Category Archives: Channel Islands Towers

Channel Islands District Events for 2019

Here are the dates for the two Channel Island District Meetings for 2019:

Channel Island District meeting & Inter-Island 8-bell Striking Competition – Spring 2019 – on Alderney – Sat April 27th

Channel Island ADM & Inter-Tower 6-bell Striking Competition – Autumn 2019 – on Jersey – Sat Sept 21st

Tommy’s Travels in the Channel Islands

After spending time shut face down in an overhead locker, I finally arrived in the Channel Islands for the weekend of the CI District ADM.

Spent an interesting 48 minutes perched on a sweet tin while the bells of St Peter Port (Town Church) were Quarter Pealed

Guernsey, Channel Islands

St Peter Apostle and Martyr, (Town Church)

Friday, 7 September 2018 in 48m (21–1–12 in E)

1250 Cambridge Surprise Major

1 Sue Le Feuvre

2 Mike Winterbourne

3 Marjorie B Winter

4 Paul Lawrence

5 Peter J R Bevis

6 Stephen A Rossiter (C)

7 Tim Wainwright

8 Alan T Winter

1st treble bob on 8: 1; 1st Cambridge Major: 4

Remembering those lost from the Channel Islands on the centenary of WW1

 I then visited the WW1 Fallen list at the junction of High St and Berthelot Street;  although I had my picture took I don’t seem to show up much.

Tommy Travels CI 1Tommy Travels CI 2

Opposite the entrance to the Bell Tower of Town Church there is a plaque concerning the Wild Flowers of Flanders Fields, again I do not show up well.

I spent an enjoyable Saturday afternoon in Forest Church while the ringers warmed up for the Striking Competition.

I stayed through every teams attempt to ring well; I believe I encouraged the young to try their best.

I even coerced the Guild Master to put the Guild Badge of Office around the neck of some of the young ringers for their excellent performances.

All the Young ringers did themselves proud. I am sure the results will be on http://cibells.com shortly.

After the ADM I stayed in the Forest Church to watch further attempts to ring strange stuff; some was successful but reverse London Surprise Minor only lasted one lead. Although reverse Cambridge Surprise Minor (Superlative Surprise Minor) and reverse Stedman Doubles succeeded (they are a strange lot in the Channel Islands.) The young and older ringers rang some more usual methods with some of the young ringers pushing their boundaries and successfully achieving new goals.

I was then stuffed back in the box and flew back to the Mainland (face down again)

I think I’m travelling to Portsmouth on Monday, hope someone knows where I will be going next.

Mike Winterbourne

Guild Master

Jersey to host Channel Islands Inter-tower striking competition – April 28th

The Channel Islands district aims to meet up twice a year. The Spring and Autumn meetings.

The Spring meeting involves the Inter-Island 8 bell striking competition and the Autumn meeting is our ADM and inter-tower 6 bell striking competition. 2018 will have Jersey host the Spring meeting on Apr 28th at St John’s.

The Autumn meeting will be Sept 8th at Forest, Guernsey.

Helen McGregor

Vale Church – Ringing Plans Jan/Feb 2018

During January and February the inside of the Vale Church is being redecorated.

Services are being held elsewhere, so there will be no Sunday Service Ringing at the Vale Church until further notice.

However as far as possible we intend to practise as normal, but if paint or scaffolding in the tower area makes this impossible then we intend to go elsewhere. Therefore if you intend coming to our practice (and we hope you will) please contact us to check (addresses under tower details)

New Year Greetings to all!

John David

Congratulations to June!

The Alderney ringers are delighted to record that June Banister has passed the highest level of the Learning the Ropes pathway to success in ringing & is now a qualified Change Ringer. The training scheme was launched 5 years ago – there are only 79 ‘graduates’ so far reaching Level 5 and two of them are on Alderney:-)

Maurice will be enjoying his 93rd birthday on Weds 13th Dec so at practice on Mon 11th we rang 93 changes of Cambridge Minor before singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and enjoying a slice of birthday cake.

Helen McGregor

Two Firsts in a Week…

… and indeed a good week’s ringing.

A few weeks ago Olivia started coming to our Town Church practices and it is great to welcome her. Some of us were used to ringing with her at the Elizabeth College practices over the years but now, having consulted her homework timetable and deciding that there wasn’t a lot that needing her attention on  Thursday evenings she has become a regular ringer at our practices.

And she’s storming ahead in leaps and bounds; as is Will, a young man who now regularly rings with us on Thursday evenings. Will has been plain hunting from an inside bell to give him experience of looking both ways but it also let many of the band have their first experience of ringing Plain Bob Doubles with a bell other than the treble as the hunt bell.

