RINGING ROUND DEVON is the quarterly newsletter of The Guild of Devonshire Ringers, and is circulated free to all affiliated towers.
Any individual members who wish to subscribe should contact Lester Yeo. The cost is two pounds and fifty pence for four issues (cheques made payable to Guild of Devonshire Ringers). It is also available on line on the Guild's website at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/gdr/ which holds back issues.
Any comments and inaccuracies in articles contained in this newsletter are the responsibility of the individual contributors, and the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Guild.
Items for inclusion may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks to the enthusiasm of Russell Chamberlain, St Mary's Church, Wolborough, Newton Abbot, will soon become a ringing centre. The plan is for it to open in early September.
The centre will have an eight bell simulator, with the computer providing up to fourteen additional bells if required! The sound will be reproduced from Wolborough's own bells. There will be two separate teaching areas, a (very) small IT facility and video recording available.
The Ringing Centre team hopes to offer regular courses to cater for all requirements. "We are very keen that the centre be fully inclusive so we shall be arranging call change courses as well as method", said committee member Tim King. The simulator will be available to individuals for private practice and pre-programmed with touches from Sixty on Thirds to Spliced Surprise Maximus! The date of the Grand Opening will be advertised on both the Guild and Association websites.
Below is the touch of St Simon's Triples agreed for the Guild eight bell competition on Saturday 18th October at St Peter's, Tiverton. Matthew Hilling says, "It contains quite a few little bell runs including: 23456s, 2345s, 5432s, 65432s, and also 4567 off the front and some Queen's near-misses."
266 St Simon's Bob Triples M I 4 W H 23456 -------------------- - S 32546 - 65432 - - - 23456 -------------------- 7th observation: M = 5/6 down. I = In. 4 = Make the bob. W = 5/6 up. H = long 7ths
If people want some practice touches, all the usual ones work such as WH,WH or MH,MH. Alternatively, a shorter but slightly more interesting touch which starts the same way as the competition touch is:
I H 23456 ----------- - S 32546 - S 23456 -----------
Also, a full 2 course touch can be rung which incorporates the last course of the competition touch:
M W H 23456 -------------- - - - 65432 - - - 23456 --------------
The first few meetings of the year have seen a definite improvement in the attendance at our meetings. It is difficult to say exactly why but regular emailings to members and good support from our friends in the Exeter Branch are possible factors.
Our monthly meetings have included visits to Dawlish and a training morning at Collaton St. Mary. By far our highest attendance for quite some time was at Stoke Gabriel where over 25 ringers were present and a good variety of methods rung. New ropes meant that our striking was not always as good as we would have liked but it was very pleasing that Mike Webster of the local band was able to ring Kent Treble Bob on his own bells.
Socially we have started the year well with our annual Quiz evening - as always "Masterminded" by Don Roberts who, as usual, managed to find a wide variety of questions to test us. This year we had our third change of venue to Kingskerswell and were very warmly entertained - roast potatoes were considered to be an inspiration and were very much enjoyed along with a whole host of other goodies.
Unfortunately, the upward trend in attendance suffered what we hope is a blip for our Half Yearly business meeting in May. 10 ringers manfully kept the bells at Buckfastleigh going for most of our allotted time and we were relieved to find re-enforcement's at Wolborough for the service and meeting. Even so, there was a long list of apologies at the business meeting ably chaired by our new branch chairman - Rev. Russell Chamberlain. Russell swiftly dealt with the business in hand to give us plenty of time to enjoy the fine bells at Wolborough - soon to become a ringing centre. A variety of methods was rung from Bob Doubles to Cambridge Major.
A new method practice has got off to a good start at Exbourne (6 bells, 8-2-14). Method ringers in the area have had to travel considerable distances to practise their art, and it is hoped to form a new focus point here for experienced ringers, learners and those in the call change tradition who would like to broaden their skills.
Support has been promised from Surprise ringers. So far methods rung have ranged from treble bob minor, through Stedman, to plain hunt. An encouraging factor has been the interest from local call-change ringers, and we have done lots of dodging practice and covering behind working bells in order to improve control and rope sight.
We are not working towards Sunday method ringing at Exbourne (there is already a call-change practice for this purpose), but we are looking for continued support from experienced ringers and could manage two or three more "improvers".
