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NHS 70 – 15 Isle of Wight towers ringing



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Viv Nobbs reflects on the day:

A true Jamboree…ringers, visitors and NHS Ambassadors!

I’m sure all ringers wish to thank NHS on the Island for asking us to join their 70th Anniversary fun in this way and to work alongside them for several months for our mutual benefit and enjoyment.

The aim was 15 towers out of 15 ringing and it was achieved with much team effort. Island ringers turned up trumps, as ever! Thank you all.

Bishop writes in support

Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth has sent his message saying it was a remarkable endeavour adding “I’m bowled over by the scope and ambition of the ringing and delighted you celebrated the NHS 70th birthday so well. Please pass on my good wishes to all who participated.”

It was wonderful and so very special indeed to take part in such a splendid celebration….a great opportunity to meet up with ringing friends from the local area and beyond. Five were on holiday and joined the merry throng and four came out of retirement  “For the day” to help the Roving Ringers who were helping to ensure all towers were able to participate. A busy time of year and not all local ringers were available, of course.  We wonder if those returning to ring just for the occasion will have enjoyed it so much that…..well, who knows?!

Debbie Pollock (L), NHS Ambassador, presents the Chale certificate to Lynette Atkinson (R)

Our churches’ visitors went off with Ringing Remembers recruitment leaflets, distributed by the NHS Ambassadors, our partners for the event. One visitor and one NHS lad were former ringers we discovered (one a peal ringer) …we’ll all be in touch again, for sure!

The majority of participating towers were visited by NHS ambassadors and they presented certificates of participation to towers and the ringers. The remaining ones will be presented with their certificates in the next week.

It was a hot, long and very busy day so the tea and cakes kindly set up ready for us by the congregation members at Chale, before we joined them for their service, were delicious and very welcome.

John Stock reported that when they’d started ringing at Freshwater at 5 p.m. several folk entered the church to thank them excitedly for ringing for England’s football victory!

Yes, it was indeed a superb result for us all!

Viv Nobbs
All Saints’ Ryde ringer and W. and P. Guild P.R.O.

Jane Followill Reports from Swanmore and Brading:

Wowsers! What a day!

We started our day ringing on the three bells at Swanmore. We had approximately 15 ringers ranging from learners to experienced and of all ages. Rounds were rung in the 45 minutes with a little plain hunt at the end. Our NHS representative, Sarah Kearney, respiratory clinical nurse specialist had a go. She stayed the whole time and thanked us very much.

Brading next! Ringing on all 8 with again about 15 ringers. Unfortunately, Jay Nevett, healthcare assistant was unable to attend due to family matters. Rounds and call changes were rung in the 45 minutes.

Time for lunch… At St Saviour’s on the cliff in Shanklin. Jan Hookey set up a tea and biscuits station. Yummy! All 8 bells were rung… Again, rounds and call changes.

Andy Hollebon, Head of Communication made a small speech thanking us all very much, not only for ringing today but also for our WW1 ringing efforts. He apologised for not everyone having certificates but didn’t realise there were going to be so many of us ringing! He assured that more would be sent through.
A little bird had told us that Andy had dabbled with ringing in the past and he was offered an opportunity to ring again. Let’s hope he takes it up again in the future!

A fantastic day was had by all and it was great to see six young ringers joining us!

Happy Birthday NHS!


Saturday saw the Isle of Wight bell ringers come together and pull all the stops out to have a day of remembrance, ringing and raising funds for the World War I Books of Remembrance.

St Thomas’s at Newport was the gathering point at 10am where we managed to have enough ringers to ring 10 of the 12 bells, however things didn’t go quite as plain sailing as we had hoped as in addition to the already broken stay on the 8 we managed to pair the 7 with it as well! Sorry Newport!

Visiting ringers from the Guildford Guild area of Dunsfold joined us for the day also together with visitors joining us for ringing at the various towers en route.

