C&S District July Practice, this Saturday at St Mary’s, Southampton. Everyone welcome from rounds upwards. Method of the Month: Yorkshire Surprise Royal.
C&S District July Practice, this Saturday at St Mary’s, Southampton. Everyone welcome from rounds upwards. Method of the Month: Yorkshire Surprise Royal.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
About 15 years ago, the roof of Grade I listed Calke Abbey was re-configured and connected to new, bigger, drainpipes because it was no longer coping with increased levels of storm rainfall. It was the first time listed building consent was granted to a Grade I listed building for alterations brought about as a result of climate change. English Heritage (as it was then) revised its definition of ‘conservation’ at the same time to be about managing change rather than conserving things as they are.
This story is relevant because towers are starting to think about adapting to the need for increased ventilation. A couple of years ago I asked for the windows in an airless tower I ring at, Perry Barr, to be changed to be openable, but the request was declined by the church architect. I wonder now whether the answer might be different. The importance of ventilation is becoming more prominent in government guidance and I expect many towers will need to be adapted. Some test cases would be interesting to establish principles.
Last Saturday I attended the first meeting of the new PR Workgroup, which has been assembled by CC PR Officer Vicki Chapman. It was an energising meeting of people all interested in ringing PR – definitely a ‘doing’ group. The Comms & Marketing Workgroup has been wound down. That is not to say that marketing is off the agenda by any means. In fact we are working on two funding bids for large scale marketing initiatives, one with the Big Ideas Company and one with the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the latter in partnership with ART and the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain.
Keeping the PR theme, Jane McCutchan from the Truro DG demonstrated their brilliant PR initiative enabling all bells in Cornwall to be heard on Easter Sunday. Go to the Truro DG website, start typing the name of a tower into the search box, e.g. Gwennap, and you will get a link to the sound of the bells. They have recorded every tower and these links have been distributed across Cornwall’s media. Gwennap is incidentally the scene of the worst sermon I have ever heard, the vicar managing to spend 30 minutes rambling incoherently on the text “When you trim the lamps, burn incense on the altar.”
The PR Workgroup has introduced new faces to Council work. I think a particular success of current Central Council activity is how many people we have involved who would never have considered it before, having moved away from only drawing on the resources of CC Reps. One recruit I spoke to last week introduced himself somewhat apologetically as “only a village Bob Minor ringer really” – but that is exactly what we need. What makes people apologise for lack of experience? Given “only a village Bob Minor ringer” is representative of maybe 75% of ringers (and aspirational for 25%) it is a valuable perspective.
Handbell ringing took a surge with ringers in England in particular taking advantage of Covid restriction relaxation allowing groups to meet outdoors. Lockdown has created a new generation of handbell ringers, with some great success stories like the peal of 147 Treble Dodging Minor with the footnote “first touch of spliced on real handbells 1-2 and as conductor”. Handbell ringing has definitely been my own personal lockdown progress – having not really progressed in ringing for as long as I can remember I have enjoyed rediscovering being rubbish.
Young ringers who missed out on subsidised eBells via ART can take advantage of some more funding made available from the generous donations of the ART Awards of the Handbell Stadium and eBells winners to the fund.)
12 April brings back two mutually exclusive activities, in England at least. Young ringers’ groups can restart under the ‘supervised children’s activities in out-of-school settings’ guidance (see cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus for details), and adults can go to the pub and talk about ringing! I will be celebrating both by going to the gym.
Four bands of young ringers joined 12 others in the first (and probably last) Ringing Room call change competition, discovering that call change ringing on RR is really difficult, and doing so with closed handstroke leads is more difficult still. “May the team with the best internet connections win!” The competition was graced with expert judges in Paul Pascoe and Ian Avery, who helped design the format, and who awarded victory to the Beverley & District Online band. All teams rang the same test piece, being the first half of 60 on 3rds (slightly less if you started late because one of your band couldn’t find their laptop charger). The prizes were a choice of books from the Central Council shop for members of the four winning bands. Special shout out to one of the stewards, George Hart, for choosing my own “Judging Striking Competitions” as his reward for a hard afternoon’s work (bargain at £3.50).
Ironically that is a book that needs another chapter writing on judging Devon-style call change competitions. If I had an extra day in the week I’d write it (with due research). The Ancient Etruscans had eight day weeks – quite clever really as that must have enabled them to get more done.
Ringing on Easter Day proved once again quite how divisive guidance for opening up ringing can become. One thing that is agreed though is that the sooner we get away from rules and guidance that are open to so much ambiguity and room for interpretation the better. Let’s hope we don’t start to have to deal with Covid passports for ringing.
There are over 100 ‘Recovery Champions’ now pulling together and thinking about how to help get ringing back to strength in their local area. Some Recovery champions are taking a very local view, maybe focused on a cluster of towers, while others are coordinating association-wide approaches. One association has allocated a budget of £10,000 to ringing recovery – if you have a rainy day fund, it doesn’t rain much harder than this!
