Branch and Tower News



Henry Penn Bell Sculpture ‘Voice of the City’

On December 2017, a new work of art was unveiled in Peterborough City Centre at Lower Bridge Street, just a few hundred yards from the main shopping centre and Peterborough Cathedral. The Voice of the City’ is a depiction of a bell in the stages of being cast and is a monument and tribute to Henry Penn (1685-1729). Penn’s life was relatively short, just 44 years, but he cast bells for as many as 100 churches and houses. Most of these places are shown on the map in the bronze upright case which was drawn by local historian, bellringer and Henry Penn enthusiast Michael Lee.

The sculpture was created by artist Stephen Broadbent and is situated close to Penn’s foundry at Bridge Street where he cast over 250 bells. It was located near to where the Peterborough Magistrates' Court stands today. The underpass running between Lower Bridge Street and The Lido has been re-named Foundry Walk in his honour, and a canal called 'Bell Dyke' ran to the rear of the foundry joining the River Nene on which many of his bells were floated to their destinations.


In 1709 at the age of 24 he cast the first ring of 10 bells in Northamptonshire for Peterborough Cathedral. The largest of these 10 bells, weighing 30cwt, is now called 'The City Bell'. This is the ‘Voice of the City’ of the sculpture and strikes the hour on the Cathedral clock and is swung electronically before most services as a call bell. It is the only one of his bells remaining at the Cathedral, the other 9 having been sold at various times. The five lightest bells were sold in the 19th century, and four more when the current ring of bells was transferred to the Cathedral from St John the Divine, Leicester.

Penn was apprenticed to his uncle, bellfounder Henry Bagley at Ecton, Northamptonshire and came to Peterborough to establish his foundry. He and his wife Diana had eight children who were baptised in St John's Church, Peterborough, just behind the Market Square. The end of Henry Penn’s life was controversial; in 1723 he had cast a ring of 8 bells, tenor 18cwt, for St Ives, Huntingdonshire. The churchwardens did not pay him the full amount owed as they said the bells were not properly in tune. The subsequent court case was not resolved until 1729. The judge found in his favour as the church had been ringing the bells during that time. In the courtroom Penn's last words were said to be: 'I am sick to death. The whole thing will do me no good’, which proved correct, as he died while mounting his horse shortly after . These bells were subsequently destroyed when a plane crashed into St Ives spire in March 1918, but many Henry Penn bells still remain at various churches. He was known for his colourful bell inscriptions; the old 5th at St Ives said ‘ When backward rung we tell of fire, think how the world shall thus expire. This year Peterborough Cathedral is celebrating its 900th anniversary, so if you are visiting this wonderful building, do walk the few hundred yards and see the sculpture; it is well worth a visit.

The project was supported by The Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership & the City Council.

Sue Marsden

Farewell and Thank you to Tony Evans

Teachers and Pupils, past and present gathered after the normal session of Castor Ringing School on Saturday 19th November to say Thank You and Farewell to Tony Evans who is moving out of the area.

David Teall gave the following Tribute to Tony:

Ten days ago we received an email from Tony in which he said:  “I shall shortly be moving out of the area, within the next two to three weeks.  This means that I will no longer be able to organise and administer the Saturday morning training sessions [at Castor].”

This news came as a shock to us all and we have still to come to grips with how we will manage without his leadership and tireless support.  However, that is for the future.  Today we want to take time out to express to Tony our heart-felt thanks for all that he has done for the Ringing School and to wish him and Rosemary the very best for the future in their new home in Bourne.  Tony: we are relieved to discover that you are not moving a million miles away so we hope very much that we shall continue to see you from time to time.

Tony learnt to ring as a youngster in Sussex when the Tower Captain suggested it to him as an alternative to being in the choir.  Without wishing to cast judgement on his ability as a singer, we are delighted that he made the choice that he did.

When Tony left home he left ringing too but, thankfully for us, he took it up again in the early 90s here at Castor.  Since then he has been hugely influential in the development of bell ringing both here and in the Peterborough Branch, the Peterborough Guild and the wider National scene.  He spent six years as one of the Guild’s four representatives on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers where he served on the Towers and Belfries Committee and, here in the Peterborough Branch, he served both as Chairman and Vice Chairman and, for 12 years, as Branch Steward.  In this latter position he masterminded the project to augment the six bells here to eight and supported the restoration of the rings at Barnack, Bulwick, Easton-on-the-Hill, Glinton, Ryhall, and Warmington with advice, encouragement and practical assistance.  His immense contribution was formally recognised by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild by his appointment as a Life Honorary Member in 2006.

Under Tony’s guidance as Tower Captain the tower here at Castor became a hub of activity as he took a personal lead in the training of a whole host of new recruits, many of whom are in this room today.  From this grew the idea of the Ringing School which was officially recognised by the Central Council as a National Ringing Centre in 2006 with Tony as Founder and Manager.  Since then over 100 pupils have passed through its doors to learn the art of change ringing; a living testament to Tony’s vision, dedication and hard work.

Tony, we are truly grateful for everything that you have done for ringing.  We thank you for your vision and generosity and want you to know that you will remain an inspiration to us all long after you have moved away.  We wish you and Rosemary the very best for the future and ask you to accept this gift as a token of our love and appreciation.

Woodwalton Bells Restored

The bells at St Andrews Church in Woodwalton,  Cambridgeshire have now been restored and are available for ringing again for the first time since 1968.  As we do not have a regular ringing team it has been suggested that we hold Bookable Open Days to allow the Bells to be rung regularly.  Please see the announcement below for details.
Geoff Baldwin

Electronic Communication

The Peterborough Branch communicates with its members by use of an email list called ‘PetNet’ to which the majority of members are subscribed.  If you are one of the few who are not on this list please contact either the Branch Secretary or Chairman via the Home Page of this website and ask for your email address to be added.

David Teall

Castor Ringing Centre August 2014

The Castor Saturday morning ringing school is entering its 8th year of continuous training of novices through to advanced method ringing. During this period we have had about 70 trainees from a large number of different towers from as far afield as Kings Lynne, Huntingdon and Rutland. We currently have trainees from Warmington, Nassington, Wadenhoe, Great Casterton, St. Johns, Peterborough and Huntingdon. We currently have a “hard core” of   half-a-dozen regular trainers/helpers with a further 5 or 6 that will fill in when we are short. Sadly we lost one of our helpers last year with the sudden death of Geoff Davies.

We occasionally hold specific training days for branch towers, a couple of years ago we held a bob minor day and last year we had a train the trainers course.

Tony Evans

Warmington August 2014

In April the Warmington band celebrated a year since they started ringing and went out for an anniversary dinner at the village pub.  We have now been joined by several new ringers, both beginners and those with some experience, and now have very varied practice evenings which cater for all abilities.  Our band of learners have made really good progress and can now all ring rounds and plain hunt.

It was a nerve wracking moment when the learners, minus (for the first ever time) any of our experts, got together recently for a Sunday morning ring.  However we managed some good rounds and were told by the congregation that it was good to hear the bells ringing again on a Sunday after many years of silence.

In July we decided to have a "summer evening away from home" and the entire team went to the beautiful little church at Stoke Doyle where we spent a very enjoyable time ringing their lovely newly  refurbished bells on a perfectly still and warm summer night.

On September 4th we rang half muffled for a special commemoration service in remembrance of the outbreak of WW1.

John and Alex have done some work on the bells so ringing seems easier now.

Many thanks to Alex, John, Yvette, Elaine and Nick for all the support they have given us at Warmington.  We really appreciate all the help you give us.

Sylvia Upex

Oundle August 2014

We are grateful to all the local ringers who have rung at the weddings over the summer period.  We also managed to get a band together to ring at our new vicar, Stephen Webster's, induction service.  Petbells is invaluable when trying to find ringers at short notice!

Pauline Davidson

Nassington August 2014

After many years of service to the tower Keith Underwood has stepped down as Tower Captain.  At the end of a recent Sunday service Rev Michael Matthews thanked Keith for all his work over the years, ringing, leading practices and maintaining the bells.  He presented Keith with half a dozen bottles of red wine on behalf of the PCC.

Brian Hardie has taken over as Tower Correspondent, but not Tower Captain.  We have been offered, and are pleased to accept, help with inspecting and maintaining the bells from the Peterborough Guild.

We have had two new ringers who have joined us.  These were ‘recruited’ from the Bellringing School at Castor.  This has meant that we have been able to ring for Sunday morning service most weeks, even though this at the earlier than usual time of nine o’clock for a nine thirty service.

Our regular Monday evening practice nights have been well attended allowing us to attempt some methods as well as ringing rounds and plain hunt.  We should like to thank the more experienced ringers who come to this practice to encourage the newer, less experienced, ringers.

We have rung for a number of weddings this summer.  We also rang, with half muffled bells, to commemorate the start of the First World War on the afternoon of the fourth of August.

Brian Hardie

King’s Cliffe August 2014

We have been delighted to welcome a number of visiting bands over the summer and have been treated to some high quality ringing.

We have a good record of Sunday Service ringing, often having a Surprise or Stedman band.  Over the summer we have rung for four weddings with assistance from other towers for which we are most grateful.

Our practices continue on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 7.30 and we have had a number of visitors who have enjoyed the rehung bells.

Pat Teall

Glinton August 2014

We have been trying to improve our ringing and renew interest by choosing a different method to focus on each week at our practise night.  It was very helpful to have some ringers from Market Deeping join us in July whilst the floor in their church was being replaced; they brought expertise, energy and enthusiasm to the practice and were a young and happy group.  We also hosted the 6 bell Branch practice in August which gave us a steady band to work with and helped our Alex to perfect her treble bobbing.  The visitors were forbearing and very welcome.

The village has heard some near perfect ringing from 2 visiting bands, one from Devon and the other from Nottinghamshire and we have had a number of overseas visitors pop in to the church to see how the bells are rung.

We rang for St George’s Day and for the local primary school’s leavers’ service but no weddings this year, although some of our ringers helped out at weddings in Barnack, Maxey, Oundle and Glapthorn.  Bob tolled the bell on August 4th at 11pm just as a maroon was let off in the village to remember the start of the First World War and Jill tolled the bell for our evening of remembrance in the church on August 8th.

