December 2006

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 Ringers' Council.
Please send items for the next issue to Lester Yeo.


Devon Ringers' Carol Service - Crediton - 16 December 2006

The Devon Ringers' Carol Service will be at Crediton with ringing from 2pm and the service from 3pm with a speaker from Families for Children, a locally based Adoption Agency. The collection will be for the work of that adoption agency. The Oakment 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.

Ringing Roadshow 2008 - a two day event

The next 'Ringing Roadshow' is to be a two day event in September 2008. The CCCBR Public Relations Committee is delighted to announce that John Anderson of the St Martin's Guild for the Diocese of Birmingham will form and lead an organising team for the next one. It will be at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire (home of the Royal Show) on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September 2008. Please reserve these days in your diary now. It is a new venture to organise a two-day event and plans are very much in embryo stage at the moment. However, it is hoped that it will give an opportunity for more people to see the show, and a major social event and get-together is planned for the Friday evening. There are both camping facilities and an hotel on the site at Stoneleigh, as well as a range of good local accommodation off-site.

Judith Rogers, Chair, CCCBR Public Relations Committee

The Bells of Devon - Keep up to date

This 50 page directory is still available and has been brought up to date with an inset. All costs have been covered, and any further money collected as a result of sales will go to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. Just a few hundred copies remain with nearly 600 copies having 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 up to date information especially if planning trips within Devon. Copies are available from Paul Pascoe for £5.00 plus 50p P & P.

Children's Society-125th anniversary

Ring the Changes: Change Children's Lives

I can think of four very good reasons why, during this month, ringers everywhere should support the Children's Society in the incredible work they do to help children and young people:

They Heal Children's Hurt

Neglect, abuse and isolation can sometimes make home so unbearable that the only solution is to run away. Each year in England, 100,000 children run away from home and many of them resort to begging, stealing and prostitution to survive. The Children's Society aims to meet these children at their point of greatest need and help them find somewhere safe.

They Ease Children's Pain

War, persecution and torture force many children to flee to this country alone. Frightened and having lost everything, the last thing they want is to be turned away. The Children's Society helps refugee children rebuild their lives in communities, surrounded and supported by new friends.

They Restore Children's Respect

Exclusion, ignorance and disrespect mean that many disabled children are allowed little control over their own lives, something most of us take for granted. The Children's Society ensures that disabled children have a voice in the choices and decisions that affect them, now and in the future

And They Never Give Up

Bullying, violence and deprivation - exposed to terrors like these in their daily lives, it's not surprising that some children are driven to crime. But they are still children. The Children's Society seeks lasting solutions to the reasons behind the statistics, providing preventative support and guidance that leads children away from the cycle of crime and custody.

The aim of this ringing project is to achieve not just sponsorship for The Children's Society but also local promotion of ringing and especially attracting youngsters to learn to ring.

Please ensure that all sponsored ringing is publicised well in advance in parish magazines, local newspapers and local radio and that general information is also given about where to go to see ringing and learn how to ring. In particular give the Central Council website address on all publicity material because there is a link on that to the Central Council 'Learn to Ring' initiative - where a personal response about a local contact is given by Bobbie May on behalf of the Public Relations Committee. A copy of the Central Council publicity leaflet will be included in the publicity pack sent out to parishes by The Children's Society.

Peal Appeal Can Help Make a Difference

The work of the Children's Society really does deserve our support and that's why we're inviting bands of ringers every where to join in the Children's Society Peal Appeal during Advent and over the Christmas period. Please participate by a organizing some sponsored ringing, perhaps for your church carol service or Christingle. The aim of this ringing project is two-fold, not just sponsorship for The Children's Society but also to promote ringing in your locality. Please encourage your band and your community to take part. The ringing doesn't have to be a method peal: you could either be sponsored according to the number of changes you ring, or the length of time you ring. You could even ring in relays and keep the bells going for a longer period - it's a great way to get everyone involved and may be the starting point for the next generation of ringers.

The Children's Society, in conjunction with the Central Council Public Relations Committee, have produced a sponsorship pack for the event, which contains all the materials you will need to publicise your sponsored ringing. To obtain your pack please contact the Children's Society Supporter Action Team by telephoning 0845 300 1128 or sending an e-mail to A joint press release is downloadable either from the Central Council website or The Children's Society website.

