Category Archives: Surprise Royal

CANCELLED – Surprise Royal Practice – 22nd April

Hi all, 

Sadly due to lots of people being away this month I am going to have to cancel the planned surprise royal practice. There will be no practice in April.

I will make contact again soon regarding a possible May practice. The date would be 27th May.

If the May practice isn’t able to go ahead then I’ll have to review the situation as it may no longer be practical to have these practices sadly.

Thanks to those who are continuing to support the practices. Please watch this space. 



CANCELLED – Surprise Royal Practice – Next one April 22nd – RSVP

Hi all,

Due to a number of people being away, we are too short of people in March for a Surprise Royal practice to take place. 

So to confirm – there will be NO PRACTICE in March

Looking ahead to April things look slightly better, so please use the following link to let me know if you can make the April practice. 

Sunday April 22nd – 14:00 – 15:30

I’ll update you in early April as to the likelihood of the practice going ahead. 


Daniel Graham

Guild Surprise Royal Practice Sunday 25th Feb (parking update)

Hi all,

The next surprise royal practice is as below;
Sunday 25th February 14:00 – 15:30
St Mary’s Southampton 
Focus Methods are: Bristol and Superlative No2.
We will of course ring C/Y/N as required.
As I’ve slightly lost track of a few changes, CAN YOU PLEASE REPLY to this email to let me know if you are hoping to attend, so that I can ensure we have enough.
There is a large church car park which is Pay and Display. Make sure you enter your car registration correctly as the private company who run the car park have fined people for simple mistakes before (1 instead of i, 0 instead of O etc).
If you can attend the practice please do as we currently just have enough to make it viable.
Many Thanks!

Surprise Royal Practices in 2018 – Next one March 25th

Hi all,

 Thanks to those who made it to the surprise royal practice this afternoon in Southampton. Kristian informs me it was a useful practice so thanks again to all who made it.
We won’t have a practice in December but will aim to restart again in January. I’ll send out a doodle vote with the next few months dates in a few weeks time. For information they are likely to be;
January 28th
February 25th
March 25th
April 22nd
May 27th
June 24th
Thanks again for supporting these practices.


Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 26th November at Bitterne Park – 14:00 -15:30

Hi all,

I am now finally able to confirm the location of the next Surprise Royal Practice.

Sunday 26th November 14:00 – 15:30 BITTERNE PARK, Southampton.

Methods as usual to include C/Y/N plus Bristol Royal. If enough we will try some 3 spliced.

I have tried a few other towers this time away from Southampton but they were all unavailable.

Look forward to seeing lots of you on a Sunday!


Daniel Graham

Surprise Royal Practice Southampton St Michael’s Sun 22nd Oct 2pm

Hi all,

To confirm the October surprise royal practice will be going ahead;

Sunday 22nd October = 14:00 – 15:30
PLEASE arrive for a 14:00 start, the last few practices we haven’t had 10 until close to half past
Methods: Bristol and C/Y/N spliced and single as required.

I look forward to seeing lots of you then!!




6 Hour Peal to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of All Saint’s, Basingstoke

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Basingstoke, Hampshire
All Saints
Saturday, 23 September 2017 in 6hrs 14m (11–0–6 in F)
10360 Nova Delight Royal
Jennifer R Sparling
Benjamin D Constant
Jack E Page
Edward P D Colliss
Adam S Greenley
Pauline McKenzie
Benjamin J Carey (C)
Ian Roulstone
Claire F Roulstone
10 Ian R Fielding
Rung to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of this church.
The longest peal in the method subject to ratification by the Records Committee.
Umpires: Ian J Carey, Ian J Rees & Angela M Athawe

Surprise Royal Practices continue – 4th Sunday of the Month – sign up here!

