Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers

(Affiliated to the Central Council (CCCBR Logo) of Church Bell Ringers)

NEWSLETTER No 147 - January 2016


  1. Officers & Committee members
  2. Editorial
  3. The Chaplain's Thoughts
  4. Committee meeting report
  5. New Faculty rules
  6. Guild AGM and Striking Competitions report
  7. From the Archives
  8. Guild walking tour
  9. From our Roving Correspondent
  10. Welford ringing tour
  11. Not the Four Shires news
  12. Five out of ten
  13. Inter-Shires Competition
  14. CCCBR News
  15. Tales … of Bats and Belfries!
  16. Ding dong merrily in Hook Norton
  17. Mid-Week Tours
  18. Around the towers
  19. El Presidente's X-word
  20. The Guild Xmas Party
  21. Notices and adverts
  22. Diary of Saturday meetings and events
  23. Tag End


21 December 1952 - 19 December 2015

Andrew, centre, with Joanne (next but one to him on his right) on the 2013 Guild Walking Tour

Andrew Roberts of Fairford died on the Saturday before Christmas. He was well-known to many Guild members, as he and his wife Joanne attended many events. He had a delightful personality; always cheerful, fun loving and with a positive outlook on life. I'd heard he was unwell, but it came as great shock to me to learn of his death. Not only was he a lovely person, he was a good ringer, too. He'd been ringing a long time, as told by his Obituary below, which was written by Andrew in October specifically for this Newsletter. This world can ill-afford to lose such valued people. I'm sure we all express our deepest sympathies to Joanne at this very sad time. Ed

Born in 1952, Andrew learnt to ring at the age of 10 at Eastham in Cheshire. Whilst serving as Tower Captain, he rang his first Quarter Peals. Upon entering University, he rang his first Peal with the Manchester University Guild in November 1973.

Moving to Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, he became Tower Captain. It was there that he met and married Joanne, a ringer from Dorset, who had had her first teaching post in the town.

The next move was to Buckingham where his two daughters were born. Finally the family moved to Fairford where he was the Steeple Keeper. He was also responsible for the ringing at Meysey Hampton. He joined the Guild in November 2011.

He took an active part in the activities of the Guild, regular ringing at the Saturday evening practices. Lately he was also able to take part in the monthly tours.

Not a prolific Peal ringer, he enjoyed Quarter Peals and during his later years took up Tower Grabbing.

The funeral of Andrew Roberts will be on Monday 11th January at 1:45pm at Cheltenham Crematorium followed by refreshments at Fairford Community Centre. If you cannot make it to the crematorium please feel free to join us at the Community Centre at 3:15pm.

Andrew requested guests to wear smart casual clothes; he would not have worn a tie, so you don't have to! Please let Wendy Graham know if you plan to attend the refreshments 01285 711765. You can e-mail me regarding numbers for refreshments if that is easier ( There should be open ringing during the refreshments as well.

Joanne Roberts

Officers and Committee Members of the Guild


Mr John Nicholls

Vice Presidents

Mrs Phyllis Brazier
The Rev Dr Peter Newing


Rev Dr Peter Newing

Guild Master

Mr Peter Quinn

Ringing Master

Mr Richard Lewis-Skeath

Hon Secretary

Mr Chris Povey

Hon Treasurer

Mr Michael Dane

Accounts Examiners

Mr Michael Fairfax
Mr Trevor Hobday

Membership Secretary

Mr Peter Kenealy

Programme Secretary

Mr Stuart Cummings

Child Protection Officer

Mr Chris Mew

Health & Safety Officer

Mr Chris Povey

Newsletter Editor

Mr Chris Povey

Guild Peal Recorder

Mrs Sandra Parker

Mid-week Tours General Contact

Mrs Isobel Murphy

CCCBR Representatives

Mr Chris Povey
Mr Andrew Gunn

Elected Committee Members

Mr Peter Kenealy
Mrs Jackie Hands
Mr John Carroll
Mr Stuart Cummings
Mr Michael Haynes
Mr Matthew Kemble


New Year's greetings to all. I hope your ringing in 2016 will be enjoyable and successful.

The Church of England is entering a phase of great change. Some of it will affect us. You will see from 'The Chaplain's Thoughts' there are likely to be significant changes for churches with small congregations, that some may become 'Festival Churches' with far fewer Services. As Peter suggests, the need for bells at such churches will therefore decrease greatly, but he highlights the need to ring the bells when Services are held – and encourages us to ensure this happens. Also, too, where such a church lacks a steeplekeeper, those who are able should arrange with the PCCs to look in occasionally to check over installations, otherwise birds may enter and create a truly filthy mess in a very short time. While there, a check over of ropes and other wearable items is a good plan. The PCCs of Festival Churches are likely to be very short of money, so any voluntary assistance we can give will, I'm sure, be gratefully received. Non-ringers can't do what we can do.

Additionally, the faculty rules will have changed by the time you read this. What you can do to bells without permission and what you can't do without permission. You might not be a steeplekeeper or an occasional maintainer of bells, but you ought to be aware of the new Rules in case someone suggests things are done to your bells that doesn't comply with the new law. Your PCC will be pleased if you know something about it. See New Faculty rules.

John Kinchin's recent experiences in visiting towers to ring on Sundays is significant – and I guess it's happened to most of us: insufficient ringers. It certainly has to me. Mickleton is indeed fortunate to ring as often and as fully as they do. There are other towers around that manage similarly, but very few compared to those that don't. Peter Newing's plea to ringers to visit Festival Churches (if such occurs) occasionally is well made, but we shall need to organise ourselves so that we have a rota to visit other towers on a regular basis to ensure bells are rung at least once a month. Yes, it will mean devoting more time in some cases to the amount we ring now, and also accepting that it will cost something to travel to various places, but I think we should 'give something back' to an activity we enjoy - and costs us little.

Another 20-pager hits the streets, with contributions from all the four Shires this time (and I had to carry bits over to April, too) Wonderful.

Chris Povey, 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.)

The Chaplain's Thoughts

It is said the Church of England now has more Churches facing closure, especially in the countryside in rural Dioceses. The Bishop of Worcester, the Right Reverend John Inge, has recently published a report It recommends that parishes which have fewer than ten regular worshippers might like to become 'Festival Churches', which means remaining open, but only having, say, four Services a year at such times as Christmas, Easter, Harvest Thanksgiving and Remembrance Sunday. They would be open for Christenings, Marriages and Funerals when needed.

What is important for bellringers is that ringers in the area, who are probably already peripatetic, try to make sure that they ring the bells when a Service is held, but this might be difficult at Christmas and Easter when all Churches have Services.

Rev Dr Peter Newing

(The Report to which Peter refers may be viewed in full at:-

We all see small congregations at the Churches at which we ring, and it is easy to conclude the CofE has to introduce changes before much longer. From what I can deduce, the Report is effectively suggesting a half-way house between a church remaining fully open for Services every Sunday and the other end of the scale, the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) approach, where the Churches it owns and cares for are effectively mothballed but are still places of worship. An example of the latter is Saintbury, which is open most days and a small handful of Services are allowed to be held. However, the CCT owns these Churches and they alone give permission for all activities, including ringing, that occurs within them. The Report seems to suggest a similar mothballing regime, except that the PCC retains ownership – but the PCC will also retain the costs of maintenance and the cost of running the Services. Unlike most CCT Churches, weddings, baptisms and funerals may still occur at Festival Churches, and the fees for such will presumably go the PCC – which, again presumably, will still have to pay a quota to the Diocese, but this may be reduced in-line with the reduced use.

Peter's message to we ringers to ensure bells at Festival Churches are rung for at least their Festival Services is well made and sufficiently in advance for us to consider how we should accommodate those Churches in this way if the recommendations in the Report are agreed. We must avoid bells becoming unringable through lack of use. It is also important that ringers help to pay, either in money or in time, for the upkeep of bells, generally but particularly in Festival Churches, where PCC finances may well be stretched and will not run to maintaining bells. Ed)

Committee meeting report

The Committee met on Tuesday 17th November at the Wellesbourne Church Centre. Jackie Hands presented apologies. The main points are:

1) The Minutes of the Aug meeting were agreed.

2) Matters arising were:-

Old Minute Book: Chris and Steve Bowley will meet soon to take it to Gloucester;

Striking Comp certificates: Peter Q presented some suggestions in A4, but to reduce to A5;

Guild badged clothing: the meeting was shown two finished garments. It was agreed to transfer to the new company near Tewkesbury. Prices are good and delivery is simple. Matthew agreed to become the new contact point for garments and an initial advert for the clothing will appear in the Jan Newsletter and on the website;

Inter-Shire Competition: John N said all arrangements were finalised: 2.00pm start at Shipston-on-Stour on 21st November;

Guild Xmas Party: Stuart reported all arrangements finalised for Badsey Church on 12th Dec after the early-start practice. It was agreed to donate £25 to Badsey for the use of the Church.

4) Reports: the following are highlights:-

Guild Master: Peter Q distributed details of the menu for the Annual Dinner. This will appear in the Jan Newsletter and on the website. A Speaker was discussed: Chris to approach a suggested person re this;

Hon Secretary: Chris had earlier circulated details of the quote from EIG regarding the Guild's insurances. It was agreed to renew. The 11 proposals for membership arising from the AGM were reported and their elections were considered as the Rules dictate. They are: Milla Jackson (Welford), Mick Downing (Ditto), Elizabeth Spencer (Pebworth), Pat Bell (Ditto), Jackie Roberts (Moreton-in-Marsh), Chris Roberts (Ditto), Julia Lucas (Alveston), Elizabeth Green (Ditto) John Harbottle (Ditto), John Liggitt (Harvington), Chris Gooding (Willersey). Their elections were confirmed;

Treasurer: Michael D presented his report: no comments and accepted.

