The Guild of Devonshire Ringers - Ringing Round Devon Newsletter

The Guild of Devonshire Ringers


Newsletter No 61 : March 2006

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 £2.50 for four issues (cheques made payable to Guild of Devonshire Ringers). RRD is also available on line on the Guild's website at, 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 by email to .


We are now a 10 bell tower, so please amend your records! At the time of writing, the two new bells are on the Church floor waiting to be installed in 9 days time. They were cast last March at Whitechapel, witnessed by the ringers and dedicated last June along with a genuine Axminster Carpet made for Prince Charles.

We have raised almost all the funds needed and, once the remainder of the tower repairs are complete, we should be open for business this coming Easter.

To pay for the shortfall in funds, fees are £1.50 per rope for visiting bands. Quarter peals welcome, but unfortunately no peal attempts please. So book early and be some of the first to ring on the new 10.

Exeter, St Mark

On the evening of Friday 3 February, the full peal of ten bells sounded out from St Mark's Church at the tryout session following the hanging and installation by Nicholson Engineering and volunteers,. It was an exciting moment as the culmination of two years worth of planning and fund raising came together. as we raised the full ten in peal big smiles came over the ringers' faces. The photo shows the new trebles on display in the church.

Needless to say we are all very pleased with the final result - the new trebles matched beautifully with the old eight bells, the ringing circle is not too cramped, and Exeter now has a ring of bells where nine and ten bell ringing can be practised regularly. We shall also be ringing just eight (or even the front six) so all visitors will be welcome on practice night.

John Longridge

22nd March 1948 - 18th December 2005

Having grown up at about the time that Dad was phasing out the amount of ringing he was doing, I've always found it fascinating to hear stories of him during his ringing days. Whenever I venture out to a new tower, I am always conscious of introducing myself as a Longridge. More often than not, the question "You're not a relation of John are you?" would be followed by a tale of how he had once called a peal, of his own composition, whilst ringing two bells, putting half the band right and removing his jumper half way through! But whenever I recalled what people said about him to Dad, he would never make much of it; but would usually reply with "Ah, one day I'll be introducing myself as Tom Longridge's Dad". His modesty meant that it's only in the last few months that I've come to realise how talented he was, and how much he did for ringing in Exeter. So if he couldn't "blow his own trumpet", then I will.

John learned to ring when about twelve years old; his father taught him having only recently learned to ring himself. John learned bell control at Silton and Bourton, North Dorset and very quickly progressed when the family moved to Okeford Fitzpaine in Dorset with a local surprise minor band. Together with ringing when at Kings School, Bruton, and then in and around Salisbury where he attended the Tech College; John quickly developed all the skills needed to both ring and conduct. His quiet manner, together with his innate teaching skills made him a natural leader and organiser.

He came to Exeter in the late sixties as a student at St Luke's. He founded a ringing society at the college which later became the Exeter Colleges Guild, and he served as president of the ECG from 1991 until his death. He had been Exeter Branch secretary, treasurer and ringing master, and the report editor for the Guild of Devonshire Ringers.

St Mark's, Exeter, was John's tower - he was tower captain there for twelve years - and in that time he transformed bell ringing in Exeter. But in doing so, he was always able to carry the older generation of ringers with him. After ringing at St Mark's on Sunday morning he would then go and ring at Chudleigh, and stay for the service there. Then in the afternoon there would be a quarter peal, at Heavitree perhaps, or the Cathedral. By organising so many quarters (he rang over seventeen hundred in all), John ensured that the standard of ringing progressed very quickly - from a repertoire of not much more than the basic methods to spliced surprise. John's quarter peals, whether on Sundays, on quarter peal days or on "John's week" in the summer, meant that the learners he taught got plenty of practice. Many a visiting ringer would look bemused at straying members of the band as they cried out "John, John! I'm lost!".

He was asked to ring some very high-powered stuff, such as the record length of Bristol Surprise Major at Llanfeugan in 1974, which was at the time the longest peal rung on church bells (23,296 changes, lasting thirteen hours and ten minutes), and is still the record length in the method. Another pinnacle would be the peal of Grandsire Triples at St Mark's in 1977, which John called while ringing two bells.

