Category Archives: Micheldever

Report on St Mary’s Micheldever Tower Open Morning

St Mary’s Micheldever Tower Open Morning

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

The Micheldever Bell Ringers

Written by Juliet Pattinson

Micheldever Refurbishment

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

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

The Bells of St Mary’s

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

Micheldever Bells - BeforeMicheldever Bells - After

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

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

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

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

Micheldever - Ropes

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

Battles Over - Armistice 100 -11112018

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

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

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

St Mary’s Bell Tower Open Morning

Saturday 17th November 10am to midday

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

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

SUPPORT THE BELL RESTORATION APPEAL

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

Poster available here.

 

Winchester District Stedman/Erin doubles Training, Saturday 8th July a.m.

Dear All,
Following Monday’s very successful District Practice at Sparsholt, I give you notice of our next training morning, Saturday 8th July at Micheldever, 0930-1130 a.m., on ringing and calling Stedman and Erin doubles.
Please let Jenny Watson know if you wish to come on the course, or if you can offer to help, either to fill in or stand behind.

Link to Poster for Event

Best wishes
Bruce
District Secretary

Rain holds off for the Guild 6 and 8 bell striking contest.

Report from Mark Esbester.      The Guild 8 bell striking competition was held this morning at Hawley – possibly the first time it has been outside the Guild’s territory! Only 3 teams had entered, namely Bishopstoke, Catherington and Hursley – where are all the Guild’s other 8-bell (and above) bands? The judge, Vernon Bedford, commented that all 3 teams had rung well, but Hawley bells are difficult to get really consistent, accurate ringing on. Bishopstoke, ringing last were the winners, with 17 faults, Hursley second with 24 and Catherington 3rd with 31.

Report from Greg Jordan.          The Guild 6 bell striking competition was also held this morning at Eversley. 5 teams entered, namely Eversley, Eling, Rotherwick & Odiham, Basingstoke St Michaels and Niton & Chale.The judges Julian Hemper and Julian Ferrar gave very fair and positive comments on all the ringing and were particularly pleased when one tower had a tricky section but continued ringing, pushed through and settled down to some good ringing again. The teams and their results are as follows;-     Placed 1st St. Michael’s Basingstoke 3.5 faults, placed 2nd Eling  6.5 faults, placed 3rd Niton and Chale  8 faults, placed 4th Rotherwick and Odiham 28.5 faults, placed 5th Eversley 35 faults.

Guild Master Viv Nobbs noted that it was good to see some very local bands entering and thanked those that had travelled quite a way to compete including the band from the Isle of Wight.

Some folk went on to The Northbrook Arms, had a lovely lunch and enjoyed the skittle ally and then went on to ring at Brown Candover and Micheldever who kindly opened their towers for us.  And then the rain came…. but it didn’t matter by then because everyone had had a lovely day.                                                                                                                                            A special mention and thanks go to Basingstoke District officers, the towers and the tea, coffee and biscuit servers!

 

Thanks to David Forder, Mark Esbester,Deb Baker and Martin Barnes for photos.

Guild Striking Competition – Deadline for entries May 14th

Date: 21st May
6 bell: Eversley (10am start)
8 bell: Hawley (10:30am start)
Please Note that the time for Hawley has changed from the original 10 a.m. start to the slightly later time of 10:30 a.m.
Any tower wishing to enter a team needs to send the entry to me  by the end of the 14th May. I will then make the draw on the 15th and email out ringing times, so teams can turn up at the right time! Of course everyone is more then welcome to listen to the competition!
Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Kind regards,
Greg Jordan – Striking Competition Convenor
N.B. Click here  for latest on lunch, Open Towers – Micheldever and BROWN Candover – and Skittles.