We continue to try and recruit new ringers and we would be happy to see you at any of our Thursday evening sessions from 7.30pm to 9pm.

Shirley Hodgkinson

Glapthorn August 2014

The church improvements have now been completed, thanks to a donation from Waste Recycling Environment Trust (WREN) as well as a number of other charitable trusts.  The changes included raising the ringing floor in order to accommodate a lavatory with disabled facilities at the base of the tower.  A glass screen now surrounds the floor, and ringers can look out into the church. Sally Collop, Claire Meads and Susan Groom rang the bells at a wedding in August, and were able to watch the bridge and groom walking down the aisle!

We are most grateful to Alex Dyer for his help and advice during the construction phase.

Pauline Davidson

Castor August 2014

St. Kyneburgha’s bells and its ringers seem to have been more than usually occupied for the first eight months of this year. Firstly three tails needed replacing, and without Steve Reed anymore to exercise his skill at splicing, and Edward not yet trained, Robin Rogers stepped in and did a brilliant job for us. Well the ropes have been used 2,500 times since new. Secondly, the priest room, adjoining the ringing chamber, possibly one of the oldest continually used rooms in Peterborough, 1310, was redecorated after the Church Trust repaired a water leak in the lead roof.  The room is used as an additional ringing training area.

Sadly we have lost another four ringers, but have been rejoined by two, which brings us up to just eleven regulars, plus we are helped by Joan Parker, Nick Elks and Mandy Loveder. David Banks with Stuart Weston are challenging us with new methods.

We have already rung for five weddings at Castor, and four funerals, three weddings at Wansford and one at Thornhaugh, and one challenging one at Water Newton, that is the bells not the wedding! This is the first time I can remember that we have had four weddings at Castor that have declined the bells which may be due to restricted wedding budgets, but at £15 per rope for at least one and a half hours still seems very competitive, as we ring before and after. We have had two weddings two days running when both brides were over 20 minutes late! This does put a tremendous strain on the ringers, choir, organist and rector when there are other services and duties to perform at fixed times after the ceremony, almost all at other churches which entails travel.

We have had five visiting bands this year, three of which rang peals. Michael Maughan has been twice with his excellent band, and the village looks forward to their visits and the superb ringing, though the parish is being spoilt when their ringing is compared with us.

On a beautifully sunny Sunday our Summer Lunch was hosted by Inga and Richard Moon in their garden, special guests were Beth Graham and Joan Parker.  To make the day even better Inga announced she is expecting her first child in December, we wish them all the very best. She assures me that we will be only one ringer down for a short while and we are making the Priest Room into a crèche, as we did for Bev Rigby and her daughter Robyn sixteen years ago!

We made a very special effort for the Centenary of the Great War. A new plaque with the parishes’ roll of honour was dedicated on the Village Green cross with half muffled ringing before a unique service of remembrance was held on Sunday 3rd August. On the 4th we rang fully muffled for an hour in the evening, which I don’t think has been done for a very long while. According to visitors who came to the church for a moment of reflection said how beautiful the sound was. Though there were clearly audible mechanical sounds, some from the Hastings toggles, but mostly from the worn clapper bushes, nevertheless a very worthwhile and significant evening.

William Baxter

Bulwick August 2014

We were pleased to be asked to host the branch striking workshop in April.  It proved to be a very worthwhile event and a good social time as well.

We have been very grateful over the summer months for all the visitors who join our practices.  Almost every week one or more of our local couples have been away on holiday but our quality and range of ringing has been maintained throughout.  A number of new methods have been added to our repertoire including King Edward, Carlisle, Stamford, Yaxley, Hedwardine and St. Nicholas.  We have taken advantage of our ringing Master’s absence on a couple of occasions to ring Stedman.

The start of WW1 was commemorated by a special service on August 4th which began with the tolling of 100 strokes on a muffled bell.

Work is due to start shortly on repairs to the church clock.  This encouraged us to tackle a long overdue spring clean in the belfry and the clock chamber removing the twigs which the birds had kindly brought and the millions of spiders webs which bound them to the bells.  I don’t think our labours made much difference to the feel of the bells but the cleaning of the sallies and tail ends certainly made handling them more pleasant.

The reward for all this hard labour was the annual outing to the beer festival - no ringing but plenty of exercise to strengthen the arms!  I am told that the ladies polished of four bottles of wine and still were able to visit the shoulder of mutton on the way home!

Pat Teall

Peterborough, St. Mary August 2014

It has been a relatively quiet few months in and out of the tower at St Mary’s.  Back in the spring we had a quarter peal of St Clements Major to mark Gillian Christie’s 50th birthday followed by a surprise party.  We rang a quarter peal to welcome Lady Victoria Leatham, who gave a very entertaining talk entitled ‘Burghley through the ages.’  At the end of May Alex Dyer, our Ringing Master, arranged an entertaining outing in and around Norwich.  Norwich itself has at least one church for every week of the year and similarly it used to have a pub for every day of the year.  Some ringers stopped over to sample but a few!

Tony Evans organised two outings to Tolethorpe this year.  One was to see Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass when some of us sampled the very good Tolethorpe supper.  The other was to see TheTaming of the Shrew when we all had our usual picnic.

Ahead of practice night on 17th July we rang a quarter peal to mark the anniversary of Geoff Davis’ sudden death.  The tower and the pub are a lot quieter without him and we realise how much we miss this Peterborian character.

On 9th August we rang a peal of 12 Doubles methods, with local ringers, which was Tom Stevenson’s first peal.  He accomplished this with ease and confidence and has recently clocked up his 25th quarter peal.

What next?  Our annual visit to the Peterborough Beer Festival and a hook up with the Bulwick ringers to savour a few beers!!!

St Mary’s has slots available for peals.  Please get in touch if you would like to bring a band and Alex is also looking to schedule in regular peals in addition to quarters.  The best slot is either Saturday mornings or afternoons (

Andrew Christie

Peterborough St. John’s August 2014

Sunday service ringing continues to draw in regular ringers from various parts of the city and beyond.

Our monthly practice (2nd Wednesday) also continues to be well attended and everyone present has the opportunity of a good ring which stretches them in one way or another. We are mostly ringing Plain Hunt, Plain Bob, Little Bob, Grandsire and Stedman, in all stages from doubles through minor, triples and major. We also occasionally get to ring surprise as well, dependant on who turns up.

The monthly quarter peals are also proving to be a good opportunity for our ringers to progress, be it getting to grips with a new or more advanced method, or just consolidating on recently acquired abilities. July’s quarter peal was dedicated to the birth of Graham and Catherine Hill’s first child Briony Charlotte.

Earlier in the year we lost a clapper from the treble. Colin Weld, our Steeple Keeper, did a fantastic job of getting a replacement from Taylors within a couple of days, just in time for the planned quarter peal of Yorkshire Major later that week.

Peterborough City Council recently put on a whole evening of events in Cathedral Square to mark the anniversary of the start of WW1. We had the honour of providing the finishing touch to the events, the tolling of St John’s half-muffled tenor at 11pm providing a most atmospheric finale to the evening.

Nick Elks - Tower Captain

Peterborough Cathedral August 2014

We have rung seven quarter peals for Evensong since March, generally trying to keep the ringing simple and good.  These were mainly Plain Bob from triples to cinques with one Grandsire Caters and one of Rutland Surprise Major.  We were pleased to organise and ring a very good quarter peal of Plain Bob Cinques for Mike Harvey (Weedon Bec), his first on 12 bells.

We always try to ring quarters for Cathedral special occasions and recently succeeded for the Ordination of Priests, St Peter's Day Evensong and the Installation of the new Mayor. We rang a quarter for Soundscape, an event about the sounds of the Cathedral.

It was particularly pleasant for the Bells Master to welcome Alan Cozens (Roade) with his party to ring for Evensong as he was very much instrumental in teaching Robin method ringing over 50 years ago; it is thought that he did a good job!  The Ely Diocesan Association also rang a quarter peal (Stedman Triples) for Sunday Evensong.

We also welcomed Michael and Jane Spencer (Somerset) to a practice night; they were former ringers at St Mary's Peterborough.  Pauline Champion and party on tour also joined us on a practice night.

One Monday we transferred our practice to St Mary's where special method Glasgow was successfully rung with several "firsts" achieved.

We rang all 12 bells for two weddings, one mid-week.

We extend a warm welcome to you all across the Guild, please come and ring your bells here when you can.

Robin Rogers

Branch News August 2014

In April our Ringing Master organised a striking workshop at Bulwick.  The afternoon began with a theory session then the students were divided into two groups.  One group went to the bells for practical instruction with six experts giving each student the opportunity of ringing rounds and then a method of their choice with a crack band and an expert beside them to correct any faults as they occurred.  The other group retired to the Chancel with an ipod and James to listen to ringing on varying numbers of bells with deliberate mistakes which they had to identify.  The afternoon concluded with tea and chat plus a huge vote of thanks to the experts who made it all possible.

May saw another Ring for your Supper, this time visiting Benefield, Oundle and Polebrook.  As usual it was a well attended event with a wide variety of ringing on bells which were unfamiliar to many.  The food was excellent and plentiful and the company stimulating.  As the ringing came to an end at Polebrook the rope on the second cascaded to the floor leaving the Branch Steward with a job to put things back to rights before a wedding later in the week!

The eight bell practices at Castor on the first Friday of each month have continued to be well attended and have attracted learners ringing rounds to spliced surprise experts.  In May and August the practice became a six bell practise at Easton and Glinton to encourage the bands there and to give an opportunity for those who found eight bells somewhat daunting.

We rounded off the summer with a branch ringing outing to a selection of six and eight bell towers in Leicestershire with an excellent pub lunch part way through.  The weather was good and the scenery around the five villages was spectacular so the day held much promise.  Everyone agreed at the end of the day that the bells had exceeded expectations and the churches had all proved to be particularly interesting.

