The Guild of Devonshire Ringers - Ringing Round Devon Newsletter

The Guild of Devonshire Ringers


Newsletter No 65 : March 2007

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 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 email to .

Bill Ford's 80th Birthday celebrations

Thursday 15 February & Saturday 17 February 2007

The band that rang 5080 Yorkshire S Royal with Bill celebrating after the peal:
Back row (l-r): Mike Rose, Ian Smith, Mike Mears, Pauline Champion, Ian Avery, Paul Pascoe
Front row (l-r): Matthew Hilling, Ian Hill, Bill Ford, Elisabeth Bowden

On Wednesday 14 February, Bill Ford, Guild Vice-President and Tower Captain at Thorverton, celebrated his 80th birthday. Bill has looked after Thorverton bells for a long time and has always made them available for visitors, quarter peals and peals. So, in the way that peal ringers know best we celebrated with Bill by ringing three peals for his birthday. Friends from all over Devon, from Bristol and from Swindon came to see Bill and ring for him. A new method was rung for the final peal which we have named "Thorverton Ford Delight Royal". Well done Bill, and here's to many more peals!

Bill writes:
What an extravagant birthday celebration! and how I enjoyed it!!

16423 changes rung by 32 ringers from four counties - it adds up, with travel, organising and arranging to the equivalent of one person working for four weeks. A generous gift and much appreciated.

Thank you


PS When the Thorverton Ford DR peal came round I told myself that was the finish of the celebrations, but as I entered the church for Sunday ringing I was greeted with 'Happy Birthday to You" org. pleno - thrilling stuff.

Details of the peals and ringers are given below. All peals were rung for the Guild of Devonshire Ringers at Bill's home tower of St Thomas of Canterbury, Thorverton.

Paul Pascoe

Thursday Feb 15 2007 2h 54 
5080 Yorkshire S Royal
Comp. J H Fielden
1   Elisabeth A G Bowden
2   Ian P Hill
3   Ian W Avery
4   Paul J Pascoe
5   Matthew J Hilling
6   E William Ford
7   Michael R Rose
8   Pauline Champion
9   Ian V J Smith
10  Michael E C Mears (C)
Arranged and rung as an 80th Birthday compliment to Bill Ford.
He wishes to share the compliment with Emily Aird, 86 (big sister) and Ian Campbell (not quite 80 yet). 
Saturday Feb 17 2007 3h 00 
5021 Grandsire Caters
Comp. B V Mountjoy (No 34)
1   Mervyn C Way
2   Lester J Yeo
3   Pauline Champion
4   Jill M Hansford
5   Michael C Hansford
6   Roger King
7   Brian V Mountjoy (C)
8   John A Foster
9   Paul J Pascoe
10  Reginald T McKenzie
Arranged and rung as an 80th Birthday compliment to Bill Ford.

Saturday Feb 17 2007 2h 57
5040 Thorverton Ford D Royal
Comp. D F Morrison
1 Richard C Shere
2 Matthew J Hilling (C)
3 Ann Smith
4 Brian Bladon
5 Andrew P Digby
6 John C Sheppard
7 John Hill
8 Howard W Egglestone
9 Paul J Pascoe
10 Ian V J Smith
Arranged and rung as an 80th Birthday compliment to Bill Ford.
First Peal in the method: Thorverton Ford D Royal: x30x14x50x36x1470x58.34.12x10x36x50 lh12

Lands End to Lowestoft in 5 years!

This isn't really about ringing but it does pop up occasionally. About five years ago I got itchy feet. I think I had been reading a book on cycling round the world. Although I didn't feel the urge to do that, the appeal of cycling off for a few days was very attractive. I had tried a few short rides on the Sustrans routes in Devon - the Tarka trail and The Plym valley route so my first thoughts were about these. A visit to the sustrans website and the route map of the South west Way was soon dropping through the letter box. I thought I could spare 3 days, Thursday to Saturday. If I started in Wiltshire I could be in Plymouth by Saturday.

So, Rail tickets booked and bike bags packed, a cold November morning found me leaving Pewsey station heading for the Kennet and Avon Canal. I had not reckoned with the ice. It was just starting to melt and my wheels sank through it to the mud below. A few feet and they stopped dead. Fortunately I realised that there were lanes which could be used to get to Devizes and the famous canal Locks there. And yes, the towpath there improved so speed increased a little. It was still very cold and the fog had come down - what on earth had I done? Still, must trog on. At on point I noticed a Kingfisher up ahead and was able to follow it for, what seemed, a long way. As I dropped down towards Bradford on Avon the sun started to break through and the Autumn colours stood out. Approaching Bath I gradually realised that I was really enjoying myself and wondered why I was rushing. From then on the philosophy of all my subsequent rides was set. Take your time and enjoy it. Over the next three days I gradually worked my way through the Mendips and down to the Somerset Levels ending up at Taunton Station on the Saturday afternoon. Perhaps not quite what I had set out to do, but very enjoyable.

