Please note: The Hinton practice on Tuesday, 12th November has been cancelled.
Please note: The Hinton practice on Tuesday, 12th November has been cancelled.
The last Basingstoke District Practice of the year will take place just outside the District at Crondall (8 bells, 14cwt tenor) on Saturday 16th November from 7pm until 8:30pm. As always all levels and abilities will be catered for.
Hope to see many of you there.
Steve Jolliffe organised a terrific day for our annual outing, focusing on the area around King’s Somborne and Stockbridge, arranging for us to ring at six locations. The day dawned dark and dreary, with the forecast rain arriving mid morning and staying with us for most of the day. We were accompanied by Valerie’s lovely Staffie, Harvey, who kept spare ringers entertained and encouraged the giving of extra walks.
An hour’s drive saw us arriving at the first location, the Grade II listed church of St Peter & St Paul at King’s Somborne SO20 6NU in the Test Valley between Romsey and Andover. Dating from the 13th Century, this lovely church houses bells which were generally heavier than my “home” bells – see the table below. When doing my preparation/homework, I realised just what a privilege it would be to ring a variety of new and old bells from a range of foundries.
|1||4-3-24||D||28.75″||1927||Gillett & Johnston|
|2||5-2-22||C||32.00″||1887||Gillett & Co|
|3||6-0-4||Bb||33.75″||1887||Gillett & Co|
|6||10-1-9||F||41.14″||1911||John Warner & Sons|
The ringing chamber was on the ground floor and the ropes went a long, long way up. Thank heavens for the guide rails! The bells were rung up and we quickly settled into little bands for rounds, call changes and then more exciting methods for the experienced ringers who had joined us. The heating had been put on and was greatly appreciated. Throughout the day, I found that some bells were easier than others to ring (for me, here, #3 was better than #2). If you have time, do read the Sopwith (Camel) panel at the rear of the church. After 45 minutes, the bells were lowered and we dashed off to….
St Peter’s Church, Stockbridge SO20 6HE where the bells had recently been rehung and were greatly enjoyed by most of us – an absolute pleasure to ring. David said they were very different when he previously rang there! The ringing chamber was accessed by a narrow set of spiral stone stairs to the left of the main entrance. Once inside, it was quite snug, with a few places for watching. The ceiling was fairly low and the sallies were nice and woolly! There has been a church on the site since the 12th Century. By 1866 the medieval church was in such poor condition that most of it was pulled down, leaving only the Chancel (now Old St Peter’s Church) and this new Victorian Gothic style church was built on Stockbridge High Street. The tower and spire were not added until 1887. Four of the bells came from the old church and two of them date from the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
|1||3-0-0||G||22.67″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
|2||3-1-0||F||24.40″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
|4||4-0-21||D||27.20″||1887||Mears & Stainbank|
The overflow ringers stayed dry in the church and we were discussing the unusual 13th Century font, made of Purbeck marble and banded in iron. The font is so worn that a design of blind arcading on the bowl can hardly be seen.
Next time I visit, I’ll definitely make time to see the Old Church as many items were transferred there – services are still occasionally held there, including a pair of Elizabethan wall paintings celebrating the defeat of the Armada. Also stories about the civil war, with Empress Mathilda and King Stephen clashing at Stockbridge.
Our next port of call was St Mary’s Church at Broughton SO20 8AA with a ground floor ringing chamber. As we arrived, we passed a group of volunteers who’d spent the morning giving the Church a good and thorough clean – they’d made an excellent job of it. The ground floor ringing chamber was located at the rear of the church, accessed either from inside (a smart new partitioned area with kitchen, toilet and seating) or via the old oak external door. These were much heavier than the Stockbridge bells and we were careful to be matched to bells which we could handle. This was an 11th Century church with a beautifully carved 15th Century west doorway, with a 15th Century panel of a triptych in the Lady Chapel and a pillar piscina carved with the figure of a devil. Harvey and his buddies discovered a 17th Century Dovecote in the churchyard but it was raining too hard for me to venture out (what a wimp).
|1||4-1-13||E||26.88″||1934||John Taylor & Co|
|2||5¾cwt||D||31.00″||1774||Robert I Wells|
|3||4½cwt||C||29.25″||1681||Clement I Tosier|
|6||11cwt||G||40.25″||1763||Lester & Pack|
We were all beginning to feel cold and hungry so, when our time finished at 12.15 pm, the bells were rung down and we all headed to our lunchtime stop via various routes. By now, it was raining hard and puddles were stretched across the roads and the fords were rushing streams of indeterminate depth.
We were allocated a room of our own at The Black Horse in West Tytherley SP5 1NF, in the warmth where the food was welcomed and quickly devoured. I’m not quite sure what an older couple thought when they inadvertently joined our group by taking up a spare table at the edge of the rowdy ringers – I wonder if they were listening to tall stories. As if.. !
At 14.15 we headed to St Peter’s at East Tytherley SP5 1LG, used by some participants at the Listening Skills course earlier in the month. The ringing chamber was on the ground floor, in a room off the entrance porch. With 8 bells, there wasn’t much space for observers so the overflow stood in the porch or sat in the church and admired the vaulting. Maybe I was getting tired, but I found the #2 to be very hard work (David said I was making it so) but the #4 seemed smoother.
|1||4-1-4||F#||25.50″||1899||John Taylor & Co|
|2||4-1-15||E#||26.50″||1899||John Taylor & Co|
|3||4-3-0||D#||28.00″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|4||5-1-21||C#||30.13″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|5||6-2-2||B||32.63″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|6||7-2-10||A#||34.50″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|7||9-3-23||G#||38.25″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
|8||14-1-5||F#||43.00″||1897||John Taylor & Co|
Known as “The Church in the Field”, St Peter’s dates to the 13th Century with a comprehensive rebuilding in the Victorian period, retaining three panes of 13th Century stained glass and a magnificent wall painting of St Peter. The memorial is to Richard Giffard who died in 1568.
The time was going past incredibly quickly now. We drove 2 miles down the road to St John’s Church at Lockerley SO51 0JJ and the small ringing chamber accessed via narrow stone spiral stairs around the left corner from the entrance porch. I liked these bells, as I’d spent time on them on the Listening Course day and felt confident. Until, that is, my left hand cramped up, and Alison kindly rescued me whilst I tried to regain a normal hand shape. Totally embarrassing. Fortunately I could carry on after a few minutes and managed to keep the cramp under control – easier once I knew what to expect. Everyone seemed happy on the bells, with various bands being put together to make the most of the time.
|1||3-3-3||E||26.13″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|2||4-2-16||D||28.13″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|3||5-0-11||C||30.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|4||6-1-19||B||32.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|5||8-3-4||A||36.00″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
|6||12-1-15||G||40.50″||1890||John Taylor & Co|
At the time of the Domesday survey, Lockerley was a chapelry annexed to the church of Mottisfont, with the original simple chapel built C 1200. The present church was consecrated on 16 October 1890 and was built alongside the old Saxon church which was demolished – a “small mean building with tile roof and wooden belfry containing two bells”. In spring, rows of daffodils mark the outline of the walls of the old church. The parish registers of births, marriages and deaths date in unbroken sequence from Queen Elizabeth’s reign in 1583. There were separate seats for strangers and also “Wummen’s Setes”! The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 10th August 1889 by Frederick Gonnerman Dalgety of Lockerley Hall and he built the church at his sole expense. It is said that during the blackout of World War II, when services had to be held in the afternoon, the winter sun was reflected in the gilding of the paintings and lit the church.
Three miles away were the Clock House Bells at Awbridge SO51 0HN. What a surprise and a fabulous way to end the Outing! Housed in a specially built annexe, this mini-ring of 10 bells had been lovingly installed by John. The Clock House bells have stays but use bungee cord instead of sliders so, the harder you pulled, the more the bell would bounce back. I’d attempted the tenor of the Charmborough Ring and made a right mess of it, so was rather dreading this final port of call. I needn’t have worried – they were lovely sweet bells and once we’d all found the balance, various bands ventured into call changes, plain hunt and other methods. The owner seemed rather impressed and said that our group had done better than most others. WHAT a result. Valerie took a video which you can view here: https://youtu.be/x-PAmecJTaU
|1||0-3-16||G#||14.13″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|2||0-3-25||F#||15.00″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|3||0-3-24||E||15.63″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|4||1-0-5||D#||15.88″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|5||1-0-22||C#||17.00″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|6||1-1-2||B||17.88″||2000||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|7||1-1-21||A||18.88″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|8||1-2-4||G#||19.50″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|9||1-3-22||F#||21.38″||2001||John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd|
|10||3-1-2||E||25.13″||2012||John Taylor & Co|
John had a beautiful book detailing the history of his Mini Ring project and I read that he’d rung on a mini ring at Liss. Sure enough, David Cooper had taught some of John’s friends to ring in the distant pass and modestly said that his input was modest and they very soon overtook David’s own ringing abilities. What a nice connection!
Extract from the website: Clock House Bells are a privately owned ring of 10 bells, hung in a purpose built garage extension. The bells were cast by Taylors of Loughborough back in 2000, weighing in at 2-2-0 cwt. On Friday 15th August 2009, the first changes (1260 Plain Bob Doubles) were rung on the bells without stay/slider mechanisms in place.
Since then the ringing room has been heavily decorated, toilet and kitchen facilities put in place, a new tenor (3-1-2 cwt) installed and hundreds of quarters, peals and long lengths rung.
The bells are available to be booked anytime of the year, whether it’s for a 30 minute stop on a ringing outing or a record length peal.
Throughout the day, everyone who wanted to take part was included. As a newbie, I really appreciated being included and knowing that support was on hand, should it be needed.
We are also indebted to the contacts who kindly opened up the churches and turned on the heating for us, and then locked up again. Our sincere thanks go to all.
And finally, thanks to Steve and Gill Jolliffe who organised the day so beautifully and maximised the number of places we could ring at, most within 5-10 minutes’ drive from each other.
Thank you all, it’s a day that I will treasure. And now to prepare for the Plain Hunt training day … eek!
5 November 2019
In my first year of ringing, I have rung 41 bells over 15 locations,
Heaviest bell: 12 cwt (Lockerley Tenor).
Cumulative weight, taking whole cwt figure only: 192 cwt
Here is the poster for the upcoming C&S District Practice in November.
St Michael’s, Southampton on Saturday 16th November from 2:30 – 4:30pm
All abilities welcome from rounds upwards.
Method of the Month: Stedman.
C&S District Secretary
As we approach Armistice Sunday for this year, here is the article that was published in The Ringing World on Friday 25th October 2019 about the archives of Armistice centenary ringing presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals earlier this year .
The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (W & P) is an active Guild representing ringers across the Channel Islands, part of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. As reported in 2018, our Guild had successfully undertaken a mammoth task, creating an archive of many special memorial ringing performances that had honoured those who had died as a result of World War One.
Two bound volumes of the archives were to be presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals at special services. It was wonderful to see how many folk came forward to volunteer their time and expertise. A project mascot was adopted; ‘Tommy’ – a 30cm high, clear Perspex silhouette in the form of a World War One Tommy soldier who travelled across our large Guild area. The archive continues to be updated digitally, available to see here.
The two Cathedral services took place in May 2019; what wonderful occasions!
At both venues we displayed project material in advance of the services. Both Cathedrals’ bands ensured there was splendid service ringing. Visiting ringers were able to ring in the areas during the day; at Winchester, the Chamborough Ring created much interest to members of the public, in addition to the Cathedral tower bells. Both services had been well-crafted and supported by the Cathedrals’ clergy, organists, choirs, vergers, staff and volunteers. We were delighted and honoured to welcome large congregations of ringers, their families and friends and local dignitaries. We all shared the emotions of the Archive presentation ceremonies and reflected as we heard the lovely handbell ringing, a very fitting accompaniment to the presentations.
At Portsmouth Cathedral’s Choral Evensong, on 12th May, The Lord Mayor and
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire were greeted by the Dean of Portsmouth, The Very Reverend Dr Anthony Cane, and our Guild Master,
Mike Winterbourne. The Right Reverend Christopher Foster, Bishop of Portsmouth, welcomed the congregation. During the service, Alverstoke ringer, Soul Stanford and Portsmouth Cathedral ringer, Chris Cockel, presented the archive; it was received by
Bishop Christopher. Guild Officers Mike Winterbourne and Heather Frazer read lessons. Intercessions were led by Canon John Owen, Vicar of Steep and Froxfield with Privett. The congregation stood for the Act of Rededication led by Charlotte Mossop, a ringer at St. Michaels’, Basingstoke. After the service we enjoyed hearing Louis Verne’s Organ Voluntary ‘Les Cloches de Hinckley’. The Reverend Canon
Dr. Jo Spreadbury, Canon Precentor, was instrumental in the service and all of the prior arrangements; we were pleased to thank her personally at the lovely informal refreshments reception provided by the Cathedral ringers.
On 19th May at Winchester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle,
Dean of Winchester, together with Guild Master Mike Winterbourne, greeted the
Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, the Mayor of Winchester and the
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. The Dean conducted the Choral Evensong service; our Guild Master read a lesson. The archive book was presented to The Dean by
ringers Matthew Dancy of All Saints’, Basingstoke and Isla Ingram from
Milford-on-Sea A candle was lit and the congregation was asked to
‘Individually and together, commit to the cause of peace and reconciliation’. As the final part of our act of worship, we were invited to listen to the Organ Voluntary ‘Carillon-Sortie’ by Henri Mulet. The very pleasant refreshments served to our guests by local ringers and enjoyed by us all brought a lovely, quiet conclusion to the day.
The last word here to ‘Tommy’ then:
‘People ask me why I am transparent?
After 100 years none of my comrades are still alive,
But I hope that their children, grandchildren and future generations will not let them disappear completely;
but once, every now and then, catch a glimpse of me and remember.’
Public Relations Officer for W & P
The next Winchester District Practice will be on Monday 11th November at Old Alresford from 7.30 – 9.00pm.
Poster available here.
Here is a link to download the latest version (as at 29th October 2019) of the Record of Ringing in Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918 – The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.
Bound copies of the original version were presented to Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals in special services held in May 2019.
Please continue to submit your performances here. The details will be recorded in the digital form of the archive until the end of 2019 at least. A decision as to final ‘cut off’ date will be made shortly.
The digital archives have been available on our website since 19th May and will continue to be updated.
The Cathedral services took place in May 2019 after a great deal of liaison with both Cathedral Teams over several years; they have supported us well, alongside both Dioceses. The services were well-attended, much enjoyed and the beautiful archives recording performances to 30th November 2018 were presented. The Chamborough Ring was enjoyed by many all afternoon at Winchester and we recruited several new ringers there. The occasions raised the profile of ringing greatly in the community. The project gave us all many occasions to work even closer with our churches and local communities. We are pleased to report that feedback from ringers and non-ringers relating to the archives, the services and the project overall has been complimentary indeed; it seems our very ambitious project has been seen as a resounding success.
Thank you everyone for all of your time, efforts and encouragement over many years now.
An update of the Project’s finances was set before the A.G.M in June.
This month’s Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Kings Somborne from 19:30 on Wednesday 30th October. With the District training session on Cambridge Minor coming up we will be doing things like Little Bob and Double Oxford which are useful steps to Cambridge, as well as Cambridge itself. However we will still be catering for those who want to ring other things too, everything from Grandsire Doubles upwards, just let me know what you would like to practice on the night. All welcome from the district and beyond.