We did, however, remember the three ringers from this tower who lost their lives in the Great War. They were William John Curtis Millgate, Alfred James Hale and Frederick James Chiverton.

Viv and Graham Nobbs then cycled to Godshill as part of the challenge for the day’s fundraising, distributing leaflets and cajoling passers by with bell ringing information and recruitment on the Island.

At Godshill we gathered speed with more ringers joining the day out and here we remembered local ringer F. Dennis.

We managed some method ringing here too and, adding insult to injury, as Viv called to chime Queens at the lower the rope on the treble fell to the floor in front of her. Thankfully things improved from thereon!

Lunch was then taken at various venues with some of us taking advantage of the superb weather and enjoying a picnic in the recreation ground at Godshill, with Toby Teddy supplied by Shanklin Sports Shop and Toymaster as mascot for the day leading the way.

The group then split into two with Viv and Graham heading off on their bikes again to Whitwell, where ringer Cyril George Petchey was remembered and then onto Niton where tea and cake were on offer to those taking part by the local band there.
The second group, led by John Stock, headed off to Arreton followed by the last stop at Brading where the intended Teddy Bear picnic didn’t quite happen but Brading ringers put on a good tea with some more ringing.
The day was more successful than we could have imagined and we thank all who took part in whatever way you participated. It was a mammoth task organising the day but the weather made all the difference.
At the end the total toward the World War I Project ended with £326 being raised. A huge effort from island ringers who deserve a huge thank you for their efforts.
John Stock
Pictures supplied by Jan Richardson and Viv Nobbs.


If you are not able to read this go to the PDF file at the bottom or visit our webpage, sorry it was the best I could do in the time.

It is all for a good cause so if any of you ‘North Islanders’ fancy a day out please come and join us and help raise some funds for the Great War Commemoration volumes project.



ride and car event 5 may

teddy tea party 5 may

Queen’s Guide Award for Brading Ringer

Saturday evening was a very special occasion for Brading ringer Cerise Moody.

At the Palace of Westminster she was awarded her Queen’s Badge for Guiding. Cerise has worked long and hard to achieve this well-deserved award and all Island ringers I am sure would wish to congratulate her on this momentous achievement.

A message was also given to her by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as President of the Guide movement and the award was presented to Cerise by Head Guide Amanda Medler.

Photographs by courtesy of Marghanita Allen.

Brading Christmas Ringing Times

Thursday 21st December, practice night with drinks and nibbles, 7pm.
Sunday 24th December, service ringing, 8:50 – 9:20am
Sunday 24th December, Midnight Mass ringing, 11 – 11:30pm
Monday 25th December, service ringing, 8:50 – 9:20am
Thursday 28th December, no practice
Sunday 31st December, service ringing, 8:50 – 9:20am
Sunday 31st December, New Year ringing, 11:40pm – 12:20am, party afterwards!
Thursday 4th January, practice night, 7pm.


The Isle of Wight towers continued in the celebration of the 70th Wedding  Anniversary of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip with ringing on Sunday at Shanklin, the team recorded ringing as follows:

St Saviour on the Cliff
Sunday, 19 November 2017 in 10 mins (18–0–14 in E)
1–2 Kieran Downer
3 Maureen Kelly
4 Anna Burns
5 Jan Hookey
6 Derek Pittard
7 Marghanita Allen
8 Tristan Allen
Rung before morning Mass to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip


Ryde managed a quarter peal during Monday afternoon, the day of the anniversary, with one ringer scoring her first ever quarter peal.

