Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Firstly, I hope you all had a good Christmas and I wish you health, happiness and excellent ringing for 2014!

This Newsletter is another bumper issue: 18 pages again. There have been a number of contributors this time, which I think is a measure of the health of an organisation. If people are interested enough to submit articles for an organisation’s publication, then they must be interested in the organisation behind it. Particular thanks to John Kinchin in this respect, as he provided a number this time. I have to say, too, that John’s article about the traveller’s notebooks, while not specifically about ringing or bells, was delightful. I was rather disappointed when John brought the article to an early end, because I was enjoying it. John, your knack of picking out the interesting bits and concentrating just enough on them, while making brief mention of the less interesting parts is masterful! Personally I would like to have the second (or third?) part of this for a future Newsletter. How about it JWK?

I must also thank Isobel Murphy for arranging reporters for the Mid-week Tours now that Frank Spiers has retired from this post. Thank you, Frank, for your contributions in the past; and thank you to those reporters who have so far put their heads above the parapet. Your different writing styles and content make the whole item a treat to read. Keep these reports coming.

Having said there have been many contributions this time, I am conscious that all (with the honourable exception of Stuart Cummings’ list of towers for the back page) have come from the western/northern sides of the Guild. I would be delighted to have more contributions from the eastern/southern and middle parts. There must be happenings in these parts (such as the Royal Birth ringing report from Cherington in the last Newsletter). If you are in these areas, please consider writing something on a regular or semi-regular basis. The Newsletter is for all members.

Benjamin Lewis-Skeath has now joined the ranks of the quarter-pealers with a slightly longer-than-the-norm quarter of 1415 changes at Moreton. Congratulations, Benjamin! Why the unusual length? Big Daddy Richard explained it was Benjamin’s birthday, when he passed from the age of 14 to 15. Interesting comp to get that length…

Lastly, I would like to thank Guild members for electing me an Honorary Life Member at the AGM at Offenham. It is a great honour, and I know the other Founder Members elected HLM at the time feel similarly (in particular, see Mike Fairfax's letter). The Guild is an excellent ringing organisation, which undertakes very successfully its intended function of being an 'umbrella body' for our otherwise segregated area. I am very proud to have been there at its refounding 40 years ago and to have been part of its role since.

Chris Povey, (Caretaker) Editor

(The views expressed in this Newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Four Shires Guild or its Committee. The Guild endorses no products or manufacturers advertised within the Newsletter – but would not allow such advertisements where the goods or services are knowingly questionable.)