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me, as well as to reach out to those of you whom I either know, or our paths have crossed as ‘nodding acquaintances’ from time to time at Guild events.
I have been a member of the Guild for around 28 years, as member of St Michael’s church in Basingstoke where I have in the recent past held various positions including Tower Captain for 5 years, Steeple Keeper and Treasurer.
For me, the pleasure of ringing is not only self satisfaction, but also to help others to develop their skills in the tower. Within my own tower this may include bespoke practices to benefit learners specific requirements, quarter peals to give them the opportunity to both learn a method well and to enjoy the reward of achievement, and generally supporting all of the ringers in their goals and ambitions.
Having served as Guild Vice Master for 3 years I am now delighted to take on the role of Master and look forward to working with you all to strengthen links within the Guild and to enhance your enjoyment in ringing.
One of the main assets of the guild are you, the ringers, and without your skill and dedication, regularly attending Sunday ringing and practices, our ringing would be in a very sorry state.
W&P Guild Master
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Spring District Meeting held on Saturday 11th May 2019 in the Meeting Room, the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford.
1. Chairman’s Welcome. The Chairman, John Croft, opened the meeting at 5.15 p.m., with a welcome to those present, including visitors, and with thanks to the Vicar and Wardens for the use of the bells, to Roger Booth, for the use of the Charmborough Ring, sited in the grounds of Mildmay House and to the Twyford ringers Bands for hosting the day and for laying on splendid ploughmen’s lunches and ringers’ teas [applause].
2. Attendance. The following 20 members of the District (representing eight bands), and three guests signed the attendance register: Roy, Ann and Stephanie LeMarechal, and Graham Wright (all of Bishopstoke) Christine Hill and Tessa and Tony Smith (all of Hursley), John Palk (Lockerley and East Tytherley), Tony Ayres, Andrew Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson, and Ian Redway (all of New Alresford), Caroline Daniels (Romsey Abbey), Martin Daniels (Sherfield English), Jenny Watson (Sparsholt), John Colliss, Caroline Fairley, John Gawne-Cain, Alan Hutchinson and Bruce Purvis (all of Winchester Cathedral), Charlotte Colliss (Swanmore), Rob Hatch (Botley) and Joyce Croft (guest) comprising the guests. Also present were Alison Fydler (Candover Valley Ringers), Micki Nadal (King’s Somborne and Stockbridge), Roger Booth and Theo Johnson (New Alresford), Angela Forder-Stent and Jennie Richardson (Twyford), John Croft (unattached) and Susannah and Julia Johnson (guests)
3. Apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received from Amanda Bayford, Jen Churchill, Drew Craddock, Andrew Glover, Christine Knights-Whittome, Trish Spink, Sue Spurling, Carol Ward, Peter Willis and Edmund Wratten.
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting. Adoption as a true record of the minutes of the Annual District Meeting held on 9 February at Lockerley Memorial Hall was proposed by John Palk, seconded by Bruce Purvis and carried on a show of hands.
5. Matters Arising. None, other than as substantive agenda items.
6. Loss of members through death. The recent passing of Mary Harper was noted, and Martin Daniels recalled that she lived in Salisbury, but had rung at Sherfield English for a number of years. Her ringing career had concluded about five years ago, but she had remained a loyal supporter of the band. After a short period of silence, the Chairman recited the words of the Requiem.
7. Confirmation of belfry elections. Probationary members: Harriet R Riches of New Alresford on 23 April 2019 proposed by Ian Redway, seconded by Roger Booth. Esther Sweeting, Qiqi Shi and Xantara Vodzi of Winchester College on 7 May 2019 proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Rodney Skinner.
8. Election of new ringing member.
Pernille Faye of Winchester College proposed by Caroline Fairley, seconded by Rodney Skinner.
9. Future Events. The Secretary reported that the training morning at Stockbridge, 22 June, would be devoted to Reverse Canterbury, not Stedman, following expressions of interest in the former. He added that the halls had been booked for the Autumn meeting at Easton and for the 2020 Annual District Meeting at Hursley. Finally, he reminded the meeting of the next District Practice, in the morning of 21 May, at Micheldever.
10. Romsey Show. Roger Booth offered the District the use of the Charmborough Ring at the Romsey Show, the hire of which would amount to a maximum of £300,depending upon the distance it would have to be brought from its previous venue.
Discussion revolved around the location of the District’s pitch, and the need to maximise the return on the investment of time and money by the District. Graham Wright argued that there was no better advertisement for ringing than the presence of a mini-ring. The meeting agreed to pay for the deployment of the Charmborough Ring up to a maximum of £300.
11. Donation to the W&P Youth Ringers’ Outings. The meeting considered the request for funding to meet the cost of tower fees for the District’s participants at the Guild’s outings, such as those forthcoming at Sherfield English and Bishopstoke.
John Palk observed that there was no Guild funding towards these expenses, and
that – as evinced in the above examples – the money often came back to the District’s towers. The meeting agreed to fund these expenses.
12. Ringing World National Youth Competition. The meeting endorsed the suggestion, previously raised at the Annual District Meeting (Minute 15, AOB, section 1 refers), that a modicum of financial support be made available to be shared among the District’s ringers in the W&P Guild team.
