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Ringers at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke, have recently combined their pursuit of bellringing with an even more energetic challenge by completing a cycle tour of local towers to ring three Quarter Peals.
A vague idea floated during the monthly ‘pub night’ led to myself, Steve Lutener, cycling all over the district, to see if it was feasible to pack three towers into a short day’s ringing, with cycling in between. Eventually a route was proposed, making light of the fact that one tower would be reached by a four mile climb. The other ringers –Lynne, Maggie, Sue and Helen agreed, and the towers were booked. With only five cycling ringers available (one of the original six, Pete Jordan had recently had an operation which temporarily curtailed ringing) arrangements were made for non cycling ringers to join them at each of the towers.
The towers were all in the Basingstoke District: Wootton St Lawrence; All Saints, Hannington and St Leonard, Church Oakley.
At Wootton St Lawrence, the five cyclists were joined by Richard Webb, a quarter of Grandsire Doubles was achieved. I chose this occasion to conduct my first quarter, but the celebrations had to wait as the bells had to be rung down prior to heading off to the second tower – up that hill!
At Hannington, Alan Barsby, a visiting ringer from Eversley, joined the group to conduct. Alan is a regular at St Michael’s and can often be relied on to assist when needed. A quarter of Plain Bob Doubles was achieved and the cyclists in particular realised how hungry they were. The route had been carefully chosen – and the local hostelry ‘The Vine at Hannington’ was visited for lunch. Pete had volunteered to act as emergency mechanic and first aider and he joined the group for a sociable lunch. Discussion took place about how many calories had been expended in ringing the two quarters and cycling – and an appropriate level of restocking the energy levels took place.
All too soon it was time to set off to the third tower – this time though the we looked forward to the steep downhill – with some banshee wailing adding appropriate sound effects.
Yet another local ringer, Rebecca Webb joined the group to ring at the third tower. The bells at Oakley were the heaviest of the day (make a mental note for future tours that this may not be the best arrangement!), and with what had gone before – they felt heavy. Unfortunately the quarter came to grief near the end, but we rang 1000 changes of Plain Bob Doubles.
We then headed back home – having clocked up three hours of ringing and two hours of cycling including over 900 feet of vertical climbing. But that was not the end of their day – after much needed baths and showers, they would be heading out in the evening for the St Michael’s bellringers annual dinner.
We discussed the three dedications that would be recorded – first, Pauline Underwood, one of the long standing ringers of St Michael’s had just celebrated her 80th birthday – and she is still very much an active ringer on Sunday mornings and practice nights. Secondly, Betty and Mike Rice, who ‘took up the ropes’ just a few years ago, had just celebrated their Golden Wedding. Last but not least, the group had agreed to commemorate, as part of the W&P Guild’s World War 1 project, the centenary of the deaths of five local servicemen recorded in the St Michael’s Book of Remembrance, who had died during September and October 1917.
The photograph shows the cyclists after lunch, at Hannington where they rang their second quarter. They are, left to right: Steve Lutener, Lynne Jordan, Maggie Ellis, Sue Hunt and Helen Green. Photo by Pete Jordan.
Records of ringing
Saturday 14 October 2017
Wootton St Lawrence
1260 Grandsire Doubles
Lynne Jordan 1
Maggie Ellis 2
Helen Green 3
Sue Hunt 4
Steve Lutener (C) 5
Richard Webb 6
To celebrate the Golden Wedding of Betty and Mike Rice, ringers at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke
1st as conductor.
All Saints, Hannington
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
Steve Lutener 1
Helen Green 2
Sue Hunt 3
Maggie Ellis 4
Alan Barsby (C) 5
Lynne Jordan 6
To celebrate the 80th birthday of Pauline Underwood, ringer at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke
St Leonard, Church Oakley
1000 changes Plain Bob Doubles
Helen Green 1
Sue Hunt 2
Steve Lutener 3
Rebecca Webb 4
Lynne Jordan (C) 5
Maggie Ellis 6
Rung to commemorate the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the 1914 – 1918 war. Soldiers from the Basingstoke area, whose deaths are noted in St Michael’s, Basingstoke, Book of Remembrance during September and October 1917: namely Edwin Holton, Gordon Webb, Walter Pound, William Andrews and William Webb.
