Around the Towers
Peals, Quarter Peals and other special ringing:-
Combe, Oxon, 28 June, 1260 Plain Bob Doubles: 1 Julie Minch,2
Michael Probert, 3 Anthony Williamson (C), Richard Lewis-Skeath, 5 Neil R Ephgrave, 6
Alison T Merryweather-Clarke. Rung before Evensong and in thanksgiving for the life
of Julie Bourchier, wife of Chris and mother of Oliver and Jonathan.
Pebworth, Worcs, 28 June, 1260 Mixed Doubles (Wellington Place,
Plain Bob, Grandsire): 1 Freda Cleaver, 2 Georgie Roberts, 3 Claire Penny, 4 Martin
Penny, 5 Matthew Kemble (C), 6 Claire Allen. For the patronal festival; Armed Forces
Day and the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
Harbury, Warks,29 June, 1282 Cambridge S Major: 1 Chris Mew (C), 2 Simon
Oram, 3 James Ingham, 4 Karen French, 5 Robert Reeves, 6 Michael Dane, 7 John
Nicholls, 8 Peter Quinn. 1st in method - 2
Freeland, Oxon, 3 July, 1260 St Simons Doubles: 1 Richard
Lewis-Skeath, 2 Andrew Smith, 3 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke, 4 Michael Probert, Neil
R Ephgrave (C), 6 Melanie McGregor.
Bletchingdon, Oxon, 5 July, 1296 Beverley S Minor: 1 Michael
Probert,2 Malcolm Fairbairn, 3 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke, 4 Neil R Ephgrave, 5
Roger Barnes, 6 Richard Lewis-Skeath (C). 1st in method: 3
Bretforton, Worcs,13 July, 1260 Grandsire Triples: 1 Nick Allsopp,2
Lucy Gwynne, 3 Steve Bowley, 4 Chris Povey, 5 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 6 John Gwynne, 7
Roger Hunt (C), 8 Matt Kemble. Rung as part of BretFest (a weeklong programme of art
and music 11th - 18th July) celebrating the 120th Anniversary Year of Bretforton
Freeland, Oxon, 24 July, 1320 Spliced Cambridge & Beverley S
Minor: Simons Doubles: 1 Michael Probert, 2 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 3 Lindsey
Thornton, 4 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke, 5 Anthony Williamson, 6 Neil R Ephgrave
(C). 1st spliced: 3,4,5,6. Celebrating the first birthday of Karim Mahgoub
Cherington, Warks, 25 July, 1540 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Richard Lewis-Skeath,
2 Steve Bowley, 3 Isobel Murphy, 4 Michael Haynes, 5 Roger Hunt (C), 6 Keith Murphy.
Rung as a wedding anniversary compliment to Bretforton ringers George (& Jeanne)
Jelfs celebrating their 40th today and the conductor (& Val Hunt) who attained
their 39th yesterday. Also to Keith and Isobel (of Great Wolford) who celebrate their
35th tomorrow. An S@S Quarter Peal and a bit!
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks, 2 Aug, 1260 Plain Bob Royal: 1 Chris
Povey,2 Charles Wilson, 3 Sarah Thomas, 4 Jeanette Davey, 5 Rachel Page, 6 Steve
Bowley, 7 John Perry, 8 Roger Hunt, 9 Simon Adams, 10 Richard Lewis-Skeath (C). Rung
to mark the 750th anniversary, this day, when Prince Edward (son of Henry III) and
his Royalist army put to rout the Montfordian rebels led by Simon, godson of Simon de
Montfort, at nearby Kenilworth during the height of the 2nd Baron's war (1264-67).
1st on 10 - 3.
Mickleton, Glos, 13 July, 1260 Single Oxford Bob Triples: 1 John Kinchin, 2
Mark Sayers, 3 Robert Reeves, 4 Karen French, 5 Michael Dane, 6 Chris Mew (C), 7 John
Nicholls, 8 Peter Quinn
Warwick (St Mary),2 Aug, 1296 Cambridge S Minor: 1 Chris Mew, 2
David Leafe, 3 Lucy Gwynne 4 Philip Sealey, 5 Karen French, 6 John Gwynne (C). For
Sunday Matins with Hymns
Bretforton, Worcs, 20 Aug, 1260 Stedman & Grandsire Doubles: 1 Chris
Povey, 2 Georgie Roberts, 3 Martin Penny, 4 Richard Lewis-Skeath, Roger Hunt (C), 6
Tom Sandham. Rung as a compliment to local parishioners Angela and Tony Gray on their
Diamond Wedding Anniversary today.
