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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Unconfirmed 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’.
We have a District Practice, up-coming, for which I apologise for the short notice in putting the word round. It is at North Stoneham, next Tuesday, and I am sure that anyone who can make it to look in on the practice will be very welcome.
Posters attached, as usual; probably a bit late for notice-boards, but including useful information such as postcode for SatNavs.
Winchester District Secretary.
PS. Next date for your diaries is the Autumn District Meeting, Easton, Saturday 9th November. Further details to follows.
Somehow this Winchester District course had passed me by. Whether I was distracted from ringing, or perhaps I saw Bob Doubles and subconsciously subtracted it from my mind, having barely become confident enough to Plain Hunt inside. My first reaction to Edmund’s email prompt to encourage me to attend was, “it can’t apply to me, surely?”. Apparently there were only two takers for the course with just a few days to go so some active marketing was required.
With a number of willing helpers and a tower available it would be have been a slap in the face to the good will of our neighbouring ringers were it to have been cancelled.
As it turned out there were six learners taken through Bob Doubles, each having three or four extended goes at it, supported by Edmund on our shoulder and well struck by the supporters. Some of the background crew took their turn at polishing up their Bob Minor.
The ringing chamber of Cheriton was comfortable with lots of ringing character about it. Easy access, through the vestry and up a short, broad flight of wooden stairs. Water was brought out to freshen us up halfway through which was a lovely touch. Really nice bunch of people. Although we did try to introduce ourselves at the beginning it never really works unless your used to doing it. I think stickers with a name and tower written on it would be good. If you end up connecting with someone, simple things like that help massively.
Sharon brought her Dad who was visiting and had never seen her ring. That was very touching. He took video on his phone of her and I took video on my phone of them! I am staggered that so few photos or video is taken of bellringing. Whilst the rest of the world is documented and promoted via images, bellringing, with all its archivists and attention to peal record keeping, a deep history of accuracy, doesn’t really see the camera as a recorder of our ringing legacy, let alone our best advertising tool.
A lovely afternoon of making progress with my ringing and bit of networking across some towers which will play out productively over time. Thanks to all involved. If I knew who you were and where to find you I’ll see you soon. Better still, send me a photo from your home tower to firstname.lastname@example.org #bellringing #roguesgallery
My second district practice, and rather different from the first! Both were at King’s Somborne, but what a contrast! The reason was that the first practice occurred when I had only been ringing for a few months, and the bell controlled me and I had no concept of rope-sight! I was overwhelmed by trying to work out what was happening. Well, two years later, I have control of the bell most of the time, and now, when others are ringing, I can sometimes, albeit not that often, work out which bell follows another. Progress I hope!
So, after my first experience, it was with some trepidation that I went to the District Practice on Monday. However, I shouldn’t have worried. We immediately got down to ringing which forces one to get over those initial nerves. Throughout the evening, we rotated between ringing methods designed for the less experienced, such as Plain Hunt and Grandsire, and more complex methods designed to challenge the more or very experienced. I think the evening ended on a version of Cambridge Surprise, which looked extremely complicated. So, the evening catered for all levels, and everyone benefitted from several turns at ringing. There were a few “lost places” and clashing of bells along the way, but for the most part I think we all acquitted ourselves well, and had great fun.
To add to the enjoyment of the evening, a couple of the KS band produced cakes and biscuits to go with the tea and coffee. The biscuits occasioned much praise, and one of the visitors asked for the recipe at the end of the Practice, which was forthcoming! I saved my biscuits for elevenses the next day, and can confirm that they were delicious.
So, I hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as I did.
For those of us classed as “learners”, I would recommend attending a district practice at such time as you are encouraged to do so by other members of your band; it is well worth going, both for the pleasure of meeting other ringers, but also for the experience of ringing with others and watching experienced ringers in action.
In amongst the many activities happening throughout the Worthys (a small series of villages north and easy walking distance from Winchester) for the week long Worthys Festival, were small pockets of bellringing.
St. Mary’s, King’s Worthy, 5 bells, full-circle, had an hour or so of open tower as did St. Swithun’s, Headbourne Worthy, with it’s historic three bells, millenially restored and swing chimed to reduce tower stress, bringing in visitors near and far. St. Swithun’s has a band of around 6, with irregular practices, but always enough, at least 3, every Sunday, to call to worship, be it for Morning Prayer or Eucharist. The ring may be simple but it is and has always been consistent. Up the wooden stairs to the gallery at the west end of the nave and turning right into and over the white-grey diagonal oak beams into the ringing chamber, a sense of calm could be felt, boxed in within the internal bracings of the wooden structure. Three short Sallies, set at chest height, greeted us, along with Jill Prince and Colin Child, regular ringers and custodians. Beaming through the beams they welcomed all visitors. Some were touring the villages on bike, some were travelling the area via King Alfred’s vintage buses, some accidentally happening upon the tower whilst waiting for the duck race to begin in the pretty chalk stream which runs through the churchyard.