Ringing Centre News August 2013 - February 2014

The Castor Saturday morning ringing school is entering its 8th year of continuous training of novices through to method ringing.  During this period we have had about 70 trainees from a large number of different towers from as far afield as Kings Lynne, Huntingdon and Rutland.  We currently have trainees from Warmington, Nassington, Wadenhoe, Great Casterton, St. Johns, Peterborough and Huntingdon.  We have a “hard core” of half-a-dozen regular trainers/helpers with a further 5 or 6 who will fill in when we are short.  Sadly we lost one of our helpers last year with the sudden death of Geoff Davies.

We occasionally hold specific training days for branch towers, a couple of years ago we held a Bob Minor day and last year we had a Train the Trainers course.  Before Christmas past and present trainees and trainers met up at ‘the Feathers’ for an excellent Christmas Lunch.

Tony Evans

August 2013 - February 2014

There was great excitement in Warmington tower on December 22nd when all of the new ringers who have been learning here joined forces with their teachers and visiting friends to ring for the village Carol Service, our very first ringing occasion as a team.  Alex calmly organised the numerous people crowding the tower so that every single one of us, including all the novices, had an enjoyable time ringing.  We were complimented by the large congregation, many of whom said how good it was to hear the Warmington bells ring out once more

After a fund raising effort in September we managed to get together enough money to buy a new set of ropes and these were put up in January by John and Yvette.  We hope they may improve our ringing.-.eventually.

Ringing continues on Friday evenings and we are all very grateful for the support we are given by Alex, John, Yvette, Nick and Elaine who have been patiently teaching and encouraging us.

Sylvia Upex

August 2013 - February 2014

On Sunday 5th January a band, led by Bob Gardner, rang before Richard Ormston’s last service in Oundle.  He has moved on to be Archdeacon of Northampton.  As always, the congregation commented on how nice it was to hear the bells so we are renewing our efforts to establish a regular practice night again soon.  Two new ringers, Pat and Sue who live in Oundle, have been learning on Saturday mornings at Castor.  They have been making excellent progress and look forward to ringing with us.

A new rope has been fixed to the spiral staircase up to the tower, which makes ascents and descents much safer and easier.

Pauline Davidson

August 2013 - February 2014

Our band are all regular church-goers so we manage to ring for most services and we have a practice night on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays of the month when ringers are available.  If anyone would like to join us they would be most welcome but please contact me to make sure we have enough to be able to ring.  Our two new ringers have been attending the Castor training on Saturday morning for a considerable time now and are making good progress.

Work has still got to be carried out on the bell frame in the near future but we have the all clear to carry on ringing for the time being.

Keith Underwood

August 2013 - February 2014

Our band has been greatly enhanced by the arrival in the village of an experienced ringer from further south in the diocese.  This has enabled us to produce some good quality ringing for Sunday Service, managing a course of Cambridge on more than one occasion.

We were able to produce a band for all the Christmas services despite the problems of multi-tasking which hamper our efforts at times.  Christmas Eve saw our latest recruit ring for her first service and we were delighted to be able to propose her as a member of the Guild at the AGM.  She is now ringing Plain Hunt and will undoubtedly go from strength to strength.

Pat Teall

August 2013 - February 2014

Since August, we have rung for two weddings and welcomed one visiting band from Oxfordshire to ring the bells.

The Bishop of Brixworth came to St. Benedict’s Church on Monday 30th September to take a service of confirmation.  After a plea sent out on PetNet, we were able to field a full band to ring after the service.  Many thanks to all those who responded so positively.

Christmas time was as busy as ever with the Christmas Tree Lights switch-on, service ringing and our own tower celebration.  Sadly, Mrs Whitton, of Manor Farm in Glinton, passed away just before Christmas so the bells were rung, half muffled, for her funeral in the village.

A milestone for our youngest ringer came shortly after Christmas, when Alexander Guest rang his first quarter peal, supported by as many of the Glinton ringers as were available at the time.  He rang Plain Bob Doubles from the treble in 48mins (see Campanophile entry 172131).  A visit to the BlueBell with his Dad afterwards set the tone for his ringing career!  We were indebted to other ringers who were on “stand-by” to help out and those well-wishers who came to support.

We have recently been joined by two experienced ringers as well as two beginners, swelling our numbers quite considerably and extending the range of methods we are able to ring.  Visitors from the branch have also assisted us, as well as the band from St. Mary’s who have joined us a couple of times recently and are always most welcome.  We are often joined by ringers from Lincolnshire whose talents are always appreciated.

As always we are indebted to our many non-resident ringers who continue to help us out for special events as well as stalwart members who regularly arrive for Sunday morning ringing – often travelling quite a distance to attend.

If you would like to join us any Thursday evening from 7:30pm you will always receive a warm welcome.

Jill Cowcill

August 2013 - February 2014

The PCC has managed to secure full funding for the church improvements (a total of over £50,000), which include raising the ringing floor to accommodate a lavatory in the base of the tower.  The work is scheduled to start in early summer.

Pauline Davidson

August 2013 - February 2014

At the end of November twelve of our regular ringers met in Blatherwycke for drinks and then moved on to the Queen’s Head in Bulwick for their annual tower dinner, always a riotous occasion.  A taxi was booked to take the Weldon contingent home but was one seat short.  I wonder who walked?  Prior to Christmas we celebrated our Tower Captain’s birthday in fine style, the pork pie was a sight to behold and tasted even better!  Then came New Year’s Eve when we all met up again in Weldon to enjoy a right royal repast courtesy of Sue and Derek.

Despite all this eating we do manage some ringing and produced a creditable show for all the Christmas services.  Our practices continue to be well attended with a regular 12 and often a crowd of 15 which can be a tight squeeze in the winter months.  Our range is quite wide with Spliced Surprise being achieved not infrequently.  Mr Keck has worked hard to increase our repertoire of plain minor methods with Frodsham and Single Burton Penwardine to name but two and Mr Jones has recently introduced us to King Edward and Netherseale(is this a double glazing company or a form of incontinence device?).

Pat Teall

August 2013 - February 2014

We welcome Alex Dyer as our new Ringing Master in place of Andrew Christie who has held the position very ably for many years.

We are pleased that William Field and Nadia Teffah, both very keen learners, have joined us on Thursday evenings.  They have both rung their first quarter peals with us, Will first inside and Nadia first on the treble.  Simon Ellis has also rung his first quarter on the treble to triples.  Congratulations to them all.

We were saddened to hear on January 31st of the death of Ossie Roberts, at the age of 100.  Ossie started to ring with us in1989 when we were ringing at Castor because our old church was in the process of being demolished to make way for our present building.  Ossie tried for several weeks, but then decided that at the age of 75 he had left it too late to start.  He remained very interested in all that we did and was very pleased when we made him an honorary member.

It was our turn in January this year to host the Branch AGM.  A hot meal was served to about 40 people who enjoyed ringing on our bells before and after the service, tea and the AGM.  The service was taken by our vicar, the Revd Michael Moore.

We ring regularly on Thursdays, 7.30 – 9.00pm and Sundays from 9.15 – 10.00am.  Visitors are always most welcome.  Peals and quarter peals can also be rung by prior arrangement.

Joan Parker

August 2013 - February 2014

Peterborough Cathedral ringers have had a good Christmas season ringing for many services through Advent and over Christmas.  The usual formula is ringing every Sunday morning, and quarter peals twice a month in the afternoon and for special occasions.

One service we rang for was a Business and Shoppers Lunchtime Carol Service.  The Dean said it was the best attended ever and that many people said that they came called by the bells ringing.  We tell the clergy, “we are the loud voice of the Cathedral”: it seems that we are.  We rang for Geoffrey Gent’s Golden Wedding celebration at Eucharist.

We had Thrapston and Peterborough Branches ringing creditably for Evensong and requests are now coming in for Branches to ring in 2014.  All Branches are most welcome: 2nd and 4th Sundays are best for us.  To the Guild: these are your bells, please help us ring them.

Practices are well supported ringing from rounds through Surprise Royal to Grandsire and sometimes Stedman Cinques.  We welcome and encourage people at all levels and always strive for good ringing.

A largely Guild band rang a peal of Cambridge Royal for John Riley’s 60th birthday.  We have rung 12 quarter peals for services since September with a good range of ringers and methods (Surprise Major and Royal, Grandsire Cinques, Plain Bob Royal).  Sadly sometime Assistant Ringing Master Ros Knight died in October aged 63.

Robin Rogers

Branch Newsletter – February 2014

Another busy six months have passed with record attendances at our eight-bell Branch Practices at St. Kyneburgha’s Castor.  The ringing has covered everything from rounds to six-spliced surprise by representatives from across the branch.

In September James Thorpe, our Ringing Master, organised an outing to six towers ‘south of the river’.  It was a beautiful day, the lunch was excellent and the bells varied and enjoyable.  All those who went along are looking forward to a repeat performance this year.

Our AGM was held at St Mary’s Peterborough on January 18th.  Afternoon ringing was followed by a service led by Revd Michael Moore after which we all sat down to a magnificent hot tea prepared by the local band.  Replete, we began the business meeting by standing to remember members who had passed away during the past year.  The Chairman, Tony Evans, explained his decision to step down as Chairman and the members expressed their gratitude to him for his quiet but effective leadership.  David Teall was elected as Chairman and Nick Elks joined the committee, otherwise the officers remained unchanged.  The health of the branch was demonstrated by the election of 9 new members.

Striking Workshop April 2014

Bell ringing is nothing if it is not a public performance, especially when ringing for services. The complexity of the method rung entertains the ringer but it is the striking that makes the ringing appreciated by the public.

Other areas use striking competitions to provide a focus for striving to improve standards. In the Peterborough Branch, however, members have made it clear that competition is not viewed as the best way for us to increase our striking confidence.

When the committee proposed the idea of a training day, to specifically work on striking, it was met with enthusiasm within the branch. Preparations were therefore made, “experts” sourced, and candidates invited. At St Nicholas’ Bulwick on 5th April 2014 twelve branch members accepted the invitation to step into the unknown by attending a Striking Workshop.

