Latest Guild News

     Index: Click on title for quick access to articles -  the latest five entries are highlighted 

100 Club

10-Bell Practices

AGM 2016 Report

ART Discover Bell Ringing

ART WORKS Newsletters

Barry Thompson

Bell Frame recording

CCCBR President's March 2017 blog

CCCBR Report 2016

Edward C Garrett (Ted)

Geoff Armitage

Heritage Open Days 2017

John Webster

Julie McDonnell Strike Back against Cancer

Julie McDonnell - Towcester Branch

Quiz results

Recruitment Power Point Presentations

Review of CCCBR (CRAG)

Richard (Dick) Cowley

Ridgman Trophy 2016

Rope in a mate


St George's Day ringing

Sponsored Walk or Ride for Bell Fund

Spring Festival 2016 Report

Spring Festival 2017 notice

Summer Draw 2016 Prize List

Summer Festival 2016 report

Trevor Jarvis





We received this message from Philip Barnes, Chairman of CRAG (Central Council Review Action Group) on April 28, 2017:

On behalf of my fellow members of the Central Council Review Action Group (CRAG), I am pleased to be able to share with you our final report.

The report is divided into three parts. The first, sent out with the printed Council papers, is a short summary of the CRAG report containing the background and our recommendations. The full report contains a lot more background and provides the context and rationale for our recommendations.

The entire report can be read or downloaded from after Friday, April 28. In addition there will be the facility to raise any queries you may have via the website. We will aim to answer these as quickly as possible and will use the questions and answers to compile a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ resource that we will update regularly.

We are very aware that reading some of the criticisms levelled at the Council will be painful for some members. Given the many years of dedicated service to the Council by many members this is entirely understandable. We hope however that it does not result in a defensive response. Those of you respondents who made criticisms seem to have done so in the spirit of helping the Council to improve.

Likewise, our recommendations are radical. To some CC members they will no doubt seem a little scary. Again, however, all of the members of CRAG have undertaken our work driven by the same desire to create an organisation fit for the future.

For any of you who may be near Edinburgh on the Sunday of the CC weekend we will be holding a presentation of our findings at Walpole Hall, in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral, from 11.30am. We would be delighted to see you there.



CCCBR President's March 2017 blog

Most of you will be looking forward to Easter as the first major holiday of the year and I hope that if you making visits where there are bells join in with local ringing. So often our “home” ringers are away and visitors can often make the difference in fulfilling our role proclaiming Easter Sunday.

Several important events have taken place recently, the first of which was the Public Relations Conference held at Wellesbourne on 25th February. The event was well attended, Christopher O’Mahoney, Council Vice President supporting the Caroline Stockmann and Kate Flavell.

On the day, I had to make a choice and attended a Ringing World Board meeting in Andover, as is my custom. The Board will be reporting at their AGM in May but suffice it to say that every effort is being made to maintain the financial viability of the publication including review of content and attractiveness. All the Ringing World team should be congratulated for what has been achieved to date.

The now annual ART conference was held at Old Basing with an impressive array of speakers and many new teaching materials on sale. The conference was reported fully in the Ringing World issue of 24th March, it was a really inspiring day.

The Central Council Review is nearing completion and Council Officers had the opportunity to hear initial findings at its Administrative Committee held in London on 18th March. The Review plus other pre-conference matters meant a long meeting but the with the interest of all ringers at heart.

The following day I had the great pleasure of attending the dedication of the new ring of 12 bells at St Mary’s Taunton. It was a sumptuous occasion with the Bishop of Bath & Wells, Lady Mayor of Taunton and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset all in attendance. There was ample time after the service to sample a specially made “bell cake” and to ring on the new bells – a wonderful day.

Safeguarding issues are still to the fore and questions regarding “vetting” of visiting ringers are being followed up. We still await an outcome from the process of appointing a new band at York Minster.

With the Council meeting in Edinburgh now advancing, I would remind all Council representatives to make sure they have booked for any meals and events.

Finally, have you yet “subscribed” on the Central Council’s new website? By doing so you will be in direct contact and be set to receive information and news, thus becoming part of what is intended to be a nationwide network.       Chris Mew, March 2017

Heritage Open Days  Sept 7-10, 2017

Kate Favell advises that although CCCBR is not working with Heritage Open Days directly this year they have retained the bell theme and logo and you can record that there is a ringing event if you are doing that this year.  Many towers found last year that this was a great opportunity to raise the profile of ringing within their area and some even recruited new ringers so do go for it!  Initial details are available here.

Spring Festival 2017

Towcester Branch is hosting the festival this year on Saturday, April 29. There will be open ringing at Pattishall (6 bells, tenor 11-2-24) from 2.45 - 3.45pm. 