Please help us to raise a substantial sum for the work of the Children's Society and at the same time promote ringing as a superb and worthwhile activity for youngsters.

Richard Offen on behalf of the CCCBR PRC. November 2006.

Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund-2006

Starting the year with a balance of £16,359 the Fund has since paid three grants. £500 to Stoke-by-Hartland for new bearings, clapper work and a new headstock - work which had been completed at the end of the previous year. £100 to Broadhempston for work to the frame, bell wheel and bell-chamber floor, and £3,000 to Bridgerule towards rehanging the eight bells in a new frame with all new fittings. These are now, once again, a delightful ring of bells with lovely depth of tone, and the two trebles are now much less 'flighty' than previously. The dedication service was on June 10th. Bridgerule bells are definitely worth a visit, and you'll always be made very welcome.

The Fund has this year benefited from donations from several sources. £5,000 from the Devon Association, £1,000 from the Guild, £500 from sales of the Tower Directory, £500 from the Huntsham Ringing Centre, £543 from George Retter's funeral, £600 from the Ottery St Mary ringers, £166 as the balance from last year's Guild Quarter Peal Week, £100 from the St Brannock's Society, and £50 from the Miniature Pony Centre.

At present the Fund stands at £22,631, though the uncommitted portion is significantly less than that at £8,581, indicating that a large amount has already been offered to help fund restoration schemes. Active schemes include the following:

An article will appear in 'Diocesan News' in the new year; and don't be surprised if collecting boxes and Gift Aid envelopes start appearing at bellringing functions.

For more information about the Fund, or to make a donation or apply for a grant, please contact the Secretary, Ian Smith, at

Bells and Frames of Historical Significance

The Council for the Care of Churches has adopted new criteria for identifying bells and bell frames of historical significance as abridged below and available from January 2007 on the website The new list will include the reason why the bell or frame is considered historically significant.


Pre 1600. All bells irrespective of their state.

1600 to 1750. Bells of good quality, taking into account, rarity, casting quality, extent of subsequent intervention and tonal quality. Bells with interesting decorative features. Significant work by any founders, including their largest, earliest or last bells. Special consideration should be give to groups of 4 or more by one founder and date.

1750 to 1850. Bells of outstanding quality as noted above including complete rings of outstanding quality by one founder.

1851 to date. Significant examples of technical innovation.

Bell Frames:

Up to end of 16th century. All complete frames, or frames containing significant original work. Timber foundation beams that support, or formerly supported a bell frame merit consideration. Windlasses that have been used to raise bells also merit consideration in their own right.

17th century and after. Frames that are important in the light of the factors below should be identified, along with examples of the work of competent and professional frame builders. Criteria to assess whether a frame should be identified will include, quality, completeness and structural condition. Whether the frame is dated or documented and if its maker is known. Whether the frame shows significant evidence of the development of the ring and technical innovation and/or unusual features.

Complete installations. Special consideration should be given to installations when the bells and frame and, exceptionally, the tower are of the same date.

Bell News on CD-wanted an illustration of Exeter Cathedral

The Central Council Library Committee is engaged on a project to produce a CD containing scans of all editions of the Bell News (1881 to 1915) with a digitised index. The contents will cover ringing news and issues, of which many are still relevant today, performances achieved at the time as well as the advertisements which themselves provide an interesting social comment and historical record of the times.

It is rare to find complete sets, especially as many had the advertisement pages removed prior to binding. The original copies also occasionally were issued with inserts which inevitably have been removed or lost over the years. One aim of the project has been to ensure the contents of the CD are as complete as possible, making it unique as a source of information. This has been achieved by obtaining copies of the missing items from alternative sources. The CD contents is now complete with the exception of a single insert, despite best efforts to find a copy.

One final item is needed to complete the project. This is an illustrations of Exeter Cathedral which accompanied an article on p.327 of the issue of 9 November 1901 (Vol. 20, Issue 1022). If you know of the existence of such a copy, would you please pass the details to Chris Ridley at

Outing Etiquette

More and more arrangements are made by email. This is highly successful because of swift replies. Do you request an acknowledgement upon receipt? It may be prudent also to ask for contact information such as telephone numbers in case of last minute hitches. After making the booking do you, the week before the outing, contact the person, who is letting you in, to confirm, and, if you cancel, do you inform the people who are expecting you? Not everyone accesses their emails on a regular basis and to cancel the day before may be too short a notice. Using telephone numbers provided may help in emergencies.

