From 3pm Saturday 14th May (business session at 4.00pm)
MINUTES – UNCONFIRMED
Attendees: B Purvis, Chairman, Winchester Cathedral, R Booth, New Alresford, G Davies, Lockerley/E Tytherley, C Fairley, Winchester Cathedral, A Glover, Romsey, C Hill, Hursley, E Johnson, New Alresford, C Knights-Whittome, Wonston, S LeMarechal, Bishopstoke, A Martin, North Stoneham, M Nadal, Stockbridge/Kings Somborne, R Skinner, Ropley, T Smith, Hursley, P Thompson, Hursley, R Thompson, Hursley, C Thomson, Stockbridge/Kings Somborne, G Wright, Bishopstoke, E Wratten, Unattached
18 attendees, representing 13 Towers and 1 unattached
The Chairman welcomed attendees and led the opening prayers, and then thanked the vicar and the church wardens for the use of the church and bells and those responsible for providing refreshments.
Apologies for absence were received from: John Croft, Unattached ; Maggie Eltham, Compton; Mike Eltham, Compton; Paul Fitzgerald, Wonston; Heather Galley, Old Alresford; Jennifer Herriott, Romsey; Alan Hutchinson, Winchester Cathedral; John Palk, Lockerley and E Tytherley; Brenda Palk, Lockerley and E Tytherley Trisha Shannon, Charlotte Smith, Kings Worthy; Jonathan Smith, Kings Worthy; Tricia Spink, Winchester Cathedral; Jenny Watson, Sparsholt; .
Minutes of the previous meeting (the ADM held on 12th February 2022) were agreed nem con and signed by Bruce Purvis.
Matters arising from the minutes – Tony Smith, who had agreed to contact all tower correspondents in relation to reintroducing the printed District Directory to District members included in the Directory, reported that he had contacted all towers and had received responses from 12. He was following up on those who had not yet replied. Edmund Wratten asked which details would be included; Tony Smith advised that only the personal information specified and allowed by a member for themselves would be included for that particular individual.
Loss of members through death – Tony Smith was not aware of any reported deaths of current members. However, Margaret Chapman, a former member of the District who, together with her husband, had been the driving force behind the Bishopstoke Band, had died 2 weeks previously. Roy leMarechal gave members a brief history of Margaret and her husband Tom. In the 1960s, as older members left the band, they had built it up again from scratch.
Confirmation of belfry elections
a) Compounding Members: Vikki E M Bulbeck, Jacqueline M Hazell and Martha C Hazell of Bray, prior to a peal at Bishopstoke on 12 February 2022, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham J Wright
b) Probationary Members:
Cheryl Horton Powell of Lockerley on 17 March 2022 proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by Carol Higgins.
Vanessa Chapman of Crawley on 25 April 2022 proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford.
Anna Crowle of Kings Worthy on 14 May 2022 proposed by Jonathan Smith, seconded by Charlotte Smith.
c) Election of new ringing members:
Claire Stirman of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Colin Cook.
District Communications –Roger Booth proposed that he should carry out a consultation exercise on behalf of the District regarding the types of communications preferred by the District membership:
‘Given the duplication that arises through the District using multiple channels of communication, and the need to maximise engagement with members across the District, a survey should be carried out to establish District members preferences for different types of communication. The results of the survey and any recommendations for action arising therefrom to be reported to the next Quarterly District Meeting.’
Supporting documentation was provided by a Communications Strategy (copy attached), the District Newsletter sent out on 1/5/22 and to Tower Correspondents on 3/5/22. Roger Booth gave a brief description of the aims of the survey; the proposal was seconded by Bruce Purvis and passed by members on a show of hands.
Training and PR Needs – A submission was made by Christine Knights-Whittome proposing:
‘That the District allocates £150 from its funds to purchase a set of four roller banners to be used for PR purposes across the District’ (supporting document attached).
She explained there were 4 designs currently proposed and that anyone wishing to help in amending the design or wording would be welcomed. She gave a short presentation on why this purchase would be an asset to all members of the District taking part in events promoting bell ringing and the District. Roger Booth added his support for this proposal; he felt that up to date publicity material should be available to all members of the District for events and that this need could be met with this set of 4 new roller banners publicising bell ringing and the Winchester District of the Guild, adding some details on the cost of post and packing. Roger Booth seconded the proposal, which was passed on a show of hands.
Programme of future events
Younger ringers in the District – It was agreed this would be held over to a future meeting.
Improvers’ practices – Roger Booth reported that he, together with Roy LeMarechal and Peter Hill had instructed a number of new ringers already, in rounds and call changes. There were still people in the District awaiting instruction at this level. It was planned that such instruction, up to Bob Doubles, be held on Tuesday mornings.
Jubilee ringing and Quarter Peal fortnight Towers would be asked, nearer the date, about their plans.
Trout ‘n About Stockbridge, Twyford and Ropley Restoration Projects
Micki Nadal gave a short description of the Trout ‘n About event in Stockbridge and how the Charmborough Ring would be used to promote bell ringing. She advised members that the Trout ‘n About Management Team would be funding this event, so no cost would fall on the District.
Roger Booth gave a brief update on the Twyford restoration project; it was unlikely Twyford bells would be in place for the Jubilee.
Rodney Skinner gave a brief update on the Ropley rebuilding project. It was expected the building would be ready in July or August. Unless substantial funds were found, he felt it unlikely the bells would ever be rehung. A visit by the Guild Bell Restoration Fund (BRF) Trustees had been arranged twice and cancelled twice at the last minute. Roger Booth expanded on the major celebrations planned for the reopening and hoped they would be able to meet the BRF Trustees following the Guild AGM, where support from members of the District for the request for funding, would be of great help. .
Any other notified business – Micki Nadal handed out probationers’ certificates and leaflets received from Pete Jordan to tower representatives.
Winchester District Annual Meeting – 12th February 2022
Held at 4pm in St. Mary’s Church, Easton, SO21 1EH and via Zoom
(Ringing from 3pm and following the meeting)
Attendees: The following 34 people, representing 17 towers attended the meeting, either in person, or via Zoom.
In person – Elizabeth Skinner (Bishopstoke), Jinny Kufluk (Hursley), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Gary Davies (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Micki Nadal (District Secretary, Stockbridge and Kings Somborne), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Caroline Fairley and Bruce Purvis (District Chairman) (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft (unattached), Pete Jordan (Guild Chairman, Basingstoke St Michael). Also present were the following five members from the host tower, Easton: Judy Bishop, Pam Chrismas, Sara Janssen, Lyn Russell and Trisha Shannon, and the District Ringing Master, Edmund Wratten (unattached).
Via Zoom – Amanda Bayford (Crawley), Christine and Ian McCallion and Tony Smith (Hursley), Margaret Goodfellow (Kings Worthy), Jen Churchill, Carol Higgins and John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), John Colliss (Winchester Cathedral), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore – guest).
Chairman’s Welcome: Chairman Bruce Purvis warmly welcomed guests to the ADM, particularly welcoming Guild Master Pete Jordan, and thanked Judy Bishop and her colleagues for arranging the tower and church facilities and refreshments for the meeting and Andrew Glover for organising the technical aspects of the hybrid meeting.
Apologies for absence: These were received from Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) and Brenda Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley)
Minutes of the previous meeting held on November 13th 2021 were agreed nem con and signed.
Matters arising: John Palk remarked that some of the Insurance matters discussed at the Executive Committee Meeting were still outstanding. Roger Booth advised that Helen Woolford (Guild Honorary Treasurer) had written a paper explaining the situation; also that Ecclesiastical Insurance could offer an online presentation. Guild Master Peter Jordan reported that the issues were being discussed with Marcus Booth from Ecclesiastical.
Loss of members through death: John Collier and Brian Billimore, both formerly of Easton. A minute’s silence was held in memory of these former members.
Confirmation of belfry elections
Geoff Robinson of Kings Worthy on 4 January 2022, proposed by Ted Banks, seconded by Jonathan Smith.
Richard Lording, Dylan Price and Stuart Price of Hursley on 11 January 2022, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Christine Saunders.
Jill Fuller of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2022, proposed by Lucy Hopkins Till, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till.
Norman Boakes of North Stoneham on 8 February 2022, proposed by Robert Ryder, seconded by Alison Martin.
Tim Conway, William Knowles and Clara Knowles of Cheriton on 10 February 2022, proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Election of new members:
David Dunning of Broughton and Houghton, proposed by Bob Gosse, seconded by Jenny Hebburn.
Craig Robb of Cheriton [lapsed, re-election], proposed by Roger Booth, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Christine Hyde of Sherfield English, proposed by Caroline Daniels, seconded by Martin Daniels.
Marion Attree and Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.
Officers’ Annual Reports
Secretary’s Report: copies were distributed. The move to adopt the Secretary’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis and agreed nem con.
Treasurer’s Report: – There were no questions to Treasurer Tony Smith from the floor. The move to adopt the Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Bruce Purvis, agreed nem con and signed as a true record.
Election of Officers: The following people were proposed and elected for posts as follows:
Chairman Bruce Purvis proposed by Jenny Watson and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson;
Secretary Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;
Treasurer Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Joint Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, proposed by Elizabeth Johnson and seconded by Micki Nadal;
Executive Committee Representative Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover;
Independent Examiner of Accounts, John Collis, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson;
Webmaster Andrew Glover, proposed by Trisha Shannon and seconded by Micki Nadal;
Newsletter Editor Roger Booth, proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by John Croft.
John Croft was thanked for his work as Executive Committee Member and it was agreed he would review his decision to step down if meetings were once again held in person. Roger Booth agreed to carry on as Newsletter editor, but would co-opt people to help with the task over the next year.
Attendees welcomed the list of proposed events. John Palk questioned who would pay for the use of the Charmborough Ring at 2 events. Micki Nadal reassured him that the Trout ‘n About Committee would be paying for the use of the ring in Stockbridge. Roger Booth hoped to obtain a grant from the Education and Training Development Fund for its use at the Alresford Show, adding that no funds had yet been raised for that purpose. There was also a possibility of the ring being installed at the Cheriton Fête, which would not necessarily result in a claim on District funds, but any contributions would be gratefully received.