Hi all,
Firstly many thanks to all those who completed the feedback. It was very useful! What it did show was there was still a strong desire for practices to be continued, so after my summer off I am back to get things running again!
To make these practices as viable as possible, I am going to aim to start again in October, to allow people sufficient notice. I will advertise the next 4 practices, and using a Doodle poll, assess whether they are viable or not. All practices are on the 4th Sunday afternoon of the month. This still seems the best time for most people at present.
Please click the following link to indicate your availability;
The intention for locations would be;
22/10 – Bishopstoke
26/11 – North Stoneham
28/01 – St Mary’s, Southampton
25/02 – Hursley
I will update you towards the end of this month, so please now get signing up. Any comments/suggestion welcome, as always!

Upcoming Surprise Royal Practices and the future…

Hi all,
Thank you to those who came to the last surprise royal practice. We were fairly thin on the ground, and struggled because of that, however we met and we rang so all was not lost.
A few important points going forward;
For the next few months I am extremely busy, with amongst other things my own wedding! For these reasons I am not in a place to be able to attend a surprise royal practice now myself until September. I am quite happy to organise them if someone else is happy to volunteer to lead them.
Secondly as with any new initiative it is good to regularly stop an assess the progress being made and reassess whether there is still a need for such an initiative. I have no problem in working hard to organise these practices, but if there isn’t the demand for them it is somewhat of a waste. The practice attendance does seem to fluctuate month to month, but more often then not we are on the lighter side of comfortable. However when we are more well attended good progress is often made. It is a difficult place to be in where there is still obviously some desire for such a practice, however the attendance doesn’t always make it a viable idea.
I’ve produced a short survey that I would be grateful if you could complete, it takes just a few minutes – it is a series of questions with two purposes. Firstly to gauge whether there are enough people around for a July/August practice, and secondly to gather some more general feedback to aid in my decision about whether to push on with it, or to shelve it. All feedback is gratefully received, and I will feedback the results in a few weeks time. Note you can answer this survey without being identified if you wish to.
I have opted for a survey like this as it makes keeping all the information together in one place much easier. If the practice is to continue I will start using this to see if enough people are around each month.
Once I’ve had a decent reply to the survey I’ll send out an update regarding July/August and the future of the practice.

Spliced Surprise Royal Ringer needed – Quarter Peal Day Oxford area Saturday 29th April

**now sorted

I have a surprise Royal quarter peal day on 29th April going to Abingdon/Oxford St Thos/Shrivenham/Thatcham and have one rope left. The ringer needs to be able to ring Bristol, Pudsey, and spliced CYN confidently and to a good standard.

If anyone is free please get in touch as soon as possible and I can supply more details. Thanks.

Daniel Graham

Confirmed – Guild Surprise Royal Practice 30th April 2pm

Dear all,

The April surprise royal practice will go ahead.

Sunday 30th April, 14:00 – 15:30 at St Mike’s Southampton

Methods will include Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and new for this month PUDSEY.

(We may also ring Bristol and London if enough people attend but the focus method is Pudsey)

I look forward to hopefully seeing lots of you there!




Guild Surprise Royal Practice 30th April 2pm – only a few more people needed

Hi all,
We are close to having enough support for this to go ahead on 30th April 2017 14:00 – 15:30.
If you haven’t yet replied and are available please let me know – you might make the difference!
Those who have replied and are available I have listed below, so you all know I have received your emails.
Thanks, Dan

Guild Surprise Royal Practice 30th April – UPDATE

Hi all,
Thanks to all those who have already replied. We currently have only 6 people who have said they are available on the next suggestion date, 30th April 2017 14:00 – 15:30.
Please let me know ASAP if you are free on that date and would be likely to attend a practice. As previously we need to hit a minimum number of around 15 for it to be viable.

The next Guild Surprise is planned for Sunday 30th April 2pm-3.30 **RSVP**

Hi all,
There will be no March surprise royal practice due to low numbers.
It would be really good to get it going again, so lets all try extra hard to support an April practice.
The date for that would be SUNDAY 30th APRIL 14:00 – 15:30.
If you are available and hope to attend please let me know. If enough people are available then a practice shall go ahead.

Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 26th February

Hi all,
The next suggested Surprise Royal practice would be on Sunday 26th February.
Once again this will only go ahead if enough people are around to support it. Please let me know ASAP if you would be able to attend a practice 14:00 – 15:30.
Many Thanks,
  • Contact Daniel Graham

    Email:Use Form

Cancelled – Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 29th January

Dear all,

Despite a positive initial reply, sadly it seems that not quite enough people are around this month for a viable Surprise Royal practice. Therefore the practice is CANCELLED.
I did have around 10 replies though, so will contact those people to see if a quarter peal would be of interest.

The next practice is proposed for Sunday 26th February and would be in Southampton. Feel free to indicate availability for this now, however I will email again towards the start of February.



WP Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 29th January 2016 *CANCELLED

Daniel Graham writes:

Dear all,
I have had a good number of replies regarding the possible January surprise royal practice, but have not yet had quite enough to make it viable. I need around another 5 people to say they are likely to attend before I can confirm it.
If you can make Sunday 29th January please let me know ASAP – I will make a final decision in a few days time.

Surprise Royal Practice -Sun 29th Jan – RSVP

Dear all,

I hope you all had an enjoyable festive break and wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope you are all recharged for more Surprise Royal ringing!

The next date for the Surprise Royal practice is Sunday 29th January 2017. As usual this will only go ahead if enough people say they are free to attend.

Please let me know if you would be able to make this date and time.

I will email again in around a weeks time with an update on the plan.


Contact Dan Graham


Bold Plans for the Ten Kingston Bells (Isle of Purbeck) SDGR

Whilst occurring outside our Guild, this may be of interest to people wondering “how can I restart ringing at an under-used tower?”   RM 

Eleanor Wallace Writes:

As some of you may know, I have been working with Mike Pitman recently to try and formulate a plan to get the practices and quarter peal nights up and running at Kingston again. They are such a beautiful ring of bells, and being a Kingston ringer myself for years I hate to see them not being rung as much as they should and going to waste.

As I have finally finished university and returned to the area I now have time to dedicate myself to re-establishing a regular practice night. However, I need as much support from everyone as I can and am asking for your help. Mike and I have come up with a concept of having two practice nights and two quarters a month on a friday so that the bells are rung every week, and we hope that it at least one night a month may appeal to all ringers of any standard, so that people don’t feel pressurised to dedicate themselves every single week.

The below is the monthly structure which I am trying to introduce, and I would love to hear what you guys think, advice etc as have never done anything like this before.

The Plan

From Friday 3rd March practice nights and quarter peal nights will be resuming at Kingston from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, and we would really love for you to join us. We have a lovely sounding and very easy-going ring of ten bells (tenor 26-3-16) and we want to get them ringing regularly again with the long-term aim
of becoming a supportive teaching tower. We are aiming to create a monthly structure that caters for ringers of all abilities; whether you are a called change ringer or a surprise ringer we hope to provide something for everyone.

1st Friday of the Month – Open Practice Night

Any ringer of any ability who is interested in getting practice at ten bell ringing is more than welcome. Ringing will range from Rounds and Called Changes to Plain Caters and Royal, as well as any six to eight bell ringing if its requested. Whatever you’re learning, come along! Any more advanced ringers who can help out will also be very much appreciated too.

2nd Friday – Advanced Ten Bell Practice

For ringers who want to challenge themselves learning Surprise Royal or just want to keep the cobwebs off.  We will be practicing the Standard Eight Surprise Royal methods (and others as time goes on) with a special method to focus on every week.

