new ideas and new directions that could result from a change of chairman. So the District has the coming year to give due thought to choosing his successor. The Secretary echoed these sentiments, adding that if he were elected this year would mark a decade in post. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’. The other sitting officers, bar the Newsletter Editor were likewise willing to stand for 2020, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Nigel Herriott;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Nigel Herriott seconded by Roy LeMarechal;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by John Palk;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by Bruce Purvis
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Trisha Shannon;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by John Palk;
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Martin Daniels;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Bruce Purvis;
Newsletter Editor: Following a brief discussion on the need for a newsletter in current circumstances, the meeting agreed to leave the editorship vacant; candidates for all other posts elected on a show of hands.
11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was still at an early stage of compilation, with district practices for February and September being established and – most importantly – the location of the next Annual Meeting being settled, at Twyford on 13 February 2021. Concerns were raised – and duly noted – regarding the date for the Spring District Meeting falling on 9 May, conflicting with VE Day commemorations taking place that weekend, and regarding the staging of the Stockbridge Ringing Festival in the height of summer, likely to be busy with weddings and the Trout’n’about Festival on Sunday 2 August – and for which the Charmborough Ring has been booked. The date of 2 May for the Spring District Meeting and an autumn date for the Festival of Ringing were proposed.
12. Guild Striking Competitions. The Secretary reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 13 June at Alton, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. The Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Fawley and Eling respectively on Saturday 16 May, with draws at 3.00 p.m. The Inter-District 10-bell competition would take place at All Saints’, Basingstoke on Saturday 5 September, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District 8-Bell Competitions, and his offer was accepted with gratitude.
13. Guild Master. Pete Jordan, the Guild Master, said that when he was learning to ring, he was amazed at the time and effort that was devoted to teaching new learners. Ringing was a hobby, undertaken voluntarily, and he wished to thank us all for our efforts in the teaching and learning process, for our commitment to Sunday service ringing, and for taking on roles at tower, district and guild levels. He thanked us all, very much indeed. Secondly, Pete drew the attention of the meeting to the Heritage section of the Guild Action Plan, which included a planned initiative to record peal boards throughout the Guild. Allan Yalden, the project co-ordinator, requested that photographs of peal boards be sourced and copied – or taken from scratch and sent via e-mail – to him. Caroline Daniels enquired how Allan could be contacted: the answer was “via the Guild website”.
14. Any Other Business.
Beyond Bob Doubles, February. Edmund Wratten gave notice of the next Beyond Bob Doubles practice, at East Tytherley on Wednesday 26 February, concentrating on triples and major methods such as Grandsire, Stedman and Little Bob Major.
Guild Report. John Palk reminded the meeting that the provision of copies of the new Guild Report was on an opting-in basis, requiring members to request their copies through their tower secretaries.
Format of meetings. Nigel Herriott observed that our average age was now above 60 years. “Six or seven years ago” our ADM at North Stoneham had “filled the church”, and he wondered whether the format for District meetings of ringing – service – tea – business meeting was still viable as our age-profile gradually increased and people were retiring from ringing as they got older. Caroline Daniels enquired rhetorically whether there were any people coming into ringing in their twenties. The Secretary agreed that, although the traditional format of meetings had been subject to change during his tenure, the level of interest and attendance did concern him, and he proposed to organise a meeting of interested parties, including tower reps and the contributors to this discussion, to address just this issue. Tower Reps’ meetings were usually held in June. Roger Booth suggested the issue was not served well by a delay of four months, and that a meeting in April would address the issue to greater effect.
Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the BRF raised £27.
Minutes of the Autumn District Meeting held on Saturday 9th November 2019 in the Parish Hall, Easton.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.32 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Rector and Wardens for the use of the bells, to Edmund Wratten, Ringing Master, for leading the afternoon’s training in Cambridge Minor and its variants, and to the Easton ringers for laying on a sumptuous ringers’ tea [applause]. Edmund thanked his helpers in the training session.
2. Attendance. The following 20 members of the District (representing eight bands, with three members unattached), and one guest signed the attendance register: Judy Bishop, Sara Janssen and Lyn Russell (all of Easton), Christine Hill and Tessa and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Carol Higgins (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth and Elizabeth Johnson (both of New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, Charlie Curtis, Mary Edelsten, Christine Govier and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), John and Joyce Croft, and Trisha Shannon (all unattached), and Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore – guest); also present was Edmund Wratten (unattached).