Twyford Bells – Andrew Johnson gave attendees an update of works in progress at Twyford. Four bells would be taken out on Tuesday 15th February and the other four on Wednesday 16th, all to be taken to Appleton to be retuned (1,2,6 and 7), recast (3 and 4) and newly cast (5), with the existing 5 (the last survivor of the original 1766 ring) being retained as a chiming bell. The frame would be retained, the running gear replaced. The fundraising was nearly complete.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Initiated by Roger Booth, a wide -ranging discussion took place between attendees. Roger intimated that is was not certain that the Twyford bells would be in place in time for Jubilee celebrations; he suggested that it would be good if a quarter-peal could be attempted within the District. It was agreed by all that ringers would be encouraged to help out at as many towers as possible over the weekend. Attention would be given to publicise events in parishes where bells are not often rung. It would be essential to co-opt helpers to organise the various ringing events around the district. Bruce Purvis would start the process for this in the near future. John Palk suggested establishing the plans organised by each PCC. Judy Bishop aimed to organise a quarter-peal in Easton on Thursday 2nd June and would be asking for help from ringers for this event. Jenny Watson advised that the CCCBR had requested all towers to ring on the morning of Friday 3rd June when a service of thanksgiving was taking place. Micki Nadal felt that an element of flexibility was required as many ringers would be involved in organising village and street parties. Elizabeth Johnson felt it would prove impossible to have all the bells rung on Friday as there were simply not enough ringers. Andrew Glover suggested the district aims to have every tower ringing at some point over the weekend. Roger Booth emphasised we should encourage all standards of ringing, not just quarter peals, and that less experienced bands’ ringing should be encouraged equally enthusiastically.
Beyond Bob Doubles – In response to an enquiry from Jenny Watson, Micki Nadal explained this was a wish list rather than written in stone and would depend on the availability of our Ringing Masters Edmund Wratten and Roger Booth, who would jointly put together a programme based around Easton, Cheriton and Stockbridge (the use of these towers being kindly offered at the meeting).
District Practices – These would be arranged at suitable towers spread around the District.
Quarter-Peal Fortnight – The idea was received enthusiastically. Andrew Glover suggested it be incorporated into the Jubilee weekend.
Striking Competitions – With Andrew Glover’s warm support for a competition, Bruce Purvis offered to research a simpler form of striking competition (Strictly Come Ringing) used in his daughter’s Diocesan Association [Derby].
Winchester Cathedral Tower Visit – The visit on 31st August had been proposed to the Cathedral ringers. A response is still awaited.
QDMs – The next two meetings would be held on Saturday 7th May and Saturday 12th November.
Carol Service – This would be held on Saturday 3rd December at Twyford Church. Micki Nadal had organised a priest and an organist for the service.
Register of ringers – Following questions from the floor on whether this useful directory could be reintroduced in an updated format, attendees agreed it would be useful to investigate whether, data protection rules applying, it could be resurrected. Andrew Glover explained the use of the consent form for GDPR and that it had proven ‘incredibly difficult’ to secure people’s consent. Tony Smith offered to contact tower correspondents to find out what, if any, information their members would be happy to provide. It was felt by attendees that, as a minimum, the directory should include e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and preferably home locations, if not addresses.
Guild Master’s Address
Pete Jordan thanked attendees for their warm welcome at this, the 6th meeting of 7 he would be attending. He was enjoying meeting people face to face once again and added that it was encouraging to see ringing getting back to normal.
Guild Secretaryship – Pete advised attendees that the Guild still needed to fill the role of Guild Secretary as no replacement had been found for Steve Lamb. In June the Guild triennial elections would be taking place. Any volunteers for the post would have the opportunity to try out the role for three or four months before undertaking a permanent commitment at the Guild AGM.
Guild action plan – Pete explained that, as part of the action plan, a new ringers’ welcome pack was being produced for new probationary members. The Guild certificate had been revamped and incorporated into an A5 booklet with Guild and District information included, plus an introduction to the work of the Central Council and information on young ringers’ groups. The aim was to supply these to new probationary members; they would probably be issued to towers via the district secretaries or via John Palk with the Guild report, with the District Secretaries holding the balance of the copies.
Bruce Purvis thanked Guild Master Pete Jordan for his presentation.
Any other notified business
Subscriptions – Roger Booth reminded attendees that it had been over 10 years since the Guild had reviewed subscriptions and members were starting to question what, apart from the Annual Report and third party (public liability) insurance, was provided. Insurance is covered under PCC insurance. Some members, on the other hand, felt that existing subs, with only£2 for probationers, was too little and with churches under increasing financial pressure we will need to help more if we want churches to restore bells. In some guilds up to 20% of restoration costs are provided. With various restoration projects assisted and others in the pipeline, the amount of money in the BRF (bell restoration fund) has reduced considerably and will further do so, and this will need to be replenished. In 2009 the age profile of the Guild consisted of 33% seniors paying reduced fees. By 2019 this percentage had increased to 50%, reducing Guild income. By increasing subscription levels, the BRF could be topped up and monies available for recruitment and training. An additional idea would be to set up a District Young Ringers Group and to pay the first year subscriptions to the new Young Change Ringers Association. By increasing the amount going into the Guild Training and Development Fund, more would be available to help towers. John Palk felt that an increase in subscriptions to members who already felt they received little from the Guild could be counter-productive. Bruce Purvis would support an increase in subscriptions to say, £15 or £20, provided an increased amount was put into Guild training, recruitment and advertising. Elizabeth Johnson reminded attendees that, in the past, as well as the 200 Club, other fund raising events were organised by the Guild, such as dinners and open days.
Church closures – Bruce Purvis reminded attendees of GS2222 and brought their attention to St Barnabas’ Church in Southampton which, due to small congregations, was due to be sold to developers, with no plans for the fate of the bells, a ring of 6 which were hung in 2000. He encouraged attendees to study the lists of those churches likely to be in some danger of closure and to consider the bells at risk from this. Micki Nadal remarked that there were several churches at risk of closure and members would get a feeling for which churches were under threat from the list. John Croft added that there were 900 such churches at risk nationally over the coming years, mostly in outlying areas. Andrew Johnson added that once closure of a church was mooted, its bells had to stay put until the future of the church was determined, although local planning rules might afford some protection. Elizabeth Johnson remarked that once a church was closed it could be difficult to get the bells out.
Youth ringers – It was felt that the District needed to establish a strategy for the future, using school visits, youth groups, such as Scouts and guides, open days and presentations as a basis for recruitment. In addition, towers with only one or two younger ringers could join together to provide small hubs. Roger Booth would come back with detailed proposals at the next quarterly meeting.
Bruce Purvis thanked members for their participation. The meeting closed at 5.30pm.
Minutes of the Winchester Autumn District Meeting held via Zoom at 10am on Saturday 13th November 2021
Present: Bruce Purvis (BP)–Chairman, Winchester Cathedral, Tony Smith (TS) – Treasurer, Hursley, Edmund Wratten (EW) – District Ringing Master (Unattached), Andrew Glover (AG)- District Webmaster, Romsey, Roger Booth (RB)– Acting District Newsletter Editor, New Arlesford, Micki Nadal (MN) – District Secretary, Stockbridge& Kings Somborne, Judy Bishop, Easton, Caroline Fairley (CF), Winchester Cathedral, Carol Higgins, Lockerley, Andrew Johnson (AJ), New Arlesford, Elizabeth Johnson (EJ), New Arlesford, Christine Knights-Whittome (CKW),Wonston, Brenda Palk, Lockerley, John Palk (JP),Lockerley, Tricia Shannon, Unattached, Elizabeth Skinner, Bishopstoke, Rodney Skinner (RS), Ropley, Pam Thomson, Hursley, Richard Thompson, Hursley and Jenny Watson, Sparsholt.
19 members attended, representing 12 towers, plus 2 unattached members.
Welcome and Apologies
Chairman BP welcomed members and accepted apologies from John Croft (JC), Steve Lamb, Jen Churchill and Mike Hopkins-Till.
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 were agreed with no comments and signed by BP.
Since Guild Executive Committee representative JC would be unable to attend the Guild Zoom meeting scheduled for Saturday 20th November, he had agreed with RB that a replacement could take his place. BP agreed that an alternative member would be satisfactory. TS agreed, providing only District matters were discussed by the replacement. He felt that Guild Executive meetings would, in future, be held online and that this would be a continuing issue. AJ asked which of the District Officers could attend normally – this would be the District Secretary and 1 other as elected.
BP proposed RB; seconded by RS and confirmed unanimously by a show of hands.
Loss of members through death
BP led attendees in a short prayer and a minute’s silence for the District members who had died since the previous meeting:
Peter J Clarke (Bishopstoke), Rosemary Oakeshott (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Rosemary Haviland (formerly of Micheldever), Wally F Taylor (formerly of Wonston) and Jean Kelly (formerly of Candover Valley).
Elections of new ringing members – the following probationary and new ringing members were proposed for election:
Election of probationary members
Mary Richards of Stockbridge on 1 October 2021 proposed by MN, seconded by JP.
Jan Conway, Ruth Horner, Jane Parker-Brown, Rosie Reay, Melanie Rose, Robert Spencer and Tim Stone of Cheriton on 11 November 2021 proposed by C F, seconded by RB.
Election of new ringing members
Benjamin Knowles and Elizabeth A Skinner of Bishopstoke proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.
Training needs/purchases and programme
RB reported that a ringing simulator, borrowed from New Arlesford, had been used successfully for the training of the Cheriton learners. He felt the District should purchase a SIMBEL simulator for use around towers in the district; this would cost £420 and would not require a faculty. RB would offer a permanent loan of a laptop to run the programme. TS suggested the simulator and associated equipment be held in the charge of the District Ringing Masters and that guidelines be issued regarding the length of the loan to each tower. EW would be happy to be in charge of the simulator and its use and suggested a permanent ‘home’ be decided upon. Both EW and RB suggested motorcycle tyres muffles be used as an inexpensive way to silence bells. The simulator would be purchased by the District Secretary; RB would contact MN on this matter.
BP proposed a SIMBEL simulator be purchased. This was seconded by CKW and passed on a show of hands. Action RB/MN
Programme of future events
BP felt he, MN, EW, AG and TS should meet to discuss the future programme; he opened the issue to the floor for attendees’ views. AJ suggested that, given the timescale before Christmas, plans be made for 2022. EJ welcomed a decision immediately on the date and venue for the District Annual Meeting, which all present believed should be a live meeting and not held online. Following a short discussion this was agreed as Saturday 12th February 2022 in St Mary’s Easton, with tower ringing and tea in the village hall. BP thanked JB for agreeing to this proposal; JB would check to confirm the church and village hall would be available for this date.