The following Summer I had a day ride from Taunton to Tiverton Parkway. Then in November I managed 4 days away and started at Tiverton Station heading for Exmoor. That evening I finally manged to get some ringing at the practice night at Dulverton (8 bells). The following day found me slogging over Exmoor in a deluge. I left Dulverton in the dry but as soon as I reached the high moor down came the rain. By the time I got to the other side I was resolved to go straight to Barnstaple Station and get the train home - I'd had enough! As I drew near the out-skirts of Barnstaple the sun came out and the prospect improved immensely. OK perhaps I'll go on a bit farther. The superb Tarka Trail soon lead me to Bideford where I was able to stay the night. The next day was much better and I was soon climbing steadily along the trail again past Torrington. At Okehampton the route climbs up behind the town to the railway station and the spectacular Meldon viaduct. The Sustrans route then straddles the main road to Tavistock and takes quite a circuitous route in order to avoid the main road. After an hour of up hill and down dale and not getting much further towards my goal I decided to take the road. Once through Sourton it did not seem long before I was swooping down the other side and in what seemed a few minutes I was approaching Tavistock. The following day I was up for some real rough stuff over Horrabridge Common. It was not long before I reached my favourite Devon route - the wonderful Plym Valley Way. From then on it was a pleasant downhill to Plymouth and home.

The following year a family holiday in Camelford allowed me to complete the route over the Camel trail and down into Padstow and the end of my map. On the way there was a pleasant practice night at Lanteglos - an outpost of method ringing in Cornwall. That was where I thought things would end so that year I tried the Isle of Wight - fine cycling and an enjoyable practice at the superb 10 at Carisbrooke. A chance conversation there and one of the ringers has been joining us at St Marychurch regularly ever since whilst staying in the Bay for half term holidays.

That might have been the end of it but then Sustrans published the Cornish Way map which took the route on down to Lands End. So the following November saw me off again from Bodmin Parkway. The route is quite circuitous but eventually I reached the King Harry Ferry and Truro. The next day was Tin Mining country ending in the famous fishing village of Moushole. More ringing again that night and a very warm welcome to the practice at Paul. I had hoped to ring on the heaviest ring of 6 at St. Buryan the following day but unfortunately the practice was cancelled. Never-the less, I did make it to Lands End, even if it was in weather similar to that experienced over Exmoor. And there I thought I had really come to the end. Well, not quite. The television programme "Coast" featured Lowestoft and mentioned that it held the furthest point East on the British main land. So that was it - another objective. The following November I took the train to Bradford on Avon and set off eastwards. It was a fairly easy run to Malmesbury for my first stop then the next day (after a late start caused by finding a puncture) I headed through Wiltshire and into Oxfordshire with an overnight stay in Witney. By now I was getting soft and booking stays before setting off. This meant estimating daily mileage before setting off and booking accommodation accordingly. Big mistake this time. I had booked at Winslow in Bucks. It could have been a very pleasant ride past the "Dreaming Spires" of Oxford and on through the Oxfordshire countryside. In the event I did 76 miles and with a loaded bike in early November it was too far and turned into a real slog. Still, I made it eventually and spent Bonfire night in a flat above a lock-up Café. Breakfast in the café the next morning and the on to Milton Keynes and home. After all the knocking I was actually pleasantly surprised by MK. Superb for cyclists with well signed Cycle paths and many pleasant parks.

The story is now almost up to date. 2006 found me back on the train heading for Milton Keynes again, this time with sights set firmly on the East Coast. First stop was the "other" university town of Cambridge. This is just over 50 miles so another slog was required as the first train did not get in until 11-30 am. Cambridge the next day and a short photo stop. My route was through "horsey" country round Newmarket and the rain really set in - at least I had long left the hills behind - it was just a case of "drip and bear it"! That night a pleasant farm house near Diss allowed me to dry off and next day the weather had improved but the wind had risen. Still this was it - the end in sight. It was a steady morning's ride to lunch stop at Beccles and then a pleasant run in to Lowestoft. No fanfares and the East Point is difficult to find but eventually I did find the marker which showed Lands End 369 miles. Not the way I came it's not!

The next day I met the ringers at St.Margaret's and rang a very enjoyable Quarter Peal of Cambridge Major on the most easterly ring in Britain. So The country traversed West to East, surely that's it end of the story -. Well not quite. Still got the bug so there has to be something more. I've now rung quarters on the most Easterly, most southerly and most Westerly rings on the mainland so the next quest must be north. Berwick Town Hall is the most Northerly ring in England so that has to be the next objective. I'll let you know in another five years or so!

Martin Mansley

ECG - 40th Anniversary

1. The 40th Annual Dinner - February 2nd 2007

The undergrads display their handbell talents: Richard Johnson, Laura Smith, Robert Dietz


The evening's festivities started in t'bar where all gathered together in preparations for the election. We moved through to the (Lama-themed) tables and promptly Matt was elected as ECG Gen Sec. and David Lay as Guild President - many congratulations. Following this we ate, and much story swapping occurred on the tables, in no small part aided by the efforts of former members to bring their photos of the society's early years.