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Nick Bucknall, Jen Churchill, Andrew Glover, Andrew Johnson, Christine Knights-Whittome, Brenda and John Palk. 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption of the minutes as a true record of the business of the Spring District Meeting held on 11 May at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford, was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Jenny Watson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising.Minute 10: Romsey Show. In response to an enquiry, Sue Spurling reported that 14 September had been a beautiful day, and the Guild’s stand had been very busy during the morning. Roger Booth added that some 250 people, adults and children, had tried their hand on the Charmborough Ring. Fifteen people had left details to find out more about ringing, including three or four for Romsey alone, and some lapsed ringers. All these details had been forwarded to active bands, and if they needed support, Martin Daniels had agreed to arrange helpers. The organisers felt that with better organisation, more names could have been gathered – perhaps as many as fifty or sixty. There was a strong sense that the exercise was definitely worth repeating. Roger added that the Ring had been booked for Stockbridge’s “Trout’n’about” festival of food and crafts, on 2 August next year.
Minute 11: Donation to the W&P Youth Ringers’ Outings. Tony Smith reported that he had written to Sallie Ingram, the outings’ organiser, to learn who should receive the grant voted by the Spring District Meeting, and he had yet to hear from her. The meeting mandated Tony to contact Sallie again.
Minute 12: Ringing World National Youth Competition. No young member of the District had been chosen for the Guild’s team for the RWNYC, so Martin Daniels’ proposal, agreed by the Spring meeting, lapsed.
Minute 15 [incorrectly numbered 14]: AOB: Northington. Elizabeth Johnson reported that a first quarter had been scored on the new ring, on 20 May, featuring members of the Candover Valley Ringers, and Jill Parr, formerly captain of the band; also that the bells had been dedicated by the Bishop of Basingstoke at a service on 6 October. A first peal attempt had been lost when a rope had slipped wheel.
6. Loss of members through death. The death of Derek Yates of East Meon and New Alresford, on 20 September, was noted with sadness. A prominent ringer, he continued his ringing career on handbells after a stroke prevented him from climbing stairs. His funeral was widely attended, and Terry Collins’ eulogy had been published as an obituary in the Ringing World. Also, the death of John Denham on 21 July was noted with sadness: John had been a longstanding and loyal member of the Sunday service band at Twyford St Mary the Virgin. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections.
William P Carew of Kingsteignton on 28 September 2019 prior to a peal at
Wimborne Minster proposed by Barry Fry, seconded by John Croft.
Jesse Birks-Kent and Bethany Lunn of Winchester Cathedral on 19 June 2019
proposed by Mike Hopkins Till, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Christine Wilson, unattached, on 19 June 2019 proposed by Mike Hopkins Till,
seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Evangelia Karletsou of Winchester Cathedral on 25 September 2019 proposed by
Bruce Purvis, seconded by Nick Bucknall.
Andrew R Nunn of Micheldever on 1 October 2019 proposed by Mary Tiles,
seconded by Juliet Pattison.
8. Election of new ringing members.
Marion Daniell and Christine Govier of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Nick
Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Bethany Lunn of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Mike Hopkins Till, seconded
by Bruce Purvis.
Trisha Shannon, unattached, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Mary
9. Future Events. The Secretary referred briefly to the few events remaining of the programme up to the next Annual Meeting, at Hursley next February. These included District Practices at Old Alresford on Monday next, 11 November, and at Broughton and Kings Worthy, also the Carol Service at Broughton, still subject to confirmation. An additional training session – added since the Agenda had been published – was a training evening in raising and lowering at Sparsholt, this coming Friday, 14 November, starting at 7.00 p.m. Suggestions and proposals for the new programme included District Practices at King’s Somborne, Kings Worthy, Micheldever, Easton and Wonston. Roger Booth observed that District Practices – certainly those he had attended – were thinly attended, and he urged the Committee to consider his suggestions, circulated earlier, to improve attendance rates. More specifically, Elizabeth Johnson suggested that for District Practices at Old Alresford, we contact her or Rodney Skinner – who ran a practice for the Ropley Band-in-exile on the second Thursday of the month – for advice, as there was in effect no band at Old Alresford.