The six-bell striking competition is open to any tower, benefice or group of towers from within the Guild where the bells are rung regularly and all members of the team normally ring at the tower(s) involved.  It will take place at Cold Higham (6 bells, tenor 8-0-21) from 4 - 6.20pm.  There will be a running buffet tea from 4 - 6pm followed by a Guild business meeting and the results. From 7.30 - 8.30pm there will be open ringing at Towcester (12 bells, tenor 23-1-16) with ringing to suit all.  

Team leaders need to contact Andy Timms by April 22, 2017 to enter the competition.  The rules are available here.

A poster for your tower is available here.

Recruitment Power Point Presentations

You may know that the Central Council Public Relations Committee, with help from other ringers, has been working for some time on a set of PowerPoint presentations that ringers can use to explain our wonderful hobby to others.  This is something that we have often been asked for so we believe that many ringers will find these really useful.  The first set is now available on the Council’s website here


You will see that they include speaking notes and cover

·      A general overview of ringing

·        A presentation to those particularly interested in the science & mathematics or it all

·        A presentation for those interested particularly in history

·        A ‘recruitment’ presentation 

Still to come in the future are:

·        A template for bell restoration funding applications

·        A recruitment presentation for youth

·        A ‘tower leaflet’ with generic content as well as areas for specifics for your tower – an aid to help create your own leaflet if you don’t have one. 

And did you know that you can now subscribe to the Council’s website so that you get automatic notification of new items?  Sign up here 

Kate Flavell   Public Relations Officer     Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Sponsored Ride or Walk for the Guild Bell Fund

Calling All Cyclists and Ramblers  - 

Enjoy a sponsored ride or walk 

for the Guild Bell Fund on 

Saturday, 15th April 2017 at 

Rutland Water.


Cyclists: Park and assemble at Whitwell Country Park

North Shore, for a 10.30am start.

Route approx. 26 miles (shorter route 18 miles)

Cycle Hire available.

More details from Bill Adcock 01536 760826


Walkers: Assemble at the Green, Exton, (new venue) for a 10am start.   Route approx. 5 miles.

More details from Alan Marks 01933 313793


Pub Lunches at the Horse & Jockey, Manton


Routes supplied on the day

Participants ride/walk at their own risk.

Please be prepared for muddy conditions.

Click here for a poster to display in your church
Click here to print off the Sponsorship Form incorporating a Gift Aid declaration.


     Guild 10-Bell Practices

The 10-Bell practice at Kettering on Saturday, April 8, 2017 - the second Saturday - attracted 14 plus two more standers-behind. We rang a course and two halves of Bristol, a half course each of Cambridge and Yorkshire, two touches of Little Bob and three of Grandsire under Richard Allton's direction.

The next 10-Bell practice (base methods: touches of Grandsire Caters, Yorkshire Surprise Royal, Bristol Surprise Royal) will be held 10.30am - 12.30pm at

Higham Ferrers on Saturday, May 6 (NB back to first Saturday) with Simon Dixon directing us while Richard has a non-ringing holiday!

The results of the on-line survey that we carried out in 2016 are available here.

100 Club winners 2017





1st  Prize

2nd Prize



136 C


40 W




122 D


49 N




57 N


27 R


Quiz Results and Answers

Out of the 71 entries submitted, there were 12 all-correct - the first prize went to a tower in Kent! The second to Caroline Mitchell and the third to Barbara Wheeler and Philip Green. There were quite a few entries from outside the Diocese, thanks to proficient selling!

The correct answers are available here.

Derek Jones reports that the 2017-8 quiz will be based on London Districts - there are over 300 in Greater London.

Bell Frame Recording
On Saturday, April 1, 2017 the Towers and Belfries Committee of the CCCBR is holding a seminar at Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, 10am-5pm.
The historical significance and technical performance of bell frames often needs to be recorded.  Recording skills, of all kinds, are becoming scarce. Come to see how you can use your talents to help keep our bells ringing.

Places, £15, are limited. Book now through Alan Frost on 01296 681244 or email:

John Webster

Alan Wordie reports with great sadness that John Webster died suddenly on Monday, February 20 afternoon. He had been teaching learners in Uppingham on Saturday, ringing for Sunday services in Uppingham and Wing and had enjoyed Sunday lunch with family and friends. When we were told he had died from a heart attack few of us believed it.
Sue and John’s family are naturally in shock and disbelief, but Sue is being stoical and I have been asked to continue the learner practice this Saturday, and the Branch will be ringing at the Cathedral on Sunday for evensong.  
John had been Rutland Branch Steward from 2009.

Following a private cremation, a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at Uppingham Parish Church on Tuesday, March 7 at 2pm. Family flowers only, donations if desired to The British Heart Foundation c/o E M Dorman Funeral Directors, Beechcroft, 69 High Street East, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9PY. Telephone 01572 823976. 

