Category Archives: Basingstoke St Michaels

A&P take 2nd place in the inter district 8 bell striking competition

Hi all,

Just to say that a team from the A&P District took part in the W&P Guild Inter District 8 Bell Striking Competition held at St Micheals Basingstoke. 4 teams entered and we came a very pleasing 2nd with 84% of clean rows from 224 changes of Plain Bob Triples. Well done to Mike Novell, Hugh Routh, Liz South, Mo Routh, Nick James, Jess Hornsby, Roger Barber and Simon Poyser. The team from Winchester District won with 95% and Basingstoke 3rd followed by The IOW 4th.
We intend to enter a team for the Guild inter district 10 bell competition in September to be held at East Meon.

Learn to ring at St Michael’s Basingstoke

St Michaels, Basingstoke are eager and willing to recruit any new ringers.
We have a simulator which allows us to train on the bells but without the bells being heard outside and offers opportunities for good ringing practice with feedback via a computer.  Training is given by experienced and capable trainers who have trained many other individuals over the years. In the early stages training is one to one and arranged on a day by day basis.   Following this, learner specific training sessions are held throughout the year with learners in small groups of 2, 3 or 4 at the most.

Quarter Peal at St Michael’s, Basingstoke, Commemorating 3 fallen soldiers

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Basingstoke, Hampshire
St Michael
Sunday, 20 August 2017 (14–1–10 in F)
1260 Grandsire Triples
1 Peter Rowe
2 Alison Smith
3 Maggie Ellis
4 Angela Athawes
5 Tom Blomley
6 Lynne Jordan
7 Greg Jordan (C)
8 Jon Soar
Rung to commemorate the lives of the following, who gave their lives in WWI:
Sergeant Herbert John Irving, 3375 11th Bn Australian Infantry A.I.F. died 7 May 1917 aged 24. Born at Basingstoke.
Gunner George Charles Dimes, 87665, 188th Heavy Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery, died 5 May 1917 aged 26.
Ordinary Telegraphist Gordon Thomas Sansom, J/32712 H.M.S. “Derwent”, died 2 May 1917 aged 17.
A W&P WWI quarter

Reporting from the Youth Championships…

Nicola Penny Reports. Photos by Tim Martin

As many of you know, the Ringing World National Youth Contest was at the beginning of July in Birmingham. It was wonderful to see so many young ringers from all over the country taking part. There were 1 8 teams of 10. There were 4 of us from the Priory. The others making up the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild team came from as far as Winchester Cathedral, Basingstoke and Milford.  Our qualifier took place at St Peters in Harborne. The piece itself was good but we didn’t get through to the final. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing as it meant we could ring in more towers! Although navigating round the town to get to them was a challenge for the drivers.

There were towers open all over Birmingham including; St Giles (Sheldon), St Alphege (Solihull) and St Nicolas (Kings Norton), Then there was St Martin in the Bullring with a fantastic 16 bell tower. This being the favourite. It was really good to be able to ring in Birmingham, especially as the bells where so nice to ring and the views from the tower windows were impressive as well!

Nicola Penny




Lilliput Day Outing – Simon Edwards Reports

In preparation for the Summer Tour, the Lilliputters have, for the last two years, held a day’s outing a couple of months before the Big Event.  As well as giving us all a chance to meet and socialise again – some members rarely see each other away from Lilliputters! – it gives prospective new members a chance to join the group, and an opportunity to visit a different area.

Ringing at Hurstbourne Priors

Last Saturday, 6th May, it was the turn of the Basingstoke District to play host to the Lilliputters. The group continues to expand; as well as Swindon, Brighton, Abingdon, Colchester and Brockenhurst, we also welcomed new members from Bristol, Hertford and Rickmansworth.

Come 10 o’clock, we had a turnout of some 15 young and young-at-heart ringers meeting at the fine octave at St Michael, Basingstoke, to start us off with what (for many) proved to be the favourite bells of the day! Striking a balance between our usual array of silliness and maintaining a good standard of ringing, we enjoyed our time here, with call changes, Grandsire Triples and Stedman Triples the staple fare.

Following our next tower – the interesting six at Wootton St Lawrence – it was time for lunch; the highlight of the day for many, with handbells and maximum daftness a must – the two are sometimes connected! But then, who could forget last years “human bellframe” competition, or playpark antics? Fortuitously, there is a large green area just behind Wootton church, which hosted lunchtime very nicely; while some members lost a handbell quarter peal, others got stuck in the baby swings, or kept The Mighty Kaleeb entertained; no easy task!

Lunch complete, we headed onto Overton, where George brushed up on his praying, and we were joined by Tim and Rosalind Martin almost out of the blue (I had only picked up the warning text two minutes before they arrived!).   Strong supporters of the tour, it was great to welcome them along and catch up. We also said farewell to Mike Martin, who had joined us for the morning – and wish him every success on his new adventure; who knows, a Lilliput adventure to Ireland may yet be on the cards!

