Update: 14 February from Helen Allton.

Dear all,

Please find below the latest update from Helen. Do note the deadline for participating in the survey in the paragraph headed “Your input needed”.

For those that use Ringing Room, Helen is interested in hearing how ringers find it. If you don’t use it, but are interested in doing so, then please contact Helen. She may be able to put like-minded and similar standard ringers together in a tower.

Best wishes,


PS: A postscript to Helen Allton’s update of 14 February about Ringing Room. Readers might like a personal perspective. 
I am a Ringing Room regular with Nassington Tower ringers, led by Hilary Hardie and Terry Wright. We meet once a week and ring for an hour and a half.  The average number of ringers is around 9-10.  This number gives everyone a fair go at ringing during the allotted time.  
Once the early fear of Ringing Room dissipated, we mastered Plain Hunt on 5 and progressed to Bob Doubles.  Once we had tackled that, we moved on to Grandsire.  Then we moved on to Plain Hunt on 6, with a view to ringing Bob Minor – plain courses for now.  
It’s working!  We are all challenged, but it’s a tonic after being at home, locked in by Covid and, until the other day, snow!   It has been a steep learning curve and some weeks are better than others. It’s not just the ringing, but connectivity with the internet has been an intermittent issue. That said, Ringing Room is much better than no ringing.  It allows us to learn and practice methods, albeit on a computer, without having to think about bell handling in a tower.  
The big question remains: how will this translate back into a real tower and real bells? In the interim, I’ve found it very helpful.


Let’s start this week with an anniversary, the 12th saw the 125th anniversary of the first woman to ring a peal. Alice White rang the treble to a peal of Grandsire Triples at Basingstoke in 1896. As a sensible woman, I bet she then realised that there are better things to do with 3 hours of her time! An article celebrating her success features in this week’s Ringing World. https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/

Your input needed

The University of York are conducting a survey on behalf of Church of England, Historic England, the Association of English Cathedrals, the National Churches Trust and the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance for you to contribute to thinking and planning at a key moment in the developing response to COVID-19. The aim is to draw together the experience and insights of clergy and other church staff, volunteers, congregations, and members of the wider community.

As volunteers associated with the church, bellringers can and should contribute to this survey, giving details of your needs in the belfry after lockdown restrictions are lifted. Are there more things churches/cathedrals could do to help you (and others) stay connected? What would you miss most if your church/cathedral was forced to close permanently?

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete. If we could get a significant proportion of ringers to complete it, it could help in informing and educating church and heritage organisations to the contribution that bellringers make. https://churchesandcovid.org/

The closing date is the 28th February, so please make an effort to complete this if you can. 

Guild News

The Guild is looking into the possibility of a series of talks on areas of ringing. That can be theory, teaching techniques, learning tips and tricks, maintenance, rope splicing, running a practice, community involvement, you name it really. If there is an area you want to know more or a topic that you think you could talk about, please get in touch. At present we’re gauging interest, so no commitment at this point. 

General interest

This presentation was given as part of the Churches Conservation Trust’s lunchtime lectures, as an introduction to ringing and its history. https://youtu.be/lqw6E9zQjtU

And this lecture on the mathematics of bellringing covers both tuning and methods. This was by the Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, Sarah Hart, as part of a series of lectures on mathematics in music and writing. https://youtu.be/44jXUo6KaVs

Ringing Room

This has now been with us for almost a year. Why use it? 
• It can help with listening skills and ringing by rhythm.

• Learners don’t need to worry about controlling the bell AND knowing the method.

• A good way to learn ringing the tenor behind to odd bell methods.

• You get some social interaction

• You get to ring in your pyjamas – as long as you turn the video off!!

• It’s fun! 

If you’re using it, how have you found it? If you wanted to do more, get in touch and we can look at putting like-minded people in touch to progress.  

Fun and Games

Ringers think in odd ways. What on earth are they trying to describe in this collection of words? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/248613980077333

The methods to fit into the grid seem to be largely named after Abbeys. Let’s hope that this is easier than ringing at Crowland (where I wussed entirely and refused to try!) https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/237384811200250

The wordsearch features the Letter N. There are a few interesting names, including my maiden name. Plus some local links, Naseby, Northampton and Nene. The picture is of the Nene looking serene. Controversial question – does that rhyme? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/246414516963946

Some number sequences to get those brains cells bouncing about. What fills in the gaps? https://www.facebook.com/PDGCBR/posts/244333480505383

Central Council updates

The Central Council and ART have together published the third Survival and Recovery newsletter. It can be downloaded here. https://cccbr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Survival-Recovery-Newsheet-Issue-3.pdf It discusses a toolbox. That has already been sent out to branches for them to discuss what might be needed or could happen at branch level. We’ll be aiming to support you from Guild level. You can expect to see some of the items in the weekly updates as the weeks progress.  Let us know what you want to see happen. 

The President’s latest blog was published. https://cccbr.org.uk/2021/02/10/presidents-blog-27/

Until now, there has been duplication of information on the listing of bells and bellframes between Dove and the CofE. A route forward has been agreed and information will be held in a single location. This is a significant simplification in understanding the preservation status of bells and frames. https://cccbr.org.uk/2021/02/05/working-with-the-church-buildings-council-on-the-dove-bell-register/

To finish up, in honour of St Valentine’s day

Lots of love

Guess who


Helen Allton

Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PDGCBR

Website: www.pdg.org.uk

e-mail: secretary@pdg.org.uk

telephone: 01832 735266