He also had extraordinary skills in the technical side of composition and conducting which, over the years, combined with his increasing interest in printing, led to a number of publications, all of which have remained popular with ringers around the world. Typical of John that his adverts in the Ringing World were printed in reverse - white on black!

One of Dad's many pupils in the seventies was a Susan Sherwood; or Mum as I prefer to call her. She learned for a couple of years with a group of friends at the age of 14. After meeting again and sharing a dance at a mutual friend's party when she was 18, Dad decided to call her back (two years later!) and ask her out. Although from what Mum says, it probably wasn't her ringing abilities that attracted Dad, there was obviously chemistry; after courting for three weeks they were engaged and they were married the next summer.

During the eighties Dad gradually retired from ringing; his commitments to the family and his own baby (a Heidelberg printing press) meant he had less and less time. However in the last few years, as well as teaching the three of us children to ring, he went out for the odd quarter and peal. Latterly, he had been doing some handbell ringing with the Exeter University crowd, and thereby again enabling Devon ringers to progress. He had hoped to reach his five hundredth peal, but in fact his illness left him two peals short. One of his last peals was of Little Bob Royal on handbells; rung at Buckfast Abbey to commemorate the first ECG peal of Royal, rung there 30 years ago.

Dad learned of his cancer in May last year and it was his faith in God and a lot of love and care from Mum that helped him through his last six months. It is with some sadness that I don't think I'll ever know about half of the things that Dad achieved. Much of the detail above was supplied by his brother, Chris, and Exeter ringer Lester Yeo. However I'll always remember Lester's words during Dad's Memorial Service: "We all knew that John was an excellent ringer but in fact, as time goes by, I realise that he was one of the best ringers I've ever known."

Tom Longridge

John Longridge's peals

John's ringing records take the form of sixteen hardback notebooks containing peals and quarters in the order that they were rung. There are very few footnotes, and records also of lost attempts, occasionally with the cause given! Sometimes too there is a record of other performances, such as 5040 Plain Bob Minimus in hand, 1329 Bob Doubles tapped on handbells and a peal attempt of Stedman Caters at Trowbridge, of only 4877 changes.

John's first peal was of Cambridge Major at St Martin's, Salisbury in 1965, and his last tower bell peal at Withycombe Raleigh in memory of Frank Mack. His final five peals were on handbells, which brought his total up to 498. A quick survey through the peal books has produced the rough analysis below.

Noteworthy peals are the five long lengths he rang, starting with 11872 London Major at East Tytherley in 1971. This was followed in 1974 by a peal of 23296 Bristol S Major at Llanfeugan 1974, which was at the time the longest peal of surprise yet rung, and the longest on church bells. It remains the record length in the method. He rang 12152 Little Bob Major at the foundry at Loughborough in 1975, which was the longest peal in the method, and at the same tower later that year 11127 Stedman Caters. Finally in 1978, he took part in the longest peal of Stedman yet rung-22899 Stedman Caters at Appleton- which was also the longest on more than eight bells. He also rang Norman Smith's 23-spliced, called peals of Spliced Surprise Minor up to 50 methods, and rang in two silent peals, one of Grandsire Doubles and one of Grandsire Triples. Moreover he took two bells in a peal of Grandsire which he called at St Mark's.

Many of his peals broke new ground for the Devon Guild, including the last five handbell peals. In effect, he changed the culture of peal ringing in Devon from Plain Bob & Grandsire to Surprise (Minor & Major) on a regular basis. Through his quarter peal ringing particularly, he laid the foundation for the advances in method ringing that were achieved in the 1980's and early 1990's, which would not have been contemplated without John's hard work through the 1970's.

John called 189 of his 498 peals, and his leading conductors are listed below. Not surprisingly, St Mark's was his most popular tower, followed by Thorverton. In all he rang peals at 288 towers, 54 of which were rings of twelve. He was able to ring anywhere in the circle, but he was outstanding on heavy bells (he rang the tenor at Sherborne, and the 11th at the Cathedral for single handed peals, as well as turning in the Cathedral tenor for quarters of Royal-before it was rehung).