The speeches were started by Linda Cull and Marlene Flint who gave us a fascinating insight into the forming of the society. Then the new handbell team ably demonstrated their prowess, ringing some superb plain hunt on 6. This was followed by the Ringing Master's speech which he just about mastered on the spot! Then, to show us how it's done, a touch of Grandsire Caters was rung by the more experienced handbell ringers. Introduced by James, the final speech was that of Professor Nicholas Rodger, the guest speaker, amusing all with his 'improving stories'. Finally the evening progressed to the dancing where 'Five Bar Gait' arrived in order to guide us through the evening where much fun was had and many baskets dropped!

Further photos and full report available on the Exeter Colleges Guild website.

  Resting between dances: Helen Weeden, Rhiannon Meredith, Jim Hirst

Richard Johnson


2. Celebratory Peals

It seemed appropriate to mark the 40th anniversary of the Exeter Colleges Guild with something special. Attempting a peal at Exeter Cathedral was the natural challenge to choose. The society had scored a peal of Grandsire Cinques there in 1987 to mark the twentieth anniversary year, and this represented the only twelve bell peal ever rung by the Guild. The need to start the peal after the end of Evensong precluded attempting the peal on Dinner Day, so a date was arranged for later in February.

A second peal was also arranged for the morning, involving people associated with the University and friends of the Guild. St Mark's, the original home of the ECG before the move to St David's, seemed the appropriate location. As arrangements progressed the opportunity for a reunion peal of the Harrison handbell gang also presented itself, and so a third peal attempt was included in the programme. Unfortunately the traditional venue was unavailable so Matt offered his spare bedroom in lieu of seminar room 171!

The Saturday morning was bright and sunny, and the first ECG peal at St Marks since the recent augmentation was scored in fine style. The two new trebles have bedded in well, and the new carpet in the ringing chamber has further improved the acoustics. The standard of ringing was good, with very few trips. Congratulations to Dominic Meredith on scoring his first ten bell peal. The composition selected was John Longridge's very neat 5075 which was a fitting tribute to our late Guild President and founding member. This was the first ECG peal of Caters on towerbells, the only other being Grandsire Caters on handbells in May 2005 - John Longridge's last peal. It was pleasing to note that three members of that band, as well as John's son Tom were ringing at St Marks.

Guild of Devonshire Ringers (Exeter Colleges Guild)
Exeter, Devon

St Mark
Saturday, 24 February 2007 in 2hr52 (12)
5075 Grandsire Caters
Composed by: J N Longridge
1 Lester J Yeo
2 John Hyden
3 Thomas N Longridge
4 Roger King
5 Andrew P Digby
6 Dominic D Meredith
7 Matthew J Hilling (C)
8 David G Maynard
9 Malcolm S Turner
10 Anthony G Osborne
First on 10: 6.

Rung to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Exeter Colleges Guild at the tower where the first ECG practice was held; also remembering John N Longridge, founder of the Guild and President from 1991 to 2005.

The St Mark's Peal Band
Front row (l-r): Lester, John, Tom, Roger, Andrew
Back row (l-r): Dom, Matt, David, Malcolm, Tony

Martin's Pie shop provided some much needed sustenance for the few ringers foolish enough to agree to ring in both peals, and with some trepidation the band assembled outside the ornate west front of Exeter Cathedral. After a few courses the ringing settled down into a good rhythm. Worries that the difficulty of the world's second heaviest ring of bells would prove too much for a band not used to ringing together proved unfounded, and the peal was scored in 3h47. At no point was the success of the peal certain as the complexity of the final turning course kept everyone on their toes to the end. This was the first peal of Stedman by the Guild and only the second on twelve bells.

Due to an editorial mistake, the details of the other two peals at the Cathedral and on handbells were omitted. They can be found on the Exeter Colleges Guild website and will be in the next issue of RRD.


The Cathedral Peal Band
Front row (l-r): John, Peter, Janet, Judith, Richard, Andrew
Back row (l-r): Simon, David, Matt, Bob, Malcolm, Tony, Michael

We retired to the White Hart for a much needed drink (or few!) and with the real achievement of the peal behind us, enjoyed a convivial evening. It was a really good chance for ringers from different periods of the Guild's history to get to know one another - for Bob Metcalfe, the Readings and the Tuckers (who joined us after their quarter peal day) this was the first time they had all met up since graduating in 1977! - and the traditional enthusiasm for beer and curry was satiated!

On Sunday afternoon the Harrison boys convened at Matt's house to attempt a handbell peal. After discussion about whether a wardrobe had been moved since our last rendez-vous in the spare bedroom we started for Double Norwich. A couple of very short false starts galvanised the concentration and another first for the Guild was scored. Special thanks must go to Rosie Green for her generous donation of chocolate ginger biscuits after the peal!

Left-Right: Andrew, David, Matt, Ian

Congratulations to all those who took part, and especially to Matthew Hilling for organising and conducting the three peals. What new challenges can we take on for the fiftieth anniversary?

David Maynard


When Crediton bells were re-cast in 2004 as a peal of ten the opportunity was taken to design and build a twelve bell frame in which to house them.

