Category Archives: Blackmoor

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.



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

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

Blackmoor’s damp day out – a report

The weather was not so kind to us this year when the Blackmoor ringers and friends got together for our outing in the Sussex area, and a few of us got more than a little damp. Reminder to self – Take a coat next year!

We started at St. Margaret’s in Warnham with a lovely ring of 10 in an all wooden tower that creaked and groaned, but didn’t sway nearly as much as we expected it to. Jess was unsure to begin with whether she’d be able to get herself and the bump up the narrow spiral stairs, but I’m glad to say she did.

Then it was onto St. Nicholas in Itchingfield which only has 5 bells, but has equally narrow spiral stairs. It really makes you wonder about the apparent lack of thought that went in to the construction of some churches and bells towers. It’s almost as though they didn’t want anyone to actually get in to ring the bells. Especially when, having got to the top, you then have to duck under a pair of cross beams that your average 8 year old would probably hit their head on. Pity the poor steeple keeper who has to fish a set of steps out from behind the stairs and thread them through the gap, before squeezing  himself through a very small trap door in the ceiling. There was a sixth ‘bell’ in the tower, a flat wooden demonstration model fixed to the wall, that wasn’t in the least annoying when Andy tried to ring it alongside the real ones.

Next was St. Peter’s in Slinfold, an absolutely fabulous ring of 6 where the local ringers obviously like to start their learners very young. There was a baby gate leaning against the back wall, which could be fitted across the front of one of the deep recessed window ledges, so that small children could be safely ensconced behind it to make an early start on soaking up the very strange language that all ringers need to learn. Jess thought this was a great idea and has asked if one could be supplied in Alton, for after the baby is born. I’m glad to say that Carol, one of our more reluctant ringers of unknown bells, decided that these looked safe enough to have a go on, and more than once at that.

After a very acceptable pub lunch at the 6 Bells in Billingshurst we then walked across the road to St. Mary’s, where they have 8 bells and proper stairs! They also have a ringer who apparently dreams up new methods in his sleep and then comes to practice and teaches them to all the others. Their practice board is full of method names like ‘Iago the Parrot Place Doubles’ , ‘Coco the Cat Differentials’ and ‘Chips in the Pub’. We have asked for copies of the lines so that we can have a go ourselves. There was another of the flat wooden demonstration bells here, but it was up on a windowsill. Hurray.

Following this we had to wake the brain cells up again because Holy Trinity in Rudgwick is a backwards ring of 8, set on what looks like a purpose built mezanine, overlooking the body of the church. And, joy of joys, wide carpeted stairs! It took a little bit of getting used to ringing back to front, but I think we did pretty well.

Our outing finished at St. Nicholas in Alfold, a very nice ground floor ring of 6 where the bells are set above the font. Fortunately the ropes hang far enough away that there was no risk of grazed knuckles.

All in all it was a marvellous day that we were very happy to have shared with some of our friends from other towers. And a couple of other friends who just came along for the ride.

Thank you to everyone who came.


Fun, games and toasted marshmallows at the A&P barbecue

Last year’s picnic/barbecue took place in torrential rain, so it was great this year to be pretty certain of having sunshine.

I’m told that the afternoon ringing went very well (I was at work so couldn’t get there till later unfortunately), with plenty of ringers from at least 6 towers and a good range of methods rung.

When the ringing was over everyone flocked round to the village hall where the barbecue was already lit and ready to go, and there were games to play and a photo quiz to solve while we waited for the food to cook.

Many burgers, sausages, salads and desserts were consumed, washed down with beer, squash and cups of tea. All to the background clatter of Giant Connect Four or a falling Jenga tower and the occasional football scooting past. And, of course, lots of laughter.

Then a bag of marshmallows and some long skewers appeared, prompting more smiles and a queue at the barbecue while they were toasted to the desired colour.

Teresa Brown’s photo quiz caught a few people out when they couldn’t recognise places that they had rung in before. Sometimes, even their home tower. But David Hughes had no such problems and identified all 20 pictures correctly.

The raffle was drawn, participants were thanked, some of the youngsters disappeared into the hall to have a go at the curling, and the clearing up began. All in all a very successful and enjoyable event.

Thank you all again.


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A&P District Barbecue July 21st at Blackmoor. All welcome.

The Alton & Petersfield District Barbecue will be held at Blackmoor with general ringing from 3.30 to 5.30pm and the barbecue from 6.00 to 9.00pm

Everyone is welcome so feel free to bring family and friends.

£7.50 for adults (well technically anyone over 9), £3.50 for the under 9’s, under 3’s are free.

Price includes barbecue food, salads, desserts, beer, wine and soft drinks – if you can contribute a salad, side dish or dessert please do (costs can be reimbursed if necessary).

