The Guild of Devonshire Ringers - Ringing Round Devon Newsletter

The Guild of Devonshire Ringers


Newsletter No 68 : December 2007

RINGING ROUND DEVON is the newsletter of The Guild of Devonshire Ringers, and is circulated free to all affiliated towers. Any individual members who wish to subscribe should contact Roger King. 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 e-mail to .

The December 2007 version of Interchange, a newsletter for all ringers in Devon, is available here.


The North-East Branch held their annual dinner on Saturday 24th November at Blackberries Restaurant in Bampton. It was a particularly special evening for the 47 Guests as it was the occasion for the presentation of the Founders Award to the Troyte Ringing Centre.

Gail Cater, Chair of the Central Council Ringing Centres Committee which selected the winning centre, and Andrew Gillett, Clerk to the Founders Company who fund the annual award, had spent the afternoon with other ringers at a seminar at Huntsham to discuss the future plans for Ringing Centres.

The award was given to The Troyte Ringing Centre for its contribution to teaching new recruits, running an annual programme of one-day workshops and for regular practise events for the North-East Branch members.

The Ringing Centre is also used regularly for peals rung by visiting bands, helping to generate an income in excess of £2,000 each year. The money raised each year is divided amongst the church of Huntsham, the Ringing Centre, NE Branch and The Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. In addition, £500 each year is given to a local charity. In past years, the Churches Housing Action Team, Bampton New School Fund, and Huntsham Village Hall have all benefited, while this year's charity is to be Crisis in Farming.

The photos show the Founders Award and Andrew Gillett presenting the plaque and cheque for £500 to Les Boyce, Chair of the NE Branch.

Further information can be found on The Troyte Ringing Centre website,

Also, during the dinner, Mike Heard and Glenis Morgan were presented with their Guild Certificates by Branch Chair, Les Boyce.

The seminar in the Troyte hall, with GDR President Lester Yeo in the Chair, Gail & Bob Cater, Andrew Gillet, and GDR members


Congratulations to Paul J Pascoe on ringing his 1000th peal. Paul achieved this milestone in 3271 days and hence beats Ian Fielding's previous record of a 1000 peals in 3275 days.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Thorverton, Devon
St Thomas of Canterbury

Saturday, 8 December 2007 in 2h 49 (15)
5088 Bristol S Major
Composed by: S J Ivin
1 Ian W Avery
2 Paul J Pascoe (C)
3 Lester J Yeo
4 Brian V Mountjoy
5 Peter L Bill
6 Janet M Coles
7 Robert D S Brown
8 Michael E C Mears

1000th Peal: 2.

The photo shows the band in the order which they rang, clockwise from front right.


The bells of Exeter Cathedral have been out of action for work on the tower over the summer, but they are now back in action; the first service ringing will be for the Guild carol service on 15th December.

Several years ago the ringers expressed concern that the walls of the tower were showing signs of cracks where the supports for the top frame were sunk into the walls. The authorities thought that was being caused by movement when the bells were being rung but tests indicated what we thought - that the 100 year old steel was rusting and expanding within the walls causing the cracks to appear. A photo taken in 2003 shows the corner of the wall by the 6th bell showing the crack below the girder which continues down through the padstone and the wall to the window sill (picture 1).

Following discussion of several ideas it was decided to cut off the ends of the steel where it went into the wall, dig out the steel in the wall, and fill it with new stone. New brackets were then bolted to the wall and connected to the bell frame and additional vertical supports were installed at the corners of the frame. While this work was going on it was also decided to install a new steel joist at the base of the bell frame to add strength to the horizontal steel beams which had been seen to flex while the bells were ringing, despite them being several feet thick!

The work was expected to take about six weeks and was planned to take place during a quiet time for ringing over the summer. Following ringing on the bells on July 7th for the visit from the College Youths the ropes were removed and the chimes disconnected. Scaffolding and a lift were erected on one side of the tower to ease access and a working platform was built to avoid the necessity of any access via the Cathedral. Fire access to the doors under the scaffolding had to be maintained at all times. Delays of all sorts were encountered by the contractors and their sub-contractors so we had to cancel a number of visits and two peal attempts before the work was finally completed at the beginning of December.

A team of ringers spent the afternoon of Monday 3rd December re-attaching the ropes, sorting out the chimes, clearing up the belfry and raising the bells in time for ringing in the evening. We were particularly concerned about the 11th which had a new steel support barely an inch from the wheel; fortunately it did not foul the bell or the clapper which only just misses it. The ringing in the evening was delayed as a result of a double booking of the Cathedral; we didn't think that the school carol service would appreciate the bells ringing throughout their service!

Following a meeting with the authorities and the contractors on 4th December the work has now been signed off. The bells will be rung by the Cathedral band before the Carol service and open ringing will be available afterwards. All ringers are welcome to join us. The bells will then be ready to be rung before and after the Christmas Eve carol service, and at 7am to mark the start of Christmas day - this is an hour later than usual!

The photos show the new frame and fixings to the wall, and the scaffolding being removed from the tower.

Ian Campbell


The Guild Striking Competitions were held this year in the Mid Devon Branch: the 6 bell at East Ogwell and the 8 bell at Wolborough. We were due to have the novice competition at Stokeinteignhead but due to only having one team enter we moved it to the back 6 at Wolborough.

We had 7 teams entered in the 6 bell so a prompt start was required. The first team, judges and marshals duly arrived in good time to find the church firmly locked! After 10 minutes of frantically trying to get a mobile phone signal to chase up the key, the cavalry arrived in the shape of Russell Chamberlain (vicar of the parish) and we were let in. Thankfully all the teams arrived in good time so we soon caught up with the schedule. Despite the bells being a little tricky, including a couple of them being very light-set, all teams completed their test piece giving an excellent competition for Ian & Wendy Campbell to judge.

St Marychurch were the only team in the novice competition so they duly went to Wolborough with Russell and again completed the test piece which was all they needed to do to win the trophy.

After a short extraordinary Guild committee meeting the draw for the 8 bell took place. Our judges, Richard & Marian Newman were positioned in the field behind the church so the competition could begin. It was pleasing to see that 4 out of the 5 teams which took part rang this year's special method Hereward Bob Triples. The ringing was of a very high standard again giving us an excellent competition. There was just one tense moment when NE branch were awaiting the arrival of their 8th ringer, thankfully Pauline appeared just in the nick of time allowing the team to ring as planned.

My thanks to the Mid Devon Branch for their organisation, Ian & Wendy Campbell and Richard & Marian Newman for judging the competitions and to Russell Chamberlain for allowing us to ring at his churches. N&NW Branch are next year's hosts and I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Janet Coles


6 Bell
1) Exeter St Marks (Minor) 8 faults
2) Tavistock 9 faults
3) Cullompton 20 faults
4) St Marychurch 23¼ faults
5) Withycombe Raleigh 28 faults
6) St Marks (Doubles) 45 faults
7) Dawlish 62½ faults

8 Bell
1) Exeter (M) 15¾ faults
2) South West 17½ faults
3) North East 30¾ faults
4) Exeter (A) 46½ faults
5) Mid Devon DNF

1) St Marychurch (no faults awarded)

The photos show:
1. Novice-Award winners Richard and Charlotte Partidge, of St Marychurch
2. Matt Hilling receiving the 6-bell cup for St Mark's Minor band
3. Graham Tucker of St Mark's, awarded the 8-bell trophy by Richard Newman


I am one of the many "middle aged learners" recruited for the Millennium. I divide my time between Kent and Devon and ring in bands at Cudham and Dawlish. This year my husband Ken and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, the pearl one. I felt that this occasion deserved something special and so I asked Lynne in Dawlish if she thought it would be possible for me to attempt my first peal.

So, on a pleasant Saturday morning in late October, five very experienced ringers and myself assembled at Ideford at 9-30am. After some rope-adjusting and box-stabilising we set off. Two hours and thirty six minutes later Tim called "that's all" and we had done it! It was Tim's first peal of doubles as conductor, although he has conducted peals of higher numbers before. I had arranged for Ken to meet us at 12-ish with strict instructions that if he could still hear us ringing he was not to come into the church as it might put us off.

We toasted the occasion with a bottle of pink champagne which had been given to me by my ringing friends at Cudham, and Ken took some photos. I would very much like to thank St Mary's at Ideford for the use of their bells, and for opening up the Church for us on a Saturday, Lynne for organising everything, Tim for conducting and making us laugh during the peal, and Richard, Jill and Mike for ringing. It would not have been possible without the support of Ken of course who puts up with all my ringing-related activities!

Megan Smith

The picture shows left to right, Tim Bayton, Richard Shere, Lynne Hughes, Jill Hansford, Michael Hansford, Megan Smith.

Peal details :
Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Ideford, Devon, St Mary

Saturday, 27 October 2007 in 2h 36 (7)
5040 Doubles (11m)
2ext: Grandsire; 4ext: Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place, Huntley Place, St Remigius Bob, St Nicholas Bob, Winchendon Place, Plain Bob, Eynesbury Bob, St Osmund Bob, St Simon's Bob, St Martin's Bob.

1 Timothy M Bayton (C)
2 Richard C Shere
3 Lynne P Hughes
4 Jill M Hansford
5 Michael C Hansford
6 Megan K Smith

1st Peal: 6. 1st of Doubles as Conductor
Rung to celebrate the pearl wedding anniversary (29/10) of Megan and Ken Smith. Also for Megan's 60th birthday and retirement this year.


The Littleham annual Tower Outing this year was on Saturday September 22nd, starting at Newton-St-Cyres (8-13cwt), then to Shobrooke (6-12cwt).

We then moved to The Thorverton Arms for much-needed refreshment. After lunch we rang at Thorverton (10-15cwt), then to our last tower at Whimple (6-12cwt). We had quite a large group, having again invited the Branch officers to join us - 17 in all, including 13 ringers.

The less experienced ringers enjoyed trying out different bells, and the more experienced a good day out. Just as in previous years we had fine weather and we all agreed this a bonus. We are very grateful to the host towers for a warm welcome.

Neville Wright

The photo shows those on the outing, including three generations of the Deem family, enjoying the sunshine at Whimple.


Many thanks to everyone who took part in guild quarter peal week this year and yet again raised an excellent sum to donate to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. The total this year came to £367.20 plus gift aid.

Congratualations to everyone who achieved firsts and particularly for the following:

1st quarter peal: Christopher Bolt, Martin Gentile, Jason Dowling

1st away from cover: Richard Partridge

1st inside: Kevin Brooks

1st Minor: Ann Barrow

1st Surprise: Kate Tucker

1st on 10: Sue Sturdy

Quarter peal week is about raising money for the resoration fund, but it is also about opportunity to progress. It is therefore good to see this happening at all levels. However, the total raised this time was a little lower than in the past 2 years, so please start planning early for next year! As ever, quarter peal week will start on the last Friday in October and finish on the first Sunday in November.

This is not just for the experts; anyone can be involved! If you want help with organising a quarter peal, have any ideas to raise more money for DCBRF, or want to be more involved in quarter peal week next year, please talk to your guild quarter peal secretary, ringing master, or tower captain. Details of all 37quarters rung will appear in the Ringing World in due course.

Tim Bayton


The Mother Church of Plymouth, St. Andrew's, suffered severe damage by incendiary and high explosive bombs during two heavy air raids on March 20th and 21st 1941. The tower, with its ring of ten bells, escaped serious damage, but the body of the church was reduced to a ruined shell. Shortly after its destruction a board with one word in bold lettering was fixed above the north porch doorway 'RESURGAM'.

Sixteen years later on St. Andrew's Day, 30th November 1957, the rebuilt church was re-consecrated by the Bishop of Exeter assisted by the Bishops of Liverpool and Plymouth. The ringers who were to play their part in this great day were instructed to report at the tower door at 1.30 pm and warned not to forget their invitation cards. The security was fairly tight and the police had to deal with a noisy group of extreme protestants who were objecting to the use of holy water at the reconsecration.

For 1½ hours the pre-service ringing consisted of Grandsire and Stedman Caters and rounds during which the Bishops of Liverpool and Plymouth paid a brief visit to the ringing room and joined in. The Bishop of Liverpool (Dr.Martin) was a popular ringing cleric of his day. At the conclusion of the service a touch of 395 Grandsire Caters was rung and then it was time to check that the peal band were safely locked in and ready to attempt a commemoration peal.

According to Tom Myers the bells went off into changes at 5.45 pm and came round at 8.25 pm. It was a happy ending to a long tiring day. Details of the peal are given below:


Saturday 30 November 1957
in 3 hours 21 minutes
Comp H.J.Tucker

1 A William Myers
2 Thomas G Myers (C)
3 H Frederick Myers
4 Frederick E Day
5 David N Penrose
6 Revd.Arthur S Roberts
7 Fhilip J Westwood
8 Richard J Bowden
9 Robert A Southwood
10 Alan Carveth

Rung to commemorate the reconsecration of Plymouth's Mother Church.

Time has taken its toll of the band and as far as I can ascertain there are only three survivors, Philip Westwood, Alan Carveth and myself.

Richard Bowden


The Guild of Devonshire Ringers quarter peal week seemed to be an excellent excuse for getting the ball rolling with the first ECG quarters of the academic year. Very quickly, all the plans were in place - two quarters, one on handbells and one at St Davids, both with all-student bands - who were surprisingly willing to come along to ring!

Things started to go wrong on the Monday, when a certain person forgot to show up for the Bob Minor on handbells... In her absence, a quarter of Minimus was rung - 3 methods - 2 extents of Reverse Bob, 2 of Double Bob and 50 of Plain Bob! Well done to Robert, for ringing his first QP in more than one method (and first of minimus, possibly the last!). The Bob Minor was rearranged for Thursday, and was duly scored, with some very good ringing - an excellent effort all round, considering we had not rung together much.

The final quarter of the week was at St Davids on Sunday. Despite earlier confusion about the start time ("we're starting at 7.30, aren't we?"), everyone turned up, and a good quarter of Bob Doubles was rung, with very few method mistakes. Particular congratulations to Martin, for ringing his first QP without going wrong at all!

Hopefully, these three quarters are going to be the first of many this year. Plans are afoot already!

The photo shows the St David's quarter peal band, in order:
Front row, left to right, Amy Jones (1), Hazel Davies (2), Martin Gentile (3).
Back row, from right to left (just to make things confusing!) Tom Hinks (4), James Whittaker (5), Robert Dietz (6).

The Bells of Devon

(now including up to date amendments list)

The first comprehensive contacts directory for all Devon towers with 3 or more bells
Also includes details of 'lost rings' of the past 150 years, chimes of 3 or more bells, and 1 bell towers

A MUST HAVE for any ringer exploring Devon!

All proceeds being given to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund

The Bells of Devon (including 2007 amendments) at £5.60 or amendments only at £1.00 available from: 'Braddons Mews', 27 Braddons Street. Torquay. Devon TQ1 1QH

Please make cheques payable to 'The Bells of Devon.


As is now customary the autumn meeting of the DCBRF took place on the morning of the Devon Association AGM at North Tawton on November 10th, Brian Drake kindly organising the Mortimer Room in the church for our use.

Starting the meeting James Clarke paid tribute to John Scott who was primarily responsible for the formation of the Fund in 1972. John had served as chairman for 30 years, and had continued as trustee until his death in July this year. His immense knowledge and wise counsel will be sorely missed. Replacing John on the committee is Ian Campbell from Exeter.

Income during the year (including £2,800 from the Devon Association following their Annual Draw, and received later that day) has so far amounted to £8,800, meaning that the Fund will just about break even for the year, grants paid out totalling £8,900.

These were £500 to Germansweek, £1,100 to Buckland-in-the-Moor, £4,500 to East Worlington, and £2,800 to Zeal Monachorum.

Gift Aid is now playing a significant part in our income. Following a donation of over £800 from the Rambling Ringers' tour this year, an additional £200 will be reclaimed as Gift Aid. Indeed, Gift Aid reclaimed for the past four years has boosted our income this year by over £600. We now have our own Gift Aid envelopes which our treasurer, Mary Mears, is currently distributing, and remember - for every pound you give, if it is gift-aided we can reclaim a further 28 pence. (Sadly, following Gordon Brown's final act as Chancellor, this will reduce to 25 pence from May next year!)

Two significant grants were awarded at the meeting: £6,000 to Berry Pomeroy, where the oak sub-frame is to be replaced by a new steel grillage, and the eight bells retuned and rehung with mainly new fittings in the existing iron frame; and £5,500 to Sampford Spiney, where the front four bells of the present five are to be retuned and rehung in a new steel frame, and two new trebles cast from the metal of the old tenor to give a 7 cwt ring of six. John Scott described the tenor as one of the three worst bells in the county, a statement with which anyone who has heard the bell will surely agree! The crown and inscription band of this bell will be cut off and displayed securely in the church.

The rehanging of the eight bells at Plymouth, Emmanuel, which should have started in October, has now been delayed until the new year following further debate as to the treatment of the frame. The local ringers had already removed the ropes ready for the work, but have now replaced them and started ringing again!

Work for the future includes Ashton, where a self-help scheme is being put together to render the bells ringable; minor work at Exeter, St Thomas; a plan to rehang the four bells at Northleigh; the creation of a new ringing chamber in the old clock room at Stoke Cannon; and work on the foundation beams at Walkhampton and Witheridge.

Following approval by the Charity Commission the new DCBRF Rules were formally adopted. Under these any grant offered more than five years ago, and not yet taken up, will be deemed void, and the secretary will be writing to those towers concerned inviting them to make a fresh application if they are still intending to carry out work.

Ian Smith


The Sidmouth Bellringers held their first ever open day on the 1st December and we were amazed at the response of the local people. There was a constant flow of people from when we opened at 10 am and this continued all morning.

Following an advertising campaign, including a large article in the local paper, over 60 people came along to meet us. Most of them tried their hand at the Guild mini-ring, which proved to be a great success. They were also able to see two computer presentations which ran all the time. We took people up into the tower itself and let them have a go at tied bell practice including our Rector, David James who had always been fascinated by ringing!

The main purpose of the event was to attract potential new recruits and to also demonstrate and explain ringing to anyone who showed an interest.

The whole morning was a great success and following this, we now have several new recruits, two of whom have already begun to learn.

James Harris

The photos show the CCC Posters which helped advertise our open day, the Guild mini-ring which was a very popular attraction, and the organisers as they appeared in the Sidmouth Journal under the heading 'Keep tradition alive - appeal rings out from group'


On Sunday 14 October, almost three years after the ECG's first quarter of surprise major on handbells another landmark first was achieved. Despite lingering colds and the distractions of a neighbour's lawnmower and the sweet smell of baking cookies, a confident peal was successfully rung. Although this was the first time that the four of us had rung together, the ringing quickly settled into an accurate, controlled rhythm. This was our first attempt at a peal of spliced and its successful conclusion is very encouraging. The only question now is: what next?

After the peal we sampled some of the delicious products of the distracting baking smell - some really good peanut and ginger cookies. They really were very good!

As well as being the first peal of Spliced for the ECG, it is also the first handbell peal of Spliced for the whole GDR and for two of the band. It was also Tom's first peal for the ECG - welcome aboard! This was the 49th peal for the ECG so we are planning something good for the next one... watch this space!

Guild of Devonshire Ringers (Exeter Colleges Guild)
Exeter, Devon
17 Dotton Close

Sunday, 14 October 2007 in 2h24 (15)
5058 Spliced S Major
(4m: 1312 Superlative; 1280 Yorkshire; 1250 Cambridge; 1216 Lincolnshire; 124 com, atw)
Composed by: D F Morrison

1-2 Andrew P Digby
3-4 David G Maynard
5-6 Thomas J Hinks
7-8 Matthew J Hilling (C)

First of Spliced for the Exeter Colleges Guild. First of Spliced in hand for 1-2, 7-8 and the Guild of Devonshire Ringers.

First of Spliced Major in hand: 5-6.


As if by magic, an announcement appeared on the ECG website confirming that the 50th peal had now been rung.

Following the enjoyable and confidently executed peal of 4-Spliced S Major in October (peal number 49), it was agreed to add a fifth method for the fiftieth peal. The peal itself started at a steady, controlled pace and blossomed into some (mostly!) very accurate ringing. Despite the distractions of passing aircraft the time seemed to go very quickly and the post-peal discussion about what to ring next was just as enthusiastic as last time! Secret negotiations continue as to the direction of future efforts...

From the entry by David Maynard on the ECG website

Guild of Devonshire Ringers (Exeter Colleges Guild)
Exeter, Devon, 17 Dotton Close

Sunday, 25 November 2007 in 2h26 (15)
5024 Spliced S Major
(5m: 1056 Lincolnshire; 1024 Yorkshire; 992 Cambridge, Superlative; 960 Rutland; 119 com, atw)
Composed by: R W Lee

1-2 Andrew P Digby
3-4 David G Maynard
5-6 Thomas J Hinks
7-8 Matthew J Hilling (C)

50th peal for the Exeter Colleges Guild.
Most Spliced in hand for the Guild and for all except 3-4.


The Exeter Branch AGM took place on Saturday 17 November, with some 20 or so branch members attending. At the meeting, the branch agreed to make a £100 donation to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. The following new members were elected: Ken Vingoe (Heavitree), Tom McGahey & Wendy Gill (St Mark's), Colin Prentice & Sandy Harrison (Newton St Cyres).

The following Branch Officers were elected: Ian Campbell (Chair), Becka Rickard (Secretary), Lesley Tucker (Treasurer), Andrew Digby (Ringing Master), Matt Hilling (Assistant Ringing Master & Guild Committee Rep) and Ken Vingoe (Publicity officer).

Some discussion was made about how to develop attendance at social events and as a result it was agreed that a branch email list should be produced, to help members keep in touch with forthcoming events. Thanks to St David's for hosting the service and the meeting, and the tea!

Ken Vingoe


On Saturday 20 October, local ringers Peter Bill and Carol Margrett tied the knot at their home church of St Paul de Leon church, Staverton. It was a lovely service conducted by the Rev Nicholas Pearkes in a very friendly and informal manner - the bride and groom were joined in matrimony by a bell rope light switch pull!

Whilst the register was signed, handbells were rung by the Exeter Cathedral ringers and immediately following the service the bells rang out by members of the local band and members of the congregation.

After a few photos we made the short journey back to Landscove village hall where glasses of champagne and canapés were waiting for us. We were treated to a fine hot buffet whilst we further indulged in some of Peter's favourite wines (he had chosen & bought them himself!).

After a few short speeches the tables were cleared and ceilidh dancing continued late into the night.

Those interested in the Rugby World Cup final had to keep checking the score on car radios - and under no circumstances was Peter to find out. He was to watch it "live" later that night - except the excitement of the day had overwhelmed Carol (who is still recovering from major surgery back in the summer) and she ended up spending the night at the RD&E hospital, but returned home fit and well the next day. With commendable under-statement the website concluded 'Quite a start to a married life'.

The photo shows Mr & Mrs Bill being congratulated by the Rev Nicholas Pearkes.

From the GDR website:

The peal below was rung in anticipation of the wedding:-

Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Staverton, Devon
St Paul de Leon

Tuesday, 9 October 2007 in 2h57 (19-2-14)
5040 Minor (4m)
(4m: 1-2 Staverton Treble Bob; 3-4 Staverton Alliance & Bastow Little Bob; 5-7 Staverton Delight)

1 Ian W Avery
2 Peter L Bill
3 Lester J Yeo
4 Paul J Pascoe
5 James Grant
6 Matthew J Hilling (C)

Rung for the forthcoming marriage at Staverton on Saturday 20 October of Peter Bill and Carol Margrett.


Following the modest success of Ring Out, Wild Bells as part of the Exeter Festival in 2004, the Devon Ringers' Council felt moved to stage a brand new evening's entertainment at St Petrock's church on Friday 2nd November during the 2007 Festival.

Entitled Ring Out, Wild Bells 2, it was billed as 'an exploration of the history and music of the bells'. A portrait of ringing from the sixteenth century to the present day was gradually drawn, using a wide range of material such as books, diaries, newspapers and other miscellanies, and interspersed with short demonstrations of ringing both on tower and handbells that the audience could watch and appreciate.

Lester Yeo devised the programme of readings and poetry and acted as one of the narrators, together with Daphne Sharland, Helen Hitchins and Wendy Campbell. Ringers from both Guild and Association manned the bells with a mixture of call change and scientific ringing, and ended in fine style with a 50:50 band ringing call changes together. After the performance, several members of the public stayed to ask questions and look at the Frank Mack demonstration bell, and there were even three or four brave souls who allowed themselves to be given a quick lesson in bell handling on the 'real' bells!

The DRC is grateful to all who gave up their time to participate in this venture. The audience was small, but it was felt to be important to make a demonstrable contribution to the Exeter Festival's community programme and thus promote our art.

Wendy Campbell


Aylesbury Deanery held their Annual Meeting on Saturday 1st December at Littleham. In line with tradition, following ringing on the 8 at Littleham we moved to the church hall for tea and the AGM. After prayers by Rev Bill McKenzie the Chairman Roger King, welcomed those present and extended a particular welcome to the GDR Master, Wendy Campbell. Reports from the Secretary/Treasurer Cathy Civill, Ringing Master John Langabeer and Deanery Representative Sue Sturdy were presented. Elections for officers were held for the coming year and all current occupants elected unanimously. A special vote of thanks was recorded for the sterling work done by Cathy Civill.

During a free-ranging discussion, the detailed content of Branch practices, recruitment, training, communication and means of promoting ringing to the wider community, were explored. On the social side, plans were agreed for a skittles challenge match and a Charity cream tea.

Under Any Other Business the chairman presented Matthew Hall, Sarah Deem and Craig Hawthorne, all young ringers at Littleham, with individual certificates to mark their first Sunday ring. They were also welcomed as new Guild members.

The awarding of certificates is an initiative started by the Littleham tower captain, Neville Wright who said ‘It can take a long time for beginners to reach the standard required to qualify for a Guild certificate, some never do, but these certificates, produced by the tower captain, give recognition to a significant achievement, the ringers having spent hours at practice to learn sufficient bell control to achieve their first aim - ringing for Sunday Services. It is also an encouragement for them to continue to become more proficient’.

To which we all said Amen!

Roger King



Tavistock Bell ringers held their annual Ringers Outing on Saturday, 15th September 2007 going south into Cornwall.

First stop was the excellent octave at Probus. The bells, six of which were cast by Rudhall of Gloucester in 1721, were retuned and rehung by Taylors in 1938 when they added two trebles, with the tenor tipping the scales at 20.0.11 in E. The tower is the tallest of any parish church in Cornwall and unlike any other in the County, is very much in the Somerset style.

Helston are a powerful ring with a Tenor of 15.3.7 in F. All the bell s were originally cast in 1905 by Taylors and hung in an iron frame. In 1956 the bells were rehung with a new heavier tenor and retuned a semitone lower and hung in a new teak frame to give the superb octave that exists today. Good ringing and very much enjoyed by all.

St Keverne was reached in good time and the 10 were soon going up in peal. Back 8 were cast in 1907 again by Taylors from an old ring cast by John Rudhall. Two new bells were cast by Taylors as part of the millennium project to make up the ten. We were met here by Mr. Pengelly, who was the Truro Guilds Towers and Bells adviser for many years and together with the St Keverne ringers hung the two new bells themselves. Both Caters and Royal went well here but its best to put the two thinnest ringers on 6 and 7, room between the tower door panelling and the ropes are at a bit of a premium with these two - or perhaps the scribe's corporation is a bit bigger than it should be!!!

Kenwyn handle even better now they are upstairs if ever that was possible. We were met here by our old friend Alan Carveth who very kindly arranged for the coffee morning to run into afternoon tea - just for us. Excellent ring, again by Taylors of Loughborough and rehung by Arthur Fidler of Bow in 1973 - Tenor 15.3.10 in F. The best performance here was between the last touch on the bells, with Alan on the treble, or Elgar's Nimrod with our own organist, Maurice Silcott on the magnificent 3 manual instrument - personally my vote's with Maurice. To be fair, though, he had been organist here for some time before he moved to Tavistock. Bodmin's tower contains another fine octave by John Taylor cast and installed in 1962. These replaced an existing 8 by Thomas Rudhall of 1767. A good rise in peal and into the queens call changes that would have put us in good stead at The Devon Association 8 Bell last April- but not only were we 6 months too late, we were also in the wrong tower!!!! However, Hereward Bob Triples went well, so who knows.

An evening meal was booked at The Halfway House which very conveniently was situated halfway from where we were going to, and where we had come from and was very much enjoyed by us all. Thanks were expressed to George Mudge and to everyone who had made the day such a successful one - here's looking forward to next year!!!


The Lamerton Association of Handbell Ringers held their annual festival on Saturday 13th October, 2007 in The Lamerton Sports & Community Centre. This was the 34th year that the event had been held and attracted a record number of teams. As well as running a tune ringing section, there is also a strong change ringing class. This section was won by a team from Okehampton "'All the Fours" who rang a well struck touch of Plain Bob Minor. Runners up were the team from St Dominick in Cornwall under the watchful eye of The Truro Guilds South East Branch Ringing Master. They opted for Plain Bob Triples and only lost by a very narrow margin. Lamerton were third with two rather ambitious courses of plain hunt Cinques. Judges of the competitions were Fergus Stracey, Clare Stagg and Shirley Culverhouse.


Congratulations to Denis and Mischa Thompson on the first quarter on their simulated campanile last August. Lynne Hughes' report in the last issue of Ringing Round Devon made very interesting reading and was put across extremely well. Best wishes to them both and as a little plug for those of us in my part of the County, Denis and Mischa are both members of The South West Branch.


The Annual General Meeting of The South West Branch of The Guild will be held at St. Mary's Lifton on Saturday, 26th January 2008. Ringing starts at 2.3Opm followed by Service and Tea and the A.G.M at approximately 6pm. Everyone is most welcome.

Geoffrey Hill


Branch AGM

The Branch held their Annual Meeting on Saturday 6th October at Cullompton. The afternoon started with ringing the 10 bells of St Andrews before a service conducted by Rev Bob Hooper. We were delighted to be joined by the President, Ringing Master and Secretary of the Devonshire Guild of Ringers for the day.

The Cullompton band provided a splendid tea after which the formal meeting took place. Reports from the Chair, Ringing Masters, Training Officer, Treasurer and Publicity Officer were heard and elections held for committee posts for the coming year. Leslie Boyce was re-elected as Chair and John Kape as Ringing Master.

After the Formal meeting members of the Branch joined in an informal Members' Forum during which discussions included future training in the Branch, social events and the design and purchase of display boards for advertising bellringing and for use in our recruitment campaign. Extended discussion reflected on the recent publicity the Branch has gained after local, national and international publicity on radio and television. The Branch plans to hold open days, coffee mornings and demonstrations to promote interest in bellringing.

Bob Minor Training Day

The Troyte Ringing Centre held the final training day of the year on Saturday 10th November. 4 students and helpers had theory session led by Mike Hatchett with plenty of opportunity to practise what they had learnt. Lunch and refreshments were provided by Pat and at the end of the day all felt that they had made progress.

As well as having 2 branch practise towers, St Peter's, Tiverton, and Bampton, the Monday night practises held at Huntsham have been opened for anyone wishing to make progress in plain hunting and Bob Doubles. It is hoped that these will provide opportunities for students to get follow-up practice after courses.

The photo shows Mike Hatchett, Anne Barrow, and Phillip (from Silverton)

Fred Edwards Shield

The annual competition held on 17th November at Uffculme featured a call changed event known as Queen's changes. Three teams entered the competition this year and the judges were David Trist and Brian Samuels. After the ringing the teams adjourned to the Ostler for the results and refreshments. With helpful comments on how the teams could improve next time the results were as follows:-

St Peter's, Tiverton: 49½ faults
Uffculme: 54¾ faults
Silverton: 113 faults

With St Peter's winning the shield by a narrow margin, Silverton were praised by those taking part for fielding a band with 4 inexperienced ringers. Well done to all who took part and we hope to have a greater number of teams taking part next year.

Sheila Scofield

The photo shows the St Peter's band and the judges, David Trist and Brian Samuels.


Our AGM was held at Fremington on 3rd Nov when 23 members and friends attended, and we were pleased to see the Guild President Lester Yeo and new Guild Secretary Janet Coles make the journey north to join us. The Fremington ringers - the tower was only recently affiliated to the Guild - produced an excellent tea, organised the short but interesting Service, and let us loose on their 6 bells (9cwt) both before and after the meeting.

Monthly Branch practices - 7-9pm on the first Saturday of each month; details appear in the RW - continue to flourish, with plenty of opportunities for all, under Alison Waterson's leadership. Alison was unanimously re-elected as Ringing Master, as was James Clarke as Chairman. There was a change of Secretary/Treasurer though as Anne Thorne had decided to stand down. She had been in post for eight years and was warmly thanked for her efforts over such a long period. Bruce Hicks, who moved into the area just over a year ago, agreed to take on the task and his contact details are shown below.

There were two other significant items. Firstly, members were pleased to agree to Black Torrington's request to affiliate to the Guild and they were warmly welcomed. Secondly, we were told that 3 members had each completed 60 years membership of the Guild; a truly amazing feat so congratulations go to John Bowden, James Rich and Charlie Taylor. Three new members were also elected - Malcolm Beeling from Braunton, Esther Jones (unattached) and Elaine Filer from Combe Martin.

Bruce Hicks

New Secretary's details:

Bruce Hicks, Combe Martin, N Devon


Long serving Guild Vice President, Father Paulinus Angold of Buckfast Abbey not only celebrated the Platinum Anniversary since his ordination recently but also reaches his 94th birthday just before Christmas. He was unwell earlier this year but is now feeling much better in himself even though he is not very mobile.He is able to get out and about a little if the weather is kind. He is still quite sharp and his memory is good and when I visited him recently he was telling me the best ringing he ever heard on the Abbey Bells was a peal of Stedman Cinques by the Central Council when they held their meeting in Exeter during the Guild's Centenary Year in 1974. He likes to be kept up to date on the ringing activities in Devon and would love to see any ringing visitors but it is probably best to ring him first.

Peter Bill


Seven or so years ago, a joint event was set-up involving the ringers of Bristol City and Exeter Cathedral in a friendly competition on 6, 8, 10 and 12 bells. The laudable aims were to raise the standard of ringing, and at the same time get to know ringers from another area. Initially based at Bristol, the venue would alternate with Exeter each year. After two years we had a break of a year before starting again.

The judging each time was not taken too seriously, with a few comments on each piece and then a winner announced. The glory was shared for the first couple of years with a 2-2 draw each time. Then, in Bristol, on away territory, the Exeter team triumphed with a clean sweep 4-0 victory!

Since then the idea has been to move away from having the competition and concentrate more on ringing together and using the combined forces of both bands to produce high quality ringing. It is also an opportunity to mix with different ringers and socialise. This year's event, on Saturday 13th October, continued the emphasis on quality and enjoyment and was well-supported with a total turnout of about 40. We started at Crediton, on the magnificent 26 cwt 12, where joint bands from Bristol and Exeter rang cinques and maximus of a notably high standard. Just as we were thinking of coffee, it was time for lunch at the Crediton Arms, where there was a noticeable mellowing and general relaxation.

Next came ringing at the recently augmented 23 cwt 10 at Axminster. Bands were selected from the assembled company in order of height. Those who are vertically challenged will be pleased to note there was no correlation between height and quality of ringing. Then on to a quick grab at the re-hung 14 cwt 6 at Musbury. Natural selection was employed here, with the fittest forming the first band, and so on. Again there was no correlation between fitness and quality of striking, as was proved by the smokers in the last band.

The final ring of the day was on the 17cwt 10 at St Mark's, Exeter. Originally, the scheduled tower was Withycombe Raleigh, but masonry repairs to the tower put an end to this.

The St Mark's "test piece" was doubles on the front 5 and doubles on the back 5. Two teams each rang the same method front and back with one conductor. One team rang different methods with two conductors - much more adventurous and entirely in the spirit of the occasion. Not sure of the outcome, other than sheer enjoyment.

The main business of the day concluded, we retired to the Cat and Fiddle Inn, just outside Exeter for the evening socializing. Following the meal we were arranged in teams for the quiz, selected according to where we were sitting (I think). The intended quizmaster was Canon Carl Turner from Exeter Cathedral, but as he had retired injured, Matt Hilling more than adequately filled the role. Using the Canon's script, Matt set about competing with the giant TV screen and commentary on the England-France rugby World Cup match. This time a correlation emerged - whoever has Pauline Champion and Rosie Green on their team will win.

Our sincere thanks to Matt Hilling and Tony Cox for arranging such an enjoyable and worthwhile day.

Roger King

The photos show the participants socialising in the Cat and Fiddle Inn after the day's ringing activities.


Each year, Graham and Lesley Tucker hold a fireworks and bonfire happening, at Newton St Cyres. Over the years this has become something of an institution and in November they celebrated the 25th anniversary, in some style with ringers from the Exeter area. The photographs below are representative of the evening. More photos are available on the GDR website.


Janet Coles, our new Guild Secretary

Janet Coles was elected at the recent Guild AGM. Although Janet will be well-known to many of the Guild members, she kindly agreed to provide a few biographical details to put the record straight as it were.

Janet learned to ring at Sidbury and Sidmouth and was elected to the Guiuld in 1982. She says she rang on and off during her teenage years and returned to ringing with a vengeance at the end of 1991. Since then, she has gone on to ring over 50 peals and almost 1700 quarter peals.

After joining the band of St Mark's Exeter she held the post of Exeter Branch Ringing Master and Guild Committee representative. She was elected to the Cumberlands in 2003.

After a couple of years as an unattached member of Exeter Branch she is back in the fold of St Mark's, where she was one of the main support team who helped raise £25k for the augmentation of St Mark's to 10 bells. She rings there every Sunday, and says 'for the first time in my life I have come out of my comfort zone and am helping to teach 4 youngsters to learn to ring at St Mark's'.

She looks forward to meeting the challenge of Guild Secretary, and thanks members in advance for their support, particularly in the early stages.


Now that I have finally stepped down as general secretary and delivered several large boxes of Guild paperwork into the safe hands of Janet, my successor, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the membership for the lovely gifts of flowers and a watercolour print of Exeter Cathedral. These came as a completely unexpected surprise to me since I have derived such a lot of pleasure from holding the administrative reins of the Guild and regarded it as a privilege. It is very nice when people show their appreciation for your efforts, so thank you everyone, and I hope to ring with many of you as I travel around the county during my year as Master.

Wendy Campbell


At the recent committee meeting Janet Coles was elected Guild Secretary (see above). At the same meeting, Ian Smith was elected as Guild Adviser on Bells and Belfries, and Ian Campbell as a trustee on the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund - both posts falling vacant on the death of John Scott.


...especially from the Ringing Master of the Aylesbeare Branch

Photo courtesy of the Express and Echo


Our congratulations go to Matt Hilling and Rosie Green who announced their engagement this week. Matt tells us he proposed at the Cape of Good Hope!
We wish them every happiness.

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Updated 19/12/2007