Category Archives: Southampton City Ringers

Living on the end of a rope and sally! A weekend of courses and quarter peals!

It has been a while since a ‘report’ as such has featured on our district page.  I’ve been so acutely busy ringing recently, I just had to get down in words what has been going on in district ringing since 2019 new year!

As many of you will be aware, I have been bitten by both the lesser-spotted quarter peal bug, and the greater striped ringing fever.  It is wonderful to be given so many opportunities to gain valuable rope-time and partake in something as close to sporty as I shall ever get.  (Apparently gossiping is not an Olympic event).

January saw the re-installment of the district Quarter Peal Club hosted by our Vice-Chairman, Polly Osborne at Minstead. It was a valuable opportunity to treble at length to a minor method (St. Clement’s).  Here I happened upon a friendly and familiar face to me now, Jack Pease, who has often conducted in the past, but tonight was having a rest and Jimmy Hodkin took the reigns.

Jack was most kind, complimentary, and remarked that trebling to minor seemed “a bit too much within my comfort zone”, and insisted that I ring treble to a quarter-peal of triples in the near future with him, and also attend the minor course Jack was running at Bere Regis.

I felt much happier leaving Minstead tower, than I did arriving, partly because I managed to arrive at Minstead village in the pitch black forest in heaps of time, but then got dreadfully lost within the village for half an hour, and ended up in a strange place called Emery Down, and was then horridly late.  Not the greatest first impression really of myself, appearing to new people, gasping from running at the top of a ladder poking my head through a trap door.

Jack’s Bob Minor Course on the Friday morning was a bright and early start for me, even the New Forest ponies were still sleeping instead of trying to get into my rubbish bins.  We headed to Bere Regis, to a delightful ring of six that went very majestically.  Was a good learning curve to ring at a more relaxed and steadier pace.  I started the course mainly trebling where I felt secure, but as the morning progressed, and as I got to know the band a bit more, I ventured round the circle ringing plain courses on the 3 and 4, and eventually a touch.  I did try the 5 but alas it was a step to far turning in a much heavier bell to method work.

I came away from Bere Regis course refuelled with plenty of kindling to take back with me to my home tower, and many useful tips and tricks, handed down from our brave leader (Jack) and the other helpers.  It was a really relaxed atmosphere too which lended itself to a great learning experience.

Saturday lunchtime saw yet another quarter peal at Sacred Heart, Bournemouth in celebration of Kim Matthew’s retirement from her position as Librarian of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  I shall fast forward to the shock I was in after the quarter peal had finished, when I truly discovered what ‘splicing methods’ actually meant!  I can only compare it to when school used to make me attempt the hurdles…you just have to keep going, even if you knock them all down!  I understood splicing methods to be a few methods rung one after the other after several touches/courses of each method, NOT methods running concurrently, and switching to and fro like an over-excited American pin-ball machine!  Ross made an amazing job of calling this complex quarter, which I can only imagine akin to being like reciting the Bible from memory…..backwards.  I was most fortunate to have Angie Jasper by my side on the 4 sorting my stumbles out very swiftly and efficiently.

From Sacred Heart, I had to hot foot it to Christchurch Priory, for our annual district meeting.  Here I had been roped in (excuse the pun), to playing the little box organ for the Evensong service in the Lady Chapel.  It was a very special atmosphere, especially as the incredible acoustics in there took the little organ and accompanied singing into the rafters.  I wish they would stop putting carpets down in churches.  Kills acoustics!  I faced two problems here. One that the organ had been placed next to the ringers tea table that had enough cake and sandwiches to fulfil even Paddington Bear, and had all been thoroughly wrapped in foil so having a sneaky sausage roll from the kitchen of Rob Skerton, mid service, was impossible.  The second problem was the lady that pulled on my arm during the exit voluntary, to stop me playing, which I dutifully did as I expected there to be an emergency…no such luck…it was an announcement about the toilet, and that vegetarian sandwiches were located on a separate table.  At least that meant this year the egg and marmite sandwiches were nowhere near the salmon paste!  I was also so pleased to matriculate from Acting Webmaster to Webmaster.  I was really very touched when so many raised their hands when asked for nominations.  I’m very much looking forward to arranging the district outing, and the skittles evening post striking competition at Fawley.