Whitchurch proved to be the highlight for many, with an opportunity to ring on a substantial ring of ten; an interesting mix of dates and founders, augmented some twenty years ago with two modern tenors; an unusual arrangement! Here, we had the obligatory group photo – and were joined by two ringers from Battersea, who were walking in the area – but which also made enough for half a course of Cambridge Royal; a very commendable effort!

Finally, it was onto the handy eight at Hurstbourne Priors to finish the day.  Aside from the field full of cows by the church, we enjoyed a good course of Cambridge, and a spanking touch of Little Bob to finish.

And that was it.  Friends reacquainted, madness ensued, everything and everyone left in one piece, it was the end of another super day out.  The Summer Tour will once again run in the Poole vicinity from Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August, and you are warmly invited to join us, irrespective of age and ability!

Rebecca Webb Reports from the Stedman Doubles Special Practice

What a fantastic practice we had today of Stedman Doubles held at Herriard

The four students were at all different levels and by the end of the morning the students were all ringing Stedman Doubles 120 and all ringing together. 
The students came from Alton, Basingstoke and Bishopstoke.
This amazing progression was achieved by some fantastic helpers who travelled from Alton, Basingstoke, Overton, Sherfield-on-Loddon and Kingsclere.
Thank you to everyone for making today such a success.
Rebecca Webb

Rebecca Webb Reflects on ways of building expertise in a new Method

In November, last year I attended an education training day arranged by the Guild for Double Norwich Court Bob Major (DNCBM). Followup from this day, some of the attendees of the course organised a practice evening at Eling, Southampton and the band at Eling tower kindly gave up their evening practice to support the learners from the Guilds Education Day, and we rang DNCBM all evening. This was a fabulous evening. Lots of support and encouragement. After this practice I was asked to consider organising a practice in my local area, Basingstoke. I found the request daunting but went with it.

I approached my home tower St Michael, Basingstoke to see if the tower could be used for such a practice. A simulator practice was offered and a date for 28th February 2017 was confirmed. I posted the date, time, venue and method to be rung on the Guild website with the help and support of the Webmaster. They created me a link so those that were interested could contact me direct.
I asked the Tower Secretary at St Michael, and the District Secretary, to publish the event to capture those that may not have access to the Guild website.

Two learners took advantage of the opportunity and nine helpers volunteered to assist on the evening. We had fantastic and generous support with people giving up their time and traveling from all over the county to support. The Guild Master and members of the Education Committee have been so supportive in the run up to the practice evening, they gave me plenty of advice and contacts prior to the evening which helped eliminate any concerns or challenges that presented themselves while organising the evening.

The Guild Education Days are great and the idea that learners should seek to consolidate and embed their learning from the wider ringing community is proactive and innovative, especially where more complex methods may be harder to practice within home towers.

By calling on the expertise within the Guild, the necessary rope time to learn the method has been achieved. Creating the opportunity to consolidate the learning so quickly after the initial training has paid off, not just with individual confidence with ringing the method but also tapping into peoples enthusiasm to help grow the skills within the Guild. I have had lots of positive feedback from other people who have heard about this and I have had suggestions of possible methods for future practices. The opportunity and support is there in the ringing community and I would encourage others to think about doing what we have done. With this in mind I have decided to do something similar for Stedman Doubles and this is what has happened…

Double Norwich Practice – 28th Feb 7.30pm at Basingstoke

Dear All,

I can confirm a date of 28/2/17 for a designated practice night of DNCBM at St Michael’s, Basingstoke from 19:30-21:00

For those learners who would like to attend please confirm back to me asap.

I’m also looking for helpers and someone to tower captain the evening. If you can commit to this date please let me know.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Rebecca Webb

Report on Heritage Open Day 2016 – St Michael’s Basingstoke

On Saturday 10th of September, in support of the Heritage Open ‘weekend’, we opened Basingstoke St Michael’s tower to a very interested party of visitors, keen to understand a little more about ringing and to learn about the history of the bells and tower.

At St Michaels we are fortunate to have some interesting historical points to keep visitors interested. The oldest bell dates from 1558, believed to have been cast by an itinerant bell founder locally to the church, with two other bells cast in 1602 and 1670. The remainder of the bells were recast in 1938 when the ring was rehung in a steel frame by Taylors. The Floor that was mysteriously lowered in 1879, (believed to be to improve the draft of the ropes) and leaves our staircases finishing about 1 metre above the floor and various old peal boards including the first peal of Holts Original in Hampshire by the Cumberlands and the first peal on the bells in 1754 by the Reading youths, who were reputed to have walked to Basingstoke, and presumably had to walk back again afterwards!

And of course not forgetting the first peal rung by a lady, Alice White, the 15 year old daughter of the tower captain Henry White, which was rung on the 12th February 1896 at St Michaels.

The visitors listened to a short talk on the history of the tower and the development of bell ringing from Pete Jordan and then treated to a well struck course of Plain Bob Doubles by the local band who were acting as tower stewards. They then had the opportunity to visit the belfry, view the 1843 Vullimay clock and try their hand ringing rounds and lapping plain hunt minor on handbells.

