Category Archives: Purbrook

PURBROOK – St John the Baptist. No ringing for now.

It has unfortunately been decided to stop ringing, both for the Sunday service and Wednesday Evening practice, as part of precautions considered under the present worldwide Corona Virus outbreak.

Arrangements are in hand to extend the tenor bell to allow tolling from the ground floor. Normal ringing will be resumed as soon as it is thought sensible to do so.

Ringing cancellations due to COVID-19

Coronavirus: UK ringing should now be cancelled

The UK government has advised against all unnecessary social contact with immediate effect. The Prime Minister advised in a press conference of 16th March that now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

The Central Council has released a statement in response to the UK government. They advise that If you haven’t already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so. The Ringing World agrees with this statement. It is hard to interpret the government’s guidance in any way other than that all planned ringing activities in the UK should now cease.



I have been made aware that ringing has been suspended at the following towers due to COVID-19 concerns:

Alton, St. Laurence, All Saints and Holybourne – all ringing suspended.

Alverstoke – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Basingstoke, St. Michael’s – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Blackmoor – all ringing suspended.

Bournemouth, St. John’s, St. Peters and Scared Heart – all ringing suspended.

Bramshott – all service and practice ringing until at least the end of March where the situation will be reviewed.

Brockenhurst – no ringing until further notice.

Buriton – all ringing suspended.

Catherington – ringing cancelled, but may be some limited Sunday ringing if services continue.

Christchurch Priory – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Eling – all ringing suspended.

Froxfield – all ringing suspended.

Havant – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Hawkley – all ringing suspended and the tied practices on 6-8-10th April postponed.

Hursley – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Newport – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Portsmouth Cathedral – all ringing suspended.

Purbrook – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Romsey – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Selborne – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Shanklin – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Shedfield – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Southampton (St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s and Bitterne Park) – all ringing suspended.

Steep – all ringing suspended.

Titchfield – all ringing suspended.

Upham – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Upton Grey – all ringing cancelled until further notice.

Warnford – all ringing suspended.

West Meon – all ringing suspended.

Wickham – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Winchester Cathedral – all ringing suspended until further notice.

Wonston – no practices until further notice.

Portsmouth District – all District events are cancelled including the April QDM.

Winchester District – all District events and the striking competition in May are cancelled until further notice.

Please let me know via of any other cancellations and I will add them to this list.


Andrew Glover

W&P Guild Webmaster




Purbrook’s Sound Control

An important part of the bell installation, because of the close proximity of neighbouring houses, was a sound control system to reduce the sound level during practice and other similar events.

The belfry has louvred window frames and sound boards are closed by a cord and pulley system from the clock room.

The boards are hinged at the bottom edge.

The cord system heads one floor below.

Draft excluder is fitted to the edges, which also stops sound leaks. It is noticible that passing traffic is much quieter in the belfry with the sound control closed.

Purbrook Tower and friends visit St Giles Imber.

A weekly planning meeting at the George Inn, Widley following a  Wednesday night practice expanded on the idea of a Good Friday trip to ring at St. Giles Church,  Imber.

Tony made contact and arranged a Good Friday 11o’clock window for our visit.  Three cars set off.

The Girl’s car  ( Bev, Jan and Blanche ) and the Boy’s car  (Tony, Bill, Alan and Allan ) met and made a comfort/coffee stop at Waitrose, Salisbury.  A mobile phone call  confirmed that car 3 ( Rachel, Theo and Heather.) were already at Lavington.

A circuitous route to avoid a temporarily closed road culminated in a mile or so of road more suited to the army tank users.

Finally arriving at St Giles we realised that there were to be a large number of spectators for our ringing.  An Easter egg hunt  and the limited number of days Imber was not being used by the army had attracted a lot of families. The church had been set up as a coffee/tea  shop and the ground floor ringing chamber was clearly visible behind a beautiful and old  open wood wall and door.

A set of very light bells, (tenor 2cwt-2qr-15ibs ) according to Dove, an anti clockwise ring and a long draft. ” Let the fun begin”!

Uppinghams showed us that tender care would be needed , as was concentration not took look the ‘wrong way’ as we pulled off.

