Category Archives: Winchester District Event

Report on St Mary’s Micheldever Tower Open Morning

St Mary’s Micheldever Tower Open Morning

At the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918, the church bells of England rang out in celebration. But it was a sad time for the families of many, including the families of 1,400 bell ringers who had perished in the hostilities. We are very fortunate to have a set of active bells in the village to mark significant occasions, joyful and sad, but after so long they do need some tender loving care and repair.

As a mark of respect to those who died in the Great War, and to raise money for the St Mary’s Bell Restoration Fund, a Tower Open Morning was held on Saturday 17th November.  About 70 visitors were greeted not only by peals of bells but also by the opportunity of seeing the fabulous view from the top of the bell tower on a bright and sunny day. Some were even brave enough to pull the ropes and hear their own efforts resonate around the village. The Micheldever ringers provided a delicious selection of cakes and biscuits to sustain people for the tricky ascent of the tower.

The ringers (Mary Tiles, Belinda Hughes, Felicity Botham, Sharon Reynolds, Andrew Tollyfield, Ben Bell and Juliet Pattinson) have been working hard over the summer carrying out a programme of repairs and maintenance.   They would like to thank all of those who gave very generously towards the cost of this work. In excess of £410 was raised on the day, which will help fund the next phase of the project, buying new ropes, which cost £250 each!

If you were unable to come to the Open Morning but would like to make a donation please send it to Juliet Pattinson, Gardener’s Cottage, 61 Church Street, Micheldever, SO21 3DB (cheques payable to Micheldever PCC).  Any further donations would be very gratefully received.

Thank you.

The Micheldever Bell Ringers

Written by Juliet Pattinson

Winchester District Carol Service – Saturday 8th December – 2.30pm – Crawley

Dear All,
Please find attached the poster for this year’s District Carol Service, which this year is at St Mary’s Crawley, at the slightly earlier time of 2.30 in the afternoon of Saturday 8th December, with service ringing from 2.00 onwards and ringing afterwards for such as who would like it.
For anyone who’s noticed the reference to the Carol Service on the Guild Website, the date – Sunday 9th – is a mistake … we never have Carol services on a Sunday, when most church timetables are likely to be a bit crowded. Secondly, I had hoped we might have the service at Northington, which you’ll be aware is the subject of an augmentation from three to six bells. I should say that the last I heard, which was only a few weeks ago, was that the bells were only just due to be installed this month, and I would imagine that there has to be a service of dedication and blessing before the bells can be used for Divine Service. I’ve heard nothing of late, hence the relocation of the service.
Please put the word round, circulate the poster and/or pin it to your notice-boards.
Best wishes till the 8th
Winchester District Secretary
PS: Don’t forget the District Practice, East Tytherley, tomorrow night, and we have another District Practice planned for 17th December at Old Alresford.

Micheldever Refurbishment

The following is an article the Micheldever Band is very grateful to have had printed in the Dever News as part of their appeal to raise funds for new ropes and ahead of their Tower Open Morning of the 17th November.

Please look out for a follow up report next week with some good news!
Gary Marsh – Wonston

The Bells of St Mary’s

It was thanks to the curiosity of new bell-ringer Sharon Duncan-Reynolds that we made the discovery. Sharon wanted to go up the tower to see what the bells actually do and as local ringing master Edmund Wratten happened to be present that day, he led the way. Donning ear defenders, they watched carefully as a ringer below pulled the bell ropes. That is how we discovered that, even when the lightest bell was rung, the huge metal bell frame moved against the wooden frame on which it is mounted. That was last autumn and as a result we were prompted to give serious thought to the whole state of the bell chamber.
Work immediately started to stabilise the frame and until it got too cold for further work most of the 60 or so rusted lower bolts,which are over 60cm long, were loosened (with more than a little effort) greased and retightened so stopping any movement of the metal frame.  Since the spring the 40 or so top bolts have received similar treatment. Next we tackled the rusting frame itself – cleaning with wires brushes and white spirit, followed by the application of rust preventing undercoat and rust preventing top coat. The plain bearings on which the bells hang, having accumulated years of solidified grease, have been cleaned out, new felt pads inserted and the bearings re-greased.   The wooden frame has received wood preserver and the whole bell chamber cleaned out.

Micheldever Bells - BeforeMicheldever Bells - After

The pictures reveal the difference that has been made but probably don’t quite show how awkward it is to get at some parts of the frame or how dirty we have been getting crawling around it.  It is clear that little maintenance has been carried out for quite some time. Apparently Harry Symes, blacksmith, bell ringer and steeple keeper for many years, who made the rope guide for the church but died in 1991, used to keep the bells in immaculate condition.  It is said that his family kept the bells maintained while there was no ringing during WWI so that when peace came they were ready to ring out.

The current team cannot claim to live up to those standards but has put in its best effort and it has been a team effort; there is no way this could have been done without lots of hands on the job and even so it has taken a couple of months intensive work each Tuesday to get the cleaning and painting done.  We now at least all have a better appreciation of what it takes to keep the bells going.

We do have one thing to ask though.  We have all put in labour and some cash to do this work; no charge has bee made to the Church.  The Church did pay £200 this year to replace a rope for us, for which we are very grateful. But our 5 remaining ropes urgently need replacing; one has a temporary repair and another will very soon need the same.