13. Format of District Meetings. Item withdrawn at the proposer’s request.
14. Guild AGM, 15 June 2019. The meeting learned that the Guild AGM, hosted this year by the Isle of Wight District, coincided with the Isle of Wight Pop Festival, and intending participants were advised to travel as foot passengers from Lymington to Yarmouth, and proceed by bus to Freshwater.
14. Any Other Business. Elizabeth Johnson advised the meeting that the new Northington ring was operational, with a quarter-peal attempt planned to take place on 20 May, to coincide with the Deanery Synod.
15. Striking Competition Results. The striking competition had been judged by our Chairman, John Croft, who complimented all five bands on the standard of their ringing, as the Twyford bells were not an easy ring. Method mistakes were judged as one fault, striking mistakes as half a fault.
Team 1 rang doubles on the back six. It was a solid, very steady piece of ringing, equating to a peal speed of 3h20’. The tenor was generally rung well, but mistakes accumulated, and 13 faults were logged.
Team 2 rang doubles on the back six, at a very stately pace – the slowest of the five – equating to a peal speed of 3h30’. There were a couple of hitches, but the band recovered well. While there was much good ringing, there were occasional gaps, which accentuated the errors. 12 faults were logged.
Team 3 rang doubles on the back six, at a good pace: an excellent piece of ringing which flowed, so that there were no gaps. The peal speed was 2h51’, and the band was to be congratulated on ringing that was a pleasure to listen to. 4 faults were logged.
Team 4 rang doubles on the back six, and produced another piece of excellent ringing, fractionally slower than Team 3, with a peal speed of 2h54’ and a final score of 1½ faults.
Team 5 rang Cambridge Minor on the back six, with a pace between the extremes of the first two contestants and the latter, equating to a peal speed of 3h00’. The results were a little bit mixed, but the band were to be congratulated on ringing minor, and raising to the challenge. Their score was 8 faults.
|First||Hursley||PB Doubles||1½||2h54’||Rang 4th|
|Second||Bishopstoke||PB Doubles||4||2h51’||Rang 3rd|
|Third||Romsey||Cambridge Minor||8||3h00’||Rang 5th|
|Fourth||Scratch band||PB Doubles||12||3h30’||Rang 2nd|
|Fifth||New Alresford||PB Doubles||13||3h20’||Rang 1st|
The meeting closed at 5.55 p.m
For previous versions of the Guild Rules click here.
The Society shall be called ‘The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers’ (hereinafter called ‘The Guild’).
To unite the Church Bell Ringers in the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth for mutual support consistent with:
The Guild shall consist of Patrons, Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Members. The following shall be appointed ex-officio:- Patrons: The Very Rev The Dean of Winchester, The Very Rev The Dean of Portsmouth; Presidents: The Right Rev The Lord Bishop of Winchester, The Right Rev The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth; Vice-Presidents: The Right Rev The Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, The Right Rev The Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke, The Very Rev The Dean of Guernsey, The Very Rev The Dean of Jersey, The Venerable the Archdeacons of Winchester, Portsdown, Bournemouth, The Meon and The Isle of Wight. The Diocesan areas shall be divided into Districts, each being self-administered.
The Guild shall be affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and shall observe its rules and decisions. Representatives thereto shall be elected for a triennial period in accordance with the constitution of the Council. The Guild may pay fares and reasonable out of pocket expenses for not more than three days to its representatives attending the meetings of the Council. Representatives shall make a report of the proceedings to the next Annual General Meeting of the Guild.
The administration of the Guild shall be vested in an Executive Committee (of whom seven shall form a quorum) consisting of: the Master (Chairman), Vice-Master, immediate Past Master, Honorary General Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Recorder of Peals, Honorary Librarian and Archivist, Honorary Report Editor, Minute Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Safeguarding Officer, Central Council Representatives, the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund, the Convenors of committees, and District Representatives (who shall normally include the District Secretaries or their proxies) to be elected by the annual District meetings. Districts with more than 100 members (associate and ringing) may send one additional representative. The Executive Committee has the authority to co-opt members on to the committee for special purposes, delegate any of its duties to sub-committee(s) or co-opted members and fill any vacancies arising among officers until the next General Meeting qualified to elect officers. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once annually. Reasonable expenses of members attending meetings of the Executive Committee may be defrayed by the Guild.
A General Meeting of the Guild shall be held annually in each of the following Districts in turn: District 1 Andover, District 2 Portsmouth, District 3 Winchester, District 4 Christchurch and Southampton, District 5 Basingstoke, District 6 Isle of Wight, District 7 Alton and Petersfield, District 8 Channel Islands, to receive reports, a statement of accounts and applications for grants, to fix the place and date of the next Annual General Meeting and to transact any other Guild business. Every third year to elect a Master, Vice-Master, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Recorder of Peals, Honorary Librarian and Archivist, Honorary Report Editor, Minute Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Safeguarding Officer, Honorary Independent Examiner and Central Council Representatives. Officers elected shall remain members of the Administration (Rule 4) ex-officio for a period of three years when, with the exception of the Master and Vice-Master, they will remain eligible for re-election. The Master and Vice-Master will remain eligible for re-election unless they have previously been re-elected. The election of an officer(s) to fill a vacancy (Rule 4) must be confirmed at the next General Meeting of the Guild. A Special General Meeting may be called at any time upon a request to the Hon General Secretary, signed by either the Presidents, the Master or not less than twenty ringing members of the Guild. The Secretary shall give three weeks’ notice to the Guild of Special General Meetings, by posting to each local secretary, for display in the towers, particulars of the business.
