Learning opportunities from the Guild

More Second Saturday Sessions

May 14th 2022 saw the first Guild-organised SSS which allowed expertise across the Guild to be shared and enjoyed by many ringers.  Two separate sessions were run, but both appeared popular, so they are being repeated as follows.

Session 1 – Basic Bell Maintenance on Saturday 10th September.

This is aimed at those who are interested in the mechanics of the bells and would like to learn a bit more, especially about how to keep the bells and fittings in good working order.  It will be a mainly practical session held up in the belfry and would suit new recruits as well as existing ringers.  At the moment this date is looking fully subscribed.

Session 2 – Beyond Plain Bob on Saturday 9th July.

For those ringers who have been confidently ringing Plain Bob (Doubles or Minor) and want to find out how to learn and ring other methods, such as St Simon’s Doubles, St Clements and Single Oxford Bob Minor.  It will be a practical session, preceded by a theory session by Zoom.  At the moment there is space on this course.

We would also like to put on a few other courses that combine theory and practice.

Session 3 – Understanding Call Changes on Saturday 13th August.

This will be for those who can keep their bell in the right place in rounds but want to move onto ringing Call Changes or who have started to do so but keep “getting it wrong”.  Places will be limited and the location will be chosen to suit those who put their names forward.  If necessary, a re-run will be organised.

Session 4 – Intermediate Bell Maintenance

A follow-up, hands-on session for those who have attended session 1.  It will cover looking after ropes and stays; learning how to change a rope and stay, how to adjust the length of a tail-end, and how to splice a broken rope. The date and location will be shared with those who attended “Basic Bell Maintenance” but additional places may be available for anyone who just needs to learn these skills.

Session 5 – Ringing up and down in peal

With advice and practice for either one of these activities, this would suit ringers who are members of bands that regularly lower and raise their bells but do not have enough ringers who can do so in peal.  Date and location will be sorted out based on demand.

Therefore, we are asking that if anyone is interested in any of these sessions, that they contact Simon Dixon (master@pdg.org.uk)  or Cathy Dixon (pro@pdg.org.uk) to let us know and we’ll be in touch with more details.  Please note that there will be a small fee of £2 per student to go towards a tower donation.

In addition, we are putting on some open practise sessions.  No need to register interest in advance.  Just turn up, with a £1 fee towards tower donations, in the confidence that there will be a suitably experienced band to ring with you.

Saturday 11th June 10am-12noon at Thrapston – Surprise Major Practice

Saturday 13th August 7-9pm – Intermediate 8-bell (i.e., not Plain Bob or Grandsire or Surprise Major but methods such as Little Bob, Kent Treble Bob, Single Oxford Bob Triples).  Location to be decided.

Many Thanks

Cathy Dixon

Helen’s Latest Newsletter

Forwarded by David Teall from a Canal Boat in Wales using a tablet so my apologies for the poor setting out.

From: secretary@pdg.org.uk <secretary@pdg.org.uk>
Sent: 08 May 2022 18:00
Subject: Update 08th May 2022

I seem to be wishing my month away, almost everything in here seems to be in June! Hopefully the month of May will be worth the effort – the weather certainly is looking better this weekend.

Annual General Meeting:

The next Guild event is the Annual General Meeting. Notice is hereby given of proposed rule changes, to be discussed and voted on at the meeting. A 2/3rd majority of those members present is required to change the rules. Full details can be found on the website: https://pdg.org.uk/homepage/agm-2022

Timings are as follows for the day:

14:00 Peterborough St Mary Open Ringing
14:30 Peterborough Cathedral Open Ringing
15:30 Peterborough St John Service Ringing
16:00 Peterborough St John Service, followed by tea
18:00 Peterborough St John Meeting  followed by evening ringing

A poster is available to put up in your tower (attached). The towers are all in Peterborough, withing walking distance. It is suggested that parking should be in one of the town centre carparks, with the Wellington Road carpark, near St Mary’s being suggested. Post code PE1 5DU or w3w: sage.slip.vows

Names for tea to the Guild Secretary, secretary@pdg.org.uk

Access to the Cathedral is via a long staircase of ~ 150 steps. While there is a handrail the majority of the way, those not confident on stairs may prefer to give that one a miss.