The augmentation to a peal of twelve arrived much sooner than first envisaged and on January 16th 2007, the two trebles shown above, cast at Whitechapel to match the existing ten, and installed by Nicholson Engineering, were rung for the first time. On 20th of January a peal of Stedman Cinques was rung to mark the birth of Devon's newest twelve.

Howard Egglestone

First step in Method ringing

Mike, Training Officer, with students and helpers at Huntsham.

On Saturday 24th February The Troyte Ringing Centre held it's first training session for 2007. 7 students from Bampton, Huntsham, Tiverton St Peter and Uffculme began their first steps in method ringing.

The day course was run by NE Branch Training Officer, Mike Hatchett, who commented afterwards that 'everyone had made progress and will now be able to join in Plain Hunting in their own towers and at Branch Practices'.

The NE Branch have recently established 2 Branch practise Towers, Bampton and Tiverton St Peter, where any Branch member is encouraged to attend to develop skills in method ringing.

The TRC now offers regular bell-handling training at Bampton for anyone wishing to learn to ring. Recruits will then be given opportunities to ring with an experienced band at huntsham before joining their local Church tower. Anyone interested in learning to ring should contact Mike Hatchet,.

Ann Trigg

Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT)

Mike Hatchett presents the cheque.

A cheque for £250 was given to the Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT) at the Bampton Community Service on 14th January. The money was raised through use of the Troyte Ringing Centre at Huntsham and Bampton. Its annual donation to charity this year was split between CHAT and the Troyte Community Hall in Huntsham, which also received £250. The Troyte Ringing Centre was set up to promote and encourage the art of Church Bellringing; anyone interested in learning should contact Mike Hatchett.

Sheila Scofield

Welcome to the New Vicar of Tavistock

The SW Branch welcomes a new Vicar to Tavistock the Rev. Michael Brierley, who very sensibly gave us the once over incognito it is understood, before making any decisions. Apparently decided that he liked what he saw and was officially licensed as priest in charge of Tavistock and Gulworthy. He arrived from Oxford having served the Bishop of Oxford as Chaplain and research assistant. He moved into the Vicarage in Plymouth Road just before Christmas with his wife, Joss and teenage son Ben. The Rev. Brierley is not, we understand a bell ringer, yet .....nor do we know about Ben.......Time will tell! We wish them all a very warm welcome.

The SW Branch had its Annual General Meeting on the 27th January 2007. It was a very successful afternoon, beginning with ringing, at St. Budeaux. The Service was taken by the Rev. Beech, where we had two handbell bands, one junior from St. Budeaux and a senior team from Emmanuel performing. The service was followed by Tea, and the Meeting, The Chairman welcomed the Guild President, The Guild Secretary and the Guild Ringing Master. We also had two Vice Presidents in attendance! After the meeting there was more ringing at St. Budeaux into the evening. We now have a new Branch Secretary - Kate Jennings should be contacted for all further information .

Zonnie Freestone

Change of branch secretaries:

Aylesbeare Deanery Branch: Cathy Civill


South West Branch: Kate Jennings


First quarter peal congratulations to Ken Vingoe of Heavitree.

News from Nicholson Engineering:


Augmentation duly completed and the first peal rung on the bells (see above).


The try-out of the retuned and entirely rehung six at East Worlington is likely to take place at the end of this week or beginning of next. The bells are in and hung and await ringers. They should be a good light six - tenor just under 6cwt. All new frame and fittings.


We are due to dismantle the bells on 5th March ready for retuning and rehanging in the existing bellframe. Completion is scheduled for the end of June.

Andrew Nicholson


This year's competition is designed to suit all abilities. The eligibility criteria and rules for each category are given at the end of this announcement.

Inter-branch 8-bell competition (for the Prebendary John Andrews trophy)

To be held at Wolborough. Draw to ring takes place at 2pm. Choice of methods (Grandsire or Hereward Bob Triples).

Inter-tower 6-bell competition (for the John Fidler cup)

To be held at East Ogwell. Bands apply to the Guild Secretary for a timed slot to ring between 10am and 12 noon. 240 to 300 changes in any method, including plain courses but not plain hunt.

Inter-tower 6-bell novice competition (for the John Longridge trophy)

To be held at Stokeinteignhead. Bands apply to the Guild Secretary for a timed slot to ring between 10am and 12 noon. 120 changes of plain hunt.

The touches for the Guild 8 Bell Striking Competition, together with a picture of Hereward Bob Triples are shown below. The calls in Hereward are the same as for Grandsire.

224 Hereward Bob Triples (
752346  B
367524  S
243567  B
752436  B
467523  S
234567  B
This is a 2-part touch. The calling from the 7th is: in hunt, out at 2 with
single, home. Repeat.

224 Grandsire Triples
572634  S
435267  S
724635  B
357462  B
673524  S
426357  S
734526  B
267453  B
This is a 2-part touch. The calling from the 7th is: single long 3rds,
single home, in hunt, out at 2. Repeat.

Hereward Bob Triples:


(for the J. P. Fidler Trophy)


  1. Each team eligible for entry shall fall into one of the following categories:

    (a) Affiliated towers of the Guild may enter one or more teams, each containing at least four Guild members who ring regularly for Sunday service at the tower. Other participating ringers will be drawn from Guild members from the same Branch.

