Category Archives: bishopstoke

Guild Education – Basic Raising and Lowering – Bishopstoke – Fri 17th May – 7-9pm.

Details should by now have reached you via your Tower Secretary, but the Education Committee is running another of its very popular evenings on Basic Raising and Lowering.    This will take place at Bishopstoke on Friday 17 May 2019, from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm.    This is a course where places usually get filled up very quickly, so if you or other members of your tower – or friends in another tower – are interested it might be an idea to apply sooner rather than later.    I have attached the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions).

And don’t forget the Education Committee’s evening at The Undercroft at Winchester Cathedral, Wednesday 17 April, when we hope to see lots of you to HAVE YOUR SAY.     It is important that ringers of all age groups should let us know what kind of training is taking place in their towers, and what kind of courses they would like to see the Education Committee offer in the future.   In other words – where are the gaps?    What can we do to help?    This is open to everybody, any age, beginners with new ideas, experienced ringers with tried-and-trusted ideas – we’d like to see you all.   If you haven’t done so already, please let me know if you are coming so we have an idea of numbers.

Christine Knights-Whittome

On behalf of the Guild Education Committee

Application Form – Basic Raising and Lowering – Word

Application form – Basic Raising and Lowering – PDF

Basic Raising and Lowering Poster – Word

Basic Raising and Lowering Poster – PDF

W&P Youths Bells and Bowls Tour – Sat 16th February from 2pm

WP Youth 20190216

Hursley 2pm-2:45pm – Parking around the back of the church

Twyford 3pm-3:45pm

Bishopstoke 4pm-5pm

1 Game of Bowling at Eastleigh Hollywood Bowl Swan Centre SO50 5SF

Hollywood Bowl needs to know numbers of bowlers by Tue 12th Feb

Cost for bowling under 16 £5.20 16 and over £6.20



For more details contact Sallie Ingram

Link to download poster

Class of ’69 at Bishopstoke

The peal below was rung recently at Bishopstoke on Saturday 19th January, recreating a peal of Doubles rung there 50 years ago with 5 of the same ringers. Well done to all!

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Bishopstoke, Hampshire
St Mary
Saturday, 19 January 2019 in 2h 31 (4–1–17 in D)
5040 Doubles
7m/v. 6 extents each of St Simon, St Martin, Reverse Canterbury, April Day, Dedworth, Plain Bob, Grandsire.
1  Allen L Guille
2  Roy LeMarechal
3  Jane E Marsh
4  Linda V Cull
5  John P Colliss (C)
6  John C Hallett
By a class of 69. Recreating a peal of 7 m/v Doubles rung here 50 years ago on 18/1/69. It was the first peal for the ringers of 1,2,5,6 who rang the same respective bells. Jane was also ringing in the same position as 50 years ago, that being her 2nd peal. Linda replaced the late T John Frodsham who was also ringing his first peal 50 years ago. She didn’t ring her first peal till Feb 69.


Report from Basic Raising and Lowering Course on 23rd Feb

Friday the 23rd of February saw another fantastic education course in basic raising and lowering held at St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke.
This popular course gave ten people the chance to learn, practice or refine the basics of raising and lowering a bell under the tutelage of experienced ringers who gave up their Friday evening to support their learning.

The Education committee and the learners would like to thank the following people for their time, patience and effort; Course Leader Andy Ingram, with Andy Sparling, Steve Hough, David Mattingley, Oliver Challoner and John Croft.

Tea, coffee and cake (made by Christine Knights-Whittome) was served at halftime where the learners and the tutors spent some time getting to know each other and talking through various issues that they might be experiencing through their learning journey.
Also in the body of the church there was an opportunity to browse and purchase from the stand of books that is regularly presented at the education courses by Judy who is the Learning Resource Officer.

I would like to thank Andy Ingram for calling the house to order when I arrived in order to ask consent to film and photograph for the Guild social media and website, my thanks to all consentees, (if that’s a word) and for Christine for letting me eat more than my fair share of cake whilst handing back my course fee cheque as I was on the short list for the course and no one dropped out!

Gary Marsh, Wonston, Winchester District

Link to short video here

** A note from the Communications Team**

Thanks Gary for taking the trouble to write this and for the photos! I’m sure our fellow ringers will be very interested to read and see what goes on at these events.

