Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Letters to the Editor

There has been a hefty response to the Four Shire Stone article in the last Newsletter:-

Greetings Chris,
in Newsletter 123 you ask: Does anyone know the origin of our highly-academic motto AUDI VIDE TACE, and its meaning? I do not know the origin of the motto and my Latin was never great, but the meaning would be something along the lines of "listen, watch and be silent". It appears to be a variation on the Three Wise Monkeys without the specific prohibition of evil.
Regards, Roland Merrick, Harvington

See Audi Vide Tace article. Ed

Dear Chris,
Your Four Shire Stone article certainly sparked some interesting correspondence! Re website and subscriptions - I am a member of a club that has a website with open and members only pages, the latter protected by an annually charging password revealed on payment of your sub. Tower of the Quarter - some years ago I suggested it would be nice to include a Tower Profile, but before the visit was announced in the Saturday evening Diary, to stimulate interest and encourage visits, particularly for new members who might not have been before. This could emphasise key features, access, etc; ours appeared in Newsletter 115.
Yours, Peter Richardson, Halford.

The suggestion for Tower of the Quarter to appear prior to the Guild's visit is most sensible and will be changed with this issue! The practicality of an annually-charged password may well be discussed by the Committee at some time, with advice from the webmaster. Ed

Mention in the last Newsletter of the Guild metal badge having two shades of green reminded Allen Turner of the reason for this little feature of our history:

Dear Chris,
When I was on the committee (Treasurer) in the early 80s, the Guild was running low on badges (dark green), so I approached the Birmingham Badge Co about producing some more. They refused to produce the small batch we required, so I collected the Guild's tooling and persuaded the Coventry Silvercraft Co to produce the quantity needed. However, they could only offer me the lighter green that we have now. I hope this explains the colour difference. I hope they are still trading if more badges are required, as it is some years since I last used them.
Sincerely, Allen Turner, Shipston-on-Stour.

Another mystery cleared up! Thank you for the useful information, Allen, as we may well need some more badges - and now we know where to obtain them. It appears Coventry Silverware is still operating by the looks of their website:; - and presumably they still have our tooling. Ed

Dear Chris,
How many bell ringers know much about their church finances, have a voice on the PCC and the Chairman's ear? As the PCC is ultimately responsible for the repair and maintenance of its church bells, it pays to be involved: do you run a stall at the Church Fête, set aside your wedding fees in a kitty for rope replacement and broken stays, and contribute to church activities, without which there would be no ringing? Most parishes struggle to raise enough for their needs, inevitably with conflicting priorities, but God loves a cheerful giver and a relatively easy and enjoyable fundraiser is the sponsored walk or ride. Shipston Rotary Club organise their Cotswold Walk on a May Bank Holiday Sunday (2nd May) over a 7 mile circular hillcrest route near Ilmington & Hidcote with route maps, marshals, first-aid cover, refreshments and toilet facities for a £5 contribution to their charitable causes, and the rest walkers can donate to their own charity of choice. More details on What better way to help keep your bells in good order than some pleasant exercise with family, friends and dogs in delightful Cotswold countryside?
Yours, Peter Richardson, Halford.

Thank you for this, Peter. PCCs are having a tough time, and unfortunately bells have to be low on the priority list. They don't keep out the rain, they don't light or heat the church, and they don't accompany the singing in the Service. It's little wonder they get pushed to the back. A bell fund is a good idea, as it provides some cash for the bells. But it also signifies an interest in them from the ringers, ie the users of the kit. My own tower has had a bell fund for many years. There is a big satisfaction in knowing that the ringers pay their way - and the PCC appreciates it! Ed

Dear Editors,
Congratulations on a superb Newsletter, quite one of the best produced (Sorry Pam!). Our Centenary year has passed and there were many notable events that took a great deal of organising. The peal of FSG Delight Major was a landmark in the history of the Guild, but no lady ringers? I am of the opinion that an opportunity was missed in not organising an Official Centenary Peal. I believe that a peal on Evesham's wonderful 12 would have been a really momentous event. Not only would 4 more ringers been able to take part, it would have, I think, been a first on 12 for the Guild. Perhaps it will be achieved during the next 100 years. I last rang a peal of Grandsire Cinques at Evesham in 1988, sadly not for the FSG.
Regards, Robert Hall, Evesham

Thank you for your kind words re the Newsletter, Robert, particularly so in the light of Pam's truly inspiring work in the past. She led the way; we are just trying to follow in her footsteps. Regarding a FSG 12-bell peal, we think Evesham's Ringing Master is likely to be amenable to the Guild attempting such a peal there in the future. There has been at least one FSG 10-bell peal in the past.
     The Newsletter team