    (b) Branches may each enter one or more teams, each containing at least four members of the branch not attached to a Guild tower. Other participating ringers will be drawn from Guild members who ring regularly within the same branch.

  2. Each team may include one ringer who is also ringing for another team; the ringer must not ring the same bell for each team.
  3. Teams wishing to enter will, before the advertised date, notify the Guild Secretary, who will allocate the order of ringing.
  4. Each team will be allowed a practice lasting no more than five minutes.
  5. The treble will sound a warning to the judges; all ringing after this will be marked until the final bell has stood.
  6. Each team will ring at one attempt a test piece of 240 to 300 changes in any recognised method or methods of the team's own choice; repeated plain courses are permitted, but not plain hunting.
  7. The judges will mark the striking of each test piece and award the trophy to the winning team; their decision is final.


(for the Andrews Trophy)

This shall be an eight bell competition with the aim of improving the standard and variety of eight bell method ringing in the Guild


  1. Each branch of the Guild may enter one or two teams, and each team will consist of paid-up ringing members of the branch or ringers who ring regularly for Sunday service at an affiliated tower. No-one may ring for more than one team.
  2. Each team will ring the same touch in a method to be notified in advance.
  3. If required the participating teams will be divided into two sections to ring at different towers; the first two teams in each section will then go forward to the final at a third tower, the whole competition to be completed in one day.
  4. The order of ringing will be decided by a draw made on the day of the competition; the conductor of each band will provide a list of the members of his band, for the marshal at the time of the draw.
  5. Each team is allowed a practice of up to five minutes before ringing the test piece; each minute in excess of five minutes will incur a five fault penalty.
  6. The treble will sound a warning to the judges; all ringing after this will be marked until the final bell has stood.
  7. The test piece will be completed at one attempt; a team that fails to complete the test piece will be disqualified.


(for the John N. Longridge Trophy)

first held on Saturday 21st October 2006 at Poltimore


This shall be a six-bell competition between affiliated towers with the aim of encouraging inexperienced ringers to develop their striking and method ringing ability.

  1. Each affiliated tower may enter one or more teams.
  2. Each team will contain at least three Guild members who ring regularly for Sunday service at the tower; other participating ringers will be drawn from Guild members within the same Branch.
  3. Each team will contain at least one novice ringing member of the Guild. Novices are understood to be either less experienced junior members of the Guild (at the discretion of their tower captain) or adult ringers who have not rung a quarter peal on an inside bell.
  4. The Exeter Colleges Guild may enter one or more teams consisting of members of the ECG.
  5. Teams wishing to enter will, before the advertised date, notify the Guild Secretary, who will allocate the order of ringing.
  6. Each team will be allowed a practice lasting no more than five minutes.
  7. The treble will sound a warning to the judges; all ringing after this will be marked until the final bell has stood. Each team will ring at one attempt a test piece of 180 changes of plain hunting on five or six. At least one of the changing bells shall be rung by a novice.
  8. The judges will mark the striking of each test piece and award the trophy to the winning team; their decision is final.


An article in Ringing World on September 29th 2006 set us thinking. The date could not have been more auspicious - St. Michael's Day - two years on from that magical time when our bells at St. Michael's Teignmouth sounded in full again after the re-hanging. It had been on our collective conscience that many of the people who supported the Teignmouth Bells Project had never had the chance to see the bells. The stairs are many and steep and our insurers would not sanction the holding of Open Days without safeguards which, though desirable, would be beyond our means to provide.

Then we saw the article; Matt Curl described how the Knaresborough ringers had solved a similar problem.

Fixing cameras would make it possible to connect up a monitor at ground floor level so that people could view in safety.

Then along came the Ring the Changes appeal from the Children's Society in which they asked towers to do some sponsored ringing over the Christmas period.

As it happened, our tower has a 12-year old who had been learning for several weeks and who was ready to do some Sunday ringing.

Put all these things together and all we needed was the hardware!

Matt Curl recommended talking to 'Billy' (we never found out his full name) at RF Concepts in Belfast. An order for two cameras, power supplies, cables and a 'switch box' was placed at 4pm one Monday and all this arrived at 10.30am the next day.

One camera was sited high up in the bell chamber, the other in a window alcove in the ringing chamber. When connected up to the switch box and the monitor you can view either of the locations or switch from one to the other either manually or automatically.

We were all set for the Christingle service on December 2nd. There wasn't much time for publicity - we did a few notices in both the Teignmouth churches and did a rush-about to get sponsors for our youngest ringer making his debut.

On the day our priests were intrigued and the congregation, as they entered, clustered round and asked questions. Rounds were duly rung and our youngest ringer's grandfather, who had himself been a ringer, watched with pride. One of our greatest supporters, now in her 100th year, could see the rope she donated in use.

A gratifying amount was raised for the Children's Society in sponsorship.

So, now we have the equipment, the way is open for its use in raising the profile of ringing in Teignmouth. And all for a little under £400 plus the loan of a monitor!