The next day was the forboding quarter peal of Grandsire Triples, and was confirmed by the band around me the evening before.  Off I headed to St. Michael’s Southampton in my Mystery Machine (ongoing joke, as you never know where you’ll end up….especially when I leave the handbrake off and head up tower).  St. Michael’s really is a fascinating place indeed.  Jack shoo’d me up the wooden spiral that winds its way through the innards of the organ (definitely needed going over with my DustBuster TM- poor pipes), and I entered the poshest, loftiest and most spacious ringing chamber I have ever been in.  I later found out that the church is the only medieval structure left within the city walls of Southampton, and that the Luftwaffe used it as a mapping point to their targets, so it never got bombed!

The band were all incredibly friendly and supportive.  St. Michael’s has a gorgeous ring of 10, with a lovely bright Gillet (bell founders) sound.  As a musician, sound is a vital factor to me, and it was a great help to hear each clear bell as I coursed up and down.  We only used the 8 bells for triples, would have loved to hear all 10 going.  The void across the ringing chamber floor between myself and the tenor was such that I thought I was going to have to send up smoke signals to communicate!  Again, it was another tower I left from with a spring in my step, chased back to the Mystery Machine by winter’s icy blast from the docks! Mother told me to put a hat on….why are they always right?

Finally, on Tuesday, I hared across the county to Cerne Abbas for the Hampreston Monthly Quarter Peal Day.  This month’s was arranged superbly by Angie Jasper.  It’s an incredible set up.  I’m unsure what the collective noun for bellringers is, but we all gather in an area with our rosters, and head off to various towers, interchanging bands, some ringing first attempts, crazy methods (Percy’s Tea Strainer Triples, Mental Block Minor etc), practice conducting, trebling, tenoring, ringing inside the method, and break for lunch, then do it all again at churches in deepest countryside for the afternoon shift. Seven quarter peals were rung that day between about 15 people.  Incredible.

I feel very honoured to be made welcome into this group in my early career as a ringer, and there’s always something for me to have a go at and push me.  Finally managed to negotiate my way through 1260 changes of St Nicholas Doubles (failed attempt at Christmas), and the afternoon shift saw me tenoring at Hilton to Eynesbury Doubles.  Sadly we didn’t get the attempt.  Really tricky bells, plain bearings, and keeping the tenor at the back and ‘up’ was a tough job, seeing use of blue inhaler.  Just to round the day off in true Murdock-Saint panache, I managed to fly base over apex down the last part of the tower stairs, my ankle currently doing a wonderful impression of the aurora borealis….well worth it however.  Driving home the 40 miles was interesting on the clutch, fortunately the petrol station had bagged ice for parties, which I strapped to the ankle with a towing rope.  Even though we did not get the attempt, we used the time to ring through a few different touches of the method, and it was great learning experience in handling a big and difficult tenor!

I would like to thank especially the following people in no particular order:

Kim Matthews, Polly Osborne, Ross Bradley, Angie & Mike Jasper, Sally Jenkins, Jimmy Hodkin, Jack Pease, for arranging these incredible opportunities in particular for new ringers.  The bell ringing community is really like a second family.  I must also thank my home tower teachers, David Lay, John and Liz Davey, Tim Kettle for their unending patience, understanding and time.

Looking forward to ringing with many of you over the coming year,

Over and out

Peter

Title photography by Jack R. Pease.

Carol Service Ringing – St. Mary’s. Southampton – Sun 9th Dec 18:15-19:00

Hi all,

This Sunday we have been asked by the St Mary’s church team to ring for a special carol service. As you are all aware, ringing has just restarted again at St Mary’s and so far everything has been going really well.
It would be great to have all 10 bells ringing for this service, especially as the church asked for the ringing, so if anyone can offer some additional support it would be greatly appreciated. We have 8 of the local band around, but a few extras would be super.
Ringing is from 18:15 – 19:00, this Sunday 9th December.
Thanks,

More Great News from St. Mary’s Southampton!

Hi all,

The new church team at St Mary’s Southampton enjoyed having the bells rung for Remembrance Sunday and also for the Civic Launch service, and send their thanks to all those who took part. This is of course fantastic news.

Thank you to those from the Guild who came and supported the local band with this ringing.

I had the wonderful news today that we can start having practices there again, and the first one is schedule for Monday 26th November. The further dates will be confirmed shortly.

