Mid-Devon Tower Talk - Spring 2024

Apart from a number of peals and quarter peals recently, the Mid-Devon Brach has held a number of successful events.

7 and 8 Bell practice Kingskerswell

So far this year our events have been very well supported and this was no exception. It was great to see new ringers from Babbacombe who came to this event.

We managed a good variety of methods including plenty of rounds and call changes for the less experienced – didn't quite manage the 150 of spliced Triples and Major – lives to fight another day! It was good to see everyone enjoying these transformed bells in the massively expanded ringing area – not quite a room – more a balcony but very conducive to a good atmosphere at this sort of event. Thanks again to Philip and all the Kingskerswell ringers for a warm welcome – we will be back...!


Meet the branch day

A few years ago, we decided to organise a day to show new ringers a little about the branch. With an influx of new members it was felt that now was an ideal time to do it again. It certainly proved to be the case. The day started with coffee and biscuits at Kingskerswell followed by a welcome from our Chairman Rodney Horder. He then introduced three members who had varying levels of experience. Sarah McIntyre gave a short talk about her experiences as a new ringer. She was able to illustrate it with her very individual pictures (She is a professional illustrator). Next was Sherene Jeffries who told us about how she had been tempted back to ringing after quite a few years break. She emphasised how much she had been helped by branch events such as the Plain Hunt and Plain Bob morning. Finally, our Secretary Nigel Birt told us about growing up in a ringing family and eventually moving to Devon where he was able to meet other ringers and become an active member of the branch.

The final "spot" before ringing was a chance for several people to have a go at "lapping" plaint hunt on 8. This is plain hunting, but you pass the bells to your neighbours to achieve the same effect as ringing it on tower bells. This created great hilarity and seemed to be much enjoyed.  It was then time to head upstairs for an hour's ringing on the lovely 8 bells. Many of the ringers were relatively inexperienced but managed well. Some method ringing was fitted in as well.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was the co-operative lunch which Katie Law had masterminded. The tables were groaning with a large selection of delicious food. Very many thanks to all who had provided it. This break in proceedings gave ample chance for networking and getting to know each other.

After lunch Martin Mansley gave a short presentation about the work of the branch and ringing further afield. But perhaps the most popular item of the day came next when Wena Mansley organised some tune ringing on handbells. It was obvious the much fun was had (and some very creditable music produced!)

We then moved on to Wolborough for the afternoon. Again, it was really good to see our less experienced ringers managing the bells really well. Finally, Rodney Horder thanked everyone for the great enthusiasm that had been shown and invited everyone to attend our next practice which would also be at Wolborough.

Very many thanks to the two towers for their warm welcome and to everyone who made it a very enjoyable day. We were delighted to welcome new members who were elected during the day which we were told took our membership this year into 3 figures. The first time for quite a few years – great news!
Photos at https://photos.app.goo.gl/e7rF1HxosamkbAoA6 

Ernie Pryce

Ernie  was a loyal ringer at St Marychurch who died last year. We were delighted to find that his memorial stone just by the path round the church mentioned his 45 years as a ringer at our tower. As requested by Ernie the bells can be clearly heard from this spot and we always think of him when we ring.

Wolborough 8 bell practice

It was obvious that the "Meet the Branch Day" was bearing fruit when the tower at Wolborough was packed with ringers for this practice. We are sorry that some ringers found it a bit too crowded and did not stay to ring – a victim of our own success. However, those who did stay were able to join in a varied evening of ringing – yes, lots of Rounds and call changes but also quite a bit of method ringing mixed in. This included the methods of the evening – Cambridge S Major and Erin Triples – the touch of Erin falling to conducting error very close to the end (no names etc!). It was good to see plain hunting and Plain Bob being taken advantage of and all were very impressed by the young ringers from Babbacombe who almost circled the tower during the evening – great to see you.


Future Events

As usual plenty of branch practices and training sessions have been aranged for the coming months - see the Events page for details.