Mike Mears comments, "I often felt that John's talents were wasted in Devon. I say that because I was fortunate to ring peals with him elsewhere with quite strong bands, and he was clearly a class act; however, I think he needed a challenge to bring the best out of him. Perhaps he wasn't stretched enough down here? I remember the surprise minor series we rang - he really got his teeth into that, and I always felt that we were going to see it through, because of the amount he put into it. I suppose as far as Devon is concerned, he was twenty years ahead of his time".

John made a significant contribution to peal and quarter peal ringing in general, through 'Composition 500', 'Quarter 500', and 'Standard 70'. These publications were way ahead of anything that the Central Council had produced at that time - and it was twenty years before they caught up!


Tower bells

Maximus: Plain Bob (3), Kent TB (1), Cambridge S (25), Christchurch S (1), Hughenden S (1), Newgate S (2), Superlative S (1), Yorkshire S (2), Spliced S (2)

Cinques: Grandsire (3), Stedman (34)

Royal: Little Bob (3), Plain Bob (3), Kent TB (1), Bristol S (2), Cambridge S (13), Lincolnshire S (1), London III S (2), Nideggen S (1), Pudsey S (1), Rutland S (1), Yorkshire S (9)

Caters: Grandsire (8), Stedman (6)

Major: Double Norwich (9), Grandsire (1) Little Bob (5), Plain Bob (39), St Clements (1), Kent TB (1), Anniversary D (1), Belfast S (2), Bristol S (2), Broadclyst S (1), Cambridge S (25), Dorchester S (2), Eryri S (1), Exeter S (1), Glasgow S (1), Greybury S (1), Lincolnshire S (13), London S (12), New Cambridge S (2), Pudsey S (8), Rutland S (12), Superlative S (17), Uxbridge S (1), Yorkshire S (39), Zurich S (1), Spliced S (24)

Triples: Grandsire (47), Oxford Bob (1) Stedman (16)

Minor: Plain Bob (13), Cambridge S (6), Spliced S (13), Other multi-minor (21)

Doubles (5)


Royal: Little Bob (1), Kent TB (2)

Caters: Grandsire (1)

Major: Kent TB (1), Oxford TB (1), Plain Bob (3)

Minor: Plain Bob (7)


JNL 189
Tim Collins 69
Bob Dennis 19
Bill Perrins 18
Tudor Edwards 17
Michael Church 12
Michael Mears 11
Roy Le Marechal 10


Exeter S Mark 26
Thorverton 11
Broadclyst 9
Exeter Cathedral 9
Exeter Heavitree 9
Brampford Speke 7
Buckfast Abbey 7
Stratton 7

Tavistock Ringers Ring at Exeter Cathedral

Sunday January 15th was a very special occasion for Tavistock Bellringers. We had the honour of ringing at Exeter Cathedral for the installation of the Venerable John Rawlings as Archdeacon of Totnes. Mr Rawlings had been the vicar of Tavistock for the past fourteen years. We were pleased that John was able to join us for a ring before the service. We wish him a long and fulfilling future in his new position and wish him and Janett a happy life in their new home and surroundings.

It was the time that some of our ringers had rung on the Cathedral bells. Our ringers made a very respectable job of ringing the very demanding bells. The ringing ranged from rounds and call changes on the twelve to Grandsire Cinques and Stedman Caters.

This year George Boucher has become President of the Devon Association, and George Mudge has been President of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers for several years. It is the first time in the history of Devonshire ringing that both Presidents have belonged to the same tower.

We would like to thank Ian and Wendy Campbell who welcomed us and stood in for the two members of our band who were unable to be with us on the day. Many photographs were taken to record the event that many of our ringers will remember for a long time.

George Mudge

Mid Devon Branch Training Day

Simulator not needed

On Saturday 4 February, seven or eight 'students' and a good number of willing helpers gathered at Wolborough for some training. The bells were rung open as the simulator wasn't needed on this occasion, strong bands ringing round each student for anything from Plain Hunt to Plain Bob Triples. This provided valuable consolidation, and a step forward for some.

