DEVON RINGERS INTERCHANGE
Interchange is published as part of both Guild and Association newsletters.
Any opinions expressed in Interchange do not necessarily represent those of the Guild or the Association, or the Devon Ringerís Council.
Please send items for the next issue to Lester Yeo, Chapel House, Sandford, Crediton, EX17 4LZ.
DEVON RINGERS COUNCIL
Following a meeting with the Diocesan Advisor the proposals from the Devon Ringers Council were met with approval and also considered to be a model for use in other areas. A further meeting is likely to ensure that the wording of the guidance meets with approval. Your own PCC will have its own policy, and you should make sure you have seen it, and you should also know that your PCC has a Child Protection Officer and that a notice to this effect has been posted in the church. At the same time you may wish to check on what ages are covered by the PCC's insurance policy. In some cases people under 12 or over 80 are not covered.
Glorious Devon Bells CD
The stocks of the CD has now been exhausted. Although the CD can be reproduced at minimal expense the cost of the booklet would involve a greater financial outlay. Should there be a significant demand, reproduction would be considered.
Devon Ringers' Carol Service-Ottery St Mary-17 December 2005
The Devon Ringers' Carol Service is at Ottery St Mary with ringing from 2pm and the service from 3pm with the speaker being Mr Paul Curtis. The collection will be, as usual, for the work of Hospice South West. The Ockment Valley Handbell ringers will be performing. This is a wonderful moving service for bell ringers and supporters. Should you wish to be involved in the service, such as singing, please contact Ian Avery.
Exeter Autumn Festival
The Devon Ringers Council are planning to be involved in this event for 2006 and the suggestion so far has been a musical event.
Dartmoor Changes 3 CD set
The 3 CD set was launched successfully at the Widecombe in the Moor festival on 6 August 2005 along with an exhibition of various stalls and displays about Devon Ringing. This provided an early opportunity to consider the type of displays at the
Ringers Roadshow at Newbury in September.
The all-in-one CD set and booklet include essays and information about bell ringing on Dartmoor, photographs of various towers and teams, and selected recordings of all the 32 towers from the project as well as a excerpts from interviews with members of local communities talking about the importance of bell ringing to them. This was funded through a Local Heritage Initiative award. If you would like a copy of the CD please contact Nancy Sinclair or Cat Radford at
There was a strong presence of Devon ringers at the 2005 Roadshow along with a worthy display of information. Newbury proved to be an excellent venue. The impression given was that visitors were looking for merchandise to buy and a consideration will be for the Devon representatives to consider stocking items such as calendars, pens, cards etc. in the future.
Devon Ringers Council Events
The committee have been considering ideas for future events. One suggestion was the possibility of a ten bell competition. Devon has a number of ten or more bell towers and it is thought that this would be an opportunity for a social event. If you have any ideas please let the Devon Ringers Council know before their next meeting on Sunday 19 February 2006.
The Bells of Devon-A unique and comprehensive Tower Directory
This 50 page directory is still available and as all costs have been covered, any further money collected, as a result of sales, will go to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. Well over half of the 1000 copies have been sold. If your tower does not have one or two, make sure you purchase one before it is too late. The book contains valuable information especially if planning trips within Devon. Copies are available from Paul Pascoe, at £5.00 plus 50p P & P. Updates are also available. Please ensure that you keep your copy up to date.
Devon National Challenge
Dave Trist, on behalf of the St Petrock's Ringing Centre ran another well run and successful event on Saturday, 28 August at East Budleigh when there were other towers open and refreshments available throughout the afternoon. Although the teams were limited to seven on the day it was an enjoyable day. Three out of county teams withdrew leaving just two with five from Devon. This event is run on the Saturday prior to the Bank Holiday to attract out of county teams. Dunsford won overall and Hampshire were the top out of County team. Although numbers were well down on the day for a variety of reasons the day was hotly contested. Judges, Percy Pester, Bryan Drake and Steve Facey had some challenging work. The weather, which had threatened rain, cleared and the afternoon ended with sunshine. Congratulations to the two winners, it is hoped to see more entries next year, especially representing Devon. This is a great tradition we are the guardians of. This event has raised a lot of interest out of the county and helped to raise the profile of our style of ringing. It is very important that we continue to show just what we are capable of.
It was at 12 noon on October 21 1805 that the first shot was fired off Cape Trafalgar as Nelson's navy took on the combined French and Spanish fleet. When news of victory and the death of a national hero finally arrived in Britain church bells rang out all over the country. We celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. The bell ringing was part of an entire weekend of commemorations marking the culmination of SeaBritain 2005, a year-long celebration of the sea and the UK's maritime heritage. I do know of one band of ringers that rang in three different churches on the day. If you did ring to celebrate, there is a certificate that can be printed from the CCCBR website. Please consider this, or your own certificate, so that you can record this event within your tower.