Keeping it to what the team could manage, rounds and call changes, Grandsire , Bob Doubles and Stedman were all achieved although a number of bells/ringers suddenly deciding to have a ‘moment’ just to keep us on our toes.

Painted on one of the walls of the tower was what is thought to be one of the oldest listing of call changes known to survive.

Conversations with the spectators were manifold and would have been a golden opportunity for recruitment given the number of phones and cameras stuck through the fence whilst we were ringing.

Having said our thanks and goodbyes we headed to the The Churchill Arms, West Lavington, this time the bumpy road was avoided, and  pretty respectable pub lunch  and a beer or two were imbibed.

Traffic on the way home to Portsmouth District was typical for a sunny Good Friday but thanks to Sally Satnav the worst congestion was avoided.

Thanks  to Tony for the organisation and he also he has put a fine selection of photographs here.

Purbrook Ringing Practice Cancelled, the Wednesday of Holy Week

There is no Ringing Practice this coming Wednesday at St John the Baptist, Purbrook.

Purbrooks Bells will be ringing at 9:30am for the 10am service, for both this coming Sunday and Easter Sunday.

Our ringers are also attending the Portsmouth District Skittles Evening on Tues 11th April at Southwick Golf Club! If you have yet to let me know you are coming contact me please.

see details

Purbrook’s Gillett and Johnston Tower Clock

The drainpipe channels the rope of the two bell through the clock. On the floor is the silent hours solenoid and the bicycle chain drives the  electromechanical winding.

The clock is of the order of 130 years old. Previously to the instalation of the ‘new’ Whitechapel Bells in 1999 the clock had to be hand wound and the long drop weights for the hour strike and clock hands reached down to the ground floor.

After the ringing chamber floor and staircase were installed there was no room for the long drop and an electromechanical system was designed and installed by G&J up alongside the refurbished clock.

As part of this system a timer controlled solenoid enabled a silent hours period for the clock striking.

The clock is a smaller but similar design to the clock in Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster. Erroneously called by some as BigBen which of course is the hour striking bell known world wide courtesy of its use by the BBC. After a visit to see the clock and the Big Ben bell we were lucky enough be alongside the larger clock when it struck and were surprised to here the whirring and clunks of the striking mechanism were very similar to those “at home”.

Top of the pendulum.

Purbrook’s clock timekeeping is remarkably good and  to keep it thus weights are added/removed occasionally either side at the top of the pendulum as can be seen here.

The narrow slit window, half way up the tower, “illuminates” the clock room.

The clock drives the hands on two faces. One looks out to the nearby A3 road and the other is over the church porch door.


Until 1998 the parish possessed a single bell cast in 1892 by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel The bell measured 35 3/8 ” in diameter and weighed approximately 8cwt, The bell was hung in an oak bell frame designed and constructed to house four bells, though only the single bell was ever installed and that was hung with full-circle ringing fittings.

As its contribution to the forthcoming millennium celebrations, the parish launched a project to replace the, original single bell with a ring of 6 bells hung for change-ringing. Valuable financial assistance was obtained from the Ringing in the Millennium Project, supported by funds from the National lottery, as well as from other charitable sources.

In 1998 Nicholson Engineering commenced the dismantling of the old bell installation and the design and construction of the new bell-frame and fittings. The original bell together with its frame and fittings was taken to Buscot in Oxfordshire where it forms the core of a restored ring of four. The original clapper was presented back to us and is to be seen on the east window sill of the Nave.

Installation of the new bell-frame, bells and fittings began on 24th May, 1999 when the new bells were delivered to the church, all being completed ready for the first tryout of the new bells on Friday II” June, 1999.

The bells each have inscriptions as below

Special Ringing

bells-at-purbrook-2Purbrook Ringers provide a Sunday Service band each week for the half hour before the morning service, for which we practice weekly (see times). We also ring on special occasions such as wedding and anniversary services. By arrangement and in support of the church building fundraising we are willing to ring in celebration of your special day. On these special occasions we will provide a certificate recognising the event as shown below.

For More Information:


“Ring for Roy” – thanks from Purbrook.