Tower Open Day or Recruiting?

Two leaflets may be indispensable. The CCCBR recruitment leaflet is available free from Alan Chantler on or download as a pdf file from the CCCBR website.

The other leaflet is 20 questions about English Church Bells and available at £2.50 for 25 (inc. postage) from Pam Copson,

Recruitment Ideas

Do you have a Primary School in your area? One tower invites Year 6 class to an afternoon in the ringing chamber during their last week of term, before they go on to the Senior Schools. Some towers invite organisations, such as Cubs and Brownies. At the end of the talk, take names and addresses of those who may like to 'give it a go' in September and then at the end of the holidays, telephone to remind them, telling them each that the others are coming. It works, this particular tower has never been without young ringers and usually manages to keep at least half of them as successful ringers. If you have heavy bells, try handbell ringing instead until the pupils are strong enough. If your bells are too heavy, arrange to ring at a neighbouring tower if the bells are lighter. Use different tactics or events each time to provide interest. Show how that holding onto the rope can lift a grown man from the ground. On another occasion take the pupils into the belfry to see the bell being rung. On another occasion let the pupils onto to the roof, they will have a different view of their area and let them know that this is rare treat. These can be pleasant memories and talking points and may stimulate other people to try bellringing.

Exeter St Mark Dedication-29 October 2006

The bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton when about 75 people attended, including many ringers from across the south west, and a number of parishioners. The service was led by St Mark's Vicar, Simon Croft, with the local ringers taking part. Tower Captain, Matthew Hilling, provided a brief synopsis of how the project came about and some of the fun and trouble encountered on the way to completion. Other members of the band read the intercessions, whilst Guild President, Lester Yeo, and one of the most loyal supporters' Roger King, read the lessons. Andrew Nicholson of Nicholson Engineering was present to pass a symbol of the bells to the Bishop marking the completion of their work and handing the bells into the care of the church. This was in turn passed through the church wardens, the Vicar and finally to the tower captain.

Commemorative Ringing

Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, advice was given on the various forms of commemorative ringing and the circumstances in which they are appropriate. It was stressed that they were offered as suggestions only; they were not intended in any way to replace local customs. Before any form of commemorative ringing takes place, the local incumbent should be consulted. Commemorative ringing is normally undertaken with the bells half-muffled, open at handstroke. In some places it is the custom to leave the tenor unmuffled. This can be effective especially when tolling the bell. Fully muffled ringing is very rare and should be undertaken, if at all, only on the death of the sovereign or of someone of outstanding local importance. The custom of ringing half-muffled on Remembrance Sunday is widely practised. Muffled ringing on other Sundays during a period of national or local mourning is approved by some clergy, but not by others. The advice of the incumbent must be taken on this point. Practices are best avoided when the bells are muffled. If in doubt, the incumbent should decide. In some places it is the custom on New Year's Eve to ring the bells half-muffled up to midnight and open thereafter. Muffled ringing must be well-struck to be effective. Thus whatever form of muffled ringing is undertaken it should be well within the capabilities of the band. For safety reasons, muffles should not be fitted or removed while bells are up.

Devon Association AGM-2006

The outgoing President Mr G Boucher handed over the presidential sash of office to the new president, Mr Claude Nicholls of Littleham.

2007 Competitions:
Novice Competition on Saturday 10th March 2007 at Ide
8 Bell Competition, to be held on Saturday 28th April 2007 at East Budleigh
Qualifier on Saturday 12th May 2007. North-Bishopsnympton & South-Colaton Raleigh
Minor Final on Saturday 26th May 2007 at Shebbear
Major on Saturday 9th June 2007 at Blackawton

Association Draw: Mrs J Endicott stated profit was down £154 due to fewer sales.

Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund (DCBRF) report was present as detailed above.

The rules, being 30 years old, were being reviewed.

Date and venue of next meeting - Saturday 10th November 2007, 2.15 at North Tawton

Disclaimer - please read

Pages formatted by Ian Campbell

Updated 03/12/2006