Latest Guild News

Index - click on item to be taken straight there

100 Club winners 2017


ART Awards 2018


ART WORKS Newsletters


ART Workshops


Barry Thompson


Bell Ringers Strike Back Against Cancer


CCCBR Latest on CRAG


CCCBR Better Bell Handling posters


Ernest Kellett

Geoff Armitage


Guild 10-Bell Practices

Guild AGM 2017 - brief report

Guild remembered at Cathedral altar

Harold Thompson

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

Ringing for Peace Nov 11, 2018


Spring Festival 2017

Summer Festival 2017

The Northants Nine-in-a-Day



Harold Thompson

Harold has been suffering with ill health for a number of months but on November 29 he was taken to A&E, Northampton and died in the early hours of December 2.  His funeral will take place on Friday, December 22 at 1.30pm at Mid Warwickshire Crematorium, Oakley Wood, Bishops Tachbrook, CV33 9QPHis daughter Sally reports that Harold requested no flowers and casual dress.

Harold was born on October 30, 1934 and moved to Braunston, Northants from Southall in 1969. He learned to ring and was elected a Guild member for Welton in 1998.  When Richard Hartley was elected Daventry Branch Steward in 2005, Harold assisted Richard in restoring the four branch unringables by working regular weekly sessions over a few years including using his carpentry skills to repair and rebuild bell wheels.  Before and after that, Harold had assisted with the restoration of several rings across the Diocese, including locally Everdon, Long Buckby, Charwelton.

He was tower captain at Welton from 2007 and was sacristan until he gave up last month  when he decided that he was not stable enough to safely carry out the duties.

Harold’s ringing repertoire was not wide and his style unique, but he was a keen supporter of the Daventry Branch and would often be early at meetings ready to raise the bells.  Welton hosted the November Branch meeting and in recent years, he has supported Tuesday morning ringing sessions at Hellidon and made sure their altar was dressed in the appropriate colour!  He last rang in July and his last visit, for coffee, was on November 28.

Funds for CCCBR

The CCCBR Public Relations Committee reports that Ecclesiastical Insurance is running a scheme where charities can win £1,000.  CCCBR has worked with them recently to promote its communities project so can enter the draw.

Please help the chance of winning the £1,000 by completing the nomination form at https://www.ecclesiastical. com/12-days/index.aspx , quoting "Central Council of Church Bell Ringers" and its registered charity number 270036.  The deadline is Tuesday, December 5 2017.

Well done us!

Thank you for participating in our 12 Days of Giving.  We’ve had a fantastic response with over 27,500 nominations. I am pleased to announce that your chosen charity, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers , has been picked in today’s draw and they will receive £1,000. Adrian Saunders, Commercial Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance; 8/12/17.

Better bell handling posters

The CCCBR Education Committee is offering A3 size posters suitable for belfry walls showing

  • Typical Skilled Bell Handling and
  • Typical Incorrect Movements 

Please click here for details and how to order.

Ringing for Peace - Armisitice 100

Caroline Stockmann, Central Council Public Relations Officer, has written about plans for marking Remembrance Day 2018 - the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. The full article as published in The Ringing World is available here and is summarised below:

More than 1,400 of the bell ringing community laid down their lives in World War 1.  Fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we do today and we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace.

Here are a number of things CCCBR are suggesting:

 On Sunday, November 11, 2018 as much bell ringing as possible! Half-muffled ringing in the morning, and open in the afternoon and evening

 government departments would like to work with us in an official capacity; in particular they support the idea of recruiting new ringers - recruit 1400 ringers, the same number as those who fell in the Great War.

 ringers will need to coordinate with their Church and work together on making the day very special.

 ideas for ringing on the day vary from ‘whole pull and stand except the tenor’, ringing appropriately-named methods such as Ypres and Gallipoli Surprise Major; please send in ideas to share

 ring 1400 quarter peals around the date (one for each of the fallen) with an 'event' on BellBoard and issue of certificates

 take part in the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening. Get 1,000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day.

 consider a community lunch or social between ringing, – why not make this a really special day for your whole ringing (and broader) community?