We need £1000 to allow us to replace our 5 remaining ropes and keep the bells ringing at Micheldever for the next 10-15 years.  Please can you help.

Micheldever - Ropes

Any donations would be gratefully received. They can be given to Belinda Hughes, or posted into the box in the door to the tower in the corner of St Mary’s. Cash is great or cheques should be payable to Micheldever PCC. Please consider completing a gift aid envelope so we can claim the tax back on your donation.

Battles Over - Armistice 100 -11112018

We will be ringing for the service of remembrance  on 11 Nov and again at 12:30 pm as part of the national celebration of the centenary of the Armistice in 1918 – Ringing Remembers.  Church bells across the country will ring out and Big Ben will strike. We invite you to join us if you would like to see the bells being rung and to get a feel for a bell rope afterwards.  We always welcome new ringers.

Bell ringing team:-  Andrew Tollyfield (steeple keeper), Juliet Pattison (tower captain & secretary), Mary Tiles, Felicity Botham, Belinda Hughes, Sharon Duncan-Reynolds, Ben Bell and with help for practices from Charlotte Smith (Kingsworthy).  Also special thanks to Charlotte for her help working with the team on maintenance.
Continue reading Micheldever Refurbishment

Winchester District Practice – Thursday 22nd Nov – 7.30-9pm

Dear All,

Hot on the heels of the Quarterly Meeting at Houghton, your District offers you the opportunity to join the Lockerley and East Tytherley Band at their EastTytherley Practice, next Thursday, 22nd November.

See plenty of you there, hopefully,


District Secretary

Poster available here.

Open Morning – St. Mary’s Micheldever – Saturday 17th November – 10-12am.

St Mary’s Bell Tower Open Morning

Saturday 17th November 10am to midday

The Bell-Ringers of St Mary’s Micheldever have pleasure in inviting you to visit the Bell Tower

  • See how the bells are rung
  • Learn how church bells work
  • See the bells ringing via CCTV
  • Meet the bell-ringers
  • Chime a bell
  • Visit the Belfry
  • Climb to the top and see wonderful views of the village and surrounding countryside
  • Enjoy coffee and homemade biscuits and cakes


For Health & Safety reasons visitors wishing to go up the tower must be fit and healthy and wear suitable clothing/footwear. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Poster available here.


Winchester QDM Minutes – Aug 2018

Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Winchester District

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 11 August 2018 in the Churchyard, the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, New Alresford.

  1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 12.47 p.m. with a welcome to those present and thanks to the Revd Myles for the use of the bells of New and Old Alresford, to Elizabeth Johnson for securing the use of the John Pearson Hall and to Bruce Purvis, District Secretary, for devising and checking the route of the planned walk to Old Alresford.

  2. Attendance. The following nine District members signed the attendance register (representing five towers with one member unattached): Tessa and Tony Smith (Hursley), Stephanie Hodnett, Elizabeth Johnson and Ian Redway (New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston) and John Croft (unattached).

  3. Apologies for Absence. Apologies were received from Drew Craddock (Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Sue Craddock and Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Gerry Cornick and Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston) and Joyce Croft (unattached).

  4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. The Secretary apologised for the fact that the appendix to the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting, held on 12 May in Cheriton Village School and listing the personnel of the Striking Competition Teams, was missing, and stated his intention to complete the lists for the record. The minutes of the Meeting were adopted on the proposal of the Secretary, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson as a true record.

  5. Matters Arising. Minute 6, ‘Matters arising’, 15: AOB item 6, on a bell-maintenance course. Elizabeth Johnson reported that Roger Booth had been approached and was amenable to the suggestion that he arrange and deliver such a course.

  6. Confirmation of belfry elections

Probationary members:

Juliet Wolf of Winchester Cathedral on 3 June 2018, proposed by Caroline
Fairley, seconded by Bruce Purvis.

Nathan G Smith of New Alresford on 13 July 2018, proposed by Ian Redway,
seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.

Elaine Pickering and Paul Tanner of Sparsholt on 30 July 2018, proposed by
Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.

Janet Ryan of Wonston on 4 August 2018, proposed by Paul Fitzgerald, seconded
by Gerry Cornick.

– all confirmed on a show of hands.

  1. Election of new ringing members.

Alan Dixey, Sheila Dixey, Sara Hill and Robert Love of North Stoneham,
proposed by Stephanie Nicholls, seconded by Alison Martin.

Trudy Capeling of North Stoneham, proposed by Stephanie Nicholls, seconded by
Alison Martin.

Ben Bell of Micheldever, proposed by Mary Tiles, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
– all elected on a show of hands.

  1. Loss of members through Death. None advised

  2. Future Events.

i. District Practice, 21 August. The Secretary reported that he had enquired whether Twyford would be available, and had learned that only the Tower Captain would be around on that date. He was absolved of further efforts to find an alternative tower.

ii. Guild Education Day, 13 October. Christine Knights-Whittome advised that the Guild Education day, on Plain-hunting and Treble-ringing on five bells, on 13 October would be held at Church Oakley, in the Basingstoke District.

iii. District Autumn Outing 22 September or 20 October. The Secretary expressed a preference for the October date for the Outing, and Tony Smith requested that the date be put back by a week to avoid a clash with the Hursley Tower outing. The meeting approved the date of 27 October.

iv. Guild Education Day, 24 November. Christine Knights-Whittome advised the meeting that the subject of the Education Day at Sherfield English on 24 November would be Cambridge and London Surprise Minor.