Purbrook ringers would like to thank all who were able to attend and those who sent donations for the Ring for Roy morning, in memory of Roy Grayson, our ringing master until his sad passing last year.  We are pleased to announce the morning raised a staggering £300.  Roy’s wife and family would like the money to go to The MS Society, a charity close to the family’s heart (Roy and Barbara’s son in law suffers from this condition) and Barbara feels Roy would also have wanted this.

Once again many thanks from the Purbrook ringers and Roy’s family.

Have a very merry Christmas.

“Ring for Roy” at Purbrook Saturday 19th Nov

Purbrook ringers would like to invite District members to “Ring for Roy” at Purbrook on Saturday 19th November, in memory of the late tower captain Roy Grayson. Refreshments will be available and any donations will be given to Roy’s widow Barbara for her to donate to a charity of her choice. All welcome to come along and ring.


Portsmouth District QP Day report

On Saturday 1st October, ringers across the Portsmouth District held their annual quarter peal day as part of the district’s quarter peal fortnight.

Six quarters were attempted on Saturday with 100% success, including Bristol and London surprise major, Grandsire doubles, Grandsire triples, plain bob doubles and Cambridge surprise minor.

The successful day was rounded off with a curry at Cafe Tusk in Fareham.

Special congratulations go to Greg Painter (first QP inside) and Adam Pym (first QP in Bristol major) and thanks to the conductors Edd Colliss, Ian Carey, Ben Carey and David Mattingley.

Three other QPs have been rung in the district so far as part of QP fortnight. Purbrook deserves a special mention as the 50th QP was rung on the bells and dedicated to the late tower captain Roy Grayson who passed away last November.

Wickham Doubles Practice Report by Lisa Ashforth (Next One is Thursday Sept 8th)

On Thursday night ringers from Shedfield, Titchfield, Purbrook, Alverstoke, Catherington and Christchurch Priory joined the Wickham band for a themed doubles practice.

Methods rung included St Simon’s bob, Stedman and a 120 of the plain bob doubles variation Kennington.

The next themed practice will be Thursday 8th September, to attempt touches of St. Simon’s bob and the Reverse Canterbury variation Southrepps. All ringers welcome to come along on the night.


Allan Yalden – Elected as a CCCBR Rep to serve from May 2017

After 24 years in the Royal Navy, most of the time leading teams fault finding and maintaining electronics in radars, sonars, computers and missile systems I left to become a Quality Engineer and Manager for one of the RN’s major manufacturers for the following 22 years.

Throughout  that second period I had great fun as Scout Leader to 2nd Waterlooville Lion Troop organising  and running  a regular Monday evening programme and multiple camps and other similar activities.
The enjoyment came mostly from sharing that scouting experience with my best friend the late Roy Grayson (Tower Captain at St John the Baptist Purbrook).

When we retired from scouting Roy went back,  after a 40 year break, to ringing and of course it wasn’t long before I followed him to find something that has everything from a great social life to an excellent means of keeping both brain and body on its toes.

I also volunteer in the junior school I left in 1951, working in the library, helping in the classroom when asked and helping the children run the school savings bank.

I hope I may be able to use some of my experience as a positive contribution to my role as a Central Council Rep.

Tower Pages for Portsmouth District

Portsmouth District Reports – a very successful Raising and Lowering Course

Lizzie Hough writes:

Well done to all those involved in the Raising and Lowering course today at Catherington and Purbrook. It was excellent to see so many people make so much progress in such a short space of time! Thank you to everyone who helped out!

Larry comments:

One of the most productive days in my so far very short ringing career. I learned a lot today mostly to ring up and down properly without coming away with rope burns on my hands! Many thanks from me as well Lizzie for organizing it all and to all those that helped with the day

Lisa replied:

By the end of the day I was starting to lose my fear of the sally (my problem with ringing up started when I lost control of the rope while ringing up at Portsea in August and didn’t know what had happened) since then I have tried to avoid doing it but knew that couldn’t continue. So being pretty much forced (in Lizzie’s inimitable style) to ring up and down repeatedly today, with no major mishaps, has done a lot to help my confidence.

As 5 of us from Wickham did the course today we should be able to build on what we learned at our own practices.

Contact Jan Allnutt

Telephone: 07909 943334
Address: 12 Apsley Lodge, London Road, Waterlooville, PO7 7WB
Email: Use Form