Mid Devon Branch Tower Talk March 2021


Mid-Devon Branch presentation to a Guild Internet Arms virtual pub meeting on Monday 19th April - 9pm

Moor to Sea (spot the intentional pun! – Ed.)

As you may be aware, the Guild have been hosting events at the Internet Arms on a Monday evening since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Internet Arms is a virtual 'pub' hosted on 'Zoom'. 

Several of our Branch members have already given excellent presentations on a variety of subjects, and on Monday 19th April, Catherine Saunders will lead us through a whistlestop tour of fascinating facts about the churches in the Mid-Devon Branch and their surrounding areas and also discuss what the Branch has been doing to support and keep in touch with ringers during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

John Martin will send the 'joining link' for the session closer to the time, via email and 'Facebook'.

Keith the clock winder

Keith Fursdon has been a ringer for many years. Up to the church being taken over by the Greek Orthodox community he was captain of the ringers at Torre (Tor Mohun). He now regularly rings at St Marychurch where he is also in the choir. His main occupation of clock repairer led him to take on the job of clock winder of various public clocks across Torquay. An article in the local newspaper featured Keith and it can be seen here https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/man-who-wound-town-clock-5156134 .  There was also a feature on BBC Spotlight which you may have seen. He tells us he is now charging a small fee for autographs!! Well done, Keith – looking forward to ringing with you again very soon.

Alan Paton RIP

Around 20 years ago Alan Paton, a very experienced ringer, moved to live in Bovey Tracey. He was a regular attender at several practices in the area including St Marychurch and Heavitree. He rang several quarter peals during his 5 year stay in the area and was a willing verbal sparring partner to Rev Bob Southwood on many occasions. He died recently aged 90 and we send our condolences to his family. There is an excellent photo and two obituaries in the latest copy of Ringing Round Devon. Another character who we remember with affection.

Guild Ringing Returns working group

This group has been meeting regularly on line and has completed a short survey of ringers to try to assess needs when ringing eventually resumes. Mid Devon Branch members were not included as we had already run a survey but the results were included in the Devon survey. Our branch is well represented on the Group by Nicola Jones, Catherine Saunders and Martin Mansley along with Guild Master Janet Ritterman. Catherine Saunders has joined Sheila Schofield and Ian Avery as Devon Survival and Recovery Champions on the National Group. One of the important pieces of work of this group is the Survival and Recovery Toolbox which can be viewed at http://ringingteachers.org/survival-and-recovery-toolbox 

Ringing room / Zoom practices

One of the latest developments in Ringing Room is "Wheatley" which llows any unfilled bells to be rung. 

Both Stokeinteignhead and St Marychurch have been using it to fill in when needed e.g. if we meet 7 for eight bells. Lynne Hughes tells us that she has Wheatley ready for Dawlish but so far has not needed to use it. Let us know if you have tried it yet. Their practices are going well and they are looking forward to a "virtual" social event during Holy Week to replace their usual Tower Dinner.

Philip Stevens

Great news from Kingskerswell – Philip tells us that he has done very well after his fall. He is now pain free and down to using one stick. Last week he was discharged from any further visits to Deriford and is pottering in his garden and looking forward to ringing once more before too long.

Day of reflection

To mark the first anniversary of Lockdown and to remember all who have died during the pandemic Marie Curie and others promoted a day of reflection on 23rd March. At 12.00 noon there was a minute's silence and churches were asked to toll a bell as a mark of respect.

Several branch towers were able to do this
At Stokeinteignhead Rev John Good tolled a bell and Martin Mansley tolled one at St Marychurch
From Lynne Hughes - At Dawlish, Phil and I tolled a bell for a few minutes at 12.01 pm on Tuesday 23rd. I put a short video clip (three whole pulls) of me ringing it onto 'Eyes of Dawlish' facebook group, where well over 100 people reacted favourably to it. Great publicity!

And from Nick White
We managed to toll the tenor at Charleton last Tuesday; I rang for a little while before 12:00 then tolled the bell 12 times for 12 o'clock and after the minutes silence I tolled it 126 times, once for each of the 1000 people who died with Covid. I worked out that if the bell was tolled 126000+ times, one for each death, it would take about three days of non-stop ringing. Exeter Cathedral tenor would probably have been four days. Puts an interesting perspective on the number of deaths which I think we are starting to become numb to.