Category Archives: AP Towers

Blackmoor Tower Outing – Saturday 26 October 2019 (A Rookie’s View)

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.

Bell Weight Note Diameter Dated Foundry
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
4 7-0-26 A 35.25″ 1818 James Wells
5 7-2-27 G 37.50″ c1499† Salisbury foundry
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.

Bell Weight Note Diameter Dated Foundry
1 3-0-0 G 22.67″ 1887 Mears & Stainbank
2 3-1-0 F 24.40″ 1887 Mears & Stainbank
3 3-2-25 Eb 26.18″ 1691 Samuel Knight
4 4-0-21 D 27.20″ 1887 Mears & Stainbank
5 5-0-23 C 29.75″ 1691 Samuel Knight
6 7-0-20 Bb 33.11″ 1691 Samuel Knight

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).

Bell Weight Note Diameter Dated Foundry
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
4 6½cwt B 33.00″ c1720 William Tosier
5 7¾cwt A 35.75″ 1617 (unidentified)
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.

Bell Weight Note Dated Foundry Bell
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.

Bell Weight Note Diameter Dated Foundry
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

Bell Weight Note Diameter Dated Foundry
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!

Debbie Matthias

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

Belfry Maintenance Course (Guild Education) – Sat 23rd November 2019 based at Hawkley

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.

Christine Knights-Whittome

For:  The Education Committee

Application Form (Word format) – Belfry Maintenance

Application Form (PDF) – Belfry Maintenance

Poster (Word format) – Belfry Maintenance

Poster (PDF) – Belfry Maintenance

Guild Education – Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods – Saturday 23rd November at Hawkley

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.

Christine Knights-Whittome

For:  The Guild Education Committee

Application Form – Word format

Application Form – PDF

Poster (Word format) – Plain Hunt & Trebling to Doubles Methods

Poster (PDF) – Plain Hunt & Trebling to Doubles Methods

Basingstoke District Outing to Alton – Saturday 21st September

This month’s Basingstoke District event is an outing to Alton. We will be ringing at All Saints Alton (6 bells, 6cwt tenor) from 11:15am – 12:15pm followed by a break for lunch (please make your own arrangements).

Following lunch we will ring at St. Lawrence Alton (8 bells, 18cwt tenor) from 2:30pm – 3:30pm.

As always ringers of all abilities are very welcome.

Joseph

A&P ringing competition and barbecue a great success

52 ringers, mostly from across the A&P district but with a handful from elsewhere, gathered at Blackmoor on August 10th to take part in a Rounds Striking Competition.

There were no rules as such, just that each team should aim to strike their best rounds for 4 minutes with everything from the pull off to the stand being marked.

In all 11 teams took part, some ringers were in more than one team, some teams were made up of members of several towers, but everyone was welcome to have a go whatever their level of experience. From Blackmoor’s newest learner who just rang the back stroke whilst his teacher rang the hand stroke, to the Life Members, of which there were several present, everyone gave it their all and, judging by all the smiles, had a great afternoon.

As a few people left after the competition finished, more arrived for the barbecue swelling the numbers to around 65, the most we have had at a social event for some time. As the food was cooking, games were borrowed from the Scouts’ shed (with permission), the raffle was set up, ringing related quiz sheets were handed out and dogs tried to keep out of the way of bustling feet.

Once everyone had finished tucking into their burgers, sausages and salads, beer, wine, soft drinks and an impressive array of desserts, Roger Barber announced the competition results with a short critique of each performance and certificates were handed out. Roger thanked everyone who took part and hopes that the success of the event will encourage more teams to enter the annual district striking competition in October.

Thanks were also given to everyone who helped to organise the myriad of elements that go into running a successful event such as this. Pretty sure we’ll be doing it again.

barbecue

comp

A&P District Barbecue and Rounds Competition – August 10th at Blackmoor

Please let Roger Barber know if you’re entering a team for the rounds competition, and book your barbecue place with Judy Sparling.

It’s a friendly competition focusing on our core skill and the foundation of all our ringing – Rounds –

Teams can be made up of any ringers from the district, they don’t need to be just from one tower and the same ringer(s) can be on more than one team.