It is an enormous challenge for a band to consistently produce twelve evenly spaced blows, followed by a hand stroke gap. We started by considering what ingredients are required to achieve this: avoiding an over reliance on ropesight; listening intently to the position of your bell within each change; advanced handling beyond that required just to competently ring; trusting your internal sense of the established rhythm; and being open to constructive criticism. Our experts then treated us to a demonstration of what near-perfect ringing sounds like setting the standard for the afternoon; followed by ringing with a common fault for comparison by “cartwheeling” i.e., ringing without a hand stroke gap.









A quiet corner is found to concentrate on listening to electronically generated faults.  Is that the third that is early or the fourth that is late?


Part of the afternoon was spent by the participants listening to pre-recorded and electronically generated ringing with particular faults to identify.  Could you identify a 10% timing fault?  Identifying a gap was easier than identifying which bell was at fault.  There were also examples of the syncopated rhythm that occurs in ringing when the bells coming in are late and bells going out are early.  All this generated much discussion and hopefully trained our ears.

Formal feedback on the day was sought from the guinea pigs that participated and I’m pleased to say that everyone seemed to find it useful as well as enjoyable. Judging by the comments given the highlights of the afternoon were undoubtedly the opportunities to ring with our experts. Firstly ringing Rounds and Call Changes, then Change Ringing, our participants rang with the band with one member stepping out to stand behind them while offering constructive feedback to help refine their technique. The methods rung for the Change Ringing training ranged from plain hunt 5 to Cambridge Surprise Minor depending on the experience of the participant with the emphasis on achieving the best striking rather than stretching to a more complex method, just as one would on a Sunday morning.










Colin Weld being put through his paces by the “experts”


Enormous thanks should be extended to our resident expert band: John Riley, Robin and Judith Rogers, Derek Jones, Jim Benner and Andrew Parker; they all rang for the majority of the three hour session! Clearly their combined totals of 4862 peals had prepared them well for such a marathon. Although they denied they should be termed “experts” they did us proud. Thanks also to Sally Collop, Sue Jones, David and Pat Teall for helping with organisation and the much needed half-time refreshments.

James Thorpe
Ringing Master


Warmington News August 2013

After several years of silence, apart from occasional visits by visiting ringers, the bells of Warmington are busy again.  The old tradition of Friday night practices was revived in April under the leadership of Alex Dyer.  We recruited four local learners and with the help of a dedicated team of teachers we commenced building a local band.  However, three of our learners soon decided ringing was not for them and then, just as it looked as if our efforts might not be sustainable, we were suddenly joined in July by TEN new learners from neighbouring Elton.  The ringing room has become a very hectic and noisy place!  It may be some time before we have a functioning team but meanwhile the learning process has been an enjoyable and laughter filled process.  I would like to thank all the people who have supported us and who have taught with such patience and good humour, notably Alex, John, Yvette, Nick and Elaine, and all the others who have been drafted in to help us out and apologise if I have not named you all.  Your help and enthusiasm is very much appreciated.

Sylvia Upex

After a period of inactivity, St Mary’s is now ringing regularly on a Friday* night.  This is due in the main to the efforts of Sylvia Upex who lives in the village and is a recent learner who attends the Ringing School at Castor on a Saturday morning.  She was keen to ring in her own tower and help recruit a local band that could be trained to ring the bells.  I was happy to assist with this and am grateful to John Riley, Yvette Halewood, Nick Elks, and Elaine Wilkinson who have regularly helped on a Friday night.  There are about 10 learners who are currently attending on a Friday night from a number of nearby villages.

St Mary’s was pleased to host the starter course at the recent ‘Ring for your Supper’ Branch event.

*Practice on Fridays 7.30-9.00pm except the first Friday in the Month.

Alex Dyer, Branch Steward

Nassington News August 2013

We still have an ongoing situation with our bell frame which needs work carried out and the re-tuning of the 2nd and 3rd bells.  However, we have been given the OK to carry on ringing so that is good.  We are also hoping that we might be able to install a sixth bell but no decisions have yet been arrived at as to when the work will be carried out or the cost.


We had a big important service on the 28th July for the induction of our new priest, Michael Mathews.


We had 6 ringers attending from Bourne, Cambridgeshire where Michael was leaving to join our parish.  A week before the service, panic stations prevailed.  The clapper on our treble bell decided to give up the ghost and virtually froze up.  With the help of the branch steward we dropped out the clapper but try as we might, we couldn't loosen it and it was still very stiff.  However, two of our ringers kindly took it to Taylor's at Loughborough who fixed it while they waited.  We reinstalled the clapper and I'm pleased to say everything was fine for the service and the ringing was very good.


Our practice night is the 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays of each month alternating with Kings Cliffe.  We would appreciate anyone who would like to join us but please contact me before hand to make sure we have enough ringers to practice


Keith Underwood

King's Cliffe News August 2013

We are reaping the benefits of our newly rehung bells as our young ringers are no longer discouraged and those of us who are older do not have to work so hard.

Over the school holidays Sophie White,our new recruit, put in many hours of work and is showing great promise.  She also enabled her tutor, a student at the recent branch training course for ringing teachers, to achieve a certificate to acknowledge her competence in the first stage of the course.

Over the course of the spring and summer we have rung for three weddings, welcomed three visiting bands and taken part in a heritage talk on various aspects of the church.

Pat Teall

Glinton News August 2013

After a rather snowy surprise in January, which forced the deferment of the branch AGM, Glinton eventually hosted forty branch members in February when we enjoyed a splendid tea, some good ringing and a useful meeting.

Our own AGM took place in late March where we presented the trophy to our youngest ringer, Alex, in recognition of his regular attendance both at practice nights and services.

We have rung for four weddings already this year, and are booked for two more. As always we are indebted to our many non-resident ringers who continue to help us out for special events as well as stalwart members who regularly arrive for Sunday morning ringing – often travelling quite a distance to attend.

We have welcomed two visiting bands since February. One, in March, came from Deeping Saint James and rang a quarter peal. The second band came from Over, near Cambridge in April and rang a variety of methods.

We have also welcomed several international visitors to the tower; from Hong Kong to Australia. Everyone has been most interested by the bells and the ringing.  In July we rang for Peakirk-cum-Glinton Primary School leavers’ service, coincidentally the same evening as the announcement of the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge!  It was decided to ring call changes (including Princes) to welcome his arrival.

Glinton ringers are now looking forward to the Heritage weekend in September (7th) when, as well as ringing, they will be contributing to the games and general merriment.

We average between eight and twelve ringers each practice evening, ringing call changes and simple methods.  We have been assisted by visitors from the branch as well as a band from St. Mary’s a couple of times recently and are often joined by ringers from Lincolnshire whose talents are always appreciated.

If you wish to join us any Thursday evening from 7:30pm you will receive a warm welcome.


Jill Cowcill

Bulwick News August 2013

Our focus over recent months has been to widen our repertoire.  We have worked our brain cells to their maximum and can now include Surfleet and Annable’s London as well as splicing Childwall and Thelwall.

The local band decamped to King’s Cliffe in July to join the local band to produce some greatly appreciated ringing prior to a Third Sunday Service at which two of their number renewed their marriage vows on the occasion of their Ruby Wedding.

Various members of the band are now polishing their bus passes ready for the annual foray to the Peterborough Beer Festival.

Pat Teall


Benefield News August 2013

The ringers at Benefield had the recent privilege of ringing for all the people who kindly donated money for the restoration of the bells at St Mary's Church.  The weather was good enough for everyone to listen to the bells outside on The Rectory lawn.

We have enjoyed ringing for weddings during the summer and have welcomed visitors to Benefield on tour.  Practices continue on Monday evenings.

Tina Brimley

Peterborough, St John's News August 2013

2013 has begun with a change to ringing at St John the Baptist, Peterborough.  The post of Ringing Master has been reintroduced to help improve ringing for Sunday services.  Nick Elks was voted in at the AGM to fulfil this role. Nick has taken the duties of running Sunday service and practice nights from Paul Reed who has remained Tower Captain.  Nick has also introduced quarter peals to cement the learning for the ringers.  We have completed four this year with the St John's band and the help of a few other dedicated ringers to whom we are indebted.


St John's was pleased to have been asked to host a quarter peal on the 3rd July for the 75th Mallard celebration of the fastest steam train, that took place on the east coast main line between Grantham and Peterborough.  This was rung by a group of enthusiasts who also rang at Grantham and Doncaster (where the Mallard was manufactured) and was reported on our local radio stations.


We can now report that the Carillon that chimes the St John's bells now has an off switch and is in full working order.  Our thanks go specifically to Gordon Tyler without whom this would not have been possible. 


Normal monthly ringing continues on the 2nd Wednesday of the month and everyone is welcome.

St John's is always pleased to accept visiting bands when convenient.


Elaine Wilkinson

Peterborough, St Mary's News August 2013

A great deal has happened in and out of the tower at St Mary’s, which has kept us busy over the past few months. From a ringing perspective we have been ringing less quarter peals, however we do still ring quite a few as we find the more time spent ringing keeps us off the streets and out of trouble. In May we rang 3 quarters and a peal to celebrate our oldest honorary bellringer , Ossie Roberts’ 100th birthday. The peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major was Nick Elks’ first peal.

At the end of May and start of June we had our annual weekend and this year we were based in Hereford at the Green Dragon.  The 9 towers were organised for us by Vic and Dorothy Chamberlain formerly from Stamford but who now live in Stoke Prior. We had a very good weekend, good weather, good company some very nice and interesting bells in lovely countryside, including the new 8 at Yarkhill, birth place of Fabian Stedman.  We ended with coffee and cake at Vic and Dorothy’s home.

Later in June we had our annual outing to Tolethorpe where we picnicked and then saw Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.  Again it was ably organised by Tony and as usual he got the weather right!

On July 17th we had the very sad news that Geoff Davis had died, very suddenly, from a heart attack.  He had been a ringer at St Mary’s since 1952 when he learnt to ring in the old church on the 6 bells with Gilbert Cowlin, Primrose Ridley, Bernard Branston, to name but a few.  He was born and died in the same house in Eastfield Grove.  He died on the 4th anniversary of his partner, Hazel Allen’s death.  Eight quarter peals have been rung at St Mary’s and surrounding towers to celebrate his life, and on 24th August a peal of Cambridge will be rung to mark his service to both St Mary’s and to ringing. The ringers will then adjourn to the Peterborough beer festival where Geoff was a regular visitor and keen promoter of Oakham Ales.  Geoff will be sadly missed for so many things, his love of life, his sense of humour, love of food and beer!