  1. Any other business.

No other business was raised.

The meeting closed at 1.01 p.m.

Winchester District QDM – Sat 10th November 2018 – Houghton

Dear All,
Please find attached the poster for the next Winchester District Quarterly Meeting, which is to take place in Houghton – All Saints’ Parish Church (the District’s newest and lightest six) for the training session plus whatever post-meeting ringing anyone feels like, and the Village Hall for the tea and business meeting. Paperwork for the business meeting will follow in due course.
For this meeting we are rehearsing our skills in Cambridge and its sister methods – Primrose, Ipswich, Annable’s London, etc. This afternoon session will to some extent complement the Guild Education Day School a fortnight later.
If you’d like to come along, and wish to branch out from Cambridge, please let Jenny Watson know so that we can gauge the level of interest.
Thank you
Best wishes
District Secretary

Beyond Bob Doubles – Wed 31st Oct – 7.30-9pm

Dear All,

This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be held on the ten at North Stoneham from 19:30 to 21:00. In addition to our normal five and six bell repertoire it will be an opportunity to ring on eight and ten, so please come and encourage others who can benefit from this opportunity.

Please note that the northern end of Stoneham Lane is shut and so people coming from the Eastleigh end cannot go past the Concorde club, you can only access the church from the southern end of Stoneham Lane.


Report on commemorate ring that took place on 21 October 2018 for the Winchester District bell ringers who died in the Great War

As part of Ringing Remembers, eight Winchester District bell ringers rang a peal of 1918 changes of Bob Triples at St John the Baptist church, New Alresford on Sunday 21 October 2018. This ring was organised to commemorate the twelve bell ringers who died in the Winchester District in the Great War and were a loss to the community. The ringers together represented the towers who had lost a ringer.

The bell ringers were:

Roy Lemarachel rang for St Mary’s,  Bishopstoke and was the conductor

Rodney Skinner rang for St Nicholas, Bishops Sutton

John Croft as chairman of Winchester District rang for St Michael and All Angels, Cheriton

Elizabeth Johnson rang for St John the Baptist, New Alresford

Ann Lemarachel* rang for St Stephen’s, Sparsholt

Colin Cook rang for Winchester Cathedral

John Colliss rang for Winchester Cathedral

Gerry Cornick rang for Holy Trinity, Wonston

*Jenny Watson was due to ring but was unwell so Ann LeMarechal kindly took her place.

Short video clip here

Ringers of Winchester District who were killed in the Great War

Bishopstoke, St Mary

  • Battery Sergeant Major Frederick William Hutchinson

Battery Sergeant Major Frederick William HutchinsonService number 352049, 71st  Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Mentioned in Despatches. He was killed in Battle of Cambrai on 30 November 1917, aged 37.  He is commemorated on the Cambrai War Memorial in Louverval, France. Born in Ireland in 1878 and married to Gertrude with one son Frederick. He worked as an electrician for the London and South Western Railway Company and lived at 29 Church Road, Bishopstoke.

F.W.Hutchinson photograph, April 1912.

Bishops Sutton, St Nicholas

  • Corporal Charles Henry Money
    Service number B/2165 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade. Died on 7 November 1918 aged 33 years. Buried in Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-Au-Bois, Nord, France, II. C. 23. Born in 1895 in Bishops Sutton to James Money (a yardman or stockman on farm) and Sarah Money of Sutton Manor Farm, Bishops Sutton.

Cheriton, St Michael and All Angels

  • Private Percy Holmes
    Service Number 22204, 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment (formerly service number 23101, Hampshire Regiment). Died of wounds at home on 18 December 1916 aged 40 years and is buried in the churchyard. Born in Cheriton in 1876, son of Richard Holmes (a farmer) and Emily Holmes of Malt House Farm, Cheriton

New Alresford, St John the Baptist

  • Serjeant William Curtis DCM
    Service number 20623, 26th Field Coy, Royal Engineers. Died on 18 May 1918 aged 27 years. Buried in Cambrin Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, N. 50. Born in New Alresford in 1891 to Walter Curtis (a hire carter) and Frances Curtis, of Pound Hill, Alresford, and husband of Josephine Kate Curtis, of 10, Clifton Road, Maida Vale, London.
  • Private William Harold Jackson
    Service number 30212, 2nd /4th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment. Enlisted in Winchester and died on 5 November 1917 aged 19 years en route to Egypt. He is commemorated on Chatsby Memorial in Egypt. Born in 1898 to William James Jackson (schoolmaster at Stourpaine School, Dorset) and Annie Jackson of Broad Street, Alresford.


Sparsholt, St Stephen

  • Rifleman William Henry Daniels
    Service number B/784, 7th Service Battalion Rifle Brigade. Died 13 August 1916 aged 25 years. No grave but his name is on Thiepval memorial Pier and Face 16 B and 16 C. Born in Houghton in 1891 and resident of village as agricultural labourer. Son of Frederick Daniells (a carpenter) and Mary and brother of Miss Hilda Daniels, of Sparsholt, Winchester.