Ryde (All Saints’), Isle of Wight
Monday, 20 November 2017 in 49 min
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1 Anne Deegan
2 John R Stock
3 Jill Taylor
4 Roy Tillcock
5 Adrian Burns (C)
6 Peter Taylor
Rung in Celebration of the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip on this Day.
First ever quarter peal: 1.
St Michael’s at Swanmore in Ryde also took part on Monday with the following:

St Michael and All Angels, Swanmore
Monday, 20 November 2017 in 20 mins (2 in F♯)
Rounds and Call Changes
1 Phoebe Allen
2 Kiera Joy
3 Sarah Saddington
Rung to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip
Also present were Jake Saddington, Lexi Skeldon, Kieran Downer, Damian Allen.
Brading also sought to join in the celebration with their bells ringing out also on the day:
St Mary the Virgin
Monday, 20 November 2017 in 20 mins (9–3–19 in G)
Rounds and Call Changes
1 Robyn Downer
2 June Mitchell
3 Barry Downer
4 Mitchell Reeves
5 Marilyn Gage
6 Margaret Downer
7 Jan Hookey
8 Geoffrey Wilkins
Rung to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip.
Also present were Lexi Skeldon, Jake Saddington, Sarah Saddington, Kiera Joy, Kieran Downer.
I feel sure more reports from Island towers will reach me in due course, of which I will record when details emerge.

100 Years On… We Do Remember Them

Members of Brading, Shanklin and Ryde bands assembled at St Mary’s Church, Brading, on Sunday evening to remember the family member of one ringer.
100 year’s ago to the day at the age of 35, William Brett, the grandfather of Jill Taylor, was killed in action during World War I, leaving a widow and Jill’s mother at the age of just 5.
The well-struck quarter peal is recorded on Bellboard as follows:
Brading, Isle of Wight
St Mary the Virgin
Sunday, 15 October 2017 in 42 mins (9–3–19 in G)
1260 Grandsire Triples
1 Robyn Downer
2 June Mitchell
3 John R Stock
4 Jill Taylor
5 Margaret Downer
6 Kieran Downer
7 Barry Downer (C)
8 Peter Taylor
Rung half muffled in memory of 2nd Lieutenant William Frank Brett, of this parish, 24th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, died 15/10/1917 aged 35. 17/32.
Jill Taylor (4th) is the granddaughter of William
The team assembled afterwards at the War Memorial for a group photo, which was taken by 6-year-old Mitchell.
L-r: John Stock, Kieran Downer, Revd Barry Downer, Margaret Downer, Jill Taylor, Robyn Downer (behind Jill), Peter Taylor and June Mitchell.

Brading Rise to the Challenge

Saturday, 7th October, saw the annual competition take place on the Island for the Fred Green Memorial Change Ringing shield. Fred was a ringer of long standing at Freshwater and this year the competition took place at his home tower. Freshwater is a 6-bell tower with a 17cwt tenor.

Five towers entered the competition with a scratch team made up to give us something to aim for! 120 changes of any method of Doubles or Minor can be rung.

Julian Hemper from Devizes in Wiltshire, a former Ryde ringer, journeyed over to judge the afternoon’s efforts. His helpful comments after the ringing and before announcing the awarded points were all taken on board and appreciated by all the teams.

First to ring were the team from Ryde, who suffered a mishap with the treble during the 2-minute trial which unsettled the team a bit. Next to ring were Brading, followed by Shanklin, Freshwater, Brighstone and finally the scratch team, Team Isle of Wight (TIOW). The order of points awarded were as follows: 1st, Brading (12½ faults); 2nd, Brighstone ( 16½ faults); 3rd were the TIOW but were not challenging for the shield (17 faults); 3rd, Shanklin (19½ faults); 4th, Ryde (21 faults); 5th Freshwater (32½ faults). So with only 20 points between first and fifth a very credible afternoon of ringing.

The team from Brading were: 1, Robyn Downer; 2, Marghanita Allen; 3, Geoff Wilkins; 4, Margaret Downer; 5, Revd Barry Downer (conductor); 6, Kieran Downer.

Photo shows the winning team with (left to right): judge Julian Hemper, Revd Barry Downer, Marghanita Allen, Robyn Downer, Kieran Downer, Margaret Downer and Geoff Wilkins with mascot Mitchell holding the well deserved certificate.