People dispersed for pub lunches etc., and some impromptu handbell ringing. Many met again in the afternoon for quarter peals of Plain Bob Doubles, Minor and Major, for three of the students: all successfully scored. Congratulations to Gill Keites from Kingskerswell, who rang her first quarter, ringing inside to Plain Bob Doubles.


Wolborough, St Mary
4th February 2006
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1. Lynne Hughes
2. Gill Keites
3. Philip Stevens
4. Russell Chamberlain
5. Tim King (c)
6. Nigel Birt
First quarter peal: 2

Troyte Ringing Centre

Branch practises Plain Hunt

Saturday 27th January was the first of the NE Branch Training Workshops of 2006. 10 helpers, from many of the NE affiliated towers and 5 course members, from Clayhidon, Silverton and Tiverton St Paul, met at Huntsham at 10 am under the instruction of Mike Hatchet.

The introduction to method ringing for the learners involved theory and practice of plain hunt doubles and minor. With refreshment at suitable intervals provided by Pat, and much enjoyment throughout the day, the students were all successful and went off after tea with increased skills to practise plain hunting in their own towers.

The next Training course will be held, again at Huntsham, on Saturday 18th March from 10am to 4pm for Plain Bob Doubles. All places are already taken with 10 participants from 4 towers. We look forward to another busy but enjoyable day.

There are further Training days scheduled throughout the year at the Troyte Ringing Centre, some courses are at Huntsham and others at Bampton on the NE Practice bell.

Anyone interested in TRC courses should contact Mike Hatchett.

Guild Certificates awarded

Congratulations to the following members on gaining their Guild certificates since the last edition of RRD: Zoe Fell and Shaun Walters (Plymouth Emmanuel), Geoff and Zonnie Freestone (Whitchurch), Denis and Mischa Thompson (SW Branch), George Sanson (Shute).

Pictured above with Dennis Beresford and James Clarke are eight new members of the NNW Branch elected at the branch AGM in November and presented with their certificates on 13 December at Inwardleigh. Their names are Mary Beresford, Stephen Cowland, Letitia Kent, Christopher Lock, Catherine Lock, John Orchard, Matthew Waterson and Thomas Waterson.

S.W.Branch AGM

Stoke Dameral- Plymouth- 28th January -06

What a chilly day it was on the 28th of last month, but we of the SW Branch were given a very warm welcome by John Steere (Tower Captain) and all of his team. The tower (8 bells) was invitingly cosy, even though for a few beginners a little intimidating - but the No7 and the Tenor were very friendly! We had a charming service taken by Wendy Pezzey in St.Andrews church, the choir of 6 were in very good voice and we were given a very nice handbell rendition. The Ringers tea was excellent including lovely puddings! The Meeting went well and efficiently completed in good time, as the Chairman was keen for us to have some more ringing, which we did and enjoyed very much at St. Budeaux afterwards.

Sisters score at Dawlish

Sisters Roxanne and Sophie Hughes, aged 12 and 11 respectively, scored their first quarter peals recently at Dawlish. Both put in a very creditable performance, witnessed by a proud mother and father!

Since starting to ring in September 2004, the girls have become valued members of the Sunday service band, which rings call changes on Sundays and is building up some basic method ringing on Wednesdays. Many thanks to Fiona for her enthusiastic teaching of the girls, to Tim for conducting the quarters, and to Sue and Rosemary for helping us out by ringing in them.

The next step may be four Hugheses in a quarter, and with a grandmother who rings , and a little brother eager to learn, there could be a family quarter on of these days! Finally a comment from the girls themselves: "It wasn't very hard" said Roxanne; "it was good" added Sophie.

Dawlish, St Gregory
4th December 2005
In 42 minutes
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1. Roxanne Hughes
2. Fiona Rock-Evans
3. Tim M Bayton (c)
4. Sue M Sawyer
5. Lynne P Hughes
6. Phil A Hughes
First quarter peal: 1

Dawlish, St Gregory
31 January 2006
In 42 minutes
1260 Grandsire Doubles
1. Sophie J Hughes
2. Fiona Rock-Evans
3. Lynne P Hughes
4. Rosemary Morgan
5. Tim M Bayton (c)
6. Phil A Hughes
First quarter peal: 1

Guild Competitions

The Aylesbeare Branch are the hosts for the Guild competitions and hope to hold them at Clyst St George and Broadclyst.

The methods for the Inter-Branch competition in October are to be Yorkshire Surprise Major and Plain Bob Major. The touch for the Yorkshire is a plain course, and for the Plain Bob the "bob every other lead" option!

3578264 B
5864327 B
8427536 B
4736852 B
7652483 B
6283745 B
2345678 B

Jubilee of resident Surprise first

The first peal of Surprise Major by a resident band was rung fifty years ago, on 20 January 1956. To mark this event, a peal in the same method was rung at the same tower, to the same composition on 20 January 2006. The peal was particularly dedicated to the two surviving members of the original band, Norman Mallett and John Scott.

NEWTON ABBOT, Devon (St Mary, Wolborough)
On Friday 20 January 1956
in 3 hours 4 minutes
(Composed by Charles Midleton)
John Glanvill 1
E Maurice Atkins (c) 2
Norman Mallett 3
Frederick Wreford 4
Harold P Burton 5
John GM Scott 6
William Simmonds 7
Brian F Pidgeon 8

NEWTON ABBOT, Devon (St Mary, Wolborough)
On Friday 20 January 2006
in 2 hours 41 minutes
(Composed by Charles Midleton)

P Wendy Campbell 1
Pauline C Champion 2
Paul J Pascoe 3
Ian W Avery 4
Lester J Yeo 5
George E Mudge 6
Robert DS Brown 7
Michael EC Mears (c) 8

Contact details for DCBRF

Please note the e-mail address for matters relating to the DCBRF is now

Child protection

The joint Guild and Association guidelines on child protection, together with a recommended written form of agreement for all learners to complete will be circulated soon to all towers within the county.

Offwell Church closed

Due to building works Offwell Church (including tower) will be closed for approximately 3 months from Easter 2006.

Please ring John Seymour (tower captain) on 01404 831690 for up to date information. Further news will, it is hoped, be available for the June edition of Ringing Round Devon.

S W Branch Secretary

The new secretary for the South West Branch is Zonnie Freestone; email

Guild Festival

The Guild festival and AGM will be held on 17 June 2006 at Awliscombe, hosted by the East Devon Branch.

For Sale

Alko 350-4 (4 Stroke petrol) garden cultivator in good working order. Available in return for £50 donation to DCBRF. Contact John Hill

Devon Towers and Bells

The authoritative book on Devon bells, by Frank Mack and John Scott, with James Clarke, is due to be published in 2006 by the Mint Press of Exeter. Full details (and requests for subscribers) will be available later.

Novice Competition

The idea of a novice competition, for bands to ring plain hunting, was suggested at the Guild Committee meeting. This would be to encourage learners to move on to the early stages of method ringing..

Welcome Pack

The Guild Welcome pack is being revised and updated in time for the Guild Festival. Comments and suggestion please to Leslie Boyce, Martin Mansley or Lester Yeo.

Exeter St David's

Silent Peal Centenary

The first silent peal to be rung by the Guild was achieved on Saturday 27 January 1906 at St David's, Exeter. So we decided to have a go at repeating the performance to mark the hundredth anniversary of this landmark performance. The method was Grandsire Triples, the composition Holt's 10-part, and we decided to accept the challenge of trying to ring the same method and composition.

The attempt was publicised in the Parish magazine, and attracted considerable interest within the church community. When we met early on the morning of Saturday 28 January, none of us expected the attempt to last very long. We jokingly agreed to ring one whole pull of rounds at the end before standing the bells, so as to preserve silence throughout, not expecting to even reach half-way. So, it was with considerable surprise that we successfully completed the peal, rang our whole pull and set the bells without a single word being spoken.

The ringing was of a high standard, without trips, and all in complete silence. It was very strange to begin with, but soon everyone settled into the challenge.

This centenary silent peal is only the sixth to be rung by the Guild ever, anyone up for another one?

David Maynard

The Devonshire Guild of Ringers
The Exeter Ringers Cycling Club Branch

consisting of 5040 changes, 
was rung at St. David's, Exeter, on
Saturday 27th January 1906,
in 3 hours 20 minutes.
Tenor 13cwt in G.

1 Richardson  St Sidwells
2 Frank Davey  St Davids
3 Arthur W Searle  St Davids
4 Alexander Evans  St Sidwells
5 Thomas Laver  Heavitree
6 John Sandover  Heavitree
7 Harry T Burch  Withycombe
8 Edmund Sargent  St Sidwells

Composition Holt's Ten Part.



James Moss, Umpire
Revd C J V French, Vicar

The Guild of Devonshire Ringers

consisting of 5040 changes, 
was rung at St. David's, Exeter, on
Saturday 28th January 2006,
in 2 hours 59 minutes.
Tenor 12cwt in G.

1 Andrew P Digby  Newton St Cyres
2 Pauline Champion  Broadhembury
3 David G Maynard  St Davids
4 Howard W Egglestone  Crediton
5 Ian V Smith  Cathedral
6 Ian L C Campbell  Heavitree
7 Paul J Pascoe  Cathedral
8 P Wendy Campbell  St Marks

Composition Holt's Ten Part.


Reverend John M Henton, Vicar.

Tavistock: launch of ringing novel

Ringers ring in the 'Bells of Burracombe'

Donna Baker, successful author and ringer at St.Eustacius Church Tavistock, for many years, held a reception at the Bedford Hotel to promote her latest novel. The Bells of Burracombe, Bellringing is something Donna (who writes as Lilian Harry) has wanted to include in her books for some time, and one amusing chapter is devoted to church bell ringing, with very recognisable situations. At the reception The Tavistock Handbell Ringers provided the entertainment, ringing a selection of tunes, with Donna joining in, and also a peal of Grandsire. We wish her every success with her new novel.

John Hill

One more Guild member makes the thousand

Congratulations to John Hill of Exeter cathedral for reaching the landmark total of a thousand peals, especially as ill health kept him on 999 for a long time.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Thorverton, Devon, St Thomas of Canterbury
Monday 19th December 2005 in 2hr56 (14)
5002 Cat's Eye Surprise Royal
Composed by DG Morrison
1 John Hill
2 Paul J Pascoe
3 Lester J Yeo
4 P Wendy Campbell
5 Pauline Champion
6 Andrew P Digby
7 Ian L C Campbell
8 Michael E C Mears
9 John A Foster
10 Matthew J Hilling (C)

Exeter St Mark's augmentation

First quarter and peal on new ten

Front row (l-r): 1-5; Back row (l-r): 6-10.

Exeter, Devon, St Mark
Tuesday, 7 February 2006 in 48 (12)
1259 Grandsire Caters
1 Matthew Hilling (C)
2 Roger King
3 Wendy Campbell
4 Maureen Hawkins
5 Lesley Tucker
6 Janet Coles
7 Derek Hawkins
8 Andrew Nicholson
9 Graham Tucker
10 Robert Franklin

First quarter peal on the augmented ring

Front row (l-r): 1-5; Back row (l-r): 6-10.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Exeter, Devon, St Mark
Saturday, 18 February 2006 in 2h59 (12)
5003 Grandsire Caters
Composed by: R I Allton
1 Matthew J Hilling (C)
2 Roger King
3 Pauline Champion
4 P Wendy Campbell
5 Richard C Shere
6 Andrew P Digby
7 Robert E Franklin
8 Ian L C Campbell
9 Reginald T McKenzie
10 Janet M Coles

200th peal in the tower, and first peal on the ten bells.

New Captain at Honiton

The new captain at St Paul's, Honiton, is Derek Ballard. Email:

Exeter St Thomas

An earlier augmentation in Exeter

With the augmentation of St Mark's to ten, readers may be interested in the history of an earlier Exeter augmentation, when the six at St Thomas were recast into an eight.. These notes were made by one of the St Thomas ringers in 1970!

In 1893 the existing minute books begin for the ringers of St Thomas. At this time there were two bands, the Junior and the Senior, and the bells were a ring of six cast by the Cornish Penningtons, rung from the ground floor. The Junior band appears to have done most of the ringing; and it is for this band that we possess the minutes. At the meeting held on St Thomas' Day 1893 it was resolved that "the Rules formerly drawn up, but for various reasons not recently acknowledged" would in future be adhered to, and fines strictly enforced.

In 1899 a "new departure" is recorded: the members determined to learn Half Pull or Scientific ringing", and joined the Guild of Devonshire Ringers. In 1901 the Senior band was dissolved, and the Vicar, the Revd Maurice Swabey, gave permission (in a letter preserved in the minute book) for the title of the Junior band to be changed. The treble bell became cracked in the same year but was quickly repaired.

The bells were silent for two months I 1914 due to the outbreak of war. A serious crack developed in the fifth bell, and the cage was in very bad condition. Nothing was done for many months (an entry reads, "We are sorry to note that little interest is taken in the Band and its work") until 13 May 1916, due to the dangerous state of the bells and the absence of many ringers on military service, ringing was discontinued. The funds of the Band, amounting to 18/6d, were divided between the members: TJ Lake (captain) J Stokes (secretary), A Goad, C Routley, W Roberts and W Shobrook.

An attempt to re-commence ringing in 1919 was abandoned when the tower was finally declared unsafe. As a result of this, the knell for the captain, Mr lake, who died the following year, was rung at St Sidwell's.

No action was taken until 1923, when the Vicar's Warden, Mr ES (later Sir Edgar) Plummer, generously agreed to bear the expense of recasting the cracked fifth, and adding two new bells to bring the peal up to eight. It was soon realised that a far more musical effect would be gained by recasting all six bells; so Mr Plummer decided to defray the whole cost, and placed an order with Messrs Gillett and Johnson of Croydon. The scheme must have cost him about £1000.

The parish itself bore the cost of a new ringing chamber nine feet above the ground, in order to reduce the length of the draught. Another reason was the danger from the clock-weights that hang in the tower; a few years previously one of these had fallen and made a pit about 6" deep in the floor.

Once the installation of the bells was arranged, there remained the problems of finding people to ring them. The Vicar, the Revd HG Chalk, wrote to the secretary of the old band, Mr Stokes, who contacted the other four surviving members and two other local ringers, Messrs J Moss and A Monkley. All six expressed their willingness to join Mr Stokes in reviving the band, and 6 April 1923 were the guests of Mr Plummer at his house, Crossmead. The inaugural meeting of the new band was held in the Vestry on 7 May. In addition to the above, nine others were elected members or honorary members of the band.

The bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Exeter on Whit Sunday, 20 May 1923, when over a hundred ringers visited the church. The first quarter peal (Grandsire Triples) was rung on 31 January 1924, ansd the first peal on 25 October, which was commemorated by a tablet unveiled by Alderman John Stocker, vice-president of the band. GEY

John Scott is 80

Guild Librarian and former President of the Central Council, Prebendary John Scott celebrated his eightieth birthday in December, and during the weekend two peals were rung in celebration of the fact, at towers with which he had been intimately connected: Newton St Cyres and Wolborough.

Shown are some photographs for those who have only known him in more recent years!

Thursday 8 December 2005
in 2 hours 54 minutes
5088 Berkelium S Major
(Comp. AJ Cox)
1 Paul J Pacoe
2 Mervyn C Way
3 Jill M Hansford
4 Ian VJ Smith
5 Timothy M Bayton
6 Pauline Champion
7 Matthew J Hilling
8 Michael ECMears (c)

SS Cyr & Julitta
Monday 12 December 2005
in 2 hiours 42 minutes
5024 Spliced S Major
In 8 methods
(Comp NR Aspland)
1 Mervyn C Way
2 Paul J Pascoe
3 Lester J Yeo
4 Pauline Champion
5 Ian VJ Smith
6 David G Maynard
7 Howard W Egglestone
8 Michael EC Mears (c)

Disclaimer - please read

Pages formatted by Ian Campbell

Updated 11/03/2006