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The brand new hardback version of Dove’s Guide for Church Bell Ringers to the Rings of Bells of the World is now available from the online shop for £15. Get your copy today!
Unconfirmed 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
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
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
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.
With regret we have to inform of the passing of Alan Sturgess long time ringer and previously Captain of SS Peter & Paul Fareham who will be sadly missed.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday 27th February, 1.45pm at St Peter and Paul, Fareham. There will be general ringing from approx. 1pm.
For those wishing to make a contribution, please donate to “Fareham Bell Ringers” for the upkeep of the bells that Alan had rung for many years.
ART Conference 2019 – Goes to Worcester!
ART will be holding its annual conference on 2/3 March at Worcester. The exciting agenda includes a great line up of speakers, with keynotes by:
Mark Regan, the Ringing Master at Worcester Cathedral, who will not only be looking to the future, but offering visits to the Cathedral Ringing Centre. Book early, as places are limited!
Matt Bulbeck, a professional outdoor sports coach and bell ringing teacher.
New-ish ringers Ian and Louise Wilson, with their take on bell ringing leadership based on 20 years of knowledge and experience gained in industrial and academic settings.
Simon Linford and Clare McArdle, who will be talking about Project Pickled Egg alongside the re-launch of the Learning the Ropes Plus scheme.
Reflecting the rapid proliferation of questions and concerns around recent events, additions to the ART line-up include presentations from the Church of England about safeguarding and the C of E, bell ringing insurance and risk assessments. There will be opportunities to talk through any local issues with the experts who will be available throughout the day.
The second day of the conference weekend concentrates on building a vision for the future of youth ringing and is hosted by the Central Council. A day of speakers and break-out sessions. A day for you to help shape the future. A day for anyone interested in developing the leaders and ringers of the future.
A Vision for the Future of Youth Ringing – David Hull
Putting Girls in the Lead: How Girlguiding Does it – Fiona Joines
Successful Leaders and the D of E Scheme – Christopher O’Mahony
Parental Involvement: What can we Learn from other Activities – Pip Penney
Different ages, different approaches – David Smith
The day will include a number of break-out sessions led by youth leaders. These will provide plenty of opportunities to share ideas and good practice and give you the chance to draw a vision of the future and start working towards it.
The ART Conference is our leading national event and is open to anyone with an interest in ringing teaching and leadership. We would like to invite you to join us at Worcester on 2nd & 3rd March 2019 for what is sure to be a full and interesting weekend.
» Book your conference place now
It has been a while since a ‘report’ as such has featured on our district page. I’ve been so acutely busy ringing recently, I just had to get down in words what has been going on in district ringing since 2019 new year!
As many of you will be aware, I have been bitten by both the lesser-spotted quarter peal bug, and the greater striped ringing fever. It is wonderful to be given so many opportunities to gain valuable rope-time and partake in something as close to sporty as I shall ever get. (Apparently gossiping is not an Olympic event).
January saw the re-installment of the district Quarter Peal Club hosted by our Vice-Chairman, Polly Osborne at Minstead. It was a valuable opportunity to treble at length to a minor method (St. Clement’s). Here I happened upon a friendly and familiar face to me now, Jack Pease, who has often conducted in the past, but tonight was having a rest and Jimmy Hodkin took the reigns.
Jack was most kind, complimentary, and remarked that trebling to minor seemed “a bit too much within my comfort zone”, and insisted that I ring treble to a quarter-peal of triples in the near future with him, and also attend the minor course Jack was running at Bere Regis.
I felt much happier leaving Minstead tower, than I did arriving, partly because I managed to arrive at Minstead village in the pitch black forest in heaps of time, but then got dreadfully lost within the village for half an hour, and ended up in a strange place called Emery Down, and was then horridly late. Not the greatest first impression really of myself, appearing to new people, gasping from running at the top of a ladder poking my head through a trap door.
Jack’s Bob Minor Course on the Friday morning was a bright and early start for me, even the New Forest ponies were still sleeping instead of trying to get into my rubbish bins. We headed to Bere Regis, to a delightful ring of six that went very majestically. Was a good learning curve to ring at a more relaxed and steadier pace. I started the course mainly trebling where I felt secure, but as the morning progressed, and as I got to know the band a bit more, I ventured round the circle ringing plain courses on the 3 and 4, and eventually a touch. I did try the 5 but alas it was a step to far turning in a much heavier bell to method work.