3rd Friday – Open Quarter Peal

Whatever the method or number of bells, if you fancy ringing a quarter peal then let us know and we will try to organise it for you. This night is aimed at giving people of all standards quarter peal practice and achieving firsts in method etc. Just pop an email to Eleanor Wallace (form below)

4th Friday – Advanced Quarter Peal

We will be working through the Standard Eight Surprise Royal (and others afterwards) quarter peals. If you’re interested in getting involved, achieving firsts in Surprise Royal etc. just send an email to Eleanor:

  • Winchester District Spring Meeting Minutes – May 2022

    Winchester District Quarterly District Meeting

    St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, Kings Somborne

    From 3pm Saturday 14th May (business session at 4.00pm)


    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. 

    1. 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;  .
    2. Minutes of the previous meeting (the ADM held on 12th February 2022) were agreed nem con and signed by Bruce Purvis.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    The Chairman closed the meeting at 5.40pm.

    Chairman …………………………………….  Date ………………………………………..

  • Guild Safeguarding Officer Position

    The Guild are looking for someone to help coordinate Safeguarding issues. Would you be willing to help with this important role? Perhaps you already have knowledge of Safeguarding from your employment (e.g. as a Teacher or Healthcare worker) and could help the W&P Guild by taking the role of Safeguarding Officer?

    What would you need to do?

    Complete the Church of England’s online Safeguarding Training Courses:

    ·         Basic Awareness (~1hr 15min online)

    ·         Foundations (~1hr 30min online)

    ·         Local Safeguarding Leadership Course (~3hr session by Zoom)

    Be the point of contact for any Safeguarding issues within the Guild:

    ·         Advise W&P Guild members on Safeguarding issues.

    ·         Report safeguarding concerns raised by W&P Guild members to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.

    ·         Inform W&P Guild members of safeguarding concerns received from the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.

    ·         Maintain phone and email contact with all three Safeguarding Leaders (Winchester Diocese, Portsmouth Diocese and Portsmouth Roman Catholic) to enable the transfer of information.

    ·         Attend the W&P Guild business meetings (Guild AGM and twice-yearly Executive Meetings).

    ·         Be able to listen to, and respond to, any new cases from members and other outside bodies in a timely manner.

    In the past 13 years there have only been four cases, which either involved escalation to Diocese level or cascading information received from other Safeguarding Officers to W&P Guild members.

    Further information can be found on the current Guild Safeguarding Policy:

    If you have questions or would like to discuss the role, please contact the Guild Master, Rachael Barber: 07714 325 059 or Contact Rachael Barber

  • New Guild Garments


    One final reminder for those of you who may still want to order a new sweatshirt or polo shirt with the Guild logo.

    We have been able to keep the prices down to the 2016 level but, once this bulk order has been placed, we won’t be doing this again for another three or four years so don’t miss the opportunity now as prices will inevitably rise in the future.   From personal experience they wear (and wash) very well – ideal for letting the public know who we are in the summer months, and perfect for draughty towers in the winter.

    There have been one or two queries on size and fitting which I’m happy to answer, and, if it helps, in the limited time which is left I can try and meet up with hesitant ringers to show them my own sweatshirts and polo shirts so that they can compare sizes and try these on if they wish.

    Don’t forget, if you have a favourite garment of your own which you would prefer to use, be it sweatshirt, polo shirt, body warmer, jacket, whatever, you can have the Guild logo added to this for a nominal fee.   This might be a more economical option for youngsters and teenagers who grow out of things at a phenomenal rate!

    The order form with all the details is attached (both Word and pdf versions) but you can always email me on Contact Christine Knights-Whittome or telephone 01962 886939.   The deadline for the receipt of orders is 14th October 2022.

    If you have newer ringers in your tower, or new bands in your area, or you know of ringers who do not use a computer or social media, it would help if you could spread the word so that this opportunity reaches every corner of our Guild.