Winchester Cathedral, Holy Trinity, SS Peter, Paul and Swithun

  • Aircraftsman William H. Chute (Billy)Aircraftsman William H. Chute (Billy)

Service number 25437 Royal Flying Corp. Enlisted on 11 April 1915 as a rigger and was promoted to air mechanic 3 by 1918. Died of injuries sustained in war in 1924 aged 32. Born in Winchester in 1892, grandparents were William H. Chute (a fellmonger’s assistant) and Jane Chute of 12 Lower Brook Street, Winchester.

  • Sergeant Charles H. Russell Jnr.Sergeant Charles H. Russell Jnr.

Service number 200016, 1st/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment. Imprisoned after surrender of British Forces following siege of Kut-al-Amara in April 1916. Died a few days after the Armistice of influenza on 17 November 1918 aged 31 years. Buried in Haidar Pasha Cemetery, Turkey Reference I. H. 12. Born in Winchester in 1887 and son of Charles Russell (a carpenter rand cathedral ringer) and Emma Russell, of 76, Lower Brook Street, Winchester.


Wonston, Holy Trinity

  • Private Edwin George Hillary
    Service Number 10470, 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment. Enlisted in Winchester and died 13 August 1915 aged 25. Born in Micheldever in 1892 and resided and worked in Sutton Scotney as a gardener.  Son of Edwin Charles Hillary (a jobbing carpenter) and Alice Mary Hillary, of Hunton Mill, Sutton Scotney. Commemorated at Helles Memorial, Turkey Panel 125-134 or 223-226 228-229 & 328.


  • Private Victor Frederick Hillary
    Service Number 10477, 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment. Enlisted in Winchester and died 13 August 1915, aged 18 (age occasionally shown as 19) Born in 1898 in Hunton, Micheldever and resided in Sutton Scotney. Son of Edwin Charles Hillary (a jobbing carpenter) and Alice Mary Hillary, of Hunton Mill, Sutton Scotney. Commemorated at Helles Memorial, Turkey Panel 125-134 or 223-226 228-229 & 328.
  • William H. Brooks
  • Herbert H. Jerram

Born in 1898 to Albert W Jerram (a blacksmith) and Mary K Jerram, living at the Blacksmith’s shop, Wonston.

Brothers Edwin and Victor Hillary both died when H.M.T. “Royal Edward” was torpedoed after leaving Alexandria for the Gallipoli Peninsula with reinforcements for the Dardanelles.


Winchester District Outing – Saturday 27th October

Dear All,
I have finally got the towers for our outing a fortnight this coming Saturday worked out … and they are a little different from my original list, as two of the towers (Faringdon and Wantage) couldn’t accommodate us, for various reasons.
So the list is
Ashbury (Anticlockwise 6) 10.00-10.45 a.m.
Longcot (8) 11.30 a.m.-12.15 p.m.
Uffington (6) 2.00-2.45 p.m.
Letcombe Regis (6) 3.50-4.35 p.m.
Childrey (GF 8) 4.50-5.35 p.m.
So, none of the rings are very heavy, and we have an anticlockwise ring and a ground-floor ring among them.
The Captain at Longcot has kindly offered us mid-morning rfreshments – hence the 3/4-hour gap between the first and second towers, and I’m allowing an hour and a half for lunch at the Fox and Hounds in Uffington, and time afterwards for some afternoon tea. I allowed for the afternoon tea at this point as so many tea-rooms seem to shut at 4.00 on a Saturday.
For the architecture entusiasts Uffington is listed as three stars in Simon Jenkins’ 1000 best churches – for its austere and lofty Early English architecture, and Childrey is rated one star, for the font, the monuments and the brasses.
So, we have a ten o’clock start and finish just after 5.30, travel about an hour each way (from Winchester) so pretty easy-going.
I’ve attached the poster and pub menus, so please put the word round, and let Jenny know your lunch choices – preferably by Monday week, which gives you time to decide.
Hope to see lots of you on the day,
Best wishes till then,
District Secretary

Winchester District Practice – Kings Somborne – Monday 10th September

Dear All,

Having been a bit preoccupied on the domestic front recently (washing machine u/s, telephone disconnected for two days last week) I have failed to spot that we have a district practice scheduled and confirmed for next Monday, 10th September. As it has, long since, been “confirmed” I am sure Sue and the band at Kings Somborne will be really pleased to see as many as possible who can make it.

Look forward to seeing lots of people on Monday

District Secretary

Winchester District Practice at the Cathedral – Wed 29th August 7.15-9.05pm

Dear All,

Just a reminder, that – as every year – we have the District Practice at the Cathedral, this coming Wednesday, starting at 7.15 p.m. and finishing at 9.05. 7.15 start so everyone has time to get up the stairs.

As last year, we meet – and gain admission to the Cathedral – by the door in the South Aisle, which is in the inner close, between two of the flying buttresses. If you are coming from the outer close, come to the West Front, and go through the passageway to the right, between the start of the south aisle and a high wall. The gentle ramp in front of you leads to the south door.

Please put the word round and encourage as many of your band members to come along.

Best wishes

District Secretary

Winchester QDM Minutes – May 2018

Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Winchester District

Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 12th May 2018 in the Main Hall of Cheriton Primary School. 

