Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Recent Mid-Week Monthly Tours

The last three Monthly outings have been very successful and enjoyable, with an average of 35 ringers attending.

The January Outing, organised by Chris Seers, took us into Gloucestershire initially. The first tower was St Peter, Windrush, an anti-clockwise 6 (7cwt). This ring was rehung in 1995 and had the rare distinction of being rehung anti-clockwise, as previously, as the local ringers requested it. The next tower was St Mary, Great Barrington (6, 8cwt), after which we entered Oxfordshire for lunch at The Carpenter's Arms, Fulbrook. In the afternoon we rang at the lovely church of St John the Baptist, Burford, on the 8 (18cwt) there. We ended the day at St Mary, Shipton-under-Wychwood (8, 15cwt). (This was the tower where Walter Large taught as an Oxford Diocesan Guild instructor after the tower was augmented to 8 in 1893: see article in January 2012 Newsletter. Ed)

The February Outing, organised by Barbara Howes and Ruth Border, took us to East Warks/West Northants. The first tower was St Mary the Virgin, Staverton (6, 11cwt), The bells here, a complete ring of 6 by Taylors, 1938, were an excellent start to the day. The next tower was St Lawrence, Napton-on-the-Hill (6, 11cwt). What a lovely view from this church on the top of the hill! Lunch was taken at The Bowling Green in Southam, from where it was a short walk to St James' Church (8, 15cwt), the first tower of the afternoon. We ended a lovely day on the 5 (10cwt) at St Mary the Virgin, Bishops Itchington; and, as we started, we finished on a complete ring by Taylors, but not of the same vintage (1874).

The March Outing, organised by Robin Green, took us to the border between Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. The first tower was the 5 (10cwt) at Holy Trinity, Charwelton, where the 4th is dated 1510. The next tower was St John Bapt, Upper Boddington (6, 11cwt), where the previously-unringable 5 were rehung and augmented in 2010. We had a good lunch at The Wharf Inn, Fenny Compton. In the afternoon we rang on the 8 (16cwt) at St Mary, Cropredy. The final ring of the day was the home of the Bagley bell founders, Chacombe, where four of SS Peter & Paul's bells (6, 14cwt) were cast by William Bagley. Most of the churches were in the Peterborough Diocese. Monuments in some of the churches dated back to the 15th Century, but all very interesting. We would never normally go into these lovely towns and villages with all the different Cotswold yellow coloured stone. Northants is more goldy-yellow; Warks and Worcs more greyish. All lovely and interesting.

Frank Spiers