Gill Furse


Lester Yeo writes: I was lent a copy of a small booklet recently, entitled 'The Art and Science of Hand Bell Ringing' by J M Turner, who was at the time Rector of Washfield, near Tiverton. Can any reader provide more information about him? he was obviously an enthusiastic tune ringer, as photographs in the booklet show him as a member of 'The Washfield Quartette' ringing four in hand. The accompanying picture shows him demonstrating how to pick up four handbells for tune ringing.

Did Mr Turner ring tower bells and was he a member of the Guild? He mentions method ringing in the pamphlet, although an erratum note corrects his confusion about hand and back strokes when ringing handbells to changes:

'Line 5. For downward read upward

Line 7. For upward read downward'


Back in 2000, Alan Sinden began to organise occasional Friday evening six bell quarter peals in methods that would set a challenge to the ringers. After ringing some of the more conventional difficult Treble Dodging Minor methods, the band moved on to ringing new methods, previously unrung. The major problem (apart from ringing the methods) was choosing a name after a successful quarter, and because a number of the band were interested in railways it was agreed to ring a series of new Treble Bob Minor methods, named after the Western Region diesel hydraulic Class 52 locomotives. When one of the less railway-minded members of the band began to complain that he would never complete the Treble Bob Minor alphabet (all the locomotives' names began with the word 'Western'), it was agreed to stop the sequence after thirty methods, as D1000 to D1029 were the only members of the class built at Swindon.

The first method, Western Enterprise TB Minor, was rung at Stokeinteignhead in July 2002 and the final quarter of Western Legionnaire TB Minor was scored in December 2006. Only two of the methods were rung but not quartered, and the band changed gradually over the months. All the methods had plain bob lead heads, but had three (or occasionally four) blows made in one place, and were selected because of their interesting blue line features, and in order to challenge the ringers. Surprise minor ringers looking for something different might like to search for these thirty Western methods, and give them a go!

Lester Yeo


by Preb John Scott,

with Frank Mack & James Clarke

Photo courtesy of Express & Echo

It's out of date - Crediton now has 12 bells - Heanton Punchardon are not now rung from the ground floor; it's inaccurate - the tenor at Sampford Spiney is not a listed bell - the internal stair at Tavistock is in the NW corner, not the SW...... but it's a magnificent and monumental work!

Yes, there's the odd typographical error, but most other discrepancies do not lie in any lack of attention to detail on John's part, but in the encouraging fact that, for the most part, our bell installations are not left forever unattended in our towers, but are continually subject to improvement by the enthusiasm of ringers and their parishes. Crediton indeed had only 10 bells when John went to press; Heanton were certainly rung from the ground floor when John visited - now they have a very comfortable first floor ringing room.

John starts his book by looking at the towers in which our bells are hung, describing the varying architectural styles and curiosities - do you know what a "hunkapunk" is (even "Google" let me down on that one!). He goes on to look at the history of the bells, how casting techniques have changed (or not) over the centuries, and the development of inscriptions. He investigates the bell-founders themselves from pre-Reformation times to the present day, and includes a complete chapter on the most prolific bell-founding dynasty in Devon and Cornwall, the Penningtons. He next considers the development of bell frames and fittings, allowing the progression from "dead-rope" chiming to the full-circle ringing we know today, and follows the work of the bell-hangers. He discusses the activities of bellringers through the years, their relationship with the church (or sometimes more often the local inn-keeper), and the antagonisms between those wishing to develop "scientific" method-ringing, and those promoting the traditional Devon-style call-change ringing. Finally he studies the other occupants of our towers - the clocks.

The field-work for this enterprise must have been a daunting task, with well over 600 visits being made all over what we know is a very large county. In this John was joined by the late Frank Mack, who accompanied him on around 240 visits, and latterly by James Clarke on some 80 visits.

Coming from Sussex, I cannot help but compare John's work with that of George Elphick in his "Sussex Bells & Belfries". George's curiosity had been aroused when, on visiting various towers, he had discovered inaccuracies in Amherst Tyssen's "Sussex Bells" published in 1864; and over a period of 35 years he visited every Sussex tower making meticulous notes and drawings of all that he found, culminating in the publishing of his book in 1970. Similarly, John discovered many errors in the Rev H T Ellacombe's survey of Devon bells published in 1867, and has spent no less than 54 years investigating and researching the heritage of our bells in Devon. (Ellacombe had taken a mere 4 years over his survey - a momentous achievement at that time.)

The dating of bell-frames is often quite a problem, though the general design may give some clues. Whereas George extensively used dendrochronology and the tell-tale marks of the tools used at the time to determine the age, John relies more on documentary evidence. George's investigations into the history of bells and their founders tends to be rather heavy going; John's, on the other hand, are eminently readable - like a gripping novel it is hard to put down; dare I suggest, the difference between an artisan and a scholar!

John's book is divided into two volumes, the first dealing with the subjects already mentioned, the second being a complete catalogue of all our church (and some secular) bells from Abbotts Bickington to Zeal Monachorum. He lists the bells, their inscriptions, weights, notes, history, frame, fittings and more, all in meticulous detail.