Published in Rutland Times on Mar. 2, 2017 


Richard J Cowley (Dick)

Pam Bailey reports that Richard 'Dick' Cowley died on Thursday, January 5 in hospital.  He had been ill for a couple of months, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  His funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 31 at 10 am at Finedon.  Val has contacted me about the ringing at the funeral and we have agreed to ring half an hour before the service and again after while the family go to the crematorium for a private committal.   

The wake will be at Finedon Cricket Club and Val would like the ringers to join them.

I have only known Dick since I started ringing in the Farmers' Market Quarter Peals at Higham Ferrers. As far as I know this was the only ringing that Dick now did. Years ago I understand he rang lots of peals and he was Tower Captain at Thrapston for a while.

Rope-in-a-mate ropeinamate/

Started by Devon Association but has already been adopted by Yorkshire Association and Carlisle DG Facebook groups. We don't have a Peterborough Branch Facebook group but for those of you that are on Facebook - and even those that aren't - you might want to get involved and get a (non-bellringing) mate to come along to a practice night.

If you really don't do Facebook then the premise is that you get a non-bellringing friend to come along to a practice night to have a go at bellringing, take a photo of them doing it, and post it on Facebook. But you could share the photo other ways - by email, on twitter, even just showing other friends using the viewer on your camera. The idea is to get friends interested in having a go, and hopefully their friends will also hear about it and want to try.
Nick Elks: PRO Peterborough Branch

Geoff Armitage
Anthea Hiams sadly reports that Geoff Armitage died on Tuesday, December 20 after a long battle with cancer. 

Geoff's funeral and Requiem Mass celebrated by Fr Martin Daniels took place at 12.30pm on Monday, January 9, 2017 at St Nicholas Church, Marston Trussell where he was both Tower Captain and Church Warden. 

Geoff was born on January 1, 1943.  He joined the Guilsborough Branch in 1979 and was Branch Steward from 1980.  These quarter peals have been rung to Geoff's memory.

Barry Thompson
Barry died on December 20 evening at Northampton General Hospital.


After leading the Byfield singing item at the branch carol concert on December 7, he had a stroke the following day.  Since then he has suffered further heart problems from which he has been unable to recover.


Barry learned to ring after he and Pauline moved to Byfield into Fred Hutt's house. Intrigued by everyone mentioning it as "Fred's house", he decided to investigate and took up ringing in 2003. He has been successful in recruiting others to ring, and his own ringing progressed to five quarter peals with the peak of inside to Plain Bob Doubles in 2011.


Pauline died in 2014 and they had no children.  Barry's sister lives in Northampton and thanks go to Jackie Bailey for her attention to, and news of, Barry in his last sad days.


Barrys' funeral took place in a full Holy Cross church on Wednesday, January 4, followed by burial in the cemetery afterwards. There was a wake in the village hall.  The bells were rung open after the service and during the burial by the many ringers who were present. GHP   See quarter peal here.

The Northants Nine-in-a-Day
On Saturday 3rd December 2016 nine quarter peals of Julie McDonnell Bob Doubles were successfully rung on the nine 5-bell towers of the Towcester Branch of the Peterborough Guild. This was a very special day for Julie, a return to her childhood roots, having been taught to handle a bell by Doug Holloway at Potterspury several decades before.
Anyone who has rung Julie McDonnell Bob Doubles will acknowledge that it is a bit tricky to ring. So, a special practice was held at Pattishall 3 weeks earlier and around 15 ringers met for a chance to gain familiarity with the variation.
On the day, nine well-struck ¼ peals were rung without drama. A total of 24 ringers took part, with 11 firsts in the variation, and Julie and her friends / supporters, Alan and Louise Pink (from the Hastings area) ringing in 5 of them. Each ¼ peal was special in some way. The one at Ashton especially so, where a little girl with Leukaemia, and her parents, were there to greet Julie and the rest of the band. It was an emotional moment. In total the sum raised for Strike Back Against Blood Cancer attributable to the event was £286,426.
The day concluded with the Annual Towcester Branch Dinner, which on this occasion welcomed the inspirational Julie McDonnell as guest speaker. Reminiscences from decades past mixed with recollections of more recent events to produce an atmosphere special to the ringing fraternity. And so ended a truly memorable day.
With thanks to all those who contributed to this very special day.    Chris Bulleid.
See details and photos here.
Kate Flavell, CCCBR PRO and the PR Committee write:
We thought you would want to look out for this in Sunday, January 29 Telegraph. Unless there is other breaking news, there should be a two-page feature on Julie and the amazing bell ringing campaign to save lives, in which many of you have been involved, and which has raised over £7m to date. The CCCBR website will also feature the press release with which we approached the National press in the first instance. St Paul’s will be ringing for the campaign around 2pm on Sunday, and its website will also reference the event. In due course a recording of the event will be made accessible, we hope, if all goes well, via Bells on Sunday. 
In the Financial Times Magazine of January 21 there is a good article about ringing at Worcester Cathedral that we have been expecting for a long time.  The FT approached the Central Council to find a tower where there was an active band with plenty of younger ringers and we suggested several – this one was their choice.