Our thanks to District Master Jenny Brudenell and Secretary Mary Tester for organising the event, to Julian for making the supreme effort of battling our transport system and especially to the Freshwater team for the superb spread of sandwiches and cakes to go with the tea and coffee. In all a very sociable afternoon.


Saturday, 23rd September, is Isle of Wight Day and to celebrate lots of events were organised and took place across the Island.

Bell ringing included general ringing from Newchurch, with a 9am start! Ryde, Swanmore, Brading and Shanklin also took part and a quarter peal at Brighstone was scored.

Brighstone, Isle of Wight
St Mary the Virgin
Saturday, 23 September 2017 in 37mins (7–1–15 in B♭)
1260 Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles
1 Rodney Downer
2 Clarissa Turton
3 Beccy Noyes
4 Dan Ruszczyk
5 Stephen Noyes (C)
6 Caroline P Jones
First quarter: 6
For Isle of Wight Day
Kieran Downer watches nephew Mitchell at Shanklin as he rings the tenor.
(Photo Marghanita Allen)


Last Saturday (19th August) Brading hosted their annual Teddy Bear Parachute Jump.

All started well with approximately 62 teddy’s and assorted animals willing to take the jump from Brading tower.

As with all events not everything always goes according to plan!         After a good start outside, some of the teddy’s got a bit too adventurous as the wind picked up and ended up in nearby trees and on a roof!

After a quick rethink the event was transferred inside the church and the teddy’s jumped from the bell ringing chamber which overlooks the West Door. Some looked aghast at what they were being asked to do and after one landed face-first on the concrete floor he decided a second (free) jump was beyond his capabilities and endurance.

Photo: Jane Followill

Tommy made quite an impression with local villagers and passers-by, drawing in people to see what was going on. Timmy didn’t do a jump tho… He wouldn’t have got up the ladder… He had had a few too many vodkas before coming out to play. Silly old bear.

£137 was raised towards the Brading Bell Restoration Fund and the afternoon was judged to be the most successful to date.

Belles on a Winning Streak

Local Brading bell ringer Libby, daughter of Jane Followill, also a Brading ringer, has been doing the rounds of local Island carnivals this year and doing rather well for the Sandown Carnival Queen float Queen of the Nile.

Libby was selected as one of the Queen’s along with others at a competition earlier in the year and is representing Sandown Council on their float for this year. Several Island towns and villages hold carnivals annually with the season culminating with a big illuminated procession at Ryde, this year on September 2nd, with the procession moving off at 8.30pm.

All floats entered in their respective classes are judged and Sandown is doing rather well with several firsts under their belt from carnivals that have already taken place.

Photos by Jane Followill


Brading bell ringers are organising a Teddy Bear Parachute Jump for Saturday, 19th August. The event is to help raise further money for the Brading Bell Restoration Fund and will take place from 12.00 – 3.00pm.

Watch your teddy fly from the top of Brading Church tower for £1.50, the second jump is free! If it rains a zip wire is to be substituted.

Prizes will be awarded for the fastest and slowest jump times. Refreshments, tombola and other things going on to keep you occupied while your teddy does the death-defying leap!

Come and join us to see what fun afternoon it can be.

Tristan has Downer’s with Minor Success

We here on the Isle of Wight offer our hearty congratulations to Tristan Allen on achieving his first ever peal on Saturday at the age of 13 years and 11 months. He started ringing at 5 so has worked hard to get this.
Joining him in the band were Uncle Kieran Downer, who conducted, and Grandfather Barry Downer and Great-uncle Rodney Downer.  Well done Tristan – the first of many I feel!
Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Whitwell, Isle of Wight
St Mary the Virgin and St Rhadegunde
Saturday, 21 January 2017 in 2hrs 31mins (6–1–18 in B♭)
5040 Minor (3m)
1440 Grandsire, 1440, Single Oxford, 2160 Plain Bob
1 Tristan M Allen
2 Caroline J C May
3 Rodney D Downer
4 Graham A Nobbs
5 Revd Barry M Downer
6 Kieran Downer (C)
First peal – 1

Brading socks it…

So getting all Christmasy just got more novel at Brading.