For the average ringer, interested in the bells of their own church or district, essential reading; for the bell "anorak" - sheer joy!!

766 pages, 11 inches x 9 1/2 inches, 265 illustrations, 39 plates. £75.00.

Ian Smith


This DVD is aimed largely at the non-ringer, or those with limited experience of the wider world of ringing, yet it was still enjoyable to watch, and there would be few if any ringers who would find nothing of interest in it.

Several aspects of ringing are covered. For example, the history and development of full circle ringing; call changes through to methods; the breaking of a stay; practice nights, service ringing and outings; cathedrals, typical six- and eight-bell towers and the London Societies. It was pleasing to see all ages featured, including a small girl learning backstroke from a large pile of boxes! Direct explanations from ringers are interspersed with fly-on-the-wall scenes in ringing chambers, all held together by the narrator. A great deal of enthusiasm for and love of ringing comes across from those interviewed, and there is a good deal of PR value here. Did I learn anything new? Well I had never previously come across a sort of 'human simulator' - one novice ringing a method on his own while a tutor calls out the rhythm of the bells, emphasising the position of the novice's bell. A useful idea.

The quality of production is also high. There is nothing amateurish about it, and it would not look out of place on the BBC. A great deal of time and skill has obviously gone into the planning, filming and editing.

Could any improvements have been made? I could only think of a couple of aspects not covered: mini rings and change ringing on handbells, but as these are minority interests they could not be expected to be included. Likewise simulators were not touched upon. Otherwise it was just the tone of voice of the narrator which sounded stilted once or twice. But I am being picky here!

In conclusion, The Craft of Bellringing is well worth watching by ringers and of general interest to all. If nothing else, Devon ringers can enjoy spotting people they know at Exeter Cathedral!

Lynne Hughes.

The Craft of Bellringing, by George Perrin, is available from Mr Perrin at 3 Rathbone Square, 28 Tanfield Road, Croydon CRO 1BT. £16.50, 3-4 copies for £14.50 each,

5 copies or above £12.50 each. Cheques payable to George Perrin.

An appreciation of Doreen Mudge 1947-2006

by George Mudge

Doreen was born at Lifton and educated at Lifton and Okehampton schools. Although she gained a place at the London School of Music, she was unable to accept because of her mother's illness. Instead, she trained as a teacher at Eastbourne specialising in music and taught at primary and secondary schools including Launceston College. Later, Doreen helped to run the Lifton Brownies and Girl Guides, played the organ at Lifton Parish Church and also played the violin and guitar. For a number of years she played the fiddle in Bob Cann's folk dance band every Saturday night playing in village halls around the County.

I met Doreen at a folk dance in Hatherleigh. Being short of a partner for one dance, Doreen came down off the stage and danced with me. She told me later that she knew then we would be married. We were married in 1974 at Lifton. Doreen made her own wedding dress and also made our wedding cake. She was talented in so many ways.

We got planning permission to build a bungalow (which she designed, helped me build and single-handedly painted and decorated inside and out) and for 3 years we lived in a 22 foot caravan with only a single bar electric fire, lights, water and a Burco boiler. Our toilet facilities were either a bucket or the farmhouse 70 yards away. Characteristically, she never complained.

Doreen and I started to sell sheep shearing equipment in 1975. Initially, many of the farmers wanted to speak to me but over the years Doreen's knowledge of the products convinced them that she knew far more than they did so they were happy to talk to her about their order.

Andrew was born in June 1980 and Philip followed two years later.

Doreen started to ring when we were short of ringers at Whitchurch. She did not progress to ringing inside but always rang a useful treble or tenor behind. She was very pleased to have rung a half muffled quarter peal of Grandsire Caters on the treble at Tavistock for Remembrance Sunday a few years ago.

She particularly loved handbell ringing, making skirts for the ladies and waistcoats for the men when we rang at Whitchurch. When we moved to Tavistock she once again chose another tartan to give us a uniform, and devised a new method of tune ringing with the larger number of handbells at Tavistock.

She was secretary of the South West branch for 7 years in the late 70 s and early 80s. I remember rocking Andrew in the pram at Frogmore while she read the minutes at one meeting.

In the mid 90s I thought it would be a good idea to augment Tavistock to 10. The vicar and PCC were enthusiastic but as usual it was Doreen who did the lion's share of fundraising. She designed the logo, organised the printing of sweatshirts and T-shirts, designed Christmas cards and notelets, had prints of the church produced and compiled a commemorative booklet to celebrate the event. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes, always committed to whatever project we might undertake. Despite being diagnosed with cancer in 1997 she organised a very memorable trip to Loughborough. After treatment she continued with ringing, singing in the church choir and also Kelly Choral Society.

In 2001 during the Foot and Mouth outbreak, Doreen and I became involved with the UK independence Party. She was secretary of South West Devon for 2 1/2 years during which time the membership increased from 60 to 300. At the time of her death she was secretary of Torridge and West Devon (UKIP)

In 2004 she was once again diagnosed with cancer and with her usual fighting spirit she overcame the dreadful disease. We celebrated by having a two week holiday cruising the Norwegian fiords. She was so pleased to be able to attend Andrew and Kelly's wedding and Philip's graduation that year.