ALSO check your muffles, and order more NOW so that you’re not caught short!

2018 ART Awards applications please

The ART Awards continue to grow every year – with close to £3,000 awarded in prizes last year. Now is your chance to apply for the ART Awards 2018!

The teaching awards are open to everyone – not just ART members or those using ‘Learning the Ropes’ scheme – and the aim is to encourage and recognise the people and groups leading best practice and innovation in the teaching and development of ringing.

Whilst it can sound intimidating to apply for a national award, when all you’re doing is having fun and making things happen, the ART Awards are there for normal ringers like you doing what you consider to be the right things - it’s only the rest of us that are in awe of what you are doing.

Click here for further details of how to apply.

Ernest Kellett

Sue Webster writes: I have been requested, on behalf of Val Kellett, to share this sad news with you all. 

Ernest Kellett died peacefully at Rutland Care Village on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, aged 88, after a short illness.

Ernest became an unattached member of the Rutland Branch in 2002 and was branch secretary for 2002 and 2003.

He had been a founder member of the South Notts District of the Southwell & Nottingham Guild and its chairman in 1979 and 1980.

The funeral took place at Market Overton on October 17. See quarter peals here and here.


Treasurer wanted

At the Summer Festival in Northampton on September 16, Alan Marks, our Treasurer since 2008, gave notice that he will not seek re-election at the 2018 AGM.  

Alan will be very happy to discuss the work involved with anyone with a view to finding a volunteer (or two, or three?) to be proposed at Branch AGMs in January and for election at the Guild AGM in June 2018.

Would you be able to assist the Guild, a registered charity, by volunteering to undertake this work?

CCCBR Reform - latest messages

See the latest details here.  (1/12/17)

The September Guild Newsletter is available now here.

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. Paul was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only a few weeks ago, and his health had deteriorated rapidly since then. Paul was a very long-standing and active member of Whissendine Church, as tower captain and choir member among other roles, and he will be greatly missed.

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 Moulton on Saturday, November 4, 2017 attracted 12, when Grandsire Caters, Cambridge, Yorkshire and Littleport Little Surprise Royal were rung, under Simon Dixon’s direction. We rang rounds on the 12 especially for our visitor from Horsham, Sussex. He travelled by public transport and arrived earlier than many more local participants who were delayed not only by the scheduled closure of the A43 nearby but also an unscheduled closure of the A45.

The next 10-Bell practice (base methods: touches of Grandsire Caters, Yorkshire Surprise Royal, and Littleport Little Surprise Royal and perhaps Bristol Surprise Royal and amended to suit those present) will be held 10.30am - 12.30pm on Saturday, December 16 (3rd Saturday) at Peterborough Cathedral.  Please meet inside the west door in good time to book in and make the long climb to the ringing chamber.

The next practice will be on Saturday, January 27, 2018 (4th Saturday) at Towcester. 

Further practices during 2018 are scheduled to rotate around the 2nd, 1st, 3rd and 4th Saturdays in successive months.


The result of the on-line survey that we undertook in 2016 is available here.

The Guild Executive responses to the results are available here.


Summer Festival 2017

Northampton Branch made a very special effort to put the festival spirit back into the Summer Festival.  The programme started with a quarter peal at All Saints intended to have a ringer from each of our ten branches. In the event the quarter peal of Plain Bob Caters was rung with the Master standing in for the Culworth Branch. It was the first on ten for the Rutland Branch representative.

The quarter peal band: l to r: Louis Totaro (7 Rutland), Robin Hickmott (8 Northampton), Brian Foley (10 Daventry), Sarah Bence (1 Kettering), Susan Marsden (2 Peterborough), Simon Dixon (6 conductor, Guild Master representing Culworth) , Ted Buckby (3 Thrapston), Alistair Donaldson (9 Guilsborough), Kevan Chapman (4 Wellingborough), John Pardoe (5 Towcester).  Photos by Robin Hickmott.  

