Latest Guild News

Index - click on item to be taken straight there

100 Club winners 2017

ART WORKS Newsletters

ART Workshops

Barry Thompson

Bell Ringers Strike Back Against Cancer

Bell as a Symbol ..

Edward C Garrett (Ted)

Geoff Armitage

Guild 10-Bell Practices

Guild AGM 2017 - brief report

Guild remembered at Cathedral altar

Guild Summer Draw prizewinners

Heritage Open Days Sept 7-10, 2017

John Webster

Paul Phillips

Quiz Results and Answers

Recruitment Power Point  presentations

Richard J Cowley (Dick)

Ridgman Trophy 2017

Ring out the old, ring in the new


Spring Festival 2017 report

Summer Festival 2016

Summer Festival 2017 -    something for all ringers

The Northants Nine-in-a-Day

Trevor Jarvis

York Minster

Bells as a symbol of Church and Community

Leading church insurer Ecclesiastical is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the contribution of churches to the local community, beyond their religious duties alone.

The sound of church bells is synonymous with a feeling of community spirit and togetherness, so the campaign would like to include bell ringing in its plans, to remind the public of the role that churches play in their local area. Churches provide vital community services free of charge such as food banks, mother and toddler groups, shelter services for the homeless, activities for the elderly and simply a place to go if you need a chat and some company.

The campaign coincides appropriately with the 2017 Heritage Open Days, and therefore they are asking that as many of us as possible ring our church bells during the period from 7 – 10 September 2017. Please consider helping them keep the role of churches alive this September, and ring your bells to remind your local community of your church’s presence!

To let the public know that church bells will be ringing in unison across the country, Ecclesiastical will be engaging with the media to promote the event and the important message behind it.

Have a look on the Heritage Open Days website to find out more about the wider concept of the open days, including a nice spotlight on bells and ringing here [I seem to recognise the style in the second photo at Barrow!  GHP]

CCCBR President Christopher O'Mahony &  PRO Caroline Stockman  14.8.17

Paul Phillips

Sue Webster reports:

It is with sadness that the death of Paul Phillips of Whissendine is announced.  There are no other details other than he passed away peacefully this morning [17/7/17]. He will be missed by all that knew him and rang with him.

Paul joined the Guild in the Rutland Branch in 1984, was on the branch committee from 1986 and chairman from 1989 until 2002. He continued to attend the Guild Management Committee as the branch’s elected representative until 2011. Paul rang three peals for the Guild and about 12 quarter peals. He was 72 years old.

After a private cremation at Grantham Crematorium, a service to celebrate Paul's life was held at Whissendine on Monday, August 7 with ringing for the service and afterwards.

The Rutland Times of July 27 reported: Family flowers only, donations if desired to be shared between the Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust and Whissendine Parish Church c/o E M Dorman Funeral Directors, Beechcroft, 69 High Street East, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9PY. Telephone 01572 823976.


Guild 10-Bell Practices

The 10-Bell practice at Towcester on Saturday, July 8 2017 attracted 12. We had a go at Bristol, a half course o of Yorkshire, two courses of Little Bob Royal and two touches of Grandsire under Richard Allton's direction.

The next 10-Bell practices (base methods: touches of Grandsire Caters, Yorkshire Surprise Royal,  and Simon says look up Littleport Little Surprise Royal perhaps easier to learn than Bristol Surprise Royal) will be held 10.30am - 12.30pm 

on Saturday,  August 19 (third Saturday) at Higham Ferrers


on Saturday, September 23 (fourth Saturday) at Rothwell.

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

Summer Festival 2017 - something for all ringers


Print a copy of this latest poster for your tower from here.  

Please note that multi-storey car parks in central Northampton are free on Saturdays!


Ridgman Trophy 2017

Seven teams met on Saturday, June 17 in the sweltering heat at the invitation of the Cambridge University Society at Great St Mary, Cambridge.  The striking competition is on ten bells between the East Anglian societies.  The report and results are available here.


Guild AGM 2017 - brief report

The Guilsborough Branch hosted the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, June 10. Ringing at Spratton and Haselbech was followed by a service touch, before  Vicar and member, the Revd. Janet Donaldson took our service at Welford. 