Ringing Master: reported that Saturday practices were running well. There had been literally one or two when insufficient attended, but on average about 15. He would liaise with Nick Allsopp regarding his suggestion for a Q peal day or weekend. He reported he had decided to give the Guild's Merit Award to the Pebworth team for their performance in the recent Brazier Trophy competition;

Newsletter Editor: reported that he is well advanced with the Jan Newsletter. It was agreed a note re HM the Queen's 90th birthday in April should go in, plus a note about St George's Day ringing;

CCCBR: Chris said three items of interest had appeared recently: 'Festival Churches' (see Chaplain's Thoughts: Ed), new Faculty Jurisdiction Rules for bell maintenance (see following article: Ed), and CDM Regulations that involve major bell work (see p.10. Ed).

5) Bell Restoration Fund: the application from Sherbourne was considered and it was agreed to offer £150 towards refurbishment of their clappers;

Adlestropupdate: it is hoped the faculty for the work will be issued by Xmas;

PillertonHersey: funds for this rehang and augmentation project are about half-way. The redundant bell from Adlestrop will go to this project to augment to 4.

There were no new applications.

6) Items for discussion:-

Update on recent events:-

Guild Walk: this ran successfully, with a number of ringers attending;

AGM & Striking Comps: agreed as a very good event throughout.

2016 Programme:

Ringing Tour: this will be on 2nd July. Richard said he is happy to arrange and asked whether there would be interest in hiring a coach this time. He would drive it. There was. Richard to investigate and arrange;

MinimusStriking Competition: will be on Saturday 17th September. Location to be decided;

Guild Walk: will be on 24th Sept. Michael Haynes has almost arranged all this. It will be in the Hook Norton area and could include a visit to the brewery;

AGM/Striking Comps: to be on 15th Oct: location to be decided;

Q peal day or weekend: to be decided.

Guild Accounts Examiner: Chris reported that Robert Hall was willing to take over from Mike Fairfax, who announced his resignation at the AGM. Agreed nem con.

7) AOB:

Stuart reported lead had been taken off Cherington Church's roof;

John C asked whether another pig roast event could be staged.

8) Next Meeting: Tues 17th Feb 2016.

Future Committee meeting dates: 17th May, 16th Aug, 15th Nov .

(NB: these notes do not supplant the formally-agreed Minutes.)



A new Church of England law has been passed in Parliament and it will become applicable in all dioceses from 1st January 2016. It is the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. It covers work to all aspects of a Church, and this includes bells. It is an English law and those that undertake work within churches need to know and understand what it says, otherwise penalties can be applied to those who transgress (as has always been the case with the current Ecclesiastical laws).

This article concerns only work to bells. It is aimed at those who undertake such maintenance work.

The current Ecclesiastical laws have always contained clauses that allow bell maintenance to be undertaken without seeking permission from the Diocese. These clauses were usually known as 'de minimis', or more latterly Minor Matters. At present each diocese has its own de minimis clauses, some of which allow more work than others. The basic allowance is something like 'oiling, greasing and replacing stays and ropes' with appropriate tightening where required thrown in. If anything beyond de minimis is required, then permission from the Archdeacon must be sought. Major work requires a faculty. The new law will provide consistency across the dioceses – and the new law kicks in now. It is therefore sensible to be aware of how it will affect bell maintenance from the start.

Now, I understand how some steeplekeepers will feel: “They're 'my' bells and I do everything that's necessary to keep them in good condition, and I shall continue to do that regardless.” Yes, I'm a steeplekeeper, too, but we steeplekeepers look after the bells on behalf of the PCC, ie the legal owners. We can put the PCC in the dock very quickly if we do something we shouldn't, particularly if it has a permanently damaging effect on the bell. Fire and brimstone might then be the least of our worries!

So what can we do without permission and what can we do with permission? The Church Buildings Council has issued some Guidelines and I reproduce these below:-



This guidance is given by the Church Buildings Council to all parochial church councils.

From 1st January 2016, it will be possible to carry out a range of works to bells without a faculty: see List A and List B in Schedule 1 to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. Carrying out works in List A or List B is subject to conditions set out in the list. It is a condition of carrying out any works to bells under List A or List B that regard is had to this guidance.

Additionally, in the case of List B works, the approval of the archdeacon must be obtained before they are carried out and the archdeacon may apply additional conditions.


Use of the phrase fit condition to be rung

In the Schedule to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules the word 'rung' in the phrase 'in a fit condition to be rung' should be given its ordinary English meaning, rather than a technical meaning. It is therefore always to be understood in context. This means that if a bell is set up for full circle ringing, it has to be in a fit condition for that. If a bell is set up for chiming, it is to be in a fit condition to be chimed using the mechanism provided.

Because of the diversity of work to bell installations there will always be anomalies where the works proposed do not fit comfortably into either list. Where this is the case then the parish should contact their Archdeacon who will seek advice from the DAC/Bell Adviser and advise if a faculty is required or not. When work to bells has an impact on a turret clock the DAC Clock Adviser should be consulted.

List A 

The works in List A may be undertaken without faculty and without informing the Archdeacon. They are to allow for the routine maintenance and inspection of bells that are in regular use and where there is a tower captain, or other person, who has sufficient skills and knowledge to ensure that the work is done with due regard to Health and Safety and the protection of historically significant parts of the installation.

List A is not appropriate for work when a bell needs to be lifted from its bearings or for making alterations to an installation.

Regular visual inspection of the belfry and regular removal of any debris that may be carried into it is vital for the safe and long lasting operation of the installation. It is good practice to only visit the tower when there is someone else present in the church and always to notify someone that you are inspecting the bells and when you expect to complete your work.

If necessary training in belfry maintenance is available from the Towers and Belfries Committee of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers ( The bell trade occasionally runs training events on maintenance and will normally be pleased to offer advice in this area. It is appropriate to consider putting a contract in place for maintenance, especially if no one is available locally with the necessary skills and experience.

List B 

Works in List B require the Archdeacon to be consulted and they will take advice from the DAC and its bells adviser before giving notice that the proposals may be undertaken without a faculty, or advising that they require a full faculty application.

As with List A These works should only be carried out by persons with sufficient skills and knowledge to complete the work to a satisfactory standard, with due regard to Health and Safety and the protection of historically significant parts of the installation. This may require a bellhanger to carry out or oversee the works.

Although a series of relatively minor works may be all that is necessary to bring an installation back into use, the provisions of List B are principally for bells in regular use. If an installation is being brought back into use after a period of over 5 years a professional bell hanger must be consulted to see that all aspects of the ring are fit for use.

List B cannot be used for works that require the removal of the bell from the belfry or for works that involve drilling, or other work that would make a lasting change to the bell.

When a wrought iron clapper is replaced with one of a different material, it is good practice to retain the original clapper in the tower.

Church House London
11 September 2015

Works allowable in List A (reproduced directly from the new Rules)

A3. Bells etc.

(1) The inspection and routine maintenance of bells, bell fittings and bell frames.

Specified condition: No tonal alterations are made to any bell. No bell is lifted from its bearings;

(2) The repair and maintenance of clappers, crown staples (including re-bushing) and bell wheels.

Specified condition: Works do not include the re-soling or re-rimming of a bell wheel. No bell is lifted from its bearings;

(3) The repair or replacement of bell stays, pulleys, bell ropes (including in Ellacombe apparatus), rope bosses, sliders or slider gear.

Specified condition: No bell is lifted from its bearings;

(4) The repainting of metal bell frames and metal bell fittings.

Specified condition: No bell is lifted from its bearings

Works allowable in List B (reproduced directly from the new Rules)

B2. Bells etc. 

(1) The lifting of a bell to allow the cleaning of bearings and housings Specified condition: Regard is had to any guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council. The bell is currently in a fit condition to be rung;

(2) The like for like replacement of— 

      (a) bearings and their housings

      (b) gudgeons

      (c) crown staple assembly

      (d) steel or cast iron headstocks

      (e) wheels

Specified condition: Regard is had to any guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council. The bell is currently in a fit condition to be rung. The works do not involve the drilling or turning of the bell;

(3) The replacement of—

      (a) bell bolts

      (b) a wrought iron clapper shaft with a wooden-shafted clapper

Specified condition: Regard is had to any guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council. The bell is currently in a fit condition to be rung;

(4) The treatment of timber bell frames with preservative or insecticide materials;

(5) The re-pinning or re-facing of hammers in Ellacombe apparatus. Specified condition: Regard is had to any guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council. The bells are currently in a fit condition to be rung;

(6) The introduction of peal boards in a location not normally visible to the public.

A copy of the legislation in full may be found on the internet under:-

If you are a steeplekeeper or an occasional maintainer of bells, there should be sufficient above to convince you it does apply to the tower and bells on which you are working, and that it is necessary to comply with the Rules. I hope so, because it is the law as it applies to Church of England churches from 1st January 2016 (ie before you receive this Newsletter).

Chris Povey

Guild AGM and Striking Competitions report

The AGM & Striking Comps at Pebworth came and went and what an excellent day it was! I think it was one of the best we've had for some time. Not only did we have a Brazier Trophy competition, something that's not been run for 2 or 3 years, but we had three teams competing. In addition, the Newing Shield competition attracted four 'real' teams, ie no scratch teams involved.