    Thank you very much

    Christine Knights-Whittome

    Now that towers have re-opened again after the covid restrictions and lockdowns of the past couple of years, together with the huge amount of teaching and the welcome influx of new ringers, the time seems right to order some new sweatshirts and polo shirts, bearing the Guild logo.   In effect, we have been able to keep the prices down to the 2016 levels, which is good news.   Inevitably postage has increased, which is beyond our control, but I am hoping that we have left sufficient time to get garments to the towers without anybody needing to use the post.

    Below is the up-to-date order form (both Word and PDF versions) which contains all the details.   We have given as much choice as possible, but sadly not every colour is available in every size so you need to check carefully.    Ladies:  the ladies’ polo shirts are slightly tapered, but if (like me!) you prefer a slightly looser fit to allow ease of movement when stretching up, I suggest you consider the men’s polo shirts as these are straight-sided and a more generous fit.

    If you have any queries at all before you order, please let me know – contact details on the form.

    Christine Knights-Whittome

  • Guild Education Day: Grandsire Doubles

    The Education Committee is now accepting applications for:

    Grandsire Doubles on Saturday 12th November 2022

    Based at Milford-on-Sea, 9.30-5.00pm

    Download a poster and application form using the buttons below – please pass the information onto your ringing friends in the Guild.

    Applications must be submitted by Friday 14th October.

    HELPERS WANTED! Please do let Sallie Ingram know if you’d be happy to lend your expertise as a helper on this course or any future courses: Contact Sallie Ingram

    We very much look forward to hearing from you!

    From the Education Committee

  • St Peter’s, Petersfield Bells ring out on day of royal funeral

    As part of the national ringing and at the Royal Households request that church bells should be tolled or rung generally before The Queen’s funeral, St Peter’s Church Bell Ringers were honoured to perform this sombre duty of ringing rounds for three quarters of an hour from 10:00 to 10:45.  Then tolling of the tenor bell by three of the towers young teenage ringers who took it in turns to ring for the last fifteen minutes.  After watching the funeral together, the bell ringers returned to the tower for three quarters of hour more ringing.  

    All bells were fully muffled, apart from the tenor which was half muffled but open at backstroke for tolling.

    St Peter’s Church bell ringers who rang before the Petersfield Civic Service Sunday 18th September.

    Left to Right: Tower Captain, Mary Broadbridge, James Wedley, Sally Wedley, Paula Tribe, Alice Kidd, Lauren Kidd, Erin Halder, Nick Halder,  Katherine Wilkins, Madeline King and Caroline Welsh.  Photograph taken by David Malone who also rang.

    On Sunday 18th September before the Petersfield’s Civic Service of commemoration and thanksgiving for the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 held in St Peter’s Church ringing also took place for an hour with general ringing and tolling on muffled bells.  One of the St Peter’s Church bell ringers, Sue Walker went to the lying-in state, queuing for twelve hours to pay her respects to The Queen and said what a very moving occasion it was.

    Special thanks were given to Duncan Wilkins, Oliver Stubbs and Mary Broadbridge who placed the muffles on the bells which is not an easy task. 

    The Peter’s Church bell ringers who rang after The Queen’s funeral on 19th September. 
    Photograph taken by Caroline Welsh who also rang.  

    Those who took part in the special ringing were left to right back row:

    Lauren Kidd, Alice Kidd, James Wedley, Erin Halder, Nick Halder, Katherine Wilkins, Paula Tribe, David Malone and Tower Captain Mary Broadbridge.

    Left to right front row: Madeline King, Sally Wedley,  Sue Walker and Christine Rushton.

    St Peter’s Church young ringers who tolled the 15 cwt. tenor bell for fifteen minutes before The Queen’s funeral.  

    Left to Right: Erin Halder, Katherine Wilkins and James Wedley.

    Photograph taken by Caroline Welsh. 

    Article submitted by Caroline Welsh, St. Peter’s, Petersfield,

  • Guild Newsletter – Autumn 2022

    Here is the autumn edition of the Guild Newsletter.  Download a copy using the button below.