There will be a raffle – donations of raffle prizes will be very welcome.

So that we know how many to cater for, please book your place by contacting Judy Sparling by July 17th. Please state if a vegetarian option is required.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Thank you, Valerie


Thank you Roger

I just wanted to say thank you to Roger for running yet another superb practice last night.
We had 15 ringers from half a dozen towers, so everyone had a really good go. We rang a lot of spliced touches, some of which sounded absolutely glorious, some, not so much. But determination and concentration won through and, even when there were wobbly starts, everyone made it through to the end. There were also plenty of plain courses too, for those taking their first blows in either method and for a couple of ringers who came to practice their trebling.
The practice finished with a touch where Roger was ringing St. Simon’s and the rest of the band were ringing St. Martin’s. So you had to remember that, when Roger was on the front with you, you had to dodge with him not make seconds over him. Something most of us had never done before, but will almost certainly do again.
All in all a hugely enjoyable and rewarding practice.
The Blackmoor ringers had specially requested this practice and Roger would like to remind you that, if you have any requests of your own, to let him know and he will organise a practice for you.
Thank you, Valerie

St. Simon’s & St. Martin’s Practice at Blackmoor. Saturday June 9th – 5.30 to 7.30pm

Please join us for a practice of St. Simon’s and St. Martin’s at Blackmoor on Saturday.

We will be ringing plain courses, touches and hopefully splicing the two.

I have just discovered that the Alton ringers have a wedding at 5.30 so will not be able to come as planned, which is disappointing, but does mean that there will be more space for anyone else who would like to come.

Links to the blue lines for both methods, with instructions for touches, are below.

Looking forward to seeing you there.


post script from Roger

Hi all,
If you are coming to the St Simons and St Martins practice at Blackmoor this Saturday please make sure that you have looked at the methods beforehand.
See you there,

April 1st shenanigans at Blackmoor

The Associate Rector/Vicar at Blackmoor, Alice Wood, delivered Easter cards to all the houses in the local area last week. In her message Alice said that she hoped, as it was also April Fools Day, there would be no shenanigans by the choir or bell ringers on Easter Sunday.

I don’t know about the choir, but the ringers couldn’t let an opportunity like that go passed unchallenged. So we rang backwards rounds and call changes, backwards Plain Hunt a very nice touch of April Day and then finished with some firing.

I suspect that no-one outside the ringing chamber had any idea of what we were doing and, when it came to the firing, probably thought that it was quite normal for us, but we had fun.

Hope you all had a great weekend, Valerie

Blackmoor’s Christmas Ringing Times 2017

You are always welcome to join us for any pre-service ringing or practice session.

Sunday 17th – 6.00 to 6.30pm – prior the the Nine Lessons & Carols Service

Friday 22nd – 7.45 to 9.00pm – practice night as usual

Sunday 24th – 3.30 to 4.00pm – prior to the Crib Service and 10.30 to 11.00pm prior to Midnight Mass

Christmas Day – 9.00 to 9.30am – prior to the Family Communion Service

Friday 29th and Sunday 31st – no practice and no Sunday Service ringing

Blackmoor have a grand day out

Fantastic weather, lots of laughter, beautiful countryside, the companionship of some of our friends from Alton and interesting towers all helped to make Blackmoor’s annual tower outing another great success.

We started at Tillington, where everyone agreed that the bells went really well but sounded less than beautiful. The locals were getting ready for a service of farewell for their vicar and, once they’d heard both Carol and Robin playing the organ, didn’t want to let them leave. If Robin could have got the organ under his jacket without anyone noticing, I think he would have done. He was very envious.

Then it was on to Wisborough Green where the bells sounded lovely. The church has a lancet window which is a memorial to the local Huguenot glass makers, and lists of all the baptisms going back several years, which had some fabulous names on it.

At Washington there was a loo! Hooray! and some beautiful sounding bells. Though we did have a problem with a jammed rope for a while, but Jess soon sorted it out.

After a very good lunch at The White Hart in Pulborough we moved onto Graffham, where the tenor had a rather strange death nell hum that could only be heard inside the ringing chamber.

Our last tower was Bosham, a really beautiful old church right on the edge of the water and more fabulous bells, though apparently it took some effort to keep the tenor up. After ringing Emma decided to risk a dunking in the water and have a go on the rope swing, but happily she only got her feet wet.

Many of us traveled by minibus and conversation rambled through a variety of subjects such as cricket, education (or the lack of it), the breeding of horses and the pretentiousness of Petroc Trelawny’s name and whether or not it’s real (there was classical music on the radio). This lead on to a mention of Anita Wallfisch and the comment that monks used to call snails ‘wall fish’ so that they could eat them on a Friday! Oh and we were also treated to Penny auditioning to join the Blackmoor choir by giving us a rendition of Hey Big Spender. Robin and Malcolm said that it was not what they were looking for.