Any other notified business
Insurance matters – tower and Guild
As a result of questions, initially raised by a member of Andover District with Guild Treasurer Helen Woolford, regarding insurance cover for members and whether this was the responsibility of the PCC, Guild or individual members, a short discussion took place. All agreed there was a need for greater clarity on the subject. RB suggested District officers set up training sessions on insurance cover and risk assessments for towers and agreed to raise the matter with the Guild Executive at the next meeting. MN would contact Winchester District Towers and produce a list identifying those towers with no risk assessment.
Action MN/District Officers
Recovery after the pandemic
EW felt that those towers needing help were probably not represented at the QDM; AG referred attendees to the questionnaire produced by RB, which had identified needs in certain towers, particularly with the loss of between 20-25% of ringers during the pandemic. It was agreed the District Officers should contact towers to establish suitable places for future events. Towers with ground floor rings and plenty of space should be identified; small towers should be given help from suitable venues nearby. RB suggested that, following the success of a recruitment programme in the New Arlesford area, the district should concentrate on 1 or 2 areas at a time for the next 2 years. EW suggested that, when the correspondence on tower risk assessments was sent out, tower captains should be asked again what help they need. BP agreed District Officers should proceed on that basis.
Action MN/District Officers
Bell and tower project updates
Ropley: RS gave a short description of the overall damage to the church resulting from the fire in 2014 and the problems arising from increasing rebuild costs, insufficient levels of insurance and work stoppage due to the pandemic, resulting in costs which have escalated even further, by c. 25%. The huge project to strengthen the tower with a steel frame and replace the bells requires additional funds, in spite of magnificent fund raising efforts by the village to rebuild the church and replace the bells. It was hoped the District and Guild would be able to help the fund raising by allocating grants to Ropley. TS advised that the District supports bell projects with grants of £500 and proposed that this amount be allocated to Ropley; seconded by BP. The proposal was agreed unanimously.
Twyford: AJ gave a short review of work completed to date at Twyford. The recent visit by the Mayor of Winchester had stimulated interest in the bell improvements. From a total predicted cost of £85,000, around £67,000 had already been raised. Further fund raising events had been planned to help meet the shortfall of some £18,000. TS proposed that the District allocate £500 to the Twyford project; this was seconded by BP and agreed unanimously. MN reminded attendees that Diocesan grant information, including a grant specific to bells, had recently been sent out to all Tower Correspondents.
GS2222 – church closures and churches at risk
BP reminded attendees of the recent Ringing World article from 03/09/21 and referred them to RB’s recent list of District churches at risk of closure and to examples of how church closures and sales can potentially affect the numbers of bell towers available. RB believed future ringing bands would be most likely made up of groups ringing at several different churches for services. EW felt that, since this was something which would affect churches from a Diocesan level, this should be first and foremost a Guild matter. Following a brief discussion on churches at risk, i.e. those with regular congregations of <25 and who do not meet their share of the Common Mission Fund (CMF); what could happen to bells in redundant churches; which towers have some representation on Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) and/or links with the Deanery Synods; identifying those churches with mediaeval non-matching bells which could make use of redundant matching bells, BP outlined a course of action:
To find out which churches have representation on PCCs and to build and strengthen contacts with PCC members
To ask Guild Executive representatives to find out Guild views on GS2222 and how to identify churches at risk
To establish groups to obtain more contacts at deanery level with a view to gaining further information on diocesan plans at the grass roots level.
Action District Officers
Any Other Business
AJ referred attendees to a fund raising concert at Twyford to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 24th November in Twyford church. MN would forward this to all tower correspondents.
JP reminded attendees that the Guild Report would be issued again following a year’s absence and a questionnaire would be sent to TS and MN for completion. AJ felt the numbers showing average attendance at Sunday services and ringing practices was very useful information.
I will open the Zoom link from 9.30 am. Since I don’t know many of you and need to note down attendees, it would be useful if you could make sure your name is visible when you join on Zoom and not a nickname or someone else’s name or the name of your computer or mobile! You can temporarily change the name showing on the screen by right clicking on it and renaming yourself.
Please forward any apologies to me or 07563 753079
Micki Nadal, Winchester District Secretary
Twyford restoration project underway
One of the new Twyford bells being cast at Loughborough on 4th November 2021 (Elizabeth Johnson)
The project to restore the bells at Twyford is now under way and two of the three new bells have already been cast at Loughborough. The existing bells are due to be removed from the tower in January/February, and to go back around Easter 2022, once the frame has been shot blasted and repainted. There is currently a £13,000 shortfall on this £85,000 project, but this can be reduced if people come forward and volunteer to help the bell-hangers with the removal and installation work. The parish also have a number of fund-raising events planned over the next few months to help reduce the shortfall, including a concert on 24th November and a quiz evening in January.
New band at Cheriton Following a successful recruitment event at Cheriton Parish Fete on Bank Holiday Monday using the Charmborough Ring, nine people have come forward to learn to ring. A taster evening was held a few weeks later, followed by three weeks of intensive bell-handling lessons. Each new ringer came on average twice a week so they have each received about six hours of solid one-to-one practice on a solo bell. Special thanks go to Roy LeMarechal, Peter Hill and Ian Redway for their expert help. Caroline Fairley has also been helping as a teaching assistant and learning to teach.
The new ringers are now sufficiently advanced to start ringing rounds and we have started holding two practices a week. One on Monday afternoons at 2.30pm and the other on Thursday evenings, although for the next few weeks these need to fit round other events in the church, so some weeks we start at 6.15pm and finish by 7.30pm; other weeks we start at 7.30pm.
The band have set themselves the objective of ringing rounds together before the parish carol service at 3pm on Sunday 19th December 2021. The Alresford ringers have kindly loaned some of their simulator equipment, which helps reduce the need for help, although more help is always welcome.
Can you help? Next year we would like to help other towers in the District recruit and train new ringers after the pandemic. A few months ago we circulated a short questionnaire inviting members to indicate whether they are prepared to help out with weddings, Sunday ringing, practices and teaching new ringers at other towers in the District. This has certainly helped with the work at Cheriton, but we could help more towers if we had more offers of help. If you have not already done so, please take a couple on minutes to compete the short questionnaire: https://forms.gle/Kyfm8mBf2NZiSUm67
PLEASE NOTE: THE TEST VALLEY RINGING FESTIVAL ON 18TH SEPTEMBER HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2022.
THE OTHER EVENTS ARE STILL GOING AHEAD.
Historic bells across the Winchester District will ring out for this year’s Heritage Open Days Festival. Because of Covid restrictions access to come and meet the ringers is limited to certain towers, but you are welcome to come and listen at all towers.
Saturday 11th September 2.30 – 4.45pm, St John’s New Alresford: Tower Open Day
Friday 17th September, 2.00pm Twyford St Mary
The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Vivian Achwal, will be visiting the church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford at 2pm on Friday 17th September. The Mayor’s Escort will be Dr. Sudhaker Achwal. They will hear ringing performed on the eight bells by a team of ringers drawn from across the Winchester area. The Mayor is offering her support to the team of ringers of Twyford, who are currently raising funds to restore their bells, and to the bellringers in other nearby churches in the Winchester District who are opening their towers to members of the public as part of the Heritage Open Days festival.
****POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2022****:Saturday 18th September – Test Valley Ringing Festival
The following towers will be ringing at various times during the day for the Test Valley Ringing Festival. Exact timings for each tower to be confirmed nearer the date
East Tytherley (8 bells, tenor 14-1-5 in F#)
Ground floor ringing room.
A relatively modern ring dated 1897 and 1999 by John Taylor & Co.
Mottisfont, St Andrew (5 bells, tenor 6-0-23 in Ab)
Ground floor ringing room
The bells are dated 1663, 1675, 1678, 1718 and 1891.
Houghton, All Saints (6 bells, tenor 2-2-21 in E)
Ground floor ringing room
In contrast to the other rings on this open day, this is not only the lightest ring of bells, but also a relatively modern one, with bells by John Taylor & Co (1950 and 1975) and four by Matthew Higby & Co (2015)
Broughton, St Mary (6 bells, tenor 11 cwt in G)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is by an unknown founder and dated 1617. Another by Clement I Tosier was added in 1681. Three more were added in 1720, 1763 and 1774. The last was added in 1934.
Nether Wallop, St Andrew (6 bells, tenor 14 cwt in F)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is dated 1585 by John Wallis and two more were added by John Hidgen in 1642.Two more were added in 1702 and 1770, with the final bell added in 1992.
Over Wallop, St Peter (5 bells, tenor 7cwt in A)
Upstairs ringing room
One of the bells is dated 1599, two others dated 1631 and 1636 are by John Dawton. A fourth was added in 1776 and the final bell added in 1875.
Stockbridge, St Peter (6 bells, tenor 7-0-20 in Bb)
Upstairs ringing room
Three of the bells are by Samuel Knight and dated 1691. The other three are by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel and are dated 1887.
Longstock, St Mary (5 bells, tenor 8cwt in A)
Ground floor ringing room
The oldest bell is by John Wallis and is dated 1593. He also cast another in 1617. The other three were added between 1879 and 1893.
Leckford, St Nicholas (5 bells, tenor 8-2-4 in A)
Ground floor ringing room
Three of the bells date from 1582, 1595 and 1629. The other two date from 1934 when they were added by Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel
Goodworth Clatford, St Peter (8 bells, tenor 7½cwt in A)
Well ventilated upstairs ringing room.
The ring of eight bells includes a bell cast in 1622 by John Wallis, one cast by John Dawton in 1627 and one in 1700 by Robert Cor. The others are by John Taylor & Co and the Whitechapel Bellfoundry.
Upper Clatford, All Saints (6 bells, tenor 9-0-16 in F#)
Ground floor ringing room
Five of the bells are by various founders from 1621 to 1721. They were augmented to six and hung in a new frame by John Taylor & Co in 1967.
Please revisit this page nearer the date to check the timings.
All towers will be open for 45 minutes general ringing. After this, slots will be available for pre-booked bands. All ringers are encouraged to let us know which towers they intend to ring at by submitting a booking form. This will also help with track and trace.