    Another huge thank you to everyone who has contributed content for this issue. Please feel free to send any future news articles to or send directly to me.

    Happy reading!

    Lizzie and the Communications Committee

  • Photography Competition Voting Now Live

    Many thanks to all those who submitted entries to the Guild Photography Competition.

    We received well over a hundred photos of different towers from across all of the Districts! These entries have now been shortlisted and agreed on by the Communications Committee and the Principal Officers. Now it’s over to you to decide who the winner is!

    To view the larger files of the shortlisted final twenty entries, please click here.
    Once you have decided on your favourite, you may vote here.

    Voting closes on Monday 31st October. The winner will be contacted by email and results will be announced on all our Digital Media outlets.

    Please share the voting details with members of your local tower.

    Happy voting!
    The Communications Committee

  • Ringing for the State Funeral on Monday 19th September

    Hello again Everyone, 

    We’re now getting close to the State Funeral on Monday, so as there have been a few more questions about what ringing is expected, I just wanted to share my interpretation of the Guidance documents sent previously, in case it helps any Towers who are unsure. 

    The Guidance mentions tolling (very slow ringing of any single bell that is open or muffled) for the hour prior to the Service at 11am. However, the Central Council have further clarified that fully muffled (Tenor open at backstroke) ringing is also appropriate. 

    In my home tower, we will be ringing rounds and call changes from 10:00-10-45am. Then we will toll our Tenor (which will still be muffled on the handstroke) from 10:45-11:00am, to give those in our Tower that would like to share in this duty, an opportunity to do so.

    We don’t have enough ringers to ring simultaneously at a nearby Tower, so here, the Tenor will be tolled from 9:15-9:50am, and a muffled Quarter Peal rung around 2pm when the Funeral Service will be over. 

    Locally I’m aware of Towers that will be ringing a Quarter Peal, and others that will just be tolling, prior to the Funeral. As before, so much will depend on the individual circumstances at your Tower.

    In which ever way you will ring on Monday, thank you.

    Do please send details of all ringing (tolling and general ringing) to Bellboard/The Ringing World, as each performance deserves to be recorded alongside Quarter Peal and Peals.

    With best wishes and thanks,

    Rachael Barber

    Guild Master

  • Further Guidance following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth

    Dear All,

    As you are no doubt aware, today as bellringers, we are called upon to perform the most sombre duty of ringing muffled for the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

    Many of us spent yesterday evening up in belfries, muffling the bells….or will be doing so in the next few hours or days, often in multiple churches. Many Towers will be ringing or tolling at 12 noon, in accordance with the Operation London Bridge Guidance.

    However, the Guidance is not totally clear, and a number of practical questions have been raised:


    The Guidance does not specifically cover Weddings, but states that ringing should be muffled (either fully or half) from now until the State Funeral, except on Proclamation Day when the bells can be run open.  If Proclamation Day is confirmed as Saturday 10th September (please see the Guidance released overnight from Church Of England, attached and linked below), my interpretation of it is that this would allow for open un-muffled ringing on Saturday 10th for Weddings (but not Saturday 17th).

    Guidance for parish churches on the death of HM the Queen

    However, the ultimate decision on how to ring falls with the Clergy/PCC, likely in consultation with the Wedding couple.


    For those of you who have not tolled before, this can be done with an open bell, or a fully or half-muffled bell. Perhaps the practicalities of removing or fitting muffles at your specific Tower would determine this. Tolling is usually carried out on the heaviest bell, but any bell can be tolled. Ideally the tolling should be very slow and steady, pausing at both handstroke and backstroke. The length of time the bell should be tolled is not specified, but it’s quite a strain to toll, so please do what you can in your personal circumstances.


    There is nothing in the Guidance regarding Practice Nights, but I am aware that many feel Practices are not appropriate during the period of National Mourning. Some churches are choosing to ring Quarter Peals instead of Practice Night, however, not all Towers are able to ring Quarters, and many ringers would like the opportunity to ring in muffled sadness for the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth. Again, I would suggest that you consult your Clergy/PCC to determine if you should go ahead with pre-arranged ringing and Practice Nights. 