I came away from Bere Regis course refuelled with plenty of kindling to take back with me to my home tower, and many useful tips and tricks, handed down from our brave leader (Jack) and the other helpers. It was a really relaxed atmosphere too which lended itself to a great learning experience.
Saturday lunchtime saw yet another quarter peal at Sacred Heart, Bournemouth in celebration of Kim Matthew’s retirement from her position as Librarian of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. I shall fast forward to the shock I was in after the quarter peal had finished, when I truly discovered what ‘splicing methods’ actually meant! I can only compare it to when school used to make me attempt the hurdles…you just have to keep going, even if you knock them all down! I understood splicing methods to be a few methods rung one after the other after several touches/courses of each method, NOT methods running concurrently, and switching to and fro like an over-excited American pin-ball machine! Ross made an amazing job of calling this complex quarter, which I can only imagine akin to being like reciting the Bible from memory…..backwards. I was most fortunate to have Angie Jasper by my side on the 4 sorting my stumbles out very swiftly and efficiently.
From Sacred Heart, I had to hot foot it to Christchurch Priory, for our annual district meeting. Here I had been roped in (excuse the pun), to playing the little box organ for the Evensong service in the Lady Chapel. It was a very special atmosphere, especially as the incredible acoustics in there took the little organ and accompanied singing into the rafters. I wish they would stop putting carpets down in churches. Kills acoustics! I faced two problems here. One that the organ had been placed next to the ringers tea table that had enough cake and sandwiches to fulfil even Paddington Bear, and had all been thoroughly wrapped in foil so having a sneaky sausage roll from the kitchen of Rob Skerton, mid service, was impossible. The second problem was the lady that pulled on my arm during the exit voluntary, to stop me playing, which I dutifully did as I expected there to be an emergency…no such luck…it was an announcement about the toilet, and that vegetarian sandwiches were located on a separate table. At least that meant this year the egg and marmite sandwiches were nowhere near the salmon paste! I was also so pleased to matriculate from Acting Webmaster to Webmaster. I was really very touched when so many raised their hands when asked for nominations. I’m very much looking forward to arranging the district outing, and the skittles evening post striking competition at Fawley.
The next day was the forboding quarter peal of Grandsire Triples, and was confirmed by the band around me the evening before. Off I headed to St. Michael’s Southampton in my Mystery Machine (ongoing joke, as you never know where you’ll end up….especially when I leave the handbrake off and head up tower). St. Michael’s really is a fascinating place indeed. Jack shoo’d me up the wooden spiral that winds its way through the innards of the organ (definitely needed going over with my DustBuster TM- poor pipes), and I entered the poshest, loftiest and most spacious ringing chamber I have ever been in. I later found out that the church is the only medieval structure left within the city walls of Southampton, and that the Luftwaffe used it as a mapping point to their targets, so it never got bombed!
The band were all incredibly friendly and supportive. St. Michael’s has a gorgeous ring of 10, with a lovely bright Gillet (bell founders) sound. As a musician, sound is a vital factor to me, and it was a great help to hear each clear bell as I coursed up and down. We only used the 8 bells for triples, would have loved to hear all 10 going. The void across the ringing chamber floor between myself and the tenor was such that I thought I was going to have to send up smoke signals to communicate! Again, it was another tower I left from with a spring in my step, chased back to the Mystery Machine by winter’s icy blast from the docks! Mother told me to put a hat on….why are they always right?
Finally, on Tuesday, I hared across the county to Cerne Abbas for the Hampreston Monthly Quarter Peal Day. This month’s was arranged superbly by Angie Jasper. It’s an incredible set up. I’m unsure what the collective noun for bellringers is, but we all gather in an area with our rosters, and head off to various towers, interchanging bands, some ringing first attempts, crazy methods (Percy’s Tea Strainer Triples, Mental Block Minor etc), practice conducting, trebling, tenoring, ringing inside the method, and break for lunch, then do it all again at churches in deepest countryside for the afternoon shift. Seven quarter peals were rung that day between about 15 people. Incredible.
I feel very honoured to be made welcome into this group in my early career as a ringer, and there’s always something for me to have a go at and push me. Finally managed to negotiate my way through 1260 changes of St Nicholas Doubles (failed attempt at Christmas), and the afternoon shift saw me tenoring at Hilton to Eynesbury Doubles. Sadly we didn’t get the attempt. Really tricky bells, plain bearings, and keeping the tenor at the back and ‘up’ was a tough job, seeing use of blue inhaler. Just to round the day off in true Murdock-Saint panache, I managed to fly base over apex down the last part of the tower stairs, my ankle currently doing a wonderful impression of the aurora borealis….well worth it however. Driving home the 40 miles was interesting on the clutch, fortunately the petrol station had bagged ice for parties, which I strapped to the ankle with a towing rope. Even though we did not get the attempt, we used the time to ring through a few different touches of the method, and it was great learning experience in handling a big and difficult tenor!