There shall be the following classes of membership of the Guild:
The terms of reference of the committees shall be as follows:
Each tower in the Guild area, regardless of whether it has Guild members in its band or not, shall be deemed to be ‘in union’ with the Guild.
Each tower in the Guild shall appoint a local secretary, who will be responsible for conducting such correspondence as required, rendering an annual report to the District Secretary and collecting subscriptions from Guild members for transfer to the District Treasurer.
No tower shall be transferred from one District to another without the consent of the majority of ringers of the tower concerned and of the Annual General Meeting of the Guild.
In each District a Chairman, Ringing Master, District Treasurer and Honorary Secretary shall be elected and such other officers as the District may determine.
An Annual Meeting shall be held in each District as early in each year as is practicable, but not later than 21st February, to receive reports and statements of accounts, to transact any other business, including fixing the date and place of the next Annual District Meeting, and at least every third year elect District officers. Such other District meetings may be held as decided by the members, practice meetings being encouraged. Only members of a District may vote in the business of that District.
Each District Treasurer shall receive ALL subscriptions of members in his District, pay from the funds all the expenses of the District, and at the end of the year prepare a balance sheet which shall be independently examined and, after presentation to the Annual District Meeting, forwarded to the Honorary Treasurer of the Guild not later than 28th February, together with the proportion of the subscriptions due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund (Rule 17). District funds may only be expended for administration and for such purposes as are sanctioned by these rules or by a General Meeting of the District concerned. First charge on District funds after administration shall be for instruction (whenever possible) in change ringing. If District funds prove insufficient for this charge, the deficiency may be met in whole or part by a contribution from the Central Fund. The instructor(s) may claim travelling expenses and any other out of pocket expenses.
Seventy per cent (fifty per cent from the Channel Islands District) of all subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, shall be allocated to a Central Fund for the general administration and expenses of the Guild and for any other purpose that the members in General Meeting may direct. The Honorary Treasurer shall receive, not later than 28th February, all monies due to the Central Fund and Guild Bell Restoration Fund and shall be empowered to disburse all accounts properly incurred in the central administration of the Guild, either in cash payments or by cheques drawn on the Guild current banking account, which cheques he shall be authorised to draw. He shall maintain a statement of central accounts. The remaining thirty per cent of subscriptions, excluding the proportion allocated to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund, shall be retained by the Districts, except in the case of the Channel Islands District where fifty per cent is retained, for the purposes of meeting expenses of the Districts incurred under these rules. If there be any deficiency in the Central Fund, the Annual General Meeting of the Guild may, by resolution, require the Districts to meet the deficiency in proportion to the amount of each District’s receipts retained that year. At any time during the year the Executive Committee may, if necessary, direct the District Treasurers to pay over to the Central Fund all, or part of, the proportion of subscriptions actually received and due to the fund.
Districts are requested to compile a list of instructors who are willing to assist towers (Rule 16).
The Honorary Librarian and Archivist shall be responsible for the safe keeping of the Guild library and any other property acquired by the Guild unless other arrangements are made by the Executive Committee. He shall maintain an inventory of such books and property and shall render annually a report to the Executive Committee.
Peals which are to be recognised by the Guild and have their details published in the annual report must be rung by bands composed entirely of members of the Guild other than probationary members, at least half of whom must be life and/or ringing members and/or compounding members who have transferred from ringing membership. An account of each peal including details of compositions on seven bells and above, together with the peal fee for each ringer participating, shall be sent to the Honorary Recorder of Peals within one month of the peal being rung. If the above conditions are not fulfilled, the peal shall not be recognised by the Guild, nor its details published in the annual report, excepting that the Annual General Meeting of the Guild shall be able to recognise such peals in exceptional circumstances. At the end of each calendar year, the income from peal fees shall be transferred to the Guild Bell Restoration Fund and to the General Fund (towards the cost of printing details of peals in the annual report). The amount of the peal fees and the proportions transferred to the Bell Restoration and General Funds shall be determined from time to time by the Annual Meeting of the Guild, or a Special General Meeting of the Guild called for the purpose and published in the annual report. Any alteration in the amount of fees and proportions in which they are transferred to the General and Bell Restoration Funds shall take effect on the following 1st January.
The Guild may accept responsibility for any damage done by members to the bells, etc. in any tower in which a meeting of the Guild is being held. In such circumstances the officers of the District concerned are empowered to take steps to make good the damage which shall be a charge on the District concerned. In the case of a General Meeting of the Guild, the Master, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer will take the necessary action and make a charge on the Central Fund.
In the event of either: (a) redundant bells coming into the possession of the Guild or (b) the advice of the Guild being sought on the disposal or movement of redundant bells, the Trustees of the Bell Restoration Fund shall be empowered to decide upon the disposition of such bells or offer such advice as they feel is appropriate. Where possible, such decisions or advice shall be subject to confirmation by the Guild Executive or Annual General Meeting of the Guild.