On a more cheerful note we have got 3 new learners who we hope will soon be able to join us for Sunday service ringing.

Joan Parker

Peterborough Cathedral News August 2013

The Rutland Branch rang for Evensong in July;  Thrapston and Peterborough are visiting later in the year.

We rang for the ordination of Priests and for the Ordination of Deacons.  The very large St Peter's Day jamboree doesn't take place at the Cathedral for people from across the Diocese any more, but there is a special St Peter's Day Evensong for which we rang.  Bristol University ringers on tour also rang for Evensong.

Visitors are always welcome on practice night, where they can nearly always ring Surprise Royal and Grandsire Cinques, and sometimes Stedman Cinques.

Robin Rogers

Branch News August 2013

The last six months have provided plenty of work for our new secretary and ringing master who have ensured that all the active towers in the branch have had at least one visit to keep them in touch with what is happening within the branch.

The monthly eight bell practices at St Kyneburgha’s, Castor have continued to be well attended and have provided an excellent opportunity for those of us who normally only ring on five or six to improve and widen our skills.  The introduction of one or two special methods have given us all something to work on.

In May we held another “Ring for your Supper” beginning at Warmington, who provided the starter.  This was a particular pleasure as there has been no ringing at this tower for a few years but a new band has been formed and is being well supported by branch members (see Warmington’s entry).  We then moved to Easton on the Hill for the main course.  This is another tower which had been on the fringes of branch activity but is now showing renewed enthusiasm.  Finally we ate our deserts at King’s Cliffe and sampled the newly rehung bells.  Many thanks to everyone who was involved in running this highly enjoyable afternoon and evening.

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Geoff Davis of St Mary’s, Peterborough who will be greatly missed by his tower, the Ringing School and at branch activities where his hearty voice and good humour always cheered proceedings.

St Mary's, Peterborough

August 2012 - February 2013

Ringing in 2012 was mainly focused on our Jubilee Challenge which was to ring 60 quarter peals before the end of the year of our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  This was achieved on Thursday 13th December and we celebrated with a party at the Conservative Club.  We were joined by some of the ringers and their partners who had helped in the achievement.  34 ringers had taken part and 26 different methods/variations were rung.

We have also managed to fit in social activities and outings.  We had our usual Chinese meal out and our D.I.Y. meal at the Christies.  We have been to the Greyhound Stadium and had our annual ringing weekend in Somerset.

We would like to congratulate Tom Stevenson on ringing his 1st quarter peal with us and also Geoff Davis who has been ringing at St Mary’s for 60 years (although he missed our final Jubilee celebration because of a fractured thumb – he assures us that he was sober at the time of the fall!!)

Joan Parker

St John's, Peterborough

August 2012 - February 2013

Within the latter half of 2012 an attempt was made to restore the Carillon to working order that has not been performing for approximately 10 years.  All went well and it worked over and over and over again as the switch to stop it was not functioning correctly, therefore, in order to conclude the event, we are still waiting for a switch to be made and look forward to it in 2013.

Congratulations go to Colin Weld our Steeple Keeper and Carole who married in Venice on 9th November.

We have had several visitors and guest bands on week days, Sundays and practice nights. It has been delightful to have a few extra hands to enhance our ringing which created useful variation.

On March 15th we will be ringing the annual quarter peal for Matthew Wyldbore day. This year it has been decided to ring Grandsire Triples in collusion with the central towers from Peterborough making it a combined Peterborough event with Robin Rogers, Ringing Master from the Cathedral as captain. The ringers include the tower captains from St John's, St Mary's and St John the Baptist in Stanground plus other St John Peterborough ringing members. The intent is to let the people of Peterborough know more about bell ringing and encourage new recruits so we are targeting BBC Cambridge and the Peterborough Telegraph. No pressure there then!

On the whole we have had a very successful year of Sunday ringing starting 10:20am and at our practice nights on the 2nd Wednesday of the month which everyone is welcome to. Please see our website for more information

Peterborough Cathedral

August 2012 - February 2013

This has been a busy period for the Cathedral ringers with the ringing for special services during Advent and Christmas.  We coped well.  We have 30+ people in the Cathedral Company, many of whom have another home tower as well.  So we are always pleased to welcome visitors and have had Evensong ringing by the Daventry, Peterborough, and Wellingborough branches, and by ringers from the Wimbledon area.

We try and ring two quarter peals a month which over this period have been Plain Bob Royal and Surprise Major, usually with a developmental theme.

On practice night (Monday) we ring Yorkshire S Royal, and Grandsire Caters/Cinques, and sometimes Stedman Cinques and we try London S Royal.

As the mother church of the Diocese it is sometimes a bit lonely here on an outer edge; we wouldn't be offended to see people from across the diocese from time to time.

Robin Rogers


August 2012 - February 2013

By kind permission of the church authorities at St. Peter’s, Oundle, the first peal for 19 years was rung on Christmas Eve, prior to a Nativity Service.

Those who have rung at Oundle will know that the bells are quite loud outside so we were very grateful to be allowed to attempt the peal.  The bells are quite tricky to ring, but after a false start of just over a minute which ended when the tenor chiming hammer smashed the treble stay when it struck mid-day, a good peal was rung.

Peterborough Diocesan Guild
St Peter’s, Oundle
On Monday, 24 December 2012 in 3hr21min
5088 Bristol Surprise Major composed by D F Morrison

1 Paul M Mason
2 Susan E Marsden
3 Richard I Allton
4 Richard C Smith

5 Christopher N McCarthy
6 Richard A Smith
7 Michael G Purday (Conductor)
8 Andrew B Mills

Rung for Christmas and to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

Sue Marsden


August 2012 - February 2013

We are still maintaining our Monday practice, on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays of each month, thanks to ringers from other towers.  Both our two learners, that have been ringing now for over twelve months are progressing very well.  We are now able to ring for most of our Sunday services.  Also, there are two new learners who are attending the Saturday morning training sessions at Castor.

We still have an on-going situation with our bell frame which I commented on in the last newsletter.  Since then, we have had a second engineer’s report from the Whitechapel bell foundry.  This was not quite as serious as the first and he said that we can carry on ringing the bells but there is work that has got to be carried out in the near future.  This is now being negotiated with Whitechapel and will be carried out as soon as agreements and funds have been reached.

Our rope guides we had fitted last year are very good and most helpful to learners.

We would still welcome anyone that would like to join us for our practice sessions.

Keith Underwood

King's Cliffe

August 2012 - February 2013

Our bells came back in the middle of October and, with the kind help of our band of volunteers, were able to ring out in all their glory for the Benefice Communion Service on November 4th.  The sound has been greatly improved by the re-tuning and the handling has been totally transformed.  It is now possible for youngsters and ladies to handle them and it will be much more possible to train learners.  We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to experience their joys.

Over Christmas the local band were supplemented from other local towers in order that we could ring for all the Christmas services and to welcome in the New Year.  Since then the local band have rung for almost all the Sunday services and are maintaining a healthy practice on the second and fourth Monday of each month.

Pat Teall



August 2012 - February 2013

Glinton has had a few months of mixed fortunes. A major event in the church calendar meant that ringing was suspended for a time at the end of September whilst the main floor was replaced.  The pews were removed and the entire floor treated.  Fortunately, we were able to continue ringing at St. Mary’s Peterborough as well as at Barnack, so few practices were missed.  Glinton’s support for Barnack Tower over the last few months has now ceased but was deemed a great success while it lasted.

Unfortunately, during this time we were unable to host a band of ringers from Shrewsbury, although they have promised to return at some date in the future.  We did have a visiting group from Great Gransden however, who rang our bells at the end of October.

On Saturday 24th November there was a service of remembrance for Clifford and Rene Simpson at St. Benedict’s Church, Glinton.  The bells were rung before and after the service at the request of Cliff’s son David.  We invited all who had been brought to ringing as a result of the bells at Glinton, and also all who had enjoyed the bells since their installation, including Peter and Jan Marshall who sent the following reply from Australia:

“Cliff was, of course, a driving force behind the project to reinstate the Glinton Bells in working order and he worked tirelessly to bring it to a conclusion.  I suspect he regretted not being able to be a bell ringer himself!  Without his efforts Jan & I – and several more – would never have become bell ringers and we would have been the poorer for it.”

Words echoed by many that day.

Since then, a succession of health problems in the band has sometimes made ringing difficult; however, we have been much encouraged by the swift progress of our newest ringer, Sue, helped in no small part by her attendance at Castor Ringing School.  Alex, our youngest ringer has proved to be a stalwart member of the band; as ever we are also grateful to ringers from Werrington, Stanground, and of course, Deeping St. James.

At the moment we are busy preparing for the branch AGM - postponed from January - which will take place in Glinton.

Who knows what the New Year will bring?  New members, new skills and new ideas?  We hope so and will always welcome you at our practice nights on Thursday evenings.


August 2012 - February 2013

The last few months have seen our band spread to the four winds on holidays which has left us with a few gaps for service ringing but our practice nights have not suffered due to our regular visitors.  Most Wednesday evenings see a group of 10 to 15 assembled and we range from rounds for our young recruit to spliced surprise for some of the older hands.

Fourteen of us enjoyed a very sociable evening at the Queen’s Head in November.  After an excellent meal and plenty of drink Sue and Derek presented their awards for the year in a variety of categories not unlike the Oscars.  The trophies took the form of gold wrapped chocolate reindeer with bells around their necks!

Pat Teall



August 2012 - February 2013

The ringers at Benefield have enjoyed ringing the bells of St Mary's for some special occasions over the last few months. Charlie Parkhouse experienced ringing the bells half-muffled for the first time for Remembrance Sunday service. The team also rang for carol concerts in December and early Christmas morning!

 Practices continue on Monday evenings. Visitors welcome. 