Jubilee Ringing
As the Jubilee is getting closer, I know that branches are beginning to organise ringing in their areas. The Guild would strongly suggest that ringing should be arranged to suit local events and that any ringing should be added to the timetable of local events. Let people know that you are ringing and why, especially in towers with no regular ringing. Jubilee posters are available to put up in church or village notice boards. Additional copies are available from Cathy Dixon, pro@pdg.org.uk

In addition, you may like to add your event to the national events website: https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/events/

Events can also be added to the diocese’s events calendar, especially if the public can come and visit the belfry or the tower. This can be found https://www.peterborough-diocese.org.uk/calendar/ and can be added by e-mailing the Communication office, luke.smith@peterborough-diocese.org.uk

I know that North Northamptonshire has a listing of events in the area, although I can’t yet see how to get events added to it. I would imagine that the same exists for the other councils in our diocese.

Once you have rung, please add your ringing to Bellboard, and let the Guild know. This will enable us to collate information about ringing after the event.

If you need support, contact your branch, in the first instance.

Dates for the Diary

Guild 10 Bell Saturday 14th May, 10:30 – 12:30. Kettering (confirmed!)

Guild Second Saturday Session: 11th June 10:00 Surprise Major Practice at Thrapston. Some fun on the way to the AGM.

Guild AGM: Saturday 11th June, 2:00 Peterborough St Mary, 2:30 Cathedral, 3:30 Peterborough St John. 4:00 Service, followed by tea and meeting at 6:00. Evening ringing at St Johns.

Wellingborough: 21st May Surprise Practice 10:30 Yardley Hastings

Wellingborough: 21st May Branch Practice 2:30 pm Mears Ashby

Northampton: 21st May Branch Practice 7:00 pm Milton Malsor

Culworth: 21st May Branch Practice 7:30 pm Greatworth

CCCBR updates

The President’s latest blog is available: https://cccbr.org.uk/2022/04/28/presidents-blog-58/

NorthWest Training Course

You may be aware of the existing residential training courses that have been running for a number of years. Aiming to increase the availability of these courses and to extend the geographic distribution of them, the CCCBR has been working to put on a training course. This is going to be based near Preston over the 11th to 14th August. If you are interested in attending or having a ringing holiday and helping, have a look at the website at  https://nwringingcourse.uk/ which gives details about the course and how to apply. Attendance as a trainee on course such as this may be eligible for a grant from the Training Fund.

And finally…

Today Daventry features on the BBC’s Bells on Sunday slot. I didn’t listen to it at 05:45 am, it is available via BBC Sounds for us lay-a-beds. They are ringing Erin Caters.


Hopefully that’s enough to keep you busy for the time being, lots to be getting on with. Enjoy!


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 735 266

Cathedral Branch Ringing for evensong

On the 15th May, the branch will be ringing at Peterborough cathedral for evensong. Please meet at the foot of the tower (inside the shop) at 2pm. I do hope that as many of you as possible will take this opportunity to ring at your cathedral.

For those not experienced on higher numbers, you can expect to ring rounds on 10, for those who are comfortable with it, you could try some plain hunt. I am hoping to drum up some support from the cathedral band to support branch members who are ready to ring methods on higher numbers.

Those that have previously attended have always given positive feedback about the experience. See you there!


Castor Branch Practice 6th May

Dear branch members, the branch eight bell practice is approaching in just over a week. It would be great to see you.

The practice will suit those who call ring Bob minor and would like to move on the Bob major as well as surprise major ringers.

The special method will be Cornwall surprise, but you don’t have to be able to ring this to be welcome.