    Please record any ringing or tolling that is done at your Church on Bellboard.

    Ringing World BellBoard

    Lastly, many thanks to those that have dropped everything to muffle bells and make the necessary organisation – it’s much appreciated by communities up and down the Country that the bells will be rung during this period of National Mourning.

    With best wishes,

    Rachael Barber

    Guild Master

  • Ringing Guidelines for the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II

    The CCCBR have issued guidance for ringing for the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Information below reproduced from CCCBR website.

    Guidance Note: Operation London Bridge

    There is an official protocol in place in the event of the death of Her Majesty the Queen, officially known as ‘Operation London Bridge.  It covers the activities for each day from when the Royal death is announced (Day 0) through to Day+10 when the state funeral will take place.

    This guidance sets out the how bell ringing plays its part throughout the process and has been formulated in consultation with The Royal Household and Lambeth Palace. Town and city councils will already have an OLB plan in place and this will consist of what to do on the day on the announcement and the following days, in accordance with Royal protocol. 

    As with most national/international bell ringing requests, local arrangements with church, council and public plans should be consulted and ringing should take place whenever is most appropriate for a local arrangement.

    A lot will depend on the timing of announcements and where we are in the Church liturgical calendar.

    The following sets out some guidelines that the bell ringing community might find helpful. It is recommended that bell ringers liaise with church authorities ahead of time to avoid any confusion at what will be a very sad and difficult time.

    On the day of announcement of the death of Monarch:

    Bells should be rung half or fully muffled depending on how many muffles you have. If you have enough muffles it would be appropriate to ring fully muffled with the tenor backstroke open. The Royal Household have advised the following times that ringing should take place based on the timing of the official announcement:

    On the announcement of Death, Bells may be rung or tolled at the discretion of local Parochial Church Councils. They may be rung or tolled for one hour as shown below:

    • If the announcement occurs before 1100hrs: noon on the day of death.
    • If the announcement occurs between 1100hrs and 1600hrs: 1800 hours on the day of death
    • If the announcement occurs after 1600hrs: noon on the following day 

    Such details will be covered in the first Press Release issued by the Royal Communications Office.

    This updated guidance has been forwarded by the Church of England. Upon the demise of the Sovereign the Church of England will publish guidance packs for Parishes. 

    (Separate arrangements are in place for St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey).

    Provided that ringing has been approved by the church authorities and does not conflict with other guidance, longer lengths of ringing may be appropriate.

    Following days:

    Bells should remain half or fully muffled until the day that the Palace proclaims the new Monarch.  At that point bells should be rung open in celebration of the accession at a practicable time (again, with the agreement of the church) following the announcement.  

    Bells should then revert to being rung half or fully muffled until the day of the state funeral (10 days after the announcement of the death).  

    On the day of the funeral bells should be tolled for the hour immediately prior to the time of the Funeral Service. This may afford those an opportunity to ring a quarter peal, but general ringing or tolling would be acceptable.

    There may be further clarification being offered by the Royal Household or Lambeth Palace at the appropriate time, if this is the case the CCCBR will communicate this via our website and social media channels and with Association Officers as soon as is practicable.

    Vicki Chapman
    Public Relations Officer
    Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

    November 2021

    Notes: Muffles and ringing muffled bells:

    Muffles are leather pads fitted to a bell’s clapper to reduce the volume. They attenuate the bell’s strike note whilst retaining the hum. By only muffling the clapper on one side (half muffled) you get an ‘echo’ effect as blows are alternately loud and soft.

    Bells are usually muffled on the backstroke as the handstroke gap emphasises the echo effect. Two muffles can be fitted, one on each side of the clapper, to fully muffle the bell. 