I would like to thank especially the following people in no particular order:
Kim Matthews, Polly Osborne, Ross Bradley, Angie & Mike Jasper, Sally Jenkins, Jimmy Hodkin, Jack Pease, for arranging these incredible opportunities in particular for new ringers. The bell ringing community is really like a second family. I must also thank my home tower teachers, David Lay, John and Liz Davey, Tim Kettle for their unending patience, understanding and time.
Looking forward to ringing with many of you over the coming year,
Over and out
Title photography by Jack R. Pease.
Two great minds (Alan Bentley and Tim Kettle) have been at work together to host this great opportunity within the C&S District: A one day course (Module 1) Teaching Bell Handling. This will be held at St. Peter’s, Bournemouth on 9th March 2019 with tutor Gill Hughes. In time we plan to host more in the undercroft conference centre.
St. Peter’s has great facilities within its undercrofts, and in time we hope will become known on the ringers-map as a ‘Learning/Ringing Centre’, as the church invests in making the staircase, tower, steeple, bells more accessible to the public and awareness. We are very lucky to home a beautiful heavy ring of 8 by Taylor’s (21cwt in E), recast as a complete set in the 1930’s. The tower is also home to the popular and successful weekly tailored practice night specifically geared towards bell handling.
For more information please contact Tim Kettle, Ringing Master of St. Peter’s.
The long awaited Blue Peter episode, featuring bell ringing and clips from the RWNYC was aired on Thursday, 10 January.
If you missed it, the programme is available on BBC iPlayer for 28 days from the date of the broadcast.
Any requests to CCCBR from interested new learners will be handled in the usual way, but it might be worth making sure towers in your association are aware this is being broadcast and are primed for any direct requests.
Dear fellow ringers far and wide,
Happy New Year to all!
Now we are heading into the middle of January, it can only mean one thing, that it is once again time for our annual district meeting day/service/tea/practice. This year we meet at Christchurch Priory, method of the month for January is Little Bob Royal & Little Bob Maximus, however all are welcome for rounds and call changes, plain hunt, and any other methods. Please let Rosemary Rogers know if you plan to attend for catering numbers. (link below).
For your information:
Whilst you are emailing Rosemary, please also save the date and submit your menu choices for the district dinner (menu in links below) in February. It’s just after St. Valentine’s, so NO excuses. Last year was a great laugh, very good value, and the Chicken with Wild Mushroom Pie sounds extremely tasty!
At the meeting; I’m hoping to lose the ‘acting’ webmaster bit of my voluntary job title. I am also looking forward to accompanying the service on the Priory Lady Chapel box organ (not the mighty beast in the cases in transepts and scattered through the triforiums, as I may have had a small heart attack operating that console!).
More importantly now, we are still looking for somebody to organise the raffle to help raise funds to send the district youth team up to Liverpool for the ringing competition. Please let Sallie know asap if you can help with the raffle, and of course we shall need donations of prizes. I’m sure we all have something lurking in a cupboard from Great Auntie Mildred.
The district calendar is certainly packed with lots for everybody, with interesting education days. Don’t forget, amongst all these, you can also weave in the regular monthly district practices aimed at polishing and honing specific skills. Please do support these where possible, as they are excellent evenings. We are so very lucky to have such a busy ringing calendar available to us. In September I am organising a skittles night at a pub/skittles alley, so please watch out for more information.
This rest of this post is to serve as a ‘muster point’, for all the information you will require on the day, and schedule of the day’s runnings. Please do print off the documents you require from the links provided below. If anybody is struggling with printing, I can bring copies if you let me know in advance.
(For those who are not au fait with downloading, in essence:
Ringing 2:00pm until 4:00pm
Service 4:00pm until 4:45pm
Tea & ADM 4:45pm onwards
Evening ringing 6:30pm until 8:00pm)
If there are any questions, or if I have missed something, please let one of the team know.
Happy ringing until then,
all best wishes,
SATURDAY 26th JANUARY 2019: INFORMATION TO DOWNLOAD/PRINT/SAVE TO DEVICE
Information same as above but in image format:
Post main photograph by Jack Pease Photography.