The Guild Service was also a delight, with a goodly number of members attending. Our thanks go to the Rev Debbie Forman for conducting it; and to her husband for playing the organ. Debbie and Martin Penny are to be thanked, too, for allowing us to use the bells; and how useful it is to have Pebworth bells back in operation again.

Lastly, the AGM itself was held in the Village Hall and it was good to have in excess of 30 members attending. The tea and eats were, as usual, very welcome, and thanks go to Stuart and Michael Cummings for master-minding the domestics, and to Stefanie Whittle and her kitchen staff for undertaking the serving duties. There was one non-member who worked very  hard  from what  I  could  see, and  that was Eliza L-S. Thank you Eliza; your efforts were very much appreciated.

Who won the Newing Shield? Guess. Mickleton of course - and they won it in very fine style, too. They produced a lovely piece of ringing that everybody knew was going to win. Hearty congratulations to them. These longstanding winners of The Newing Shield will go down in the Guild's history as a band genuinely 'of distinction'. The judges said they took the bells at a leisurely pace, no rushing and tearing about,– and quite obviously there's nothing wrong with that.

The line-up of Guild Officers and Committee did not change, although one position other than those did. Mike Fairfax, long-standing supporter of the Guild who has served it in many positions including Guild Master, decided not to continue as one of the Accounts Examiners. Thank you Mike – and rightly an Honorary Life Member of the Guild - for all the work you have done as an Accounts Examiner and all the other time and effort you have given the Guild in other positions over so many years. It is hugely appreciated.

Four Shires Guild of Bellringers
Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Four Shires Guild of Bell Ringers was held on Saturday 17th October 2015 in Pebworth Village Hall following the Striking Competitions and the Guild Service held at St Peter's Church. The President, John Nicholls, was in the Chair.  Members attending numbered 33. Handouts of the agenda, Minutes of 2014 AGM, Guild accounts, Guild Master's report were available (all had appeared in various Guild Newsletters during the year).

1    Apologies:  were received from Rev Peter Newing (Vice-President) Hilary & John Bolton, Jackie Hands, Paul & Sylvia Smith, David Adams, Robert Hall, Matthew Kemble, Claire Penny, Steve Bowley. The Meeting remembered Rob Harvey, who had died in March

2    Minutes of the Last Meeting:  The Chairman asked whether these Minutes may be taken as read, to which agreement was given. No issues of accuracy were raised. The Minutes were accepted as a true record and were signed as such by the Chairman.

3    Matters arising: There was none.

4    Guild Master's Report 2014-2015: appeared in the October Newsletter and was taken as read. Nothing arising: accepted.

5    Treasurer's Report: The Guild accounts to 31st December 2014 appeared in the April 2014 Newsletter and were taken as read. Since appearing in the Newsletter they have been examined and nothing of note was discovered. Michael Dane proposed and Chris Povey seconded that the accounts be adopted. The proposal was carried. The Examiners are to sign the formal copy. Roger Hunt asked how many members the Guild had at present. The Secretary said the recent Newsletter distribution list indicates about 215.

6    Election of Officers:

Guild Master:  Richard Lewis-Skeath proposed and Michael Haynes seconded Peter Quinn, who had indicated his willingness to stand again. There being no other candidates, Peter was re-elected.

Ringing Master: Freda Cleaver proposed and John Carroll seconded Richard Lewis-Skeath as Ringing Master. There being no other candidates, Richard was re-elected.

Secretary: Michael Haynes proposed proposed and John Carroll seconded Chris Povey. There being no other candidates Chris was re-elected.

Treasurer:Anita Harrison proposed and Martin Penny seconded Michael Dane. There being no other candidates, Michael was re-elected.

7    Election of the Committee and Accounts Examiners:  The existing Committee were individually re-elected as follows:

Peter KenealyChristina Ireland  John Nicholls
Jackie HandsJohn NichollsRichard Lewis-Skeath
John CarrollMichael DaneMichael Haynes
Stuart Cummings  Chris Povey Martin Penny
Michael Haynes John CarrollRichard Lewis-Skeath
Matthew KembleRoger HuntGeorgie Roberts

Accounts Examiners: Mike Fairfax had indicated that he did not wish to continue as Accounts Examiner. Nothing to this effect had been received from Trevor Hobday, so it was assumed he was happy to continue. Offers to fill this post were invited, but there were no takers. Martin Penny asked why the Guild has two Examiners, as he examines as a single Examiner accounts with greater turnovers. The Guild has two Examiners, as it is in the Guild Rules. He proposed the Guild consider having just one; seconded by Anita Harrison. On a show of hands, about 15 members were in support. The Committee will consider this as a way forward if no second Examiner can be found. Such will require a formal rule change.

8    Confirmation of New Members:

New members whose elections were ratified by the Committee since the last AGM were:-

Nigel Green                             Quinton

Pam Sutton                             Quinton

Gerald Phillips                          Quinton

Julia Phillips                             Quinton

John Tolley                              Unattached

Len Morley                               Shipston-on-Stour

Pauline Morley                         Shipston-on-Stour

Julie Lawrence                         Shipston-on-Stour

Simon Adams                          Unattached (via peal rung)

Peter Hayward                        Unattached (ditto)

Roderic Bickerton                    Unattached (ditto)

Andrew Dean                          Ebrington

Georgie Roberts                      Evesham

Claire Allen                            Offenham

Colin Allen                              Offenham

Rob Newman                          Unattached

Thelma James                         Unattached

Murry Newbury                        Unattached

Christine Seers                        Unattached

Lucy Gwynne                           Unattached

Fiona Gibson                           Bretforton

Nana Hirayama                       Bretforton

Alan Curry                               Bretforton

Nigel Ladds                              Childswickham

Alison Lees                               Childswickham

Graham Lee                            Childswickham

Philip Milward                           Childswickham

Colin Sagar                              Childswickham

Jackie Saville                            Childswickham

Carol Wade                             Childswickham

Bill Wadsworth                         Childswickham

Martin Pleasance                     Ebrington

Anita Harrison                          Offenham

Proposals and secondings were made for the election of new members to be ratified by the Committee at their next meeting:-

                                                       Prop.                       Sec:

Milla Jackson (Welford)                  Freda Cleaver   John Nicholls

Mick Downing (Ditto)                      Freda Cleaver   John Nicholls

Elizabeth Spencer (Pebworth)        Martin Penny    Georgie Roberts

Pat Bell (Ditto)                               Martin Penny    Georgie Roberts

Chris Roberts (Moreton-in-Marsh)    Richard L-S      John Nicholls

Jackie Roberts (Ditto)                    Richard L-S      John Nicholls

Julia Lucas (Alveston)                    John Carroll      Michael Haynes

Elizabeth Green (Ditto)                  John Carroll      Michael Haynes

John Harbottle (Ditto)                    John Carroll      Michael Haynes

John Liggitt (Harvington)                 Anthony Wheeler  Roger Hunt

Chris Gooding (Willersey)              Chris Povey      Richard L-S

9    Any other Business: 

Sally Austin asked what the position was with the three Oxon towers thought to be charging to ring there. The Sec and Stuart Cummings confirmed it was only Kingham that was charging and that visits to Chipping Norton and Churchill were to be investigated.

Nick Allsopp suggested the Guild has a quarter peal day or weekend and proposed such. Richard Lewis-Skeath seconded. To be arranged by the Ringing Master.

Stuart Cummings thanked all those who brought food for the tea, and thanked Stef Whittle and her team for all the hard work in the kitchen.

10   Results of the Striking Competitions:

The Brazier Trophy competition was held this year, judged by John & Lucy Gwynne. The results were:-

         1st Pebworth                            45 faults

         2nd Willersey                            81 faults

         3rd Offenham                           85 faults

The Newing Shield competition was also judged by John and Lucy Gwynne. The results were as follows:-

1st Mickleton                Method: 20 faults     Rise:8/10   Fall: 8/10

   Awarded the Newing Shield

2nd Moreton.               Method; 31 faults     Rise: 8/10  Fall: 9/10

   Awarded the Spencer Jones Cup

3rd Wellesbourne         Method: 56 faults     Rise: 7/10  Fall: 6/10

4th Alveston                 Method: 70 faults     Rise: 5/10  Fall: 6/10

The Merit Award was awarded to the Pebworth team.

The awards will be presented at the Guild's Annual Dinner in February 2016

The Meeting closed with the Chairman thanking the Church authorities and the judges, and those resigning members for their time in post.

Chris Povey

Hon. Secretary.

These Minutes are subject to final acceptance at the 2016 AGM.


The Winners, Mickleton: John K, Bill, David, Fran, Mike F, Chris

2nd, Moreton: John N, Michael H, Richard, Nick, Jackie, Chris R


3rd, Wellesbourne: Peter, John C, Chris P, Sue, Michael D, Simon.

4th, Alveston: John H, Elizabeth, John C, Julia, Michael H, Michael C

From the Archives

From the Archives (100 years ago)

There was no meeting between that of 27th October 1915 (reproduced in the last Newsletter) and 7th April 1916.

From the Archives 40 years ago

Committee Meeting held on Thursday 3rd February 1976 at The Barley Mow, Chipping Campden.

Members attending: H O Hart (Chairman), A J Brazier, P S Carter, M F Fairfax and G Osborn.

Apologies: C E Evans.

Minutes of Previous Meeting: Minutes of Previous meeting held on 4th February 1975 were read and agreed, and signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising: i) Courses. No further progress had been made; ii) Competition Judges. It had not been possible to arrange for judges from the Oxford Diocesan Guild, Members of the Coventry Diocesan Guild had agreed to assist following an approach by M F Fairfax; iii) Honorary Guild Chaplain. At the Annual General Meeting Revd J D E Smith was elected Vice-President of the Guild and it was agreed that he should be invited to attend future Committee Meetings.