The church has also asked us to ring for a carol service on 9th December, from 18:15 – 19:00. It is brilliant that the church are already asking for this extra ringing, and we will do everything we can to ensure we get all 10 bells ringing for this. Again if anyone is available and wants to join us you’d be most welcome.

Things are looking positive for the wonderful bells of St Mary’s going forward, and I thank you for supporting us getting this all started again. This was an unpredictable transitional time and thankfully things are lining up nicely now.

Best Wishes,

Daniel

Great News from St.Mary’s, Southampton!

Hi all,

St Mary’s Southampton has recently been taken over by Holy Trinity Brompton and the bells have been silent for over 6 months now while remodelling work has been done to the church. The church building works are now almost complete, and the new church team are settling in.
Most wonderfully the church have asked us to ring for both Remembrance Sunday 11/11 and also for a special service, the Civic launch of the church, on Monday 12th November.
It would be fantastic to be able to have all 10 glorious bells ringing out, so the new church team can hear them in their full glory. Hopefully ringing all 10 bells for both occasions will inspire the church to allow us to keep ringing regularly again. Given the timings of both sets of ringing, we might need to rely on some extra help, so…
If anyone in the District/Guild/Local Area is available, and could join us for ringing on either occasion it would be greatly appreciated. I really do believe this will be a fundamental step in getting those wonderful bells ringing again!
The ringing is;
 
St Mary’s, Southampton
 
Sunday 11th November: 14:30 – 15:15
 
Monday 12th November: 18:30 – 19:00 
Please let me know if you are available to help, it would be greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks,

Wedding Ringers Needed – Bitterne Park, Southampton for Saturday 21st July

***UPDATED 17/07/2018***** Band complete. Thanks to those helping out.

Hi all,

We have another upcoming wedding in Southampton for which I need some additional ringers.
Saturday 21st July 12:00 at Bitterne Park Southampton.
Please let me know if you are available to ring. I need 4 extra ringers at this time. Ideally able to ring plain bob/grandsire doubles confidently inside.
Many Thanks,

BBC to feature Southampton on Bells on Sunday

The BBC Bells on Sunday program is broadcast on Radio 4 early on Sundays and then is available on iPlayer
May 1st.   Southampton, St Michael.   Spliced Bristol & London No. 3 Surprise Royal.

May 13th.  Grafton Regis, Northants.    Plain bob Doubles.

May 20th.   Streatham, London.   Hortons 4 Spliced S. Major.

May 27th.   Adelaide Cathedral. Sth. Australia.   Grandsire Triples.

Guild Surprise Royal Practice Sunday 25th Feb (parking update)

Hi all,

The next surprise royal practice is as below;
Sunday 25th February 14:00 – 15:30
St Mary’s Southampton 
 
Focus Methods are: Bristol and Superlative No2.
We will of course ring C/Y/N as required.
As I’ve slightly lost track of a few changes, CAN YOU PLEASE REPLY to this email to let me know if you are hoping to attend, so that I can ensure we have enough.
There is a large church car park which is Pay and Display. Make sure you enter your car registration correctly as the private company who run the car park have fined people for simple mistakes before (1 instead of i, 0 instead of O etc).
If you can attend the practice please do as we currently just have enough to make it viable.
Many Thanks!

Funeral of Mervyn Bray

I regret to have to tell you that Mervyn Bray died over Christmas. He was tower captain at Bitterne Park for several years, a member of the Royal Naval Guild and regularly supported his local towers (Netley, Shedfield etc) when in better health.

His funeral will take place at 4pm on Friday 26th January 2018 at Wessex Vale Crematorium, Bubb Lane, West End, Southampton. SO30 2HL.

Kind regards,

Allison Joiner

Southampton – Ringing Resumes Jan 7th

Hi all,
There is no ringing in Southampton now until the new year.
The nature of our local band is that most of us go away from Southampton to see family or friends over the festive period meaning we rarely have enough remaining ringers in the city for sessions to go ahead.
The next ringing with be Sunday 7th January at Bitterne Park.
The next practice will be Monday 8th January at St Mike’s.
On behalf of the SCR committee, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Best wishes,
Daniel
Vice-Master and Steeple Keeper.

