The next Basingstoke District Practice will be slightly different from normal as we will be ringing at Winchester Cathedral prior to Evensong. Please let Nici – the District Secretary know if you are coming as the Cathedral need a list of names of those attending.
If you are coming we will be meeting at the West door at 2pm as it isn’t certain which entrance will be in use at the time.
Download using the link here a copy of the Winchester Cathedral May 2019 Newsletter to read an article about the W&P WW1 Service being held there on Sunday 19th May. It is written by Canon George Medd who also rings at the Cathedral. Article is on page 3.
Thank you to the volunteers who have offered to help erect and dismantle the Chamborough Ring at Winchester Cathedral on 19th May. We still need another two or three ‘able bodied and fairly strong adults’ to complete the team.
Up early this morning, bit of a shock to the system, arrived at the Cathedral at 8:30am. A long climb to the Ringing Chamber (130 steps).
The bells are half -muffled; rounds on 14 to start. Stopped for a ringer’s service by the Ringers Memorial, a wreath was laid by the Guild Master and all the known names of the fallen ringers were read out with their Towers. A short but poignant service.
Further ringing including Grandsire Caters, Plain Hunt Cinques and Call Changes on 12 before the Service started in the Cathedral.
The muffles were being removed as I left, there will be some open ringing starting at 12:30pm this afternoon
Just a reminder, that – as every year – we have the District Practice at the Cathedral, this coming Wednesday, starting at 7.15 p.m. and finishing at 9.05. 7.15 start so everyone has time to get up the stairs.
As last year, we meet – and gain admission to the Cathedral – by the door in the South Aisle, which is in the inner close, between two of the flying buttresses. If you are coming from the outer close, come to the West Front, and go through the passageway to the right, between the start of the south aisle and a high wall. The gentle ramp in front of you leads to the south door.
Please put the word round and encourage as many of your band members to come along.
The monthly practice is at Winchester Cathedral next week, Wednesday 1st August at 7.30pm.
I believe the route to the ringing room is different from the one you may be familiar with so it might be a good idea to arrive early.
My thanks to the organisers of the Winchester District practice at Winchester Cathedral this last Wednesday 30th August.
There were a few of us who had never been up to the ringing chamber before. The journey to it was up and up the turret steps at the west end of the nave and then out on to the roof for a few paces, pausing to take in an unusual elevated view of the City. Then in through a door and back into the roof space above the nave, along the wooden pathway that leads to the dim lights of the ringing chamber, grabbing the handrails where the planking undulated and flexed under our feet. Once into the light, the ringing chamber is enormous! Someone must have compared it to something accurately. All I can think of is that it’s the size a squash court. Or a badminton court. Not swimming pool size though. Anyway. Big.
The new and most obviously anxious were gathered up by Edmund and rounds were rung, people swapped over and soon all us interlopers could say that they had rung at Winchester Cathedral. High five and selfie time!
More experienced ringers including some from the home band, Bishopstoke and also Hursley treated us and the City at large to some fine ringing, perhaps in part as an apology for the prior rough rounds that I had a hand in creating.
As for my own ringing, well it took many, many minutes to work out that time sort of stands still when ringing more than the six. I’m normally part of at Wonston Church. And once I got settled into stopping the bell on both strokes, it felt a bit better. But still, 6 or 7 strokes a minute leaves plenty of time for errors and not a lot of time to learn to correct them!
Going to new towers has been an essential part of my progress in learning the art of ringing. New churches, new turret steps, new people to introduce yourself (and then later apologise!) to. Wednesday’s District Practice at Winchester Cathedral couldn’t have been easier, calmer or more satisfying. A good way to start the twelfth month of my ringing career!
As you know, due to ongoing repairs to the south transept we will not be able to use the door under the slype this year.
Instead we will be going in through the south door at 7.30pm and using one of the staircases on the west front – inside the cathedral – which leads onto the parapet, from where we will be walking along the nave roof space to the ringing room.
DO NOT BE LATE. The south door will be locked at 7.45 and you will not be able to get in.
As many of you know, the Ringing World National Youth Contest was at the beginning of July in Birmingham. It was wonderful to see so many young ringers from all over the country taking part. There were 1 8 teams of 10. There were 4 of us from the Priory. The others making up the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild team came from as far as Winchester Cathedral, Basingstoke and Milford.Our qualifier took place at St Peters in Harborne. The piece itself was good but we didn’t get through to the final. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing as it meant we could ring in more towers! Although navigating round the town to get to them was a challenge for the drivers.