OffenhamRinging: The Secretary reported on correspondence in the 'Evesham Journal' concerning complaints by an Offenham resident, and the action taken was approved.

Accounts: Accounts for the year ending 31st December 1975 were presented by the Treasurer, previously having been audited by the Guild Master. These were approved and recommended for acceptance by the Annual General Meeting in October.

Bank, etc, Accounts:It was agreed to arrange the necessary banking accounts, withdrawal signatures to be two from H O Hart, M F Fairfax and A J Brazier.

Membership: The Secretary reported members at 31st December as follows:fifty three Residential Members, seven Extra Terrestrial follows: Members – 53, Extra Terrestrial Members – 7, Honorary Members - 13.

Dinner Arrangements: These were discussed generally and agreed. Revd L Powell, Vicar of Quinton, to be invited to present the Silver Cup and Competition Certificates.

Outing: The Secretary suggested an outing on Saturday 8th May with tower bell ringing during the morning and afternoon, and attending the Handbell Rally at Leicester in the evening. It was agreed to obtain the views of members on this matter.

Ringing Competitions 1976: It was agreed to leave the arrangements with Michael Fairfax. If possible, towers to be those used in the 1926 competitions and judges from the Oxford Guild.

Badges: It was agreed to obtain the views of members to obtaining a suitable badge at a cost of £1-00 each. Should these prove favourable, designs could then be presented at an Annual General Meeting.

Next Committee Meeting: To be arranged for March.

Any Other Business: Other matters were generally discussed and the meeting closed with thanks to Mr & Mrs Hart for their hospitality


Henry O. Hart

Guild walking tour

The Four Shires walking and ringing tour, organised by Michael Haynes (to whom thanks. Ed) took place on Saturday 26th September 2015. We met at Whichford (8,13cwt), where we rang from 10.00-10.45am. At this point there were eight ringers: Michael Haynes, Peter Kenealy, Stuart and Michael Cummings, Alison Merryweather-Clark, Sue Bacon, John Carroll with Molly the dog, and Jane Gilbert. The following methods were rung: Winchendon Place Bob Doubles, Cambridge Surprise Minor and Grandsire Triples.

Four of us then walked from Whichford to Cherington Church (6,6cwt), where Morris's 240 of Grandsire Doubles was conducted by John Carroll. We rang some plain courses of Stedman Doubles and then St Martin's and St Simon's Spliced Doubles, again conducted by John Carroll.

After that four of us went to the Cherington Arms pub for a well-earned lunch; and Molly the dog came, too.

After lunch, four of us, plus Molly, walked from Cherington to Great Wolford Church (6,12cwt) where the others, plus the Murphy family, were waiting. The extra ringers allowed us to ring a variety of methods and we managed plain hunt doubles, Kent Treble Bob Minor, Cambridge Surprise Minor, St Clement's College Bob Minor, Stedman Doubles, and St Simon's and St Martin's Spliced Doubles.

The ringers at Great Wolford

After photos of the group were taken here, four of us walked back to Whichford, where our cars were waiting. A very enjoyable day was had by all.

Michael Haynes

Advance Notice: Michael is already arranging the walking/ringing tour for next year! It will take place on Saturday 24th September. It is to involve walking from Wychford to Wiggington (Michael has already booked lunch at the White Swan Inn) to Swerford and back to Wychford and may include a visit to the Hook Norton brewery at 1.30pm (for which there will be a charge of £12.50). Ed

From our Roving Correspondent

The heading above was that used by my illustrious predecessor, Pam Copson, in 1994, for an article I wrote for the Newsletter about a visit to the French bellfoundry of Cornille-Harvard situated at Villedieu-les-Poêles on the Cherbourg peninsular. There are two bellfoundries in France and a tour in our campervan last September around the southern and eastern parts of France allowed me to visit the other one, Fonderie-Paccard, which is situated a few kilometres south of Annecy. A foundry was established in 1796 by Antoine Paccard, and the business has continued through seven Paccard generations to the present.

We entered the entrance to the museum and were greeted by a very pretty lady, who spoke impeccable English. She told us a tour had just started and that we could join it if we wished, but it was in French if we didn't mind. OK, we'd pick up the odd word — possibly. I did hear 'Anglais' in the commentary and was told later that this was a mention of John of Arc, who was burned at the stake by the English — oh, Les Anglais! After this we entered a small cinema for a film about the casting in 1998 by Paccard of The World Peace Bell, 33 tons in weight (that's not a misprint: 33 tons) for a location in Kentucky, USA. Again, this was in French, but the visuals were excellent and made up for a lot. Seeing the 'beginning to end' of such a large bell was fascinating. It is a swinging bell. Helen and I had been promised another film, in English this time, about the casting in 1986 of three large bells for Toronto. These were 19 tons, 10 tons and 6 tons. Big ones by any stretch of the imagination, but small compared with the 33 tonner. Again, this was an excellent film, and in some ways it was more interesting, because there was a greater concentration on the technical side of their bellfounding.

After this we were given a tour of the foundry itself and our guide was the pretty lady from the museum. The lady was Madame Anne Paccard, wife of the technical director, Phillipe. Fonderie-Paccard use the 'lost wax' technique (as many continental founders do), whereby a false bell is either made in wax or coated with wax, to which all the external decoration (also in wax) is applied. The cope or the mould for the external surface is then constructed, after which the whole assembly is heated up to melt the wax. This leaves the cope with a beautifully smooth surface, which in turn gives lost wax bells their trade-mark very shiny finish. In most cases they are left golden; not blacked-up as here. English founders make their moulds differently, which doesn't involve wax coatings. There were various newly-cast bells in the foundry awaiting delivery, including a 4 ton bell; and all were glistening in polished bellmetal (see photo). Very pretty.


The museum has a small electrically-struck mini-carillon in the foyer. Anne Paccard is an accomplished singer. She demonstrated the quality of this carillon most effectively at the end of the tour by using it as an accompaniment. She sang various pieces for us, one of which was Edelweiss, sung in English. Whether this was for Helen and me I don't know, but the French people would know the tune if not the words. Anne Paccard has a superb voice; and the carillon was excellent.

Afterwards Anne introduced me to her husband Phillipe, who also speaks impeccable English. Paccard produce mainly swinging/stationary bells and carillons, and have a number of major carillons to their credit worldwide. They and the English bellfounders are unlikely to compete unless large carillon work is proposed. Some Paccard bells have reached these shores, but only as a chime. St John the Evangelist's Church, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, has four bells by G & F Paccard, dated 1891. There's probably an interesting story about how these bells came to be in the UK, but I don't know it.

Anne and Phillipe Paccard in the foyer of the Museum

Thank you Anne and Phillipe for your hospitality. It was good to meet you; and we had an excellent time.

Chris Povey

PS: Anne told Helen the French equivalent of 'a pan' (as in, That bell sounds like a pan) is 'une casserole'!!

Welford-on-Avon ringing tour, Herefordshire

Fourteen ringers gathered at Colwall, Herefordshire, on Saturday 5 September for the start of the 2015 Welford tour, arranged by Freda Cleaver, Rosemary Cole and Ian Sturgess.

St James Gt Church, (10 bells 10-1-5) stands about a mile outside the village amidst pretty country lanes and just to the west of the majestic Malvern Hills. When I first visited this tower nearly forty years ago on the way back from the Hereford ringing course, I remember a not terribly pleasing ring of eight. Wow, how times have changed! The bells I remember were thoroughly restored and augmented to ten in 1998 by Eayre & Smith and are now very pleasing to ring. Inside the ringing room, the visitor can still see remnants of the Seage's silent ringing apparatus, invented by Epaphrus Seage, an Exeter printing engineer in about 1875, which allowed ringers in years gone by to practise their craft without disturbing the neighbours.

St John the Baptist, Eastnor (6 bells 9cwt) stands adjacent to a large green in the centre of the village, close by Eastnor Castle and home of James Hervey-Bathurst. The building is a mock 19thC or revival castle designed by Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum.

The church is very old and contains some interesting features, including the Mortuary chapel of the Somers Cox family and was designed by George Gilbert Scott. The bells are rung from a ground floor ringing chamber and they go well and sound okay. The tenor bell is an early example of a Rudhall bell and dates back to 1689. (Very early: the earliest surviving, by Abraham Rudhall I, is dated 1684. It's the 4th of the 6 at Oddington. Ed)

Lunch followed at The Wellington, only a few minutes' drive from Eastnor church, on the main road between Malvern and Ledbury.  The food and beer were excellent and a much welcomed opportunity to re-charge the battery in convivial company and surroundings.

The first tower after lunch was All Saints, Coddington (6 bells 10-1-20), where the church is 13thC although the tower was rebuilt in 1865. The pleasing exterior of the church, with extensive views into Herefordshire made a lovely start to our afternoon's activities. The ringing room is bright and airy and the Taylor bells, cast in 1866, go very well. Fundraising for a complete refurbishment commenced 2001, which included a new steel frame and retuning, the work being eventually undertaken by Haywood Mills Associates and completed by September 2005 They are now an easy going six and allowed ringers of all abilities to enjoy some really good ringing.

The final tower of the day was St James Church, Cradley, (8 bells 13-2-20), situated in a lovely village setting just a few miles west of the Malvern Hills. The earliest surviving parts of the current church are Norman, and it has a massive stone tower. The interior is curious because of its timber framing, but there is no explanation given as to why such an attractive interior is encased within a stone outer casing

The bells, originally a six, including bells cast by Abraham Rudhall II and John Taylor and Co, were increased to eight with the addition of two new trebles in 2000. They all go well and sound very pleasing within the tower.