**sorted** Wedding ringers needed Fri 15th Dec Southampton 2.20pm

Hi all,
We have a wedding in Southampton on Friday 15th December that has asked for bells. Due to being a weekday most of the local band are unavailable.
I currently have 4 ringers available, so still need to find 2. If you are available to ring please let me know.
Friday 15/12/17 – 2pm @ St Mike’s Southampton (Meet 14:20). Ring after only.
Thanks,

Surprise Royal Practice – Sunday 26th November at Bitterne Park – 14:00 -15:30

Hi all,

I am now finally able to confirm the location of the next Surprise Royal Practice.

Sunday 26th November 14:00 – 15:30 BITTERNE PARK, Southampton.

Methods as usual to include C/Y/N plus Bristol Royal. If enough we will try some 3 spliced.

I have tried a few other towers this time away from Southampton but they were all unavailable.

Look forward to seeing lots of you on a Sunday!

Cheers,

Daniel Graham

Surprise Royal Practice Southampton St Michael’s Sun 22nd Oct 2pm

Hi all,

To confirm the October surprise royal practice will be going ahead;

Sunday 22nd October = 14:00 – 15:30
PLEASE arrive for a 14:00 start, the last few practices we haven’t had 10 until close to half past
Methods: Bristol and C/Y/N spliced and single as required.

I look forward to seeing lots of you then!!

Cheers,

Daniel

Southampton

Surprise Royal Practices continue – 4th Sunday of the Month – sign up here!

Hi all,
Firstly many thanks to all those who completed the feedback. It was very useful! What it did show was there was still a strong desire for practices to be continued, so after my summer off I am back to get things running again!
To make these practices as viable as possible, I am going to aim to start again in October, to allow people sufficient notice. I will advertise the next 4 practices, and using a Doodle poll, assess whether they are viable or not. All practices are on the 4th Sunday afternoon of the month. This still seems the best time for most people at present.
Please click the following link to indicate your availability;
The intention for locations would be;
22/10 – Bishopstoke
26/11 – North Stoneham
28/01 – St Mary’s, Southampton
25/02 – Hursley
I will update you towards the end of this month, so please now get signing up. Any comments/suggestion welcome, as always!
Thanks,
Southampton

**All Members Welcome** District Representative/Officer Forum – Representatives Needed – Saturday 30th Sept- Southampton

The District Representative/ Officer Forum is approaching fast.

We need three or four representatives from your district to guide the efforts of the Guild Officers and Exec. In considering options generated by the Action Plan, Sharing Ideas and thus making sure the energy of the volunteers on the Exec are using their time effectively.

How many Reps?
Three or four from each district would be good; they need not be District Officers, fill up a car.
Please encourage three or four of your district members to join us on Saturday 30th September, 9:45 am at St Barnabas Church Hall, Lodge Road, Southampton

Why should we send Representatives?

The Guild Exec and Officers are volunteers. They are happy to work towards items that benefit the ringers in the towers and support the Districts. However, none are known to be mind-readers so we need to know what would benefit each ringer and each District.

 What is being a problem, What is working for you. Share the good stuff; avoid repeating the less successful.

The Officers and Exec would really appreciate a nudge in the right direction.

Please contact your District Secretary and volunteer to represent your district.

 

Please let Heather Frazer know who is coming so we put out enough cups and chairs.

Thank You

Mike Winterbourne

Agenda

 

Congratulations Daniel and Sally Jayne

Sally Jayne Tompkins and Daniel Graham were married today in Christchurch Priory. A band from across the Guild  (and beyond) rang a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Cinques before the service:

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Christchurch, Dorset
Priory Church of the Holy Trinity
Saturday, 5 August 2017 in 0:55 (27 in D)
1320 Grandsire Cinques
Composed by D F Morrison (No.2350)
Edd Colliss (C)
John P Colliss
Christine R Hill
Anthony P Smith
Alison Hunt
Lizzie J Hough
Angie M E Jasper
Ian P Hunt
Alex W Tatlow
10 James A Hodkin
11 Peter W Hill
12 David J Mattingley
Arranged for, and rung prior to, the marriage of Sally-Jayne Tompkins and Daniel Graham at this church.

St George’s Day Ringing in Southampton

The Southampton City Ringers and friends marked St George’s day today with two quarter peals successfully scored in the city.

1282 Cambridge Surprise Royal was rung at St Michael’s first followed by 1280 Bristol Surprise Royal at St Mary’s afterwards.

Both quarter peals can be viewed on BellBoard;

St Michael’s – http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1169932

St Mary’s – http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1169898

This news was originally posted by Daniel Graham on the Southampton City Ringers Website