There were towers open all over Birmingham including; St Giles (Sheldon), St Alphege (Solihull) and St Nicolas (Kings Norton), Then there was St Martin in the Bullring with a fantastic 16 bell tower. This being the favourite. It was really good to be able to ring in Birmingham, especially as the bells where so nice to ring and the views from the tower windows were impressive as well!
WP Youths at the Charnborough Ring
WP Youths at the Charnborough Ring
WP Youths at the Charnborough Ring
Wp Youths at Harboune
WP Youths at Harborne
Wp Youths at Harborne
The Charnborough Ring outside St Martin’s in the Bull Ring
Something you all need to be aware of – which I quote from the Cathedral Diary website:-
“Please note that building works in the south transept now affect how we access the tower. This is likely to be for several months so check here for updates.
On Wednesday evenings, a volunteer will be on duty at the South door (inner close) from 7.30 to 7.45 after which time the door will be locked. Access is then via the south-west turret staircase which is located at the back of the cathedral to the left of, and immediately below the great west window. If you are not familiar with this route, please ascend with one of the cathedral ringers.
On Sunday, and for other ringing when the cathedral is open (e.g. weddings), please enter the cathedral at the west end and then via the south-west turret stairs. The virgers and desk staff will be informed and should allow unhindered access. If you are unfamiliar with this, please contact the Tower Secretary (Bruce Purvis) in advance and he will arrange for you to be met.”
Best wishes, and we look forward to seeing you, as always ….
Secretary, Winchester Cathedral Bellringers
PS. You get a wonderful view from the nave parapet before you walk along the nave roof-space.
Ringing to commemorate Royston Bishop, died 16 November 1916, took place at All Saints’, Dummer on Wednesday 16 Nov 2016 at 7pm.
Ringers included Sheila Harden, Ian Robertson, Paul Lyndon, Tim De’Ath, Stafford Napier and Trish Willats.
Royston was a Dummer resident who also appears on the Bell Ringer’s Memorial in Winchester Cathedral.
He died after being wounded at the Battle of the Ancre (the last engagement in the Battle of the Somme).
There will be a 12 bell practice at Winchester on the last Wednesday of the month, 28th September, at 7.30pm. Usual methods – Stedman, Grandsire, Yorkshire, Little Bob, Bristol, Cambridge. If we have enough we will ring Yorkshire 14.
This practice is open to anyone who would like to practise 12/14 bell ringing.
The last few practices have not been well attended so we need to decide whether this special practice is still needed. I have been running this for many years and would like someone else to run it if it is still wanted.
Applications are invited for peal attempts at Winchester Cathedral on Monday 17th April (Easter Bank Holiday), Monday 29th May (Spring Bank Holiday) and Monday 28th August (Summer Bank Holiday) 2017.
The draw for these dates will be held on Wednesday 28th September, and the deadline for applications is 12 noon on that day. Further details from …
Tel. 01962 885234 or email
Portsmouth District enjoyed their annual outing to Winchester Cathedral on August 17th. Around 25 people attended and rang rounds and call changes, Grandsire Cinques, Stedman Cinques and some 8-spliced.
Mike Till will be unlocking for us on Wednesday. He has very kindly offered to have someone stay behind at the tower entrance to let in latecomers if they are unable to get to the practice by 7.15pm. Many thanks Mike.
These notes were originally written by Lizzie Hough:
To access the tower, you need to go through the tunnel in the south transept. There a door at the other end, hopefully manned by Mike Till.
Anyone planning on parking in the Cathedral Close, please be aware you will be required to obtain (and return) a parking permit from behind the door to the staircase. The doors to the Close are locked at 10pm so please make sure your car is out of there by then! Other parking is available behind the Guildhall, for free, and there is a short walk to the Close, arriving the other side of the tunnel
In August, the Winchester Cathedral band takes a break and lends the Wednesday Practice Nights to some of the Districts. It is a golden opportunity to try these great bells (There are 14 of them!) among friends. In the past we have taken learners from our tower and they found it incredibly inspiring, even ones who were not yet expert enough to ring.
If you can’t make your own District’s event then it is worth contacting another District’s Ringing Master because many of them welcome extras, it depends on their anticipated numbers.
Please arrive on time – the door is locked once the practice begins.
This year the dates are:
Alton and Petersfield District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Andover District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Portsmouth District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Christchurch and Southampton District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Winchester District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Photo by Deb Baker
Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers