Latest Guild News

Index - click on item to be taken straight there

100 Club winners 2018


ART Awards 2019


ART Conference 2019


ART WORKS Newsletters


ART Workshops


Bellringing on Blue Peter




CCCBR Better Bell Handling posters


CCCBR Meeting 2018


CCCBR - New Kind of Ringing Organisation


CCCBR Publicity for Bellringing


CCCBR Workgroups update

Charlie Truman


Derek Thornton


Guild 10-bell Practices


Guild AGM 2018

Ivor Dickin

Jude Coulter

Paper Quiz

Ray Henman BEM

Recruitment Power Point  presentations

Richard Waddy

Ridgman Trophy 


Safe Ringing

Spring Festival 2018

Stan Ruddlesden

Summer Festival 2018

Guild 10-bell practices

At the Guild AGM on June 9, 2018, a request to re-start the practices was discussed and it was agreed to hold a practice on the 5th Saturdays, starting on September 29, 2018.  On December 30, 2018 a practice was held at Moulton 10.30am to 12.30pm with 17 attending, run  by Richard Allton with Rounds and Call Changes, Little Bob Royal, Grandsire Caters, Stedman Caters, two half courses of Yorkshire S Royal, one half course of Bristol S Royal and a bob course of Stedman Cinques for our three visitors to 'grab' all 12 bells.

The next practice will be on Saturday, March 30, 2019, 10.30am to 12.30pm at Towcester.  All welcome!

Bellringing on Blue Peter

We are excited to announce we have received confirmation from BBC that the Blue Peter episode, featuring bell ringing and clips from the RWNYC will be aired this Thursday, 10 January at 17:30GMT, CBBC channel. 

The programme will be repeated and available on BBC iPlayer for some time after also.

Any requests to CCCBR from interested new learners will be handled in the usual way, but it might be worth making sure towers in your association are aware this is being broadcast and are primed for any direct requests.

sent by Louise Nightingale, Communications & Marketing Workgroup Lead.

Ray Henman BEM

Congratulations to Ray Henman on being awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours List for services to the community in Brafield on the Green, Northamptonshire. 

Ray was elected a Life Honorary member of the Guild in June 2006 and was belatedly presented with a certificate at the Northampton Branch AGM in 2018.

Further information in the Chronicle & Echo can be seen here.

Christmas message from the CCCBR

“Ding! Dong! Merrily on high, in heaven the bells are ringing…”

As we approach the great feast of Christmas, and the end of 2018, I take this opportunity to give tribute to all ringers, willing volunteers, who give your time and skill selflessly week on week throughout the year. And what a year it’s been!

In December last year, I shared some “New Year’s Resolutions” for 2018, thus:

  • · To recruit and develop new learners and new leaders
  • · To engage maturely with the Church and other relevant stakeholders
  • · To continue to raise positive public awareness of ringing

Looking back on the past 12 months, I feel confident in saying that we’ve embraced these aims wholeheartedly. Recruitment has experienced a massive boost, our “external relations” go from strength to strength, and we’ve had a bumper year of media attention – print, radio, TV and social.

Thank you!

Further, I offer my thanks to all those involved in the work of Central Council at whatever level. The call for reform, begun at Portsmouth in 2016, came to a crescendo at Lancaster in May this year. A strong vote of approval ushered in new governance and new structures, aimed at creating a more agile central body more responsive to the needs of ringers and ringing today. A good start has been made, and this excellent work continues. I am grateful for the way in which so many involved in Council’s activities have responded so positively to these efforts. If only the UK government could demonstrate such unity!

Still, it’s important to deliver on one’s commitments. For 2019, much is in the pipeline. Look out for the release of “Dove 11”, version 1 of the Framework for Method Ringing, a refreshed CCCBR website, further work on “leadership studies”, youth engagement, health & wellbeing, and more. My hope for the new year is to build on our recent successes, maintain focus on areas for improvement, and deliver tangible benefits and services across our widespread ringing community.

As Christmas bells call out across the land, may they bring us together in solidarity to share the pleasure of our art. Let’s continue to ring with precision, passion and purpose:
“Pray you dutifully prime, your matin chime you ringers!”

Christopher O’Mahony President The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers   21.12.2018

Ringing book collectors and guild librarians
Please see the note below from Alison Hodge regarding the Worcestershire & Districts library; kindly forward this to your association librarian and to any ringers whom you know with collections of ringing books.
Mary Bone Secretary CCCBR

"At the 2018 AGM of W&DCRA, the Librarian presented a paper about the contents and usage of the Library. It was agreed that a small working group should consider the paper and set out recommendations for the future of the Library. The working group met in July and their proposals were approved by the Association Central Committee in November. The key recommendations are that the Library stock should be reduced with the aim of narrowing the scope of the collection, making it of greater value and use to the Association and its members. The Library will include as complete records as possible of the Association, its Branches, local ringing and ringers, plus a very small focused collection of reference materials for use by members occasionally (eg when undertaking restoration projects). The Library will not retain or acquire books, periodicals etc pertaining generally to ringing, ringers, bells, etc outside the W&DCRA area, or materials for teaching and learning ringing, composing etc.

It was agreed that surplus contents of the Library will be sold. A "mini-auction" process will be used, with W&DCRA Members having priority, then other Guild / Association Libraries, then other collectors. The stock for sale is listed on the W&DCRA website here.

The Librarian is willing to answer more detailed questions about the items.

Anyone interested in purchasing items should confirm with the Librarian ( by noon January 31, 2019 with the following information:

* Name and contact details
* Their affiliation and position (eg W&DCRA member branch and tower, Librarian of Guild / Association, private collector, commercial)
* Item(s) requested
* Price(s) offered (postage, packing etc will be arrange with purchasers and will be charged at cost)

All offers received by the closing date will be considered by the Librarian. If more than one offer is received for the same item, then the Librarian will negotiate with those enquiring.

Proceeds will be paid into the W&DCRA Belfry Repairs Fund (Registered Charity No. 505098)

The Librarian reserves the right not to sell items for any reason. "


The Central Council AGM in 2019 will take place on Saturday, 7th September at Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW.  The business to include reports of the Council’s activities, a presentation of its budget & forward plan, plus the opportunity to review aspects of its work in more detail.

The format, which is to follow that successfully introduced at Lancaster for the 2018 AGM weekend, is expected to also include workshops, seminars and sessions of interest to all ringers.  These will be held over the whole weekend.  The Reception and Dinner will take place on the evening of Saturday, 7th September.

All ringers will be welcome to attend during the weekend and take part in the activities on offer.  Look out for details of how to register in due course.

Mary Bone  Secretary  Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

ART Awards 2019

The ART Awards continue to grow every year – with over £3,000 in prize money waiting to be won. Now is your chance to apply for the 2019 ART Awards!

The teaching awards (the first six listed below) are open to everyone – not just ART Members or those using ‘Learning the Ropes’ scheme – the aim is to encourage and recognise the people and groups leading best practice and innovation in the teaching and development of ringing. The individual ringing awards are open to those who have completed one of the Learning the Ropes programmes (on tower or hand bells) or participated in the Learning the Ropes Plus scheme.

Awards 2019
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

 The Sarah Beacham Youth Group Award

Prize of £400 – sponsored by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust

 The Sarah Beacham School Group Award

Prize of £400 – sponsored by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust

 The ART Award for Excellence in the Use of Technology in Teaching

Prize of £500 – sponsored by John Taylor & Co.

 The ART Award for Excellence in Recruitment or Retention

Prize of £400 – sponsored by AbelSim

 The ART Award for a University Society that has made a Significant Contribution to Promoting Ringing to Younger People

Prize of £500 – sponsored by CCCBR

 The ART Award for Inspiring Leadership in Ringing

Prize of £400 – sponsored by Talent Innovations

 The ART Learning the Ropes Individual Achievement Awards

Two prizes of £250 – sponsored by the Ancient Society of College Youths

Five highly commended prizes of £25 each.

Sent by Louise Nightingale, Communications & Marketing Workgroup Lead

Ringing Remembers in Northamptonshire and Rutland

There is a link to the Ringing World BellBoard listing all performances submitted for November 11, 2018 in Northamptonshire here and Rutland here.  Also available at the bottom of the Peals and Quarter Peals page.

Richard Waddy

12.02.1936 - 10.11.2018

The following message comes from Richard’s family: 

Dear All, 

It is with sadness we are writing to let you know that Richard Waddy passed away on Saturday 10th November, at home with his family. His heart condition, which he had managed with so well for the last 10 years, had substantially worsened in the last 8 weeks.

We are having a Thanksgiving Memorial service [led by the Revd Canon Michael Webber, Team Rector of Daventry] to celebrate his life for friends and relatives on Friday 23rd November at 11am at Saint Lawrence's Church Long Buckby, to be followed by refreshments and light bites at Long Buckby Rugby Club. Please do make interested parties aware and should we have missed them off this list please forward on with our apologies ... 

Kindest regards, Margaret, Fiona and Adrian.

Peter Clifton co-ordinated the ringing before the service so that all the local ringers could contribute and afterwards touches of Grandsire and Plain Bob Triples accompanied those walking to the wake.  Quarter peals and peals to Richard's memory are listed here.


The quarter peals and peals that Richard rang since 2005 are listed in this BellBoard listing

See full obituary here.

[Photo taken after Richard rang a quarter peal to mark his 80th birthday]

Ivor Dickin

Jenny Ball informs us with great sadness that Ivor Dickin, of Irchester, died last night (November 9, 2018).  Further details here.

Ivor's funeral was conducted by the Revd Catherine Lomas on Tuesday, November 27, at 1pm at St Katharine's Church, Irchester.  The bells were rung before the funeral and Ivor's coffin was rung into church with 10 minutes of rounds ending on time in diminishing rounds.  There was general ringing after the service and during the cremation at Nene Valley Crematorium. There were refreshments afterwards across the road at the Irchester Bowls Club.

Click here to read the tribute given by Harry Curtis during the service.

Click here to see ringing to Ivor's memory.

ART Conference 2019 at Worcester

Graham Nabb (07974 743766) of ART sends us this message:  -"as the conference is not far away  I hope that some local interest can be developed - its not all for ART members!"

ART will be holding its annual Conference over the weekend of 2/3 March at The Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Worcester. The exciting agenda includes a great line up of speakers, with keynotes by the St Martin’s Guild Ringing Master, Simon Linford, Mark Regan Master of the Cathedral Ringers, Matt Bulbeck a professional outdoor sports coach and bell ringing teacher and Ian & Louise Wilson from Warwick.

New additions to the line-up include presentations about safeguarding, insurance and risk assessments from representatives of the Church of England and Ecclesiastical Insurance. These talks will be followed by opportunities throughout the day to talk through any local issues with the experts. And of course, don’t miss the chance to tour the Cathedral’s Ringing Centre.

The ART Awards Ceremony is the final event of the Saturday when the winners of a host of awards, some group, some individual, will be announced. Come along and meet the ART team and celebrate with the award winners over a drink. You do not have to be an ART member to nominate a group or individual for an award you may find that a group or leader near you is someone you would like to put forward in which case nominate via the ART web site.

The second day of the conference weekend concentrates on encouraging young ringers and is hosted by the Central Council.

The ART Conference is ART’s leading national event and is open to anyone with an interest in ringing teaching and leadership. We would like to invite you to join us over the weekend for what will be two full and stimulating days.

Conference bookings can be made here.

ART Conference Speakers:

Mark Regan - Ringing in Worcester – The Future

Simon Linford & Claire McArdle – Learning the Ropes Plus & Pickled Eggs!

Matt Bulbeck Why I refuse to be called an Instructor: the differences between instructing, teaching and coaching

Marcus Booth (Ecclesiastical Insurance) Insurance & Bell Ringing: what you need to know

Andrea Watkins (C of E) Volunteers, Safeguarding & the CofE

Simon Rudd The Mancroft Ringing Discovery Centre

Roger Booth, Matt Lawrence & Don McLean – Regional Networks - Revitalise Ringing

Ian & Louise Wilson - Leadership – managing & motivating the team

Jennie Higson & Giles Willson Marketing or teaching? Behind the scenes of adult education

Graham Nabb & RW 7/1/19

Guild Paper Quiz

Derek Jones' Winter 2018-19 paper quiz was distributed to Branch Secretaries at the Guild Summer Festival for sale at £1 per sheet with the proceeds as usual going to the Guild Bell Fund.  It is based on Bridges, Viaducts and Aqueducts of Britain.  

Since issue, Derek has advised that question 1 has been re-evaluated, and the location is a bit obscure.  The revised solution has 8 and 4 letters.  Please amend your copy accordingly.

A further message from Derek Jones on October 25:

A keen subscriber to the Guild paper quiz has spotted the following:

  • question  13    Leics not Notts
  • question  31    Forth and Clyde not of
  • question  93    Jane not Jayne! (My B A was in Chemistry)

Summer Festival 2018

Rothwell proved to be a very good location on September 22 when the vast church enabled everyone to gather in comfort out of the rain and cold wind.  Alistair Donaldson had erected his Maplestead mini-ring in the south east aisle to provide an attraction with the tinkling penetrating the building.  A splendid buffet tea provided by members of the branch
was available in the north aisle and the meeting was held in the south west aisle. 

The inter-branch eight-bell striking competition began at 3pm on the 2015 light eight which uses the 8th of the majestic ten as the tenor.  The team leaders seamlessly assembled their bands at the bottom of the stairs at their pre-appointed time ready to ascend immediately the previous band finished ringing with the changeover executed in the ringing room.  Seven teams competed with only Culworth, Peterborough and Rutland missing.  We have not managed more than seven teams since 1994 - we keep trying for all ten!  Last year Northampton set the precedent of arranging a prior ten-bell quarter peal with representatives of each branch.  This year three branches could not find a rep., but Grandsire Caters was still successfully completed at Kettering with the Guild Master conducting.

Quarter peal band, left to right: Edward Buckby (4. Thrapston) Kevan Chapman (10. Wellingborough),  Giles Willson (5. Northampton), John Stanworth (9. for Daventry), Simon Dixon (6. for Rutland and conductor),  Jim Bence (7. Kettering), David Westerman (8. Guilsborough),   Nick Elks (1. Peterborough),  Celia Stanworth  (3. Towcester) and Edward Groome (2. for Culworth at short notice)  [photo  from  Jim Bence.]  

The judge was Andrew Young from Oadby who was housed so as to hear the bells, unlike the majority who stayed comfortably inside the church, some making an occasional foray to the porch to listen! As he had another appointment, we held up our business meeting so that the results came first.  Guild Master, Simon Dixon introduced Andrew, who made general comments about the high standard of striking and that he was glad that he had decided to mark hard using 0.5 fault for a blemish, 1 fault for an error and 2 for a bad change.  There were few 1s and no 2s!  He commented that team experience showed through with the speed of return to a regular rhythm after a trip.  The results were as usual given in reverse order and accompanied by a certificate to each team leader:

































Giles Willson, Northampton Branch Ringing Master was presented with the fine Harry Wooding Memorial Trophy for Northampton to display for the first time ever.  

Andrew, after being thanked appropriately for his time and judgement by Simon,  left us to our other business.

 The Northampton band,  left to right:  Colin Brown, Giles Willson, Nicola Borman, Nick Parsons, Bridget Paul, Graham Paul (conductor), Grace Higson (mascot), Steve Borman, Jennie Higson. [photo from Graham Paul]

An all encompassing vote of thanks for the permissions and the comprehensive arrangements for the day, masterminded by Sarah Bence and Helen Churchman, was made by Alison Byrnes from Thrapston and was endorsed with much applause.  

The Guild Treasurer, Chris FitzGerald, introduced himself to members, as he had been unable to attend the AGM in June when he was elected to the post in succession to Alan Marks. 

Between 60 -70 members were present to agree Bell Fund grants: £1,600 to Great Oakley  for augmenting the ring to five by the addition of two ex-buoy bells supplied through the Keltek Trust with tuning and additional framework and fittings by Matthew Higby and Company Ltd; £250 to Rushden for clapper renovation by John Taylor & Co.  An enquiry from Thrapston reminded the Steward that a minor grant (of £110) had been agreed for renovation of four clappers.

It was the 32nd anniversary for the 100-Club draw, which Derek Jones has organised all that time, but wants to hand it on next June. Each anniversary is marked by three prizes instead of the monthly two and they went to 57 (Northampton Branch) £55.50, 37 (Kettering Branch) £27.75 and 24 (Guilsborough Branch) £11.

The paper quiz to raise funds for the Bell Fund was distributed to Branch Secretaries to sell.  This winter Derek Jones has based the quiz on bridges, viaducts and aqueducts - £1 a sheet.

Ringing on Rothwell's ten and back 8 under the Master’s direction continued until 7.45pm after which some 17 were invited to adjourn to the Conservative Club for commendably priced drinks.

GHP    (Also published in The Ringing World October 5, 2018, p969)


100-Club winners 2018



1st  Prize

2nd Prize



68  PB


120 WB




21 ThB


126 NB




97 CB


65 ThB




102 NB


14 ToB




102 NB


97 CB




79  PB


104  WB




103 KB


81  KB




83 NB


131 NB




57 NB


37 KB





3rd prize

24  GB




66 NB


24  GB




19 WB


05 PB




130 KB


03 NB


For details of the 100 Club please click here.

Profit to Bell Fund for 2018 was £649.15 (47.6% of subscriptions)

Thank you all members and branch administrators. Derek Jones

CCCBR Workgroups update

Back in June, following the CCCBR annual meeting in Lancaster, the President circulated a couple of updates – “What happens now” and a “Who’s Who” of the new workgroup leads. As promised, here is a further update, reporting on workgroup current activity and initiatives as well as future plans.


Ringers can be reassured that plenty is going on.  The Executive have commenced a schedule of monthly skype briefings, with a focus not only on important items of governance, but also on the practical activity programmes of workgroups.  In turn, Workgroup Leads have been in consultation with workgroup members and the wider ringing community to determine specific actions and initiatives. To avoid any potential “silos” forming, the Workgroup Leads have themselves been liaising to identify any crossover of work, and opportunities for collaboration.  A joint Executive and Workgroup Lead away-day on Sunday 1stJuly provided an excellent opportunity to bring all these elements together into a cohesive framework of activity.


As the ringing community rightly expects, our focus is to provide services and support FOR RINGERS and RINGING – for Associations, for towers, and for individuals.  A key aim is to preserve and celebrate the best of existing practice, while building on this through activities clearly linked to our mission and vision.  To find out more go to the CCCBR website here.

Louise Nightingale, CCCBR Workgroup Lead - Communications & Marketing

Annual General Meeting 2018

It was Thrapston Branch’s turn to host the Guild AGM on Saturday, June 9.  Ringstead and Islip towers were visited by a reasonable number.  Each had benefitted from a grant of over £1,000 from the Guild Bell Fund two and six years ago respectively. Then the fine eight at Thrapston was available before the Guild service at 4.30pm, led by the Revd. Peter Baden. We remembered sixteen former members in prayers.  A splendid tea was served by branch members in the church hall.

President, Geoff Pullin opened and welcomed over 50 members from eight branches to the AGM around 6pm.   The thanks part was agreed with acclamation on the proposition of James Grennan on behalf of the Daventry Branch to thank the incumbents, ringing stewards the Revd. Peter Baden and the tea providers. 

The recognition part consisted of the announcement of seven 50-year memberships (Janet Collins, Christopher Groome, Len Hallifax, Alan Marks, Penny Pardoe, Joan Parker and Sandra Whitlam) and certificates were presented to Len and Alan.

The routine stuff followed, with spelling corrections of surnames in the minutes of the Guild AGM 2017 and subsequent Guild meetings, preceding acceptance. The published 2017 accounts were adopted and the General Management Committee report on 2017 received without comment.  The Treasurer, Alan Marks, who had indicated that he wished to retire, was pleased that this year all branches had submitted monies on time so that he was able to handover accurate accounts.  He explained that it would take him another two weeks to complete the formalities of changing cheque signatories etc. Alan was thanked with acclamation for doing the important job over the last ten years.

Sue Jones proposed on behalf of the Finance & General Purposes Committee that the annual subscription should be raised to £7 for adults, £3.50 for students for 2019 and that the peal fee remains at 20p per rope. An amendment for £7.50 for ease of change giving was defeated after it was pointed out that the half rate was made more difficult and any extra money just sat in bank accounts.  The increase was passed nem con.

An allocation of £1,000 from the Bell Fund for the administrators to deal with minor grants over the coming year was accepted.

The election of officers proceeded with the option of voting against never being exercised. Incumbent officers were returned with the exception of the retiring Treasurer.  Members were made aware that in 2019, it is the intentions of the Secretary, Steward, Peal Secretary and 100-Club organiser to retire! There was some doubt through illness whether the Independent Examiner wished to continue, but he was re-elected. Ian Willgress referred to a short cv in circulation and proposed from the Daventry Branch that Chris FitzGerald (right) be elected Treasurer.  This was agreed in Chris’ absence due to a prior engagement.

The Secretary brought to members’ attention the statement on Safe Ringing (Insurance, Health & Safety and Safeguarding) that had been published in the Annual Report and website. Having sorted these, we now have the GDPR to divert our attention! Questioners were assured that the Executive was listing what data was kept by the Guild and its branches. It was emphasised that for the most controversial aspect – contact details on the website - written permissions under the old-fashioned Data Protection Act are still in place.

The PRO advised that the Guild website had 46,123 hits over the year, about 1,000 less than last year. The pages with the highest hit rates were Welcome!, Towers, Latest Guild News, Events, Branch Officers, Guild Officers, Bell Maintenance.

He mentioned the Armistice 100 - Ringing Remembers campaign and Master Simon Dixon handed out posters and leaflets gathered from the recent CCCBR meeting relating to it and stressed that they were for display in public places – not hidden in towers.

Nick Elks gave a detailed report on the CCCBR meeting in Lancaster when the new organisational arrangements were agreed by a large majority.  The increased squeaking of chairs indicated less than rapt attention.

The 100-Club draw (1st prize £45.20 to #79 Peterborough Branch; 2nd prize £11.30 #104 Wellingborough Branch) was swiftly performed before the only declared item of AOB.

There was a request or two for the Guild ten-bell practices to be re-introduced and willingness to try it on a 5th Saturday basis starting on September 29, seemed to meet general favour. A collection for the Bell Fund amounted to £78.72.  The meeting ended at 7.20pm.

Several members made their way out into the countryside to Wadenhoe’s saddle back tower, situated in rural tranquillity alongside the River Nene with the President noting that he could walk the 39 miles home along the Nene Way, but wouldn’t.  The local pub hosted some 17 until 10.30pm.                                                                                                        GHP

Jude Coulter

Sadly Wellingborough Branch record that Jude Coulter passed away on May 23, 2018, at Northampton General Hospital, aged 58. Jude was the beloved partner of Bill, devoted mum to Thomas, Sarah and Ben.

Jude was elected a member in 2011 and was Tower Captain and contact for Ecton, a Branch Committee member and the Newsletter Correspondent.

A memorial service to commemorate Jude's life took place at St Mary Magdalene Church, Ecton on Wednesday, June 27 at 12 noon. Donations, if desired, to the Daylight Centre, Wellingborough or Wellingborough Branch Church Bell Ringers.

Published in Northampton Chronicle and Echo on May 31, 2018 

See also the Guild Newsletter Sep 2018, Wellingborough Branch report.


Charles E Truman

Charlie Truman, who died on May 14, 2018 at the age of 87, was for many years one of the leading ringers in the south of Northamptonshire.

He was born in Whittlebury near Towcester on December 27, 1930 and learnt to ring at St Mary's Church, Whittlebury in 1943 when the war time ringing ban ended, being taught, with three other local youths (two sets of brothers in fact), by Albert Booth, Head Gardener at Whittlebury Lodge which has since been demolished. After national service in REME between 1949 and 1950, finishing his service as a Lance Corporal Craftsman, Group A, Class 1, he returned to the village. He married his wife for over 60 years, the late Joan, at Abthorpe Church in 1957. Their son, Paul, was born in 1961. Charlie played club cricket until the 1960's and then took up golf becoming a member of Stowe Golf Club for many years. He and Joan lived in Whittlebury until 2000 when they decided a move to somewhere with more accessible facilities might be advisable and so they settled in Towcester where they lived for the rest of their lives.

Having learnt to ring, progress was slow for a number of years until he came under the influence of William A Yates who was very active in local ringing in the early 1950's. He joined the Towcester Branch of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild under Whittlebury tower in 1958, rang his first peal, Grandsire Doubles conducted by Bill Yates at Whittlebury in 1959 and his first as conductor in 1962, Stedman Doubles at Grafton Regis.

By regular attendance at the practices at Helmdon and Wicken, which were local centres of excellence, he was able to extend his ringing to surprise minor and major, and during this period he developed an interest in spliced surprise minor. First Monday practices at Cold Higham or Pattishall initiated by Charlie and his great friend Jim Linnell, who was one of the brothers he learnt to ring with, gave him the opportunity to develop the spliced surprise minor repertoire and to call touches and peals and this culminated in a peal in 34 methods (perhaps the maximum at the time) at Pattishall in 1965 which he conducted. The augmentation of Daventry bells in 1965 to a fine ring of ten gave him the opportunity for 10 bell ringing and he also had some experience on 12 during the 1990s. His final peal total was 777 of which he conducted 76.

For many years he was tower captain at Whittlebury and from the 1990's ran the ringing at Easton Neston until he was forced to retire when his health started to deteriorate in 2010. It was fitting therefore that quarter peals in his memory were rung at both towers. Peals were also rung at Easton Neston and Bradden.

His funeral took place at Whittlebury on June 27, 2018 and he was buried in the churchyard alongside Joan, who had predeceased him by just three months, and his parents.

Graham Paul   05/06/2018

Click here for some of his peals and quarter peals

See special ringing here.

Report on CCCBR Meeting

Nick Elks, one of our CCCBR Representatives has provided this brief report on the meeting held on May 28:

For anyone who is interested, the new Central Council rules were passed with a large majority - 137 for the motion, 8 against, 10 abstentions and seven non-votes, despite an attempt by certain longstanding members to have further 'consultation' and delay the decision until at least next September. The 15 committees now have been merged into 5 Working Groups (they have not been abolished as some people have been saying) and these workgroups are open to anyone to serve on them, not just CC reps. 

Four new executives were elected to join the current four who, by default (current senior officers), are on the initial tranche of the executive. We now have eight Executive Officers, Five Workgroups, and new flexible rules which should enable the Central Council to be more responsive to current needs. Please allow a few days for the Central Council website to be updated, and I will give a fuller account of the proceedings and an analysis of what this means for the future at the PDG AGM on June 9th.

Nick Elks    PDG Central Council Representative.

The CCCBR Executive have since made appointments as Workgroup Leaders and their sponsors - click here.

Derek Thornton

Geoffrey Stretton reported on May 8, 2018:

I have this morning had the sad news that my old friend and ringing colleague Derek Thornton died last night in the Horton General aged 92.

His son Peter, rang early this morning to say he had passed away at around 11.00 last night in Juniper Ward where he had been for the past couple of months recovering  from emphysema.

Derek was taught to ring by Fred Hutt and joined the Guild at Byfield in 1952.  He transferred to Woodford Halse when the bells were restored and he became tower captain in 1977. Derek was the GMC Rep for the Culworth Branch from 1987 -1996 and Vice Chairman from 1998 -2001.  He was elected a Life Hornorary Member of the Guild for outstanding service in 2012.

Geoff further reported that the funeral was held on Friday, May 25. There was a service at St. Mary's Church, Woodford Halse at 10.30am followed by a cremation at Banbury Crematorium at 12 noon.

Spring Festival on April 28, 2018 hosted by Daventry Branch

For the title of a Spring Festival the weather did not seem to agree, even April showers could not describe the dull wet and cold day especially as we had recently been so spoiled with glorious days only a week before, however as I approached the first church for the afternoon open ringing there was something special about the first Guild meeting for 2018.

St Luke's Church, Kislingbury held its doors open for all to try the 5 bells (Tenor 12cwt) with the ground floor ring. 18 ringers arrived and methods rung varied between call changes to Grandsire. Some members of the Towcester band arrived to warm up before the competition and agreed to ring the bells down which can be said was a blessing as by then many ringers had made the journey over to Flore to secure parking.    

The rain continued as we left behind a lovely church to drive the short journey over to Flore and find All Saints Church, host of the afternoon's competition. Sandwiches in hand and meeting up with many others carrying a variety of plates containing cakes and food items, the walk was made from the car park over to the church. On walking in I was faced with a large and excitable number of ringers, a wonderful gathering and thankfully a warm church. With the modern idea of utilising open spaces within churches Daventry Branch we able to lay out a very pleasing and scrumptious buffet to keep everyone fed and watered throughout the afternoon.

With what looked like a hand-written and swiftly composed ringing list for teams the competition duly began after the rules and announcements were made from Guild Master Simon Dixon.  There were ten teams to ring with two teams pulling out at the last minute. An extremely good turn out and up on numbers from the last two years so an improvement on participation and engagement which can only be seen as positive for all ringing.

Teams, without notice by me and many others despite trying my best to watch out, just seemed to disappear up in to the staircase and on to the tower. It was like they all just disappeared and re-appeared - like magic and the only way to notice was names being ticked off the list with of course the distant sound of bells. Sadly due to the weather it was not really the afternoon to sit outside and listen as had been done on previous years but somehow as the afternoon went on the sound of bells became louder and clearer from inside the church.

Northampton Gold went first and opened the competition followed by Northampton Green - I am yet to establish how the names came about of Gold and Green [hint from Rugby fans - the Black team couldn't make it] but then we saw a team not entered in recent years from Byfield - again a nice sight to see towers bringing forward teams to compete. Heyford Fridays followed - another new name but I could work this one out at least! Pattishall A and B teams followed but split up by Yelvertoft to whom I must say often appear to be the jolliest of all bands I come across. Rushden and Orlingbury brought up the rear with a sigh of relief as I saw Orlingbury return to the church after visiting a local hostelry for Dutch courage.

Teas still being consumed and a sale of old ringing books, guild reports, and of course the tea towels, the afternoon flew by.  The ringing now completed Simon Dixon offered the tower for a few to grab prior to the meeting and results. I have to say I was first up there as having never rung before at Flore. I was accompanied by 12 others including two people I had not seen during the afternoon (later to realise they were the judges!)

With many taking their seats the Guild business meeting was opened by President Geoff Pullin. It was mentioned that two teams entering the competition had brought their Rector with them, an interesting thought here. Counting 72 people present it was a huge turn out, so again well done to Daventry Branch.

A vote of thanks was given by Giles Wilson from Northampton Branch with special thanks offered to Alison Buck and her team of helpers from Daventry Branch and to Brian Foley for arranging the evening use of St Peter and St Paul, Weedon Bec.

Geoff Pullin, continuing to catch up with presenting certificates, presented Hilary Aslett with her Certificate for Life Honorary Membership of the Guild, this one nearly 12 years late. A lovely round of applause was given for Hilary.

Two bell fund grants were agreed by members and the 100 club was drawn with Derek Jones announcing there are now 121 paid up members. Sue Jones announced the next Guild meeting will be the AGM hosted by Thrapston branch, Saturday, June 9, 2018 with the Summer Festival being held at Rothwell on a revised date of September 22, 2018.

At this point Simon Dixon suggested a short intermission to allow time for the judges to complete their results - it was noted that the intermission did not include the offer of ice creams!

Tension built with the wait and murmurs became louder until the judges arrived and were duly introduced by Simon. Emma Cundiff and Stuart Cox from Tunstall in Kent were welcomed by all and with eagerness to hear the results we all quietened to listen.

Stuart gave thanks for the use of a car, stated it was nice to be back in the area and that it was difficult to judge such a long competition - over 2 hours with different methods and in a cold car. He followed this by stating,"there are no points for complexity of methods it is about striking well". He further stated "it was good to see so many teams, and as you can choose your own methods,  play to your strengths". Neither judge had rung here before so straight after the ringing they did admit to going up to the tower and trying the bells, finding with surprise, "how pleasant the ring was".

Emma kindly announced the results with a brief run down for each team. I will list in the order they rang and the points/places awarded as follows:








Northampton Gold

Call Changes

Good at Lead




Northampton Green

Plain Bob Minor

Good Rhythm





Plain Hunt

Kept Going




Heyford Fridays

Call Changes

Took care




Pattishall B


Bits really quite nice






Pleasant Piece




Pattishall A

Call Changes

Little uneven





Cambridge S M







Steady piece





Call Changes

Well struck




With a variety of methods, clear comments and the scores, the winning team was announced to be Towcester. Team Captain Richard Allton, bearing a wide and proud smile, took the Weaver Shield. Congratulations Richard and to your team - well done!

Thanks offered to the judges and gifts presented, well sort of as Simon didn't actually take the gifts out of the carrier bag, but such fun to watch and Simon is certainly comfortable and enjoying his role as Master.

Well it was a good day, a happy result for Towcester and with much noise and shuffling the church emptied with many ringers off to Weedon for the evening Open Ring. I couldn't go so sadly unable to report further but my final look back over the beautiful church at Flore I saw Ian Willgress duly using Henry the Hoover on the carpets and returning the building back to a church.

Well done everyone -it was so good to see everyone have a brilliant day, a lovely atmosphere and for me, well just being back and ringing again after such a long illness and time away. I noticed the increase in numbers attending, the new teams trying competitions and hopefully a sign of further participation from all ringers to Guild events.

Here's to the Summer Festival and of course the AGM - please do attend. Remember we will sadly see our treasurer Alan Marks retire and also remember - it is your Guild, your hobby of ringing and without attending Guild events then we cannot improve, change or create the ringing for the future.

Odette Dawkins

A New Kind of Ringing Organisation

You may already have received a message directly by email from Phillip Barnes, on behalf of the Officers and Shadow Executive of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR). 

For those who have not seen the message, it is available here


The link for signing up as a subscribing member of the new CCCBR (no subs) is available here.

Guidelines for Safe Ringing

The consolidated guidelines below were approved for publication by the General Management Committee on March 10, 2018. A copy for printing is available here.


Under Civil Law, individuals have a duty of care while performing any activities that could foreseeably harm others.  If anything goes wrong, it is possible for a claim to be made for damages under Civil Law. For such a claim to succeed, the claimant must show that the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care. 

The Guild holds public and product liability insurance with Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, policy no. 07/CBP/9100712, which indemnifies officers and members for any legal liability to pay damages up to £2,000,000 (raised to £5,000,000 from 20/9/18) for any accidental injury to any person and accidental damage to any material property. Insurers will not refuse to pay a claim if there was a breach of instructions.

The Guild does not hold any personal accident insurance.


The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 applies only to organisations which are employers and to people who are employed.  The Guild is not an employer and has no employees. Requirements under the act, such as the production of risk assessments, are thus not mandatory.  However the Guild recognises that it is good practice to demonstrate a duty of care by providing advice and training for its activities.

Samples of risk assessments for ringing situations are provided on the Guild’s website.

It is recommended that first aid kits be available whenever ringing or bell maintenance is being undertaken.

It is recommended that the best postcode and road name is displayed for use in the event of a 999 call out to guide emergency services to the appropriate door.


The Diocese of Peterborough is implementing ‘The Church of England Practice Guidance:  Safer Recruitment’ throughout the diocese. Each Parochial Church Council has to implement these procedures, including appointing tower captains and other volunteers.  All towers with bells in the diocese, including those under the protection of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), will be covered.  Local bands should familiarise themselves with the host tower requirements.

Through the Diocese, the PCC is responsible for obtaining free, DBS (Disclosing and Barring Service) check certificates for those carrying out face to face training of juniors and transporting juniors as a formal arrangement.   A certificate can be used by ringers throughout the Diocese of Peterborough, not only in the initiating parish.

Everyone holding a DBS certificate should undertake safeguarding training and renew every three years. Procedures for this are being set up by the Diocese.

The Guild recommends these minimum guidelines at any ringing event:

  • Children should be accompanied to Guild and Branch ringing events by DBS checked members of their local team or their parents.
  • An attendance list is kept at ringing events.
  • Two members are present, at least one will have a current DBS.
  • Touching should only be that appropriate for teaching and in an emergency.
  • If any ringers have concerns regarding safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, they need to report it to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, who will deal appropriately with any reports concerning ringers and will communicate with any parishes on a need to know basis.
  • If there is concern of immediate danger to a child or vulnerable adult, telephone 999 (Police)

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 or over, who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.  

A child is anyone who is under the age of 18.

Approved GMC 10/3/18

Stan Ruddlesden

Stan's daughter, Shirley McGill, sadly sent this message to Bridget Paul this morning (March 20)

Hello All 

Just to let you know that Dad died last night. He had been failing for some time so not entirely unexpected.

I am struggling to think who should be informed - I know there are lots of people around who ask after him so please could you let others know? Please would someone ring Ray?

We are having a very small funeral in Bromyard and will have a memorial service at Long Buckby sometime in (probably) May/June.



Shirley writes on 30/3/18:

The cremation service is next Wednesday April 4 at 3pm  at Hereford Crematorium. Whilst we are not expecting anyone to attend (although it is open to anyone), I thought it might be good if a quarter or two could possibly be arranged locally for Wednesday sometime, to coincide with the date at least, if not the time. I noted that some other quarters were dedicated to his memory, which was a lovely thought.

Click here and here for quarter peals and peals rung in memory of Stan.