Tina Brimley

Ringing Centre News, August 2012 - February 2013

During the past six and a half years we have had approximately 60 trainees come to us, less than half of this number required teaching from scratch the remainder came to get help in improving their bell handling, to gain confidence and to learn methods up to and including Cambridge Surprise Minor! In order for us to achieve these targets a band of dedicated trainers is required.  For teaching methods we require a minimum of 6 experienced trainers – 5 to ring and one to stand with the trainee.  Fortunately I have a pool of a dozen ringers who are prepared to help and cover for absences, etc.  The hard core of trainers that have been with me from the start include David and Pat Teall, Paul Read and Chris Burgess, Paul is often unable to make Saturday mornings so we supplement this core with Alex Dyer, Stuart Weston, Elaine Wilkinson, Mac Bell, Geoff Davis, James Thorpe and, a recent addition, Nick Elks.

When we first started the tower produced a good supply of replacement stays and we did break a few – no more than half a dozen and we do replace them ourselves.  To pay the tower for the breakages and general wear and tear of the bells and equipment plus heating and lighting, we collect a 50p levy from all attendees each week, this is paid direct to the tower. We may require a major up-date of sensor and computer equipment in the future and would require funds to pay for this.

On Saturday, 26th January, we held a ‘Train the Trainers’ coarse run by a Sue Fallah from Lincolnshire with three trainee mentors and six trainee teachers. Unfortunately Stuart Weston  - one of the trainee mentors - was stricken with flu and was unable to attend.

I submit an annual report to the Central Council (who provided initial funding when the centre was established).  In recognition of its continued success the ringing centre has received a certificate of recognition from the Central Council which has been framed and mounted in the ringing chamber.

Tony Evans

Branch News August 2012 - February 2013

The Branch has held an eight bell practice on the first Friday of each month at St.Kyneburgha’s, Castor.  They have been very well attended with up to twenty ringers of widely differing abilities resulting in methods ranging from Plain Hunt Triples to Bristol Surprise Major.

The Branch AGM scheduled for the end of January had to be postponed due to bad weather, however, it was able to go ahead on February 9th.  Ringing began at Maxey, then on to Glinton for further ringing followed by a service led by Revd. Dr. Hilary Geisow.  The hymns went with a real flourish thanks to Michael Keck on the organ.  We retired to the Village Hall for a magnificent tea laid on by the local band.  Thus fortified thirty plus members assembled for the business meeting chaired by Tony Evans.  Only two branch officers changed, Sally Collop being elected as Secretary and James Thorpe as Ringing Master.  The day was rounded off by further ringing at Glinton.

St Mary's August 2012

We are pleased that Andrew Christie now has a job, but sad that it is in Dorking and so we only see him at weekends.  However Stuart Weston has very ably stood in for Andrew as conductor and so our total of quarter peals for the Jubilee year is still on target.  Thankyou Stuart!   By the time this is printed we hope that we will have reached our 50th (only 10 more to go!)

In March we rang two quarter peals as tributes to Canon Christie, who sadly lost his fight against cancer.

In May we joyfully rang for Ossie Robert's 99th birthday.  Ossie learnt to ring with us in his 70's but soon realised that it was too much for him.  He has always taken a keen interest in what we do and is now our oldest honorary member.

We rang a quarter peal on the day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and also in July after we had watched the Olympic Torch pass by. Later that month we rang to celebrate Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour De France.

The quarter on 26th July was not only for the start of the Olympics on the next day, but also Alex Dyers 100th quarter.  Congratulations Alex!  Geoff Davis rang our tenor at 8.12am on the 27th for the Ring around Britain.

We hosted a charity lunch in June which enabled us to hand over a cheque for £400 to The Rudolph Fund which takes under privileged children on holiday at Christmas.

Cathedral August 2012

We have not been quite so blessed with ringing talent recently on practice night, and miss two ringers, one has moved away and one is not well. We can usually manage to ring up to Yorkshire S Royal and S Major.

We have had visiting parties one each from the Thrapston Branch, and the Rutland Branch, and evensong ringing by Henlow, Beds,

Ringing for the Olympic Torch (which came into the precincts) was not possible due to disturbing other City events.  The opening of the Olympics was celebrated by the ringing of the 30 cwt Bourdon bell as loudly and quickly as possible for 3 minutes.  Local radio interviewed Canon Richard Cattle whose line was " how splendid it is to be able to join in this exciting celebration".

We offer an open invitation to all Branches of the Guild to ring for Evensong each year, and it was especially pleasant recently to welcome the Thrapston Branch for I think the first time. They rang very well indeed. Would Branches please consider putting such a visit in their 2013 programme?  The most convenient time is a 2nd, 4th or 5th Sunday in the month, meet at 2pm, ring 2:20 to 3:20 pm before Evensong. Branches are also similarly encouraged to ring quarter peals on Sunday afternoons, and requests for peal attempts on Saturday mornings are considered positively.

Contact Mike Goodall or Robin Rogers to make arrangements please.

Nassington August 2012

We have had our rope guides installed by Taylor’s with help from myself to keep the cost down and they are very successful.

Our two learners are making very good progress and are very keen and enthusiastic, they are ringing for services and one has already rung for a wedding.  Unfortunately neither of them were available over the Jubilee weekend so we were unable to ring.

However, it isn’t all good news for our tower.  We had our Quniquennial inspection by Architect Canon J D Limentani and he has deemed our bell frame unsafe due to several joints being degenerated due to rust lamination.  He stated that the bells must not be rung until an engineer’s inspection had been carried out.  However, we have had the engineer’s inspection and he has now said that we can carry on ringing, but work on the frame must be carried out within the next twelve months.  We are now awaiting the full report from the engineer to know exactly the extent of the work to be carried out and hope it isn’t going to be too drastic.

Benefield August 2012

Practice nights continue on Monday evenings at 7.30pm.  All the learners are making good progress.  Janet Roberts and Eleanor Readon have just joined us.  Janet was a complete beginner but is proving to be a natural.  She is already attempting plain hunt.  Eleanor had previously learnt to handle a bell, and though it was quite some time ago, she is now refreshing her memory with plain hunt and bob doubles.

We have been pleased to welcome visiting ringers, some local and some not so.  We have also been honoured to ring for 2 more weddings.  We look forward to welcoming you to Lower Benefield in the future.

King's Cliffe August 2012

After struggling for the last few years with bells and fittings that were showing their age, we are delighted to report that they are now with Taylors in Loughborough undergoing their one hundred year service.  We hope to be fully operational again early in November and look forward to welcoming you all to try them out.

We are most grateful to the Guild Belfry Repair Fund for their help towards financing the project, Chris Burgess, Alex Dyer and Murray Coleman who gave generously of their time to assist Taylor’s Bell-hanger Paul Mason, Kirsten Stokes who recorded it all on her camera and to Georgie Atkinson who kept us all fed and watered.

Glinton August 2012

Glinton has been very busy during the last few months. We rang for HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by ringing at 3:00pm on June 3rd when the Royal Jubilee river pageant began; we also joined in “Ringing down the Valley” on June 4th when church bells “called” to each other in a 65 mile length of the Welland Valley from Sibbertoft to Fosdyke.

Glinton’s bells joined in celebration of the Olympics by combining with thousands of bells across the UK in artist Martin Creed’s project entitled “All the Bells” to mark the official start of the Olympic Games on July 27th. We rang for three minutes, joined in the performance by local people outside the church ringing handbells.

A quarter peal of plain bob doubles was also rung in Glinton on July 30th by a band from the Lincolnshire Diocesan Guild which included two people who regularly ring at Glinton. It was dedicated “for the Olympics”.

To mark the Olympic ladies’ marathon, thirteen ladies rang the first ever full peal by an all female band on the bells of St Paul’s Cathedral as the marathon passed by outside. One member of this band was Gaby Cowcill, a former member of Glinton tower. She was congratulated outside afterwards by Robin and Judith Rogers who had made the trip in her support. The method was Stedman Cinques rung in 3hrs 57mins. We were very proud to be associated with this.

We have been ringing for a number of weddings, including the daughter of our priest-in-charge, which coincided with the wedding of our tower captain’s daughter some miles away. We dedicated part of the ringing that afternoon to Anne Geisow and part to Sarah-Jane Goodall.

Glinton has hosted three visiting bands, all of whom were delighted to be able to ring our beautiful bells. We celebrated at a confirmation service conducted by the Bishop of Peterborough in June.

We have supported Barnack Tower over the last few months. This was a commitment made at our AGM in April and welcomed by the tower captain at Barnack. Numbers at this joint practice night have been very encouraging.

Following publicity in the parish magazine, two new recruits arrived to “have a go” at ringing. One lady seems to be very enthusiastic and we hope she will continue. The numbers each practice night are still very buoyant, due in no small part to the friendliness and warmth shown by all.

Glapthorn August 2012

A band of three ringers (Michael Taylor, Bob Brewer and Pauline Davidson) chimed the bells on Friday 27th July to celebrate the start of the Olympics.  The Churchwarden was our timer, and ensured we rang for exactly 3 minutes from 08.12 to 08.15!

Easton-on-the-Hill August 2012

Since the last newsletter ringing at Easton has continued to develop into the world of change ringing.  We have hugely benefitted from the publicity afforded by the branch website with our practices now regularly attracting visitors for the first time.  This has enabled us to progress from minimus into bob doubles with some success.

As for many towers this has been a prolific few months of ringing for community events, never has bell ringing had such a profile within the village.  We marked the Queen’s Jubilee ringing on the Sunday at the behest of the parish council.  On the Monday we were delighted to participate in the “Ringing Down the Welland Valley” with band members from Easton travelling on to support ringing in Stamford and Barnack for this event.

The early morning ringing planned for the opening of the Olympics had initially drawn sceptical responses from our members so nothing was planned.  In the event, several ringers were moved by the occasion and turned up any way just in case!!  Luckily the church was open and we joined in ad hoc.  Possibly because of the unusual timing of the ringing, feedback from the village folk has been abundant and all positive.