Trevor Jarvis
Mark Rogers has sadly reported that Trevor died at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Northampton, aged 58, on Thursday, December 1. Trevor was a member of the Guild for over 40 years and had served on the Northampton Branch committee and as an officer for many years.  He was Chairman of the Branch from 2005 - 2010 and continued to serve on the Guild's General Management Committee. 
His funeral took place at the Counties Crematorium, Towcester Road, Milton Malsor, Northampton  NN4 9RN on Friday, December 16 at 11am, when the crematorium was filled to overflowing by family and friends.

Guild remembered at Cathedral altar
Letter received by President Nov. 23, 2016
Greetings, in the name of the Lord, from your Cathedral!


As the Seat of the Bishop, one of the primary roles of any Cathedral community is to uphold the work of the Bishop, the parishes, chaplaincies and other institutions of the Diocese in the context of the daily round of public prayer and worship.


It is a role and responsibility that we take very seriously here. As an indication of this, we send to Churchwardens and Head teachers a card which states when their parish or school is to be specifically remembered by us.


We hope that you will be happy to put the enclosed card on display as a visible sign of our sharing together in mission and ministry.


Finally, we are so grateful for your prayers for the Cathedral. At this time of financial and organisational difficulty, we have been greatly encouraged by the prayers and expressions of support from so many colleagues across the Diocese.


With all good wishes and every blessing,


Yours in Christ   Jonathan Baker   The Reverend Canon Jonathan Baker    Acting Dean of Peterborough

The CCCBR published this latest information about Church of England procedures on safeguarding in The Ringing World on November 11, 2016.
The documents listed in the update, are available by clicking open the titles here:

Edward C Garrett (Ted)

Ian Willgress has sadly reported that Ted Garrett passed away on Sunday, November 6, aged 89.

Ted had a long spell of ill health and had been bedridden since June at Brownlands Nursing Home in Daventry. 

Ted was elected a member in 1946 and was the Guild's first Peal Secretary from 1963 to 2013. He was Chairman of the Daventry Branch from 1963 for 26 years and was elected as a Life Honorary Member in 2004 for outstanding service to the Guild.  

There was a Thanksgiving Service for Ted's life Garrett in Heyford Church at 12 noon on Friday, November 25. There was open ringing from 11.15am directed by the branch ringing master for anyone who wanted to ring.

This was followed at 1.30pm by a Cremation Service at Rainsbrook, Rugby crematoriumopen to anyone to attend.

This quarter peal was rung to Ted's memory.
See a full obituary on the Obituaries page.

Bell Ringers Strike Back Against Cancer
You may have read about or indeed been involved in some of the bell ringing activities inspired by Julie 
McDonnell and her Bellringers Strike Back Against Cancer campaign. In case you haven't, Kate Flavell, PRO of the CCCBR has provided this background: 

Julie McDonnell, a ringer of only two years, has had three leukaemias and now brain cancer.  In amongst her various treatments she has initiated a bell ringing campaign, now with its own method variations (eg Julie McDonnell Bob Doubles), which has huge sponsorship from celebrities and businessmen, as well as families affected by blood cancer, initially to raise funds and awareness for the Anthony Nolan Trust and DKMS (who both match stem cell donors with leukaemia sufferers) and now also to fund second stem cell transplants.  The more quarter peals rung of Julie McDonnell methods, the more money is raised to help save the lives of children who need a second stem cell transplant, currently unavailable on the NHS in England.   The sponsors have really taken to this initiative, which is in turn raising the awareness of bell ringing in a positive way in the public sphere.

Links to the methods are at and although the initial target of 100 QPs by Christmas has now been exceeded, the target keeps being increased (it is now 200), for exponentially more money (100 QPs earned £10k, and a further £60k is pledged if 200 is reached).  And if all towers of the alphabet are rung at (J, V, Y and X are particularly challenging!), even more funds are secured.  If Julie herself rings, then additional money is earned – and she has just conducted her first!  Thus far the total funds from the Strike Back Against Cancer campaign have shot up to c£1m, all since June 25th, and as the cut-off is Dec 25th there is the possibility to get this to a much higher figure.


So, for those interested, all you need to do is a) learn a new method, b) organise and ring a QP with or without Julie, and c) link the QP on Bellboard to the event Bellringers Strike Back Against Cancer.  It is a great way for bell ringers to ‘do their thing’ and at the same time save lives, while raising awareness of the positive power of bell ringing and bell ringers.


We appreciate that not every charitable cause will appeal to everyone, but we believe that this particular initiative, by a bell ringer, for bell ringers, is something of general interest to the ringing community, hence our raising awareness of it. 