BBQ 2019

Contact Roger Barber

Contact Judy Sparling

Invitation to join the Alton Bellringers’ Outing on Monday May 27th

The Alton Bellringers’ Outing

Monday 27th May

All welcome.

For further information please contact Matt Watts

All these towers are located along the A32 – the road which starts at the A31 dual carriageway at Chawton roundabout and ends in Gosport.

0930h   Alverstoke St Mary, 8 bells

Anglesey Road PO12 2ET

Parking on Little Anglesey Road

1100h   Fareham Ss Peter & Paul,10 bells ground floor

Osborn Road PO16 7DR

Parking in Pay & Display Ferneham Hall

Lunch   There are the usual restaurant chains in Fareham.

For self caterers, there’s a lovely field off the footpath from the car park in Swanmore which looked suitable for picnics.

The Hunters Inn and The Brickmakers are food pubs in Swanmore. I can take pre-orders from The Brickmakers menu here.

If anyone wants to have lunch at the Brickmakers Arms, Swanmore please let Julia Day know with your choice. She will forward it to the Brickmakers at the weekend.

1400h   Swanmore St Barnabas, 6 bells

Church Road SO32 2RG

Parking in car park on opposite side of road.

1500h   Soberton St Peter, 8 bells ground floor

Station Road SO32 2PE

Limited parking on the road nearby.

1600h   Droxford St Mary & All Saints, 5 bells

anti-clockwise ground floor

SO32 3RB

Parking at Village Hall or in street opposite near recreation ground.

 

Practice ringing dates for Bramshott during May

Dear All,
During May, there will be ringing practices at Bramshott on the 13th & 20th May only.
We will not be holding practices on the two Bank Holiday Mondays – i.e. 6th and 27th May.
Following the Spring Bank Holiday, our regular weekly practices will resume on 3rd June – 7.30 – 9pm.
As always – visitors are very welcome!
Di Hart,
St. Mary’s Bramshott.

Petersfield Rings for England!

Petersfield Ringers and friends rang for England on 23rd April.  We chose to ring on the traditional date, especially as we were also celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday, and that – unlike St. George’s Day – is not a movable feast!
Ringing for England 2019
Petersfield Ringers and Friends ring for St. George’s Day – 23rd April 2019
Melanie Moore
Secretary, St. Peter’s Bell Ringers

March 28th practice cancelled at Alton, St. Lawrence, and this month’s 8 bell practice moved to Holybourne

Hello all
There will be no practice at Alton, St. Lawrence this Thursday, March 28th, as there is a concert in the church.
Also, due to another concert, the monthly 8 bell practice on Saturday 30th cannot take place at St. Lawrence either so this has been moved to Holybourne. Same time as usual 5.30 to 7.30pm.
Thanks, Valerie

Tied bell practices at Hawkley during Holy Week

Hi all,
Following my announcement on Wednesday evening about tied bell practices in Holy Week, I can confirm that I have been granted permission from the Hawkley church authorities to hold these on the following 3 evenings. Monday 15th, Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th April all from 7.00-9.00pm. The object will be to improve on Bell Handling, learning how to ring the bell quicker and slower by improving on the positioning of your hands on the rope. Also I will be teaching 4 new recruits so it would be an opportunity to start to learn how to teach.
It would be helpful to now if you would like to come to one or all of these so that I can make sure we get a good balance for each evening, and if there is a demand then it might  become a regular thing.
All the best,
Roger

A&P Quiz Night – Bentley – Sat 23rd March from 7.30pm

RINGING FROM 6PM   ‘FIZZ N BUBBLES’ FROM 7PM
QUIZ STARTS 7.30PM
AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH HALL, BENTLEY, Church Lane, Bentley GU10 5NA
Plenty of Parking, the Hall is behind the Church

The Alton & Petersfield District Bellringer’s 2019 Quiz!

Bentley hosting, in our new Church Hall, ringing from 6pm and a glass of fizz for early arrivals & non-ringers!

We are planning a pudding auction, so get baking! Anything with alcohol going in always works a treat! As does ‘gooee’ puddings or a cheese board as a great accompaniment!
All monies raised will go to the District Funds!
Fish n chips. Bring your own drinks, we’ll have plenty of glasses and nibbles & pens for scribbles!