Cradley proved to be most suitable tower to round off a pleasant days ringing in Herefordshire and our sincere thanks go to Freda, Rosemary and Ian for all their practical arrangements.

Charles Wilson

Not the Four Shires news

Three intrepid Four Shires members crossed the border on 12th September to Shipton under Wychwood, on the other side.

The purpose of this arduous journey? To help the locals celebrate the 900th anniversary of St Mary's Church by ringing a peal. This was the first peal on the bells for some 25 years to the exact day of the last one (actually 26 years: last one on 12/9/1989. Ed), and with the Bishop visiting the following day. There were also a number of notable firsts among the ringers present. No pressure there then!

We started well, settled the nerves, then the conductor called stand at about 1/2 hour in, a missed call. Off we went again with some excellent ringing, until the last quarter where tiredness took its toll. We survived a couple of near fire-outs by the skin of our teeth and the skill of the conductor, and finally came round in a leisurely 3 hours 17 mins.

Keith Murphy deserves a special mention for his admirable tenor ringing (not the easiest of bells) for nearly 4 hours (he was later to comment it was the hardest peal he had ever rung), as well as the conductor who guided us to a successful conclusion.

We were greeted in the church by the rest of Shipton ringing community with most welcome refreshments and the odd beer to celebrate.

St Mary's, Shipton under Wychwood, Oxon
12th September 2015, in 3hrs 17 mins
5040 Grandsire Triples (Parker's)

  1	Jenny J Lewis		(Shipton u Wychwood)
* 2 Chris Seers (Shipton u Wychwood)
* 3 Sally Austin (Hook Norton)
4 Daniel Glyde (Fulbrook)
5 Nigel Harrison (Burford)
6 Keith Mitchell (Chadlington)
7 Ken Davenport (c) (Wokingham)
* 8 Keith Murphy (Great Wolford)

1st on 8: 1, 2 & 4,
1st in method: 2 & 4
* Intrepid 'Four Shires Explorers'

Chris Seers

(3-17 for a 15cwt ring. Poor Keith! I've included this peal report — rung for the ODG - because it was clearly an 'adventure' with which Guild members were involved on such a notable occasion, and that it was rung by those who are rarely seen in the peal columns. Also, of course, it was written by Chris Seers, whose writings I enjoy. Congrats to all! Ed)

Five out of ten

Many ringers (if not all?) will probably have visited St Mary & All Saints' Church when visiting that lovely town of Chesterfield — best known for its crooked spire. Here was yet another opportunity for your scribe to take steps (literally — there is a 45-step spiral stone staircase to the ringing chamber) to ring on their ten bells (tenor 25cwt). This would be another 'First Tower' visit for me.

An exploratory visit to the church on Saturday afternoon was of little help. The two 'welcoming' ladies (also manning the bookstall) confirmed they had bells. That was about it! Fortunately a gentleman standing nearby overheard the conversation, and advised that the Tower Captain was seriously ill in hospital. He suggested I arrive around 9.50am because they normally started 10-ish.

Next morning I did as had been advised and on stepping into the church I was welcomed by the Sidesman, busily preparing hymn books, etc, for handout. He was a ringer, too, and appeared to be jack-of-all-trades at the church. He directed me to an outer door, from whence I climbed those 45 steps into a large, well maintained ringing chamber. I was greeted by the deputy captain, who quite frankly appeared to do all the necessary work involved, for example, he was going to fit the muffles in a fortnight's time for their Remembrance Sunday Service. We exchanged the usual campanological pleasantries while awaiting (hopefully) more ringers.

The Sidesman/ringer then arrived (on time) and a fourth gentleman stumbled into the chamber, out of breath, at 10.05am. The bells needed rising — not a particularly good noise on a Sunday morning! Another ringer arrived some five minutes later (despite, he said, having had an extra hour in bed). A fifth bell was rung up individually. Thereafter we rang elementary call-changes and plain hunting — on bells that are in continuous demand from visiting bands.

So here is yet another example of present day lack of ringers — a countrywide problem it appears. We really are fortunate at St Lawrence, Mickleton, to ring regularly all our eight bells for Sunday Services and special occasions — thanks to only three resident ringers and those joining us from nearby villages.

Despite the very basic ringing, like that at the St David's Cathedral I wrote about recently, it was a very interesting and enjoyable occasion.

John Kinchin.

Inter-Shires Competition

The Inter-Shire Trophy Competition took place on Saturday 21st November at St Edmund's Church, Shipston-on-Stour. This competition, which alternates with the Minimus (Mini-Mouse) Striking Competition, is the one in which the Guild plays host to the striking competition winners of Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. It may be unique in running such an event.

Firstly, I have to apologise for a brief coverage of the event and the consequent lack of photos of the teams. I had intended doing all this, but immediately after the judging finished (I was the Worcestershire-nominated judge), I received a text saying a member of my family had been taken to hospital and I had to rush away.

Teams this year came from Lillington (for Warwickshire), Faringdon (for Oxfordshire), Mickleton (for Gloucestershire) and Pershore (for Worcestershire). The teams assembled in the rear of the Church, which houses a very nice reception area with kitchen and toilets, ready for the draw. Len Morley masterminded the laying-out of the food that Guild members had brought — there was lots (to Bill's joy) - and the tea/coffee making. The judges, four in number, were bundled off into the North Porch prior to the draw at 2.00pm. Saturday was bright but cold, so, having been told in the morning the porch was to be where we would sit largely motionless, I wrapped up in the expectation we would have to fight a draught from a North wind through the door. As it happens, the porch wasn't such a bad place in which to be cocooned. The glass in the doors afforded ample light, and the doors themselves fitted well; draughts were insignificant. I've judged in much worse!

The Competition itself is on Guild Competition lines, that is, rising and falling is included. While it might be usual to us, it is very unusual elsewhere (unless you are in Devon or Cornwall!). These two aspects were probably the biggest challenge to the teams — Mickleton excluded of course.

When judging, you have the opportunity to concentrate entirely on listening to the bells. Yes, of course we listen when we are ringing, but we have to control the bells at the same time — and the bells sound different in the Ringing Chamber to that heard outside: perhaps louder or softer; perhaps harder to hear one or more bells among the others. The porch proved to be a good place to hear the bells. They all sounded even and at just the right volume.

All the teams performed without any nasties, but that was expected; they were 'la crème de la crème' of each county! The results were quickly computed by the judges and without major disagreement were graded. They were announced by Bill Nash and were as follows:-

1st Lillington (for Warwicksire) and were awarded the Inter-Shire Trophy.

2nd Mickleton (for Gloucestershire)

It is the Guild's custom in this event to announce only those teams in first and second place. Congratulations to the Lillington team; and to Mickleton, too, who I understand were surprised and delighted to have reached second place — but then we know they are good!

The Guild's thanks go to all the teams taking part — we hope you enjoyed it — and to the Vicar of St Edmund's, the Rev Andrew Coleby, for permission to use the Church and the bells.

Lastly, the Guild is very much on show to our visitors at this event and we are indebted to Len for managing so well the essentials of hosting, the food and the drinks, but of course this extends to all who provided food.

Chris Povey.

Central Council News

The ringers' survey I mentioned in the last Newsletter has temporarily stalled. I guess it will restart early this year. The results should be interesting.

The Towers & Belfries Committee met at Evesham on October 31st. Although the business was fairly routine this time (except for advances in measuring the dynamic movement of towers while the bells are ringing, but I won't describe those details here other than to say this is being steered by a very clever person who works for the Building Research Establishment). The new diocesan steeplekeeping proposals, those not requiring permission and those requiring permission, were discussed. See New Faculty rules.

One item was of particular importance: the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015. 'What's that?' you might say. It's more usually known as the CDM Regs. It's part of Health & Safety legislation and controls responsibility for undertaking all types of construction work in this country. It's been around a long time, initially in 1994, and was updated in 2007 and then this year. The first edition of CDM excluded certain aspects of work, including bellhanging work, but the 2007 edition did include it — but it's fair to say the two major parties involved, PCCs as the Client and bellhanging companies as the Contractor preferred to 'look the other way' with any of it. The present edition of CDM, as from April of last year, is now very clear that work undertaken by PCCs — including bellhanging work — is included. Will this legislation involve the average ringer? The answer has to be 'no — but read the last paragraph of this article. If your church is considering professional work to the bells and you are involved with progressing such work, you need to be aware that CDM will apply (not could; it will). Don't let the PCC tell you differently. If they don't comply, the responsibilities for the various actions they need to undertake will automatically fall onto them, whether they like it or not. Also, the PCC should expect various items of paperwork from their chosen bellhanging contractor. Is this a new thing for PCCs? Yes and no. They are likely to have met CDM when undertaking other aspects of professional work around the Church. However, they are very likely to have been steered by the Church Architect in such cases. As it is rare for the Church Architect to be involved with bell work, PCCs have probably been encouraged to think such work does not apply. It does now. While CDM includes 'Regulations' in its title, please be aware it is a law and contravention can involve penalties.

The Towers & Belfries Committee will be writing an Information Leaflet outlining briefly the requirements of CDM, and how it affects PCCs and contractors. This leaflet will form part of the collection distributed by the CC's Tower Stewardship Committee.

(Although you as a ringer might never come into contact with CDM involving bell work, you may encounter it as a private person. If you require professional building work to be undertaken on your house, this work is also subject to CDM and you as the owner will need to comply with CDM. Far-fetched? Read the HSE Guides to find out. Be aware; be very aware! Ignorance of the law is no defence.)

