Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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Around the Towers

Peals, Quarter Peals and other special ringing:-

Nick Allsopp's Birthday Peal.

As last year Nick arranged to ring a peal with some friends at his home tower of Moreton-in-Marsh for his birthday (+1 from the big one last year). The method this time was Moreton Surprise Major. Again some of his old ringing colleagues from Hampshire came to take part. Again, it couldn't be rung for the Guild, but, because it was rung for Nick and much more importantly for Freda Cleaver (see footnote), its publication here is considered entirely appropriate.

Winchester & Portsmouth Guild
St David's, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
Saturday 6th September 2014, in 2hrs 41mins (tenor 10-0-14 in G)

5024 Moreton Surprise Major

1 Christopher M Povey
2 Robert Tregillus
3 Janet L Morris
4 Richard Lewis-Skeath
5 Michael Chester
6 Nicholas K Allsopp
7 John A Dodd
8 Roy LeMarechal (cond)
   Comp by: Don Morrison

Rung to mark the 80th birthday of Freda Cleaver, tower captain at Welford on Avon.


OFFENHAM, Worcestershire
Church of St Mary & St Milburgh
Saturday 13th September 2014, in 2hrs 37mins (tenor 10-3-2 in F#)

5040 Doubles
(5m: Grandsire, St Simon's, St Martin's, Plain & April Day)

1 Roland Merrick
2 Claire Penny
3 Richard Lewis-Skeath
4 Martin B Penny
5 Matthew Kemble (C)
6 Nicholas K Allsopp

1st peal: 1
1st peal as conductor: 5

Offenham, Worcs, 5th July, 1260 Plain Bob Doubles: Bob Topp 1, Robert Hall 2, Tom Sandham 3, Claire Penny 4, Matthew Kemble (C) 5, Martin Penny 6. First quarter peal on treble, 1. For the Offenham Flower Festival.

Mickleton, Glos, 14th July, 1260 Grandsire Triples: Andrew Gunn 1, Frances Chapmen 2, Bill Sabin 3, Chris Mew (President of the Central council, C) 4, John Kinchin 5, John Nicholls 6, Jackie Hands 7, Mike Fairfax 8. Rung as a tribute to the Rev Fred Dawson, who retired recently after seven years serving the Parish Churches of Mickleton, Willersey, Weston Subedge, Saintbury and Aston Subedge. John Kinchin (tower captain of Mickleton) and Bill Sabin (tower captain of Ilmington) presented gifts from the ringers to the Rev Fred Dawson and his wife Billie.

Cropthorne, Worcs, 25th July, 1260 PB Minor: Chris Povey 1, Madeline Reeder 2, Roland Merrick 3, Matthew Kemble 4, Martin Penny 5, Roger Hunt (C) 6. Rung as a compliment to the conductor and his wife Valerie, residents of nearby Fladbury, for their wedding anniversary (24 July).

Middle Littleton, Worcs, 22nd Aug, 1260 11m/v Doubles (Seighford, Old Bob, St Simon's, Cassington, Eynsham, Elford, St Martin's, St Leonard's, St Peter's, Austry, Plain): Madeline Reeder 1, Claire Penny 2, Chris Povey 3, Matthew Kemble 4, Martin Penny (C) 5, Paul Smith 6. Most methods/variations: 2 & 4.

Wellesbourne, Warks, 8th Sept, 1264 Spliced Major (PB & Yorks S): Michael Dane 1, James Ingham 2, Richard Lewis-Skeath 3, Alan Hartley 4, Karen French 5, Robert Reeves 6, Chris Mew (C) 7, Peter Quinn 8.

Chipping Campden, Glos, 22nd Sept, 1344 Yorkshire S Major: Roger Hunt 1, Julie Lawrence 2, Richard Lewis-Skeath (C) 3, Robert Reeves 4, John Nicholls 5, Steve Bowley 6, Nick Allsopp John Gwynne 8. Rung to welcome Julie Lawrence to the area as she starts her new job.

Shipston-on-Stour (The Old Bakehouse, Sheep Street), Warks: 1368 Plain Bob Minimus: Richard Lewis-Skeath 1, 2, 3, & 4 (on handbells, size 14 in D). 1st Q of Minimus, 1st Q in hand, 1st Q on the bells. (Interesting, Richard, interesting…. Ed)


Church of St Peter
Monday 4th August 2014 (tenor 10-0-24 in G)

1348 Spliced Major and Triples
(Little Bob Major, Plain Bob Major and Grandsire Triples)

1 Christopher Mew (C)
2 Peter Quinn
3 Richard Lewis-Skeath
4 Karen French
5 Robert Reeves
6 Mark Sayers
7 John Nicholls
8 Michael Dane

Rung to mark the centenary of the commencement of WW 1

EVESHAM, Worcestershire
The Bell Tower
Saturday 23rd August 2014 (tenor 35-2-20 in C#)

1260 Grandsire Doubles

1 Roland Merrick
2 Claire Penny
3 Richard Lewis-Skeath
4 Martin B Penny
5 Matthew Kemble (C)
6 Nicholas K Allsopp


Private John Parr, 4th Middlesex Regt. The first British casualty of WW1, Obourg, Mons, 21st August 1914, aged 16.

Lieutenant Maurice James Dease VC, Royal Fusiliers, killed in action at the Battle of Mons 23rd August 1914, aged 24, and awarded posthumous Victoria Cross, one of the first two VCs of WW1(both awarded that day).

Both are buried at Saint-Symphorien Cemetery, Mons.

(Please let me have details of quarters. I cannot guarantee to see them on Campanophile, Bellboard, or wherever. I do some, but probably not all. Ed)


Willersey. After 36 years as Ringing Master David Hammond has decided to hand over the reins. Robert Chadburn is the new RM and Bob Topp is to undertake the belfry maintenance. As many know, David has not enjoyed the best of health recently, and this and other reasons have very likely contributed to his decision. Thank you, David, for all the help and support you've given the Guild over many years.

Congratulations to Isobel Murphy on being accepted by Oxford University to study for a Doctorate (see Chris Seers' report in the Mid-week Tours article.).

Pebworth. A faculty has been granted to replace the headstock, so things are in train now to have this 10 ringing as such again. They are an extremely useful little 10 and they've been missed.

Stow-on-the-Wold. Taylors are starting work at the beginning of October on major maintenance work here. This will include rebushing the clappers, overhaul of the pulleys, cleaning out the main bearings and re-greasing, and tightening the tie-bars in the bellframe to help make the massive pitch-pine structure more rigid.

There is exciting news about two towers in the area:-

Adlestrop. Things are starting to happen here on a rehang, possibly with an augmentation to 6.

Stanway. Simon Ridley (who reported on the state of Stanway a couple of years ago in the Newsletter) sends the following:-

Works at Stanway are scheduled to begin at the end of November this year. The existing ring of four bells is to be removed, tuned to a recognisable diatonic scale and rehung in the modified frame with new fittings. To add to their number a new treble bell will be cast at Whitechapel to augment the ring to 5.

Works should be completed by Easter next year pending no surprises. If anyone wishes to donate to the project or wishes to know more, please contact Simon Ridley by .

It seems very likely, therefore, that Stanway will emerge from this work as a very ringable ring of 5. Thank you for this update, Simon, and for your work in bringing this project to fruition.