Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Around the Towers

Quarter Peals

Badsey, Worcs, 14th Aug, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: John Bolton [Emma] 1, Doug Bott [Gemma] 2, Robert Hall [Chloe] 3, Tom Sandham [William] 4, Martin Penny [Benjamin] (C) 5, Gordon Hill [Ella] 6. A Grandfathers quarter; rung to celebrate all our Grandchildren and especially William, born 5th July 2009, and Chloe, born 9th August 2009.

After the Q, L-R: John Bolton, Martin Penny, Tom Sandham, Robert Hall, Gordon Hill, Doug Bott.
(Ah, that shorts and tee-shirt weather. . . . Ed)

Long Compton, Warks, 5th Oct, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: Janet Blackwell 1 (1st quarter), Michael Cummings 2 (1st inside), Trevor Hobday 3, John Nicholls (C) 4, Peter Kenealy 5, Stuart Cummings 6. Rung to celebrate Long Compton winning Calor Village of the Year for Warwickshire.

Bretforton, Worcs, 24th Oct, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: John Kinchin 1, Jackie Hands 2, Doug Bott 3, John Nicholls (C) 4, George Osbourne 5, Colin Currill 6. Rung to celebrate the 49th wedding anniversary of Mr G Hall (Tower Captain) & Mrs Hall.

Temple Guiting, Glos, 6th Nov, 1350 Doubles (Stedman, Grandsire, Rev St Bart's, Plain, St Simon's, April Day): Jackie Hands 1, Sophia Lewis-Skeath 2, John Nicholls 3, Chris Povey (C) 4, Richard Lewis-Skeath 5. To celebrate Sophia's mildly-significant birthday this day.

Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos, 8th Nov, 1280 Cambridge S Major: Keith Murphy 1, Charles Wilson 2, Chris Mew (C) 3, Chris Povey 4, Mark Sayers 5, Richard Lewis-Skeath 6, John Nicholls 7, Peter Quinn 8. 1st Treble Bob: 1. For Evensong.

Mickleton, Glos, 16th Nov, 1280 Lincolnshire S Major: Jackie Hands 1, Diana Reeve 2, Sophia Lewis-Skeath 3, Chris Mew (C) 4, Richard Lewis-Skeath 5, Alan Hartley 6, John Nicholls 7, Robert Reeves 8. 1st blows of Lincolnshire: 3

Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos, 7th Dec, 1250 Superlative S Major: Robert Reeves 1, Sophia Lewis-Skeath 2, Chris Mew (C) 3, Peter Quinn 4, Mark Sayers 5, Alan Hartley 6, John Nicholls 7, Richard Lewis-Skeath 8. 1st blows of Superlative: 2.

Ilmington & Mickleton ringers on Christmas morning at Ilmington.
L-R (with headgear!): Mike Fairfax, Pam McFarlane, Andrew Gunn, Jackie Hands, Bill Nash, Nicola Amphlett, Bill Sabin, John Kinchin.

Kirtlington, Oxon, 30th Dec, 1260 Grandsire Triples: Richard Lewis-Skeath 1, Robin Green 2, Isobel Murphy 3, Joanna Murphy (C) 4, Steve Bowley 5, Joe Johnson 6, Keith Murphy 7, Bill Nash 8. 1st as conductor: 4. For Joanna's 21st Birthday (on Christmas Day)

Islip, Oxon, 30th Dec, 1296 Plain Bob Major: Steve Bowley 1, Joe Johnson 2, Joanna Murphy 3, Isobel Murphy 4, Robin Green 5, Keith Murphy 6, Bill Nash 7, Richard Lewis-Skeath (C) 8. 1st Major: 2 & 4.

Tower News

Michael and Stuart Cummings at Brailes had a worrying time during the demise of Taylors Eayre & Smith, as they had sent the tenor's broken clapper up there for repair. They heard the Administrator was impounding everything until a clearer picture of the business could be gauged, and half-expected this was the last that would be seen of the clapper, or at least for some time. However, phone calls to and from TESco confirmed it was still in existence and that the repair would be undertaken and the clapper refitted before the company was sold, which is what happened. The new clapper is a wooden-shafted one. The great William Blews tenor, the largest bell he ever cast, booms out once more.

Blockley bells have been given an inspection by Whites of Appleton, who undertake regular maintenance there. They recommend major work to the bells, as the fittings are becoming life-expired. In addition, they recommend the Bond of Burford bellframe should be renewed, as the design is a poor one (although no cracks appear in the tower). The bellframe arrangement at Blockley is unusual, as the metal part is a single-layer framework of steel beams, upon which the bells are hung directly. There are no sideframes. The slider gear and pulleys are mounted on the lower beams and cills of the old, quite-separate, wooden bellframe beneath. This arrangement was clearly a cheap bodge-up at the time, but it has lasted without major ill-effect for a surprisingly long period. There is an option to retain the frame arrangement when the bells are rehung, or bite the bullet and go for a new 'proper' one at extra expense. Nothing is likely to drop off at the moment, so the PCC have a little time to think about this and decide what they wish to do, and when. Nonetheless, there will be a big bill eventually.

The tenor clapper at Norton broke just before Christmas, ensuring no ringing on all 8 bells over that period. Luckily, no damage to anything else seems to have occurred, which is fortunate. Clappers that go wandering around belfries on their own can do lots of damage. The break occurred right at the top of the shank, next to the pivot eye, so a straightforward forgewelded repair isn't possible. If they want to retain the wrought-iron clapper, then it is likely to mean a newly-forged or good second-hand top-end. The other solution is a completely new spheroidal-graphite (SG) iron clapper. Hopefully, the clapper problem will be sorted before the Guild's meeting here on March 20th!

Please let me have any information about what's happening in towers in the area. Ed