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. Any alteration or addition to the rules shall become operative on the following 1st January.
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.
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.
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.
This page created by Tony Smith
Last updated 15 June 2019
We were delighted to host this event in our bijou conference centre/kitchenette located in the cellars underneath the main body of the church. We were warmly welcomed by our brave module leaders, David Smith and Roger Booth, with our informative and exhaustive personalised pink module packs, containing course books and other vital information.
The initial theory session spoken along with visual cues for us, and easy to absorb bullet powerpoint notes on the projector screen, was informative, and guided us well in understanding the various learning processes we encounter teaching ringing.
These sessions were followed up with some instruction behind the forthcoming practical sessions. There was a very useful discussion in building a ringing band. We had plenty of practical hands on sessions in small groups, led by our module
tutors, who gave us the conﬁdence to try out new techniques, such as calmly handing/taking the rope over to somebody safely, circle-clapping exercises in order to help hearing one’s own bell and counting one’s place, to the very effective Kaleidoscope technique of ringing, where up to three different groups can each practice a different exercise or handling skill simultaneously, from starting in rounds, one pair dodging, one pair place-making, and another pair making long places – and how this can be varied inﬁnitely with ease to suit the band you have that day. It was very helpful also to focus on how to organise practices with lesson plans, games with ﬂuffy dice to instruct handling skills, and domino style cards to get the brain thinking in the Kaleidoscope manner of ringing.
Lunch was a little on the short side, delicious supplied by our own in-house ringing team, but we did have so much to cram in, especially practical, throughout the day. The round-up session at the end of the day was a useful time for discussion and questions, and instructions on how to move forward using SmART ringer, and accreditation details. There was a useful little shop with ART merchandise and useful ideas/tools for learners across all ages.
The ART people clearly listen to their members and feedback, as they appear to constantly hone, personalise and ﬁne-tune the courses to suit each speciﬁc course and group. What they have put together really is marvellous, dedicated, and in depth series of modules, pulling in and centralising many teaching ideas, ‘hacks’ and solutions to teaching issues, from right across the board. Take a good pencil and notepad!
Peter Murdock-Saint, Tower Captain St. Peter’s Bournemouth.
The next Basingstoke District Practice will be at Newnham (5 bells, 5cwt tenor) on Saturday 19th Octobet from 3:30 pm to 5pm. As always all levels and abilities will be catered for.
There is currently a road closure on Newnham Road shortly after the Newnham clubroom. Anyone approaching from the Hook or Odiham direction is advised to approach either via Rotherwick or to take the Crown Lane turning from the A30 just down the hill from the Basingstoke Country Hotel which will take you to the church
Hope to see many of you there.
After ringing for morning service today at New Alresford, six members of our band went to ring for the harvest festival service at our neighbouring parish of Tichborne. These bells have no band of their own, but members of the congregation were very appreciative and thanked us for our efforts. The Rector said it meant a lot to the village to hear their bells being rung, even to those who did not manage to come to the service. It was also Nathan Smith’s first quarter, rung as part of the Guild’s ‘Firsts Fortnight’.
Tuesday 8th October at 7:30pm (until 9:00pm) is 8 bell practice at St. John’s. Following a series of well attended practices, we continue with Plain Hunt, Single Oxford Bob Triples, Plain Bob Triples, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples. We will, of course, be ringing other request methods & rounds & called changes as usual, so all ringers most welcome.
This is not an elite practice night. All are welcome.
The date was finally set with emails and updates sent out. Passports dusted down or renewed, travel tickets purchased (yellow vests purchased just in case) and hotel rooms booked. Before we knew it, the date had arrived for our district outing to Kent and then on to Ypres in Belgium.
A bright morning in the UK and early start brought ringers to Folkestone and to the church of St. Mary and St. Eanswythe. A fine 25 cwt 8. St Eanswythe was an Anglo-Saxon saint who first established the Christian church in Folkestone and whose name is given to the parish church. Plenty of time for call changes, Grandsire and half a course of Cambridge, before we headed off to the Channel Tunnel. Thank you, Matt, for ringing the tenor up (looked on by Andy) and for being the ringing master. Thanks to Julia too for ringing the tenor down (not looked on by Roger!)
After navigating the Town Centre, Costa’s, Starbucks (and other leading coffee chains), we all departed on our merry way. Heading to the Channel Tunnel for various boarding times; alas some delayed much longer than others!
Ringers who got through Passport Control without an issue:
The bright autumnal sunshine experienced in Kent, was greeted by a dull grey wet welcome into France (no topical comments please!) Sat Nav’s were set for Ypres for just over an hours’ journey to the city.
A staggered arrival into beautiful Ypres and once parking spaces found with chocolate shops avoided, ringers and friends headed to St. George’s Memorial Church.
Initially, there was competition from across the road at St. Martin’s Cathedral and their bells being rung for weddings. Guesses were made at the tenor’s weight, but the heavy three were no competition to St. George’s delightful sounds.
Ringing started with call-changes; Grandsire, Plain Bob and getting a number of the Ypres ringers to start plain hunting on 6 some for the first time!
For the A&P ringers, this was a delight to see. Beaming smiles after completing a number of courses says everything! Let’s hope their progress continues and support comes from all visiting ringers. Helping them achieve should be seen equally as rewarding as scoring a peal there!