Chris Povey (one of the Guild's CC Rep — and a member of the CC's Towers & Belfries Committee)

Tales from a tower near you (6): … of Bats and Belfries!

Arthur 'Bill' Berry at the drilling table. (Note the plastic sheeting!)

Following our visit to Dorsington (see last newsletter) just a mile or so away as the crow flies is the church of St James the Great at Long Marston with a large bell cast by John Rudhall in 1829.

Refurbishment work here in 2012 required the bell to have its cast-in staple drilled out in the tower as the church organ pipes prevented the bell ( 32½" diameter) from being removed out of the vestry [my photograph shows the bell underneath the drilling table receiving attention].

It wasn't a comfortable environment to work in, with access via a cupboard with hardly room to clamber onto the ladder! The wooden floor above is split into two levels a few inches apart (enough to trip against frequently...) but the smell was the worst element to cope with as bats roosted there. All the walls were lined with plastic sheeting to try and keep the bat droppings from falling inside the tower and the plastic literally ran with bat urine.

Fortunately the work proceeded quickly other than the realisation when delivering the drilling table (33"x36") that it too wouldn't get through the vestry doorway (I'll leave it to you to decide what happened then.......).

There is also a small sanctus bell.

Roger de Flaedenburg

Ding dong merrily in Hook Norton

Whoever said that the best ideas are always born in the pub after ringing (and also possibly after a few beverages have been consumed) was absolutely correct — at least in Hook Norton! We, of course, have an unfair advantage in that our village is home to a fantastic brewery and we were in the Brewery Tap at the time.

In mid-September, we were discussing our entry to the second Bi-annual Christmas Tree Festival to be held in the church. The main issue being that our past entry's creativity set a precedent for future years and had also exhausted most of our creative juices (not to mention nearly setting light to the District Nurse with an angle grinder, but that's another story!)

So, having decided that we should enter again this year, we needed the “new idea”. This came in the form of an old bell wheel in Mick's garage and some plastic sheeting that had been used for signage and needed to be recycled. We just needed to find some greenery - kindly supplied by Tim. Thus “Ding Dong Merrily on high” was given new meaning.

The festival itself was a great success — featuring 30 trees made by groups in the village. Creativity was at an all-time high and the event raised over £1000. Most importantly we had great fun conceiving and creating it!

Selina Harris

(This article also appeared in the Christmas edition of The Ringing World)

Mid-Week Tours


October, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, saw us in Northamptonshire, a surprisingly rural county, known as The Cotswolds without the tourists (and prices!).

First up Wilby a lovely 8cwt, anti-clockwise 6: ground floor, easy and light, albeit with a slightly shouty tenor.  I just love it when history comes to life, and in Wilby Jenny Ball and Brenda Dixon are immortalised on one of the peal boards.  An interesting take on bellringers rules hangs in the ringing chamber, as well as a wall sign for 'anti-climb' paint should anyone fancy trying!

On to Higham Ferrers, 10, 22cwt.  At 17, numbers were a bit depleted as we missed the Coventry contingent and a few others limiting what we rang here. Nonetheless we executed some very respectable Grandsire Caters.  The ringing chamber was an open gallery, with a beautiful ornate church and lovely carved screens. These are a recently augmented 10 by Taylors, and were sublime. Worth the trip alone, just to ring on these - if only all bells were like this! 

A watchful owl on the windowsill had been relocated from the church roof as he failed to scare away the pigeons.  Obviously doing good in the ringing chamber as no pigeons there. More history with Alan Marks and Brenda on another peal board, and some original wooden "Sally Jugs" hang on the wall, which used to whistle when the ropes passed through.

A good value lunch at The Olde Victoria (no Cotswold prices here) conveniently near the church in Burton Latimer, where we were greeted by a splash of colour with winter pansies and fushias, and thoughtful heating in the ringing chamber, another balcony ring.  Some respectable Cambridge & Plain Bob was achieved at this, sharp, crisp and easy to ring 10cwt 8.

Finally on to Barton Seagrave, and here my notes run out as we were greeted by an open spiral staircase in the corner, which filled me with dread.  It was modern and looked solid and I was assured quite safe, but fear defies logic. The open framework leads to open views across the height of the church as you climb. I was persuaded to go up, and then spent the next half-an-hour wondering how I was going to get down.  I recall this is an anti-clockwise 8, which challenged our usual habitual ringing.  Just for the record I did get down the stairs, with some encouragement and at least part of the way sat down, which seemed much more stable to me!

Thanks to Jenny Ball for some exceptional bells, and an introduction to rural Northamptonshire on a lovely autumn day.

Chris Seers


It's little known that on November 19, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address and football player Pelé scored his 1,000th goal. Surely history does not have too many more interesting facts than these? Our goals on this particular day were to ring the bells at four splendid Northamptonshire addresses.

Crick, to use words stolen from its online guide, is a village set in the pleasantly rolling countryside of Northamptonshire and yet close to good communications to major UK cities. We can vouch for the good communications as we were not unduly delayed in getting to our destination despite the November rain. After taking a peak at a delightfully skewed window in the church, we stomped up the cut-away safety steps using the correct leg for each step and through the trapdoor into the ringing chamber.

During ringing, we did have some tower wobble which may or may not explain, or have some connection with the skewed window! The back bells in particular were to some degree odd struck but despite this, we managed some creditable Grandsire and Stedman Triples, a half course of Yorkshire and some call changes.

Moving on to Braunston we found a church that was undergoing some urgent restoration work. According to the local paper, a piece of masonry crashed to the floor at the end of a Sunday service, just as the vicar was telling worshippers to 'Go in Peace'. The same paper described the church as 'The Cathedral of the Canals', an epithet that I suspect would be claimed by a number of churches across the country. This part of the world can certainly lay claim to be the 'safety stairway capital'. These unusual steps appeared again in Braunston.


The bells were pretty good, none of the odd striking found at Crick, but they were very quiet. Quiet bells need quiet ringers so there were plenty of ssssshhhhh signs to be seen (but not heard). Heard outside by the general population of Braunston was Bob Minor, St. Clements, Cambridge, Beverley, Stedman and Winchendon Place.

I've been to Flore before. This was our third address and it's got a great village sign in concrete that's only one letter away from being a well-known margarine. I also can't help feeling the font is similar, too. See what I mean!

After we fought our way through what seemed like thousands of parents in 4x4's picking up at the nearby school, we rung Norwich, Bob Minor, London, Kent, Stedman, Cambridge and St. Clements. Never were so many entertained by so few, although we did number just over twenty for most of the towers.

Our final address of the day was Weedon Bec. This is very close to Flore and the parish church of SS Peter and Paul is at the south of the village hemmed in and overlooked from both the Grand Union Canal embankment and the West Coast Main Line viaduct. According to Pevsner, it has a Norman west tower. The village is generally known as Weedon and has pretty much ditched the Bec (sorry!).

By the end of the day ringers tend to get tired so a ground floor ring without any tricky safety steps was most welcome. Methods were half courses of Cambridge and Yorkshire, Plain Bob Major, Stedman and Plain Bob Triples.

Our thanks go to Jill and Mike Harvey from Weedon for arranging an event that sits well with all the other events that have happened throughout history on November 19.

Keith Murphy


Travelling down the Fosse Way in the morning, I wondered what the support for this meeting would be like: the meeting in December is always a week earlier — would people remember- and how many people would be caught up in Christmas preparations. I needn't have worried — one of the best turn outs of the Year, with several newer faces intermingled with the regulars!

The 8 bells at our first tower of Blockley could be described as 'character bells', each with its own idiosyncrasy, and a peal that went at its own pace. Even the most experienced took time to settle in but the bands managed to ring Grandsire, Plain Bob, Stedman and Oxford Bob Triples. Triples fared better than Major, and the bells definitely had the upper hand when Lincolnshire was attempted. (Blockley PCC are very actively considering a full rehang for these bells: new bellframe and new fittings throughout. The rehang may occur later this year or early 2017. I had not realised how hard they've become to ring and how necessary a rehang is until I rang there recently. Ed)

On next to Moreton-in-Marsh (8). We were a little worried as to whether we would all fit in the belfry but with a lot of juggling we were all accommodated. These are a peal that definitely needs to be 'pushed' along to get the best out of them, and some good ringing resulted here with courses of Plain Bob, Stedman, Grandsire and the elusive Lincolnshire which had come to grief at Blockley. The last ring here was a very creditable course of Double Norwich.

A last-minute change of venue for lunch saw the ringers at 'The Fox' at Broadwell: highly recommended for its speed of service, its efficiency and the quality of the food. A really good choice.

Lunch over and on to Great Wolford, an easy-going 6, where we were able to ring some good changes of Plain Bob, London, Norwich, Stedman and St Clements. What fascinated us all here was the 'crib-board' used by locals for their call-changes, the unique rope guides and the completely plain walls devoid of any boards, notices, pictures etc which we are used to seeing in belfries.

What thoughtful people the organisers were by choosing a ground floor ring as the last tower of the day — Todenham (6). Despite the seemingly long draught, the bells were easily managed and a pleasure to ring. Plain Bob, London, Wells, and St Clements were the chosen methods.

As always people tend to drift home at the last tower but not before Isobel thoughtfully treated us all to Festive Mince pies! John thanked Isobel for organising such a successful day (no doubt ably helped by Keith) and for all her efforts throughout the year to coordinate the meetings and look after the finances.

There are still outings to be organised for 2016 and no doubt Isobel would be delighted to hear from Volunteers!