Stan was born on September 29, 1922.  He was elected as a Life Honorary Member of the Guild on June 11, 1983 for giving outstanding service.  

Shirley writes on 23/4/18: 

 Dad's Memorial Service will be on Wednesday July 11th at 12 noon at St Lawrence's Church, Long Buckby. 

A peal was rung on July 3 at Long Buckby and there was a quarter peal arranged by Shirley before the service and general ringing afterwards, with the band arranged by Peter Clifton, the tower captain.


See the Obituaries page for Shirley's story of Stan's life.

Publicity for Bellringing

The CCCBR Public Relations Committee draws our attention to these new leaflets and flyers and encourages the use of these resources in our area:

'Engaging with the Public' Leaflet

Ideas and tips to successfully engage the public with your ringing and associated activities: Easy to use 'mix-and-match' format to help you to put together the ideas which will work for you locally. Available hereProduced by The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) Public Relations Committee.

Bell Ringing Flyer

Flyers for you to give to members of the public with a section for your tower or association/guild/society details (contacts, ringing times, website, Facebook, etc). Available here in pdf format with provision for you to enter your tower’s information.

Originally produced for Peak 2015 International Scout & Guide Camp and the Derby Diocesan Association, now approved by CCCBR.

Posters and certificates 

that you can use and enter your own details are available here.

Bellringing logo above is available here.


Safeguarding Newsletter and modules C0 and C1

The January Diocesan Safeguarding Newsletter can be read and printed out from here.

To promote awareness of possible safeguarding concerns and to equip people in relevant roles to feel confident to share with the appropriate person training modules C0 & C1 are available online.

For Instructions for C0, please click the link below:

Better bell handling posters

The CCCBR Education Committee is offering A3 size posters suitable for belfry walls showing

  • Typical Skilled Bell Handling and
  • Typical Incorrect Movements 

Please click here for details and how to order.


Ridgman Trophy 

Unfortunately we were unable to field a team for the 2018 event at St Albans.  The results were:







Hertford County Association


3hr 12

41 faults


Ely Diocesan Association


3hr 32

61 faults


Bedfordshire Association


3hr 18

65 faults


Suffolk Guild


3hr 06

114 faults


Essex Association


3hr 11

115 faults


Cambridge University Guild  


3hr 19

119 faults


Lincoln Diocesan Guild


did not finish

The Competition Steward's Report is available here.    
In 2019 the competition is hosted by the Suffolk Guild, probably at the Norman Tower, Bury St Edmunds on June 15.



ART Workshops

At the ART Conference in March, ART announced the development of training workshops in number of subjects.

There are many good training sessions that take place throughout the country, but so often the trainer has to develop their own materials causing a huge duplication of effort. ART is keen to have a repository of good materials and have ‘off the shelf workshops’ available for use to encourage more workshop training in new areas using the best materials and teaching. This may help avoid so many people reinventing the wheel.  Many of these will have to be capable of variation to allow for audiences of different experience levels.

Each workshop uses a combination of presentations and practical work. Currently handouts are handled by email but deletes on the workshops will get access to SmART Ringer in due course to view all handouts and other relevant information.

All workshops will be advertised via the ART web site and already a number of successful pilot workshops have taken place.

Currently the following workshops are available – full details are at 

·     Calling Bob Doubles – basic level bob calling for the aspiring conductor

·       Conducting – this focusses on Bob Minor but includes coursing order, transposition etc.

·    Mentor development -  aims to increase the awareness of the mentoring process 

·         Bell Maintenance – A full day’s workshop to understand what basic maintenance a bell installation needs.

·         Simulator Awareness - designed for people with limited or no knowledge of simulators it explains the various sensor systems and software available .

·         Listen & Strike - helps develop listening skills and rhythm, leading to a reduced reliance on looking and better striking.

·         Tower Leadership - covers stakeholder management, leading the team, good practice and performance. Theory sessions augmented with lots of discussion. (Produced in conjunction with CCCBR).

Other workshops are being developed and we would welcome good additional materials for existing workshops and ideas and assistance with new ones.

These workshops will be run on a regional/local basis and we need to hear not just from people who would like to arrange a course but those who are prepared to run them. Workshop leaders clearly need to have knowledge of their subject as well as good communication skills and the ability to present well using Power Point.  (Mileage expenses are paid to appointed workshop leaders).

So if you need workshop training or could run one – get in touch!

Graham Nabb  ART


Recruitment Power Point Presentations

You may know that the Central Council Public Relations Committee, with help from other ringers, has been working for some time on a set of PowerPoint presentations that ringers can use to explain our wonderful hobby to others.  This is something that we have often been asked for so we believe that many ringers will find these really useful.  The first set is now available on the Council’s website here

You will see that they include speaking notes and cover

·      A general overview of ringing

·        A presentation to those particularly interested in the science & mathematics or it all

·        A presentation for those interested particularly in history

·        A ‘recruitment’ presentation 

Still to come in the future are:

·        A template for bell restoration funding applications

·        A recruitment presentation for youth

·        A ‘tower leaflet’ with generic content as well as areas for specifics for your tower an aid to help create your own leaflet if you don’t have one. 

And did you know that you can now subscribe to the Council’s website so that you get automatic notification of new items?  Sign up here 

Kate Flavell   Public Relations Officer     Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

ART WORKS Newsletters

The latest ART WORKS magazines from the Association of Ringing Teachers can be found hereART

 Complete page reset anew and index and anchors reset.  Last edit:17/1/19

Community Web Kit provided free by BT
Cookies and Privacy | Charity Number: 258271