We really appreciate hearing the inside story of your Towers and those that you visit. Whether unusual or ‘business as usual’, running repairs or post-practice pints, we’re joined by the shared experience of bellringing and this website and our Guild Facebook group are here to share those stories. As Andy and Gary did in the report above, just ask that it’s ok for you to take photos.

If you haven’t yet joined the Facebook group click here or email your stories and photos to

Thanks in advance.

The W&P Comms Team

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!

**COURSE FULL** Guild Education Evening – Basic Raising and Lowering Friday 29 September at Bishopstoke

Please find below posters and application forms (both Word and pdf format) for an extra Guild Education evening covering Basic Raising and Lowering, at Bishopstoke, on Friday evening 29th September 2017.

This course has proved to be exceedingly popular, hence this additional evening!     Because of the nature of the course (one-to-one instruction) we can only offer a limited number of places;  in June this resulted in a waiting list of five people.   apply as soon as reasonably possible, as places usually fill up well before the closing date.

Any queries – let me know.

Many thanks.

Christine Knights-Whittome

For:  The Guild Education Committee

Beyond Bob Doubles – Wednesday 28th June at Bishopstoke

Dear All,

Beyond Bob Doubles will be at Bishopstoke on 28th June from 19:30 – 21:00, I’ve added a few Cathedral ringers to the mailing list this month, since there’s no practice there next Wednesday.

For those who haven’t been before, the idea is to have a practice to allow ringers whose own bands may not be strong enough to ring slightly more advanced methods to come together and get the chance to ring things they normally can’t.  It all depends who shows up as to what we ring, there’s not usually any kind of plan I just wing it on the night, but this month I’ve gone for a ten bell tower so it might be an idea for people to be prepared for Grandsire triples or caters, Bastow Little Bob (Cloisters), Stedman triples, Little Bob and Cambridge. 

All welcome from within the Winchester District or from further afield, the minimum requirement is to be competent at ringing touches of Plain Bob Doubles and have some experience of Grandsire.


Two trainees write about last week’s Guild Raising and Lowering Course

Gary Marsh writes:

The Basic Raising and Lowering course held at St. Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke was a terrific event.  It had an air of nervous celebration about it as we arrived at the church and signed in with Christine.    I say nervous, as we knew as beginner ringers that we would soon be tackling what often seems to be the most challenging and coordination defying tasks of raising, and particularly, lowering, a bell.   It felt like a celebration as we had got to the point in our ringing careers where our handling had moved on enough to be trusted to rise to the challenge of learning these new skills without breaking anything!

With six tutors and ten on the course we got the chance to be instructed alongside fellow raising & lowering novices, sharing instructors, ropes and experiences.   It made for a great sense of community.   Our tutors were calm, encouraging and excited to be sharing their knowledge.

So us ten not-so-novices can move forward with our ringing, able to more fully participate at our home tower with our potential raised and anxieties lowered.   The milestone of making the first loop complete in a safe and welcoming place, well away from our own woodwork!

Gary Marsh (46), Wonston Tower, ringing ten months.

And Romy Coldman writes:

After two years of ringing and never really mastering the mysteries of raising and lowering, I jumped at the chance when I heard about the course.

The day was very well organised where we had one tutor to two learners. We all had a full two hours of individual practice and assessment less the much needed tea break after working up a sweat. As a learner, I certainly need more practice until I can raise and lower with confidence, but the tips and skills gained from the course were invaluable.

Many thanks to Andy Ingram, Christine Knights-Whittome and all the tutors – especially Mike, my tutor, for his patience and encouraging words.

I would highly recommend this course not only for beginners but for anyone who wants to improve their skills.

Romy Coldman (Hinton Admiral)

Basic Raising and Lowering Evening – Friday 9th June – 7.00-9.00 pm – Bishopstoke

Now that Easter is behind us, the Education Committee is sending out details for their final course before the summer break – this will be Basic Raising and Lowering, on Friday evening 9th June, 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm at Bishopstoke.     I attach a poster and an application form (both Word and pdf versions) so that if you (or anybody within your tower) is interested you can submit your application form a.s.a.p.