Olivia has learned St Simons and St Martins, as well as Plain Bob Minor and some treble bobbing. And her finale on Thursday was to ring her first blows of Cambridge Minor. She was thirds place bell while we rang a touch with singles. Just 4 more leads to learn now Olivia!

Our other rising star is Joe who is making fast progress at the Elizabeth College afternoon practices.

We had a special Plain Bob Triples Practice this afternoon; just 8 of us so we had plenty of rope time. Olivia and Joe joined Judy, an occasional visitor from Forest/St Peters. None of them had much, if any experience at plain hunt triples and our own Judith has only rung a couple of plain courses of Bob Triples but has decided (or did Duncan decide for her?) that her “first’ for the District Ringing Master’s “November Firsts” would be a QP of Bob Triples. We progressed well starting with plain hunt on 5 with 6,7,8 cover, through minor with 2 cover bells to plain hunt triples and finally a course of Plain Bob Triples. A very useful hour and a half and if we can repeat this another couple of times we are going to be fighting for a rope in future quarters of triples.

The finale of this afternoon was Olivia ringing her first QP of St Simons and she was excellent at it. I heard that a quarter of spliced St Simon & St Martins is on the cards pretty soon.

I’m not sure when Olivia started ringing handbells but not long ago. And I did spot a QP at an address I din’t recognise in Guernsey last Saturday. Yes, it was Olivia’s first in hand.

Congratulations Olivia!

On Saturday, 14 October 2017
Guernsey, CI
Polmear Lodge Tenor: size 15C

1440 Plain Bob Minor

1-2.   Olivia Palmer
3-4 .  Helen M McGregor
5-6.   Duncan Loweth (C)

First in hand: 1-2

On Friday, 20 October 2017 in 43min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 11cwt
1260 St Simon’s Bob Doubles

  1.  Judith Lainé
  2.  Olivia Palmer
  3.  Jane Le Conte
  4.  Sue Le Feuvre
  5.  Duncan Loweth (C)
  6.  Joe Berry
    First in method: 2

Another first for Joe

Joe Berry rang his first Grandsire Doubles at the Town Church for evening service. And very well struck it was. Joe had practiced one or two touches in the last couple of weeks but the singles were only explained to him this week and that was at an Elizabeth College practice which is somewhat noisier than an adult practice. Duncan called himself observation so Joe rang all the work. And all this was the day after his 18th birthday! Must have been a more restrained evening than my 18th! Very well done Joe.

Now what’s next?

On Sunday, 8 October 2017 in 42min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 11cwt

1260 Grandsire Doubles

  1.   Sue Le Feuvre
  2.   Jane Le Conte
  3.   Joe Berry
  4.   Paul Lawrence
  5.   Duncan Loweth (C)
  6.   Judith Lainé

18th birthday compliment to the 3
First in method: 3

Ringing for Chief Pleas

Four times a year the Constables of St Peter Port pay us to ring the Town Church bells for special occasions and Chief Pleas is one of these occasions.

This is the  annual sitting of the Court of Chief Pleas. It consists of the Bailiff sitting with a full bench of sixteen Jurats in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor. It marks the start of the legal year and features a full roll call of all members of the Guernsey Bar, together with Parish Constables and Seigneurs.
It is followed by a parade through town to the Town Church for a service.

This year the majority of the band was made up of our Elizabeth College ringers supported by five Town Church ringers. We mostly rang Plain Bob Doubles but included some 8 bell ringing which was plain hunt doubles with 7 6 8 covering and some call changes and kaleidoscope ringing.

Well done for performing your civic duty everyone!

Wells bells are up and ringing! (Includes Video)

Last night we had our Inaugural ring…

Photo shows L-R
Jeremy Stupart, June Banister, Trevor Blades, Aileen Wilson, Donald Hughes, Jane Robinson (hidden), Maurice Stupart, Helen Blades, Bruce James, Philippa Arditti, Peter Bevis & Helen McGregor. Missing from photo = Mariko Whyte

Inaugural Ring @ Wells Bells – The Channel islands’ Ringing Centre

Thurs 7th Sept 2017

The First Ring – Rounds and call changes were rung:

  1. Peter J R Bevis
  2. Aileen Wilson
  3. George Wyatt (bell hanger)
  4. Helen M McGregor
  5. June Banister
  6. Philippa Arditti
  7. Maurice Stupart
  8. Donald Hughes

With the changes called by Trevor Blades from outside the circle

This was followed by plain hunt on 7, a course of bob major and half a course of Yorkshire.