Happy New Year to Method Monday ringers!
January’s practice will see us launch into 2019 with Plain Bob Minor (with emphasis on Singles), and Stedman Doubles.
Please come along prepared to call and/or ring a touch.
Next month’s practice will be on 4th February at 6:00pm until 7:30pm.
Dear Doubles Ringers,
Don’t forget this Wednesday evening come and practice plain courses, touches, and calling any doubles methods at St. Thomas, Lymington at 7:30pm until 9:00pm.
Please do support the C&S District monthly practice evenings.
Initial information about the upcoming Annual Meeting in 2019 can now be found on the 2019 Annual Meeting page.
Ecclesiastical, specialist insurer of charity, faith, heritage & education sectors are running their ’12 Days of giving’ Christmas campaign again this year.
GO TO https://www.ecclesiastical.com/12-days/ and complete the nomination form quoting “Central Council of Church Bell Ringers” registered charity number 270036 – it only takes a minute or so, and we could win £1,000 to help us keep bellringing flourishing.
We’re all volunteers and give our time for nothing but can do more with funds!
Ecclesiastical is encouraging everyone to use their social media channels to ask people to vote for their favourite cause to give them the best possible chance of winning – look for Church Matters @Ecclesiastical and use the following hashtags #bellringing #12days #movementforgood – spread the word!
To find out more about our Strategic Objectives, click here: https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/strategic-objectives/
In August I posted a picture that had been sent to me by Linda Bulpitt, Froyle’s Tower Captain, which showed an entry written on their tower wall recording the firing of the bells for VJ day.
Above is the addition they made to the wall after ringing to mark the Centenary of the Armistice.
Dear Quarter Peal Ringers,
Some time ago in a news letter, there was mention of reviving the Christchurch & Southampton Quarter Peal Club in 2019, led by Polly Osborne. We are still putting feelers out for local (to New Forest area who can accommodate on Fridays), and lighter ring 8 bell towers, whilst Brockenhurst undergoes repairs from the roof collapse. The Quarter Peal Club will still run on a Friday, as this seemed best for members in general.
In the interim, if you would like to become a member of the group, please drop me an email, so we can add you to the email list for future developments.
All best wishes,
Peter(Acting District Webmaster)
The ART Awards continue to grow every year – with over £3,000 in prize money waiting to be won. Now is your chance to apply for the 2019 ART Awards!
The teaching awards (the first six listed below) are open to everyone – not just ART Members or those using ‘Learning the Ropes’ scheme – the aim is to encourage and recognise the people and groups leading best practice and innovation in the teaching and development of ringing. The individual ringing awards are open to those who have completed one of the Learning the Ropes programmes (on tower or hand bells) or participated in the Learning the Ropes Plus scheme.
ART Awards 2019
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
The Sarah Beacham Youth Group Award
Prize of £400 – sponsored by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust
The Sarah Beacham School Group Award
Prize of £400 – sponsored by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust
The ART Award for Excellence in the Use of Technology in Teaching
Prize of £500 – sponsored by John Taylor & Co.
The ART Award for Excellence in Recruitment or Retention
Prize of £400 – sponsored by AbelSim
The ART Award for a University Society that has made a Significant Contribution to Promoting Ringing to Younger People
Prize of £500 – sponsored by CCCBR
The ART Award for Inspiring Leadership in Ringing
Prize of £400 – sponsored by Talent Innovations
The ART Learning the Ropes Individual Achievement Awards
Two prizes of £250 – sponsored by the Ancient Society of College Youths
Five highly commended prizes of £25 each
Worried about applying?
The judges (led by Stephanie Pattenden) aren’t looking for the most professional application; what they are looking for is ideas, commitment and results. So if you’re looking at new ways of recruiting it’s not just the idea, but the number of people you recruited and whether they stayed. Easy ways to show that – number retained a year or two later, new recruits coming in (success breeds success), quarter peals, striking competition results, practice attendance, or ringing progress (LtR Levels) and don’t forget photos and quotes. There’s no magic formula; think why what you’re doing has been successful and put it down on paper. Please don’t be modest!
What are we looking for?
Hopefully having convinced you that the ART Awards might be relevant to you or a ringer or group you know, what are the common themes that appear in previous years’ winning applications?
If you recognise and identify with any of these themes, why not consider applying for yourself or a ringer or group you know? There will be an ART Award that’s right for your application….and if you applied and didn’t win last year, how about applying again, now you’ve got another year under your belt – Lerryn School did that last year and they won!