Joy Pluckrose

Around the Towers

Peals, Quarter Peals and other special ringing:-

Wellesbourne, Warks, 5 Oct, 1264 Spliced Major (Plain, Little): 1 Chris Mew (C), 2 Simon Oram, 3 John Carroll, 4 Karen French, 5 Robert Reeves, 6 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 7 John Nicholls, 8 Peter Quinn. Rung to mark the 50th birthday of Noel French.

Salford Priors, Warks,12 Oct, 1260 Erin Triples: 1 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 2 Mark Sayers, 3 Julie Doyle, 4 John Nicholls, 5 Simon Oram, 6 Michael Dane, 7 Chris Mew (C), 8 Peter Quinn. 1st in principle - 3, 5.

Offenham, Worcs, 18 Oct, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Claire Allen, 2 Matthew Kemble, 3 Chris Povey, 4 Georgie Roberts, 5 Martin Penny (C), 6 Roland Merrick. To mark the anniversary of the rebuilding of Offenham Church by Fredrick Preedy. 1st Q on the Treble: 1. (Congratulations Claire!)

Stratford-on-Avon, Warks, 25 Oct, 1280 Plain Bob Major: 1 Mark Sayers, 2 Will Jones, 3 Rosemary Hemmings, 4 Roger Hunt, 5 Matthew Kemble, 6 Michael Haynes, 7 Chris Povey, 8 Richard Lewis-Skeath (C). Rung to mark the 600th anniversary this day of the Battle of Agincourt. Also 25th wedding anniversary compliments to Charles and Ann Wilson.

Bretforton, Worcs, 26 Oct, 1344 Superlative S Major: 1 Simon Oram, 2 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 3 Peter Quinn, 4 John Gwynne, 5 Steve Bowley, 6 Nick Allsopp, 7 John Nicholls, 8 Roger Hunt (C). A treat for the conductor on his birthday at his home tower.


Bretforton, Worcs, 7 Nov, 50 mins Grandsire Triples: 1 Chris Povey,2 Jane Gilbert, 3 Lucy Gwynne, 4 Steve Bowley, 5 John Gwynne, 6 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 7 Roger Hunt (C), 8 Nick Allsopp. Half-muffled in remembrance of the fallen of two World Wars and rung prior to a Bretforton Silver Band concert in the church in aid of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Bretforton, Worcs, 11 Nov, 15 mins of Call Changes: 1 Roger Hunt (C), 2 Rob Davis, 3 Tony Shilham, 4 Alan Curry, 5 John Cleveland, 6 George Jelfs. Half-muffled for Armistice Day Assembly at Bretforton First School.

Offenham, Worcs, 11 Nov, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Claire Allen, 2 Claire Penny, 3 Roland Merrick, 4 Georgie Roberts, 5 Matthew Kemble (C), 6 Tom Sandham. Rung half muffled at sunset for Armistice Day

Longborough, Glos, 13 Nov, 1260 Doubles (Stedman, Grandsire, Rev Canterbury, Plain, St Simon's St Martin's) 1 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 2 Roger Hunt, 3 Michael Probert, 4 Len Morley, 5 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke (C), 6 Stef Whittle. Rung wishing Anne Skeath, mother of 1, a very happy birthday. An S@S quarter peal.

Wellesbourne, Warks, 23 Nov, 1280 Yorkshire S Major: 1 Chris Mew (C), 2 James Ingham, 3 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 4 Karen M French, 5 D Kempton, 6 Michael Dane, 7 John Nicholls, 8 Mark Sayers. Triple engagement compliments to Richard Lewis-Skeath to Stefanie Whittle; Sophia Lewis-Skeath to Ian Stonehouse and George Kempton to Lauren Edmunds. (Should have rung Triples… Ed)

Pebworth, Worcs, 29 Nov, 1260 Minor (720 Cambridge S, 540 Plain Bob): 1 Roland Merrick, 2 Freda Cleaver, 3 Matthew Kemble, 4 Chris Povey, 5 Roger Hunt, 6 Martin Penny (C). For Evensong.

Offenham, Worcs, 5 Dec, 1260 Doubles (Plain Bob, April Day, Grandsire): 1 Bob Topp, 2 Freda Cleaver, 3 Chris Povey, 4 Claire Penny, 5 Martin Penny (C), 6 Roland Merrick. For the Christmas Tree Festival.

Pebworth, Worcs, 24 Dec, 1260 Doubles (Grandsire, Plain): 1 Claire Penny, 2 Georgie Roberts, 3 Chris Povey, 4 Roland Merrick, 5 Martin Penny (C), 6 Claire Allen. For the Crib Service.

Broadwell, Glos, 5 Dec, 1260 Doubles (Stedman, Plain Bob, Grandsire): 1 Rob Newman, 2 Steve Bowley, 3 Sue Bacon, 4 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 5 Roger Hunt (C), 6 Michael Chester. Wishing a speedy recovery to Christina Ireland of Evesham following a replacement hip procedure.

Wellesbourne, Warks, 14 Dec, 1280 Spliced S Major (Cambridge, Superlative, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire): 1 Michael Dane, 2 Peter Quinn, 3 F Keddie, 4 Mark Sayers, 5 D Kempton, 6 Chris Mew (C), 7 John Nicholls, 8 Richard Lewis-Skeath.

Little Comberton, Worcs, 19 Dec, 1260 Doubles (2m):1 Stef Whittle, 2 Steve Bowley, 3 Alison R Williams, 4 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 5 Roger Hunt (C), 6 Roy Williams. A 75th birthday compliment to Dave 'Sauce' Saunders, Tower Captain

Great Comberton, Worcs, 19 Dec, 1260 Doubles (7m):1 Roger Hunt, 2 Steve Bowley, 3 Roy Williams (C), 4 Alison R Williams, 5 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 6 Stef Whittle. In thanksgiving for the life of Freda P Willgress, Alison's mother, who died 15 December, aged 78.

Cropthorne, Worcs,19 Dec, 1260 Doubles (11m/v): 1 Steve Bowley, 2 Roy Williams (C), 3 Alison R Williams, 4 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 5 Roger H Hunt, 6 Stef Whittle. A wedding compliment to Emily Jones & Andrew Groom following their marriage at Fladbury earlier this afternoon. The band wish to associate Thelma James & Rob Newman with this quarter.

Saintbury, Glos, 31st Dec, 1260 Plain Bob Triples: 1 Sarah Chadburn, 2 Chris Povey, 3 Jenny Chadburn, 4 Claire Penny, 5 Martin Penny, 6 Richard Lewis-Skeath, Robert Chadburn (C), 8 James Allen. The traditional end-of-year Q at Saintbury. 1st blows in method: 2. (Congratulations Jenny! You rang well. Ed)

Willersey, Glos, 31st Dec, 1260 Grandsire Doubles: 1 Stef Whittle, 2 Steve Bowley, 3 Richard Lewis-Skeath, 4 Sarah Chadburn, 5 Robert Chadburn (C), 6 Roger Hunt. Engagement compliment to Stef and Richard.


Hook Norton, Oxon. 15th October 2015
1320 Plain Bob Minor

1 Martin Cross           4 Sally Austin

2 Selina Harris           5 Mick Austin

3 Keith Abbott            6 Jonathan Muller (C)

Rung half-muffled in memory of William Beavington on the 100th anniversary of his death – killed in a major offensive of the Battle of Loos to take the Hoenzollern Redoubt, a key German stronghold.

Hook Norton, Oxon. 16th October 2015
1260 Grandsire Triples

1 Martin Cross           5 Keith Abbott

2 Helen Burchell         6 Jonathan Muller (C)

3 Sally Austin             7 Mick Austin

4 Daniel Austin           8 Keith Mitchell

Rung half-muffled in memory of Oliver John Horn on the 100th anniversary of his death – killed in a major offensive of the Battle of Loos to take the Hoenzollern Redoubt, a key German stronghold.

Hook Norton, Oxon. 4th December 2015
1260 Grandsire Triples

1 Martin Cross           5 Daniel Austin

2 Sally Austin              6 Jonathan Muller (C)

3 Keith Mitchell           7 Mick Austin

4 Keith Abbott            8 Nathan Pendery

Rung half muffled in memory of William FT Bolton on the 100th anniversary of his death - killed Gallipoli campaign WW1

Great Wolford, Warks. 16th December 2015
1280 Grandsire Doubles

1 Richard Lewis-Skeath (C)   4 Keith Murphy

2 Isobel Murphy                    5 Daniel Glyde

3 Christine Seers                   6 Rob Stansbury

In memory of Sgt William James Harris, RAF, the sole fatality from The Wolfords in WW2, killed in action over France on 16th June 1940. Part of the 'Bells to Remember' quarters.

(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

The big news this time concerns three Guild members (see quarter peal at Wellesbourne, 23 Nov). They are Sophia Lewis-Skeath (now Mrs Sophia Stonehouse), Richard Lewis-Skeath and Stef Whittle. Sophia said 'Yes' to Ian Stonehouse, and she and Ian were married on 23rd December: see below. At much the same time as Sophia said 'Yes' to Ian, Richard popped a similar question to Stef, to which she also answered 'Yes'. All involved are supremely happy and I'm sure Guild members wish both couples very rosy futures together.

The wedding: in spite of the windy and wet weather that has been the norm for December, the sun shone largely all day for Sophia and Ian's wedding at Holy Trinity Church, Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire. As expected it attracted a large number of ringers from the county (Ian is an accomplished ringer), FSG members and other ringers from as far away as Bath. A quarter peal was rung by some before the Service. Benjamin acted as Best Man to Ian, whereas Eliza was Sophia's bridesmaid. There was open ringing afterwards, plus a very well struck touch of Bob Minor of handbells by an experienced band. The reception was held in the Church Hall, which is attached to the Church. A nicely informal gathering occurred with drinks and seasonal nibbles. It was clearly a happy day for all concerned.

