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.
Pictures supplied by Jan Richardson and Viv Nobbs.