Freeland, Oxon, 21 Aug, 1320 Cambridge S Minor: 1 Julie Minch,2
Lindsey Thornton, 3 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke, 4 Michael Probert, 5 Richard
Lewis-Skeath, 6 Neil R Ephgrave (C). Dedicated to Lindsey's Dad, Jim Cutler, 23 years
to the day since he died.
Willersey, Glos, 22 Aug, 1260 Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place
Doubles. 1 Stef Whittle, 2 Richard Lewis-Skeath (C), 3 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke,
4 Michael Probert, 5 Roger Hunt, 6 Neil Ephgrave. Rung as a birthday compliment for
today to Brian Skeath, father of 2, & congratulations to Benjamin Lewis-Skeath,
son of 2, on obtaining excellent GCSE results. An S@S quarter peal.
Bretforton, Worcs,22 Aug, 1260 Doubles (Stedman, Grandsire, Plain
Bob): 1 Richard Lewis-Skeath,2 Martin Penny, 3 Georgie Roberts, 4 Michael Haynes, 5
Roger Hunt (C), 6 John Cleveland. Rung as a compliment to John Cleveland at his home
tower for his upcoming 70th birthday (24 Aug).
Buckland, Glos, 29 Aug, 1309 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Matthew Kemble, 2
Richard Lewis-Skeath, 3 Len Morley, 4 Michael Haynes, 5 Roger Hunt (C), 6 Steff
Whittle. Remembering Claire Tarrant of Oxfordshire, a ringing friend of Michael. An
S@S quarter peal.
Oddington,Glos, 2 Sept, 1344 Wyck Rissington Hybrid Minimus (8x
round blocks of 168 changes): 1 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 2 Chris Povey, 3 Roger Hunt, 4
Nick Allsopp (C).
Bengeworth (Evesham), Worcs,5 Sept, 120 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Claire
Penny, 2 Robert Hall, 3 Simon Adams, 4 Martin Penny, 5 Chris Povey (C), 6 Roger Hunt.
A test ring following inspection and adjustments at the request of the vicar and
churchwardens and rung as a welcome to Sarah Dorey upon her arrival for her marriage
to Mark Hemsley.
Cropthorne, Worcs,5 Sept,, 1260 Mixed Doubles (Stedman, Grandsire,
St Simons, St Martins, Reverse Canterbury, Plain): 1 Richard
Lewis-Skeath (C), 2 Sue Bacon, 3 Roger Hunt, 4 Michael Haynes, 5 Steve Bowley, 6 Stef
Whittle. A birthday treat for Ron Stephens, a lifelong ringer at this church, who was
83 on 1st September. The band wish to associate Thelma James & Rob Newman with
this quarter. An S@S quarter peal.
RINGING ON 9 SEPT TO MARK HM THE QUEEN BECOMING THE
LONGEST-REIGNING BRITISH MONARCH:
Offenham, Worcs, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: Tom Sandham, 2 Roger Hunt, 3
Georgie Roberts, 4 Claire Penny, 5 Matthew Kemble (C), Chris Povey.
Badsey, Worcs,336 Grandsire Triples: 1 Christina Ireland, 2 Hilary
Bolton, 3 Georgie Roberts, 4 Claire Penny, 5 Matthew Kemble, 6 Tom Sandham, 7 Chris
Povey (C), 8 Roger Hunt. Rung by regular ringers from the Benefice
Bretforton, Worcs,120 Call Changes, 1 Roger Hunt (C), 2 Tony
Shilham, 3 Alan Curry, 4 John Cleveland, 5 George Jelfs. Rung by local band members.
Also 1380 Doubles (Stedman, Grandsire, Plain Bob): 1 Matthew Kemble, 2 Chris
Povey, 3 Tom Sandham, 4 Georgie Roberts, 5 Roger Hunt (C), 6 John Cleveland. The band
wish to associate this quarter peal with the W&DCRA (Southern Branch) with which
they have joint membership.
Great Wolford, Warks, 15 mins of Call Changes including Queens: 1 Shirley
Wrench, 2 Isobel Murphy/Imogen Murphy, 3 Keith Murphy, 4 Caroline Murphy, 5 Steve
Duck, John Wrench. Rung at 6.30pm.
(Please let me have details. I cannot guarantee to see them on Campanophile,
Bellboard, or wherever. I do some, but probably not all. Ed
People and Places
Evesham Bell Tower is scaffolded from top to bottom: 15 different levels.