How do I enter?
Further information and application forms are available at www.ringingteachers.org/recognition/awards.
The closing date for applications is 31 December 2018 – so now is the time to make sure that those doing great work don’t miss out!
sent by Louise Nightingale, Communications & Marketing Workgroup Lead
WW1 Centenary Commemoration performances up to and including those rung on 30th November 2018
1259 individual performances harvested to date!
– submit your performance details, including footnotes, to us urgently. This will give our team the best possible assistance in ensuring their inclusion in the printed volumes
– consider what was rung on Armistice 2018, including any references to Ringing Remembers ringers, those new and returning.
– send the details direct to firstname.lastname@example.org and
– remember to add them to the event on BellBoard, if appropriate, In which case, please include “Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild”.
We’d love to see every tower in our Guild recognised in the printed archives especially.
Performances post-30th November 2018 will be included in the digital archives.
Please be encouraged to ring more!
WW1 Centenary Commemoration Team
Last Sunday – Remembrance Sunday – we were called to “look to” and take part in a most momentous commemoration. Being so intimately linked in to our local communities, it was no surprise that bellringers everywhere stepped forward to participate, collectively and individually, in such a solemn centenary.
And it is entirely right and fitting that bells gave voice to the deep and lasting emotions felt so widely at this time. So many today owe so much to our forebears for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy one hundred years on. As bellringers, we are the “external choir” that calls out across time and space, giving tribute on this day for those who have gone before. This is what we do, this is our calling, this is our service.
On behalf of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, I wish to thank all who participated in this historic event. The Ringing Remembers campaign, promoted by the Central Council, has claimed some inspiring headlines – towers silent for many years have rung out once more; hundreds of bands have been augmented with new learners; tens of thousands of ringers mobilised to ring in thousands of towers – not just in the UK, but across the world; ringing featured strongly in local, national and international media; and the BellBoard website went into meltdown!
Our campaign sought to recruit 1400 new ringers, to symbolically replace those ringers who fell in the First World War. At the most recent count, new ringer registrations for the recruitment campaign totalled 2792 – close to 200% of the original target. The Council’s newly-stated mission is, among other things, “to promote an environment in which ringing can flourish”. Last Sunday we witnessed what “flourish” looks like – more of that please.
Whilst it is impossible to thank all key individuals by name, I would like to pay a special tribute to Vicki Chapman – Ringing Remembers Project Coordinator, Colin Chapman – Coordinator’s “roadie”, Alan Regin – Steward of the CCCBR Rolls of Honour, Andrew Hall – developer and administrator of the Ringing Remembers web platform, and Bruce & Eileen Butler – who linked thousands of enquirers to guilds, districts and towers. And there are so many others…
My thanks go also to all those who have come to ringing through this route – may you continue to develop in skill, and gain many happy years of fulfilment in your ringing. And to that widespread army of ringing teachers who have risen to the challenge of training so many enthusiastic learners – well done!
Last Sunday was a day of reflection, a day of commemoration, a day of participation. Bellringers everywhere were able to say – “I was there – I remembered”.
This Sunday – Remembrance Sunday – we are called to “look to” and take part in a most momentous commemoration. Being so intimately linked in to our local communities, it is no surprise that bellringers everywhere have stepped forward to participate, collectively and individually, in this solemn centenary.
And it is entirely right and fitting that bells give voice to the deep and lasting emotions felt so widely at this time. So many today owe so much to our forbears for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy one hundred years on. As bellringers, we are the “external choir” that calls out across time and space, giving tribute on this day for those who have gone before. This is what we do, this is our calling, this is our service.
This Sunday will be a day of reflection, a day of commemoration, a day of participation. Thank you for your participation in this historic event. Bellringers everywhere will be able to say – “I was there – I remembered”.
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
Lyrics: Sir Cecil Spring Rice
Music: Sir Gustav Holst
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting held on Saturday 11 August 2018 in the Churchyard, the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, New Alresford.
Attendance. The following nine District members signed the attendance register (representing five towers with one member unattached): Tessa and Tony Smith (Hursley), Stephanie Hodnett, Elizabeth Johnson and Ian Redway (New Alresford), Rodney Skinner (Ropley), Bruce Purvis (Winchester Cathedral), Christine Knights-Whittome (Wonston) and John Croft (unattached).