A more lasting tribute will be paid to Nelson and his comrades in the form of the Trafalgar Woods initiative from the Woodland Trust in which 33 new woods - one for each ship in Nelson's fleet, plus the six supporting vessels - will be planted in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. "Trafalgar Woods marks the important link between maritime history and our native woodland," explained Andy Beer of the Woodland Trust. "We want to get people thinking about just how pivotal timber was - not only to the navy but in everyday life. Involving children in planting trees is a great way of giving them the chance to make a difference to their landscape whilst learning about trees and their heritage." Bell ringers are certainly aware of how important timber is.
Devon men, together with those from the rest of the West Country, formed the backbone of Nelson's valiant forces. Of the 1,115 Devonians who fought for Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar, two were born in Lifton. Both men survived the battle and returned to Devon. In 1802, John Lapenotiere, born in Ilfracombe 1770, was given command of the schooner HMS Pickle and served in her at the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805). After the battle, Lapenotiere travelled to London and handed over the dispatches with the simple words, "Sir, we have gained a great victory. But we have lost Lord Nelson."
Crediton had recorded thirteen men at the battle with the most notable, Rev. John Rudall, who was aboard HMS Sovereign, the first ship to engage the enemy. He also had two sons serving in the fleet, one on the Royal Sovereign and the other on HMS Defiance. A special service of thanksgiving was held at Crediton Church on 11 December 1805.
Crediton captured on CD
A CD was launched on November 21 to mark the first anniversary of the new peal of 10 installed November 2004. Copies of the £10 CD are available by post from Bill Jerman.
Donations made where nothing is received in return can be Gift Aided. So, if you were to run an open day with no admission charges, you could invite donations and invite visitors to Gift Aid their donations. You would have to be prepared to allow in free those who preferred not to make a donation. If you visit a tower an individual can gift aid a donation. Where you use gift aid the amount can be increased by 28%.
St Mark's Exeter 8 to 10 bell Appeal
The Full Story
I can hear you all saying "Why make St Marks a 10? They are a good ring of 8, which could end up being an average 10". Well obviously we all hope they will be an equally good, if not better, ring of 10 and we trust our bell hanger, Andrew Nicholson, to help us achieve this.
The "why" all started with a casual remark one practice night. As practices are extremely well attended with many ringing 8-spliced and beyond we need some new challenges. Our tower captain, Matthew Hilling, piped up with something along the lines of "We could always augment to 10 then we would have plenty to be getting on with!". Although it seemed like a casual remark, somehow it wouldn't go away.
St Mark's has become known as a tower where people can progress their method ringing within a strong band. This could as easily be achieved on 10 as 8. There isn't a ring of 10 in the city, unless you count the "light 10" at the Cathedral, which is not the most ideal place to start ringing on the higher numbers. St Mark's as a 10 could help bridge this gap very effectively.
Tower members and friends started to get interested so Matthew contacted Andrew Nicholson and also an architect to see if it was feasible and to provide us with an idea of the costs involved. The Architect gave us the green light and Andrew's estimate came in around the price we expected. We were on our way. The Sunday Service band duly arranged the first Augmentation meeting in Graham and Lesley Tucker's kitchen which has become HQ for the project.
Matthew came armed with some ideas on how to go about raising the money and also becoming a charity along with a whole lot more besides. We decided to start the fund raising slowly but surely with a monthly draw, which with kind permission from Ian Campbell, took place at Exeter Cathedral.
In the meantime we went away and sought official permission to launch the project from the Vicar of St Mark's and the PCC. Once they were reassured that we wouldn't be looking to the church itself to fund the project we were given their approval and also their agreement to help us with such things as faculty applications. It was full steam ahead. This all happened in 2003 and what followed was 2 years of fund raising including wine tasting evenings which were organised for us by Peter Bill and friends. This turned out to be an excellent evening for all - even being the designated driver meant I had a clear head and a slightly smug feeling at ringing on Sunday morning!
We also undertook two tower open days for which Derek Hawkins had the arduous task of arranging routes and towers together with the necessary marshals. There was also Mo's flower quiz which had us all puzzled for sometime. I certainly did not know London Pride was a plant as well as a beer!
We also had a couple of very early mornings when we put ourselves forward to marshal the car boot sale held at Matford. We were particularly lucky the first year when we drew prime slot in the middle of July. It was a beautiful day and drew in quite a crowd to the extent that we nearly ran out of space for all the cars to sell their goods. Although we were not so lucky next time around when we were allocated a January Sunday it could have been much worse. It was dry and not too cold, but didn't bring in the number of cars we had seen in July. Each time we were joined by some very loyal friends to make up the necessary number of bodies. Our thanks must go to them for their support. I think it will be a long time before any of us forget following the dustcart around the site, clearing up after the hoards - particularly the meat stand!
Other enterprises included a supper and quiz evening and also a barn dance. In both cases the catering was provided by Wendy Campbell, Mo Hawkins, myself and a bit of help from my mum too. We seem to be quite a team... shame to have to break it up just as we were getting good. Maybe in another lifetime, ladies?! Matthew and Andrew Digby even undertook the Great West Run in May 2004 which they both completed in very respectable times and between them raised a very substantial amount. Almost beyond the call of duty I would say!