  1. Chairman’s welcome: The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.28 with a welcome to those present and with thanks to Craig Robb and Katie Hinds, Elizabeth Johnson and their helpers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea, to the Rector, the Revd Graham Bowker and the Wardens for the use of the Cheriton bells.
  1. Attendance: The following eleven members of the District signed the attendance register (representing five towers with one member unattached): Christine Hill and Tony Smith (Hursley), Jen Churchill and Gary Davies (Lockerley), Elizabeth Johnson, Ian Redway and Tony Stirling (New Alresford), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Caroline Fairley and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft (unattached); Katie Hinds (Cheriton) and Edmund Wratten (unattached) was also present.
  1. Striking Competition Results. John thanked the District for inviting him to judge the competition, saying that it was as enjoyable as ever, though not without challenges, ranging from the onset of rain from the outset, and the presence of persistent enquirers and the hum of a lawn-mower during the test entries of the second, third and fourth teams.   He congratulated the four entrants for the method-ringing competition.

Method-ringing Competition.

Team A rang Cambridge Surprise Minor at a good pace, of four minutes, equating to a peal speed of 2h48’ .  There was some initial confusion as the test-piece was introduced by two whole pulls; however, the overall standard was good. There was a hitch at 2½ minutes, causing cluster of faults, and there was some hesitation on occasion. The score was 12 faults.

Team B rang Grandsire Doubles: again, this was a very steady piece of ringing, marred only by some unevennesses, such as gaps on the backstroke leads. The timing, at 4 minutes, equated to a peal speed of 2h48’.   14 faults were logged.

Team C rang Plain Bob Doubles. The start was somewhat sedate, and thereafter the pace was uneven, evinced by gaps both on handstroke and backstroke leads. The peal speed was 2h50, and their score was 24 faults.

 Team D rang Plain Bob Doubles. After an uneven start, a good, steady piece of ringing ensued, with gaps causing the faults to accumulate. The peal speed was 2h48’, and the score was 15 faults.

The results were:-

In third place, with 24 faults: Team C: Sparsholt and Crawley;

earning a special commendation, with 15 faults: Team D: the scratch band, comprising ringers from Lockerley and East Tytherley, New Alresford and Winchester Cathedral

in second place, with 14 faults: Team B: New Alresford;

in first place, with 12 faults: Team A: Hursley.

Sadly, no-one was present from last year’s winning team, with the trophy, and therefore no presentation took place.

  1. Apologies for absence.  Apologies for absence were received from Tony Ayres, Keith Bartle, Jennifer Baxter, Roger Booth [pending his election], Drew and Sue Craddock, Joyce Croft, Adam Gawne-Cain, Andrew Glover, Andrew Johnson, Ian and Chris McCallion, John and Bren Palk, Christine and Barry Saunders, Sue Spurling, Jean Whewell, Isobel Wolf. 
  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. The minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 10 February in the Taylor Selwyn Room, the Education Centre, Winchester Cathedral. Their adoption was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Hill, and adopted on a show of hands.
  1. Matters Arising. 15: Any Other Business, item 6: Bell Maintenance Course: Elizabeth Johnson advised the meeting that Roger Booth, who had considerable experience of bell restoration projects, had recently moved to New Alresford, and could be a valuable contributor to such an enterprise.

15: Any Other Business, item 7: Safety of Bells: Edmund Wratten suggested that one of the founders or bell-hangers could be engaged to examine multiple tower installations over a short spell of time, so as to spread the cost of accommodation and/or travel over a series of examinations. He was particularly concerned for towers that had no bands, and, therefore, with no direct experience of the condition of their belfries. Edmund suggested this undertaking could be borne at the District’s expense.

Tony Smith remarked that a hurdle to such an enterprise could be securing of local PCCs’ approval. Other observations noted were:  the typical cost of a founder’s inspection being £250; Lockerley and East Tytherley are having an inspection as it was now 15 years since the last inspection (Gary Davies), Whites of Appleton were too busy at the present time to schedule a visit to Old and New Alresford (Elizabeth Johnson). There was general consensus that initial enquiries could be made of the District’s towers to discover which would welcome a professional survey of their bells, and the Secretary was mandated to initiate enquiries.

  1. Loss of member through death.

Valerie Keel’s passing was noted with sadness: a short silence was concluded with the chairman reciting the words of the Requiem.

  1. Confirmation of belfry elections. 

Probationary members:

Simon Lucas of Hursley on 21 March 2018, proposed by Christine Saunders, seconded by Peter Hill.

Sheila Piper of Lockerley on 24 April 2018, proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by John Palk.

  1. Election of new ringing members.

Andrew G Booth and Roger G Booth of New Alresford, proposed by Elizabeth
Johnson, seconded by Ian Redway.

Charlotte Smith of Kings Worthy proposed Dave Goodwin, seconded by Jonathan

All confirmed on a show of hands.

  1. Future Events.

 Bruce Purvis advised the meeting that arrangements were in hand for the Spring Mini-Outing in a fortnight’s time, with ringing at Newnham and Rotherwick in the morning, followed by lunch at the Vine at Hannington, and ringing there and at Church Oakley, with the option of tea in Overton. Some fixtures in coming months were still subject to confirmation.

  1. General Data Protection Regulations. Tony Smith advised the meeting that the March meeting of the Guild Executive had determined that any recording and publication of Guild members’ contact details should be managed on a Guild-wide basis, and that creation of the District Directory would be governed by such a prescription. No proposals or plans had so far been published by the Guild officers.


  1. Guild AGM, Saturday 16 June

Tony Smith reminded the meeting that the District would have the opportunity to enter a band for the Inter-District Striking Competition on eight bells on the day, and was mandated by the meeting to arrange a District band.