All in all it was a brilliant day. Thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed it too, we were pleased to see you all, even if you could only stay for part of the day.





Blackmoor AGM and Tower Dinner – Valerie Harris Reports

Good food was followed by a very enjoyable meeting when the Blackmoor band and friends met at the Three Horseshoes pub in Worldham last Friday.

Amongst other things, we talked of the need to ring quarter peals for happy events this year, having done two for sad events last year; the progress of our ringers as they pick random methods to have a go at; the ingress of Jackdaws into the bell chamber when they broke through the wire netting; the problems that we’ve been having with the clock ever since David was replaced by an electric winding mechanism and the continued success of Blackmoor Bling, our huge secondhand jewellery stall that we take to various events throughout the year to raise funds.

During the elections, I agreed to stay on as Tower Captain, and later, for reasons that I can’t even blame on alcohol, I also volunteered to organise this year’s tower outing. Another busy year ahead then.

Blackmoor logo (1)

AP District ADM Notes

Hello all
Just to remind you that the District ADM is being held at Blackmoor this year on Saturday January 21st. Ringing from 3pm, Service from 4pm, Tea from 4.45pm, the meeting will start at 5.30pm, followed by more ringing if enough people want to stay.
The Guild Master, Mike Winterbourne, is also planning to attend and would like to talk to us for a few minutes about what is happening in the Guild.
Please let me know by Jan 17th if you want to book tea. We will be providing hot soup with bread, followed by some excellent cake.
This is election year and ALL of the offices are up for election or re-election, so we are inviting nominations / heads above parapets for :-
TREASURER – Malcolm Donaldson is standing down after 27 years, so we have to find a replacement
SECRETARY – this is a job that could easily be split in two again ie. Meetings Secretary and Promotions Secretary
The Ringing Master, Independent Examiner and Guild Exec Rep posts were filled last January, but only to cover the final year for someone who had stood down. Ideally these now need to be elected/re-elected for a full 3 year term.
The secretary’s post usually overlaps the others, but as no-one was prepared to take over last year, I stayed on. So to reinstate the overlap, anyone putting themselves up for the post this year would really only need to do two years rather than the usual three.
Having said that the usual term of office is three years, if anyone is interested in taking on a role but only wants to commit themselves to a year, we’d still like to hear from you.
Many thanks, Valerie

AP District ADM Saturday 21st January ****RSVP BY 17th JAN****

Saturday 21st January 2017
District ADM
Hosted by St. Matthew’s Blackmoor
Ringing from 3.00pm – Service from 4.00pm
Tea from 4.45pm – Meeting from 5.30pm
Followed by more ringing.
We are planning to do hot soup with bread for tea.
Please remember to book in advance so that we can
be sure to do enough.
Apologies and names for tea (by Jan 17th please) to
Valerie Harris

  • Contact Valerie Harris

    Telephone: 01420 489323
    Address: 8 Sunbury Close, Bordon, GU35 0BW
    Email: Use Form

AP District Practice Sat 3rd December at St. Mary’s Liss 5.30-7pm


Saturday 3rd December
General Practice at St. Mary’s Liss
5.30pm – 7.00pm
Ringing from rounds upwards. All welcome

Advance Warning:

Saturday 21st January 2017
District ADM
Hosted by St. Matthew’s Blackmoor
Ringing from 3.00pm – Service from 4.00pm
Tea from 4.45pm – Meeting from 5.30pm
Followed by more ringing.

We are planning to do hot soup with bread for tea.
Please remember to book in advance so that we can
be sure to do enough.

Apologies and names for tea (by Jan 17th please) to Valerie Harris

Alton and Petersfield District Meeting and Striking Competition Report Saturday 22nd October 2016 at St Mary’s Buriton

Buriton hosted the meeting and the Striking Competition on Saturday 22nd October. 

It was a busy and fun day at Buriton as the Buriton ringers had to prepare the tea as well as get ready to ring! In the way it was good as we had no time to get stressed!  5 teams entered the competition plus a scratch team. 3 teams did call changes and 3 teams change ringing. 

The results are as follow: 

Buriton       1st 
East Meon   2nd 
Bramshott   3rd 
Blackmoor   4th 
Petersfield   5th 

The scratch team came 2nd according to the number of faults but was not counted in the placings. 

Buriton ringers were delighted to have won on this occasion. Since they had started to enter the competition again, 4 years ago, they had been 2nd twice and third once. 
So well done Buriton! 
The tea was a success due to the numbers of people who had baked wonderful cakes and made beautiful sandwiches for the day! 

All in all a friendly and successful day! 

Above: photo of the winning team!Helene Tipper