A breakthrough, however, came at the end of 2004 when one of the regular practice attendees expressed a wish to donate one of the bells in memory of his mother. This spurred us on no end, and with the donations the Sunday Service ringers were planning to make meant we had very nearly reached our target. With the events already pre-arranged for 2005 we felt we were now in a position to make firm plans.
After some discussion we finally decided to have the two new trebles cast by John Taylor && Co in Loughborough. With the existing bells being from Taylor's it seemed the sensible route to take. On November 3rd, 20 ringers, friends and family made the journey to Leicestershire to see the bells being cast in what can only be described as a most traditional way. It was a very exciting, and slightly emotional moment, when the molten bell metal was poured in the bell casts buried deep into the sand. It made it all worthwhile somehow. The new frame and bells are due to be installed at the end of January 2006, with the aim of being a non-ringable tower for the shortest time possible. The new bells will be on display in the church for a few days for visitors and church goers alike to take a look. A dedication service will follow in time honoured fashion.
As I said at the top of the article we all hope the 10 will be as good as the current 8 are and we also hope you will have the opportunity to decide for yourselves. We set out to raise £25K and all thought we were in for the long haul. As it has turned out, with some hard work and much generosity, we have reached our target in a very short time. 8 to 10 - perhaps not so hard after all!
Atherington still silent after 20 yrs
The new frame and much of the gear is in the bell hanger's workshop in Derby awaiting installation. Unfortunately the tower is still not ready and nobody knows when it will be. It could be several years, but the way fund raising goes, one never knows when there may be a sudden influx of funds. Alan Sinden has family connections with the village and says that earlier in the year he had some long chats and correspondence with Rev d John Carvosso and it looks extremely unlikely that they will be back soon as they were a long way short of the required sum of £66,000. Fund raising continues and all donations are gratefully accepted. The vicar, who is very approachable and very keen to get the bells ringing again says. "This is a heritage that we have to pass on to future generations. "Our small rural community is very much behind the project and I, as vicar, would love to see and hear the bells ringing again before I retire in a few years time." Chris Hart, at the village shop, is helping to co-ordinate the fund-raising.
Devon Association AGM
The outgoing President
Mr G Arscott's final duty was to present Mr Brian Drake with an Honorary Life Vice President award. Mr Drake has served on the Committee for over 40 years, judged in many competitions since 1966 and led North Tawton to many successful Association 8 Bell Competitions.
Mr George Boucher
The new president was handed the presidential sash of Office and was overwhelmed and told the meeting that never in his dreams did he think he would be invited to serve as President.
Novice Competition on Saturday 11th March 2006 at Lustleigh.
8 Bell Competition, to be held on Saturday 22nd April 2006 at Luppitt.
Qualifier on Saturday 13th May 2006. North-Goodleigh and South-Churston Ferrers.
Minor Final on Saturday 27th May 2006 at Kenn.
Major on Saturday 10th June 2006 at Westleigh.
Mrs J Endicott stated that 4000 draw books were printed in 2005 and 3432 sold. Mrs Endicott commented on the varying levels of enthusiasm towards the draw.
Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund (DCBRF)
The DCBRF has a new secretary, Mr Ian Smith who thanked the Association for its generous donation of £2,500 for this year. The DCBRF will have a surplus balance of £8,400 after the current allocations have been paid. Mr Smith suggested that members considered using the Gift Aid Scheme and also leaving a small legacy in their Will to the DCBRF! The chairman thanked Ian for his report.
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
The Central Council had requested detailed information on our unique style of Call Change Ringing and a request regarding the definition of a peal or quarter of call changes.
Clothing and badges
The Treasurer, Mrs Gist, reminded members about Association clothing and showed members a new type of dual fleece/coat that was available from her.
Date and venue of next meeting
Saturday 11th November 2006 at North Tawton. This will be the date of "Pickles" Pascoe 90th Birthday!
A photograph of the membership was taken by Mr Alan Quick for the 80th Anniversary.
Network for Ringing Training
Martin Mansley was elected to the Education Committee. NRT was designed as a way of spreading good practice and supporting those involved in training ringers. Its main tool at present is a discussion list. This is mainly available to email users but a digest is regularly sent to members who do not have email facility. This allows full discussion of training related topics. At present it is used sporadically but to good effect. Many of the discussions relate to topics of equal interest to Call Change ringers as method ringers (e.g. bell handling, raising & lowering, etc.) An expansion of membership would increase the use and usefulness of the service. It is also hoped that a support network "on the ground" will be more used if we can increase membership. At present Worldwide membership is about 450. I would urge you to consider joining NRT and to discuss it with others who are interested in training. More information can be found on the Central Council's Education Committee website on http://www.cccbr.org.uk/edc/edc.php#nrt.
New leaflets on recruitment are available from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
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