Category Archives: Swanmore Ryde

Last Ringing at Swanmore (Ryde), Isle of Wight

Unfortunately, Swanmore church is closing their doors on the 31st December, meaning there will be no more ringing at Swanmore in 2019 at all.

Our last practice is Friday 21st, 6.30-7.30pm.  We will be ringing on Christmas Day and we will be ringing on Sunday the 30th for the last time.

Ringing times for Christmas Day is to be confirmed. Sunday 30th December is 2 till 3.30pm.

All ringers are welcome to join us for the last ringing on the bells at St Michael’s Swanmore before the church closes. If you haven’t rung there yet, this WILL be your last chance!

Lexi Skeldon




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!


Revd Canon Graham Morris rocked our Parish on Sunday with the news that he and his wife, Angela, have decided to move back to North Island to Cirencester and take up a post which will be closer to his family.

Members of the bell ringing team will miss them both deeply and we thank them both and their wider family for the help and encouragement with our ringing in the past six years.

We do, however, respect and understand their difficult decision to leave and we wish them well on the new chapter of their lives.

I wonder if I add another two bells to our tower could I persuade him to change his mind?!

The following statement was issued on Sunday from the Vicarage:

Statement to the Parish. 6th May 2018
These last few weeks have been filled with emotional highs and lows as Angela and I have faced up to some important challenges, for ourselves, and for our family. The time has come for us, to now accept a new challenge.
The Bishop of Tewkesbury has extended an invitation (subject to the usual safeguarding checks being made) for me to become the next Vicar of Cirencester in the Diocese of Gloucester.
After nineteen years here on the Island, this has been a difficult decision to make, and one that has caused us to reach deep into our hearts for the answer. We believe that God has answered our prayers in enabling us to continue in the work that we both love, i.e. serving a parish: whilst also becoming more easily accessible to our families at a time when their needs are as important as ours. Some of you will be aware of the personal circumstances surrounding my Dad, and of Angela’s decision to go and work for Amy. Returning to the Midlands, means we will be living midway between our parents in Herefordshire, Amy in Winchester and Tim in Portsmouth.
Island life has been fabulous and we shall miss it; being your priest for the last 6 years has been a real privilege. It is likely that we shall move at the end of July, and be inducted as Vicar of Cirencester early in September.
As we make this leap back across the water, we will of course be praying for you as the search for my successor begins. We hope that you will also pray for us as we embrace this new opportunity.

Canon Graham Morris.

Congratulations Jake Saddington – First Quarter Peal

Ryde, Isle of Wight
St Michael and All Angels, Swanmore
Sunday, 29 April 2018 in 40 mins (Sim)
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1 Kieran Downer (C)
2 Tristan Allen
3 Barry Downer
4 John R Stock
5 Margaret Downer
6 Jake Saddington
1st quarter peal – 6. Jake is the first Swanmore taught ringer to ring a quarter peal.
1st 6-bell quarter in the tower and 1st on the treble.

St Michael’s at Ryde Firsts

St Michael and All Angels Church, at Swanmore in Ryde was the tower with some notable firsts on Sunday.
The first first was for 16-year-old Jake Saddington who, as a Swanmore-taught ringer, rang his first quarter peal covering on the 6-bell simulator. May congratulations are due to him for all his hard work in getting to this stage at a fairly rapid rate.
Kieran Downer clocked up another first with ringing his ‘first’ on the ‘new’ treble.
The final first is recording that this is the first ever 6-bell quarter peal recorded for this tower, albeit on a simulator. Well done to all the team at Swanmore for all their enthusiasm and hard work in getting a team up and running.
The event is recorded for Ringing World as follows:
Sunday, 29 April 2018 in 40 mins (Sim)
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1 Kieran Downer (C)
2 Tristan Allen
3 Barry Downer
4 John R Stock
5 Margaret Downer
6 Jake Saddington
1st quarter peal – 6. Jake is the first Swanmore taught ringer to ring a quarter peal.
1st 6-bell quarter in the tower and 1st on the treble.
Well deserved congratulations all round.

Swanmore School Learn the Ropes

On Tuesday morning (24th April) Haylands Primary School at Swanmore, Ryde, visited St Michael’s Church, for a look to see how bells are rung and were given a tour of the tower.

Some 56 year-one children with their teachers were split into four groups and were guided by Tower Captain Lexi Skeldon together with Kieran Downer, Jan Hookey and John Stock on hand to help with ringing and teaching about the church and its working bells. All of the group took a bell to have a go at ringing backstroke, some more successfully than others!

An enjoyable morning was had by all with a darkened room required for the helpers to recover afterwards!



The festivities are finally over and the clamour and pressure for all of us for our time to attend various towers for Advent, Christmas and New Year ringing is over for another year. Now would be a good time to reflect how we, as ringers, actually view our place in our little part of the ringing world.

Have a good look and ponder at what you actually do. Do you visit another tower to help or go to learn how they work and gain further experience? Or are you just a ‘my tower practice night and Sunday ringer at my tower’ sort of person? Or ‘they don’t ring what I’d like to ring’ ringer?