    For safety reasons, muffles should always be fitted and removed with the bells down. To muffle the backstroke, put the muffle on the side of the clapper that is furthest away from the rope. To muffle the handstroke, put the muffle on the side of the clapper that is nearest to the rope.

    Church of England

    Additional guidance has been published by the Church of England providing more details of requirements for churches and bells.  You can access it from their website here 

    220521 Guidance Note Operation London Bridge

    Guidance for Parish Churches 8th September 2022

Guild Surprise Royal Practice Sunday 27th Nov 2pm Hursley

Daniel Graham writes:

A final reminder that the November surprise royal practice is taking place this weekend, details as below;

When: Sunday 27th November at 14:00 – 15:30
Where: Hursley

Methods: Special method will remain as Bristol Royal, but we will also ring Cambridge/Yorkshire/Lincolnshire as required.



Daniel Graham Reports from the Southampton St Michael’s Practice Night

An enjoyable and rewarding practice night in Southampton last night at St Michael’s with a particularly good half course of Cambridge Royal and a nice touch of 8 spliced surprise major. Lots of other ringing too including Grandsire Triples/Caters, Stedman doubles and 4 spliced (CYNS) surprise major.

Next week, at Bitterne Park, we start our new venture of increasing our 8 bell repertoire, by starting to work through the methods in ‘Smiths 23’. First method is Cray Surprise Major.

As always all ringers welcome at any of our practices 🙂

November Surprise Royal Practice Confirmed: Sun 27th Nov 2pm at Hursley

Hi all,
I’m delighted to say that, after just under 24 hours I have already had more people express an interest in the practice then ever before! To all those who have replied many thanks!
Therefore the November practice will go ahead;
When: Sunday 27th November at 14:00 – 15:30
Where: Hursley (CONFIRMED)
Methods: Special method will remain as Bristol Royal, but we will also ring Cambridge/Yorkshire/Lincolnshire as required.

Surprise Royal Practice Sun Nov 27th – **RSVP**

Dear all,

The suggested date for the next Surprise Royal practice is Sunday 27th November 14:00 – 15:30. This will hopefully be at Hursley (tbc).

As with all of these practices, it will only go ahead if I can get a minimum number of people reply who are available and hoping to come.

If you are free and likely to attend please let me know asap. A final decision whether to go ahead or not will be made next week.



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RSVP for the planned Guild Surprise Royal Practice Oct 30th

Dear all,

The planned date for the October Surprise Royal practice is Sunday 30th October 14:00 – 15:30.
Once again this will only go ahead if enough people state that they are available to attend.
Please let me know asap if you are free on that date and hoping to attend. A decision will be made on Thursday 20th October whether to proceed or cancel.
Location TBC at present
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Another Successful Guild Surprise Royal Practice

“…please thank everyone who rang on Sunday afternoon: the sound was glorious”

This feedback was from the vicar at St Michael’s Southampton about the ringing for the surprise royal practice which took place yesterday.

Many thanks to all those who made it, it was a successful afternoon with two decent half courses of Bristol Royal achieved along with Cambridge, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. A few people ringing things for the first ever time which is fantastic!

I will be in touch soon about the next practice, but the suggested date is Sunday 30th October.

Thanks. Dan

Surprise Royal Practice 25th September 2pm

Hi all,

I’m delighted to say we have now exceeded the minimum number required, and therefore the surprise royal practice will be going ahead this Sunday :-). 

Sunday 25th September, 14:00 – 15:30. 

St Michael’s Southampton 

Special method = Bristol Royal 

Cambridge/Yorkshire/Lincolnshire also rung. 

I look forward to seeing you then. 



Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 25th September in Southampton

Dear all,

The next potential surprise royal practice will be on Sunday 25th September, 14:00 – 15:30. This would take place in Southampton.

As always the practice will only go ahead IF I get replies from enough people saying they are free.

So please let me know asap if you are free on 25/09 and interested in attending.


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