There is no charge for the open day, but it is suggested that visiting ringers leave a donation of at least 50p per ringer at each church for local tower/church funds.
Visiting ringers need to adhere to Covid protocols. Do not come if you are feeling unwell, and wear a face mask if unvaccinated ringers are present. Any unvaccinated ringers or those who have only had one dose should also take a lateral flow test beforehand. Hand gel to be used each time a new ringer touches a rope.
Members of the public are welcome to come and listen, and may watch the ringing from the nave in those towers where the bells are rung from the ground floor. However, it will not be possible to have a go.
‘Grandsire Doubles –from first steps to calling touches’
Sunday 8th August at 2.30pm
An online presentation introducing beginners to the plain course, explaining bobs and singles for those wanting to ring touches, and giving guidance on calling to those who want to call touches. A useful refresher on Grandsire Doubles as we return to our towers.
Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on Saturday 13th February 2021 on Zoom.
In the absence of the Chairman, John Croft, the Secretary, Bruce Purvis, took the chair. He opened the meeting at 3 p.m. and welcomed those present.
The following 29 District members (representing 11 towers) and three guests were present: Rita Bibbo (Candover Valley), Janice Higgins, Christine & Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine & Ian McCallion, Tony Smith, and Pam & Richard Thompson (Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne & Stockbridge), Jen Churchill, Gary Davies, Carol Higgins, and Bren & John Palk (Lockerley & East Tytherley), Roger Booth, and Elizabeth & Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Angela Forder-Stent (Twyford), John Colliss, Steve Lamb and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston), John Croft (by telephone) and Edmund Wratten (unattached), and Charlotte Colliss, Pete Jordan (Guild Master) and Allan Yalden (Guild Vice-Master) (guests).
Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from the rest of the Ropley band, John & Joyce Croft, and John Wesley.
Further apologies were received from Trisha Shannon.
[An apology was received from Amanda Bayford subsequent to the meeting.]
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 11 February 2020 at Hursley were signed as a true record.
There were no matters arising
Loss of members through death
Members kept silence to remember Gerald Lambert of King’s Somborne and Stockbridge, Brian Lovelock formerly of Hursley, Colin Slade formerly of New Alresford and Carol Ward of Candover Valley; also, although not members, Alec F Fry of Kings Worthy and John Breslain of Cheriton. Bruce said the words of the requiem.
Election of new members
The belfry election of Marion Attree of Sparsholt as a probationary member on 24 February 2020 proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson, was confirmed.
Officers’ annual reports
The Secretary’s report was received, subject to the addition of thanks to the Hursley band for hosting the last ADM, correcting the times when Easton’s bell was tolled to Thursday nights, and correcting “2022” to “2021” in the third paragraph.
The accounts had been independently examined and were approved nem. con. on the proposition of the Treasurer, Tony Smith, seconded by Bruce Purvis, and signed by Tony on behalf of the Chairman.
Election of officers
Bruce Purvis proposed by Tony Smith and seconded by Steve Lamb.
Micki Nadal proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Jenny Watson.
Tony Smith proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Andrew Glover and Elizabeth Johnson.
Edmund Wratten and Steve Lamb proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Micki Nadal.
Executive Committee Representative
John Croft proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Peter Hill.
Independent Examiner of Accounts
John Colliss proposed by Steve Lamb and seconded by Rodney Skinner.
Andrew Glover proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Tony Smith.
Acting Newsletter Editor
Roger Booth proposed by Bruce Purvis and seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Micki Nadal said they had pencilled in the Charmborough Ring for Stockbridge’s Trout ’n About festival on the first Sunday in August. The festival was cancelled last year, but she won’t know until next month whether the organisers are planning to go ahead this year.
Peter Hill said that Hursley had been having a weekly quiz and other people were having striking competitions on Ringing Room and such events could be arranged between teams from towers in the District.
Roger Booth suggested a Murder Mystery event.
Guild Striking Competitions
As convenor of the Guild Striking Competitions Committee, Pete Jordan said although it would not be possible to hold the competitions in towers in May and June as planned, it may be possible to hold them later in the year.
Pete Jordan summarised the Guild Forum Recovery after Lockdown that had been held on 24 January 2021 with representatives from all the Districts including Ringing Masters, the notes of which had been distributed. Allan Yalden was assembling a package of available resources from the Central Council, ART and within the Guild. Pete hoped each District would take responsibility for their own recruitment and training and would come up with a plan.
Bruce Purvis had three observations from the Winchester District: towers especially in united benefices should share resources; it would be good to have access to the Guild database for contact details of District members so they could be called on to help; and offering revision in basic skills to address losses of confidence.
Roger Booth offered to survey towers using the questionnaire prepared by the Central Council Recovery Team, to establish basic information such as how many ringers they expect to lose, and suggested that this could be followed a Zoom call of tower captains to discuss the outcome of that survey and discuss the way forward.
Peter Hill suggested we should also identify those towers that had simulators, those in which it was easy to teach, and those who were able to teach and at what level, and offered to help Roger prepare the questionnaire.
Lastly Pete Jordan advised that the November meeting of the Executive Committee had appointed Steve Lamb as Honorary General Secretary.
Any other business
Jenny Watson proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring chairman, John Croft.
Roger Booth drew attention to his letter in this week’s issue of The Ringing World (p. 120) advocating reducing reserves held in society Bell Restoration Funds.
Our first formal meeting of the year and since Lockdown was imposed will take place via Zoom, on Saturday 13th February. As you will see from the attached agenda we shall open the Zoom ‘room’ fifteen minutes early to allow people to sign in and be admitted. The link for the meeting is:-
or, if you with to sign in with the meeting id and passcode these are:- Meeting ID: 883 8896 9942 Passcode: 135246
I fear that because I can only compose in plain text the link will not work simply by clicking on it, but it should work if you copy it and paste it into your browser. The link will work, however, from the agenda. The accounts (long since signed off) and District Report will follow in due course, with my apologies for creating two instalments of the process of notification.
Advantages: We do get to meet; no travelling; your choice of sandwiches and cakes for the virtual ringers’ high tea.
Disadvantages: I have zero experience of hosting, we’ll just have to see how this goes; thank goodness Andrew knows what he’s about. No ringing … though I could set up a Ringing Room if anyone fancies catching hold afterwards.
For the last nine months, there has been very limited activity, and many ringers may not even have touched a bell-rope in this time. Even if they have, they will not have rung any methods.
However with the roll out of the vaccination programme, there is the real prospect that from late spring or early summer next year we will gradually be able to return to ringing all the bells and holding practices in our towers. But we still have this winter to get through.
Things have been happening behind the scenes to prepare for the recovery and we plan to issue regular District newsletters with news and interesting items to help keep members engaged and informed.
In this issue we include details of a programme of webinars which the Guld Education Committee will be launching in January.
During lockdown a number of District towers have been holding regular virtual pub sessions and quizzes. using Zoom. Some have also been holding virtual practices using Ringing Room, one of these being the Mayflies group which Micki Nadal has written about on page 2
Please do send us articles for inclusion in the next issue, which will be published at the end of March. Articles should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas ringing relaxation
The Central Council of Church Bellringers have agreed special arrangements for ringing over the Christmas period with the House of Bishops Recovery Group. Essentially between 23 and 27 December no matter which tier, we can ring for 15 minutes, provided that the ringers are 1metre + socially distanced, and those not in the same bubble are wearing face masks. Further details on the Central Council Website
Have you subscribed?
Around 50% of Winchester District members have now subscribed to the Guild’s new membership and communications database. We are now able to send this newsletter to each of you direct instead of it being ‘cascaded’ via tower correspondents and posted on tower notice boards. This is not practical in the current pandemic.
However, as we are only reaching about half of the membership, do tell your friends about this newsletter and pass a copy on if they have not seen it.
On Saturday 14th November, Edmund Wratten delivered a webinar on ’coursing order’ and how it can be used to help your ringing. There was an excellent turnout with 35 members Zooming in.
Following this success, a series of interesting webinars is planned for the period up to Easter. These will be held on
Sat 16th Jan
Sat 30th Jan
Sat 3th Feb
Sat 27th Feb
Sat 13th Mar
Sat 27th Mar
The final programme and joining details will be published in the next Guild Newsletter, to be issued at the beginning of January. Topics will include
Listening Skills: Have you struggled to pick out your bell from the others? How do you know if it you or someone else that is wrong?
Ways of Learning Methods: This will cover the circle of work, the blue line and place bells, and how you can break this down into chunks of work that you can learn.
Calling simple touches: Starting from the perspective of someone who has never called a bob before, we will cover the basics up to the stage where you can call a 120 of Plain Bob or Grandsire Doubles.
History of bells and ringing in the Winchester and Portsmouth Dioceses: This webinar will look at some of the more interesting aspects of the bells in our towers.
Recruitment and Retention – how to get more new ringers and how to retain them: This workshop developed by the Central Council’s Volunteer and Leadership workgroup will look at the problems facing us and how we might overcome them.
The webinar link will be open from 10.00am for people to logon and perhaps have a chat. Each presentation will start promptly at 10.15am, followed by the opportunity for questions and answers.
Depending on the content, each webinar will last between 60 and 90 minutes
If you’ve not already done so, complete our questionnaire and we will make sure you receive details of the upcoming webinars.
Each Saturday between the webinars we will hold Ringing Room practices using Zoom and breakout rooms, so that people can practice the topics that have been covered in the previous weeks, with an experienced band in a supportive environment.
Restoration at Twyford
The £91,000 scheme to carry out a major overhaul of the frame and fittings, including recasting of three of the bells is being supported by a grant of £7,500 from the Guild’s Bell Restoration Fund. The work will be carried out by White’s of Appleton.
However, Jennie Richardson reports that, because of Covid-19, fund-raising has ground more or less to a halt, so the start date for the works is not yet certain.
Currently, because of the pandemic, most Sundays just one bell is chimed, although the band did manage to ring three bells in memory of William Davies, who was on horseback and lost in fog on the local downs until he heard the bells ringing.
His will of 1754 left money to the ringers to ring for 30 minutes on 7 October each year.
Towards the end of May this year, when the Mayflies were emerging from the River Test in droves and buzzing round my head in the garden, I decided to take the plunge and set up a virtual tower in Ringing Room.