Many thanks to Jon, Lynne, Betty, Mike and Heather  who supported the open day from the St Michaels band, and to those who visited (and were sent away with the guild and tower web addresses so they could be even more inquisitive!)

Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Triples at Basingstoke St. Michael, to Celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthdaybas

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Basingstoke, Hampshire
St Michael
Sunday, 12 June 2016 (14–1–10 in F)
1290 Grandsire Doubles
Lynne Jordan
Steve Lutener
Sue Hunt
Pete Jordan
Greg Jordan (C)
Mike Rice
Rung on the back 6 to celebrate the Official 90th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Basingstoke, Hampshire
St Michael
Sunday, 12 June 2016 (14–1–10 in F)
1260 Plain Bob Triples
Heather Frazer
Sue Hunt
Maggie Ellis
Pete Jordan
Terry Oram
Lynne Jordan (C)
Jon Soar
Roderick Boucher
Rung to celebrate the Official 90th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
1st Triples – 1.

The Bells of St. Michael’s Basingstoke ring for the Queen

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Basingstoke, Hampshire
St Michael
Sunday, 12 June 2016 (14–1–10 in F)
1260 Plain Bob Triples
Heather Frazer
Sue Hunt
Maggie Ellis
Pete Jordan
Terry Oram
Lynne Jordan (C)
Jon Soar
8 queRoderick Boucher
Rung to celebrate the Official 90th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
1st Triples – 1.

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

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

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

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

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


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

“My Vision for Striking Competitions” by Greg Jordan

Greg Jordan St Michaels BasingstokeGreg Jordan was recently appointed to the Guild Striking Committee… a brief interview on Facebook followed….

R: Welcome to the guild striking committee experience!
G: Why thank you!
R: When did you take up ringing?
G: 20th April 2008
R: That’s very exact! Where did you learn?
G: St. Michaels Basingstoke
R: What made you want to learn?
G: The rest of my family rang, so I though “if i can’t beat them, I may as well join them!” 🙂
R: Hahaha! What is your vision for the striking competitions? What do you think they contribute to a band?
G: My vision for the striking competitions is that…

  • they should end up making everyone in the guild feel welcome to join in with, no matter what their standard is.

  • A striking competition is a chance to not only better your striking, which after all is the aim of ringing, but also to go out to other towers and experience different bells.

  • For a band that doesn’t necessarily go to many other towers, it’s a chance to meet new people and ask their advice on a particular problem, whether it is part of a method or listening skills.

  • A striking competition should not Single out a select few, but be inclusive to all.

Sunday Ringing Update from St Michael’s Basingstoke

Basingstoke St Michael Photograph by Andrew G Craddock for TowerBase

At present, the morning ringing times at St Michael’s, Basingstoke are from 9.15 to 10.00 am.  On Sunday evenings, there is no ringing, except for the third Sunday of the month and that is likely to be reserved for Quarter Peals, so could I ask that intending ringers for Sunday evenings contact the Tower Secretary for information


Mike (Rice)

Tower Sec, St Michael’s, Basingstoke

The Sherfield on Lodden Bell Ringers Commemorate a Local War WW1 Hero

Sherfield QP 20150831The first quarter peal at Sherfield-on-Loddon by a predominantly local band for more than 30 years was rung on 31 August 2015 and included three first quarter pealers.  The quarter was rung to mark the centenary of the death of local war hero Captain John Liddell VC MC and comprised 1260 of Plain Bob Doubles.  The ringers were (from left to right above) Sue Hobbs (1st quarter), Elizabeth Ford (1st quarter), Chris Ford (first as conductor for more than 30 years), Alison Ford (1st quarter), Betty & Mike Rice (both St Michael’s Basingstoke ringers).  Sue, Elizabeth and Alison have been ringing for more than ten years and the opportunity to mark an important local event encouraged them to try for a quarter peal.

Captain Liddell was brought up in Sherfield Manor (now Sherfield School), volunteered for the army and was serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the the early part of the first World War when he was awarded the Military Cross for saving another soldier’s life.  After a transfer to the Royal Flying Corp, a forerunner of the RAF, and pilot training at Brooklands, he and an observer were flying a reconnaissance mission over German lines in Belgium on 31 July 1915 when his plane was hit by enemy fire.  Despite being severely wounded, he saved his observer’s life by piloting his badly damaged aircraft to a landing behind British lines and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism.  Regrettably, his injuries led to septic poisoning and he died in Belgium on 31 August 1915, at the age of 27.  His funeral in London was followed by a procession through Basingstoke to his burial plot at Holy Ghost Cemetery.

Chris Ford

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Sherfield on Loddon, Hampshire
St Leonard
Monday, 31 August 2015 in 35m (8–3–1 in A♭)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
Sue Hobbs
Alison Ford
Betty Rice
Elizabeth Ford
Chris Ford (C)
6 Mike Rice
First quarter – 1,2 & 4.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Capt. John Aiden Liddell VC. MC. of Sherfield who died on 31st August 1915