This is specifically for those ringers who have never attempted to raise or lower a bell, and for those who have tried and found it difficult – sometimes frightening themselves in the process!    Because this is very much one-to-one tuition, we have a limited number of places;   last time we offered this subject we had a waiting list of ringers who applied late and to whom we were unable to offer places.

Can I also give you a reminder about the Mini-Ring Evening on Friday 12th May, on The Hartley Twelve at South Stoneham, details for which were sent out some time ago.   This evening is FREE, though we do ask for donations towards expenses.

 As always – any queries, let me know.

Christine Knights-Whittome

For:  The Guild Education Committee

Links to Poster    PDF   Word

Links to Application Form    PDF     Word

Rebecca Webb Reports from the Stedman Doubles Special Practice

What a fantastic practice we had today of Stedman Doubles held at Herriard

The four students were at all different levels and by the end of the morning the students were all ringing Stedman Doubles 120 and all ringing together. 
The students came from Alton, Basingstoke and Bishopstoke.
This amazing progression was achieved by some fantastic helpers who travelled from Alton, Basingstoke, Overton, Sherfield-on-Loddon and Kingsclere.
Thank you to everyone for making today such a success.
Rebecca Webb

Education Morning – Raising and Lowering in Peal, Bishopstoke Sat 11 Feb

A Happy New Year to all the Guild’s ringers!

We hope you have all enjoyed a good Christmas and are looking forward to plenty of ringing in 2017.     Whilst we are not even into the New Year, the Education Committee is already working on courses for the early part of 2017;  like the Windmill Theatre during the last war “we never close”!!    With this in mind, I attach a poster and an application form (both Word and pdf versions) for an Education Morning on Raising and Lowering in Peal, to be held at Bishopstoke on Saturday 11 February 2017.   Rest assured, if you have an Annual District Meeting on that day you can do both;  the Education Morning will finish at 12.00 noon, allowing ringers plenty for time to get some lunch before their ADM in the afternoon.

Early as it is, the details have been sent out because the closing date is at the end of January – not very long.   If this is of interest to you, or if you have friends within your tower whom you think it might help, do please have a think about it.

As always, we are very grateful to anybody who could offer their services as a helper for that morning.   If you are not already on our list but would like to help (you don’t have to volunteer for every course), please contact Sallie Ingram .   The Education Committee is very grateful indeed to anybody who can spare a day, or even half a day, to help those who are endeavouring to further their knowledge and experience.

Thank you all very much – we look forward to seeing you during 2017.

Christine Knights-Whittome



**No More Spaces Left** Basic Raising and Lowering Evening, on Friday 4th November, 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm, at Bishopstoke.

 There are still a few places left, and I would be very grateful if you could pass this message on a.s.a.p. as the closing date for applications is in about a week’s time.   Posters and Application forms were sent out some time ago;  they are available from Tower Secretaries, on the Guild website here, and direct from me.
Any queries – let me know – 01962 886939.
Many thanks – Christine

Simulator Training Evening held at Bishopstoke is a hit.

The Guild Education Committee held its Simulator training evening on March 22nd.

Downstairs was all about learning what the software could do whilst in the ringing chamber, with bells tied and simulator on, people grappled with ringing individually using no visual clues, only their ears, not an easy task.

Some interested people had travelled quite a distance and one tower will be planning to install a simulator.     That’s a hit then.

A Great Opportunity if you are Teaching Bell Ringing…

Viv Nobbs Writes:

I realise some of us e.g. Ryde I.W. will have our tower meetings that day but this might be of interest to many others, hopefully; the Simulator Evening will  be a great course.
There’s a good deal of interest in simulators now and what they can offer us in our local towers e.g. extra practice time, especially with new ringers. 🙂
Many are actively involved in, or supporting, teaching already; some are showing real interest in learning how to teach (Excellent!) so this is a great course to help overall, potentially.
It will be great, helpful information (and any reassurance needed?) to feedback to our Districts and towers.
So, we have a “Gift Horse” here everyone.

simulator evening poster png

Education Committee Does It Again.

Hearts race on a superbly organised ringing course on higher numbers of bells.