I didn’t want to call it after a particular tower, as I realised virtual ringing would not be for everyone and I wanted to attract people from all over the place, which seemed to me one of Ringing Room’s advantages.
The Ringing Room Take-Hold Lounge on Facebook showed that evening sessions often experienced some time lag, so 5pm seemed a good time – before people’s supper and the evening online rush. With the mayfly hatch in full swing, the name seemed a ‘no-brainer’.
So, at the beginning of June and with the help of fellow ringer Derek Smith, we had a go, just the two of us and then let various ringing friends know that Mayflies would be open for business Monday to Saturday at 5pm. We were immensely lucky that our brilliant District Ringing Master Edmund Wratten joined us to give us direction and advice from his base and our former Kings Somborne Captain Sue Spurling joined us from her new home in Sussex.
With old ringing friends from Kings Somborne, Braishfield, Sparsholt, Winchester and Houghton and new ringing friends from London, Epsom and Staffordshire we can generally count on between 6 and 10 people each day, although if there are only 4 or 5 initially, we’ll ring Minimus methods.
A little gossip tops and tails our practices, but on the whole ringing is what we are there for. For our local band the advantages of Ringing Room are huge – we normally ring at six-bell towers, so the chance to practice and learn 8, 10 and 12 bell methods is fantastic.
We have really progressed with learning touches and for those prophets of doom, who say that in the ‘real’ ringing world we will all be back to square one, I have this to say: the brain will, I’m sure, retain a lot of what we are learning about ‘what to do instinctively at a bob or a single’ and although we may have to relearn straightforward bell handling and using rope sight (and we fully appreciate this may take some time), when we are settled into a plain course of Bob Doubles and a bob is called, we will remember what we are supposed to do.
I don’t see Ringing Rooms just as a lockdown facility either – it will be just as useful for learning methods when things are back to normal, but with the added advantage of being able to practice in a real environment too.
Just as lockdown changed our lives, I believe Ringing Room has changed ringing practices too and given those of us lower down on the learning curve the opportunity and the confidence to metaphorically punch above our weight and try things we would be light years from trying in a real tower.
Kings Somborne and Mayflies Towers
Ropley Church is being rebuilt
In June 2014, our beautiful church was destroyed by fire. Two of the bells were cracked, one beyond repair and will need to be recast. Now at last, the rebuilding of the church is well under way, with the new roof installed and new tower built!
The rebuilt St. Peter’s will provide a wonderful venue for services as well as a place for the Village to gather. The space created will complement other village facilities and will be widely used by the village school, social clubs, concerts and meetings seven days a week, not only an hour on Sundays.
St. Peter’s was insured by Ecclesiastical Insurance for £2,854,962. Thus far a substantial sum in addition to this has been successfully raised. The current shortfall for Phase 1, to achieve a useable building was £201,500 (October 2019). Phase 2 fundraising for stained glass windows, bells, clock, furniture etc will follow.
Work undertaken so far includes the installation of the base of the new bell-frame by Matthew Higby & Co., and an order has been placed to recast one bell and weld and heat treat the other five bells.
Because of the damage done by the fire, the bells will be hung within an independent steel structure within the walls, and the ringing room will move to the ground floor level.
The bells will be the largest hung in a free standing tower, but we are assured that they will handle well!
Carol Ward (nee Herring) RIP
I have, I am afraid, sorrowful news to impart.
Carol served many years as the tower correspondent for the Candover Valley Ringers, and hers was a welcome presence at District meetings – including last December’s carol service at Northington, at which she – with the rest of the CVR – was a most gracious host.
Carol was also a doughty campaigner in the cause of combatting the cancer which eventually took her. I shall miss Carol very much indeed, as I am sure many in the District will.
News from around the towers
Hursley: The band have been meeting for a Zoom call and quiz on Tuesday evenings as well as other chats, ringing room sessions and quarter peal attempts on other evenings. As tiering allows we have been exploring our Minimus range on 1, 4, 6, 8 of the 12 and that we have been using the 14 on Ringing Room to practice our handbell carols. The band are also holding a virtual Christmas dinner on 18th December. Peter Hill.
Lockerley: Have been meeting on Zoom on Thursday evenings for a chat followed by some virtual ringing and also on Sunday mornings. During the summer months the band were also able to meet socially distanced outdoors. Gary Davies.
Old and New Alresford: Have been meeting fortnightly on Friday evenings for virtual pub and quiz sessions on Zoom. We have installed extract fans in both towers to improve the ventilation which has enabled us to ring some of the bells on Sunday mornings and for a wedding, before we entered Tier 2.
Romsey Abbey: The bells are sounded on Sundays and for other special occasions by the Ellacombe apparatus, so most of the band have not rung a bell for nine months. It was fortunate we decided not to remove the Ellacombe apparatus when the bells were rehung in 2007!
Sherfield English: Various numbers of bells have been chimed for services by single households in the band. We have run our regular Thursday training sessions with the Romsey improvers using Ringing Room and Zoom. Nearly all are now able to ring inside to Plain Bob Triples and Cloister Triples without crib sheets! Using visual aids most can ring Stedman.
The new learning environment has encouraged counting places and listening to the ringing as well as upskilling internet knowledge. More ringers have run the practice and called touches. We have also learnt about and used place notation and coursing order, sparked by Edmund’s webinar. Ringing Room allows us to go past Sherfield 8 bell restrictions – if we have lots of ringers we open up a second tower so everyone rings more. We also have completed plain hunt Maximus (16 in here we come!).
We have just realised that we should achieve ringing all the methods set out in Martin’s 2020 wish list without attending the tower! Martin Daniels.
Sparsholt: The band have been meeting every Monday since first lockdown in March. At first it was a weekly quiz evening with attempts at Ringing Room on Tuesday evenings. We also met socially outdoors in the warmer summer months, for a drink and also a picnic. Since September we have met virtually in the Ringing Room with the sessions led by Edmund Wratten. Anyone wishing to join us on Monday evenings at 7.15pm would be very welcome. Jenny Watson.
Winchester Cathedral: The band have been meeting for a chat most weeks and when tiering permits have been ringing six bells for fifteen minutes before Sunday services. The large ringing room helps with social distancing. To keep the fellowship up some members have also been meeting up for walks and cycle rides. Steve Lamb.
W&P Diocesan Guild
Muster, Hants & Wilts.
Monday, 7 December 2020
1260 Bob Minor
1–2 Mary Edelsten (Winchester)
3–4 Ian Redway (New Alresford)
5–6 Gary Davies (Winterslow)(Cond)
First virtual quarter peal: 1-2
A new ring of eight for the District
When we retired to New Alresford three years ago, we had intended putting the Charmborough Ring in the loft at the back of our garage, when not in use.
However, we soon came to the conclusion that hosting it up and down was not something that we wanted to do regularly.
Instead Matthew Higby has recently cast us a new ring of eight, with a tenor of about ¾ cwt in E♭ which will be permanently hung in our garage in the spring
Although light, they will have galvanised steel wheels and handle like bells considerably heavier than they are.
The intention is that besides being available for quarters and peals, we will also run regular training sessions – a bit like Tulloch and Alderney. We also plan to work with local schools to help bring fresh blood into our local band.
As for the Charmborough Ring, they will remain available to help with recruitment post-pandemic. If you would like to hire them for an event next year, please visit the website: www.charmborough.org
Roger & Cathy Booth
Greetings to all members in what has been a very difficult and challenging year due to the pandemic.At the ADM last February I indicated that I would not be seeking re-election as chairman in February 2021.
Please feel free to contact me either by phone or email if you are interested in filling this post.It would be good if someone did come forward as I feel the district would benefit from a fresh face.
I am willing to continue as Executive Council Representative if re-elected.
As I write there is hopeful news of vaccines. I hope that next year we shall be, in time, to be able to meet and ring more normally.
May I take this opportunity of wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2021. Stay well and safe.
District Annual General Meeting – Saturday 13th Feb 2021
The District Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 13th February 2021 at 3pm by Zoom teleconference. To join, click on this link:
This meeting will include the presentation of officers reports and the District Accounts for 2020.
At the meeting nominations will also open for all the officer posts in the District. John Croft has indicated that he does not wish to stand again for the post of Chair, and Bruce Purvis does not wish to stand again as Secretary. We also need to fill the vacant Newsletter Editor post, to help the Guild Comms team.
The District relies on volunteers such as John and Bruce to carry out all of its work. It’s not what the District does for you and your tower, it’s what you can do for the District, and there will be a lot to do to help ringing recover after the pandemic. Please do consider how you can help. The more people that share the load, the better.
Following a decision at the Guild AGM in September, no subscriptions will be collected next year, membership will last two years and a combined Annual Report will be published in 2022 for 2020 and 2021.
Copy for the next issue of this newsletter should reach us by Sunday 14th March email@example.com
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Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 8th February 2020 in the Parish Hall, Hursley.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.28 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including the Master of the Guild, Peter Jordan, and our other visitors, and with thanks to the Rector and Wardens for the use of the bells, to the Rector, the Revd William Prescott for leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Hursley Band for hosting the day and in particular Christine Hill and her helpers for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause], and all those present for supporting the meeting.
2. Attendance. The following 28 members of the District (representing eleven bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Robert Eames and Roy LeMarechal (Bishopstoke) Janice Higgins, Christine and Ian McCallion, Tessa and Tony Smith, and Martin Waldron (all of Hursley), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne and Stockbridge),Gary Davies and Brenda and John Palk, (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth (New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels and Jennifer and Nigel Herriott (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Paul Fitzgerald and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), Joyce Croft, and Trisha Shannon (all unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Pete Jordan (Guild Master – Basingstoke) and Jennifer, Martin Waldron’s partner, comprising the guests. Also present were Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk, Christine and Barry Saunders and Derek Stewart (all of Hursley), Caroline Fairley (Winchester Cathedral), John Croft and Edmund Wratten (all unattached); a total of 35.
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Jen Churchill, Drew and Sue Craddock, John Gawne-Cain, Philip Gillibrand, Andrew Glover, Carol Higgins, Sara Janssen, Elizabeth.Johnson, and Charlotte and Jonathan Smith.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Subject to amendments (‘Northington’ from ‘Broughton’, item 9, Future Events refers and ‘Elizabeth Johnson’ from ‘Rodney Skinner’, item 10 no. 3, Channel Islands District refers) adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Autumn District Meeting held on 9 November at Easton Parish Hall was proposed by Rob Eames, seconded by Jenny Watson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising.