For more information about Strike Back Against Blood Cancer (SBABC) and the charities it supports click the above link as well as,

Kate  Flavell, Public Relations Officer,  Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.  Reference to NHSBT removed at their request 3/3/17

Nick Elks already has things in hand in the Peterborough Branch where Julie McDonnell went to ring in these quarter peals. Other branches may like to do their own thing!

Summer Festival 2016

and Inter Branch 8 Bell Striking competition

Saturday September 17, 2016

I found myself all of a sudden heading down the road to round off the summer months. I arrived at the lovely church of SS Peter and Paul; hidden away in the quiet village of Chacombe, part of the Culworth branch. After admiring the old sun dial above the church doorway early arrivals waited expectantly for the tower captain to arrive with the church keys to enable the Summer Festival Open Ringing to start.

Being directed to a door round the far side of the tower we entered to be greeted by 6 bells, 13-3-8, long drops, an old teachers desk in the centre and a rather large black board giving instructions of Plain Bob Minor – a hint maybe – who knows but certainly it gave a start to the open ringing and the method was rung. Fifteen ringers arrived to enjoy the bells including our judges for the striking competition, Colin Lee & Andy Wignell (I found this out later!) Methods ranged from Cambridge Surprise Minor, Plain Bob Doubles and then onto Kent Surprise Minor. Enjoying the bells so much we all left, a little behind schedule. Rushing over to Brackley we managed to lose both our judges on the way.

Arriving at St Peters Church, Brackley, host of the striking competition, many bands had gathered in readiness to make their branch members proud. Entering the church there was a true buzz in the air and large trestle tables full of sumptuous sandwiches, scones, sausage rolls and cakes - oh what wonderful cakes. There is definitely something special about old British traditions!!

The competition, now running behind schedule, judges hastening to their posts, Guilsborough Branch were set to ring, oh, but after they had rung the bells up!! Ringing Plain Bob Triples – always hard to open the ringing - they settled down and set the pace of the afternoon.

Photographs duly taken, the tower was now handed over to Towcester Branch. Grandsire Triples now rang out, but to hear, you had to stay outside however with no wind or rain, it was a pleasant sound.

Daventry Branch rang next, trepidation for them as the current title holders. Grandsire Triples were heard again after confusing the judges by starting twice on their practice piece. We then spotted the band from Kettering Branch, what a fantastic sight to see such a young and positive band, one ringer being only 11 years old and wow did they ring!! Rounds and call changes was their preferred method and in my humble opinion, beautifully rung. Big smiles as they came out of the tower and for once, a band making no attempt to avoid me with my camera for the team photograph.

Wellingborough treated us to a lovely sound of Grandsire Triples and by now more and more people had congregated outside armed with sandwiches and tea. Passer-bys out walking must have wondered what was going on but they had smiles on their faces, you never know, they may want to come by again and give bell ringing a try!!

Finally and fittingly the home team ended the competition ringing Plain Bob Triples to a steady rhythm, loud, strong and offering a lovely finish to the competitive part of the day.

Back inside and onto the Guild business meeting whilst our judges judged, assessed and pondered on their scoring.

We were treated to the full Guild Executive and the meeting was opened by President – Geoff Pullin. A vote of thanks was given by Brenda Dixon, Wellingborough Branch, for the kind use of bells at Chacombe, Brackley and Whitfield, whom were to host the Evening Open Ringing. A special thank you given for Culworth Branch and especially to Julie Blencoe and her team for the absolutely glorious teas so beautifully laid out; certainly no-one should have gone hungry.

Nick Churchman, Guild Steward announced two grant applications, one for All Saints, Wilbarston, Kettering Branch, a grant of £3,200 was agreed by members. Second, St. Mary the Virgin, Roade, Towcester Branch, a grant of £375.00 was agreed.

Geoff Pullin then spoke about the CCCBR report – please see his website report, it makes interesting reading and a thought for all.

Guild Master, Andy Timms then spoke about bell ringing as it is today, radio interviews and recruiting from non- church going people. He is to put together a recruitment pack for any tower to use and then displayed samples of Peal and Quarter Peal certificates for everyone to see and comment.

Prize draw time now and with a record number of entries for the 100 club, prizes stood at 50%, 25% and 10% of the fund total so good news and thanks was given to Alan Marks for his efforts in increasing the membership whilst Derek Jones was away cruising the open seas in the early part of the year.

The Summer Festival Draw was also very well supported; Murray Coleman held a rather large bag of folded stubs from the many, many tickets sold across the Guild area. The total raised currently stood at over £800.00 so a magnificent effort by all. 

Meeting closed with details of future events but then the anticipated results!

Our Judges now arrived back into the church, pensive and with a serious look about them. Their summing up began with Derek Jones rather successfully holding up a flip chart as although our Guild Master recorded the results, we had no easel to place the paper on – a plea here for anyone who may have a spare easel that can hold flip charts on would be good!!