Another noteworthy event in July was Easton ringer Helena Thorpe achieving her first quarter peal, as a 15th Wedding Anniversary celebration.  This was incidentally the first quarter on the bells for 8 years.

Castor August 2012

As usual St. Kyneburgha’s band has had a busy first half of the year. Sadly we have lost one of our newer and most regular ringers Joyce Smith who has retired due to a back problem. On the other hand we have gained Helen Campbell, although not a Sunday service ringer as she is at St. Martin’s Without, Helen comes to all our practices and is a regular ringer for weddings and funerals. A great asset and much appreciated.

So far this year we have rung for six weddings here and three at Wansford, also four funerals here. We were delighted to ring for Professor Stephen Upex’s daughter’s wedding at Warmington in July. He is a valued supporter and contributor to the St. Kyneburgha Building Preservation Trust in its Roman tours.

Five visiting bands so far who have rung two peals and one quarter. We have rung here just two quarters ourselves, but some of our more accomplished ringers have been of assistance to St. Mary’s with their goal of 60 Jubilee quarters.

We hosted part of the Branch Ring for your Supper and the Guild AGM in May. There was a sponsored ring also in May organised by Michael Kennedy for Children’s Villages in Haiti in continuing the support we gave after the earthquake.

A quarter was rung for the Queen’s accession in February, and we rang for the Queen’s Jubilee. Some of us rang with Maxey for the Ringing Down the Welland Valley for the Jubilee.

Great fun was had ringing fast, loud and furious for the Olympics. As church bells cannot be rung that way we decided to chime them for the three minutes at the appointed moment, and were joined by our Rector William Burke, Ray Hemingray, Brian Goode, and others who joined in. Steve Reed managed to chime two at once! Our Hand Belles also rang but on the roadside in the centre of the village. They rang for an additional half hour raising money for Disabled Riders of England, on a bright sunny morning.

 Our annual summer lunch was held for forty to thank our tolerant families for their tolerance, putting up with us being otherwise engaged so often at weekends. (We look forward to making a little more progress and continued enjoyment ringing).

We are relieved to hear Tony Evans, our ex Tower Captain, and the one who was responsible for most of us taking up ringing, is home and recovering, we wish him all the best.

Finally we would like to express our delight in the results Alice Castle achieved all As and A*s and her confirmed place at Birmingham to study medicine, (also where Inga Wilson qualified). We wish her the very best and hope she will find a little time to ring there.

Bulwick and Blatherwycke August 2012


Our one bell was chimed for three minutes at 8.12am for the start of the Olympics.



Our numbers have been reduced over the past few months due to some of us taking far too many holidays!  The result has been a reduction in our social activities but no noticeable decrease in our belfry performance.  Our Wednesday night practices are always well attended and cover a very wide range of methods and we have managed to field a strong band for all the required services.  There has only been one wedding since the last newsletter and we did need to seek outside help to make six for it.

A Bulwick band rang a quarter to celebrate the joint occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Sue and Andrew’s Silver Wedding.  We also chimed three bells for three minutes at 8.12am to mark the start of the Olympics.

To end on a really positive note we have a new recruit, aged 7.  Is this a record?  She is the fourth ringer in her family.

Branch News August 2012

We have been delighted to host two guild events over the past few months.  On 7th April a large group of cyclists and walkers congregated at Rutland Water to take part in the Annual Sponsored Ride and Ramble.  The Guild AGM came to the Peterborough Branch with ringing at Benefield, Castor and Oundle.  As a branch we have enjoyed another Ring for your Supper, the starter being at Thornhaugh, the main course at Barnack and Pudding at Castor.  What a fantastic evening!  At the end of March David Teall put his schoolmaster’s hat back on to lead a Bob Minor Course at the ringing centre in Castor.  The monthly eight-bell practices have continued to be well attended with a good range of methods.

The Branch Committee felt that we were being left behind in this electronic age and took the decision to embark on its own website which is now up and running thanks to the hard work of David and Sally.

Jubilee Celebrations "Ringing Down the Welland Valley"

The Branch played its part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  Below is attached an account written by someone who followed the cascade of ringing all the way from near Harborough to the Wash


Diamond Jubilee cascade of ringing 4th June 2012

A selection of reports from the various towers:


My wife  and I meandered down the Welland Valley, visiting eleven or twelve of the churches that were ringing, ending up at Surfleet and Fosdyke at the end of the day. The atmosphere in all  of them was wonderful, varying from competently professional to enthusiastic amateur, not least Barrowden, where almost all the ringers had taken up ringing only four months ago in order to participate in the day. 

(CW of SIbbertoft who  had followed the cascade from its source to the sea).


  A wonderful idea . I hadn't rung with any body for years, and thoroughly enjoyed being back, Thank you. CW


Weston by Welland

We had some 20 ringers turn up at Weston and the last group did a touch of Gransire to round off the session, and it all went off very well. I think it brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.



“In Ashley we had quite a number of people in and around the church to hear the ringers which was unexpected and very nice.    The main team from Rothwell were brilliant, of
course.     I was the only Ashley ringer, so I joined in with a young boy from Rothwell in rounds near the end.  I agree with Her Majesty that it was a very touching thing to do”  




I am pleased to record that at Harringworth we rang for 20 minutes between 14 40 – 1500hrs. We rang some very tidy and rhythmic rounds and call changes to include as many ringers as possible. A total of 11 rang, and there were a further 15 visitors in the church watching



“We rang successfully in our allotted time in The Cascade Ring"  Our part went well and we had about 20 of the village looking on. We finished off with Champagne provided  our Vicar.

We had just recently started to ring again  and have three learners. We  were all, however, determined to be part of the project.


Tixover and Duddington

Many thanks for including us in the cascade of church bells. Duddington and Tixover did their bit on time!   A great idea,congratulations



“In Stamford, we could hear the bells approaching from Easton-on-the-Hill, passing through Stamford, out to Uffington and then down to Barnack. It was wonderful!  Within Stamford, the great peals of All Saints and St Martin’s were rung with the 4 bells of St John’s and the single bell of St Mary’s superimposed”. 



 St Andrew's Northborough chimed its two bells starting at 6:45 p.m. on Monday (60 chimes).We were so happy to be part of it and chimed our two bells with pride  Our organist chimed the bells.  A great end to the Festivities!”    





At Crowland the ringing team went to the Crowland "Picnic in the Park" where approx 2,000 people were enjoying Jubilee celebrations which went on into late evening,
culminating in a grand firework display.  



“The eight bells of the parish church of Spalding, St Mary & St Nicolas were rung from 8pm until about 8.30pm    A total of 10 ringers took part and we rang touches of Plain Bob Major and Plain Bob Triples.    Lots of people from church and the community came to listen and watch the ringing, and afterwards we had hot dogs, cake, cider and fruit punch in church.  From outside the church we watched Spalding’s jubilee beacon being lit at 10.15pm on the South Holland Centre across the river, and the evening finished with fireworks from the top of the church tower.  It was a fine, dry evening here, which was perfect for all of this”. 



  What a success! At St. Mary's Pinchbeck we rang from 8.20 to 8.40 and finished with "firing" the bells 12 times. We had a total of 11 ringers who thoroughly enjoyed it followed        by champagne. A concert had taken place in the church before hand with about 200 attending and many stayed and listened to the bells and applauded appropriately. Later many stayed to see our beacon lit on top of the church tower at 10.20.p.m.


The final group ringing at Surfleet was a festive occasion   All 12 bells were rung from 8.40pm to 9.00pm, following a warm up some time prior to our official allotted time span. Rounds and call changes were the order of the day. Tittums and Queens sounded great on all 12 bells. A large group of ringers and visitors joined in the event, which was followed by a celebratory supper of hot dogs, salad and a wide variety of scrumptious cold puddings.  The atmosphere   was buzzing, enjoyed by ringers who took part and visitors who came to support the ringers. We had a rather late but very enjoyable night.



“The  bell in the last church down stream on the river Welland was chimed 60 times just after 9.00 pm.   Thank you for   giving a small church the opportunity to make a mark on the map.



Ringing Centre News, August 2011 - February 2012

This current programme of two-hour training sessions on Saturday mornings started in April 2007, initially to train a band of ringers for Wansford. Unfortunately within three months all had dropped out but in the meantime other people had heard about the centre and joined us. We most certainly did not expect to still be in demand 5 years on!

During this period we have had approximately 50 trainees come to us; less than half of this number required teaching from scratch the remainder came to get help in improving their bell handling, to gain confidence and to learn methods. In order for us to achieve these targets a band of dedicated trainers is required. Unfortunately we are about to lose one of our most dedicated, Richard Laing who is returning to Australia in March. He will be sorely missed.

To show that it is not all work and no play students and tutors all came together for a Christmas Lunch at ‘The Feathers’ and again in February for a Farewell and Thank You party for Richard.

Peterborough St Mary, August 2011 - February 2012

We are pleased that we have two new ringers, each capable of ringing rounds and call changes. We hope that we will be able to recruit more this year. This year, being the Queen’s diamond jubilee, we have challenged ourselves to ring 60 quarter peals, 1 for each year of her reign. So far we are a tenth of the way there!

In January we had our D.I.Y. dinner once again at Andrew and Gillian’s. twenty two of us sat down to a most delicious meal. Thanks again to our hosts for putting up with us! We paid our annual visit to the Greyhound Stadium in February, when twelve of us had an enjoyable, if not terribly profitable for most, evening. The food was very good and the dogs seemed to enjoy themselves although they didn’t always perform to our expectations!

In April we are planning another trip to Somerset to catch up with Sharon and Andie’s news and to try some more of the Somerset towers and cider. July sees another of our now annual events, an evening at Tolethorpe to see “The Three Musketeers”. That is always preceded with a “bring and share” picnic.

We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Lynelle and Richard, who by the time that you read this will be sunning themselves “down under”. Although they haven’t been able to ring regularly with us, Richard has been a great asset in quarter peals. We will be giving them a send off with some nibbles and drinks at the Conservative Club. They will be sadly missed!

