Mid Devon Branch Tower Talk - Lockdown Edition no 4 - Jul-Aug 20

Branch Zoom meetings

Thursday 16 July
"Help!" – a discussion of resources for ringers

Martin Mansley led this discussion with a Powerpoint featuring some of the, mainly online, sources of information and training for ringers. A copy of the powerpoint is attached to this email. It includes links to all the sites discussed.
This meeting was not as well supported as some but there was still useful discussion and it was good to have Richard Johnston with us. Richard is very involved with much of the development of the peripherals for sites such as ringingroom and handbell stadium. It is now possible to use handbell sensors with ringingroom and the handbell stadium includes virtual ringers who move their bells in a realistic fashion.

Powerpoint attached to this edition with links to suggested sites included.

Thursday Zoom meetings
At present these are suspended as we seem to have run out of topics – if you feel they are important and would like to see them continue, please contact a branch officer. We would also welcome suggestions of topics or offers to lead a meeting.

Joint Zoom / Ringingroom meeting with Southwest branch Sat 8th August
You will remember that for the last few years we have been joining the southwest branch for a 10 bell practice in August. Obviously we could not join them in person this year but we were invited to a joint ringingroom session on Saturday evening.
This was a very light-hearted meeting – virtual and remote ringing is far from easy but it was very clear that "practice makes perfect" and those taking part were able to produce some very acceptable ringing. Initially we tried 10 bell ringing of plain hunt. Then two "breakout" rooms were used and with 8 in one and 7 in the other we were able to practice on 8 bells (Fergus Stacey rang 2!). This band had several goes at Cambridge Major and then grandsire Triples. We then re convened and rang more on 10 including a bob course of Grandsire Caters

Photo of most of the participants (Nigel and Rodney had to leave early) curtesy Janet Ritterman https://photos.app.goo.gl/pBofwFddq9JkaqCP9 

Audrey King – Coffinswell – RIP
From Philip Stevens
Audrey King died on 14th May. Sadly, under present restrictions, no one from the ringers, was allowed to attend the funeral. She last rang in August 2014, when she felt unable to continue. For several years prior to that, she mostly only rang only for services at Coffinswell as she found the stairs at Kingskerswell increasingly difficult. However she continued to come on our outings for several years.

She was one of the founder members of our band when ringing recommenced in March 1987 and was 1 of only 2 ringers apart from myself who had previously been a ringer. She learned to ring at Ashbrittle in Somerset, and had not rung for about 20 years when she joined us. Although she did very little method ringing, she joined the Guild along with most of the band and remained a member until 2011. She was 74

We were very sorry to hear of Audrey's death. Occasional visits to Coffinswell for weddings or Sunday service ringing meant a warm welcome from Audrey. Her son. Brian is a ringer who rang quite a few quarter peals when he lived in Kinngskerswell. He in Scotland with no bells locally but hopes to ring in her memory next time he is in Devon. Photo at https://photos.app.goo.gl/xK7UU6XVqRbeJC2BA 

Don Roberts is 90
We send hearty congratulations to Don Roberts – elder statesman of the Branch and Guild. He was 90 on 5th August. Don is very well, keeping busy in his garden and sends greetings to all. A quarter peal of Grandsire Triples had been planned for Don to call at Kingsteignton but under present restrictions was not possible. However a quarter peal was rung – by co-incidence, at Kingsteignton, on handbells. This was the first time the band had been able to meet "in the flesh" since lock-down and the delight to be back was perhaps the reason that a very well struck quarter peal was achieved.

The Zoom / ringingroom practice in lieu of St Marychurch practice was also dedicated to Don and some of the ringing recorded and sent to him. He replied that he was thrilled with all the ringing and absolutely determined that the Grandsire will be rung in due course.

Old Photos
We have recently been given a couple of old photographs. Some of you with long memories may remember a Branch outing to Gloucestershire possibly in the early 1980s. We were going to ring at Dursley (Wenna's home tower when she was learning) in mid-afternoon so she rang her parents to ask if there was a suitable café for a cup of tea. They did not know of one but invited everyone to their house instead! Thus a 52 seat coach landed in their residential road and a band of thirsty ringers took advantage of their hospitality. They show her father chatting to a few faces you might recognise – yes they were that young once! The pictures are not good quality, but we thought they may stir a few memories!

Resumption of ringing

Thanks to Michael Webster who forwarded this message from John Staddon
For some weeks now Paul Ramsbottom and I have been ringing the chimes at Alphington on alternate Sundays before the church's 11 am Zoom service. From this Sunday I will also ring them at Kenn [ only 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month though ]. It may start at Ide as well soon.

Paul has done some research on Ellacombe chimes and come up with the attached details of a celebration next year. There are also details on this website

I wonder how many of our towers have ring-able chimes still as we have heard of quite a few that have had the ropes removed and thus silenced any chances of any all the bells in a tower being rung during the current coronavirus restrictions. Is there a list of those still operational in Devon ? held maybe by the Association or the Guild ? Please let me know. Maybe we can, will the Ringklies and any others, try to organise to ring all our chimes on June 26th 2021.

Not sure how many of our branch towers have usable chimes – I am aware that there are hemispherical bells at Landscove which Peter Bill chimes regularly. Any of you ring Ellacombes in the branch?

Thanks to Philip Stevens for -
We have now rung for the last 2 Sundays at Kingskerswell. We are only allowed 4 people in the tower with a maximum time of 15 minutes ringing, and we have to be out of the tower 5 minutes before the service is due to start. I tried to persuade the Health and Safety officer to allow 5 to ring when 2 members of the same family ring, but to no avail. No services at Coffinswell yet. As far as we understand it the CC guidance would allow two members from the same household to stand closer together than 2 metres.
Our H & S officer is very strict with his guidance which means he can only fit a maximum of 20 in the church and there are 2 short communion services at 10am and 11am to be booked in advance. We are just ringing for the 10am but we have permission to ring for both providing the same 4 people ring the same bell. I have 8 ringers who are prepared to ring under these conditions.

They have held a service at Abbotskerswell and they are allowing a maximum of 10 people. I should imagine it would be much the same at Coffinswell should a service be held there.

The ruling is now that face coverings must be worn and the CC recommend that anyone exempt from face coverings should not be allowed to ring.
We know that Brixham have started to ring again with similar conditions to Kngskerswell. Is your tower ringing? Please let us know and tell us anything about your experience that might help others.