10. Any Other Business. (1) Future District Committee. John Croft, Chairman, gave notice that he would be prepared to stand for re-election next February, but that if elected, he could serve only one more year, as he would by then have served five years, and felt it was time for ‘new blood’, fresh approaches and ideas, etc. Bruce Purvis, Secretary, gave notice to the same effect, as by 2021 he would have served ten years. Tony Smith, Treasurer, added that he was likewise prepared to serve, if elected, through 2020, but would not in the least be offended should anyone else wished to take on the management of the District’s finances.
(2) Training needs. Edmund Wratten entered a plea for input as to training needs across the District, as it was difficult otherwise to be certain that our training programme had a properly broad appeal across the District.
(3) Channel Islands District. Rodney Skinner advised the meeting that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission had recommended that transfer of the Channel Islands’ Deanery to the Diocese of Salisbury. This could mean that the Channel Islands’ District could seek affiliation to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. It was understood, however, that the decision would be up to the District.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 6.03 p.m.
Our Annual District Meeting – this year, at Hursley – is fast approaching, so, please find attached poster. Please affix to your noticeboards, put the word round, forward to your band members, however you communicate such matters.
The papers for the meeting – the Agenda, the minutes of the last meeting, the District Accounts and the Report of the last year in the District’s annals – will all follow in due course, with time enough for everyone to read and if necessary comment.
In the run-up to Christmas, your District is pleased to offer you TWO events in the first half of the month, hopefully before you get too bogged down in Christmas arrangements and commitments.
Firstly, we have a District Practice a fortnight tonight, at Broughton, on Monday 9th December. Please note the start and finish times of 7.30 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., half an hour later than Broughton’s usual start/finish times, but arranged thus to spare anyone who cares to support this practice and coming from a distance from having to set out too early in the evening.
Secondly, we are looking forward very much to our Carol Service, a week later than previously mooted, on Saturday 14th December, at Northington, hosted by the Candover Valley Band. As you’ll be aware, the new six has but recently been consecrated, so the afternoon offers much to look forward to.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible – and, indeed anyone who’d like to join us from neighbouring districts/the rest of the world – at either or both of these events, at which you will be assured of a warm welcome. I’ve attached the usual flyers/posters – please bring to the attention of your band members, or anyone else you think would be interested.
Please find attached the papers for our Autumn meeting, at Easton on Saturday 9th November. Please put the word round as soon as you can. Don’t forget to let Sara Janssen know if you wish to join us for tea, and Jenny Watson if you wish to join the training session – either because you want to find out about Cambridge Surprise Minor and its variants, or you can help.
ALSO, we are due to have a District Practice at Old Alresford shortly afterwards. I’ll let you know when I have the details confirmed.
Minutes of the Spring District Meeting held on Saturday 11th May 2019 in the Meeting Room, the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.15 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Vicar and Wardens for the use of the bells, to Roger Booth, for the use of the Charmborough Ring, sited in the grounds of Mildmay House and to the Twyford ringers Bands for hosting the day and for laying on splendid ploughmen’s lunches and ringers’ teas [applause].
2. Attendance. The following 20 members of the District (representing eight bands), and three guests signed the attendance register: Roy, Ann and Stephanie LeMarechal, and Graham Wright (all of Bishopstoke) Christine Hill and Tessa and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Tony Ayres, Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson, and Ian Redway (all of New Alresford), Caroline Daniels (Romsey Abbey), Martin Daniels (Sherfield English), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, Caroline Fairley, John Gawne-Cain, Alan Hutchinson and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Rob Hatch (Botley) and Joyce Croft (guest) comprising the guests. Also present were Alison Fydler (Candover Valley Ringers), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne and Stockbridge), Roger Booth and Theo Johnson (New Alresford), Angela Forder-Stent and Jennie Richardson (Twyford), John Croft (unattached) and Susannah and Julia Johnson (guests)
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Jen Churchill, Drew Craddock, Andrew Glover, Christine Knights-Whittome, Trish Spink, Sue Spurling, Carol Ward, Peter Willis and Edmund Wratten.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 9 February at Lockerley Memorial Hall was proposed by John Palk, seconded by Bruce Purvis and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising. None, other than as substantive agenda items.
