Mid Devon Branch Tower Talk- January 2020


Centenary Celebrations
Our Centenary is now well under way and we have had several celebrations already.

Centenary Peal at Teignmouth
Our celebrations so far have been centred round the early towers involved with the branch. When the branch was formed there were only two towers in the branch area that were already members of the Guild – these were Teignmouth St Michael and Cockington. We mentioned this to Martin Dodd and he kindly obtained permission for a peal attempt as part of the celebrations and exactly 100 years after the meeting which started Branch activities a peal was scored. In general the ringing was of a good standard but we are very grateful that the highly skilled conducting from Mike Mears got us through the one tricky patch! The band was made up of branch members with several branch towers represented.

Centenary festival
A Mini- festival was held on the nearest Saturday to the first meeting. That very first meeting was at Upton in Torquay and we were delighted to return there. Tower Captain Don Roberts welcomed us and provided a link with that meeting as he remembers ringing with some of those founder members of the branch when he started ringing back in the 1950s. We hope to persuade Don to share some of those memories via Tower Talk as our centenary year progresses. A variety of methods was rung including methods which would have been rung in the early days – Grandsire and Stedman Triples. It was also a joy to have Anne and Kevin with us – they have just started ringing at Dawlish having learned to ring at Aspley End in Hertfordshire. A group photo was taken during the visit.


It was then time to move on to the Drum Inn at Cockington where the staff gave us a warm welcome. Once everyone had assembled they very quickly served the food and we were able to enjoy a relaxed lunch which included many opportunities to catch up with the news from across the branch – almost every branch tower was represented at some point during the day. We also had Guild Ringing Master – Janet Ritterman – with us for the day. The meal was dispatched so swiftly that we were able to start ringing earlier than planned at Cockington. A very short draft and fairly odd struck bells make them something of a challenge but Cambridge Minor and Stedman Doubles were among the methods rung – probably the best ringing being the Stedman although we have also been complimented on our lower! The ringing room at Cockington is extremely pleasant and includes a fine model belfry including floors.

The day was voted to be a great start to our celebrations even though it would have been good to see a few more members.
Janet Ritterman's photos give a good impression of the day https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mqxjvan5ddwo61i/AACVi4FicOIEKJNZendMre57a?dl=0  and a couple of Group photos at https://photos.app.goo.gl/9qjXbHvZG6VJALbM7  These include one of our senior member – Don Roberts in action at Cockington, along with Roger and Wendy!

Dawlish celebrate the centenary with a Quarter Peal
It is hoped that members will attempt a Quarter Peal in each branch tower during the year and we congratulate Dawlish on being the first tower to ring one. Better still it included Wren ringing her first Quarter Peal – very many congratulations to her – the first of many, we hope.

Centenary Quarter Peals
Please consider organising at least one quarter peal in your tower to mark the centenary of the branch. It would be good to get as many as possible and sooner rather than later – or a date touch? That is 2020 changes; several compositions available either in the Diary or the Christmas issue of the Ringing World.

Kingskerswell – new vicar to be inducted
After a relatively short interregnum The Rev Michael Wilkey has been appointed to be new vicar of Kingkerswell and Coffinswell (and Abbottskerswell?) . He will be instituted on 24th Feb amid plenty of celebratory ringing! More details from Philip Stevens

Health and Safety
She said it was just THREE WORDS but she seems to have used a few more!! We all know that ringing has risks – we try to minimise them, so it is very important that we think about them regularly – many thanks to Wenna Mansley for –
I recently read an article in the Ringing World (RW) about a response to a ringer becoming ill whilst in the tower. This caused me to review our tower risk assessment section regarding a medical emergency.

As recommended in the RW article, we do have a tower safety notice which gives the name of the Church and its post code should we have to ring the emergency services. However, I have always had concerns about whether they could find the tower entrance. The RW article suggested also using a system called 'What three words' https://what3words.com/about-us/  which has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3-word address. This is so much more detailed that it could take the emergency services to the tower door. Whilst continuing to review our response to a possible medical emergency, I also realised that we did not have a contact list for our Ringers' next of kin so this is my next action.

Should any tower be interested in seeing a risk assessment, I should be delighted to share my copy – based as it was on one done by Robert Brown for Highweek! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.