Mid Devon Branch Tower Talk- February 2020

Branch Practice February – Newton Abbot Clock Tower
A rather disappointing turn-out for this one. Only seven ringers so no chance to attempt any of the 8 bell methods planned. Having said that, a very useful time was spent concentrating on Doubles and Minor. Grandsire got a good airing as did Plain Bob and Little Bob Minor. Trevor managed long periods of independent rounds for the first time away from home (Kingskerswell). In truth, as the bells have been out for most of the time he has been learning, most of his ringing has been away from home!!

Herald Express article
Many congratulations to Peter Bailey who gave a talk about the re-hang at Stoke Fleming to the Babbacombe and St Marychurch Probus Club. This was comprehensively covered by an article in the Torbay Herald Express. Peter is pictured along with a model bell he used to illustrate his talk. He had given a full story of the bells and the long process of planning and eventually completing the re-hang and augmentation.  His fee from the talk was donated to the Devon BRF.
Any chance to publicise our art is worth grabbing with both hands and we thank Peter (and Anne!) for doing just that. We never know where these opportunities will lead.

February 6 Bell practice - Stokeinteignhead
Well! What a difference a couple of weeks makes! From disappointment with numbers at the start of the month to a very different story two weeks later. The turnout was almost record breaking – 22 ringers at a six-bell tower. What a joy! The bells were kept busy throughout the evening apart from a very short business meeting. Almost two complete bands achieved Primrose Surprise Minor (one of our chosen methods) and several courses of the other method (Stedman Doubles) were also rung. There was, of course lots of Plain Bob Doubles as well and a couple of courses of Grandsire. There was inevitably a lot of sitting out but from the buzz in the background it was clear that good use was being made of the time in catching up with news from across the branch.

The short business meeting was brought about because we had been told that Teignmouth ringers were hoping to put up a peal board to mark the peal rung earlier this year to mark the centenary of the branch. They had asked for a donation towards the cost and it was unanimously agreed that the branch would forward a suitable amount of money. We look forward to seeing the new board and perhaps attending the dedication.

The evening seemed to rush by, and it was soon time to get the bells down again. Many then moved over to the Church House Inn for refreshments. We send a very big "thankyou" to the Stokeinteignhead ringers for such a warm welcome and to so many members for turning out despite Storm Dennis still wagging its (his?) tail. Ringers are rarely put off by a bit of weather!

More centenary Quarter Peals
Only eight for practice was an opportunity to ring a quarter peal at St Marychurch and it had a double dedication – the branch centenary and get well wishes to Peter Sawyer recovering from emergency heart surgery. Congratulations to Nicola Jones for her first on eight and Graham Crouch who has recently returned to ringing and last rang a quarter peal about 14 years ago. https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1325151
Also, after several months lay-off another Quarter Peal has been scored on handbells and we decided that it was an Officers quarter to mark the centenary.

Kingskerswell – First Quarter Peal on the 8 bells

There was double reason to celebrate at Kingskerswell on 24th February. A new vicar was welcomed and instituted to the parishes of Kingskerswell, Coffinswell and Abbotskerswell and the first Quarter Peal was rung on the 8 bells. Grandsire Triples was the tune and despite occasional nervousness a very good quarter peal was rung. Congratulations to John Rees who rang his first quarter on 8 bells. Details at


The Branch has a new treasurer

If you were at the branch AGM in November you will remember that no-one had been found to take over the job as Branch Treasurer. Fiona Rock-Evans kindly agreed to carry on until someone could be found. We are delighted to say that Karen Robinson has agreed (and been elected) to take over from Fiona. They have been working together during the busy period of subscription collection but now Karen is fully in charge of our finances. We must sincerely thank Fiona for all her hard work as treasurer. It is very much a job that goes on behind the scenes but is, never-the-less, very important. She has worked cheerfully to look after the funds despite very frustrating negotiations with banks. Hopefully, all those problems are behind us and we are delighted to welcome Karen in her place. Karen lives in Brixham and does much of her ringing at Berry Pomeroy so it is pleasing to have another Branch officer from the West of our branch.