After a splendid tea in the Community Centre, the routine stuff of the meeting surrounded a highlight or two.  David Westerman, a stalwart of the host branch and Guild CCCBR rep was elected as a Life Honorary Member (LHM) for giving outstanding service and presented with a certificate by the President.  David and Pat Teall of the Peterborough Branch were also elected.  

Cecil Swann of the Northampton Branch was belatedly presented with his certificate exactly 11 years after he was elected. Unfortunately none of the five members due for a fifty year membership certificate were present. (Diane Buckby, Brian Chapman, Marilyn Jenner, Colin McCall, and Chris Stephenson) 

The President thanked Andy Timms for his work as Master.  Andy had indicated that he was not standing again, so Simon Dixon was duly elected as Master. We were warned that the Independent Examiner may not be able to act again in 2018.  Then as the newest of our CCCBR reps, Simon Dixon, gave a report on the meeting in Edinburgh and asked that any comments on the CRAG report and the way forward be passed to him and his three CCCBR colleagues.

There was discussion on the survey and format of the Guild ten-bell practices with the Master and Executive given food for pondering, but hopefully not indigestion! Safeguarding  and signing-in at practices were raised and the Executive promised to provide guidelines gained from  a recent meeting with the Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, to whom any suspicions of child abuse can be reported directly by ringers.

Welford’s eight bells were kept busy afterwards for a couple of hours with Simon exercising authority over certain individuals that he had been waiting to do for a few decades!  GHP


York Minster

Click here for the press release issued about the appointment of a Head of Tower.


“Ring out the old, ring in the new"

It may be that some future commentator will reflect on the CCCBR proceedings in Edinburgh over the May bank holiday weekend, and refer to them as “a seminal moment” in ringing history. In the meantime there will no doubt be lots of commentary and analysis in The Ringing World and other fora, discussing the events and their ramifications for ringing.

At its meeting in Portsmouth in 2016, the Central Council voted to establish an arms-length review of its structure and activities, and to report back to the 2017 meeting with recommendations. Members of the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) have been diligent and conscientious in their task, bringing to the meeting a straight-talking analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, along with a proposed timetable for reform.

Some have expressed concern that CRAG’s consultation was not sufficiently broad, and stakeholders have not had sufficient time to respond or deliberate. The counter argument is that CRAG has used all possible communication channels throughout the consultation, and has stuck to the timelines agreed in Portsmouth.

Around 170 members of Council were present at the AGM in Edinburgh, and the motions to adopt CRAG’s proposals were passed by a large majority, followed by spontaneous applause (a somewhat rare event at Council meetings!) The assembled change ringers became change agents, and the appetite for reform and renewal has never been stronger.

Into this milieu I have been elected as President and, although it’s not surprising to feel somewhat apprehensive about the task ahead, I feel privileged to be in a position to help carry forward this agenda. All stakeholders, through their representatives on Council, have given us a clear and bold mandate. The work cannot be done entirely by the Officers, and the CRAG recommendations encourage much wider participation in Council’s activities than in the past. I trust that those with the relevant skills, experience and enthusiasm will step up to the challenge!

I would like to give tribute to those who stepped down from office at the Council meeting. Chris Mew has worked tirelessly as President on behalf of all ringers, and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for all he has done (and continues to do) to support ringing. Kate Flavell, as former President and more recently as Public Relations Officer, has similarly been an unstinting advocate for ringing and ringers, leading the PR team (which she will continue to do) to raise our positive public profile. Andrew Taylor steps down as Treasurer, having kept a steady hand on Council’s finances over these past three years. 

Ringing faces many challenges – recruitment and retention, leadership, clergy relations, potential church closures, communications, compliance, financial viability and more. We come away from Edinburgh energised and ready to take on these challenges, embarking on a journey with our fellow ringers everywhere, to revitalise our wonderful art, and leave a positive legacy for those who follow.

Christopher O’Mahony   President   Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (and Rutland Branch Ringing Master 2008-2010)


Spring Festival 2017 report

Results of the six-bell striking competition held at Cold Higham on Saturday, April 29, as judged by David Jones from Wirral

       1.  Northampton          40 faults

2.  Pattishall                45

3.  Rothwell                 46

4.  Greens Norton        47

5.   Rushden                50

6.   Yelvertoft               89

7.   Nether Heyford      106

8.   Welford                 123

9.   Towcester              Did not finish

Northampton appears on the Weaver Shield for the first time since inception in 1986 and is only the 6th tower to win. GHP

The full report by Odette Dawkins follows: 

Guild Spring Festival, 29th April, 2017 at Cold Higham 

It has certainly taken some time to write up this report, no reason really just work and time as ever get in the way of pleasure and I would like to report on how much the day really was a pleasure to be part off. 