And… those who couldn’t fit into the ringing chamber had a grandstand view (emphasis on the stand part). From the ground floor church entrance via live feed cameras into the belfry and ringing chamber. A great way to watch the bells being rung and maybe a subtle recruiting tool we could see rolled out one day!
Owing to late arrivals a planned quarter peal attempt was delayed until later in the afternoon. Finally, after everyone had a good chance to ring, a well struck quarter of Grandsire Triples was scored in 42 minutes.
This, we believe, was the first Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild quarter peal on the bells. The details are adjacent here, dedicated to the memory of Derek Yates from the Guild and a footnote to Gregory the Ringing Master at Ypres, who had retired earlier in the week:
After the successful quarter, the ringers congregated in the adjacent hall and what a feast had been laid on. Liz Millward, Tower Captain ‘extraordinaire’, worked wonders! A huge thank you to Liz, Martin, Gregory and the Ypres ringers for laying on everything was given by our Chairman Mike Novell. He then continued with a second or third helping of trifle!
Ringers enjoying themselves in St. George’s Hall. Roger deep in conversation with Nick, planning what to ring on the next visit!
The outing concluded with what was perhaps the most memorable part of the whole day.
Despite an early start, the long drive to Belgium and an afternoon ringing the beautiful bells, it was wonderful to have a short early evening stroll through picturesque Ypres, to congregate at the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony.
Upon arrival, crowds had already assembled to be at least six deep awaiting the eight o’clock ceremony to commence. The variety of ages attending was noticeable, especially the number of young attending and reassuring this ceremony will be in safe hands for many generations to come.
Picture: Within the Menin Gate prior to the Act of Remembrance with the archway lit as the focal point for the wreath laying ceremony.
Precisely at 7.45pm the invited band of ‘K.F Sint-Lambertus Eindhout’ struck up and marched the short distance to the Memorial ready for the short act of remembrance to commence.
Many organisation’s were represented laying wreaths including our Guild. Earlier in the year we had been given permission by the Last Post Association to take part in the ceremony.
Organisation’s taking part on the 28th September were:
We were permitted three representatives to lay a wreath on behalf of the Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild. Whilst the band played a very fitting arrangement called ‘Benedictus by Karl Jenkins’, Emma, Sam and Roger joined the wreath laying procession. The fitting words were:
‘Remembering Those Ringers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice’
After the moving ceremony had ended, tears wiped and noses blown; ringers joined the crowds to spend time looking for the inscription of a family member or distant relative to pay their respects amongst the thousands of names.
To conclude events in the most traditional of fashions, one last thing… to the nearest pub! Off we went to sample some of Belgium’s finest beers! A number of ringers selected to stay over and ring on Sunday with the Ypres team, whilst others heading back to the UK.
Finally, we look forward to welcoming the Ypres ringers who will be visiting us in the District between the 15th -17th November, and Guild support to join them ringing here would be warmly welcomed.
Thank you all who came to share in this special day. Will we return to Ypres? You bet we will!
Derek Yates from New Alresford sadly passed away on Friday 20th September at the age of 80, after a long battle with cancer. He was a long-standing member of the Guild, having previously rung at Binsted, in the Alton & Petersfield District.
A Service of Remembrance for Derek will be held at St John the Baptist, New Alresford on Thursday 3rd October at 2pm.
W&P Guild Webmaster
Many of you have asked when we will be running another Belfry Maintenance course – here is your answer! The Education Committee’s final course of this year, which will run alongside the Plain Hunt course on Saturday 23 November, will be Belfry Maintenance, also based at Hawkley.
The tutor will be Roger Barber who has a wealth of experience and has run this course for us before, and whilst it will be based at Hawkley, Roger will take students to two different towers during the day for a closer look at different types of fittings (and much more), giving students the chance to ask questions about these and their own towers. It will cover many aspects, showing the basic things which need to be checked, ropes, stays, bolts, and much more. If you are a steeple keeper who, perhaps, has been thrown in at the deep end because nobody else will do it (!), or if you just help out occasionally, you may find this a helpful day.
I have attached below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) but if there are any queries I’ll do my best to help, as, of course, will Roger.
For: The Education Committee
Please find below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for a Guild Education Day, taking place on Saturday 23 November, based at Hawkley, which will cover Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods. This is the very important building block on which future ringing is based, and can be an invaluable step to getting ringers started in the right direction.
Have a word with your Tower Captain and see if this is something which will help you. Talk it through with your friends – perhaps it will help them too. This is a day for learning in a relaxed atmosphere alongside others at the same stage, working at your own level, with plenty of experienced help. The closing date for the receipt of applications is a week earlier than usual so you need to get them in early.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
There will be no ringing at Hambledon until further notice as there is a problem with no. 2 bell. A gudgeon pin sheared, allowing the bell to fall into the pit, causing cracks in the crown of the bell. The bell will have to be taken out and recast or replaced and the headstock repaired or replaced.
Firsts Fortnight is here from 11th to 27th October, and this is your ideal opportunity for your learners – or more experienced alike, to do something new for the first time.
Don’t forget to upload it to Bellboard under the W&P Firsts Fortnight link so we can all celebrate your successes!