Practices are held weekly, on Friday evenings, starting at 7.30 p.m.
Very many Guild members will remember Tom Wright of Down St Mary who died on 21 February at Exeter Hospice aged 85. Tom captained the Down St Mary team for more than twenty years, and made the team famous throughout the county for its high standard of ringing, as they won competition after competition, which visitors to the church could tell by the vast number of trophies and certificates that seemed to fill every available space.
At the time of his death, he was President of the Cadbury Deanery Association, and was a former president of the Devon Association. Tom also spent countless hours raising funds for the Devon church bell restoration fund, and organised and judged numerous competitions.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral service at Down St Mary Church on Saturday 1 March, where he had served on the Parochial Church Council and as a member of the Deanery Synod.
He had also been on Mid Devon District Council for twenty years, and was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1985 for his service to the community.
Thanks to Alan Quick of Colebrook, who provided much of this information.
For further details please contact Lester Yeo at email@example.com
Dunsford Church, whose bells are featured on the CD
....the tintinabulation that so musically wells
from the bells, bells, bells, bells.
Edgar Allan Poe
One could be forgiven for thinking that the bells were more about money than about tintinabulation, however musical ! Just at the moment there does seem to be some truth in this but The Bells Project is about more than raising the money to re-hang our 'eight'. Week by week the practising goes on; Martin Dodd and our other resident experts continue to encourage our beginners and improvers whilst at the same time honing their own skills. If the results on a Tuesday night do not always 'so musically well' it is not for the want of trying and sometimes listeners do get a treat when something really 'comes off' as it should !
However, to tell you about the money. Another milestone was passed as a result of the Fun Day on Easter Monday: we have over £15 000 in the accounts now. Grateful thanks to those who continue to help and encourage us. We have a substantial grant from Ugbrooke Environmental Limited who distribute Landfill Tax money on behalf of Viridor Waste Management and another from the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. These, together with several small grants of a hundred pounds or so each, are payable when the actual work of re-hanging is complete. Unfortunately a proportion of the total cost has to be paid when an order is placed and a further proportion when the work actually starts so we need to sustain our efforts for a while longer yet !
By the time you read this I should have completed the task of writing to most, if not quite all, of the ringable towers in Devon. The response has been heart-warming and, I am pleased to say, bank-balance-improving and I would like to offer thanks to all those who have sent us contributions and, in anticipation, to those who are about to do so. I have tried to acknowledge individually but I know there are some I have missed. Apologies are due to those I have asked (in my ignorance) who have restoration projects of their own in progress or in the offing - it must have seemed unkind to be asking you to help us when you stand in need yourselves.
I have been almost overwhelmed by the interest which has been taken in Llewellins and James bells since I corresponded with the 'Bell Historians' group on the internet about our ring. The discussion went on for about 3 weeks and has recently been taken up again. Richard Bowden (who used to ring at Tiverton St. Peter a long time ago) has compiled for us a substantial dossier on the foundry in Bristol where our bells were cast; it is a fascinating document.
As ever, our website has details of our past and future activities; please look us up on www.teignmouthbellproject.co.uk.
Congratulations to two St.Marychurch (Torquay) ringers. Paul Latham rang a very creditable Tenor to his first peal - Grandsire Caters in March.
Helen Mansley celebrated the end of the Easter holidays by ringing the 3rd of the front 6 to a fine quarter of Cambridge Minor - her first inside to any minor method.
A veteran ringer has completed half a century as captain of the bells at a well-known Devon church.
Roy Berry took on the responsibility of caring for the bells at St Margaret's Church, Fore Street, Topsham, and organising the ringing as a team as a 28-year old in 1953.
Now aged 78, Roy is still going strong, even climbing the church's Heavitree stone tower twice a week to check the bells are in good order and wind the church's Queen Victoria coronation clock.
Roy, who first rang bells as an 11-year old, says he has maintained his interest for a number of reasons.
"Bell-ringing is all about being part of a team," he said. "I enjoy the social side of the job. We all get together for practice and there is quite a bit of banter and we crack a few jokes.."
Last week Roy's fellow ringers presented their captain with a framed picture of himself clambering amongst the bells.