The serious look on the judge’s faces began to be explained – there was a tie for 2nd place and only a very tight margin between the top 4 bands, deliberation and more re-checking of the results I’m sure occurred during the business meeting but we finally heard and digested the results.

1st place 95% Daventry Branch

2nd place 94% Kettering Branch

2nd Place 94% Wellingborough Branch

4th Place 93% Towcester Branch

5th Place 84% Guilsborough Branch

6th Place 72% Culworth Branch

Here we had it – Daventry Branch had retained the title and trophy. This was probably a good thing as they forgot to collect the trophy until the very last minute, rushed to Daventry Tower, dusted it down and hurried on to Brackley with it, only to take it back again. It did however save dusting the shelf it sits on as there wasn’t time to do that!! But don’t rest on your laurels Daventry – the others are close behind and it will make a very good competition for next year.

With the evenings drawing in as summer time starts to disappear, many ringers made their way over to St. John the Evangelist Church, Whitfield for the final part of the day and the Open Ringing in what was another beautiful village church. A set of 6 bells 7 -0-26, they rang fast but sounded lovely. 18 ringers arrived and methods ranged from Cambridge Surprise Minor, Wells Surprise Minor (hadn’t heard this one before so a real treat), Double Court Bob Minor and finishing back in Kent (Little Bob Minor) with Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Doubles too, so something for everyone. 

My summing up for the day – brilliant! Another example of what bell ringing is all about. What did I notice this time round – well, not enough ringers for the Open Towers that were not competition ringers, what does this matter I hear you all ask? 

The Open Towers are for everyone, of all abilities, it is a chance to ring with others, try new bells, gain lots of experience and most importantly to get to ring with some very strong bands and solid ringing. An opportunity I certainly wouldn’t want to miss and I reiterate again, give it a go, support the Guild Open Towers and come along, competitions are fun, rewarding, sociable and great, make the most of them, they are for you and it is your Guild !!

Next Guild competition for ringing is the Spring Festival so keep practicing, get your tower to enter and enjoy – it is great fun, tiring, a long day, but something that shouldn’t be missed whatever your level of ringing is.

Ian Willgress receives the trophy on behalf of the Daventry Branch from judges Colin Lee and Andy Wignall

Report and photo by Odette Dawkins           

Guild Summer Draw prizewinners

Please find below the results of the Summer Festival Prize Draw which took place at Brackley on Saturday.

The winning tickets were drawn alternately by the President and Secretary and, by the most remarkable of coincidences, both first and second prizes went to one very lucky winner.

First indications are that the Draw has been very successful again. The sack of counterfoils was nicely filled and Alan has already received over £800 from ticket sales etc. More will, no doubt, come in when treasurers make their returns in December.

I am very grateful to you all for your hard work in distributing the batches of tickets, to the Branches and individuals which/who donated prizes and of course, all your members who bought and sold the tickets.

My best wishes to you all. Murray


Ticket No.




£100 cheque


E Ramsbottom



£50 cheque


E Ramsbottom



Bells Whisky


C Buck



Famous Grouse Whisky


L Bunting

Milton Malsor


Gordon’s Gin   


S Poole

Daventry Branch                


Teachers Whisky


D Garret



Bottle Red wine (1)


C Samson



Bottle Red Wine (2)


J Samson



Bottle White Wine (1)


J White



Bottle White Wine (2)


R Goodey



Sparkling Perry


M Dean



Strongbow x 4


Sold in room


Stella Artois x10


D Stopps



Pedigree x 8


S Dolman



Pocket Calculator


J White



Slow Cooker


H Curtis



Chocolate Biscuits


R Abbott





S Johnson

Marston St. Lawrence


Coffee Mug & Tray (1)


W Adams



Coffee Mug & Tray (2)


I Larter



Hot Drinks Mug


I Dickin



Celebration Chocs


P Groom


Click here for a list to print.

AGM 2016 Report

This year’s AGM was held at Higham Ferrers on Saturday, June 11, a very busy day for members of the Guild, many were involved with ringing at their own towers and in their Branches before coming on to the AGM.

Ringing began at 3.15pm with the Master, Andy Timms, taking charge. The service took place in the choir stalls with Bob Dennis, the tower captain, reading the lesson. Following the service an excellent tea was served in the Bede House before the President called the meeting to order.

Attendance was lower than usual (about 40) with 18 people giving their apologies. The President welcomed everyone to the meeting which started with Derek Jones giving the vote of thanks.

The President then presented three certificates to members who had in the past been made Life Honorary Members of the Guild – Jim Hedgcock, Derek Jones and Dorothy Westerman. He then presented Paul Clewett with his 50 year membership certificate.

The minutes of the 2015 AGM, Summer Festival and 2016 Spring Meeting were approved and signed, and the 2015 report and accounts were adopted. Jim and Gwynneth White were thanked by the President for all their hard work in preparing the report.