100 people gravitating to St Giles Church Hall to hear the 8-bell inter-branch striking competition in progress on the back 8 bells and to look around the stalls and demonstrations before tucking in to the fine buffet tea provided and served with enthusiasm by the Northampton Branch.

The business included agreement to three Bell Fund grants: renewal of £3,200 to Wilbarston, £55.20 to Great Addington and £550 to Nether Heyford. The 100-club draw awarded £60 to no 118 (northampton Branch) and £30 to no 43 and £12 to 78 (both Peterborough Branch).  The judges, Sally and Richard Brown were finally found and introduced by the Guild Master Simon Dixon.  They provided a commentary on each team and gave the faults in reverse order:


7th        Guilsborough         Grandsire Triples     peal speed 3:44          120

6th        Wellingborough    Grandsire Triples                          3:32           64

5th        Peterborough        Plain Bob Triples                          3:22           58

4th        Kettering              Call changes                                3:35           48.5

3rd        Northampton        Plain Bob Triples                          3:27           43

2nd       Daventry            Grandsire Triples                          3:27           34.5

1st        Towcester                Grandsire Triples                          3:24           29.5


The Towcester Branch winning team:  l to r: Catherine Stanworth,  John Stanworth, Richard Allton, Richard Yates, Michael Tinsley, Margaret and Chris Bulleid, Andrew Spencer

So Daventry were displaced after a three year run by Towcester.  Richard Yates was presented with the Harry Wooding Memorial trophy comprising a scale model of a bell in a timber frame.

All Saints bells were open for general ringing until 7pm after which a large contingent descended Bridge Street to the Albion Brewery Bar, the designated venue. Thanks for the magnificent organisation were proposed by Alistair Donaldson and greatly acclaimed.



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


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


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




10 N


20 N




118 N


43 P





3rd prize

78 P




03 N


89 Th




41 N


88 D








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.  Please note that there is an error in the 2017-8 sheet: question 83 should read "UK" not " Europe".



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

Dick was born in Finedon before moving to Barton Seagrave. He joined Northamptonshire Police in 1970 and retired in 1995.   He was the archivist and museum curator for the police until his death. Read more here

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.

From The Lancashire Ringer Jan 2017, by courtesy of the Editor: Peter Rivet 01524 66870

We have to report with regret the death on 20 December 2016 of Geoffrey Armitage, a long standing member of the Lancashire Association though he did not live in this area. He had been ill for some time.

Geoffrey had a considerable interest in, and knowledge of, old and interesting bells; which was admirable. He was best known for his ability to put unringable bells into working order, a very useful skill, though the tactics he employed to achieve were sometimes open to criticism. He was not particularly concerned with the views of such people as architects, structural engineers and Diocesan Advisory Committees. Despite this, he operated for some years as a professional clock repairer and bellhanger, based at Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire.

Your editor particularly remembers a ringing holiday in North Wales in 1975. We had some spare time in the vicinity of Denbigh, where the tower housed – and still houses - a 14cwt ring of eight which had been unringable since the 1930s. Geoffrey and some friends persuaded a church official to give them access to the tower. He did some patching up work which included drilling eight holes in a floor which had been added since the bells went out of use. He produced eight bell ropes which he just happened to have in the back of his car, and we were able to grab them… though in fact we only rang seven of the bells. The fourth kept on trying to climb out of the frame. But the tower is ticked off in my copy of Dove’s Guide. Denbigh bells are still listed in Dove as unringable.

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.


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 September 29, 2017, which follows this earlier one published 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.


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!


ART WORKS Newsletters

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

 Complete page reset anew and index and anchors reset.  Last edit: 11/12/17

Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookie Policy | Charity Number: 258271