Barrow—upon-Soar, Leics.
23rd December 2015
1280 Christmas Delight Major

1 Gill Hughes               5 Dave Kelly

2 Chris Mew (C)          6 Tim Jackson

3 Peter Quinn              7 Chris Povey

4 Mark Wilson             8 Mike Chester

Rung prior to the marriage at this Church of Sophia Lewis-Skeath and Ian Stonehouse, with congratulations from the band.

Adlestrop: the faculty to proceed with the rehanging work was received on 10th December, so Adlestrop will soon have a light ring of 6, tenor about 5cwt. It will be all go in the tower now. Due to the lack of bell-sized floor hatches and the church clock being under the bells, the bells and frame will be removed and replaced via a larger (and safer) roof hatch. The bell work will proceed in parallel with a project to repoint the tower, the necessary scaffolding being used for both purposes. Whitechapel Bell Foundry will remove as much as they can internally through the access hatches that do exist, but the major items will then wait for the scaffolding to be erected. More on progress in the next Newsletter. It's unlikely the bells will ring out for Easter, but a wedding is booked for June, so that's the target. For those of a nervous nature, the access to the Ringing Room is due to be altered, but not immediately. The PCC have plans to construct an internal porch, to stop the wind blowing up the nave on cold days. The roof of this porch will provide an upper floor from which to access the Ringing Room via a much shorter ladder. Access to the upper floor will be by steps at the side of the porch. This 'Phase 2' project is expected to be completed within 2 years. Adlestrop's redundant 2nd bell will be going to Pillerton Hersey to assist with that rehang.

El Presidente's Crossword

…… and another. Thank you, El Pres!


1	Bells are usually muffled for this occasion (11,3)
10	Associate wisdom with canines. (5)
11	The important building across the Atlantic. (2,7)
12	Let down after ringing. (7)
13	Little ones are rascals. (7)
14	The horse sounds as if it disagrees. (5)
16	E.g. Scots Pine. (9)
19	In confused days a soft drink could give you this. (9)
20	A bell-shaped flower grown from a bulb. (5)
22	Sunday. (7)
25	Poetic. (7)
27	2015 was the 600th anniversary of this famous battle. (9)
28	Up in the air - unless you go under the bar! (5)
29	Let us hope keen learners and ropes are this. (5,9)


2	A mountain plant often sung about. (9)
3	An early anaesthetic and solvent. (5)
4	'________ as ocean's tide, rolling in
	fullest pride Hymns A&M. (9)
5	A Northener goes to the Royal meeting (5)
6	Sole entitlement to an artistic work. (9)
7	The same again. (5)
8	Russian Boris. (7)
9	Pilfered. (6)
15	Pecking order. (9)
17	It is worn on the shoulder. (9)
18	An apparatus for striking inside the bells with hammers
	operated from below; named after its originator. (9)
19	The Ladies' side. (7)
21	Used to rest one's head. (6)
23	Fish - or excellent in teen-talk. (5)
24	A spooky visit? (5)
26	A surviving reminder. (5)

Answer to crossword in the October 2015 Newsletter

The Guild Xmas Party

It has become customary to conclude the year's activities with a Christmas Party. This year's party was held on 12th December in Badsey Church following a shortened practice there. Hilary and John Bolton invited us to use the community facilities the Church has now, and these suited very well indeed.

Twenty-two members attended. Food was plentiful (oh Bill, where were you to help clear up…?) and drinks were provided either by what members brought, or by teas and coffees served up via the Church’s domestic facilities.

To finish this very pleasant evening, we sang a number of carols, accompanied by Steve Bowley on the piano and Sue Bacon with her guitar. The raffle and other donations made £59, which, after donating £25 to Badsey Church for the use of the venue, placed £34 into the Bell Restoration Fund.

Our thanks to Hilary and John for encouraging us to this excellent venue; and to the PCC for allowing it.

Chris Povey

Notices and adverts


Badged clothing is available again, following the Committee's decision to change supplier (see Committee Notes). Matthew Kemble has taken over the management of this. Prices haven't been finalised yet, but the indication is they will be much the same as before. Most of the previous types of garments will be available, in most of the colours; and in most of the previous makes (eg Fruit of the Loom, etc). There will be a large advert for all this in the April Newsletter.
(Need new photos of the clothing, so models required…! Ed)

If you want clothing (and many do apparently), contact Matthew who has more details.


HM the Queen will be 90 on April 21st. There is likely to be much ringing to celebrate this happy event

A section in the 'Around the Towers' part of the July Newsletter will be devoted to such ringing by Guild members.


Also in April - the 23rd — is St George's Day. We ringers have been requested to celebrate this by ringing bells on the day.

Please do so again. A section in the 'Around the Towers' part of the July Newsletter will report such ringing by Guild members.


Guild lapel badges are available. It is slightly different to the previous version, as it is now the same as the clothing badges (the 'standard' Guild badge). It is slightly '3D' too, as some features are raised.

£4 each from the Hon Sec.


The Guild has a Bell Restoration Fund, from which the Committee are empowered to offer grants towards suitable aspects concerning rings of bells within the Guild's area of operation. Such aspects may include a range of needs, from maintenance to augmentations.

Rules and Constitution of the Fund are in the Guild Rule Book, and application forms are available from me. (These forms are emailable.)

Chris Povey (Hon Sec)


Are you looking for a set of handbells to buy? If so, Peter Newing has a set he wishes to sell. He has 12 (1½ octaves), largest (if he remembers correctly) is F19 plus a C22. They are in a wooden carrying case and are in excellent condition. Peter says they are by a continental bellfounder who only made a few sets, so they are rare.

Price is £2,100, may be negotiable. Contact Peter for more details.


(It does sound very good. Would anyone like to review it and tell us all about it in a future Newsletter? Ed )

Graham says he has a stock of these books at advantageous prices: £3 each, postage free. Contact him on, or 07974 743766

Introduce your new ringers and interested members of the public to the world of bell ringing with the new 'Discover Bell Ringing' booklet published by the Association of Ringing Teachers. The booklet is the a new ART product to help those who are new to ringing understand something of the history and culture of the activity as well as answering some of the common how, where, why and when type questions that new ringers ask.

Additionally, it also gives a taste of how new ringers can develop their interest in ringing. It may be provided to new ringers as well as being used for those showing an interest on tower open days or other such occasions.

Neil Thomas says This book is just what the ringing world needs. Not the normal dull photographs but young ringers enjoying themselves, positively showing that bell ringing is for everyone. Facts are clearly made and illustrated. While covering the intricacy of change ringing it doesn't get too bogged down on any point. It is a book which should appeal to any prospective learner and leave them hankering to find out more.

Susan Read comments “It is definitely the sort of booklet we need to give to visitors to the tower to look at and to all our new learners.  Otherwise they sit and watch and get bored because they don’t understand anything about what we are doing!”

In easy language it gives information on the history of ringing, how bells are made and hung, what change ringing is and how it’s done, the stages of learning to ring, safety hints and a taste of who and why people ring.

There is space to record a ringer’s first few towers and performances, information on tower and association details and guidance on where to find out more. 

This is part of an intended ‘pack’ for new ringers. Teachers can add a ‘Learning the Ropes’ Logbook or other structured learning record for their ringer, perhaps more Association/Church information and even resources such as the ART ‘Bell Handling’ DVD.

This booklet suitable for all new ringers is available for everyone to purchase from the ART Shop at A single copy is priced at £4 - or save £1 per copy by buying a pack of 5 copies. The ART Shop accepts cheques, bank transfers and all major credit/debit cards through PayPal, plus every order includes free postage and packing.

This booklet has been generously supported by AbelSim, which we thank for their contribution.

Diary of Saturday meetings and events

For any alterations to this programme, check the Four Shires Guild web-site or Campanophile. The Calendar part of the FSG web-site gives further information about each Saturday night tower (just single-click the tower name), including a location map.

Meetings are from 7.30pm until 9.00pm unless otherwise stated. All are welcome. You do not have to be a Four Shires Guild member and we are especially pleased if members of the local band wish to come along and ring.

The Guild carries Public Liability insurance through the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group for all its activities. Non-members attending these activities are also covered by this insurance, providing they abide fully by the Guild's Health & Safety and Child Protection policies. (Both policies now appear on the FSG web-site, so their contents are available to all, whether members or non-members.)

Tag End

Please contribute something, however small (or large). You would be surprised the things people enjoy reading about.. They will all be welcome…. and don't worry if you think your handwriting is unintelligible. It can normally be translated. Just send the stuff in!

(Caretaker) Newsletter Editor: Chris Povey

It helps me hugely if you send articles to me by email, so I can cut-and-paste. If sending articles in this way, please use MS Word format for written articles, jpg format for photos, and scanned items in pdf or jpg formats. (I have the facility to scan photo prints if you haven't.) Please let me know ownership of photos for acknowledgement where relevant. If you have a long article, you might consider breaking it into parts.

Events for 2016: book the dates now:-

Guild Annual DinnerSat 6th Feb 2016. At the White Hart Royal Hotel, Moreton
Ringing TourSat 2nd July, details to be announced.
Minimus Striking Comp   Sat 17th September, location and details to be announced.
Walking & Ringing TourSat 24th September, advance details available. See Advance Notice
AGM & Striking CompsSat 15th October, location and details to be announced.
Guild Christmas PartySat 10th December, location and details to be announced.