The picture was signed by all 12 of Topsham's current ringers to commemorate his time as their leader. Roy said he was delighted with the gift.
Topsham resident John Fulstone, who has been ringing with Roy for several years, said: "Roy is an absolute delight to work with and is a true professional.
"We wanted to do something to mark the occasion because to be captain of the bells for so long is a truly staggering achievement and just shows how dedicated Roy is".
Roy, a retired baker, has lived in Topsham nearly all his life, apart from a period when he served overseas in the Second World War.
While working, he would go directly from bell-ringing practice to his bakery to work through the night.
The bell-ringers now practice every Thursday night, meeting on Sunday mornings before the regular service to perform their routines.
They either follow a ringing pattern written on a sheet of paper or ring unscripted, with Roy calling the tune.
Recently Roy supervised the taking down of St Margaret's bells, each of which weighs around half a ton.
The bells were then re-tuned and rehung , a job that was last done in 1912. The church bells are arranged to swing in opposite directions in the grade-two listed tower. If they swung in the same direction the tower would be pulled apart.
North East Branch ringers proved that they can enjoy each others' company for an entire evening without a bell rope in sight!
Silverton hosted an enjoyable and successful Skittles and Quiz night at the Lamb Inn on 22nd February, when twelve teams from the Branch wedged themselves into the skittle alley and very cosy it was too!).
After two keenly fought preliminary rounds, three Titans emerged to battle in out in the Final. St Paul's Tiverton triumphed over St Peter's Tiverton and Broadhembury in a nail-biting match (well, all right then St Paul's walked it, not that our correspondence is in the least biased!).
While teams were not skittling, a brain-stretching General Knowledge Quiz kept everyone on their toes and in spite of a fiendishly difficult last question, Broadhembury (augmented by friends from St Peter's Exeter) proved their intellectual superiority (but only after a Stewards' Enquiry).
Thanks go to Martin Clough and his team (and his handbell-the only bell heard all evening) for a thoroughly enjoyable occasion.
The seventeenth annual train outing for the Exeter branch took place on Monday May 5th on the Primrose Line. It was a glorious mild, sunny day. 47 people were involved in the day ranging in age from 2-72. Of this number there were 34 ringers. We left Buckfastleigh on the 9:55 steam train for the beautiful ride to Totnes. Many of us found time for coffee and cakes before it was time to ring at Totnes church. A buffet lunch had been booked in the Royal seven Stars hotel. Many of us then strolled back to the station along the footpath by the River Dart.
Next stop was Napper's Crossing, Staverton, to ring the recently re-hung bells. Cameras were out at the ready to record the next train arriving at this unscheduled stop. It is quite unusual for the trains to stop here and even more unusual to see forty people embarking so were rather a novelty. We then drove up to Buckfastleigh church for the final ring of the day. Here two touches were recorded for inclusion on a CD that is shortly to be produced.
The ringers ranged in experience from relative beginners for whom this was their first outing, to the very experienced. Over all the ringing standard of the day was good. It was a really lovely day; not too rushed, in fact quite relaxed and enjoyable.
Method ringers acquitted themselves well in the Association's call change competition this year. In North Devon, Littleham won the qualifier, with a team containing James and Joan Clarke, and not only was there a good proportion of Guild members in the winning team at the Eight Bell competition at Buckland Monachorum, but the Exeter Cathedral team achieved an excellent third place, and Tavistock came fourth.
The third place trophy won by the Cathedral team
Association secretary Jereme Darke said that it was a good turnout, the first time there had been the maximum entry for some years. He welcomed the new teams and gave congratulations to Kingsteignton and special congratulations to Exeter Cathedral, saying, "You're getting there and keeping us on our toes."
1 (9) Kingsteignton 21.00 2 (12) Chittlehampton 42.00 3 (6) Exeter Cathedral 51.50 4 (1) Tavistock 59.75 5 (10) High Bickington 61.75 6 (8) Kingsbridge 63.75 7 (2) Chagford 81.75 8 (4) Paignton 116.75 9 (3) Ipplepen 132.25 10 (11) Alphington 150.75 11 (5) Ashburton 172.25 Disqualified (27 seconds under time) 12 (7) Buckland in the Moor 38.50
Figures in brackets refer to position in the order of ringing..
