Category Archives: Tower Captain

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Portsmouth Cathedral – Update on the current Works (and a personal message from Ian)

As many of you will know, ringing at Portsmouth Cathedral is currently suspended whilst repair work is carried out on the tower and cupola.

The work has been progressing since last summer and was originally scheduled to complete in January but unfortunately due to further issues being identified, the project completion date has recently been extended to the April/May timeframe.   Scaffolding is currently erected both inside and outside of the tower and rotten wooden beams and corroded RSJ girders are being replaced as part of the on-going repairs.   
The work is being performed by Daedalus Conservation and is being funded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund (FWWCCRF) at an original cost of £600,000, although no doubt this will have increased significantly over recent months due to the additional repairs now required.
Sadly, the ringers have no control over the work schedule although, on a positive note, the ringing chamber was decorated during the early stages of the project.
ian portsmouthOn a personal note, the lack of ringing has enabled me to focus on a challenge that I have wanted to fulfil for 20 years.   On the 8th May I start a long distance cycle ride across America travelling from Los Angeles, California, to Boston, Massachusetts  a distance of 3,500 miles in just 7 weeks and which starts with a ceremonial wheel dip in the Pacific Ocean.
I am riding to support Naomi House and Dorothy House, two hospices that mean a lot to me and have a website where you can read a little more about my story.   I would of course be grateful for any support from Guild ringers, whether through sponsorship, simple words of encouragement or perhaps a special ringing performance whilst I am on the road.   I aim to finish in Boston on the 24th June with a second ceremonial wheel dip, this time in the Atlantic Ocean.
I’m not underestimating the magnitude of this challenge but have trained hard and although I’m 58 years old I am quietly confident that I can fulfil my dream.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.   
Regards, Ian
Tower Captain
Portsmouth Cathedral

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Captain’s Challenge to Eling Bellringers

You may be interested in our application of the FIRSTS FORTNIGHT challenge.  It certainly came in “like a lion” on day one of March, And we had 23 in the belfry last night
Dear All
Firsts Fortnight 1st - 15th March 2016If you read the latest item on the W&P website  you will find the adjacent motif and a message from the Guild Master.  EVERYONE is challenged to do something for the FIRST time and to let the Guild Master know.  I have been thinking and can put forward some suggestions.  I will then be a nuisance and keep asking you about your progress!  Here are some suggestions:-
1. Daniel to ring in a striking competition for the FIRST time.
2. All participants of the theory lessons do their homework for the FIRST time and work out the figures of X 14 X 36 X 16 etc    Lead end 16 (Which gives you 1 5 6 3 4 2)
3. Tina learn to call a basic call-change.
4. John ring the treble unaided to a touch of Little Bob Minor without help, for the FIRST time.
5. Lawrence ring above inside for the FIRST time.
6. Susanne learn to raise a bell IN PEAL for the FIRST time.
I could make lots of suggestions.  Now make up yours for March.
It will “Come in like a lion,
            and go out like a lamb.”

I call my cat liquorice
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Christchurch Priory Tower Captain and Ringing Master’s Report 2015/16

tim-martinI would like to report another successful year for the Priory Band. During the year we have fulfilled our commitment to ring for the two main services Sunday by Sunday together with additional special services, weddings, and other events as requested. The fact that we ring twice on every Sunday of the year should not be overlooked as it is now a very rare tower that achieves this level of service ringing. I would like to pay tribute to all the band who make this possible. During the last year the number of times that we have been able to ring all 12 bells on a Sunday morning has increased to the point where it is now in the majority which is I believe appreciated by the congregation.

The Christchurch Priory Bellringers 2015
Christmas 2015

During the year we were able to ring for three particularly happy occasions, firstly the licensing of our new Priest In Charge, Rev Charles Stuart and more recently for the licensing of Rev Richard Partridge as associate priest in the parish. On the latter occasion the Bishop of Southampton thanked me personally for your efforts. We also rang a quarter peal to celebrate the diamond wedding of Charles and Daphne Richards. Charles and Daphne listened to the quarter from outside and by all accounts it was hugely appreciated by all the family.

Our ringing was also recorded by Radio Solent and broadcast on Easter Sunday as a prelude to the recorded service from the Priory. Unfortunately, left to their own devices they chose probably the most unflattering piece of ringing out of about 45 minutes of recording.

As you will be aware by now my  twin objectives during my time in office have been to improve the quality of our ringing as a whole and to enable individuals to develop their potential as ringers. Our overall standard of striking has improved I believe and a number of individuals have achieved personal milestones during the year.

Peal Band FirstPeal2015
Peal Band FirstPeal2015

As part of the First Peal 2015 initiative, Ros Martin rang her first peal at the Priory in February. She has since gone on to ring two more at Fawley and Minstead. Nicola Penny rang her first quarter peal inside, Grandsire Doubles at the Priory and has also rung a quarter peal at Corfe Mullen where the entire band were under 18. Luke Brooke rang his first quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles at Brockenhurst. Whilst the amount of time people can devote to ringing does vary, there is no doubt that those ringers who put time aside to work on theory outside the tower, to visit other towers for practice or for District Events or training courses will see their ringing improve and we will see a corresponding benefit in our ringing here at the Priory.

During the year we welcomed Helen Penny to the Sunday service band and we have two probationary ringers who started 6 months ago, Jack Brooke and Graham Green who are both making good progress. We were sorry to say goodbye to Bethan Halpenny and her family who have moved to the Wirrall but we have heard from Bethan that they are settling in well and have started ringing at West Kirby.

We entered both striking competitions again this year and I was pleased with our efforts on both occasions. Members of the band have given their support to various District activities including District practices and special practices and including the very successful youth practices at Brockenhurst. We hosted a very successful District Carol service for the District in December.

We are grateful for the regular support that we get from some other local towers, in particular from Hordle and from Hampreston and some of the Bournemouth ringers.

On the social side we held a very successful Tower Dinner at Hoburne Park again this year and our thanks must go to Rosemary for her organisation on that occasion.

Looking to the future I feel that despite the numerical strength of the band it is important that we continue to teach and develop new ringers and I will seek to do this as the opportunity arises. It’s a great encouragement to see new people learning the skills of ringing and becoming part of our band and the wider ringing community. I appreciate the support of the rest of the band in this endeavour particularly with the early practice at 6.50. I promise you it is worth it!

We also need to spend some time considering the need for a longer term plan for the future of the installation. Although an inspection reassured us that there are no immediate problems there is no doubt that work could be done that would, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on our ambition, bring about significant improvement in the Tower. We talked about establishing a small group to look at this last year but this has not progressed and perhaps we should look at that again.

As before, I must thank all those who take other positions of responsibility in the Band, in particular to my Deputy Frances Benjamin and to Rosemary, both of whom are responsible for the ringing in my absence. I would also want to recognise every member of the band for the time and commitment you show to maintaining the tradition of change ringing at the Priory.

Tim Martin
Tower Captain and Ringing Master.

Contact Paul Fitzgerald

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Lockerley Photograph by Rosemary Oakeshott

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Contact Rosemary Rogers

Telephone: 01202 473175
Address: 104 Pittmore Road, Burton, Christchurch, BH23 7HE
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Contact Duncan Loweth

Address: Hazelton, La Route du Braye, Vale, Guernsey, GY3 5PB Telephone: 07781464332
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