Apologies for Absence. Apologies were received from Drew Craddock (Hursley), Sue Spurling (King’s Somborne), Charlotte and Jonathan Smith (Kings Worthy), Andrew Johnson (New Alresford), Andrew Glover (Romsey), Sue Craddock and Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), Gerry Cornick and Paul Fitzgerald (Wonston) and Joyce Croft (unattached).
Minutes of the Previous Meeting. The Secretary apologised for the fact that the appendix to the minutes of the Quarterly District Meeting, held on 12 May in Cheriton Village School and listing the personnel of the Striking Competition Teams, was missing, and stated his intention to complete the lists for the record. The minutes of the Meeting were adopted on the proposal of the Secretary, seconded by Elizabeth Johnson as a true record.
Matters Arising. Minute 6, ‘Matters arising’, 15: AOB item 6, on a bell-maintenance course. Elizabeth Johnson reported that Roger Booth had been approached and was amenable to the suggestion that he arrange and deliver such a course.
Confirmation of belfry elections
Juliet Wolf of Winchester Cathedral on 3 June 2018, proposed by Caroline
Fairley, seconded by Bruce Purvis.
Nathan G Smith of New Alresford on 13 July 2018, proposed by Ian Redway,
seconded by Elizabeth Johnson.
Elaine Pickering and Paul Tanner of Sparsholt on 30 July 2018, proposed by
Jenny Watson, seconded by John Cleverley.
Janet Ryan of Wonston on 4 August 2018, proposed by Paul Fitzgerald, seconded
by Gerry Cornick.
– all confirmed on a show of hands.
Alan Dixey, Sheila Dixey, Sara Hill and Robert Love of North Stoneham,
proposed by Stephanie Nicholls, seconded by Alison Martin.
Trudy Capeling of North Stoneham, proposed by Stephanie Nicholls, seconded by
Ben Bell of Micheldever, proposed by Mary Tiles, seconded by Edmund Wratten.
– all elected on a show of hands.
i. District Practice, 21 August. The Secretary reported that he had enquired whether Twyford would be available, and had learned that only the Tower Captain would be around on that date. He was absolved of further efforts to find an alternative tower.
ii. Guild Education Day, 13 October. Christine Knights-Whittome advised that the Guild Education day, on Plain-hunting and Treble-ringing on five bells, on 13 October would be held at Church Oakley, in the Basingstoke District.
iii. District Autumn Outing 22 September or 20 October. The Secretary expressed a preference for the October date for the Outing, and Tony Smith requested that the date be put back by a week to avoid a clash with the Hursley Tower outing. The meeting approved the date of 27 October.
iv. Guild Education Day, 24 November. Christine Knights-Whittome advised the meeting that the subject of the Education Day at Sherfield English on 24 November would be Cambridge and London Surprise Minor.
No other business was raised.
The meeting closed at 1.01 p.m.
…BBC South cover terrifying tales from amidst the gravestones at St. Peter’s. Our district churches certainly hold some interesting celebrities from the past, check out Lyndhurst too!…
St. Peter’s, Bournemouth have added their Ringing Remembers contributions to the official Armistice 2018 site. Don’t forget to register your events on the government site.
The Ringing Remembers campaign has resulted in many people coming forward to learn to ring, but with the current profile of the ringing population, we need to continuously recruit and train more new ringers. Many people end up teaching because there is no-one else in their tower prepared to do it, and they have little or no training or support. Founded seven years ago to address this issue, the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) has grown rapidly. More than 2,600 people have now attended one of the ART Teacher Training Scheme modules.
Working with the Guild Education Committee, there will be an ART Module 1 day course (teaching bell handling) at St John, New Alresford on Saturday 26th January 2019 – 9.30 till 5.00pm.
This module is designed to help teachers deliver the Learning the Ropes scheme to new ringers, and is open to people who have sufficiently good bell control to inspire confidence in others, whether they have taught someone to handle before, or not. To book a place visit: https://smartringer.org/m1dc/26673/
Further details are on the attached flyer for your tower notice board.
The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust has received initial National Lottery support* for the restoration of the historic Taylor’s Bellfoundry in Loughborough it was announced on Tuesday 2nd October.
Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to restore key parts of the Grade II* listed building which is currently on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register. The aim is to restore the buildings, enhance the commercial operation, attract more visitors and increase awareness and understanding of the importance of Taylor’s
Development funding of £298,600 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust progress the plans. This is the first phase in a bid for £3.7 million from the HLF, which it is proposed will be matched with funding from a number of sources including a fund raising campaign which will be launched shortly. Subject to a successful second round bid, work is expected to start on the Bellfoundry in 2020.
There will be a wide range of opportunities for people to be involved with the project at the Bellfoundry, including heritage craft workshops, volunteering and arts and cultural events.
Taylor’s is the last bellfoundry in Britain, the only vestige of an ancient industry that creates bells for thousands of buildings around the world. At least 20 million people in Britain and hundreds of millions worldwide will hear a Taylor bell every day.
However, the purpose-built Victorian bellfoundry is At Risk. Without urgent repairs and fundamental changes to engagement, we will lose this incredible asset and part of our culture; a massive loss to traditional craftmanship and a seismic impact on historic buildings around the world.
This project will; save the site, removing it from the HAR register, secure the future of the industry in Britain and its unique skills, create a National Bell Museum, improve global engagement and ensure Taylor bells are enjoyed by future generations across the globe.
Commenting on the award, Andrew Wilby, a Trustee of the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust said “ We are delighted that we have received this support, thanks to National Lottery players. We are looking forward to developing our proposals further to save this national gem, securing the future of bellfounding in the UK and underpinning the future of the English Art of Change-Ringing across the world.”
If you would like to support the project please follow our facebook page or twitter feed (Twitter: @Lborobelltrust, Facebook: facebook.com/lborobelltrust).
Notes to editors
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
* HLF heritage grant applications are assessed in two rounds. Taylor’s Bellfoundry has initially been granted round one development funding of £298,600 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £3.7m.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. http://www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.
What is the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust and why was it been set up?
The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered with the Charity Commission in 2016. It was set up by a number of the John Taylor’s & Co directors to safeguard the future of bell making at the site in Loughborough in perpetuity. The unique collection of buildings, equipment, patterns, machinery and archives from the Bellfoundry have been transferred into the charitable trust to ensure their long-term protection for the nation.
Why are the buildings so special?
The earliest buildings that make up Taylors Bell Foundry date from 1859 and have been developed and changed as the business grew and following a fire in 1891. They are Grade II* Listed and this means that they are in the top 8% most significant historic buildings in the UK from a total of around 400,000 Listed buildings (92% are Grade II Listed and 2.5% are Grade I). It is the only purpose built Victorian bell foundry in the UK and we are pretty sure, in the world, with many areas of interest in architectural and constructional detail.
The buildings are currently on the Historic England (HE) ‘Heritage At Risk Register’ which is a ‘programme which identifies those sites that are most at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development’ (Historic England 2017). In the case of the bellfoundry, it falls within the ‘decay’ category. The Trust and John Taylor & Co have worked closely with HE to identify the most urgent repairs and have secured three HE grants to deliver a series of repairs over 2016, 2017 and 2018. Although these repairs have already had a positive impact on the buildings, further repair is required to ensure the building can be taken off the Heritage At Risk Register and given a new lease of life.
What is the ‘Saving the Last Major Bellfoundry in Britain’ project?
Building on the significant work that the directors at John Taylor’s have undertaken since acquiring the business in 2009 and the subsequent transfer of assets to the Trust, a long-term vision for the site has been developed in the form of the Saving the Last Major Bellfoundry in Britain project. The vision for the project is as follows:
Our vision is for the John Taylor Bellfoundry to become the global centre in the art of bell making and learning. The sound of Taylor bells can be heard all over the planet; our vision is to secure this legacy and make sure future generations on every continent can be brought together by A Ring of Taylor Bells.
The objectives of the project are:
1: Conservation: The project will secure the conservation and enhancement of the Grade II* Listed John Taylor Bellfoundry. It will sensitively repair the Victorian bellfoundry and protect its unique collection of artefacts and archive and facilitate the conservation of historic bells and bell-towers throughout the world.
2: Education: The project will advance education in the history and art of bell making and bell ringing for people of all ages and levels of experience. It will ensure that the unique skills that go into bellfounding are preserved by training future craftsmen and women and enable public access to the world’s most significant archive of bell material.
3: Bellfounding: The project will enable Taylors to become the preeminent centre for bell research, development and manufacturing. It will ensure that processes pioneered by Taylors over centuries are sustained whilst exploring how 21st century technology can add value to this timeless art.
4: Celebration: The project will excite unprecedented numbers of visitors to the site and engage them in its history. It will engage new audiences and help communities to celebrate the heritage of bells across the UK and around the world.
5: Resilience: The project will ensure that the bellfoundry is financially sustainable and maintained into the long-term, ensuring bellfounding in the UK continues for future generations.
How can I find out more or get involved?
For more information on the project as it progresses or to get involved please visit or follow the following links:
Contact details: Please contact either Kate Pinnock or Ross Ingham via email@example.com
Places filling up – closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 9th November
The last full-day course of 2018, will be Surprise Minor to be held on Saturday 24 November, based at Shedfield. You will see that students will have a choice of Cambridge or London.
We hope this will appeal to lots of you who, perhaps, don’t always get the opportunity to try these methods in your own tower, and you may well have friends in other towers to whom this would appeal.
I have attached copies of the Poster giving full details, plus the application form (both Word and pdf versions – see links below) and these have already gone to your District Secretaries for onward transmission to your tower secretaries. As always – any questions, please email me, or call 01962 886939.
For: The Education Committee
To all in Winchester and Portsmouth Guild of Bellringers,
We would like to inform folks that Rosalind Martin has stood down as web-master for the Guild’s website.
Rosalind has been at the forefront of such major change that it is impossible to mention all the areas.
The Herculean task of building our website and future proofing it has led to it becoming a site that has a reputation of excellence in the bell-ringing world.
Now that the building and refining has been achieved and Rosalind is largely living in Birmingham, she feels this is a good time to step away.
There is a plan being drawn up to spread Rosalind’s workload out to as many people as we can in the team but help is being sought by us from everyone reading this.
• Assistant Webmaster to support Andrew Glover who has taken over the role
• More News Coordinators in each district who can collect ringers’ stories, anecdotes, local news and ringing successes and play at being a new editor ~ Full support will be available
Ros, the Comms Team would like to acknowledge your sustained effort and skills as a website builder and Web-Master.
We know you will join us in wishing Ros all the very best and we look forward to continuing to ring with you.
The Team. and Guild Master
There will be no general service ringing before Evensong this Sunday (16th September 2018). This is due to a pre-arranged quarter-peal that will be taking place, in place of usual service ringing.
The morning service ringing will take place as is usual.
This message has come from Rosemary Rogers
On Sunday 9th September, I joined forces with five very kind people who had given up their Sunday afternoon, to form a band to ring a quarter-peal of Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Doubles.
Once I had located the correct church!…we could be found in the tower of Sturminster Marshall, on mainly medieval bells, with the tenor dating from 1400, weighing in at a healthy 18cwt. Lovely rich bells, and smooth going, steady speed too, due to their moving weights.
This was my second attempt at Reverse Canterbury. My first was hampered by inexperience with a long draft, lassoing ropes, and a touch of wheel slip on generally ‘difficult bells’, and in hindsight, was a great lesson in itself, even though we came away without scoring.
One of our younger members, Jack Pease, (only 19), was conducting the quarter-peal. The band were very easy going, which leant to a relaxed atmosphere in which to ring, and focus on the 1260 changes ahead.
We started off well, and aside for a minor blunder by yours truly in the middle, when I decided to go for a ‘wander’ off the well trod method pathway, we scored the quarter-peal, and I was able to make my mark in the tower records book. All the ringers made a great team, and could sense (probably by my glances of mercy), when I needed a word of encouragement, or affirmation of what piece of work was coming forward next.
This is now my fourth quarter-peal since taking up ringing in November 2016, and each one has been a very individual and tailored experience. Some with people I know, and my tutors from Sopley, who are able to foretell mistakes I may not have even begun to career through yet! Some with people I have met for the first time, and by the end, have become team players together, thinking as a unit on, musical, mathematical, and physical/technical levels.
As a good friend mentioned to me…it is like giving 88 people a key each from a piano, and going off with an instruction to coordinate a full piece of music. We have a motto at St. Peter’s, where I ring on a weekly basis on their bell-handling course…’The strength of the team is in each individual member, the strength of each member is in the team’.
I have received support and guidance from all across our district, and further afield. Attended ringing days out, events, education days, ringing holidays, specially tailored district practice evenings, quarter-peal days and fortnights, district practices, meetings, plus other tower’s practice nights, bell-handling workshops, all their time given on a voluntary level. We are very lucky in our district there is always something going on, with a very busy website, we just have to go ourselves and grab these opportunities. I have been bitten by the bell-ringing bug, and ring about five times weekly now!
Finally I must mention briefly alongside my quarter-peal news that the District Quarter Peal Club shall be returning in a slightly revamped form in 2019, managed by Polly Osborne. Watch this space for further details VERY SOON…
Photography by Jack Pease