Minute 5, ‘Romsey Show’: John Palk remarked that the potential for securing as many as 60 names for follow-up at the Romsey Show was a ‘pipe-dream’, and questioned the value for money of the outlay of £300. Roger Booth disagreed and explained that at similar events there had often been as many as 50 or 60 enquiries. On this occasion some 15 people had left their details to be contacted, and some of these had started lessons, but there could be better follow up by local towers. Events such as this had the potential to be excellent value for money, both in terms of PR and attracting new ringers, and when so much money was locked up in District, Guild and BRF funds, a great deal of outreach work was possible for the outlay of a very small proportion of these funds. Nigel Herriott observed that, at Romsey at least, recruitment was not a problem. Roy LeMarechal pointed out that the Romsey Show was visited from across the county of Hampshire and beyond and many other towers would benefit.
Minute 5,’Donation to the Youth Ringers’ Outings’: Tony Smith reported that the £100 offered to the organiser to support these outings was taken up in due course.
Minute 5, ‘Ringing World National Youth Competition’ Martin Daniels sought reassurance that the failure of any District ringer to be chosen for the Guild entry for the RWNYC did not mean that the District’s offer of financial support would not be renewed. The Treasurer confirmed that the offer was on-going.
Minute 9 ‘Future Events’. The Secretary remarked on the resounding success of the Carol Service at Northington.
6. Loss of members through death. None notified.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections.
Emily J Crowder of Kensington on 9 November 2019 prior to a peal at Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright.
Douglas Page and Oscar Schultz of Winchester College on 12 November 2019, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Madeleine McHardy of Sparsholt on 6 January 2020, proposed by John Cleverley, seconded by Jenny Watson.
Hephzibah Murray of Winchester College on 28 January 2020, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
Christine Hyde of Sherfield English on 4 February 2020, proposed Caroline Daniels, seconded Martin Daniels.
Hannah Whaites of Wonston on 8 February 2020, proposed by Gerry Cornick, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome.
8a. Election of new ringing members.
Richard Eames of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Peter Clarke.
George Mansfield, Bailey Riches, Harriet Riches and Nathan Smith of New Alresford, proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Roger Booth.
Jon Butler and Alison Jones of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Rhoda Willson.
Che Haefner and Claire Webster of Winchester College, proposed by Alec Graham, seconded by Caroline Fairley.
Ella Kesterton, Rianne Li and Esther Sweeting of Winchester College, proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
Milena Nunn of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick.
8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were taken for members at Bishopstoke, Lockerley and East Tytherley, and Sherfield English, and certificates for members at Romsey.
9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: the secretary’s report was presented for scrutiny for errors and omissions: with none noted it could be forwarded to the Guild Report Editor for publication. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was approved by the meeting, and they were signed and dated by the Chairman.
10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, remarked that if elected he was prepared to serve for a further term of one year, but felt it was right not to remain in office for too long, so that the District might benefit from the new ideas and new directions that could result from a change of chairman. So the District has the coming year to give due thought to choosing his successor. The Secretary echoed these sentiments, adding that if he were elected this year would mark a decade in post. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’. The other sitting officers, bar the Newsletter Editor were likewise willing to stand for 2020, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Nigel Herriott;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Nigel Herriott seconded by Roy LeMarechal;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by John Palk;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by Bruce Purvis
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Trisha Shannon;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Nigel Herriott, seconded by John Palk;
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Martin Daniels;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Bruce Purvis;
Newsletter Editor: Following a brief discussion on the need for a newsletter in current circumstances, the meeting agreed to leave the editorship vacant; candidates for all other posts elected on a show of hands.
11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was still at an early stage of compilation, with district practices for February and September being established and – most importantly – the location of the next Annual Meeting being settled, at Twyford on 13 February 2021. Concerns were raised – and duly noted – regarding the date for the Spring District Meeting falling on 9 May, conflicting with VE Day commemorations taking place that weekend, and regarding the staging of the Stockbridge Ringing Festival in the height of summer, likely to be busy with weddings and the Trout’n’about Festival on Sunday 2 August – and for which the Charmborough Ring has been booked. The date of 2 May for the Spring District Meeting and an autumn date for the Festival of Ringing were proposed.
12. Guild Striking Competitions. The Secretary reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 13 June at Alton, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. The Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Fawley and Eling respectively on Saturday 16 May, with draws at 3.00 p.m. The Inter-District 10-bell competition would take place at All Saints’, Basingstoke on Saturday 5 September, with the draw at 10.30 a.m. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District 8-Bell Competitions, and his offer was accepted with gratitude.
13. Guild Master. Pete Jordan, the Guild Master, said that when he was learning to ring, he was amazed at the time and effort that was devoted to teaching new learners. Ringing was a hobby, undertaken voluntarily, and he wished to thank us all for our efforts in the teaching and learning process, for our commitment to Sunday service ringing, and for taking on roles at tower, district and guild levels. He thanked us all, very much indeed. Secondly, Pete drew the attention of the meeting to the Heritage section of the Guild Action Plan, which included a planned initiative to record peal boards throughout the Guild. Allan Yalden, the project co-ordinator, requested that photographs of peal boards be sourced and copied – or taken from scratch and sent via e-mail – to him. Caroline Daniels enquired how Allan could be contacted: the answer was “via the Guild website”.
14. Any Other Business.
Beyond Bob Doubles, February. Edmund Wratten gave notice of the next Beyond Bob Doubles practice, at East Tytherley on Wednesday 26 February, concentrating on triples and major methods such as Grandsire, Stedman and Little Bob Major.
Guild Report. John Palk reminded the meeting that the provision of copies of the new Guild Report was on an opting-in basis, requiring members to request their copies through their tower secretaries.
Format of meetings. Nigel Herriott observed that our average age was now above 60 years. “Six or seven years ago” our ADM at North Stoneham had “filled the church”, and he wondered whether the format for District meetings of ringing – service – tea – business meeting was still viable as our age-profile gradually increased and people were retiring from ringing as they got older. Caroline Daniels enquired rhetorically whether there were any people coming into ringing in their twenties. The Secretary agreed that, although the traditional format of meetings had been subject to change during his tenure, the level of interest and attendance did concern him, and he proposed to organise a meeting of interested parties, including tower reps and the contributors to this discussion, to address just this issue. Tower Reps’ meetings were usually held in June. Roger Booth suggested the issue was not served well by a delay of four months, and that a meeting in April would address the issue to greater effect.
Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the BRF raised £27.
Minutes of the Autumn District Meeting held on Saturday 9th November 2019 in the Parish Hall, Easton.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.32 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Rector and Wardens for the use of the bells, to Edmund Wratten, Ringing Master, for leading the afternoon’s training in Cambridge Minor and its variants, and to the Easton ringers for laying on a sumptuous ringers’ tea [applause]. Edmund thanked his helpers in the training session.
2. Attendance. The following 20 members of the District (representing eight bands, with three members unattached), and one guest signed the attendance register: Judy Bishop, Sara Janssen and Lyn Russell (all of Easton), Christine Hill and Tessa and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Carol Higgins (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth and Elizabeth Johnson (both of New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, Charlie Curtis, Mary Edelsten, Christine Govier and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), John and Joyce Croft, and Trisha Shannon (all unattached), and Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore – guest); also present was Edmund Wratten (unattached).
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Nick Bucknall, Jen Churchill, Andrew Glover, Andrew Johnson, Christine Knights-Whittome, Brenda and John Palk. 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption of the minutes as a true record of the business of the Spring District Meeting held on 11 May at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford, was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Jenny Watson and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising.Minute 10: Romsey Show. In response to an enquiry, Sue Spurling reported that 14 September had been a beautiful day, and the Guild’s stand had been very busy during the morning. Roger Booth added that some 250 people, adults and children, had tried their hand on the Charmborough Ring. Fifteen people had left details to find out more about ringing, including three or four for Romsey alone, and some lapsed ringers. All these details had been forwarded to active bands, and if they needed support, Martin Daniels had agreed to arrange helpers. The organisers felt that with better organisation, more names could have been gathered – perhaps as many as fifty or sixty. There was a strong sense that the exercise was definitely worth repeating. Roger added that the Ring had been booked for Stockbridge’s “Trout’n’about” festival of food and crafts, on 2 August next year.
Minute 11: Donation to the W&P Youth Ringers’ Outings. Tony Smith reported that he had written to Sallie Ingram, the outings’ organiser, to learn who should receive the grant voted by the Spring District Meeting, and he had yet to hear from her. The meeting mandated Tony to contact Sallie again.
Minute 12: Ringing World National Youth Competition. No young member of the District had been chosen for the Guild’s team for the RWNYC, so Martin Daniels’ proposal, agreed by the Spring meeting, lapsed.
Minute 15 [incorrectly numbered 14]: AOB: Northington. Elizabeth Johnson reported that a first quarter had been scored on the new ring, on 20 May, featuring members of the Candover Valley Ringers, and Jill Parr, formerly captain of the band; also that the bells had been dedicated by the Bishop of Basingstoke at a service on 6 October. A first peal attempt had been lost when a rope had slipped wheel.
6. Loss of members through death. The death of Derek Yates of East Meon and New Alresford, on 20 September, was noted with sadness. A prominent ringer, he continued his ringing career on handbells after a stroke prevented him from climbing stairs. His funeral was widely attended, and Terry Collins’ eulogy had been published as an obituary in the Ringing World. Also, the death of John Denham on 21 July was noted with sadness: John had been a longstanding and loyal member of the Sunday service band at Twyford St Mary the Virgin. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections.
William P Carew of Kingsteignton on 28 September 2019 prior to a peal at
Wimborne Minster proposed by Barry Fry, seconded by John Croft.
Jesse Birks-Kent and Bethany Lunn of Winchester Cathedral on 19 June 2019
proposed by Mike Hopkins Till, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Christine Wilson, unattached, on 19 June 2019 proposed by Mike Hopkins Till,
seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Evangelia Karletsou of Winchester Cathedral on 25 September 2019 proposed by
Bruce Purvis, seconded by Nick Bucknall.
Andrew R Nunn of Micheldever on 1 October 2019 proposed by Mary Tiles,
seconded by Juliet Pattison.