Remember the Christmas carol’ While Shepherds washed their socks by night…’? Brading has taken this to a whole new level.

With the noise when the bells are ringing in the ringing room becoming a nuisance when trying to call changes or touches, some bright spark came up with the idea of placing a sock over the clappers to help deaden the sound a bit, enough to do the job but not to make them sound too much like a normal muffle.

Apparently there are varying sizes from small diddy feet near the size of clapper required up to the Revd Barry’s size 10s, so from now on beware when visiting the Brading team – make sure you wear clean socks and don’t remove your shoes, you’ll go home sockless but happy that you managed to ring everything and heard what you were supposed to do.

Quite a feet I feel for such old bells!

So if you want a last minute Christmas present why not try some ‘holy socks’ for that special church person in your life, Brading will shortly have some for sale and they are still looking for money for the Bell Restoration Fund!

I tried to ‘pair’ this post down a bit but failed miserably!

Any jokes for your Christmas table you know where I am!

Enjoy your Christmas and happy ringing to all of you.

John Stock


Cerise Moody from Lake has been awarded the Queen’s Guide Award, the highest attainable award for members of the Girlguiding movement.

In order to achieve the Queen’s Guide award, Cerise had to successfully complete 5 different areas of personal challenge. She chose Bellringing for her “personal challenge”, and has continued as a member of her band, ringing at Brading, and also at Arreton when she can fit it around her Guiding commitments!

To read the full story (from Bake Off to Peak Camp) click here

Quarter Peal for the event – click here

Shanklin Band Wins the Fred Green Change Ringing Competition 2016

Congratulations to Shanklin who came first in the Fred Green change ringing competition on Saturday. Daniel Graham was our able judge. The competition took place at Arreton – thanks for the tea and cake! Seven teams took part.
1st Shanklin
2nd Brading
3rd Godshill
4th Ryde.
Well done all who entered.
Mary Tester

Swanmore IoW 3-bell Striking Competition – Kieran Downer Writes

Had a great, good fun morning’s ringing at Swanmore in the 3 bell striking contest on Ocober 1st! Three teams entered and enjoyed the contest – the only rule being 5 minutes of ringing.

  • Swanmore came 3rd ,
  • Ryde came 2nd,
  • Brading came 1st. 🙂


A wonderful opportunity for some ringing thanks to a request to us from the Island’s High Sheriff.

Plenty of fun to be had… why not seek out the bells and the Ringers’ Tea?

Here are the latest details:

  • 10.30 a.m. Shanklin . (Quarter Peal)
  • 11.00 a.m. Whitwell
  • Just before 12 noon Brighstone
  • Just before    1 p.m. Brighstone
  • 1 p.m. Brading (Quarter Peal)
  • 2 p.m. Carisbrooke.
  • 3 p.m. Newport
  • 3 p.m. St. Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde.
  • 4.15 p.m. – 5.30 p.m Freshwater………..Ringing and Ringers’ Tea with
 Isle of Wight Cake
  • 6 p.m. – 7.15 p.m. Shorwell.


  • CHALE is dedicating its Sunday service ringing to this great event

Half-muffled Peal Success at Ryde

On Saturday a Peal was achieved in memory of David Dark, details were as follows:
Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Ryde, Isle of Wight
All Saints
Saturday, 30 July 2016 in 3hrs 8mins (26–2–2)
5040 Grandsire Triples
Composed by J J Parker
1 Graham A Nobbs
2 Vivien C Nobbs
3 Julian J Hemper
4 Jennifer C M Hancock
5 David W Hacker
6 Revd Barry M Downer
7 Kieran Downer (C)
8 Christopher D Jenkins
Rung half-muffled in memory of David William George Dark, 21/02/1925 – 06/04/2016, step father of the 3rd ringer. A very special man who touched the hearts of all who knew him. Rest in peace, David, God Bless.
Circled the tower – 1
The team, from left to right as the number of the bell they rang, commencing with treble ringer on the left, following the successful Peal.
The team, from left to right as the number of the bell they rang, commencing with treble ringer on the left, following the successful Peal.