6. Loss of members through death. The recent passing of Mary Harper was noted, and Martin Daniels recalled that she lived in Salisbury, but had rung at Sherfield English for a number of years. Her ringing career had concluded about five years ago, but she had remained a loyal supporter of the band. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections. Probationary members: Harriet R Riches of New Alresford on 23 April 2019 proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Roger Booth. Esther Sweeting, Qiqi Shi and Xantara Vodzi of Winchester College on 7 May 2019 proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Rodney Skinner.
8. Election of new ringing member.
Pernille Faye of Winchester College proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Rodney Skinner.
9. Future Events. The Secretary reported that the training morning at Stockbridge, 22 June, would be devoted to Reverse Canterbury, not Stedman, following expressions of interest in the former. He added that the halls had been booked for the Autumn meeting at Easton and for the 2020 Annual District Meeting at Hursley. Finally, he reminded the meeting of the next District Practice, in the morning of 21 May, at Micheldever.
10. Romsey Show. Roger Booth offered the District the use of the Charmborough Ring at the Romsey Show, the hire of which would amount to a maximum of £300,depending upon the distance it would have to be brought from its previous venue.
Discussion revolved around the location of the District’s pitch, and the need to maximise the return on the investment of time and money by the District. Graham Wright argued that there was no better advertisement for ringing than the presence of a mini-ring. The meeting agreed to pay for the deployment of the Charmborough Ring up to a maximum of £300.
11. Donation to the W&P Youth Ringers’ Outings. The meeting considered the request for funding to meet the cost of tower fees for the District’s participants at the Guild’s outings, such as those forthcoming at Sherfield English and Bishopstoke.
John Palk observed that there was no Guild funding towards these expenses, and
that – as evinced in the above examples – the money often came back to the District’s towers. The meeting agreed to fund these expenses.
12. Ringing World National Youth Competition. The meeting endorsed the suggestion, previously raised at the Annual District Meeting (Minute 15, AOB, section 1 refers), that a modicum of financial support be made available to be shared among the District’s ringers in the W&P Guild team.
13. Format of District Meetings. Item withdrawn at the proposer’s request.
14. Guild AGM, 15 June 2019. The meeting learned that the Guild AGM, hosted this year by the Isle of Wight District, coincided with the Isle of Wight Pop Festival, and intending participants were advised to travel as foot passengers from Lymington to Yarmouth, and proceed by bus to Freshwater.
14. Any Other Business. Elizabeth Johnson advised the meeting that the new Northington ring was operational, with a quarter-peal attempt planned to take place on 20 May, to coincide with the Deanery Synod.
15. Striking Competition Results. The striking competition had been judged by our Chairman, John Croft, who complimented all five bands on the standard of their ringing, as the Twyford bells were not an easy ring. Method mistakes were judged as one fault, striking mistakes as half a fault. Team 1 rang doubles on the back six. It was a solid, very steady piece of ringing, equating to a peal speed of 3h20’. The tenor was generally rung well, but mistakes accumulated, and 13 faults were logged. Team 2 rang doubles on the back six, at a very stately pace – the slowest of the five – equating to a peal speed of 3h30’. There were a couple of hitches, but the band recovered well. While there was much good ringing, there were occasional gaps, which accentuated the errors. 12 faults were logged. Team 3 rang doubles on the back six, at a good pace: an excellent piece of ringing which flowed, so that there were no gaps. The peal speed was 2h51’, and the band was to be congratulated on ringing that was a pleasure to listen to. 4 faults were logged. Team 4 rang doubles on the back six, and produced another piece of excellent ringing, fractionally slower than Team 3, with a peal speed of 2h54’ and a final score of 1½ faults. Team 5 rang Cambridge Minor on the back six, with a pace between the extremes of the first two contestants and the latter, equating to a peal speed of 3h00’. The results were a little bit mixed, but the band were to be congratulated on ringing minor, and raising to the challenge. Their score was 8 faults.
After ringing for morning service today at New Alresford, six members of our band went to ring for the harvest festival service at our neighbouring parish of Tichborne. These bells have no band of their own, but members of the congregation were very appreciative and thanked us for our efforts. The Rector said it meant a lot to the village to hear their bells being rung, even to those who did not manage to come to the service. It was also Nathan Smith’s first quarter, rung as part of the Guild’s ‘Firsts Fortnight’.