It started by the drive to Northampton Train Station to collect our judge for the day – David Jones from Cheshire, current Ringing Master of The Open University Society of Change Ringers and past Ringing Master of the Cheshire Diocesan Guild.

After a swift visit to a local pub to make sure he was fully recovered from his train journey we arrived at the first open practice tower – Holy Cross Church, Pattishall; a beautiful ring of 6 bells (12 cwt). The practice was well supported with 24 ringers and ringing ranged from call changes to Cambridge Surprise Minor and London Surprise Minor. Swiftly away we arrived at Cold Higham, a chance to ring with David so he could hear the bells and a nifty tower grab for me whilst teams began to arrive. 

The competition, now having nine competitive teams, which is the highest number since 2005, began by the home team of Pattishall going first. Smartly dressed in Guild polo shirts they took the competition by the horns and rang Plain Bob Doubles. They set a good standard for all to follow but then sped off after their commitment to the photographer to feed and water all other ringers. 

The order of teams that followed were Rushden, Greens Norton, Yelvertoft leaving "dog" behind scraping at the door – you need to teach him to ring! Northampton – umm now they sounded rather good and certainly made a play for the home team’s advantage, then came Welford (hang on a minute I’m sure I’ve seen some of you ring already) a quick look at the rules and ok, you are fine and with the gorgeous dog as mascot, who could say no? 

Nether Heyford came next ringing the only set of call changes followed by the current trophy holders, Towcester, but what was this, a good practice, method going well and ringing Cambridge Surprise Minor but then the dreaded crash of bells and silence, Oh! Last to go was Rothwell who were still deciding what to ring as they approached the tower – that is what I call being relaxed! 

After now being frozen and realising why the area is called COLD Higham I made my way into the church hall and saw just how wonderful the teas were, duly been enjoyed by everyone and found many people had not ever left the hall or the sumptuous food – I think I’m in the wrong job. 

Judge, now rescued from sitting, hidden behind the church in my car all afternoon the Guild meeting began with a welcome from Geoff Pullin, Guild President. 

Phil Curtis gave the vote of thanks to the Revd. Marion Reynolds for the kind use of the bells, to Towcester Branch for hosting such a wonderful competition and to Margaret Bulleid and her team for the marvellous teas. 

A Bell Fund grant had been applied for by St Peter & St Paul, Cosgrove and a grant of £3,100.00 was accepted and agreed by the members present. Derek Jones drew the 100 Club and announced that there are currently 117 paid up members, the highest ever so a thank you to all. 

Future events were announced by Sue Jones and included the Guild AGM to be held on June 10, 2017 at Welford and the Summer Festival on September 16 at St. Giles, Northampton. To support the Festival all the town churches will be open for ringing, stalls, rope splicing etc to encourage all members and the public to attend. 

Guild Master Andy Timms gave a vote of thanks to our Judge David Jones for his time and willingness to travel so far and a presentation was made. 

David Jones now took the floor to give the summing up and the anticipated results but first stated, ‘what could be a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, eating cake and listening to bells!!’ 

A brief summing up for each team: 

Team A     (Pattishall)          Pleasant Pace, a slight trip but settled         45 faults 
Team B     (Rushden)          less assured and undecided pace                 50 Faults 
Team C     (Greens Norton)   Some hesitation                                        47 Faults 
Team D     (Yelvertoft)          Variable speeds but finished stronger than at the start     89 Faults 
Team E     (Northampton)    Pace held well and settled ringing              40 Faults 
Team F     (Welford)              A few clips and unsettled                          123 Faults 
Team G     (Nether Heyford)  Took time to settle after each change        106 Faults 
Team H     (Towcester)          Fired out but a shame as was very good        DNF 
Team I      (Rothwell)              Stately ringing but some clips                  46 Faults 

At last a result and for Northampton – this was the first time they had won so a very happy and pleased band, big smiles from the captain- well done!! 

Certificates were awarded to all by David Jones and the presentation of the John Weaver Shield given to Jennie Paul – captain, Northampton Team. 