Urgent – more ringers required for wedding at Oundle this Saturday 23rd April

We are still short for a complete band to ring for the wedding at Oundle this Saturday. Do please consider if you are able to help. Ideally ringing before the wedding (10:45am to 11:00am) and also after the service which starts at 11:00am. If you can only ring afterwards (meet at 11:30am) that would be ok. The couple and the church would be most appreciative if we can at least ring afterwards. £25 per rope

Helen Allton’s update of 18 April

Dear Ringers,

Here is Helen’s latest update with more dates for your diary.

The Times piece by the retiring Reverend Richard Coles can be read in full if you subscribe to The Times. If you don’t, you can only read the initial paragraphs.

Under Jubilee Ringing in Helen’s update you will see reference to a poster and leaflets for publicising your Jubilee Ringing. I understand from Helen that these have been given to James Thorpe for distribution. So over to you James.

I am away from 22 April until 17 May so Helen’s bulletins between these dates will be circulated by another member of the Peterborough Branch Committee.

I hope you all stay safe and well. I’ll resume forwarding Helen’s bulletins after 17 May.

Best wishes,


Helen’s text starts:

To: branch chairs, secretaries & treasurers, please forward to members.

I hope that you were able to ring for Easter and make a joyful noise. Having rung at a couple of towers, it was a good way of working up an appetite for my Easter eggs. The weather was also unusually good for a bank holiday weekend. Hopefully you were able to make the most of it.

Spring Meeting:
Next Saturday sees the Guild’s Spring meeting. Some ringing, a tea, socialising, a raffle (assuming I remember the raffle tickets) and a bit of friendly competition. What’s not to look forward to? Get your names for tea to Jane Marsh, by e-mail (chairman@kettering.pdg,org.uk) or by phone/text on 07708 376524.

Timings are as follows:
Open ringing at Stoke Albany (2 to 3:30 pm)
Contest, open ringing and tea at Wilbarston (from 3 pm)
Meeting at Wilbarston at ~ 6 pm
Evening ringing at Brampton Ash after the meeting (approximately 7:30 pm.)
More details on the website: https://pdg.org.uk/latest-news/spring-meeting-23rd-april

Other items of interest:
This piece, in the Times, by the retiring Reverend Richard Coles makes for thought provoking reading. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-rev-richard-coles-on-retirement-and-what-comes-next-vxhf92fxz

And this piece was on BBC London. A good introduction for the uninitiated. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-london-61100496

CCCBR news:
The ART conference on the 7th & 8th of May has been cancelled. I will forward information should it be rescheduled.

The President’s latest blog is available. https://cccbr.org.uk/2022/04/13/presidents-blog-57/

The plans for the Central Council’s annual meetings are being formulated. There is more than just the meeting. https://cccbr.org.uk/2022/04/13/save-the-date-2nd-4th-september-2022/

Dates for your diary
Nothing planned in any branch for the rest of April.
Guild 10 Bell 14th May 10:30 to 12:30. Location tbc.

 Jubilee ringing
You should be in receipt of a poster and pack of leaflets for publicising your Jubilee ringing. There is no set time to ring across the weekend although it would be sensible to fit in with any local events planned. I know that locally the town council is preparing a list of events that are taking place. Ringers would be advised to get a date and time in the local events diary soonest. Letting people know that you will be ringing, especially if the tower doesn’t ring very often, or prolonged ringing is planned, is always a positive idea.

I hope to see loads of you next weekend. I’ll hopefully be reporting who walked off with the Weaver Shield in my next update.



Helen Allton
Secretary: Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PDGCBR
Website: www.pdg.org.uke-mail: secretary@pdg.org.uk
Telephone: 01832 735 266

Wedding ringer required Oundle Saturday 9th April

A positive covid test means we are now one ringer short for the wedding at Oundle this coming Saturday April 9th. The wedding service is at 1:00pm, with ringing afterwards only from 1:30pm, ringing up (if you are able to come early) at 12:45pm. There is £25 per rope. Please let me know if you are able to ring.

Nick Elks