Mid-Devon Tower Talk - June 2018

Branch practice, May – Stoke Gabriel

A good start to the month. The branch has not been to this tower for quite some time so it was good to see so many people turn up. At 16cwt they are not a light six and with slightly stretchy ropes they needed concentration to ring well. Pleasingly we managed to ring the two methods of the month – Little Bob Minor and the rather tricky Kelso Surprise Minor. Of course, there were also other methods and the number of ringers present allowed at least two of our ringers to spend some time getting good luck by following the instructions to walk round the Yew tree backwards 7 times – as you know, most ringers are mad, some more than others! All in all, a very good evening and we thank Norman of Stoke Gabriel for making us so welcome.

Eight bell practice, May – Dawlish

The two practices in May were very close together so that may have been the reason that numbers were a little low at Dawlish. However, with the help of visitors and despite there being no stay on the 7th we had a very useful evening. Several of the Dawlish learners were present and we hope they found the extra experienced ringers helped. A variety of methods was rung on six and eight. Many thanks to Lynne and the Dawlish ringers for a warm welcome.

Devon County Show

Well, the sun shone and the prophets of doom were wrong! Several people had predicted that the Royal Wedding, the Cup Final and Exeter playing Rugby would affect the attendance. This did not happen, and it was great to see so many people enjoying all that the show has to offer. As usual, an early start is made each day so that the (obligatory!) Bacon Rolls go down very well. First up for the ringers is service ringing prior to the daily service at nine o clock. Following the service things tend to be a little quiet for a time so this is a good time to sneak off for a quick look round the rest of the show. Then it is down to business and welcoming visitors to try the Frank Mack bells. Often non-ringers find them easier to get to grips with than experienced ringers. This year we were lucky to have plenty of help for the first two days so we were able to put the bells to good use in the lulls between visitors. On the Thursday we even managed several courses of Kelso S Minor.
The Saturday was definitely the busiest day and the one where we had least helpers available. By a little arm twisting and finding ringers who were on other stalls we were able to ring all six for the service but after that there were mainly three people manning the bells. Despite that we had a very useful day and it was good to publicise ringing in this way. The Saturday is always an exhausting day as the organisers do not allow anyone to drive on the showground until the majority of the public have left. Still, we worked hard to get everything cleared up and at 7.30 we were finally allowed to leave – tired but happy that a good publicity job had been done once more. None of this would be possible without the sheer dedication and hard work of Ian Avery who co-ordinates all the helpers, erects the stand including the bells and is on hand at all times to instruct and welcome the visitors. Devon ringers owe him a deep debt of gratitude – thankyou Ian.

St Marychurch ringers mark the 75th anniversary of the destruction of the Church

On Sunday 30th May 1943 disaster struck St Marychurch when a bomb made a direct hit on the church at 2.50pm just as the Sunday School was assembling prior to a 3pm start. The majority of the church was destroyed save the tower and an arch holding a crucifix. 24 children and 2 teachers lost their lives in this disaster.
75 years later several services were held to commemorate this tragic loss of life. At exactly 2.50pm on 30th May 2018 the bells went into changes for a very well-struck quarter peal of Grandsire Triples with the bells half muffled. https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1233849

Branch practice June – Bovey Tracey

Your scribe was otherwise engaged for this one but we understand that the branch members were boosted by a touring party who joined the practice. If nothing else it left our branch treasurer with a smile on her face and money in the funds!! We understand that quite a variety of methods were rung culminating in a touch of 6 spliced surprise major.

RIP Patrick Pickering

The Teignmouth Band of Ringers have heavy hearts today with the news that Patrick died yesterday. I am not sure if you knew him as he did not tend to ring much outside of Teignmouth. But, he was a much loved member of our band and one of the kindest people you could ever meet. Although he had been ill for about a month, we were hoping and expecting a very different outcome.

Many people in Teignmouth will want to pay their respects as Patrick lived a life packed full of worthwhile activities. Not least he gave unstinting support to his wife, Linda, who is a minister in Teignmouth.