On Saturday 23 September Lesley Houghton and I ventured up to All Saints at Huntsham for an extended practice in raising and lowering in peal.
Les Boyce and Sheila Scofield, of the Troyte Ringing Centre, aided by five other excellent ringers, tutored, supported and guided us through, willingly sharing their wealth of ringing knowledge and expertise. Places on the session were limited to four, which resulted in plenty of rope time for us all, with attention being given to help us individually with our own particular difficulties. Initially we were ringing just three bells, but by the end of the morning we were all raising and lowering on the six more confidently than we had been three hours previously. The outing was much enjoyed by us both and I hope that I’ll remember at least some of the very valuable lessons in practice.
TRC Young Ringers are making good progress. In the last few months Jonah and Gil have both gained level 1 using the Learning the Ropes Scheme. Eddie has recently achieved levels 3 and 4, having rung 3 different Quarter Peals. Fergus has rung a number of Quarter Peals, having completed the Learning the Ropes level 5 in June this year. Both Fergus and Eddie have been ringing on the Mini Ring in Uffculme.
A September Sunday afternoon saw St. Michael’s Bampton hosting an Open Tower Event which attracted nearly 20 people. Intrepid members of the public were helped to mount the steps up the tower to see the church clock and climb further ladders into the bell chamber to have the bell mechanism explained and see a silent bell being rung. This was followed back in the ringing room by a demonstration by a team of ringers showing the two types of ringing in Devon – call changes and method (or “scientific”) ringing. The braver visitors then had a go at ringing one of the two strokes on a bell themselves.
Visitors were also treated to displays and videos about bells and bellringing in the church and offered tea and cake. Information about what is involved in learning to ring was also given to all the visitors. The event was organised as part of the national Heritage Open Days.
Volunteers from the Ringing Centre helped over 60 brave teddy bears make the parachute jump from the tower roof of St. Michael’s, Bampton on Bank Holiday Monday. Excited youngsters and the not-so-young queued to get their favourite bears hoisted aloft in preparation for the jump. After retrieving the bear following the jump, owners received a Certificate of Bravery for their bear and a chocolate bar for themselves.
The parachuting raised £168 for the Ringing Centre and was part of a wider event which raised over £1,000 for Christian Aid and the St. Michael’s Heating Fund.
Congratulations to Jonah, who was awarded Level 1 certificate and badge from the Learning the Ropes Scheme. After completing some very good call changes at Bampton on Thursday 29th June he also received a copy of the Ringer’s Guide to Learning the Ropes.
Congratulations to Fergus on achieving Level 5 on Learning the Ropes. Fergus began ringing in 2015 with the Bampton After School Bell Club. To achieve this final level on the scheme he completed the third QP required for the fifth level on 2nd June ringing 1260 of Plain Bob Minor inside. He has already started working through the LtR 5+ achievement logbook and is currently viewing University placements that have University bellringing teams.
Guild of Devonshire Ringers
Friday, 2 June 2023 in 44m (8–0–27 in A♭)
1260 Plain Bob Minor
1 Michael Hatchett
2 Charlotte Boyce
3 Fergus Kettleborough
4 Sheila Scofield
5 Leslie Boyce
6 John R Martin (C)
Fergus completes Learning the Ropes Level 5 with this QP.
Also a 70th birthday compliment to Sheila.
Fergus is a regular member of the Bampton band. He was also a member of the Devon Young Ringers team which achieved 4th place in the National Youth Contest held in Exeter in July 2022.
Members of the Troyte Ringing Centre were busy over the first weekend in May with special ringing for the Coronation of King Charles III. At Bampton, prior to the service held in Westminster Abbey on the morning of Saturday 6th, eight of the Bampton ringers rang touches of call changes and Plain Bob Doubles. Among the ringers was Simon Bartlett, Bampton’s Town Crier, who joined the ringing after making his Coronation proclamation in the town. Details of the ringing are on a BellBoard Link.
In the afternoon the two medieval bells dating from about 1300 at Petton church were swing-chimed and in the evening general ringing (BellBoard Link) and an extent of 720 changes of Plain Bob Minor (BellBoard Link) was rung at Huntsham. Further ringing took place in the afternoon at Bampton for a wedding being held the same day as the Coronation (BellBoard Link).
In addition to the activities on Coronation Day itself several members joined in ringing events for the Coronation both before and after the event. Peals were rung at Huntsham on Thursday 4 May (Rutland Surprise Major) and the Thursday following (New Cambridge Surprise Major). Further afield, Mike Hatchett rang a peal of Cambridge Surprise Royal at Shepton Beauchamp on Coronation Eve, thereby ringing peals on Coronation Eve 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II and on Coronation Eve 2023 for King Charles III. He also rang in two 6-bell peals in Wiltshire in the weeks before and after the Coronation. Other members were involved in ringing a quarter peal in Tiverton on the Sunday and ringing in the villages around Tiverton – Cruwys Morchard, Upton Pyne and Witheridge - on the Monday Bank Holiday.
Les Boyce, TRC Chairman