Doreen was so happy when Kelly gave birth to Emma Jane, the first girl in our family. Being able to spend a year with Emma was a privilege Doreen really enjoyed.

Earlier this year the cancer again took hold and this time despite her best efforts she was unable to overcome it. Only two hours before she died, she asked for her glasses, paper and pen and wrote down how we needed to fill out the VAT form. (it had always been Doreen's responsibility). She was not concerned about herself just making things as easy as possible for us.

I have lost a wonderful wife, a devoted mother, my business partner and my best friend. During the 32 years we were married we achieved so much and we miss her every day.

In a few months time I will be setting up a thermal imaging service to help with early detection of breast abnormalities and other body disorders. It is non-invasive and painless with no radiation, it registers heat in the body and can be used for most parts of the body. It will be a fitting tribute to someone who never put herself first.

If you would like information on this service please give me a ring on or e-mail me at

George Mudge

Poignant Golden Wedding Anniversary: Cyril & Daphne Deem

Cyril and Daphne Deem were married at St John the Evangelist Church, Withycombe Raleigh in February 1957. They lived firstly at Feniton and in 1961 moved to a house in Littleham where they were to stay for the rest of their married lives.

Cyril, who had started ringing in his early teens, taught their two children, Joy and Neil to ring. Joy now rings with her husband and four children at Llandaff. Neil and wife Celia remained in Exmouth, ring at Littleham whenever possible and hope that their two daughters will follow suit. Daphne never took it up but always supported her family and attended various ringing functions.

About 18 months ago Daphne was diagnosed with cancer and had a series of hospital treatments, but her prognosis was not good. The family decided to arrange a Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration and on Saturday February 10th of this year a party was held at the Holy Ghost Church Hall in Raddenstile Lane, Exmouth, attended by about 65 relatives and friends.

It was a very special celebration but sadly Daphne's health deteriorated rapidly, and she died on March 8th.

She will be greatly missed by Cyril, by Joy and Neil and their families and by her friends.

The photos show them on their wedding day in 1957, and at the Golden Wedding Party on 10th February 2007.

The following is the Guild Calendar for the next Quarter/

It is planned to update for each edition of Ringing Round Devon

MARCH 2007
Sat 3 Ringing meeting: Babbacombe (19:00) Mid
Wed 7 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Thu 8 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Fri 9 Quiz evening: St Paul, Newton Abbot (19:30) Mid
Sat 10 Branch practice: Cornwood (19:00) SW
Mon 12 Advanced practice: Exeter St Mark (19:30) Exeter
Fri 16 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Tue 27 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East
Wed 28 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE
Sat 31 Branch training day, Plain Bob Doubles: Huntsham (10:00)* NE

APRIL 2007
Wed 4 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Thu 12 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Sat 14 Ringing meeting: Ideford (19:00) Mid
Sat 14 Quarterly meeting: Burlescombe NE
Thu 19 Branch practice: Farway (19:30) East
Fri 20 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Fri 20 Branch practice: Withycombe Raleigh (19:30) Exeter
Tue 24 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East
Wed 25 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE

MAY 2007
Wed 2 Advanced Doubles practice: Offwell (19:30) East
Sat 5 Branch outing SW
Mon 7 Branch train outing Exeter
Thu 10 Plain Hunt practice: Sidbury (19:30) East
Sat 12 Quarterly meeting: Gittisham (14:30) East
Sat 12 Half-yearly meeting: Buckfastleigh/Ashburton (14:30) Mid
Tue 15 Targeted practice (by invitation): Crediton (19:30) Exeter
Fri 18 *Surprise Minor practice: Buckerell (19:30) East
Sat 19 Branch outing: Totnes/Dartmouth NE
Wed 23 Treble Dodging Major practice: Huntsham (19:30) NE
Tue 29 Branch practice: Sidmouth (19:30) East

JUNE 2007
Sat 2 Branch 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
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
Sat 30 Novelty ringing outing Exeter

* Part of the Troyte Ringing Centre Training Programme. Fees will be £10 per person, inclusive of rope fees, handouts, refreshments and lunch. Booking essential; details from Pat Hatchett.

North-East Branch Evening Practices

Two towers are designated as Branch Practice Towers. All members wishing to practice method ringing are invited to attend these weekly practices. If members wish to ring a specific method of their choice please call first to confirm arrangements. (see contacts below).

Tiverton St. Peter (8 Bell) - Tuesdays 19:30. Contact Les Boyce

Bampton (6 Bell) - Thursdays 19:30. Contact Pat Hatchett

Twelve Bell Novice Practice

The practice at Withycombe Raleigh on the fourth Friday of each month will be an open 12 Bell practice, for those wishing to try Call-Changes, Plain Hunt and Grandsire Cinques. Tower Captain John Foster hopes that plenty of experienced twelve bell ringers will also be able to take part.

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Pages formatted by Ian Campbell

Updated 27/04/2007