  1. Any Other Business.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at approximately 6.00 p.m.

Appendix: Striking Competition teams

First Place: Hursley (drawn first), ringing Cambridge Minor – 12 faults

Second Place: New Alresford (drawn second), ringing Grandsire Doubles – 14 faults

Third Place: Sparsholt (drawn third), ringing Plain Bob Doubles – 24 faults

Special Commendation: Scratch Band (drawn fourth), ringing Plain Bob Doubles – 15 faults


Winchester District QDM, Picnic and Walk – Saturday 11th August 11:00am – 4.30pm

WIN QDM 20180811

Dear All,

Further to my last as below, here – at last! – is the paperwork for next Saturday’s meeting in New Alresford.

Planning of the walk has not been straightforward, as it looks to me as though there has been some encroachment upon (and rendering impassable of) some of the public rights of way. Another consequence of …. no, don’t get me started.

Anyway, I’ll get the walking notes out anon, plus see to all the other things I should have done since May.

Best wishes meanwhile

District Secretary

Dear All,

The next quarterly meeting of the Winchester District will, as in previous years, comprise a gentle stroll round the lanes of Hampshire – specifically, from New Alresford, by a somewhat circuitous route, to Old Alresford, and then, back by a more direct route to New Alresford, where you can take afternoon tea/go for a pint/whatever, before returning home.

This will take place on the second Saturday in August, i.e. 11th August, and will follow the usual format of ringing, BYO picnic lunch and then the meeting, then the walk to Old Alresford for more ringing. By decision of the AGM this will be our last ever August meeting, so we/you need to make the most of it.

I am away from the office for a few days, hence this advance warning. I’ll send out the usual material on my return.

best wishes

District Secretary



Winchester QDM Minutes – Nov 2017

Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Winchester District

Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 11 November 2017 in the Parish Hall, Owslebury.

1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, supported by the Secretary, Bruce Purvis, opened the meeting at 17.33 p.m. with a welcome to those present and thanks to the Wardens of St Andrew’s for the use of their bells, and to Anthony Manship for securing the use of the Parish Hall, and to Liz Manship and the Twyford ringers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause].

2. Attendance. The following 11 District members and three guests signed the attendance register (representing ten towers with one member unattached): Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke), Christine Hill and Tony Smith (Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Carol Higgins and John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Anthony Manship (Owslebury), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft (unattached), Wendy Smart and Gail Robinson (Botley – guests), Robin Milford (Curdridge – guest). Also present was Edmund Wratten, District Ringing Master (unattached).

3. Apologies for Absence. Apologies were received from Andrew Craddock (Hursley), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Sue Craddock and Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston) and Joyce Croft (unattached).

4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. The minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 12 August in Houghton Village Hall were adopted on the proposal of Bruce Purvis, seconded by Rodney Skinner, as a true record with a show of hands from the floor

5. Matters Arising. Minute 9, ‘Matters arising’, item iv: District Ringing Festival: The Secretary asked to be advised of any quarter-peals or peals rung during the ringing fortnight and to be counted as rung for the Ringing Festival to be notified to him..

6. Confirmation of belfry elections

Probationary members:

Sara Hill of North Stoneham on 15 August 2017, proposed by Phil Nicholls,
seconded by Stephanie Nicholls.

Duncan Natt and Derek Smith of King’s Somborne on 4 September 2017, proposed
by Sue Spurling, seconded by Gerald Lambert.

Alison Jones, Matthew Jones and Zac Zielinski of Romsey on 6 September 2017,
proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Martin Daniels.

Che Haefner, Juliet Lowe, Catherine Mensah, Sophie Morgan, Felix O’Rahilly,
Connor Sexton, Etienne Thompson and Claire Webster of Winchester College on
10 October 2017, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.

Cim Candler of King’s Somborne on 23 October 2017, proposed by Sue Spurling,
seconded by Gerald Lambert.

Alan Sparrow of Lockerley on 27 October 2017 proposed by Gary Davies,
seconded by Jen Churchill.

Hannah Inskip of Broughton on 6 November 2017, proposed by John Palk,
seconded by Bob Gosse.

– all confirmed on a show of hands.

7a. Election of new ringing members.

Pernille Fay and Alec Graham of Winchester College proposed by Caroline
Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.

– both elected on a show of hands.

7b. Distribution of Certificates

Certificates and badges were collected for local presentations to be made at Broughton, Cheriton, Hursley, Romsey and Wonston.

8. Loss of members through Death. None advised

9. Future Events.

The Secretary reminded the meeting of forthcoming District events: District practices on 20 November at Houghton, at North Stoneham on 19 December (to be confirmed) and at Kings Worthy on 12 January, also the Carol Service on 9 December at Broughton; also that there was a Guild Executive on 18 November, should anyone wish any issues from the District’s affairs to be raised there.

The Treasurer reminded the meeting that the 2018 Annual Meeting of the District would take place on 10 February.