This is the first time within living memory, as the 1951 restoration had scaffolding
around only the parapets. Its quite a sight: see photo. Ringing is very
unlikely to resume until Feb/March 2016, as the contractors are using lime mortar on
the stonework repairs and this takes longer to cure. In the meantime the band is
ringing at Hampton and elsewhere on Sunday mornings. No work is being done to the
bells. They are lying there stationary without being rung, or struck by the clock and
carillon. (Claire Penny has asked whether she can borrow the 2nd and
3rd while they are hanging there doing nothing, to make Offenham an
8…. Oh, that we could do such things that easily!)
The Stratford Herald carried an article on the bells rehang proposals at
Pillerton Hersey (thank you, Peter Richardson, for sending a cutting of this
through). By coincidence the Committee received at much the same time an application
for a grant towards this scheme. As will be seen from Committee Notes (p.4) a grant
of £500 was offered towards the work. One or two people have enquired whether
this tower is within the Guilds area of operation. It is. If a line is drawn
between Butlers Marston and Tysoe, Pillerton Hersey lies just inside. There
are three bells, which were rung until recently, when their condition deteriorated to
unringability. The proposals include making the bells ringable once more by
strengthening the bellframe and its underframing, providing the bells with new
fittings and adding one bell. Room is available to add another bell at some time in
the future. The bells are regularly chimed for Services by an enthusiastic band of
chimers. They have found a suitable bell to add to those in the tower,
but there are a few legal hoops to jump through before that is available. Good luck
with their intentions! As we have lost a 4 recently (Stanway; now 5), another 4 would
be useful for our famous Minimus competition.
(photo: Charlotte Price)
Adlestrop is progressing. By the time you read this, the process for
obtaining a faculty for the work should be well on its way to being so (the Public
Notice stage has arrived and the DAC are seeking comments from interested bodies).
Work can start in earnest when the all-important legal piece of paper has been
received. Ringing for Easter 2016? The following photo is local resident Mrs Jinny
Holt, one of the donors of the new bells, standing behind the mould which contains
her newly-cast bell (the one on her right, marked
21.50).The other person in the photo is Ralph Price of Adlestrop, who
has, for at least the last 10 years, been raising interest in the village to get the
bells rehung (yes, it sometimes takes this amount of time….). Ralph used to
ring at Adlestrop before they became unringable in about 1975. He knows he will be
expected to take a rope at the eventual dedication service, so some refresher courses
will happen in the near future. He will have to learn not to face the wall while
ringing…. (those who have rung at Adlestrop will understand what that
There is work to be done to Sherbournes bells, which some feel are
harder-going than in the past. Work to the old-style clapper hangings are high on the
list. Other work may be considered.
Sharp-eyed readers of the
peals, quarters and other ringing columns will
have noticed some ringing at a rare tower: Bengeworth. This tower is not just
rare, its super-rare. Ringing stopped in the 1920s. It restarted in 1989 and
continued until 1994, after which the PCC decided not to undertake rehanging work.
The bells then became labelled
unringable again. So what happened to
unringable tower to ring? A series of personnel changes at
the Church occurred recently, which removed some
unringable people. The
new regime was open to the possibility of the bells being rung, as were
some parishioners. An offer to bring Taylors in to inspect and give a quotation for
rehanging work was accepted and Simon Adams from Taylors arrived at 9.30am on
September 5th with the intention of ringing each bell up and hopefully
ringing the lot. Volunteers to assist with this were asked to stand by. Simon was
assisted by Roger Hunt (lots of experience in the bellhanging field) and Chris Povey.
They arrived to find a wedding was booked for 12.30pm. Wouldnt it be nice if
the bells could ring for this? To cut the story short, the bells did indeed ring
before the wedding — all 6, even if one didnt have a slider! This was
probably the first wedding at Bengeworth to have bells for nearly a century (no
weddings were rung for between 1989 and 1994). The bride and groom wouldnt
have realised the significance. The bells arent easy-going and the neighbours
will take some time to get used to this new sound amongst them. Its a case of
watch this space. The PCC will be discussing the bells at their next
meeting, regarding what should happen to them. Lets hope they want bells!
Things may be happening at Blockley. Anne Bourne tells me the PCC has plans
to rehang the ring in the fairly near future and is currently seeking competitive
quotations for the work. This is likely to include a new bellframe to replace the
very poor Bond of Burford girder frame.