Copies of the Guild insurance documents can be downloaded from here:
Guidance for ringing for the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday 17th April 2021
What the Church is expecting is tolling of a single bell during the hour before the funeral, which starts with a minute’s silence at 3pm on Saturday. You don’t need to toll for the full hour, just during the hour, e.g. up to 3pm. Half muffled preferred, but a single bell tolling slowly whether half muffled, fully muffled, or even unmuffled, will have the desired effect.
It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
Guidance for ringing for the Duke of Edinburgh
Following conversations with the Church of England today, half-muffled tolling or chiming of a single bell on Saturday 10th April 2021 at 12 noon, 99 times or up to 5 minutes is recommended following the announcement of the death the Duke of Edinburgh. The Cabinet Office has declared 8 days of official mourning, during which time any other ringing should be half-muffled and in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions. Half-muffled tolling or chiming of a single bell is recommended on the day of the funeral. There is no special dispensation of current ringing guidance on Sunday.
Recordings of the recent webinars held on Saturday mornings have now been uploaded to YouTube. The links are below.
Recruitment and Retention on 27.03.21 – Matt Lawrence
The current run of webinars has now come to an end. More will be arranged after Easter in the run up to ringing resuming if there is sufficient demand. Please let us know any topics you would like to see covered. Send an email to the Communications Team with your suggestions.
Here are the Guild Officer and Committee reports for 2020 to download as a PDF. These were approved at the Guild Executive Committee meeting held on 20th March 2021.
The individual reports, plus reports from previous years are all available here: http://www.methods.org.uk/wprept/
Once again the Covid situation meant that the March 2021 numbers for the W&P 200 Club had to be drawn at home, by Robin Milford of Curdridge and Wendy Smart of Botley, and announced at the on-line Executive Committee meeting on Saturday 20th March 2021. We didn’t peek during the draw, honest! The results were as follows:
|Prize||Prize Accumulation||£60.00||Winning |
|Second||20%||£12.00||30||Ian M Redway|
£49 will go to the Training and Development Fund from this draw. The next draw will be held at the Guild AGM – hopefully in person!
Simon Linford, President of CCCBR issued the statement below on 19th March 2021 regarding ringing on Easter Sunday:
Many incumbents are asking if some bells can be rung as part of their church or cathedral’s Easter celebrations, and bellringers are also keen to play part. The Central Council believes that bells are an important part of the act of worship, particularly on Easter Sunday. Unlike at Christmas, UK and Irish Governments have not introduced any relaxations of the rules on meeting indoors for Easter. Those rules are readily available and well understood.
We have established guidance on reducing the risk of ringing both to ourselves and each other, and most recently published our latest thinking on virus transmission and ventilation in ringing chambers, with chancel crossings at one end of the risk scale and small airless rooms at the other. We recommend considering all these factors when decided how many bells can be rung and for how long, in consultation with your incumbent, churchwardens or Cathedral Chapters.
One or more bells ringing on Easter Sunday will surely be appreciated by our churches and communities.
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Link to article on CCCBR website Easter Sunday ringing – CCCBR
Please note, ringing should only take place after consultation with the incumbent and provided health and safety restrictions, ventilation etc. are adhered to. This should also include inspection of bells as many will not have been rung for over 12 months.
Wheatley is now integrated with Ringing Room, so the installation below using Python is no longer required. This should make it far easier to setup.
With the increased use of online ringing, you might be interested in Wheatley especially if you find yourself short of ringers or need some steady ‘ringers’ in your virtual band.
Hursley band report that have used it for a couple of weeks now, and think it is an amazing teaching aid to bolt on to Ringing Room while we cannot get everyone back into towers.
Wheatley can be found at https://pypi.org/project/wheatley/
It has to be installed via Python (available from the Microsoft Store, then PIP, and some measure of courage and persistence is needed to find the right directory path before you can put in the correct Wheatley commands.
However having done that, Wheatley is pretty good at ringing all the bells you want it to in Ringing Room. Hursley have used it in their beginners handbells sessions, and it has significantly improved their tower bells sessions over the last couple of weeks.
If you find Wheatley rings too fast, you can change the peal speed if you wish. Suggested speeds are:
6 bells – 2hr 55min
8 bells – 3hr 5min
10 bells – 3hr 30min
12 bells – 3hr 45min
You can also set the Inertia setting to 1.0 – this means that Wheatley will wait for a human to ring, but then go back to the original speed setting, if you leave the Inertia setting off, Wheatley tends to get slower and slower.
The nice thing about using it for learners is that all the bells stay right, and you can have a session with one learner and a teacher who can “stand behind” the learner as the ringing goes on (and call bobs etc).
Of course it is really very good for individual practice for tower and handbells for those of us who don’t have things like Abel.