The Secretary announced on behalf of the F&GP Committee that they recommended that there be no change to subscription rates or peal fees for the forthcoming year.

The Steward asked for £1,000 to be put aside for minor grants from the Bell Fund.

The Secretary gave notice of future events within the Guild :-

  • Summer Festival   Brackley                   17.09.16
  • Guild Quiz            Weedon Bec              29.10.16.
  • Spring Festival      Towcester Branch      29.04.17.
  • AGM                    Guilsborough Branch  10.06.17.
  • Summer Festival   Northampton Branch 16.09.17.

The Guild Officers were elected for 2016 and all remained in post and the four Central Council representatives were also elected for the next triennium with Simon Dixon replacing Alan Chantler.

A brief report was given by the PRO/Webmaster (who also happens to be the President) on the number of hits the website had received over the year and an appeal to be kept in touch with any alterations to meetings and events so the web site could be kept up to date.

Nick Elks gave a report (See below) to members on the recent Central Council Meeting held at Portsmouth. Overall he felt it had been a very positive meeting with an undercurrent throughout the Council of a need for change to modernize, and the mechanism for this change has been approved and is in motion.

The 100 club draw took place and the meeting closed at 7pm.  Evening ringing continued on the ten bells before several members adjourned to the Griffin to enjoy a chat over a few drinks.     Sue Jones

Central Council Meeting Report 2016

The 119th Annual General Meeting of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) was held on 30th May at the Best Western Royal Beach Hotel, Portsmouth.

The Guild’s representatives; Jane Sibson, David Westerman, Nick Elks and Simon Dixon were in attendance. The total number of representatives was 169.

The first meeting was on Sunday with a ‘Question Time’ session where questions on a variety of bellringing issues were raised and a selected panel of high profile ringers gave their views. The outcomes/answers were sometimes varied and sometimes in agreement, but this is a positive step forward in the Central Council being shown to be open and inclusive of the opinions of ringers from all walks of the exercise. 
All committees took the opportunity to have a face to face business meeting at some point prior to the main AGM meeting.
At the main meeting on Monday the President called for calm and reflective decision making. There were many representations from the floor urging the Council to make changes to be seen to be more relevant to the modern ringing community. One of the main drawbacks identified has been the lack of a clear channel of communication throughout the ringing community. A possible solution mooted was for the exercise to become ‘membership based’ whereby all ringers might be signed up and communication issues would become less of an issue.

There were eight motions in front of the Council, some administrative and others potentially contentious….

Motion A was to amend rules due to the winding up of the Ringing Foundation Limited and passed.

Motion B was designed to speed up council protocol by electing committees in advance and was passed.

Motion C was administrative and changed the terms of reference for Redundant Bells and was passed.

Motion D was withdrawn (Voting by proxy) to allow more time for reflection.

Motions E and F were presented by John Harrison (Oxford DG) in an effort to make the Central Council more relevant and appropriate for the 21st century as many ringers throughout the country question the validity and need of the Council for most activities. A working party of both Council and non Council members is to be set up with a remit to gather wide ranging views and recommendations for modernization, and to report back to the 2017 meeting. After some considerable time and debate both motions were passed with slight amendments.

Motions G and H were passed which allow more flexibility in method construction and how peals may conform to the rules of the Council. For example, there is no limit on the number of places an internal bell can make in a plain course, there is now a relaxation on allowing partial extents in a peal of doubles, minor and triples (i.e. a peal of 5100 doubles will now be approved if it has 42 full extents and 60 changes), handbell peals of minimus will be allowed (however, if one ringer rings all 4 bells then an umpire must be present), and the naming of methods in lower stages requires only a quarter peal to be rung.

Following lunch, the Ringing World AGM was held. The Board of Directors was more settled this year and all members stayed in post. A new editorial assistant is to be employed from September. The Ringing World chairman, Nigel Orchard, was pleased to announce that the RW had made a profit last year, primarily due to donations, and the need for raising the subscription rates and the compulsory charging of printing peals and quarters was deferred. The RW can stay in its present form until at least July 2017 and the Board are considering a different printing process which may be better suited for a low circulation of 2,600 copies. The Board are seriously considering a fortnightly publication as the recent survey seemed to find favour with this option. Again, a plea was made to increase circulation and members were encouraged to ask towers to take a copy for their ringers at their home churches. 

After the Ringing World AGM, the Central Council AGM continued...  The reports of various committees were discussed and accepted, and most of these were approved without contention. However, the Ringing Trends committee had lost its Chair and IT consultant midway through the year due to criticism of their work in an open letter to the Ringing World from a prominent ringer. The entire committee felt quite aggrieved by this attack and resigned en mass. No delegate was prepared to stand on the committee as an act of solidarity, and although the committee still technically exists it currently has no members.

Overall this was a very positive meeting, there is a definite undercurrent throughout the Council of a need for change to modernize, and the mechanism for this change has been approved and is in motion as you read this.

