Over the past few weeks we have been thrilled to have a number of new ringers turn up to learn - including some teenage boys who have made rapid progress. While they are learning, much of their ringing will be on a 'tied' bell, that is, the clapper is tied so that it does not strike; this makes it more pleasant for anyone outside the church who may be within earshot! Once the learners can handle a bell competently, they will join in ringing with others, so at that point one can expect the ringing to be a little less polished for a while. Bear with us as it will soon improve!
Towards the end of October, there was a national 'Quarter Peal ' week during which a few of us rang with others from a variety of towers to notch up some quarter peals; this entails ringing a total of 1260 changes and it takes about 45 minutes during which no mistakes are permitted. Once achieved, the quarter peal is submitted to a national directory and recorded for posterity.
We are aiming to start ringing quarter peals at the tower with more regularity as our more experienced ringers gain in competence and confidence. We are hoping to ring regularly for choral evensong (on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month), commencing ringing at about 4.30pm. This will improve our method ringing as well as remind parishioners that a service is about to begin.
It’s that time of year again – when we all begin to dream up a new ringing tour for our band – so -
On Saturday 23rd April – St George’s Day, a team of 10 ringers from Minchinhampton, Holy Trinity, plus 5 guests from Painswick and Cirencester – plus partners (and a dog)- undertook a day’s outing centred around the Cirencester Branch area.
The bellringers enjoyed a visit to Colesbourne Park on Feb 6th and rang the bells in the church while visitors struggled round the vast grounds, in the driving rain, looking at the snowdrops. The owner of the park - Sir Henry Elwes - invites ringers from local towers to come, by arrangement, and ring on the 5 Saturdays and Sundays each year when the park is open for people to see the spectacular snowdrops.
We were 8 ringers in all with 4 spouses; as the church has only 5 bells, we also had the opportunity to brave the elements and walk in the woodlands and park, looking at the snowdrops, when we were not ringing. We had quite an audience at times as visitors of all ages came in to look at the church and watch us ring. It was fortunate that the bells are rung on the ground floor at the back of the church so people can easily watch. We finished off the afternoon with a welcome mug of tea and large slab of cake in the tea room.
The photo shows Paul, Naoko, Tony (hidden), William and Sally ringing.
Angie, Tower Captain
Naoko, Ringer of the Year
and Tony, now Assistant Ringing Master of the Stroud Branch
At the AGM of the Stroud District branch of Church Bellringers, Naoko Ponter was presented with the prestigious 'Ringer of the Year' award in recognition of the great progress she has made this year - the range of methods she has learnt to ring and her first quarter peal on Sept 27th. Furthermore, Tony Natt has been made Assistant Ringing Master in the district.
Lastly, the Minchinhampton Tower was declared to be the 'Tower of the Year' and will represent the district in the Glos & Bristol Diocesan Assoc. of Church Bellringers competition. We are very pleased to have 2 new learners in the tower now but we are still looking for more!
We do hope that you appreciate the improved standard of ringing sounding from the tower over the past months. This is due in no small part to the arrival a year ago of Tony Natt, who has been able to share with us his vast experience and expertise. Several of us have attended Branch ringing sessions, regular practices in other towers as well as our own and the Glos. Association autumn training day and, in September, Naoko rang her first quarter peal (44 mins of ringing a specific method) when the bells were rung after the service for the rededication of the Sanctus bell. This was a great achievement!
We are still, as ever, keen to welcome new or returning ringers to the tower. Just turn up on a Friday evening (7.30pm-9pm) or phone me on 884203.
Angie Ayling, Tower Captain
On June 20th the Stroud Branch of the Gloucester and Bristol Association of Church Bellringers held a striking competition at Haresfield Church. The competition is designed to test the accuracy of ringing the bells which in turn helps the ringers to produce a much more joyful sound when ringing at Sunday Service or practice night.
Once again, 2014 was a good year in the Tower. Unfortunately we lost the expertise of Andrew Fleming before Easter but gained enormously from the arrival of Tony Natt who is a great asset to the tower.
On Sat 8th Nov, at the Church Bell Ringers Stroud Branch AGM held at Horsley, our Tower Captain, Angie Ayling, was awarded "Ringer of the Year" prize for the best individual progress in method ringing, including ringing at other towers. Ringing different methods is a major challenge and achievement, and we all hope this will be reflected in our ringing here in Minchinhampton.
We also have received a special thank you from Helen as well as members of the congregation for the special half muffled ringing we arranged for Remembrance Sunday.
William Page, Tower Secretary
We have been very pleased to welcome visiting ringers to the tower recently as well as benefit from a new (returning) ringer - Tony - who has moved into the town. Three of us attended separate training sessions at the district autumn training day, learning Steadman Doubles, Grandsire Triples and Cambridge Surprise Minor. Now we need the opportunity to practise our newly acquired skills!
We are, as ever, always on the look-out for new ringers so, if you would like to find out what we do up in the tower on a Friday evening (7.30 p.m- 9 p.m) or Sunday morning, do get in touch - 01453 833192 - or just come up the stairs when we are ringing.
Angie Ayling (Tower Captain)
On Friday May 2nd, the ropes in the bell ringing chamber were dedicated by the Rector during her first visit up the tower. Prior to the blessing of the ropes - the tail-ends of which had recently been replaced as they were worn out – the Rector took a climb to the very top of the church tower and was able to survey her whole parish.
2013 was a successful year for Minchinhampton Tower in many ways.
We opened up the tower during the Country Fayre and had a lot of visitors who were keen to see the bells, plus some others who wanted to try ringing. This has hopefully publicised our existence more widely and we can only hope that it will lead in the long run to some new ringers being interested in joining us.
A Muffled Quarter Peal
On Thursday evening December 10th 1914, a muffled quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles was rung as a last mark of respect to Private Albert Workman, who lost his life owing to a bullet wound received in the war; and was buried in the afternoon of the above date with full military honours. This was rung by the following ringers:-
|George Packer – Treble
||Edward Jefferies - 4th
|Frank Ponting – 2nd
||Harry Barratt – 5th
|Henry D. Newman – 3rd
||Victor Hathaway - Tenor
|Conducted by Edward Jefferies