Regular practices -Wednesdays and Fridays
7pm until 8pm – Learners and improvers, with our simulator (tied bells) – check first, runs subject to numbers or Quarter Peal attempt.
8pm until 9.30pm – main practice.
1st and 3rd Friday of the month
7pm until 8pm – Learners and improvers, with our simulator (tied bells) – check availability first, runs subject to numbers or Quarter Peal attempt.
8pm until 9pm – Simulator ringing practice – subject to numbers.
Surprise Minor practice – Last Wednesday of the month
Our advanced/surprise minor practices are usually well attended and cater for more advanced ringing, but also plenty of high quality practice for our beginners/improvers who benefit from having a strong band to help and encourage them. We usually have a “method of the month” too. These are the dates for 2019.
May 29th: Methods of the month in preparation for celebrating 200 years since Charles Kingsley’s birth in June: “Eversley Treble Place”, “Kingsley Treble Place” (6th place Eversley TP) and “Kingsley Delight”
June 26th: Methods of the month, TBD
July 31st: Methods of the month, TBD
August 28th: Methods of the month, TBD
September 25th: Methods of the month, TBD
October 30th: Methods of the month, TBD
November 27th: Methods of the month, TBD
10.30am until 11am. Visitors welcome!
The Eversley Surprise Minor practice is held on the last Wednesday of the month, 8pm until 9.30pm. White Hart Pub afterwards.
On Wednesday 28th June we held a very enjoyable Surprise minor practice at St Mary’s church, Eversley (Basingstoke District). The practice was well attended by ringers from the district, our ODG neighbours and by St Mary’s new Curate, the Reverend Rachel Hartland. Rachel hadn’t rung for 15 years and was delighted to join in with some rounds to get her back into ringing! This month’s method was Annable’s London. Cambridge, Norwich, Beverley and Primrose were also rung. The practice gave St Mary’s ringers a chance to practice Treble bob, Treble Bob Hunt and Plain Bob Doubles with the benefits of a strong band. Our thanks to all those who attended.
The Eversley Surprise Minor practice is held on the last Wednesday of the month. The next practice will be on 26th July, 8pm until 9.30pm. White Hart Pub afterwards.
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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.
This year Basingstoke District is hosting the Inter-Tower Striking Contest on Saturday May 21st and as many towers as possible are being encouraged to participate.
Plans are now in place for what will be a congenial and fun way to compete on both 6 and 8 bells.
10:00 Blessed Mary the Virgin , Eversley . 6, 5-0-12 (259kg) RG27 0NJ . SU779609 https://wpbells.org/eversley/
10:30 Holy Trinity, Hawley . GU17 9BJ . 8, 10-3-9 (550kg) SU852593 http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/dove.php?searchString=Hawley&Submit=+Go+
For more information and the entry form please Contact Greg Jordan
For competition rules please go to Rules
Light refreshments will be available at both venues.
Guild Master Viv Nobbs said
“We’re pleased to announce that there are a couple of other activities being planned. All very flexible so please use them as you’d like and as they’ll fit in to your own plans.
So, heading south after the contests we have booked The Northbrook Arms just past Dummer on The A33 from 2 p.m and we have two open towers in the area near the pub.”
LUNCH AND SKITTLES AND OPEN TOWERS.
FOOD (You can pre-order and pay for) and SKITTLE ALLEY (FREE of charge) are available; we ask that you please contact the pub direct as soon as possible to give them your menu choices and also let them know if you will be having fun in the skittle alley.
Please see http://www.thenorthbrookarms.com/food-wines-ales/ for menus.
The Northbrook Arms
Tel: 01962 774150
There are 2 open towers 3:00-4:00pm at St Mary the Virgin, Micheldever 6 x 8cwt https://wpbells.org/micheldever/
and 3:30-4:30pm at St Peter, Brown Candover 5 x 5-3-6. https://wpbells.org/brown-candover/
The Skittles Alley is available to us until closing time…so there’s some scope for a skittles contest maybe… any volunteer to organise, please?