Brading Take the Trophy PLUS Quarters for the Queen’s Birthday

In a busy couple of days of ringing on the Island there have been two quarter peals scored and a Striking Competition with eight Island teams entering.

The two quarter peals were as follows to celebrate the birthdays of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip:

Brading, Isle of Wight

St Mary the Virgin
Friday, 10 June 2016 in 41 mins (6–2–0 in B)
1290 Doubles (2m)
Plain Bob and Grandsire
1 Tristan Allen
2 June Mitchell
3 John R Stock
4 Kieran Downer (C)
5 Marghanita Allen
6 Lexi Skeldon
Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the 95th birthday of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
First in more than one method – 5

Shanklin, Isle of Wight

St Saviour on the Cliff
Saturday, 11 June 2016 in 42 mins (10–2–5 in G#)
1290 Grandsire Doubles
1 Tristan Allen
2 John R Stock
3 June Mitchell
4 Marghanita Allen
5 Kieran Downer (C)
6 Jan Hookey
Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the 95th birthday of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

The striking competition, held at Shorwell on Saturday afternoon, was judged by Mr Rodney Downer and the teams entered were:

1: Shorwell, 100 faults

2: Ryde, 10 faults – 2nd

3: Chale, 18 faults – 3rd

4: Brading 1, 7 faults – 1st

5: Brighstone, 34 faults

6: Brading 2, 19 faults, 4th

7: Godshill 1, 35 faults

8: Godshill A, 48 faults

A scratch team from Whitwell were also entered but did not compete.

Well done to all who entered and made this competition worth the ringing.


The Brading winning ‘A Team’ with the Lester Bailey Trophy and judge Rodney Downer (left).


Four teams comprising teams from Brading, Brighstone, a Godshill/Arreton band and a Ryde/Godshill/Newport band  competed for the Don Exell Memorial 8-Bell Striking Competition Trophy yesterday (16th April) at Newport Minster.

Ryde emerged first, retaining the trophy for the third year, with Brading, second. A big thank you to all taking part and to Newport tower for hosting the event and supplying the always necessary tea and cakes.

Ringing was difficult on these bells for those not used to ringing on larger rings of bells but well done to all for participating and making such a social event possible.

We also thank the judge (Andrew) for coming over from the Mainland to do the judging under what were sometimes challenging circumstances, with visitors trying to interrupt the proceedings.

It’s the final countdown for W & P’s Young Ringers.

With just one more practice today at Carisbrooke to go, the countdown to the Inaugural  South East Youth  Striking Contest on Saturday has begun for our young ringers.

W and P’s team  has 8 young people .. four from Guernsey (students at Elizabeth College and also ringers at Town Church) and four from The Isle of Wight (Brading, Brighstone Newport and Shorwell towers).

It is quite interesting to see what they will all be getting up to all day.

Guild Master Viv Knobbs said;

“This has been a great opportunity for young ringers from two Districts to work constructively together and to have fun!
We hope that it’ll be a positive event to help keep them motivated and interested in their ringing.
Assuming the contest is successful in its first year, we’d hope to be invited again; we’d be able to have more time to plan ahead and to work towards more of our  “W and P” young ringers being involved next year. “Win, win” then!”

We wish all of them the very best of luck!

Inaugural South East England Youth Striking Contest!!

Firsts Fortnight news from Brading (Isle of Wight)

Firsts Fortnight 1st - 15th March 2016Kieran Downer, (Isle of Wight) is pleased to report from Brading

  • Jane  Followill rang the treble to Grandsire Doubles
  • Cerise  Moody rang the tenor behind without anybody standing behind
  • Sam  rang the tenor
  • Libby Followill rang 3 new bells in one evening (5, 6, 7)
  • Mitchell Downer (aged  4 years!) called some call changes and