More Mid-Devon News

Branch 8 bell practice – St Michael's Teignmouth

As always, a very warm welcome awaited us at Teignmouth and a very enjoyable evening was had. A variety of methods was rung and it was great that we were able to ring methods not normally available to all. Several ringers were able to "knock the rust off" methods they had not rung or some time. This included Stedman Triples and Little Bob Major. Many thanks to Martin Dodd and the Teignmouth ringers for letting us swamp their practice!

Kingskerswell bells

We are glad to be able to report that the replacement bell has now been cast and the completed frame plus bells will be assembled in time for inspection at Bridport on the 14th October when a coach party has been arranged. Philip still has several places on the Coach so contact him if you are interested in a trip to Bridport. Leaving Kingskerswell 9.00am and return by 4.00pm

It is hope that the bells will be back and ringing by the end of November! Exciting times!!

Branch outing to Cornwall

A rather grey day for weather but that never bothers ringers! The first tower turned out to be what one wag described as a bell ringer's play room. As we entered Bradoc church we were greeted by an eight bell mini ring which was soon being enjoyed. This had a 16lb tenor. Once we had all had a go on those bells it was time to try the real bells – a ring of five (slightly confusing as there were 6 ropes!). The sixth rope was attached to a dumb-bell. Being a ground floor ring everyone not ringing was able to look round the church and soon, Rob, the local ringer was providing coffee and letting us loose on all the other "toys" available! These included hand chimes and "Boom wackers" - coloured plastic tubes which produced a "note" when hit. Call changes on these produced much hilarity but the hymn tunes on the chimes were just about recognisable. What a way to start the day.

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Our next tower might have been a problem as we faced a lock-out but a phone call soon produced an apologetic Tower Captain who had become engrossed in the Rugby – England won!  These bells (Lostwithiel) proved to be a fine Gillett six although one or two of us found the sallies had a tendency to stray – a course of Cambridge here was watched by an interested group from Holland (or possibly Germany?). Several places in Lostwithiel were available for lunch but the majority chose the Duchy tea rooms. Fortunately, the staff were not daunted by a noisy group of ringers and coped manfully with our orders. Wendy had been disappointed that her St Marychurch colleagues had forgotten to bring "Dipsy" the mascot. She was, therefore, delighted when Nicola and Neville presented her with a toucan at lunchtime as a very worthy substitute!

The next tower gave our driver some quite narrow lanes but we all thought it was worth it as St Winnow church has an exquisite setting by the river. Our host at Bradoc was back to greet us once more and these bells definitely proved "interesting". They are a fairly new complete ring of 10 with a tenor weight of just over 3cwts. It took us some time to get used to them – particularly the front bells. Rob told us about the training that goes on here and at Bradoc with two different bell clubs at local schools. With such light bells and all the trainingaids it was very pleasing to here of the success of recruiting much needed young ringers.

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The narrow lanes caused us to be a little late at our next tower but we were told it was not a problem as the wedding planned for earlier in the day had started an hour late and had only just finished! Lanivet proved to be the trickiest bells of the day with long ropes and no knots allowed. It was then only a short drive to Bodmin and what were generally agreed to be the best bells of the day. They are a Taylor eight with a tenor of 17 cwts and despite obvious tiredness we produced the best ringing of the day. Cambridge Major was finally achieved here along with Plain Bob Major and several sets of Call changes when we were delighted to be joined by the local ringer who let us in – she had only been ringing a couple of years and told us she was hoping to start method ringing very soon.

So, with the ringing complete, our thoughts turned to food and we were pleased that the journey to our pub stop was only about 30 minutes. The Halfway House at Polbathic was all ready for us and we were soon ensconced in an upstairs room where our food was not long in arriving. It was great to be able to relax after a busy day with the knowledge that it was a fairly short run home. Verity Brett gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all the ringers to everyone involved with the organisation. So – tired but happy we arrived back in Newton Abbot just after 8.30. Very many thanks to all the ringers and Tower Captains for such a warm welcome to Cornwall.


Thanks to Peter Bailey, Julia Brett, Jeanette Thompson, Christine Pasmanyi, Elaine Gales and Trevor Heal for photos at -