Whatever experience any of us have as a ringer can be helpful to other towers and will help you in your ringing experience.

Time is, of course, the problem for many of us. However, if you make your mind up to make at least just one extra trip per month to another tower and force yourself out of your comfort zone you will be helping other teams and gain more friends within our tight community.

Some of us are not getting any younger and it is nearly time for some of us to step aside and let younger ringers take over our responsibilities. We need everyone to ‘pull together’ (pun intended) and give more thought to the future of ringing, wherever we are based.

There are a lot of ringers, particularly on the Island and I would think in the Guild in general, who are now getting on in years and feel that they have carried the responsibilities for long enough and would like to relinquish some of those responsibilities to younger ringers so that ringing may carry on after we are no longer able to take part. We still enjoy our ringing but would like more time to ‘ring’ not ‘organise’!

We also need to encourage younger ringers to join our ranks, not an easy task I know, and still difficult to get the word ‘out there’ and to get our enthusiasm for this ancient art more widely known, and not just when national celebrations bring us to the fore, as they will again in May and November this year.

So I ask, as the new year begins, think about what you might actually be able to achieve with just a bit more thought and organising of your time.

Happy New Year all…

Lexi Skeldon, Tower Captain at St Michael’s Church, Swanmore (Ryde), posted the following on Facebook and I thought it might be worth repeating here.

Over to Lexi:

Now it is the new year we now have 6 BELLS at Swanmore (Ryde)!! 🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔.

We have Jake and Kiera who are ready to move on to Grandsire Doubles tennoring behind!! But because we rarely ever get help they can’t! 😭😭

Because, “new year new me”. How about you make it a new year thing to come and help the lovely Swanmore ringers progress 💪 especially as ringers all over the island keep saying “wouldn’t it be nice for young people to ring”? EXCEPT NO ONE BOTHERS TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!

Every ringer or tower on the island is after all ONE BIG TEAM!! so why not help each other?

We also have Sarah, who is on call changes, and Phoebe, Lily and Edward who are just coming onto call changes and we need people to help them!

Our tower is a tower specifically for young ringers so why not come and help them progress! Even if you’re only on call changes yourself! It will still help!!

Our practice night is EVERY TUESDAY 6.30 TILL 7.30, so its only an hour of your time! And why wouldn’t you want to spend that hour with my lovely Swanmore Munchkins?

Hope to see a full tower on Tueday!!

Swanmore (IoW) Christmas ringing times

Tuesday 19th December, practice night, 6:15pm.
Sunday 24th December, ringing 1pm – 1:30pm. Christmas Eve Singles to be rung!
Monday 25th December, service ringing, 9:30 – 10am. TBC
Tuesday 26th December, no practice
Sunday 31st December, ringing out 2017, 3pm – 3:30pm
Monday 1st January, ringing in 2018, 12noon – 12:30pm. Party afterwards!
Tuesday 2nd January, practice night, 6:15pm


Remember all ringers who would like to attend the Isle of Wight District Christmas knees up on Saturday, 9th December, at St Michael’s Church, Swanmore near Ryde, you need to give the numbers from your tower of those attending to Lexi Skeldon or Kieran Downer by this Saturday (3rd December) at the very latest.

Don’t be shy, you will enjoy it! Don’t forget it is also free, as the team at Swanmore are providing this for us, but they would like prize donations for the raffle and/or money donations to their tower fund.

Dress up if you like, or not, as the mood takes you – I get the feeling we might remember this party!


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.


St Michael and All Angels Church at Swanmore, Ryde, made history for ringing on the Isle of Wight on Saturday and kicked off celebrations for the historical 70th wedding anniversary of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip this coming Monday.

It should be noted that no monarch in British history has achieved this milestone.

For the first time ever at this tower a quarter peal on five bells was rung on the simulator, all those ringing recording a first at doing so.

Details are recorded as follows for publication in The Ringing World:

Saturday, 18 November 2017 in 38 mins (Sim)
1260 Doubles (6m/p)
60 Stedman, 240 each of St Martins, St Simon’s, Reverse Canterbury, Plain Bob and Grandsire
1 Tristan Allen
2 Margaret Downer
3 Barry Downer
4 John R Stock
5 Kieran Downer (C)
Rung to celebrate the 70th Wedding anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip.
First Doubles ever rung in the tower
First on a dumbbell – 3, 5
First on a simulator for all.
Swanmore and its ringers are to be congratulated and should be proud of this milestone achievement.


OK folks it’s time to dust off your party frocks and suits and prepare for the festive season.

The isle of Wight District Christmas Party is this year being hosted for the first time by the team at St Michael’s Church, Swanmore, near Ryde.

Lexi Skeldon needs to know if you are planning to attend by Saturday, 2nd December. The party will take place on Saturday 9th December and we are told it is going to be the best yet, so there’s a challenge!

5:30pm ringing followed by party in the church hall at 6:30

Fancy dress is optional but I’m told there will be lots to eat, with games and silliness being obviously on the menu too. All this will be FREE so you have absolutely no excuse for not supporting this annual event.