Article supplied by Peter Hill.
Wheatley image supplied and used by kind permission of Ben White-Horne , creator of Wheatley.
Here is the fourth newsletter from the Survival and Recovery team – an ART, CCCBR partnership. It’s a one-stop shop for news – what’s happening and what we are planning to happen which complements the BellBoard Virtual Hub.
This issue leads on new initiatives and new pages added to the Survival and Recovery Toolbox. The toolbox contains a plethora of resources, case studies and opinion pieces for ringers, Tower Captains and Guilds and Associations.
The fund shall be known as the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers Bell Restoration Fund.
The fund shall be registered as a charity.
The object of this fund shall be to provide financial assistance by way of grants to Churches, within the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth, incurring expenditure on the provision, maintenance, improvement
or acoustics of their bells and bell installations, or for the maintenance of the fabric of their towers and belfries, to enable their bells to be properly rung in full circle.
References to ‘the Guild’ shall mean the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. References to ‘the Executive Committee’ shall mean the Executive Committee of the Guild.
The Trustees of the fund, referred to hereinafter as ‘the Trustees’, shall be the Master, the Honorary General Secretary and the Honorary General Treasurer of the Guild, and two Trustees, one from each Diocese, elected triennially by the Annual General Meeting of the Guild.
The Honorary Independent Examiner of the fund shall be the Honorary Independent Examiner for the time being of the Guild.
The fund shall be administered by the Trustees.
a. An application for or proposal to make a grant from this fund shall be considered only at a General Meeting of the Guild or at a meeting of the Executive Committee, provided at least one month’s notice in writing has been given of such application or proposal to the Honorary General Secretary.
b. Following notice duly given, the Trustees shall consider such applications or proposals and shall make recommendations to the meeting of the Guild or Executive Committee at which the application or proposal shall be discussed.
c. Grants shall be made from this fund only for the purposes outlined in the objectives in rule 3 above. A grant may be made, subject to the requirements of rule 8a above, if approved by two-thirds or more of
those members of the Guild present and voting at a General Meeting of the Guild or at a meeting of the Executive Committee. To be eligible to vote on such matters, members must fulfil the requirements of the Guild on voting. The Trustees shall inform the Guild of any grants approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee at the next General Meeting of the Guild.
d. Following such approval a grant shall be made, except that the Trustees shall be given absolute discretion to reduce, but not to increase, a grant, in the exceptional circumstances that they unanimously feel it in the interests of the fund and of the Guild to do so. They shall inform the Guild of any such action at the next General Meeting of the Guild.
Any payments drawn on this fund under rule 8 above, or required under rule 11 below, shall be made over the signature of the Honorary General Treasurer for the time being and one other Trustee of the fund. No payment shall be made until the work is satisfactorily completed. All administrative and other expenses incurred in respect of the fund other than those specifically relating to the acquisition and realisation of investments shall be borne by the Guild.
a. The Honorary General Treasurer shall prepare accounts, consisting of a balance sheet at 31st December each year, and an income and expenditure account for the year ending on that date.
b. These accounts shall be presented to the Independent Examiner of the fund who shall satisfy himself as to the correctness thereof.
c. These accounts, duly independently examined, shall be submitted for approval to the Annual General Meeting of the Guild next after the 31st December to which the accounts of the fund have been prepared.
The Trustees acting together shall have the power to invest or otherwise deal with the assets of the fund and such sums as the members of the Guild shall contribute or from time to time decide to transfer to the fund, in such manner as they think fit in the best interests of the fund.
a. If it shall be decided to dissolve the fund, such decision being taken only at an Annual General Meeting of the Guild, one month’s notice having been given by the Honorary General Secretary to Tower
Secretaries of such intent, the assets shall be disposed of to either or between both of the following:
i. To other charitable Bell Restoration Funds as the Guild may select
ii. To the Cathedrals of Winchester and Portsmouth for the religious and charitable purposes of the said Cathedrals.
b. In the event of the Guild becoming defunct, it shall be allowed for the Registrar of Charities after five years non-working of the fund to cause it to be dissolved and its assets applied as under rule 12 a ii.
a. No amendment of, addition to, or deletion from these Rules shall be made which would cause the fund at any time to cease to be a charity in law.
b. No alteration or addition to the above Rules may be made except at a General Meeting of the Guild, or Special Meeting called for the purpose, when the number of eligible members voting in favour must be at least 20 and double those voting against the proposal. Notice of any such proposed alteration or addition must be given in writing at least two months before the date of the meeting to the Honorary General Secretary of the Guild, who shall inform all Tower Secretaries of the Guild of this proposal at least one month before the aforesaid meeting.
Last updated 17th March 2021
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
Methods: Special method will remain as Bristol Royal, but we will also ring Cambridge/Yorkshire/Lincolnshire as required.
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 🙂
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.
“…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.
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.
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.
Contact Daniel Graham