Single bells were rung by Jane Robinson, Bruce James,

Jeremy Stupart and Helen Blades

Finally: 1280 Plain Bob Major in 44 mins

  1. Helen M McGregor
  2. Aileen Wilson
  3. Mariko Whyte
  4. Julian Ferrar
  5. George E Wyatt
  6. Peter J R Bevis
  7. – 8. Matthew R T Higby (C)

First qtr peal on the bells

Helen McGregor

Delighted to have the Master ringing with us this morning

Mike and Margaret were back in Guernsey, their second home, with their ringing friends, most of whom came along to ring this morning. We had 15 for service ringing. A tad more than usual but it did mean I could save my not considerable ringing talent for this evening’s QP and instead take some photographs.

And we scored a very nicely struck quarter of Grandsire Doubles on the back 8 this evening.

On Sunday, 3 September 2017 in 45min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 21cwt
1260 Grandsire Doubles

  1.  Judith Lainé
  2.  Sue Park
  3.  Peter Gallienne
  4.  Sue Le Feuvre
  5.  Duncan Loweth (C)
  6.  John Lihou

An Exciting week planned in Alderney – First peal on new bells, long-length and a week of training

We have Reading ringers here for the first peal on Wells Bells (Oct 22nd) and they are staying on to watch/listen to the Long length on (Oct 25th).  We will be making it a real Ringing-Fest with a full schedule of quarters and focused practice sessions utilising all the good ringers to stretch us.

Wells Bells is the Channel Islands first purpose built ringing centre – please see http://alderneybells.com/the-bells/wells-bells/ for details

Opening Sept 5th

Helen McGregor

Town Church Guernsey back to ringing QPs and a Barbecue to celebrate

Not sure whether you call a QP attempt on Friday, Sunday and Monday normal service resumed but that is what Duncan organised for his and our return to some semblance of normality.

Friday was the first doubles attempt for the new 3 month cycle of methods so we thought we’d try a simple one; Double Bob Minor. What could go wrong? Well actually what could go right? We started with hopes of a whole quarter of double bob but plan B was always to ring the 540 then change to plain bob. But there were so many trips that Duncan missed the end of the 540 and simply couldn’t control us for 720 changes so we had to abandon it. It was a real shame because it wasn’t a good start to our renewed enthusiasm.

But things got better. Despite misgivings about singles Judith agreed to ring inside to Plain Bob Minor on Sunday and all went well. And the 9am on Monday quarter of Grandsire Doubles was a real treat.

This was followed by Duncan’s barbecue at his new house where a really good time was had by all. Everyone was given a tour of the house then Evelyn gave a demonstration of the finer techniques of trampolining.  Thank you Duncan. Great to see your house and good to be back ringing quarters.

On Sunday, 6 August 2017 in 43min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter, Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 11cwt
1260 Plain Bob Minor

  1.  Sue Park
  2.  Judith Lainé
  3.  Jane Le Conte
  4.  Sue Le Feuvre
  5.  Paul Lawrence
  6.  Duncan Loweth (C)

On Monday, 7 August 2017 in 42 min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter, Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 11cwt
1260 Grandsire Doubles

  1.  John Lihou
  2.  Jane Le Conte
  3.  Sue Le Feuvre
  4.  Rob Gorton
  5.  Duncan Loweth (C)
  6.  Janice Firth

Town Church ringers invade Jersey

Sometimes timing is ironical… In last week’s Ringing World, Alan Buswell observed that the Town Church published the second highest number of quarter peals in the first half of 2017; beaten only by Hooe (Dewby’s Bells). Then Duncan bought a house; a “doer upper” and the only QP in July was for the church’s Patronal Festival. But with a lot of hard work, sweat (and probably tears) the family have moved in and although there is a massive amount left to do something like normal service will be returning to the tower.

So we started August with a trip to Jersey on a bright sunny day. Even the ferry was playing ball as it was only 10 minutes late. We started with ringing at St Mark’s then had options. The crazy went to Creepy Valley, zip wires and all thing energetic. Others found their way to the Lamp Lighter while I re-lived childhood memories at the swimming pool at Havre de Pas. Then (almost) everyone found their way up to St John’s for practice night. I confess to getting distracted with photography and didn’t make it but I believe everyone had a great evening with our better ringers cracking London Surprise Major; something they had no chance to try at home without visitors filling in. The evening drew to a close with a visit to the pub.

Next morning we were scheduled to ring a QP at St John’s with a couple of hours free time before catching the boat home. But as is now the norm the Liberation went tech so we were pleased to be able to re-book on the Rapide, which is an old lady now but just keeps going. It meant leaving a bit earlier but since it was seriously heavy rain I don’t think wandering the streets of St Helier was that exciting a prospect.

