Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Recent Mid-Week Monthly Tours

The October outing organised by Isobel Murphy took us around Cheltenham, the first tower being St Bartholomew's, Churchdown, (6, 11cwt) near the top of Churchdown Hill. The tenor here was thought to weigh 10-2-0 until last year, when Gillett & Johnston's records showed it to be 11-2-0. G&J rehung the bells in 1933. From there we descended to St Christopher's Church in Warden Hill. Its ring of 6 bells is the lightest in a church in the world, with a tenor of 0-2-7 (63lbs)! The lightness of these bells was a challenge to us all, but most of us stood up to it! It made good fun. It is a lovely church for a modern one. The stained glass windows are worth seeing. After St Christopher's we went for a good pub lunch.

The afternoon saw us first at St Peter's, Leckhampton, on the eight (9cwt), and then on to St Lawrence's, Swindon Village, to ring on the 6 (8cwt). Thank you, Isobel, for a good day out.

Sandra Parker organised the November outing, which took us into South Worcestershire. The first tower was Croome D'Abitot, next to Croome Court. The wheels of these bells have just been repaired through the help of the Worcestershire & Districts Change Ringing Association, to allow the bells to be rung again. The next tower was Holy Trinity, Eckington, to ring on the 8 (14cwt), after which we went over the road to have lunch at The Bell Inn.

The afternoon's ringing started at St Michael's, Great Comberton, where some of the 6 bells (9cwt) were cast by Matthew Bagley at his bell foundry in Evesham. We finished at St Mary's, Elmley Castle, on the 6 (17cwt), where there are some plans to replace the treble with one correctly tuned, and possibly to augment. Thank you, Sandra, for a lovely day out in the Worcestershire countryside.

Jill Roberts organised the December outing, which took us into Oxfordshire. The first tower was St Mary's at Freeland (6, 4cwt). This ring was remodelled into a lighter ring last year by using the 5th as the tenor. The Bell at Hanborough was our lunch stop.

The afternoon ringing started at St Martin's, Bladon (6, 6cwt), which is famous as the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill. To those of us who served in the War, he was someone very special. We ended our day at St Mary's, Woodstock (8, 13cwt), which is next to Sir Winston's birthplace, Blenheim Palace. Thank you for the day, Jill.

We all separated wishing each other a Merry Christmas.

Frank Spiers