If you would like any further information either contact myself or Lexi through the usual channels.


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Put Swanmore on your Bucket List for Next Year!

Six teams from four Island towers enjoyed a fun morning’s ringing at the 2nd annual 3-bell striking contest – The Swanmore Cup. Swanmore’s team Jake won the contest with a very high score of 9.5 out of 10. Full results below. Each team judged each other and was enjoyed by all.

1st – Swanmore ‘Team Jake’ – 9.5 out of 10
2nd – Ryde – 9 out of 10
3rd – Shanklin – 8 out of 10
4th – Swanmore ‘Team Phoebe’ – 6 out of 10
Joint 5th – Brading/Swanmore ‘Team Sarah’ – 6 out of 10

Picture is of the winning team with the stunning Swanmore Cup! Jake has been ringing around five months and has progressed very well!

Next years contest will take place on Saturday 29th September!



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)


Could we have some adult ringers come and help at Swanmore please? We have 5 kids just about to progress to rounds/call changes but can’t because we don’t get enough help from other island ringers! We are all one big team so why not help at other towers?
Practices are Tuesdays, 630 till 730.
It’s only an hour of your time, plus my Swanmore kids are pretty awesome so why wouldn’t you want to ring with them? They’ll make day better!
Thank you 🙂 also I’m not there tonight due to work so the kids need your help more than ever, DO IT FOR THE KIDS!

First Quarter Peal at St Michael and All Angels (Ryde)

Good Friday saw the first-ever quarter peal rung on the three steel bells at this unique Tower.

A 1260 of Plain Hunt and Plain Bob Singles was rung by Tristan Allen (treble), Kieran Downer (2, cond) and Lexi Skeldon (3).

The quarter was rung fully muffled and dedicated for Good Friday and also as a farewell to the Revd Jane Isaac, who will shortly be moving from her position at St Michael’s and All Saints at Ryde, to Shedfield with Wickham. Her induction service will take place at Shedfield on Monday, 8th May.

All of us at Ryde bid her and husband David a very fond farewell and wish them well in their new location.

St Michael’s, Swanmore, Go Weekly


Ringing at St Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde, Tuesday 10 January:

Great news from Kieran Downer and the team – there’s so much interest in the bells here (see Pompey Chimes, yes they’re in there – again!) that a weekly practice night is needed! So if you are local and you’d like to find out about bellringing, you’re an absolute beginner or wanting to improve or learn about the uniqueness of 3-bell rounds… see you on Tuesdays from 6.15pm at St Michael’s (Wray Street entrance). Ring the bell outside the vestry door and you will be shown the way to the tower.

Several young learners who started last year getting on very well with handling and getting to grips with all things bells – well done all of you.

Those of you organising tours to the Island will find these unique steel bells are now on the ‘to go to’ list when you are over here, so rise to the challenge! That now makes 15 ringing towers on the Island for you to choose to ring at. Really not enough hours in the day are there? Better make your trip a week and enjoy some of our other world renowned attractions whilst here. Tourist advisers on hand if you need them – just ask!

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. 🙂

Isle of Wight Ringers Holding a 3-bell Striking Competition – Oct 1st

🔔🔔🔔ON SATURDAY 1st October 🔔🔔🔔
St Micheals Swanmore Ryde are holding the first EVER 3 bell striking competition!!!
anyone can enter 3 people per team. learners are also welcome to compete as there are NO RULES 🚫

Anything can be rung from rounds to method ringing if you’re brave!😜
Draw is at 1030!
if you’re wanting to enter but can’t find 2 others to enter please contact Lexi or Kieran and we’ll sort something out for you!

There are other things going on in the church throughout the day as well including a tour of the tower! so anyone is welcome even if you don’t fancy a challenge on these magnificent steel ring of 3!
we also need a few helpers throughout the day to help with tower tours and some other bits so if you can give us a hand it will be extremely appreciated!


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

4 Firsts for ringers on the Isle of Wight

The bells at Swanmore, Ryde, Isle of Wight
The Bells at Swanmore, Ryde

Rang at Swanmore yesterday to celebrate St David’s Day. Cerise rang her first call changes on three, Nita-Marghanita, Tristan and Keiran rang Shipping Forecast Singles for the first time. At Ryde, Margaret turned the tenor in to Plain Bob Major for the first time – a good start then to firsts fortnight!

Kiaran Downer Reporting.

ISLE OF WIGHT ADM Feb 20th 2016

Ringing at Ryde and at Swanmore

Ryde will be hosting the Annual District Meeting on Saturday, 20th February.
Ringing only will take place at All Saints from 2:30pm with ringing also at St Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde, at the same time in tandem.

Service, Tea and Meeting

At St Michael’s a short Church service to be taken by Revd Jane Isaac will be held at 4:30, followed by tea to be organised by Ryde ringers, the meeting will then complete the afternoon.
This is an all-Island event so please try and schedule this in to all your busy lives and make this a larger gathering than is usual. Things discussed WILL be pertinent to you as an Island bell ringer and we need YOUR input and opinions.
Any inquiries please contact Mary Tester.

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