The second part of the peal analysis shows all peals of Surprise Major rung by the Guild up to the end of 2002. The number rung is indicated and the first year in which the Guild rang the method.. After 1980, methods only rung once are shown in a separate listing. Where a year is shown in bold, this indicates the first year an entirely resident band rang the method. A method name in bold indicates the first peal in the method
Method Total First rung Spliced Surprise 8 methods 113 1948 (1979) 3 methods 6 1959 6 methods 12 1959 4 methods 35 1959 9 methods 6 1968 5 methods 21 1969 10 methods 11 1981 2 methods 1 1982 23 methods 5 1983 (1988) 25 methods 2 1984 13 methods 2 1986 7 methods 5 1987 14 methods 2 1987 27 methods 2 1987 12 methods 4 1988 15 methods 2 1988 18 methods 2 1988 20 methods 2 1989 21 methods 2 1989 16 methods 1 1991 19 methods 1 1991 17 methods 1 1992 11 methods 1 1992 Single Surprise Superlative 85 1892 (1964) Bristol 99 1913 (1979) London 1 1913 (1979) Cambridge 104 1913 (1956) Yorkshire 186 1934 (1964) Painswick 1 1948 Ashtead 3 1948 Pudsey 33 1948 (1976) Lincolnshire 59 1948 (1976) Aldenham 3 1949 Rutland 74 1949 (1977) New Cambridge 3 1951 Lyme 2 1954 Quedgeley 3 1963 Jedburgh 1 1963 Gainsborough 2 1965 Illey 1 1967 Glasgow 4 1977 (1986) Hatfield 2 1977 Broadclyst 1 1979 Uxbridge 14 1980 Dorchester 2 1980 Wembley 3 1980 Cassiobury 4 1980 Eryri 2 1980 Belfast 5 1980 (1986) Cornwall 2 1983 Ospringe 2 1984 Lindum 2 1985 Ealing 4 1986 March 2 1986 May 2 1986 Lessness 3 1986 Papworth Everard 2 1992 Tee-jay 2 1992 Kinver 2 1993 Jonah 2 1994 Heathrow 2 1994 LX 2 1997 Huntsham 2 2000
Now in its eighth year, the St. Peter's Competition is a well-established event in the North East Branch calendar. The competition is unusual in allowing both method and call changes to be judged alongside.
Five teams gathered in April at St Paul's Tiverton in high expectation. Flushed with the success of last year's win Silverton boldly entered two teams - could they repeat their triumph after years of climbing up through the middle order?
Despite generally good ringing from all the teams, in the event the results were clear. Cullompton re-asserted their old dominance and judges, Neil Williams and Bob Pengelly of Lydford, placed the other teams in a fairly evenly-spaced order after them:
1. Cullompton 21.5 faults 2. St Peter's Tiverton 33.5 faults 3. St Paul's Tiverton 35.5 faults 4. Silverton A 45 faults 5. Silverton B 54 faults
A buffet in the Racehorse pub after the ringing allowed further analysis of the results through the bottom of a beer glass and brought proceedings to a convivial close.
Congratulations to Kathryn Ward and Alexander Rowan on ringing their first quarter and first inside respectively.
St David, Exeter Sunday 16th March 2003 1260 Plain Bob Doubles 1. Kathryn Ward (first quarter) 2. Wendy Campbell 3. Ian Campbell 4. Alexander Rowan (first inside) 5. David Maynard (C) 6. Peter Boobier
The quarter peal band, in order 6,2,3,1,4,5
TIMETABLE FOR THE DAY
10.30-11.00 Registration at The Parish Room in The Square
11.15-12.45 Morning Workshops:
13.00-14.30 Buffet lunch
14.15-15.00 Service ringing
15.00 Ringers' service
16.00 Guild Annual Meeting
(Nominations for Guild offices may be made in advance, in writing to the General Secretary, indicating proposer and seconder and the candidate's willingness to stand. Further nominations may be made from the floor of the meeting, as must all proposals for the Guild Master).
18.30-19.30 Open ringing at Fremington
Lunch tickets £6 from Joan Clarke
Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope and make cheques / postal orders payable to 'Guild of Devonshire Ringers-N & NW Branch.'
APPLICATIONS FOR TICKETS BY 21st JUNE PLEASE.
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