A damp day didn’t temper the heady mix of excitement and trepidation as ringers gathered to learn about ringing on higher numbers. Two groups did their initial learning with Andy Ingram at Bishopstoke and Martin Daniel at Hursley  then both groups came together at the beautiful Winchester Cathedral to test what they had learned. Refreshed with tea and cake people climbed the unexpectedly narrow staircase and were rewarded with the sight of the Cathedral’s impressively cavernous ringing chamber. Pulses quickened with nerves as students approached the ropes to practice the very different technique of ringing on so many bells, namely holding up on hand and back strokes, leaving huge gaps at the back and literally ringing on top of the bells at the front. Listening to your bell was very difficult due to the sheer volume and speed of the striking but the supportive atmosphere meant that you never felt awkward asking any helper for assistance and that led to a huge boost in confidence which we all know makes you feel like you can achieve anything! Well not many of us get to practice plain hunt on 14 do we?

A huge thank you goes to all the helpers who gave up their time. The logistics of organising 30 tutors for 12 students must have been tremendous and we are blessed to have such a proactive Guild Education Committee that is constantly running training courses for us all.

What goes around comes around and if I am good enough one day to be asked to help I will repay the debt, hopefully you will too… because helping others to grow warms the heart.



Winchester District Hosts Youth Practice

On Sunday February 21st young ringers from the Districts of Winchester, Basingstoke and Christchurch and Southampton met up at Bishopstoke to  enjoy an afternoon of ringing together.

The aim of the afternoon was to improve striking in rounds and it was exciting to hear it getting better and better as the session progressed.

Some were keen to practise plain hunting, which went very well  and one  of the girls made a jolly good attempt at ringing it for the first time.

There were plain courses and touches of Grandsire doubles and Plain Bob doubles with young ringers inside and on the treble and also rounds on all ten bells.

Many thanks to Bishopstoke for the use of the lovely bells and to Allen Guille for very patiently waiting to lock up while we finished our well earned chocolate cake and drinks.

CONFIRMED AS TAKING PLACE Guild Education Evening – Simulators – Tues 22nd March

simulator evening poster pngTraditionally many towers do not have a practice night during Holy Week and we are therefore offering an evening on Simulators and How They Work. This will be at Bishopstoke, 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm

This is FREE, but, as usual, there will be a break for refreshments and participants may like to make a small donation.

There is no application form, but we do need to know the numbers in advance – last time we offered this, it was very popular.


St Mary’s, Bishopstoke Has Reached 800 Peals

Roy Le Marechal Writes:

St Mary’s, Bishopstoke has just reached 800 peals, the first Guild tower to reach this total.

It took nearly 50 years to ring fifty peals, from 29th June 1921 to 14th March 1970. However, an apparently insignificant peal of Doubles in 1969, the first peal on the bells for over four years, contained five “first pealers”. Two of them were the new tower captain John Colliss and Roy LeMarechal.

With two teenagers running the tower, peal ringing took off. The 2nd fifty took fewer than 6 years – the 100th was a peal of Cambridge Surprise Major by the Sunday Service band in 1976. The remaining 201 peals came along in fewer than 19 years.

Several notable peals for the Guild were rung on the old octave. Among them:-

  • First peal of Bristol S Major by entirely resident Guild members.
  • First ladies’ peal of Triples.
  • First peal of Scientific Triples.
  • First Silent and Non-conducted peal on tower bells.
  • Most Spliced Surprise Major (35m).

44 ringers rang their first peal on the old bells and a total of 301 peals were rung on them. It should have been 300 but the tower captain at the time had a problem with sums and mis-counted. This resulted in not just the last, but the last two peals being rung by members of the local band. In total, 15 of the peals were “local band” peals.

Many “first peal in the method” and “first for the Guild” have been achieved on the new bells. Several ladies band peals have been rung and 12 ringers have scored their first peal.

Simple arithmetic will show that, since the new ring of ten was installed in 1995, a further 499 peals have been rung on St Mary’s bells. 28 were rung entirely by the local band including the first two. Arrangements are in hand and, hopefully, the 500th on the new bells will also be a local band peal.


The Peal Details

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild

Bishopstoke, Hampshire
St Mary
Tuesday, 2 February 2016 in 2:51 (11–1–1 in G)
5000 Bristol Surprise Royal
W Nigel G Herriott
Roy LeMarechal (C)
Jennifer M Herriott
Stephen S Russ
Anthony P Smith
John P Colliss
James A Hodkin
Richard M Thompson
Stuart J Heath
10 Edward P D Colliss

800th peal on St Mary’s bells.