8. Election of new ringing members.
Marion Daniell and Christine Govier of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Nick
Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Bethany Lunn of Winchester Cathedral proposed by Mike Hopkins Till, seconded
by Bruce Purvis.
Trisha Shannon, unattached, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Mary
9. Future Events. The Secretary referred briefly to the few events remaining of the programme up to the next Annual Meeting, at Hursley next February. These included District Practices at Old Alresford on Monday next, 11 November, and at Broughton and Kings Worthy, also the Carol Service at Broughton, still subject to confirmation. An additional training session – added since the Agenda had been published – was a training evening in raising and lowering at Sparsholt, this coming Friday, 14 November, starting at 7.00 p.m. Suggestions and proposals for the new programme included District Practices at King’s Somborne, Kings Worthy, Micheldever, Easton and Wonston. Roger Booth observed that District Practices – certainly those he had attended – were thinly attended, and he urged the Committee to consider his suggestions, circulated earlier, to improve attendance rates. More specifically, Elizabeth Johnson suggested that for District Practices at Old Alresford, we contact her or Rodney Skinner – who ran a practice for the Ropley Band-in-exile on the second Thursday of the month – for advice, as there was in effect no band at Old Alresford.
10. Any Other Business. (1) Future District Committee. John Croft, Chairman, gave notice that he would be prepared to stand for re-election next February, but that if elected, he could serve only one more year, as he would by then have served five years, and felt it was time for ‘new blood’, fresh approaches and ideas, etc. Bruce Purvis, Secretary, gave notice to the same effect, as by 2021 he would have served ten years. Tony Smith, Treasurer, added that he was likewise prepared to serve, if elected, through 2020, but would not in the least be offended should anyone else wished to take on the management of the District’s finances.
(2) Training needs. Edmund Wratten entered a plea for input as to training needs across the District, as it was difficult otherwise to be certain that our training programme had a properly broad appeal across the District.
(3) Channel Islands District. Rodney Skinner advised the meeting that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission had recommended that transfer of the Channel Islands’ Deanery to the Diocese of Salisbury. This could mean that the Channel Islands’ District could seek affiliation to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. It was understood, however, that the decision would be up to the District.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 6.03 p.m.
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’.
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!
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.
Terrific turn out for the Winchester District practice at Wonston today 15th June!
On the day of the 2019 W&P AGM we were thrilled to be able to enjoy the company and experience of seven visiting ringers who gave their own Saturday morning to help us at our regular practice. Our band was fairly complete, missing the Barretts and the Nunns, so we had a busy tower of 16!
Call changes, Grandsire on 5, Reverse Canterbury and Stedman doubles were all tried out and, regardless of success or otherwise, it was a relaxed, learning and unifying atmosphere. Our thanks to those who travelled to us from towers like Lockerley, Crawley, Stockbridge and Sparsholt and a special mention to Jonathan who cycled the 4 mile round trip from Kingsworthy in poor weather. We did warn them about the possibility of dust and crud coming through the rope holes after our recent refurb. Hope they didn’t find too much in their hair afterwards! Jenny made off with Gerry’s keys but we made her hand over both them and his coat in the carpark! She got her own coat back in return! Maybe we should have home team pegs and away team pegs?
Thanks Edmund, Jenny, Bruce and all our friends in ringing. It’s a nice way to feel connected to our local ringing community and, more widely, the Guild.
As ringers we run a wide gamut of emotions whenever we ring. In an unfamiliar tower, with vaguely familiar or new-to-us ringers with unknown skillsets , these can be amplified. There’s no doubt that the exercise is an intellectual challenge. But what also should be celebrated is our emotional resolve to be vulnerable, to perform, in a tight space, on the end of a rope, out of our comfort zone. And remain or become friends.
Minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on Saturday 9th February 2019 in the Memorial Hall, Butts Green, Lockerley. 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 Vicar and Wardens for the use of the bells of Lockerley and the Tytherleys, to John Niblett for ably leading the service, to Gary Davies for playing the organ and to the Lockerley and East Tytherley ringers Bands for hosting the day and for laying on a splendid ringers’ tea [applause]. 2. Attendance. The following 35 members of the District (representing nine bands and unattached), and three guests signed the attendance register: Christine and Peter Hill, Jinny Kufluk and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), Gary Davies, Sam Fussell, Sheila Piper, John Palk, Alan Sparrow and Mark Warner (all of Lockerley and East Tytherley), Roger Booth, Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson (all of New Alresford), Caroline and Martin Daniels, Andrew Glover (all of Romsey), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Maggie Lippiett (Twyford), John Colliss, John Gawne-Cain and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston), John and Joyce Croft (both unattached); Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore) Rob Hatch (Botley) and Mike Winterbourne (Guild Master – Tangley) comprising the guests. Also present were Graham Wright (Bishopstoke), Alison Fydler and Carol Ward (Candover Valley Ringers), Jen Churchill (Lockerley) and Edmund Wratten (unattached) 3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Judy Bishop, Gerry Cornick, Carol Higgins, Ann and Roy LeMarechal Micki Nadal, Sue Spurling and Tony Stirling. 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on 10 November at Houghton Village Hall was proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Andrew Johnson and carried on a show of hands. 5. Matters Arising. Minute 10.ii Transfer of towers. Rodney Skinner remarked on the Andover District apparently shedding towers: Tony Smith advised that King’s Somborne and Stockbridge were rung by the same band, and Andrew Johnson added that the transfer of Stockbridge and Leckford to our district were subject to ratification by the Guild AGM. 6. Loss of members through death. The Chairman, John Croft, having recently attended the funeral, remarked on the passing in January of Graham Grant, successively secretary and, for twenty years, Captain of the Cathedral Bell-ringers. Graham was for many years Bell Advisor to the Diocesan Advisory Committees and was appointed a Life Member of the Guild in 1996 for services to the Guild; he assisted John’s father – Guild Master in the centenary year – with a unique contribution to the artwork for the centenary. We mourned also the passing of Ivor Trueman, formerly Captain at Romsey Abbey. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem. 7. Confirmation of belfry elections. Probationary members: Carrie Blythe of Crawley on 12 June 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Lisa Rodrigues of Crawley on 2 October 2018, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Nikki Archard of Lockerley on 12 November 2018, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Andrew Hughes and Jacqui Smith of Candover Valley on 2 January 2019, proposed by Alison Fydler, seconded by Carol Ward. Eva Nunn of Wonston on 12 January 2019, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick. Elloise Clark of Easton on 17 January 2019, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Jon Butler of Romsey on 23 January 2019, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Alice Kernick and Claire Stirman of Winchester Cathedral on 6 February 2019, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
8a. Election of new ringing members. Robert A Eames and Stephen Wise of Bishopstoke, proposed by Roy LeMarechal, seconded by Graham Wright. Kristine Wright of Bishopstoke, proposed by Graham Wright, seconded by Roy LeMarechal. Cara Bennett and Victoria Bennett of Crawley, proposed by Edmund Wratten, seconded by Amanda Bayford. Tom Burnell of Easton, proposed by Judy Bishop, seconded by Pam Chrismas. Sheila Piper of Lockerley and East Tytherley, proposed by Gary Davies, seconded by Jen Churchill. Sharon Reynolds of Micheldever proposed, by Juliet Pattinson, seconded by Mary Tiles. Reuben Burbidge, Cath Hart, William Lay and Peter Maddams of Romsey, proposed by Andrew Glover, seconded by Nigel Herriott. Christine Nicol of Sherfield English, proposed by Wendy Nash, seconded by Caroline Simpson. Elaine Pickering and Paul Tanner of Sparsholt, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley. Helen Ellerby and Kate Kernick of Winchester Cathedral, proposed by Nick Bucknall, seconded by Mike Hopkins Till. Tomas Nunn, Janet Ryan and Ian Waites of Wonston, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Gerry Cornick. 8b. Presentation of Certificates. Membership certificates and badges were presented to Roger Booth and Jinny Kufluk, and were taken for members at Broughton and Houghton, Candover Valley, Micheldever, New Alresford, Romsey, Sherfield English and Winchester Cathedral. A first quarter-peal certificate was presented to Alan Sparrow, and a first peal certificate was taken for Carol Higgins (both of Lockerley and East Tytherley). 9. Officers’ Reports. Secretary’s Report: With the addition of a note that Romsey had won the Guild inter-tower six-bell competition, adoption was proposed by John Colliss and seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome. Treasurer’s Report and accounts: adoption of the accounts, as usual carefully examined by John Colliss, was proposed by Peter Hill and seconded by John Palk. Both reports were adopted on a show of hands. Caroline Daniels remarked on the growing credit balance, and enquired what use might be made of it. Tony advised that, as an example, £500 had been voted to local bell-restoration funds; Rodney added that Ropley would be calling upon the District for financial assistance. Tony advised that according to the rules of the Guild, monies could only be spent by vote of a District meeting. Andrew suggested that the fund could be used to support teaching in the District, and Tony replied that this was practice in times past. 10. Election of Officers. The Chairman, in standing down prior to the election, took the opportunity to thank his fellow officers for their support – without whose support he couldn’t do the job that he did – and to ringers throughout the district, remarking with gratitude upon the co-operation and shared sense of purpose tin the District. With that, he was prepared to stand for 2019. The Treasurer was happy to continue in post, though he ‘would not be offended if anyone else wished to take over as treasurer’, or if anyone felt like understudying the office with a view to taking it on. Tony added that the requisite skills were good personal organisation and enjoyment of looking after finances. The secretary was prepared to continue for this year, but he would be happy to stand down if anyone else wished to take on his post (no-one was) but in the absence of a successor, entered a plea for some assistance with the office. The other sitting officers were likewise willing to stand for 2019, and John Colliss was willing to continue as Independent Examiner of the accounts. The offices were filled as follows:-
Chairman: John Croft, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by Rodney Skinner;
Secretary: Bruce Purvis, proposed by Peter Hill, seconded by Carol Ward;
Treasurer: Tony Smith, proposed by Jen Churchill, seconded by John Palk;
Ringing Master: Edmund Wratten, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Joint Ringing Master: Jenny Watson, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Christine Knights-Whittome;
Executive Committee Representative: John Croft, proposed by Bruce Purvis, seconded by Carol Ward;
Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Colliss, proposed by Jenny Watson, seconded by John Palk;
Webmaster: Andrew Glover, proposed by Christine Knights-Whittome, seconded by Caroline Daniels;
Newsletter Editor: John Palk, proposed by Carol Ward, seconded by Caroline Daniels; all elected on a show of hands. 11. Future Events. The Secretary advised the meeting that the year’s programme was, thanks to Jenny Watson’s sterling efforts, been confirmed up as far as the October District Practice, with the exception of May’s quarterly meeting. The remainder of the programme had been devised and was subject to confirmation. Andrew Johnson advised the meeting that Twyford was holding an open day on 11 May, to raise funds for the target of £20,000 for overhauling the bells, and suggested that the District Meeting might usefully be combined with the Open Day. Action – the Secretary to explore. The District Practice at Wonston was brought forward by one week to prevent a clash with the Guild AGM.