Christine Knights-Whittome advised the meeting of the following dates for Guild Education events in 2018, as follows:-

Friday 23 February at Bishopstoke
Monday 12 March at Bishopstoke (to be confirmed)
Saturday 17 March at St Mary Bourne
Saturday 28 April at Lockerley
Saturday 13 October at Basingstoke (venue to be confirmed)
Saturday 24 November at Shedfield

10. Any other business.

i. 200 Club. Robin Milford reminded members that the 200 Club was active, with application forms available, and that subscriptions would qualify for next Saturday’s draw at the Guild Executive. This prompted a lively discussion on the question of the number of draws to which a stake would entitle a subscriber. It was agreed that Robin would seek to clarify the issue at the Guild Executive.

ii. Annual Outing. Elizabeth Johnson thanked the Secretary for arranging the Outing on 21 October in the New Forest, which, although attended by relatively few [12 throughout the day], had been greatly enjoyed by those who did attend.

iii. Annual Report. The Treasurer reminded the meeting about the new arrangement for the supply of the next edition of the Annual Report and suggested that when tower officers were collecting next year’s subscriptions, early in the new year, they should use that opportunity to collate individual requests for the new report.

iv. Ash for Stays. Elizabeth Johnson brought to the attention of the meeting the Monkswood Saw Mill as a good source of ash for stays: the firm was to be found on the road from Old Alresford to Preston Candover, opposite a carving of a bear.

v. Catering. Anthony Manship advised the meeting that many more people (over 25) had apparently ordered tea than had actually turned up to the tea (12). The Secretary offered to confer with the catering team to try to discover how the discrepancy had occurred, and to take any appropriate action to prevent a recurrence

vi. District Directory. Tony Smith was pleased to announce the publication of the District Directory for 2017, and to record his thanks to John Dodd for his work in printing it: Tony was thanked for his care and his efforts in compiling the Directory.

vii. Frequency of Meetings. Rodney Skinner raised the question whether we needed to have four business/full-scale meetings each year, when attendances did not appear to be very large and other districts managed on fewer such meetings. It was agreed that options could be discussed at the Annual District Meeting

viii. New Alresford Practice. Elizabeth Johnson advised the meeting that owing to a calendar clash the New Alresford practice on 8 December would be held at Old Alresford.

ix. Romsey Show. John Palk gave a review of the Romsey Show: on the eve of the Show there had been heavy rain, resulting in a very muddy pitch. With some 20,000 visitors to the show, the day was busy at first, but was quieter through the afternoon. The mini-ring being the chief attraction, Graham Wright was presented – after some careful spying-out – with a bottle of toffee-flavoured vodka, bought from a stall in the food-and-drink marquee. Despite shows of interest, no-one asked for further information on or introductions to ringing.

x. Ropley. At Roy LeMarechal’s request, Rodney Skinner briefed the meeting on progress at Ropley. He advised the meeting that at present information was being released gradually. At the moment, work on the church was subject to delay for up to four weeks whilst archaeologists surveyed previously unknown graves in the body of the church. The bells remained in store at Matthew Higby’s works in Somerset; there was a possibility that the 5th would have to go to Italy to be recast, having been cast in loam and for historic integrity having to be recast in loam, a technique no longer available locally. The timeframe for the rebuilding of the church and rehanging of the bells was said to be two years.

xi. Stockbridge Practices. Sue Spurling advised the meeting that as the King’s Somborne band now provided the ringers and ringing for Stockbridge, the band would be holding its last practice every month at Stockbridge.

The meeting closed at 6.05 p.m.

1. The over-provision turned out to result almost entirely from a combination of double-counting and an over-estimate of the numbers of people who might attend without having ordered tea.

Report from Beyond Bob Doubles practice, Wed. 1st August 2018

Last night’s BBD (Beyond Bob Doubles) practice led by Tim Kettle, flanked by Ross Bradley, was incredibly successful for all. We had touches of Stedman, followed by touches of Reverse Canterbury, Winchendon Place, St. Martin’s, St. Simon’s, and ending in a variation of South Repps.

As a learner, I had a eureka moment, observing how similar, some methods are related to each other, and with a small tweek of a line, I was able to ring in something new to me, fairly successfully, in a jovial and supportive gathering.  There were also quite a few ‘firsts’ for other members too.

The evening became a hive of activity, members sharing tips, and puzzling over problems together.

We also welcomed Chris for the first time, a new face to some, and a super-great chap.  In the past Chris rang at Ringwood, Fordingbridge and Hampreston. After a lengthy-ish period of rope-neglect, he is back to join our district.

BBD is held on the first Wednesday of the month at Sopley 7:30pm – 9:00pm. Drinks afterwards in The Woolpack.

Report by Peter Murdock-Saint.

Contact Tim Kettle (BBD Practice Night Leader)

Beyond Bob Doubles, East Tytherley on Wednesday 25th July

Dear All,

This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at East Tytherley on Wednesday 25th July.  There will be five and six bell ringing for those that want it, but also triples and major, so anything from Grandsire Doubles up to Stedman Triples and Little Bob.  All welcome from within the W+P and beyond.


Winchester District QDM Walk and Picnic – Sat 11th August 2018

Dear All,
The next quarterly meeting of the Winchester District will, as in previous years, comprise a gentle stroll round the lanes of Hampshire – specifically, from New Alresford, by a somewhat circuitous route, to Old Alresford, and then, back by a more direct route to New Alresford, where you can take afternoon tea/go for a pint/whatever, before returning home.
This will take place on the second Saturday in August, i.e. 11th August, and will follow the usual format of ringing, BYO picnic lunch and then the meeting, then the walk to Old Alresford for more ringing. By decision of the AGM this will be our last ever August meeting, so we/you need to make the most of it.
I am away from the office for a few days, hence this advance warning. I’ll send out the usual material on my return.
best wishes
District Secretary

Gary Marsh reports from Winchester District Practice at Preston Candover on 27th June 2018

Winchester District Practice  Preston Candover  27th June 2018

A couple of weeks ago I attended the ringing practice at Brown Candover and if you read my Ringer’s Write-up you will have heard about the great time I had with the two locals, Carol and Rita, teaching me a method for three bells.