Peterborough Cathedral News, August 2011 - February 2012

We have had a busy summer. The last practice before the August break was well supported with 25 people there, and we tried Yorkshire Maximus for the first time in ages, and had two keen young first time visitors from the Deepings. We also ring lots of rounds (nothing better for special occasions), call changes and Plain Hunt, and Grandsire caters and cinques.

We had a "Have a look, Have a go" after morning Eucharist which has successfully attracted 4 beginners from the congregation. It has been good to welcome the Daventry, Rutland and Wellingborough branches to ring for Sunday Evensong, and there are three more branches booked in this year. For 2012 Culworth, Northampton, Thrapston and Towcester Branches why not put a visit in your programme? Some Branches have been very pleasantly surprised at the support they have received for this. Normal recipe is to meet at 2pm on the 2nd or 4th Sunday and ring for the 3:30 pm Evensong.

Glapthorn News, August 2011 - February 2012

On 21st January, a visiting band rang a quarter peal on our 3 bells - Tenor: 6 cwt:

1260 changes of Plain Bob Singles in 34 mins

1 Graham R Hayward (Conductor) 2 Paul V Kibblewhite 3 Matthew J Smith

Plans are going ahead for some reordering of Glapthorn Church. This includes installing a lavatory with disabled facilities at the base of the tower. In order to accommodate this, the ringing floor will need to be raised (it is currently a ground floor ring). Alex Dyer, Guild Steward has visited the church and has advised the architect how this work can be done. We hope the reordering will be completed during 2013.

Oundle News, August 2011 - February 2012

We are trying to establish regular practice nights again at Oundle. Currently we hold one on the third Tuesday of each month, and they are led by Bob Gardener. We are very grateful for the support of ringers from other towers who have come along, climbed the steps and rung the eight bells.

During 2012 we hope to be able to encourage new and experienced ringers from Oundle to come forward.

Nassington News, August 2011 - February 2012

Much better news for us this year. We now have two new learners who have been attending the Castor training centre on Saturday mornings for all of last year and are making very good progress. They are now able to ring for our Sunday services which is a massive bonus for us, allowing us to ring more often.

We are also in the process of having rope guides installed, which will be a great help to newcomers wanting to learn how to ring and also experienced ringers. It has taken quite a time to get everything organised for the installation but hopefully within the next few months we should be up and running.

With the kind help of ringers from Woodnewton, Gidding and Bulwick, we are still managing to maintain a Monday practice but not as often as we would like. Our practice is the 1st, 3rd and 5th Mondays of each month, alternating with Kings Cliffe on the 2nd and 4th Mondays. If anyone is available to join us they would be very welcome.

Benefield News, August 2011 - February 2012

Lower Benefield practices are held on Monday evenings at 7.30pm. We currently have 2 learners who are now ringing rounds confidently and are working on call changes and plain hunting. During the Summer months through to December, we rang for a few weddings and a christening, and it was lovely for the band to ring on Christmas Day morning. We had some lovely comments from the villagers who were pleased to hear them ringing out. It is nice to be welcoming fellow ringers and visitors too.

Glinton News, August 2011 - February 2012

Glinton’s bells have continued to ring out, still averaging ten to fourteen people per practice night. Over the Christmas period we rang for all the church services as well as the Christmas tree switch-on. The bells are always of interest to the youngsters at this time and we were able to let them chime the bells after the switch-on, which they enjoyed tremendously.

We have been delighted to welcome a new ringer, Alex, to Glinton. He approached the tower asking us to assist him in the achievement of his Duke of Edinburgh award. He duly completed his award in record time, found out that he really enjoyed ringing and has become a regular – learning changes and methods far too quickly for the majority of us!

January’s Branch AGM saw two ringers from Glinton voted onto the branch committee as well as hearing a special “thank you” from out-going chairman Robin Rogers to Mike Goodall and Glinton ringers. We were very proud.

In general we have very few peals rung at Glinton, but a very snowy February 6th was a special occasion as a peal of 5040 changes was rung to celebrate H M the Queen’s Accession. The peal was rung by members of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild and was much appreciated by those who heard it – as well as appreciating the effort involved in travelling to ring at 9:30am in such weather.

Sadly, on 28th October 2011 Clifford Simpson died. Cliff instigated the Glinton Spire Bell Appeal in 1996 to fund the work needed for the bells, which had not been rung since 1979, to be rung again. In 1998 the work was completed, in time for the Millennium - which was one of Cliff’s goals. It is with gratitude and thanks that the members of Glinton Bell Ringers’ Band remember Cliff.

Easton on the Hill News, August 2011 - February 2012

Easton has been pleased to welcome Keith and Sheila as two new ringers to our band who have recently moved to our village. We have also been pleased to have a brand new ringer Helena, who has learnt to ring at Castor’s excellent Saturday morning training sessions. They have all strengthened our band in numbers and expertise. We have therefore made our first tentative steps into the world of change ringing. We have managed to ring a respectable Bastow Little Bob Minimus having been a plain-hunt-only tower previously. Christmas was marked by ringing for the Carol Service and the Crib service for which Helena and I then dashed to the front and led. Ah the benefits of a ground floor ring! For 2012 we are hoping to extend minimus change ringing to all members of our band before considering mounting a challenge on Bob Doubles. We have even decided as a band to extend our practice night by 15 minutes…we now ring for 45 minutes!! I have broached the subject of “Ringing Down the Valley” and we are planning to support the project.

James Thorpe

James, a former pupil of the Ringing Centre, rang his first peal "inside" to Cambridge Surprise Major less than a year from his first quarter. He is also now Peterborough Branch Assistant Ringing Master.

Castor News, August 2011 - February 2012

We held our AGM in January which was William Baxter’s seventh year as Tower Captain. Our Band rang for 78 services at St. Kyneburgha’s in 2011. This has been a very much more challenging year for us with several serious injuries, not ringing induced I hasten to add! Ginny Sheldon is now only able to help on the occasions we are very short, Bob Mann has given up with a shoulder injury, Anna Reed has also given up due to wrist injury, Jon Ardron has tried to ring but his damaged elbow has still made no improvement. Our longest serving member and Steeple Keeper for 19 years Steve Reed shocked us all by his unexpected hospitalisation in December, he has only just started ringing again in the last few days. Lastly William Baxter had shoulder surgery in November on three ruptured tendons which he did in February playing squash. We could not have managed to meet our ringing requirements if it was not for key ringers, in particular our two newest recruits, Joyce Smith and Sarah Wood who both rang for a staggering 44 services each.

We rang for 9 weddings at Castor, and 9 funerals. The Band also rang for 10 weddings at Wansford and Thornhaugh. As usual we have been brilliantly supported in our additional towers by Mick and Mandy Loveder and Joan Parker. We had 44 Monday practice evenings at Castor, and one very beneficial practice at Wansford for our wedding ringing, we rang one quarter peal last year, conducted as usual by Stuart Weston and we were delighted to host 8 visiting bands. We held two social events in 2011, our usual Summer Lunch in the garden of Ann and Jon Ardron and Christmas dinner at the Feathers.

The Hand Belles captained by Maggie Noble have the same eleven regular ringers as last year. They rang for the Sutton and Castor Harvest Festivals and felt honoured to be asked to ring for the official opening of the new St Michael’s Hall. A new experience for them was to ring during the Intercessions on one Sunday in Lent last year. Another first in 2011 was to be asked to ring at Dobbie’s Garden Centre during a special Christmas promotional evening. The main event of the year which was once again their Christmas Charity Concert, held in the Village Hall and this time featuring Andrew Nash as the guest soloist. A slightly smaller audience than last year but still raised a total of £600 for the MS Society.

King's Cliffe News, August 2011 - February 2012

We continue to practise every second and fourth Monday and to ring for Sunday service whenever possible. Over Christmas we were able to call the parishioners to the Crib Service, Mid-night Mass and Christmas Day and we rang in the New Year. This had been specially requested on the Village Forum website and we were delighted by the enthusiastic welcome we received as we left the church.

Bulwick News, August 2011 - February 2012

We have experienced a lively and sociable six months here in Bulwick beginning with the Beer Festival which, predictably, we can’t remember much about. The following day we celebrated Andrew’s 50th birthday with a barbecue which again is a bit of a blur. In November we held our tower dinner when sixteen of us sat down to an excellent meal at The Queen’s Head, Bulwick followed by the usual present-giving. Tony’s squirrels are still enjoying the interesting ‘top-shelf’ publication Nuts which they received. The cold spell early in December saw a less happy event when one of our number fell on the way back from delivering her grand-daughter to school and was rewarded with a seriously broken leg. However we are not easily defeated in these parts and she continued to share with us Chris’s birthday bash before Christmas and the usual feast and frivolities in Weldon prior to ringing in the New Year. Which brings us to our true purpose – ringing. Our practices continue to attract ten to fifteen ringers and we cover a wide range of methods, Surfleet having been recently introduced. It is with pride that we report the ringing of a touch of six spliced surprise with five of the band Bulwick ringers. We have also managed a competent band for every appropriate service.

Branch News, August 2011 - February 2012

Since the last newsletter the branch have held a meeting at Benefield followed by lunch in a local hostelry and hosted the Guild quiz night in Woodnewton. The monthly eight bell practices have continued to be well attended and a number of members put their new found skills into practise at the branch ringing for Cathedral Evensong just before Christmas. The AGM was held on January 14th at Bulwick and was attended by 36 members. The service was taken by Benefice Reader, David Teall, a member of the Bulwick band and the organ was played by Michael Kecke, a regular visitor to the Bulwick practice night. Not wishing to be outdone the ladies of the band prepared a sit down meal of casseroles, jacket potatoes and apple pie to warm everyone up before the business meeting. The meeting began by paying tribute to Ernie Orland who died shortly after our last meeting. Thanks were expressed to Robin and Judith Rogers as they retired from their positions. Tony Evans was elected Chairman, Andrew Parker Ringing Master with James Thorpe as Deputy, Sally Collop Tower Liaison Officer and Rita Harris as a committee member. Joyce Smith, Sarah Wood, Keith and Sheila Denison, Keith Dalziel, Steven White, Tom White, Brian and Hilary Harvey were elected as new members. The formal business was followed by further ringing before retiring to the Queen’s Head.