Christine Knights-Whittome outlined the Education Committee’s programme for the rest of the year, as follows:-
17 April: Discussion panel on future directions for the Guild and Districts, the Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral Close
17 May: Evening tutorial on Basic Raising and Lowering, Bishopstoke
14 September: Day-school on Raising and Lowering in Peal, Bishopstoke
12 October: Day-school on Listening Skills, Lockerley
23 November: Day-school on Plain Hunting
23 November: Bell Maintenance, Hawkley 12. Romsey Show. The secretary advised the meeting that the organisers of the Romsey Show had once more invited the District to participate. John Palk added that the show was attended by between 20,000 and 25,000, so was potentially a huge showcase. Martin Daniels spoke eloquently in favour of participation; Bruce Purvis cautioned that success depended on positioning and marketing: in 2017 the organisers had listed ringing under “Just for kids” – when we might more usefully have been grouped with local crafts/activities and (physically) near classic vehicles or agricultural machinery. As regards costs, John advised that these were practically met by our investment in the 2016 and 2017 shows: the sole cost now would be one of time. Further points included the need for publicity beforehand, following up enquiries at the show, the need for a steering committee. The consensus of the meeting was that we go ahead. Tony Smith proposed, and Christine Knights-Whittome seconded, that a budget agreed in previous years be allocated to meet expenses arising: carried on a show of hands. Action – John Palk
A final observation was that it might be necessary to reschedule the training morning, Cheriton, 7 September 13. Guild Striking Competitions. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Guild Inter-Tower competitions (6- and 8-bell) would take place at Wickham and Shedfield on Saturday 18 May. The Guild Inter-District 8-bell competition would take place on the morning of the AGM on Saturday 15 June at Brighstone. Tony Smith volunteered to organise a team for the Inter-District Competition, and his offer was accepted with gratitude. 14. Guild Master. The Guild Master, Mike Winterbourne, expressed hearty thanks to everyone who takes on a role, or a task, at tower, district or guild level to keep bells ringing whether for divine service or practices. Turning to the World War One
commemorations, he urged everyone to look at their tower’s page on the Record of Commemorative Ringing to check that names and other details were correct. The book would be presented to the Bishops at evensong services, on May 12 at Portsmouth at 6.00 p.m. and on May 19 at Winchester at 3.30. The Charmborough Ring would be present at the Winchester service. All Guild members were invited, and the Master hoped that any and everyone who had rung for the Centenary of the Armistice would be present. 15. Any Other Business.
1. Funding for Youth Training. Martin Daniels, harking back to the points raised at item 9 above, wished to propose funding for youth training and development, for example, to participate in the Ringing World National Youth Competition. Tony Smith advised that it was open to District members to request assistance, such individual cases being subject to consideration by the District officers. However, what was not possible was for a substantive proposal to be sprung upon a meeting under “AOB”, such a matter being too complex to consider with neither notice nor an adequate briefing. What was needed was a reasoned proposal, brought before a meeting as a substantive agenda item. Other suggestions from the floor included creation of a bursary scheme, with disbursements made at the officers’ discretion (Peter Hill), a proposal to provide £100 to assist any young ringers going to Liverpool for the National Youth Competition in July (the sum to be shared amongst all those so travelling – maybe six or seven (Christine Hill), and advice from Mike Winterbourne that there was a Guild training fund available; also, by the way, that the Guild Youth Bells and Bowls event was taking place next Saturday, 16 February.
2. Education. Christine Knights-Whittome advised that she had application forms for the upcoming Grandsire Doubles and Triples day-school (6 April) and for Guild sweatshirts and polo shirts (closing date for orders, 1 April, delivery around Easter)
3. Candover Valley News. Carol Ward reported on the success of a presentation she had made to her local Women’s Institute – with thanks for the loan of the Cathedral’s model bell – and that the band had gained a new recruit as a result. The Northington augmentation was almost finished, with the installation of a false ceiling for sound control. The ring would comprise a light six with one of the original three bells, dating from 1602, retained for tolling. A date had yet top be established for the bells to be blessed and an inaugural quarter-peal.
4. Guild Executive Committee. The Master reminded the meeting that the next Guild Executive Committee meeting would be held on 16 March, should anyone have a topic which they wished their representative to raise.
5. National Twelve-Bell Competition. Peter Hill reminded the meeting that the eliminating heats for the National Twelve-Bell Competition would take place at St Mary Redcliffe on 23 March, with the final taking place at Exeter.
6. Bell Restoration Fund. The collection for the Bell Restoration Fund raised £26.54.
The meeting closed at 6.49 p.m.
Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 10 November 2018 in the Village Hall, Houghton. 1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 17.30
p.m. with a welcome to those present and thanks to the Wardens for the use of the bells at
All Saints’ Church, to Bob Gosse for securing the use of the Village Hall, and to Dawn
Williams and her helpers for the splendid tea she had laid on, as her gift to the ringers
throughout the District for their help to her in learning to ring. 2. Attendance. The following fourteen District members signed the attendance
register (representing eight towers with one member unattached): Bob Gosse (Broughton
and Houghton), Christine Hill and Tony Smith (Hursley), John Palk (Lockerley and East
Tytherley), Andrew and Elizabeth Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey),
Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Alan Hutchinson and Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral),
Gary Marsh, Sara Marsh and Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston) and John Croft
(unattached); also present were Dawn Williams (King’s Somborne) and Edmund Wratten
(unattached) 3. Apologies for Absence. Apologies were received from Jen Churchill and the
remainder of the Lockerley and East Tytherley band, Roger Booth (New Alresford),
Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Sandy and Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston) and Joyce Croft
(unattached). 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting, 11 August 2018. Following the correction of
the location of the Guild Education Day, 24 November, from ‘Sherfield English’ to
‘Shedfield’ (Item 9. iv refers), the minutes were adopted on the proposal of Christine
Knights-Whittome, seconded by Jenny Watson as a true record. 5. Matters Arising. Minute 5, ‘Matters arising’, Bell maintenance course. Because the
Guild Education Committee is planning a Bell Maintenance course, Roger Booth
suggested a better way of addressing the need for maintenance might be for a small
working party to visit local towers – following expressions of interest – to carry out minor
routine tasks and offer advice where necessary. Minute 9, ‘Future events’: The District
Autumn outing was held, on 27th October, with Ashbury, Longcot, Uffington, Letcomebe
Regis and Childrey, all in the Vale of the White Horse, being visited, with morning coffee
being provided by the Longcot Ringers and lunch at the Fox and Hounds, Uffington.
Commenting on the select gathering attending the outing, Tony Smith urged giving as
much notice as possible for such an event, as people’s diaries tended to become more
crowded the closer to the date. The secretary was thanked for his work in organising the
6. Loss of members through Death.
i. Not a member of the Guild and District, but a regular visitor and firm friend of towers in
the area: Simon Milliken, Master of the South African Guild and a distinguished musician, stabbed fatally on 31 August
ii. Ringers in the District who died in the Great War, or of illness/injuries incurred whilst on
active service: William Henry Brooks (Wonston), William H. Crute (Winchester Cathedral),
William J. Curtis (New Alresford), William Daniels (Sparsholt), Edwin George Hillary
(Wonston), Victor Frederick Hillary (Wonston), Percy Holmes (Cheriton), Frederick William
Hutchinson (Bishopstoke), William Harold Jackson (New Alresford), Harold James Jerram
(Wonston), Charles Henry Money (Bishops Sutton), Charles H Russell (Winchester
After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem. 7. Confirmation of belfry elections Probationary members:
Ella Kesterton and Cindy He of Winchester College on 30th October, proposed by
Caroline Fairley, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
– both confirmed on a show of hands. 8. Election of new ringing member.
Jinny Kufluk of Hursley proposed by Richard Thompson, seconded by Tony
Smith – elected on a show of hands. 9. Future Events.
22 Nov.: District Practice, East Tytherley – confirmed;
8 Dec.: Carol Service, Northington – this fixture was open to doubt as bells were only just
being installed, so alternative venues would be explored;
17 Dec.: District Practice, Old Alresford – unconfirmed; the Secretary suggested that
District members could join the Ropley Practice if they are having one that week. 10. Any other business. i. ART and other local training initiatives. The Secretary advised that Roger Booth
would be running an ART Module 1 training day at New Alresford on Saturday, 26
January; alos that this training session would be followed by group teaching sessions to
reinforce their learning on the training day. Roger was also holding a regular Improvers’
practice at New Alresford, starting at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesdays, and planned to organise
monthly visits to local towers to broaden students’ experience. Would-be students and
helpers would be very welcome at the weekly sessions or the monthly visits, and should
contact Roger at email@example.com or telephoning him on 01962 735972. ii. Transfer of towers to the Winchester District. The Secretary reported that both
Stockbridge and Leckford (which, like King’s Somborne were in the Mid-Test Benefice)
were proposing to transfer from Andover to Winchester.
iii. Central Council. Andrew Johnson reminded the meeting of the rapidly-changing
character of the Central Council, and of the value of keeping in touch with Council’s work
via its website and social media. iv. Michedever. Edmund Wratten advised the meeting of the work carried out to
maintain the Micheldever bells by the band: Elizabeth Johnson suggested that it would be worth inviting Roger Booth to check their handiwork. v. Lockerley, etc. John Palk advised the meeting that the Lockerley, East Tytherley
and Broughton had commissioned one of the bell-hangers to examine their bells, at a cost of about £250.
The meeting closed at 5.59 p.m.
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.
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at King’s Somborne on 28th November from 19:30-21:00. Anything from Grandsire Doubles and Stedman up to Cambridge, everyone is welcome whether from the Winchester district or beyond.
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.
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.
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.
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 and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers