The Guild of Devonshire Ringers - Ringing Round Devon Newsletter

The Guild of Devonshire Ringers


Newsletter No 66 : June 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 (01395 274776. 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 post to Ringing Round Devon, 215, Exeter Road, Exmouth EX8 3DZ or by e-mail to .


Having seven young ringers at Dawlish, we decided to have a tower outing especially for them, for both an interesting experience, and the chance to improve with a good band. This was arranged in the Easter Holidays, with an invitation to join us put out to all young ringers in the area, or beyond!

In the event six Dawlish young ringers were joined by just two from Kingsteignton, all between 10 and 13 years old, and a handful of experienced adults.

The format was simple : just two six-bell towers (Ideford and Stokeinteignhead) with an hour at each. This proved adequate to give everyone a couple of rings at each tower, without anyone becoming bored. The ringing was mostly call changes, with some plain bob and trebling to surprise. The adults were a great help, but at one point we had an all-youth band ringing call changes. The morning finished off with lunch at a fast food outlet, eaten outside in the spring sunshine.

Favourable comments were made, and we will be looking to do a similar day some time. It proved a useful experiment in a small scale 'grass roots' approach to encouraging young ringers.

In the afternoon the adult helpers treated themselves to a quarter peal of St Clements Minor at Dawlish, trebled for by young Sophie. It was a 21st birthday complement to Diana Rock-Evans.

Lynne Hughes



The March issue of RRD contained a report of these peals, but with some of the details missing. So, with due apologies to all concerned, and to correct this omission, here are the missing peal details. The report and pictures are available from the March issue.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers (Exeter Colleges Guild)
Exeter, Devon
Cathedral of St Peter
Saturday, 24th Februrary 2007 in 3hr47 (72)
5040 Stedman Cinques
Composed by: P N Mounsey

  1. John Hyden (1970-1973)
  2. Peter D Hughes (1985-1986)
  3. Janet E Carless (1993-1997)
  4. Judith M Reading (1974-1977)
  5. Ricahrd A M Newman (1970-1974)
  6. Andrew J Mead (1971-1974)
  7. Simon J Reading (1972-1975)
  8. David G Maynard (2001-2005)
  9. Matthew J Hilling (C) (1995-1998)
  10. Robert A Metcalfe (1973-1980)
  11. Malcolm S Turner (1966-1969)
  12. Anthony J Crabtree (1977-1980) and Michael O Esbester (1997-2000)
First in the method for the Guild
Rung to celebrate the 40th aniversary of the Exeter Colleges Guild

Guild of Devonshire Ringers (Exeter Colleges Guild)
Exeter, Devon
17 Dotton Close
Sunday, 25th February 2007 in 2hr 12 (15)
5024 Double Norwich CB Major
Composed by: D F Morrison (no.1)

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

First in the method in hand for all and for the GUild.
Rung to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Exeter Colleges Guild.


On the 4th July 2007 there is a dinner being held at the House of Marbles, Bovey Tracey in aid of the Restoration of Lustleigh Bells. The festivities will commence at 7.30 pm The tickets are 18 pounds each all of which goes to the restoration fund. For this you get the dinner, wine with the dinner and musical entertainment at an appropriate point in the evening.

Tickets are on a first come basis and I am advised that they are already going quickly. If you want tickets forward a cheque for the appropriate amount made out to Lustleigh PCC (and if you can also gift aid the amount so much the better) and send to Robert Brown 58 De Tracey Park, Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9QT - Phone 01626-834461.

PS If there is enough interest I will also arrange for Bovey Tracey Tower to be open beforehand for general ringing.

Robert Brown


A relatively uneventful meeting was held on Tuesday April 3rd. As with our last Spring meeting it was hosted by Brian Drake at his home in North Tawton. (Mrs Drake really makes exceedingly fine cakes!)

Budgets were agreed for the purchase of Gift Aid Envelopes and Collecting Boxes, and Graham Sharland is fixing up a competition in aid of the Fund, hopefully to be held at Doddiscombsleigh on Saturday July 14th. (More on that from Graham on 01647 252167.)

Another generous donation of £400 had been received from the Troyte Ringing Centre at Huntsham, which, together with a donation from the Lydford ringers, helps to keep the Fund in a healthy position.

Grants were agreed to Hockworthy (£200) towards rehanging the three bells for swing-chiming in a strengthened frame; and to Lustleigh (£900) for replacement of bearing seals and races, insulation pads and runner boards, and cleaning down and repainting the frame.

Finally, it was noted with some regret that the impending reduction in the standard rate of Income Tax would also reduce the income received from Gift Aid.

The next meeting of the DCBRF will be on Saturday 10th November, the morning of the Devon Association AGM.

Ian Smith


In March, Withycombe Raleigh ringers Mary Mack, Nigel Jackson-Mack and Roger King, visited London, to see some of the sights in and around the Houses of Parliament.

We started in the Jewel House, an easily over-looked tower opposite the Houses of Parliament. This is one of the few buildings (together with Westminster Hall) from the mediaeval Palace of Westminster to survive the great fire of 1834. Built around 1365 by Edward III to house his personal treasure and wardrobe, it later became a store for the records of the House of Lords, and until 1938 was home to the official Weights and Measures Office. An illustrated display in the Jewel House describes its role in the history of the Palace of Westminster site.

Then on to the Clock Tower and Big Ben. Sadly, cameras are not allowed although there are several photographs on the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben websites. Our guide was a bell-ringer who gave an entertaining and informative commentary. We climbed the 334 steps to the belfry, mercifully being allowed a breather at convenient stages. Viewing the clock mechanism we saw 'old' pennies placed on the 3.9m long pendulum to control its frequency. One old penny causes a change of 0.2 seconds per day; perversely, adding pennies makes the pendulum speed up. Everything about the Clock Tower is big. The belfry, housing the bells and striking mechanism, is about level with the hub of the London Eye, with a breath- taking (for those still with breath!) view over the Thames and beyond. We were invited to look down through a grille set in the floor of the belfry, which as we discovered gives a heart- stopping view straight to ground level. In common with other visitors we quickly stepped back onto the safety of the stone floor. The official name of the bell which we know so well is The Great Bell, although it is universally referred to as Big Ben. Weighing 13.5 tonnes, with a girth of 2.7m, it was cast in 1858 at what is now the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. It is a replacement for the bell cast by Warner's of Cripplegate at Stockton-on-Tees, which cracked during testing, two years earlier. Big Ben was raised 200ft to the belfry level by relays of winch-men over a period of 18 hours. It developed a one foot long crack soon after installation, reportedly caused by an over-sized striking hammer. Today, the hammer is a mere 200kgs. The bell was quarter-turned, and holes drilled at each end of the crack to stop it spreading. In this configuration, its unique tone has been heard since 1859. The four Quarter bells, weighing between 1 and 4 tonnes, were also installed in 1859, to accompany Big Ben in the Westminster Chimes, which are set to the lines: "All through this hour, Lord be my Guide. And by thy power, no foot shall slide". At the belfry level, we were issued with ear plugs to experience the striking of the quarter hour, and hour. It was deafening, but absolutely majestic.

Back at ground level we joined another group to be guided around the Houses of Parliament, or Palace of Westminster. Built in the Gothic Revival style, they date from 1870, although extensive rebuilding work was necessary in the 1940s following bomb damage in WW2. Our guide was a former employee of Black Rod's Office, and possessed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history and context of the Houses, which he delivered in a witty and informative way. The Palace is labyrinthine and contains over 1,100 rooms, and by definition we could see only a small proportion of them. Our tour began in the beautifully ornate Robing Room, where the Queen prepares for the State Opening of Parliament, then through the Royal Gallery to the House of Lords, with its woolsack and distinctive red leather benches. Passing through the lobbies, so familiar from interviews and commentaries during live television transmissions, we arrived at the green benches of the House of Commons. It was interesting to note how television distorts our perception of size, and both Houses seemed much smaller than anticipated. Our guide explained that the lines on the floor of the Commons were just over two swords lengths apart, to prevent Government and Opposition MPs from settling their differences by anything other than force of argument. The Speaker still calls on Members to 'toe the line' when they get over-excited.

Finally, as a group, we toured Westminster Hall built in 1097. We gasped at the utilitarian beauty of the massive hammer beams, shaped by craftsmen so many centuries ago. As one of Europe's largest mediaeval halls with an unsupported roof, it is used for state and other special occasions and is where the late Queen Mother was laid in state in 2002.

As the others left to make their way home, I enjoyed a pot of tea in the Westminster Hall tea-room, and reflected on a truly remarkable day out. Visits such as these have to be arranged through a local MP, and are definitely to be recommended.

Roger King


St Peter's Shield Competition this year was held at Clayhidon on Saturday 24th march. This was the 12th year the Shield has been competed for. Six teams from the Tiverton and Cullompton deaneries entered the competition in which teams could ring either 240 of any doubles method or 10 minutes call changes.

Judges Mike and Jill Hansford gave helpful comments and entertaining quips during the results, before declaring Bampton the winners. The results were

1. Bampton 35 faults
2. Washfield 47 faults
3. Tiverton St Paul 58 faults
4. Tiverton St Peter 60 faults
5. Silverton 65 faults
6. Uffculme 71 faults

The picture shows Tony Trigg, conductor for Bampton, receiving St Peter's Shield from Mike Hansford

Sheila Schofield


East Devon Bell Ringing goes from strength to strength with another fine achievement on Buckerell church bells, on Saturday, 28th April, when a local band rang a quarter peal of 1320 changes of Cambridge Surprise Minor. It was especially important because they scored two firsts. It was the first quarter peal of Surprise Minor by an all East Devon band for over thirty years, and also the conductor scored his first as conductor of Surprise Minor. The ringers in the band were Kathy Matthews on the treble, Crispin Denny 2, Anne Bailey 3, Keith Matthews 4, Derek Ballard (Conductor) 5 and Laurie Palmer on the tenor. The ability of the band has improved lately thanks to the recent arrival to the area of two top ringers and but mainly as a result of the regular practice sessions held at Buckerell every month. The ringing flowed very easily and, although there were a few tiny trips, hardly a word was spoken. On the whole it featured some very good striking. Congratulations to the band on another fine achievement.

Derek Ballard


We are fortunate in Devon to have had, for many years, two mini rings of bells in one location, namely Mary Mack's house in Exmouth. Installed by her late husband Frank, they pre-date the growing number of such rings in recent years, the garage bells being hung in the early 1960's.

The ten bells in the loft hang into a smallish bedroom, where ringing is cosily performed from sitting on the bed, stools, or actually in the wardrobe.

The six bells in the garage are easier to hear, and are rung sitting on the floor, legs dangling into a pit.

Having enjoyed previous visits to ring quarter peals there, and aware that both rings are due to be relocated soon, a group of us arranged to go again in April to attempt two more quarters.

A prominent member of the band having forgotten, and gone for a walk on Hay Tor instead (much to our amusement!), Mary stepped into the breach, and Grandsire Caters was scored in the bedroom. Surprisingly it is only the 5th quarter ever rung on the bells since their installation in 1970. Refreshed by tea and cake, six of us made an attempt at Cambridge in the Garage, but it came to grief on this occasion.

A jolly good afternoon. Thanks again to Mary for her hospitality.

Lynne Hughes

Exmouth, The Bedroom. Sunday 15th April.
1296 Grandsire Caters, in 43 minutes.
1.Mary Mack
2.Sue Sawyer
3.Lynne Hughes
4.Lester Yeo
5.Lesley Tucker
6.Nigel Birt
7.Graham Tucker
8.Ian Avery
9.Donald Carter (C)
10.Phil Stevens


The annual Exeter Branch outing was a little different this year but enjoyed by all who took part. Some time ago plans were discussed for the day and thought was given to a trip on the Dean Forest Railway or the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway or ringing around Bristol. Unfortunately it would have been very difficult to organise a day that would have been suitable from a ringing point of view, a timing point of view and of course a cost point of view. No matter how we juggled these factors it was impossible to get the right balance and so reluctantly those plans were "stood up".

Inspired by another pint of Otter at the Royal Oak in Heavitree, the branch chairman came up with the idea of ringing, fun and frolics to include a BBQ at Exmouth. Well there was certainly ringing and yes there was certainly frolics but the weather decreed that there would be no BBQ.

No matter, a group of us made our way by ferry or train to Exmouth enjoying the wonderful views along the Exe estuary that this little branch line is famous for. A short bracing walk from the station to Withycombe Raleigh gave us the opportunity to ring on the recently augmented 12. Although there were not enough ringers to ring anything more than call changes on the 12, we did enjoy some Caters and Royal plus some Bristol Major. We then made our way to Bapton Lane and enjoyed the hospitality of Mary Mack as we were let loose on the 1lb 9½oz six in her garage. After we mastered these (although I am not sure that mastered is the right word seeing the styles and acrobatics of some!) we rang on the lightest "conventional" ring of 10 in the world - the 5lb 8oz ring of 10 in a bedroom. It was certainly a new experience for me to sit on a bed with a lady on each side attempting to ring some decent rounds !

After jokes about bells or was it belles in the bedroom we made our way to the Powder Monkey in the centre of Exmouth for lunchtime sustenance (those heavy bells had after all sapped our strength) following which we made our way to the beach. It had already been decided that lighting a BBQ in a south-westerly 4 to 5 was not on but French cricket and the flying of kites definitely was and this activity took up the rest of the afternoon. It turned out to be a most enjoyable day and thanks must go to Ian Campbell and numerous pints of Otter for the idea and the organisation.

Michael Cannon


Martin's organisational skills were seen at their best again for this year's outing. A motley collection of 36 people from the NE area, Ringers, family and friends, left from Tiverton or Broadclyst on Saturday 19th May on a trip to the Dart Valley area. Martin had arranged various options throughout the day for non-ringers to spend time shopping and sightseeing with drop-off and pick-up points strategically placed.

Arriving in time for coffee at Totnes, we were joined by John Scott to ring the 8. A quick dash down the hill to our waiting coach took us across the river to board the Riverlink Ferry for a trip down the Dart to Dartmouth where we were greeted by a brass band. We had no idea the fame of the branch had spread so far! The Coach immediately scooped up the ringers amongst the party to take us to Stoke Flemming. Negotiating the narrow lanes both in and out of Stoke Flemming was testament to our excellent driver who then took us back again to Dartmouth to ring at St Clements and we waved goodbye to John.

Ringers and shoppers were reunited at the harbour in Dartmouth for the journey back to Broadclyst where we rang and concluded the day with a meal for 25 at the Red Lion. Those not eating were transported back to Tiverton.

Not only did Martin choose some good towers, organised excellent transportation on both coach and boat, not easy with tide-times, but he also 'sorted' the weather. As with all Outings some of the ringing was good and some was less pleasing to the ear. However, everyone agreed it was a thoroughly good-day-out.

Sheila Schofield


Hard to believe, but Matthew Hilling, Ringing Master at Exeter Cathedral and Tower Captain of St Mark's Exeter is now officially over 30. To celebrate this landmark, two peals were rung in his honour:

Guild of Devonshire Ringers Withycombe Raleigh, Devon
St John Evangelist. Thursday, 10 May 2007 in 3h13 (17-2-8)
5042 Cambridge S Maximus
Composed by: J Clatworthy
1 Pauline Champion
2 David F Moore
3 David P Hilling
4 Ian W Avery
5 Peter L Bill
6 Michael R Rose
7 Tudor P Edwards
8 James Clatworthy
9 Paul J Pascoe
10 Reginald T McKenzie
11 Michael E C Mears (C)
12 Matthew J Hilling
30th Birthday compliment to Matthew Hilling.
1st Cambridge S Maximus: 6

Ancient Society of College Youths St Mark's, Exeter, Devon
Saturday, 12 May 2007 in 2h53 (12-1-19)
5080 Triton D Royal
Composed by: D F Morrison (London S Royal No.34)
1 Michael R Rose
2 Paul J Pascoe
3 Thomas W Griffiths
4 David P Hilling
5 David J Dearnley
6 David P Macey
7 Michael E C Mears
8 Matthew J Hilling (C)
9 Ian P Hill
10 Paul N Mounsey
Matthew's 30th birthday treat!


Three peals were rung to celebrate the Golden Wedding Anniversary of John and Marjorie Hill. John is a member of the ringing band at Exeter Cathedral, where he has rung 'since before he was married'.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers St John the Baptist Broadclyst, Devon.
Saturday, 28 April 2007 in 3hrs (20-0-25)
5024 Spliced S Major (8m)
(672 London, Rutland; 640 Lincolnshire, Pudsey, Superlative; 608 Bristol; 576 Cambridge, Yorkshire; 129 com; atw)
Composed by: N R Aspland
1 Ian W Avery
2 Ian P Hill
3 Andrew P Digby
4 Howard W Egglestone
5 Michael R Rose
6 Pauline Champion
7 Reginald T McKenzie
8 Michael E C Mears (C)
To celebrate the golden wedding anniversary of John and Marjorie Hill

Guild of Devonshire Ringers St John the Baptist Broadclyst, Devon.
Monday, 23 April 2007 in 3hrs 01 (20-0-25)
5050 Gold S Major
Composed by: D F Morrison (No.5)
1 Paul J Pascoe
2 Pauline Champion
3 Ian L C Campbell
4 John Hill
5 Howard W Egglestone
6 Reginald T McKenzie
7 Matthew J Hilling (C)
8 Michael E C Mears

Rung to celebrate John & Marjorie Hill's golden wedding anniversary (27 April).
Ancient Society of College Youths The Bell Tower Evesham, Worcs
Saturday, 28 April 2007 in 3 hrs 39 (36)
5060 Stedman Cinques
Composed by: C H Rogers
1 Stephanie J Warboys
2 Nigel C Smith
3 Brian Bladon
4 David F Moore
5 Christopher H Rogers (C)
6 Noel J Diserens
7 Richard H Youdale
8 Richard Harrison
9 D John Hunt
10 Matthew J Hilling
11 Robert C Kippin
12 David P Hilling

Rung as a Golden Wedding compliment to John and Marjorie Hill and a 60th birthday compliment to David Moore.


Germansweek: The 5 now have new gear and roller bearings, with the bells moved around to improve clappering.

Wembury: The 6 are having an overhaul.

Merton: Currently listed in Dove as unringable, the 6 are to be put on roller bearings and new gear retaining the old wooden frame.

Otterham: Although in Cornwall, Otterham (also listed in Dove as unringable) are to go from 3 to 6, hopefully by the end of the Summer.

Peter Bazley

East Worlington: The restored ring were dedicated by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple on 15th April. The bells are already very popular with ringers and have turned out to be a really excellent light six, tenor 5-1-23 in B. Although a light six, with relatively heavy trebles of nearly 3½ cwt the bells are very easy to handle.

Northleigh: Northleigh have a complete ring of four medieval bells, all cast at the Exeter foundry between about 1450-1490, and as such are a considerable rarity. The ringing fittings are now more than 100 years old and indeed of replacement. Dismantling of the four bells is due to begin in mid-July and the bells will be rehung with all new fittings in late October this year.

Zeal Monochorum: The six bells are currently at our works awaiting completion of their new fittings having recently returned from Whitechapel where they were retuned. Rehanging is due to be completed at the end of June.

Andrew Nicholson


Having worked on many of peals in the county I should like to endorse William Aggett's self-aligning plain bearings, which work as a brass ball in a self aligning socket with a precision turned gudgeon pin and hole in the brass ball. When the gudgeon pins are properly aligned, the bearings run superbly: even modern bearings will not run well with the gudgeons out of line.

The Aggett bearing requires very little maintenance - just a few spots of oil and it will run for years. It is easy to dismantle even after 100 years, and after all that time shows little or no wear. If you need proof of the longevity and ease of ringing, go and ring the bells at Wembury (6), Sydenham Damerel (6) and Thrushelton (6). Additionally, the 17cwt 8 at Liskeard went well, before re-hanging.

Peter Bazley, Bellhanger

Not being familiar with William Aggett or his bearings I thought a little research may be rewarding. Our GDR Librarian, Prebendary John Scott was a helpful start in lending me a book by T S Jennings entitled 'The Development of British Bell Fitttings', where, sure enough there was a section devoted to William Aggett and his bearings.

William Flood Aggett was a bellhanger working from Chagford between the 1870s and the 1920s. In 1898 he obtained patent cover for his self aligning bearing. By 1915 he claimed over 3,000 had been installed, the greatest concentration being in the West Country.

John Scott mentioned that he had donated one of these bearings to the Ringing Centre at St Petrock's Church, Exeter, where it could be viewed in one of the display cases. With assistance from David Trist, I took a photograph of the bearing, as shown below.

The picture shows the Aggett Self-aligning Bearing as photographed at St Petrock's Church.

As Peter Bazley described, the bearing itself consists of a brass ball, with a hole in for the gudgeon and other holes for lubrication & location, which runs in the specially shaped housing. Aggett's objective was that it would be self-aligning, if there was wear on the bush and gudgeon, or when headstock and frame warped.

According to T S Jennings, Aggett was no stranger to controversy in his own time, disapproving of roller and ball races, and making enthusiastic claims for his own bearings, which unfortunately, seem to have outstripped their mechanical performance. Aggett's contemporaries in trade condemned the multi-purpose device as a remedy for inaccurate fittings.

Mentioning the Aggett bearings during conversations with ringers nowadays elicits wide- ranging opinions. Doubtless the truth is somewhere between, as evidenced by Peter Bazley's endorsement.

It would certainly be interesting to hear from others with practical experience of these bearings, to help put Aggett's reputation in its proper perspective.

Roger King



In his interesting review of 'Towers & Bells of Devon in the March issue of RRD Ian Smith asks "Do you know what a hunkapunk is?" Having consulted several books containing glossaries of architectural terms I eventually found one with this two word equivalent - hunky punk is a carved figure with no functional purpose on the exterior of a church tower, mostly in Somerset.

One further comment: In Vol 1, on page 176, John Scott mentions the often quoted occasion when lightning struck the tower at Alphington in 1826, and a boy was killed, whilst the bells were ringing to celebrate the result of an election. It might interest readers of RRD to know that the incumbent at that time, who declared it to be a divine judgment, was the Revd. William Ellicombe who was Rector of Alphington for 51 years until his death in 1831 when he was succeeded by his 5th son the Revd. Richard Ellicombe. William Ellicombe had eight sons, the 8th and youngest being the Revd. H.T.Ellicombe) who at the time of his father's death was Curate in Charge of Bitton in Gloucestershire. It was shortly after he became Vicar of Bitton in 1835 that HTE changed the spelling of his surname by reverting back to the original spelling of Ellacombe with an 'a' as it had been from the 1500' s up to 1638.

Richard Bowden

Richard also attached the photograph above, showing Prebendary John Scott presenting Vol 2 of his book to the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter. The photo was taken by Elisabeth Bowden at the book launching ceremony in St Petrock's, Exeter on 5th January.


In the March issue of RRD, Lester Yeo asked the Question 'Who was the Revd.J.M.,Turner and did he ring tower bells ?"

It was during my school days in Devon, 64 years ago in 1943, that the wartime ban on ringing church bells was lifted and I started ringing at St. Peter's Tiverton. Inevitably I soon came into contact with the Revd. John Maurice Turner B D who was then the rector of the nearby village of Washfield and chairman of the North East Branch of the GDR. JMT was an affable rotund individual who was keen to encourage guild activities. In his previous parish, Moulton in Northamptonshire, he had learnt to ring on tower bells and had also acquired his own set of handbells for tune ringing. His large library at Washfield contained a good selection of ringing books, many of which he allowed me to borrow, so that at an early age I was able to enjoy the delights of Morris's 'History & Art of Change Ringing' , Nichols 'Bells through the Ages' and the Revd.F.E.Robinson's 'Among the Bells'.

Between 1945 and 1947 there were eight pupils of Tiverton Grammar school who belonged to various towers in the area including Silverton, Bickleigh, Halberton, Uffculme and Hemyock and during school holidays we got together as a cycling group for ringing outings to available churches. Washfield was a favourite venue, as apart from joining in the ringing JMT would set up a large telescope for us on the top of the tower before assisting his wife in serving us with tea and cakes. Of that merry band only Don Salter of Honiton and myself are 'pulley hauling'.

In my archives there is a faded press cutting concerning a N.E Branch Saturday meeting at Cruwys Morchard in 1946 at the time that the Revd.R.G..Cruwys was rector and his brother was still living in the ancestral manor house. The Tiverton Gazette reported that after tea a course of Grandsire Triples was rung on handbells by the Revd. E.V.,Cox and Messrs C.G. Dymond, A.G Selley and Mrs Selley of the Silverton band - and with four handbells each the Revd. J.M.,Turner and Mr R.Bowden played the Holsworthy Air by S.S Wesley.

In 1952 JMT resigned his living and returned to Northamptonshire, and sadly, Washfield ceased to be a Guild tower.

The photograph in RRD from JMT's book, with the reverent gentleman standing with four fingers raised, previously appeared somewhat humorously on page 170 of the Ringing World for 1993, where a prize was offered for the most appropriate caption. It was won by Wendy Gough whose submission was ".. .now, the secret handshake is for use strictly between members. This is the special greeting for non College Youths". I suspect that dear old JMT would have been amused.

Richard Bowden


The Mid Devon branch held a quiz evening on 9th March. Twenty four people came and arranged themselves into four teams, the winners being a mixed group loosely termed 'Teignmouth'. £33 profit was raised for branch funds. Although the questions covered a wide range of subjects, two rounds were on ringing, and may be of interest. Deliberately set to be moderately easy, I would still take my hat off to anyone who knows all the answers without looking anything up!

Don't send answers in, this is just for fun.

Devon Ringing Questions

  1. How many towers are in your branch?
  2. Name John Scott's recently published book.
  3. What year was Ellacombe's 'Church Bells of Devon' published?
  4. Which deaneries does your branch cover?
  5. Is Great Peter (Exeter Cathedral's clock bell) in the North or South tower?
  6. What is the first line of the Guild/Association Hymn?
  7. When was the Guild of Devonshire Ringers founded?
  8. Who is the current Guild President?
  9. What is the Guild newsletter called?
  10. Where, exactly, is the lightest mini-ring in Devon?
  11. How many rings of 12 are there in Devon?

Ringing Miscellania

  1. Where is the heaviest change ringing peal, and what weight is the tenor?
  2. Name the only change ringing bells (unringable) in India.
  3. When was the Ringing World first published?
  4. What was the predecessor to the Ringing World called?
  5. What is the change '135246' called?
  6. Name the method where you do 3-4 down, four behind, 3-4 up and make seconds.
  7. Which animal appears on the logo of the bellfounders 'Taylors Eyre and Smith'?
  8. What type of stay has a metal dingler at the end?
  9. A Maximus method is rung on how many bells?
  10. What is the extent of triples (how many possible combinations with 7 bells)?
  11. What do the following stand for? ASCY, SRCY.
  12. What are bellropes traditionally made from?
  13. In 'The Nine Tailors' which method is rung in the peal?
  14. John Betjeman's poem 'Christmas' starts with the line 'The bells of waiting advent ring'. What is the next line?

Lynne Hughes


As a result of a past member turning out their attic, I have acquired 20 sets of the above item, last seen for sale in 1974 (the Guild's centenary)! The mats are unused, very good quality and printed in brown on a white background. They are packed in sets of 6, each being a pen and ink sketch depicting a different Devon tower: Bideford, Seaton, Plymouth St Andrew, Exeter Cathedral, Brentor and Torbryan. I propose to sell these for £5 per pack, with all monies going straight to the Devon Church Bell Restoration Fund. They will be available on AGM day at Huntsham, or please contact me direct if you are interested but unable to attend. First come, first served!

Wendy Campbell


When attending branch AGMs, there is occasionally discussion about help for tower captains and the following message on the Change Ringers' list may be of interest.

It's a weekend course in Derbyshire running from 14th to 16th September and perhaps some of our towers captains may be motivated to attend.

Some of you will have seen the article and advertisement in the Ringing World about this, but for those who haven't, the information is on the CC Education Committee website.

Most of these courses are run on behalf of local societies, and therefore not openly advertised. This open course is available to anyone who wishes to develop their ability to teach ringers (subject to available space).

For details see the CC website

Wendy Campbell


This year is the centenary of the first Scout camp run by Baden Powell at Brownsea Island, which led to the founding of the Scout movement that has now spread throughout the world. This Anniversary is going to be celebrated by the Scouts throughout the year with many and varied events. The main focus however is around the Scouting's Sunrise celebrations at 8am on 1st August. At this time Scouts around the world will be renewing their promise and publicising what Scouting has to offer in the next 100 years. We would like to ensure that Bellringing plays a prominent part of these celebrations. We would also like to take this opportunity to recruit new Bellringers from the Scouts.

As you know from my articles in the Ringing World we would like to do the following;

  1. Arrange celebration ringing at as many local churches as possible. This would need to be coordinated with the local Scouts and include as many current and ex Scouts /Guides as possible.
  2. Arrange special ringing at those churches close to the sites of the Jamborees and Brownsea Island.
  3. Encourage as many ex ringers back to join us for the celebrations (especially those who hold Scout Bellringing badges).
  4. Arrange ringing displays and mini-rings at the 21st Jamboree in Hylands Park, Chelmsford on July 27th– 8thAugust.
  5. Invite the local Scouts to the tower and teach them so that they can join in with the celebrations.

The Scouting authorities are now notifying the Scout leaders about this idea and they are expecting to be contacted. At the same time we need to ask Tower Captains to contact their local Scouts and invite them to the tower. Hopefully Scouts will wish to be involved in teaching to allow them to join in the celebrations.

This is an excellent chance for recruitment and publicity and should not be missed. I am contacting all Association / Guild secretaries and asking them to inform their Tower Captains of our plans. I am writing local PR Officers to ask that they arrange the local PR for this event. This information needs to get into local newsletters / Parish magazines / local Press.

It also needs to get to local towers and local ringers to encourage them to be involved. One of our aims is to regain lapsed ringers; this can only be achieved by getting the message out into the wider community.

This information is also going out via email lists and contacts as well as the Ringing World.

Please get involved, contact your local Scouts, help with the teaching, arrange some ringing, talk to you Guild / Association about how you can help.

We are always talking about needing new recruits to ringing – this is too good a chance to miss.

Peter Robson PR Committee


Thursday 31 May & Friday 1 June 2007

Some of the ringers from Exeter are very keen on mini-bell ringing! The mini-ring of 8 bells, housed on a vineyard Senouillac (near Toulouse) and owned by Alistair Moon were just too inviting. So it was that a group of 7 ringers from Devon, and one from Norfolk, along with partners made the trip to stay at Senouillac for a long weekend organised by Peter Bill.

The first task was to ring a peal. We arrived and met Alistair on the Thursday morning and after the obligatory toilet visit, photographs, and tryout we started for the peal. Lets just say we had a missed sally, a bell down, and then a missed call. Nevermind. We went to lunch at a fantastic local restaurant and had quite a bit of wine (!) and returned in the afternoon, unphased by the morning's activities and probably quite a bit more relaxed than we should have been! This time there were no bells rung down, and all calls correctly made and executed and the peal came round in fine style shortly after the queens.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Senouillac, France
5120 Senouillac S Major Chateau de Saint Martial Thursday 31 May 2007 in 2h08 (10lbs 7oz)
Comp: D G Hull
1 Margaret E L Chapman
2 Paul J Pascoe
3 Lester J Yeo
4 Peter L Bill
5 P Wendy Campbell
6 Simon A Rudd
7 Ian L C Campbell
8 Matthew J Hilling (C)
First peal in the method. Only the second "tower bell" peal in France. Senouillac S Major: x5x4x56x236x2x23x4x7-12

The following day it was time to give Alistair a ring, and the opportunity for a quarter peal. Some of the peal band returned and a quarter of Plain Bob Major was expertly rung!

Guild of Devonshire Ringers

Senouillac, France
Chateau de Saint Martial Friday 1 June 2007 in 35 mins (10lbs 7oz)
1280 Plain B Major
1 Pat Yeo
2 Margaret Chapman
3 Wendy Campbell
4 Lester Yeo
5 Peter Bill
6 Alistair Moon
7 Paul Pascoe (C)
8 Ian Campbell
In anticipation of the birthday of our wonderful host, Mme Patricia Ouvre on the 10th June.
Believed to be the first quarter peal ever rung by rope and wheel in France

The remainder of the time was spent doing holiday things - sight seeing, visiting museums & churches, eating lots and of course drinking lots of Gaillac wine.

Thanks Peter for a fantastic time!

Matt Hilling Photos and further information can be found on the GDR web site at


JUNE 2007
Sat 2 Training day, moving on from PB Doubles: Huntsham (10:00) NE
Wed 6 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Fri 8 Branch practice: Colyton (19:45) East
Sat 9 Branch barbecue (18:30) Exeter
Sat 9 Striking competition: Kenton/Powderham (19:00) Mid
Mon 11 Advanced practice: Exeter St Mark (19:30) Exeter
Thu 15 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Fri 22 Novice 12-bell practice: Withycombe Raleigh (19:30) Ayles
Sat 23 Guild AGM: in the NE Branch Guild
Tue 26 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East
Wed 27 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE
Thu 28 Branch practice: Clyst Honiton (19:30) Ayles
Sat 30 Novelty ringing outing Exeter

Wed 4 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Sat 7 Mini outing: Axminster area Mid
Sat 7 Quarterly meeting: Silverton NE
Mon 9 Advanced practice: Heavitree (19:30) Exeter
Thu 12 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Sat 14 Branch striking competition: Feniton (14.30) East
Sat 14 Branch practice: South Hams area SW
Fri 20 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Sat 21 Branch training day, bell handling workshop: Bampton (10:00) NE
Wed 25 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE
Sat 28 Ringing recruitment event: Mid Devon Show NE
Tue 31 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East

Sat 4 Ringing meeting: Combeinteignhead (19:00) Mid
Sat 18 Joint meeting with Dunster Branch: Brompton Regis NE + B&W
Fri 24 Novice 12-bell practice: Withycombe Raleigh (19:30) Ayles

Sat 1 Training morning: St Marychurch/Babbacombe Mid
Sat 1 Bells & skittles evening: Woodbury (19:00) Exeter
Wed 5 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Mon 10 Advanced practice: Heavitree (19:30) Exeter
Thu 13 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Tue 18 Branch practice: Crediton (19:30) Exeter
Thu 20 Branch practice: Payhembury (19:30) East
Fri 21 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Sat 22 Branch training day, listening skills: Bampton (10:00) NE
Tue 25 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East
Fri 28 Branch practice: Clyst St George (19:30) Ayles
Sat 29 Branch outing SW

Wed 3 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Sat 6 Branch outing: Bristol (by train) Mid
Sat 6 Branch AGM and Members' Forum: Cullompton NE
Mon 8 Advanced practice: Exeter St Mark (19:30) Exeter
Thu 11 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Sat 13 Quarterly meeting: Awliscombe (14:30) East
Fri 19 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Sat 20 Guild striking competitions (unconfirmed) Guild
Wed 24 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE
Fri 26 Novice 12-bell practice: Withycombe Raleigh (19:30) Ayles
Tue 30 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East
Wed 31 Branch practice: Stoke Damerel (19:00) SW

*Please contact Derek Ballard ( to confirm date, as this can sometimes change.

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Updated 24/07/2007