Here’s a clip of the chiming in action, all novices on the ropes, but it gives you an idea!
Thank you all for your replies and we would just about have had enough ringers for a practice. However, I’ve just learnt that the no.3 stay is still broken and to avoid any further problems have decided to cancel this month’s practice.
Let’s hope we’re all back from hols etc next month and the stay repaired and we can have a really good practice then.
All the best,
Previously…to be carried forward for October:
Another month passes by and the hoiday season is receding.
After our success last month with Grandsire Monor we’ll continue on a minor theme again this month, and I propose that we try full touches on Wednesday (we got a bob course last month).
We’ve been ringing Plain and Little Bob Minor recently, seperately, so we’ll try a little splicing of these methods. Ross circulated some notes to the Bournemouth ringers and I hope he won’t mind me making use of his notes with our group. Please find them attached.
Again’ if anyone wants to call a touch of anything, please let me know.
Please lets me know Yes/No if you’ll be able to come along.
A bumper bundle of District events awaits your company in September.
Firstly we have the District Practice at the Cathedral – your opportunity to practise ringing on higher numbers in a welcoming environment, on Wednesday September 4th. I should say that the spot where we foregather before ascending to the ringing room has not been included on the poster as I am not sure whether we shall be using the south door entrance or that from the south transept slype. Further information to follow.
Next we have a training afternoon at Cheriton on Saturday 7th September, featuring Plain Bob Doubles and Minor. If you are proficient at bob doubles and wish to progress to bob minor you will be especially welcome as you can be a helper for the doubles and have the opportunity to progress to minor.
Finally we have a District Practice at King’s Somborne on Monday September 16th, at which you’ll be very welcome.
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Easton on the 31st July, from 19:30 – 21:00. Please feel free to spread the word, anyone wishing to practice methods from touches of Grandsire to Stedman and Cambridge is welcome to attend.
The Charmborough Ring will be an attraction at the Romsey Show on 14th September. We have received an excellent response to our earlier request, and now have more than enough people to man our stand throughout the day of the show.
Whilst there was some concern that we might not recruit anyone, and it could rain on the day, at similar shows the Charmborough Ring attracts a lot of interest. The record is the Milton Keynes ringers who collected 90 names and contact details in one day. Around half came to the taster day a fortnight later. Most of these learnt to handle a bell, attending a programme of intensive handling lessons over the next couple of weeks. They then went on to join a local band. Half of these were still ringing two years later. Even if we are only partially as successful, it will be an excellent result, and we will also have exposed a lot of people to ringing.
Our taster day is 12th October at Hursley. So far we have heard from the following towers about help with following up enquiries and teaching people afterwards: Basingstoke (St Michael), Bishopstoke, The Candovers, Kings Somborne, Lockerley, New Alresford, Old Alresford, Petersfield, Ringwood, Romsey, Sherfield English, Stockbridge and Twyford. If you would like us to put people who express an interest in learning to ring in touch with your tower, or would like to help with the teaching, please do let us know as soon as possible, using the Google form below. All teachers are welcome, you do not need to have attended an ART Teaching Module. We will then be in a position to follow up each interested person quickly after the show:
The Winchester District will have the Charmborough Ring at the Romsey Show at Broadlands on Saturday 14th September. The show attracts up to 24,000 people from across an area stretching from Portsmouth to Bournemouth, Salisbury, Andover and Winchester, and even beyond, and our primary aim is to raise awareness of ringing and ringers amongst members of the general public. We require assistance in many ways during and after the show:
Firstly – On the Saturday 14th September
It requires 14 people at any one time to ‘man’ the stand. If you would like to help us in the morning or the afternoon or indeed all day to ring or to talk to members of the general public, we would like to hear from you. At the show the Ring attracts a lot of attention, and there are usually many people who would like to find out more about ringing. However the key to successful recruitment and retention of new ringers is in the pre-planning and the quality of the follow up afterwards.
So Secondly – On Saturday 12th October
We plan to hold a ‘taster morning’ at Hursley on Saturday 12th October, for those members of the public who are interested, so that they can have a go and find out more about the commitment involved in learning to ring.
And Finally – After that
Whilst we would like to direct people to their nearest tower, not all towers have an active band, so we would also like to hear from you if you and your tower are willing to help teach people who express interest. Ideally we would like to match potential new ringers with teachers/towers where they can receive intensive ‘one to one’ bell handling lessons, so that they can handle a bell in a few weeks and be ringing rounds in time to ring for Christmas.