Jennie Paul with the John Weaver Shield and first certificate presented by David Jones

    The Northampton band: l to r: Graham and Jennie Paul, Nick Parsons, Bridget Paul, Giles Willson and Colin Brown.


What a fantastic competition, great to see more teams taking part and a variety of ringing. 

The day was not yet over as Towcester were holding the evening open ringing with 12 bells at St Lawrence Church (23cwt). Thankfully for me, David Jones did not need to get an early train so time was in hand to drive over to Towcester and ring, Richard Allton calling out at the end of the meeting “we will ring anything except Cambridge!!” That’s Ok Richard, I can’t ring Cambridge either. 

So for the first time ever I climbed up to the tower at Towcester and met with 12 bells, a full room of eager ringers and with nerves shot to pieces, shaking in my boots I took hold of the 6th bell and rang; what a glorious sound, why oh why do not more people ring on these open tower opportunities? It really does not matter how or what you ring, the open towers on Guild events are for everyone, the chance to ring with some experienced and capable ringers, the chance to gain experience – I say this on every report and I repeat again, take the chances and opportunities, you will gain so much. 

But alas I now had to drive back to Northampton Train station and deliver David back onto a train, exhausted and thankfully warmer now I was able to reflect on another successful guild festival – the last one for our current Master Andy Timms and a new trophy holder of Northampton, what a day. 

I hope to see everyone at the Guild AGM and especially at the open ringing.

Report and Photographs by Odette Dawkins 


ART Workshops

At the ART Conference in March, ART announced the development of training workshops in number of subjects.

There are many good training sessions that take place throughout the country, but so often the trainer has to develop their own materials causing a huge duplication of effort. ART is keen to have a repository of good materials and have ‘off the shelf workshops’ available for use to encourage more workshop training in new areas using the best materials and teaching. This may help avoid so many people reinventing the wheel.  Many of these will have to be capable of variation to allow for audiences of different experience levels.

Each workshop uses a combination of presentations and practical work. Currently handouts are handled by email but deletes on the workshops will get access to SmART Ringer in due course to view all handouts and other relevant information.

All workshops will be advertised via the ART web site and already a number of successful pilot workshops have taken place.

Currently the following workshops are available – full details are at 

·     Calling Bob Doubles – basic level bob calling for the aspiring conductor

·       Conducting – this focusses on Bob Minor but includes coursing order, transposition etc.

·    Mentor development -  aims to increase the awareness of the mentoring process 

·         Bell Maintenance – A full day’s workshop to understand what basic maintenance a bell installation needs.

·         Simulator Awareness - designed for people with limited or no knowledge of simulators it explains the various sensor systems and software available .

·         Listen & Strike - helps develop listening skills and rhythm, leading to a reduced reliance on looking and better striking.

·         Tower Leadership - covers stakeholder management, leading the team, good practice and performance. Theory sessions augmented with lots of discussion. (Produced in conjunction with CCCBR).

Other workshops are being developed and we would welcome good additional materials for existing workshops and ideas and assistance with new ones.

These workshops will be run on a regional/local basis and we need to hear not just from people who would like to arrange a course but those who are prepared to run them. Workshop leaders clearly need to have knowledge of their subject as well as good communication skills and the ability to present well using Power Point.  (Mileage expenses are paid to appointed workshop leaders).

So if you need workshop training or could run one – get in touch!

Graham Nabb  ART


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.

See Daventry tower information 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


100 Club winners 2017




1st  Prize

2nd Prize



136 C


40 W




122 D


49 N




57 N


27 R




104 W


84 NR




57 N


120 W




12 K


70 P




78 P


06 W


For details of the 100 Club please click here.

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.


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 was held at Uppingham Parish Church on Tuesday, March 7. 

See peal and quarter peal here.


Richard J Cowley (Dick)

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 was held on Tuesday, January 31 at 10 am at Finedon.  Val wanted ringing at the funeral and we rang half an hour before the service and again after while the family went to the crematorium for a private committal.   The wake was held at Finedon Cricket Club .

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. 

Pam Bailey

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 CrematoriumTowcester 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:

·           June 2015 Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment - Revised version issued July, 2016

·          January 2016 Practice Guidance: Safeguarding Leaming and Development Framework

·         October 2016 Promoting a Safer Church: The Church of England's Safeguarding Policy for children, young people and adults.



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 crematorium, open 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 25ththere 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 on 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.

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