Prize for winning team! Prize for Most Original Table Name!
Prize for the Best Pud Maker!
First come first served places limited so hurry or you might not get in!
We ‘really’ look forward to seeing you!

Event URL is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/altonpetersfield-district-quiz-night-bentley-tickets-55657884230

Link to Poster

 

 

Report from the Petersfield AGM

At our Tower AGM chaired by Revd. Canon Will on 7th January Madeline King stood down from the role of Captain, which she has occupied for 10 years.  She was presented with a bouquet and gift from the other members of the band.

Reflecting on her time in office Madeline said that the strength of the ringing band was due to everyone working together in harmony and that this could be achieved only by having leaders who were committed to having a happy successful band.  She paid tribute to the ringers who had served in other capacities over the years, assisting as steeple keepers, treasurers, house keepers and teachers, and with administration, organising wedding bands, letting in visitors and arranging outings and social events.

Madeline stressed the necessity of good clear communications with the Vicar and the Parish Office, especially in regard to ringing for weddings and for special occasions like this year’s Armistice Commemorations and New Year, and to ensure safety procedures are followed by workmen and other visitors to the Tower.

The Band has certainly grown and flourished under Madeline’s leadership – we are now regularly able to ring all 8 bells for the Sunday morning service.  Not only is the overall standard of ringing improving, but individual ringers are achieving personal targets too. The band is happy and cohesive and that makes the ringing fun and enjoyable.  Thank You Madeline!

Our new Captain is Mary Broadbridge.

Melanie
Secretary, St. Peter’s Bell Ringers
petersfield_madeline king 2019 agm meeting
Madeline King at Petersfield AGM

No Practice at Blackmoor for the next two Fridays

As there is a Burns Night event taking place in the village hall next door, we have been asked not to ring at Blackmoor on January 25th. We are, however, planning to have a practice on Thursday 24th instead which you are welcome to join us for.

There will be no practice on February 1st either as it the date of our annual dinner and meeting.

You are always welcome to join us for any other practice night.

Thanks, Valerie

January practice dates for Froxfield, Warnford and West Meon

Dear All

Please find the dates of our practices at Froxfield, West Meon & Warnford for January below.
Monday 14th Jan – West Meon, 7:30pm
 
Tuesday 15th Jan – Froxfield, 7.30pm
 
Monday  21st Jan – West Meon, 7:30pm
 
Monday  28th Jan – Warnford, 7:30pm
 
Tuesday 29th Jan – Froxfield, 7.30pm
Visitors always welcome. As always if you wish to join us at Warnford please email first so we can let you into the park.
Please note due to commitments no practices this week.

Parish of the Resurrection (Alton) Christmas ringing times

Hello All,

Here are the Christmas Ringing details (Hopefully). Be ready for adjustment emails to arrive should I get it wrong! If I don’t see you before – I hope you all have an amazing Christmas.
Please can I also have names for the AGM District meeting held in Alton on 12th January. We are hosting so need numbers for food.
Monday 24th December (Christmas Eve)
Crib Service ringing – 3:30pm – St Lawrence Church, Alton
Midnight Communion – 11:00pm – St Lawrence Church, Alton
Tuesday 25th December  (Christmas Day)
NO All Saints Practice
09:00am Service ringing at Holyrood, Holybourne
10:00am Service Ringing at St Lawrence Alton
Thursday 27th December
No Practice at St Lawrence
Saturday 29th December 
No Learners and Improvers
Alton 8 bell practice will go ahead 5:30pm till 7:30pm at St Lawrence
Sunday 30th December 
No Service ringing
Monday 31st December (New Years Eve)
Ringing in the New Year – St Lawrence Church, Alton 10:30pm (TBC) Bring some nibbles and drinks and ring in the New Year at Midnight.
Tuesday 1st January (New Years Day)
No Practice at All Saints
Thursday 3rd January 
7:30pm – 9:00pm Practice at St Lawrence as per normal.
Any questions please ask Matt or drop me an email.
Jess