WP Education – Advanced warning of 2 training courses

Tuesday 22nd March – the Tuesday of Holy Week when traditionally many towers are silent, there will be an evening at Bishopstoke on Simulators;  how they work, how they might be used within your tower, the potential for training, and lots more.    Full details will be sent out shortly – but the evening is FREE.

Southampton University Campanile Photograph by David Forder
Southampton University Campanile (The Harltey 12) Photograph by David Forder

Friday 6th May – at South Stoneham – an Evening with The Hartley Twelve.   This is your golden opportunity to try something completely different!   The Hartley Twelve is a mini-ring with the tenor weighing 15 lbs 6 oz, requiring a very different ringing technique.   This will be a fun evening for ringers of all abilities, with lots of experienced help available;  you won’t need to learn any 12-bell methods!!     More details will be published shortly.

Contact Christine Knights-Whittome

Guild Surprise Royal Practice Sun 31st Jan 2016 Bishopstoke 2pm

Dear all,

Surprise Royal PracticeThe next surprise royal practice will take place as follows;

When: Sunday 31st January 2016 at 14:00 – 15:30
Where: Bishopstoke

Special Methods: Bristol and Superlative No 2. Ringing will also include Cambridge and Yorkshire.

I look forward to seeing lots of you there 🙂
Please let me know if you are hoping to come so we have an idea of numbers.
Best Wishes,

The Bishopstoke Ringing Centre

  • An independent Central Council recognised Ringing Centre.
  • Located at St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke (10 bells, tenor 11 cwt).
  • The principal facility is an up-to-date Abel simulator which is used with the clappers tied. The church has a toilet and there is a kitchenette for serving light refreshments.
  • The Centre may be used by Districts, Towers and other groupings for running ringing courses, subject to availability.
  • There is no fixed charge but a donation is reqeested.
  • Applications should be made to the tower secretary.
  • Successful bookings should be notified to the Education Committee

A Trio of peals completed by the Bishopstoke Band

Members of the Bishopstoke Sunday service band punched well above their weight recently.  Five members went to East Pennard,  the heaviest ring of five bells,  to attempt a peal on November 1st. They were successful in ringing a peal of 12 methods in 3h24.  This completes a trio of peals by the Bishopstoke band at the heaviest rings of five, six and eight.

Click for full details of the peal

Photo from Ringing World Bellboard.

Double Court and/or Double Oxford – Friday October 23rd 7pm – 9pm at Bishopstoke.

C&S Bellringers ARCHIVE SITE

Double Court MinorFriday October 23rd 7pm – 9pm at Bishopstoke.

Double Court and/or Double Oxford.

Applicants must be able to ring touches of Plain Bob Minor, and should look up their method/methods in advance.

Cost £4

Applications by post or by email with online payment by Monday 12th October..

Poster (pdf)   Poster (doc)   Application Form (doc)   Application Form (rich text)

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Guild News September 2002 – Archive Material

Mostly, as it is brought over from the current Guild website, archive material is filed in the archive… but this edition of the Guild News from 2002 has so many familiar faces and places in it that here it is in the news stream. [More Newsletters here]

click for full version: WP Guild Newsletter 2002 Sep

In This Issue

  • 1 An Unusual First (Highclere)
  • 1  Reg Cockle Recalls the Forming of the Diocese of Portsmouth
  • 2 Bats? Yes We Have Some! (Northington)
  • 3 The Sparsholt Ringing Course
  • 3 Laura Harris’ First Peal (Blackmoor)
  • 4 Canon Felstead, E.J. Osborn and Nell Gwynn (Southampton)
  • 5 Winchester District Striking League
  • 6 Bishopstoke Ringers Wed
  • 6 Update on Restoration Work at Privett
  • 7 Jubilee Bells in the Christchurch & Southampton District
  • 8 And at Froxfield
  • 8 First Peal Recollections
  • 8 Guild Diary 2002/3
  • Hampshire Bells CD
  • Monthly Practice Meetings
  • 10 Guild Officers