Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

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It's truly amazing how many significant anniversaries there are to be celebrated this year and we haven't reached the end of them yet. The 750th anniversary of the Battle of Evesham is still to come, on August 4th, but there will be no celebratory bells from the Bell Tower, as by that time it will be enshrouded in scaffolding and the masons should have started on the stone repairs. There is one very big event that is very likely to occur on September 9th — HM The Queen will equal and then surpass the length of Queen Victoria's reign. We have all grown up being told Queen Victoria held this record, but now we are to witness a big change in British history. HM looks very well and, with less than 3 months to go, seems more than able to get there. I guess bells will be ringing all over the country for that.

We are now seeing In Memoriam ringing for soldiers killed in WW1. This is a very appropriate way to remember them. Isobel Murphy's article is most interesting, in that she gives some history of Major Clement Freeman-Mitford and Pte. John Aston. Although articles containing such a wealth of information are particularly welcomed, I shall be pleased to receive all reports of ringing for the Fallen.

You will notice that part of Joan Newbury funeral donations were directed to the Guild's Bell Restoration Fund (see Joan Newbury). This was a very generous donation by the family. It will, of course, go towards keeping, or making, bells throughout our area ringable — and that is a wonderful thing. The Guild contributed to the recent very-successful Stanway project, and a grant is in place towards Adlestrop's rehang. Another grant application towards a Stanway-like project is pending. Yes, we provide ringers when ringing is required, but PCCs do view grants towards their fabric (ie the bells and belfry) as very substantial material support.

The Guild's Annual General Meeting and Striking Comps are to be held on Saturday October 17th at Pebworth (see NoticeNotice of the Guild AGM). There are no proposal/seconding slips this year, because nobody appeared to use them, so the paper and the printing costs will be saved. This is when members can assemble to gripe about how the Guild is run, or — hopefully — congratulate the Committee. If gripes aren't forthcoming because nobody turned up to express them, it is reasonable to assume the Guild is running OK. If that's the case, fine; if not, please tell us. It is hoped the long-running top performers, the Mickleton/Ilmington band, will be able to perform in the Striking Competition this year. They won't have far to come.

The Guild's performance at the Great 'International' Striking Competition at Longborough recently was a cause for huge jubilation, both by the band and by the Guild. Devon call-change ringing is notoriously very high-class, and trying to better the quality of striking produced by the Devon bands competing was a forlorn hope. To obtain 3rd place overall and the highest-scoring method band was unbelievable! We must be doing something right.

Avid readers of 'From the Archives' will be disappointed this time. There is nothing from either 100 years ago or from 40 years ago. Sorry, just one of those quirks. But El Pres is back with his crossword!!

I'm delighted my plea for more news items from the eastern side of the area brought forth such delights from Great Wolford. Thank you for these, Isobel. Please keep them coming — and I encourage others over that side to do similarly.

I rang a Q of Minimus recently. I'd never done so before. Ah yes, you might say, just a quick way of getting a Q was it? Well, it was fairly quick, but it certainly wasn't a simple way of claiming a Q. If anybody thinks ringing Minimus is far below their capability, I recommend they take a look at the line for the 168 change block of Wyck Rissington Hybrid Minimus, which is necessary to make the method 'legal' for a quarter. The plain course has 21 changes instead of the normal 24, so there has to be some bobs and singles to get all the changes in. Tony Smith of Central Council methods fame provided a composition, the 168 change block ensuring all the available changes are rung 7 times. Simple it ain't! It is one of the hardest methods I've learnt. And it can fire up very quickly, too! It took a few practices before the quarter was scored — the first in the method; and very pleasingly it occurred at Wyck Rissington.

Why, you might wonder, do we have the Guild's accounts again? This is to keep up my consistency of having to apologise for inaccuracies in the Newsletter. While numerically correct last time, I labelled the year columns incorrectly: both were one year behind.

Another 20-page Newsletter hits the streets. Thank you for all the submissions. Who says nothing happens in the FSG…?

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.)