Our first attempt at the QP was just one of these occasions when no matter how many times we were put right it fell apart again almost immediately but it was over half an hour before we finally abandoned it. We decided we’d just ring a touch to prove we could and then go off for a coffee. Well that’s what Duncan said but those who know him were not surprised when he eventually said we’re over halfway and unless anyone objects we’ll carry on. And carry on we did. Well done Janice for some excellent covering for your first on 8 bells.

And thank you to the Jersey ringers for their hospitality.

On Wednesday, 2 August 2017 in 44min
Jersey, CI St John
1260 Plain Bob Triples

  1.  Judith Lainé
  2.  Paul Lawrence
  3.  Sue Le Feuvre
  4.  Rob Gorton
  5.  Duncan Loweth (C)
  6.  John Lihou
  7.  Jane Le Conte
  8.  Janice Firth

First on 8 on tower bells: 8

First Minimus inside for another College ringer

When Duncan and I walked into the ringing room today something didn’t look quite right. The rope from the sound control was pulled over towards the door and it just looked as if somebody other than our band had been in there. We soon discover who, or rather what, because two pigeons were perched up on a window sill. But they were very well behaved pigeons and when Duncan opened the window they flew out one by one. We must keep the window closed in future.

After all the excitement only two boys came along to practice so the only option was minimus. Jude had never rung Plain Bob Minimus inside before but after a quick look at the blue line and hearing Duncan’s explanation of what he had to do we set off. Louis wasn’t keen on the idea of a QP because he was tired so we just started off to ring a touch so that Jude could get the idea but it went so well that it turned into a touch of 1272 changes; more commonly known as a quarter peal.

There was some really well struck ringing and it seemed clear that we had a very good chance of scoring the quarter when Louis managed to knock his glasses off . But he immediately said we should carry on. I’m not sure how well he could see without his specs but he rang very well by rhythm and carried on despite catching the specs again with the rope and moving them closer to the box he was ringing from. He ended up turning slightly away from the circle to avoid the specs so for an inexperienced ringer ringing at least partly by rhythm, he was amazing. Well done Louis for soldiering on.

Jude rang well and there were some very nicely  struck periods before he started to get tired and Louis did his rope trick with the glasses. But they both carried on until the magic words “That’s All”

Thank you lads; it was a pleasure to ring with you!

On Tuesday, 13 June 2017 in 41 min
Guernsey, CI
St Peter, Apostle and Martyr (Town Church) Tenor: 9cwt

1272 Plain Bob Minimus

  1.  Sue Park
  2.  Jude Buckley
  3.  Sue Le Feuvre
  4.  Duncan Loweth (C)
  5.  Louis Troalic

First on a working bell: 2

Scored, despite the tenor ringer knocking his glasses off half way through

100 years since the men of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry departed Guernsey for training before being sent to the Western Front

We will begin ringing at 7pm which is the time the boat taking the men to the UK for training left Guernsey on 1 June 1917.  And we will continue ringing throughout the evening.

Most of the commemorations will take place on Sunday when more people are able to attend so we will ring again for the Commemoration Service at the Town Church at 2pm on Sunday.

Ascension Day QP, Team Building Meal and HawkEar

Ascension Day falls on a practice night so a team building meal was substituted for the practice and we rang a QP before the service. Since we’ve had HawkEar Duncan has been recording some touches on practice nights and also QPs and this one was no exception. Without giving too much away about the actual fault scores we reach, it is fair to say that we can already see an improvement but maybe more importantly we have areas we can focus on. It’s quite an eyeopener to read the stats and look at the shape of the ringing and I personally have a list of things to work on; way too many to tackle all at once so I’d decided to focus on leading during this quarter. It wasn’t one of our better struck quarters but when we scrolled through the path of the bells afterwards I noticed a few of my leads that were pretty accurate (gloss over the many that weren’t!). But it is worth pointing out that we are talking milliseconds. The slightly worrying thing is that even when we ring what seems to be (to us) fairly presentable Plain Bob Minor, HawkEar still records that it is an unrecognised method!

My description of HawkEar is a layman’s but still I can highly recommend it.

We were so intent on studying the results of our ringing on the TV screen that we had to be reminded that the non-ringers would be sitting in the restaurant waiting for us!

We had a great meal with plenty of team building, aka beer and wine, so a very successful evening for all.

On Thursday, 25 May 2017 in 42min
Guernsey, CI Town Church Tenor: 11cwt
1260 Plain Bob Minor

  1.  Jane Le Conte
  2.  Sue Park
  3.  Sue Le Feuvre
  4.  Mary Melbourne
  5.  Paul Lawrence
  6.  Duncan Loweth (C)

Rung for the Ascension Day service.