The meeting closed at 5:30pm and the 120th meeting will be held in Edinburgh next year.
Nick Elks Peterborough DG CCCBR Rep

Ridgman Trophy 2016

The Guild hosted the 2016 competition at Daventry on Saturday, June 4.  The results were 

1st             Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bellringers               21 faults

2nd             Hertford County Association of Change-Ringers             32 faults

3rd             Essex Association of Church Bellringers                         40 faults

4th             Lincoln District Guild of Church Bellringers                     44 faults

5th             Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers         62 faults

6th             Suffolk Guild of Ringers                                               64 faults

7th             Bedfordshire Association of Church Bellringers               68 faults

A full report of the day can be found on the Competitions page.

Click here to hear the winning piece rung by the Ely Diocesan team.

Spring Festival - April 23, 2016
held at Seaton in the Rutland Branch
Despite the rather concerning weather forecast of snow the sun shone throughout a glorious day in the Rutland area of the Guild. Our first church for the open practice, a lovely set of 6 bells at Caldecott (7.1.22) was slowly but surely commenced with ringers arriving throughout the practice time culminating in 28 ringers, all getting a chance to ring a mixture of Plain Bob Minor to Cambridge Surprise Minor.

With time running slightly over it was a dash to the second open tower where more ringers arrived; this time for a chance to see an absolutely beautiful church at Glaston, again with ground floor ringing but within the central nave. Bells somewhat lighter (10.2.21) caught a less experienced ringer out but the ringing was enjoyed by all under the careful organisation of Alan Ellis as Andy Timms had to leave somewhat speedily to greet the judges over at Seaton.

Judges - John and Jenny Thorne from Southam in Warwickshire were duly met at All Hallows’ church, Seaton and the bells ‘rung up’ in readiness for the competition. The teams began to arrive; the church hall ready and set up with a sumptuous buffet in the care of the Rutland Branch Secretary Helen Pollard and her many helpers was all in place and the competition all set to go.

A last minute entry was requested from the home team and with judges in agreement the competition began with now 8 teams in for the battle.  All the teams from Orlingbury, Northampton Town Centre, Rushden, Rothwell Antiques, Pattishall, Rothwell Nearly New, Towcester and Braunston rang with enthusiasm and enjoyment – plenty of smiles from all as they emerged from the church doorway to pose for their team pictures!

The ringing ranged from call changes to Cambridge Surprise Minor. For me, it was glorious, lovely and on very loud bells, all very English and perfect. The sun was shining, the breeze was gentle – perfect, even the tractor – well not so perfect as the driver decided to stop just by the judges car and keep his engine running whilst the Rothwell Antiques Team were ringing – typical but a lovely British view of tradition you could say!

So following 2½ hours of ringing and being interrupted by the guild business meeting where 2 grants for bell repairs were agreed, the results were announced. With only 1 point splitting the 1st and 2nd placings and a tied 4th place the Judges gave their personal summing up to each team and the winners were presented with the John Weaver Shield.
Results were:

1st Towcester 18 faults                     4th= Northampton Town Centre 29 Faults

2nd Rushden 19 faults                      6th Pattishall 32 faults

3rd Rothwell Nearly New 26 faults      7th Braunston, Rutland 42 Faults

4th= Orlingbury 29 faults                  8th Rothwell Antiques 44 Faults

< Richard Allton receives the Weaver Shield from judges Jenny and John Thorne

The winning team >

[Photos by Odette Dawkins]

The day was not yet finished, over 20 ringers drove over to the magnificent church at Uppingham with its 8 bells (14.2.2) for the open evening ringing. Upstairs ringing chamber, so many had to interchange for all to be able to ring. Here we were treated to vast range of ringing from Plain Bob Triples, Cambridge Surprise Major, Bristol Surprise Major and on into what was certainly my highlight of the day being able to witness and hear an eight Spliced Surprise Major. 

A fantastic array of ringing and a fitting end to a marvellous day to celebrate the ‘Art of Change Ringing’. 

Well done to all, the organisers, the ladies who made the delicious teas, the judges with their knowledge and powers of concentration, the towers that allowed us all to descend and especially to the bell ringers that give up their Saturday and help keep this wonderful tradition alive.
Odette Dawkins

‘Discover Bell Ringing’ booklet

ART have published a new to help those who are new to ringing understand something of the history and culture of the activity as well as answering some of the common how, where, why and when type questions that new ringers ask. Additionally, it also gives a taste of how new ringers can develop their interest in ringing. It may be provided to new ringers as well as being used for those showing an interest on tower open days or other such occasions. Click here for further details.

ART WORKS Newsletters

The latest ART WORKS magazines from the Association of Ringing Teachers can be found hereART

 Index table inserted with anchors 21/8/15, rehashed 22/11/15.  Page last revised 28/4/17

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