I returned to the Candover Valley for the Winchester District Practice in the village of Preston Candover. On that night the Candover Valley band fielded 3 ringers. Peter Willis, Tower captain, and two younger ringers, Lewis and Emma. All told there was 10 of us there including Winchester District Secretary Bruce Purvis and the two District Ringing Masters, Edmund and Jenny. With two experienced ringers from Lockerley and one from Ropley, plus myself, two years in, from Wonston, we settled into introductions, signing the visitors book and acclimatising to the heat in the ringing chamber. With a cramped chamber those not ringing on the small-wheeled, light and fast six had to wait and natter on the spiral, open treaded steps. It was cooler there anyway!

As I live only 15 minutes away from the Candover Valley I elected to just have a couple of rings before leaving them to it. Going to Wonston I have the enormous benefit of being tutored by Edmund every Saturday. So it was only right for me to take an early, cold, bath. As the band are mostly used to ringing with three on any of their rings, having extra hands afforded a great opportunity for extra learning, especially for the younger ringers, and a chance to ring as a 6 on their home bells. So I did a bit of covering whilst some hunting practice took place and I’m grateful to Rodney for supporting me and keeping me in time. And I did a bit of call changes too. The light ropes, speed and narrow confines meant I had to focus on my handling. I really got a lot out of it even in a short amount of time. No issues with my Tennis (treble) Elbow.

It was really nice to meet a few more of the ringing band of Candover Valley. It really is an exceptionally beautiful part of the county with a string of churches along its length. I’m sure they can’t wait to get St. John’s, Northington augmented and running on 6. What a tremendous setting to ring church bells. I hope that the sound and location of the improved ring adds gravitas and purpose to compliment the combined enthusiasm of the Candover Valley Band.

Gary Marsh
Winchester District

Winchester District Practice – Preston Candover – Wednesday 27th June

Dear All,

Just a final reminder: the District Practice will be going ahead at Preston Candover this coming Wednesday, 27th June.

Poster attached for onward transmission to your members, containing the postcode for satnav users.

Hope to see lots of you there on the day.

Best wishes


District Secretary

Inter-District Striking Competition Results 2018

4 teams entered the W&P Guild Inter District 8 Bell Striking Competition held at St Micheals Basingstoke.
Grateful thanks to the judges,   Mary Gow and Stephen Mitchell.
The results were:
Team Position Clean Rows
Winchester District 1st 95%
Alton and Petersfield 2nd 84%
Basingstoke District 3rd
Isle of Wight 4th

Report from Roger Barber (A&P)

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Winchester District Practice at Sparsholt Monday 21st May

winchester district practice at Sparsholt May 2018 POSTER

The Sparsholt Band cordially invites you to the


Monday 21st May 2018

7.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.

At St Stephen’s Church,

Church Lane,


(Ground Floor, 6 Bells, Tenor 7½ cwt,

OS National Grid Reference SU 435312, Postcode, for SatNav users, SO21 2NR)

All Welcome

 Bruce Purvis,

Winchester District Secretary

Itinerary for Winchester District Mini-Outing Sat May 26th

Dear All,
The details for the District’s Mini-Outing on Saturday 26th May have finally come together.
We have the newly-restored 5 at Newnham to start off with, followed by the 6 at Rotherwick, then lunch at the Vine at Hannington followed by the sixes at Hannington and Church Oakley, with tea at one or other of the equally highly-regarded tea-rooms in Overton.
So we don’t have a crazily early start, and we finish quite early in the afternoon should anyone have commitments later in the day.
Apologies to all those who are either at the CC meeting in Lancaster, on the Bishopstoke tour of Scotland, or the wedding at Stockbridge – but I hope there will be enough others who can come to make a success of the day.
If you would care to let me know your lunch preferences by Thursday 24th May I should be grateful. Soup of the day will be Tomato and Basil, Pie of the day will be beefsteak and Guinness.
Best wishes
District Secretary

Winchester District Practice – Sparsholt – Monday 21st May

Good Morning All,

Stop Press! – our next District Practice is at Sparsholt a week tonight, Monday 21st May, and the District Mini-Outing is definitely going ahead, on Saturday 26th May, to include Newnham and Hannington, further details and posters etc. later today.

Best wishes


Winchester District Mini-Outing – Saturday 26th May

Dear All,

The more keen-eyed observers of the District Calendar/Programme for this year will have noticed that we have an outing ‘pencilled in’ for Saturday May 26th – one month from now! So this email is just to give you advance warning, and an opportunity to put the date in your diaries.

The format I plan is to have two towers before lunch, nice pub lunch somewhere, and two towers after lunch, and maybe round the afternoon off with tea/cream tea, depending on where we go. I shall try to keep it local so as to reduce the burden of extended travel.

Please watch this space!

Best wishes,

District Secretary