Failed attempt at a quarter peal to celebrate the 45th wedding anniversary of David and Hazel Herschell parents of one of our ringers. Sadly not to be today but did result in several very well struck courses of Stedman doubles before time ran out to complete the quarter after two false starts and errors forced it to a stop. Quite a lot of the seven courses rung were nicely struck which made the loss a real shame.
We scored a pleasant and well struck quarter peal this morning to celebrate the Queens 90th birthday. Congratulations to Roy who rang the third bell inside to the plain bob doubles method rung. The whole quarter was well struck and no major errors making it a nice bit of ringing to listen to as well.
On Saturday 11th June 2016 a quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung in 42 minutes
1 Hazel Herschell
2 Helen Howell
3 Roy Followell (first inside)
4 David Herschell
5 Quentin D. Howell (c)
6 Richard Dale
Rung to join the nations celebration of the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The local band finally achieved a quarter peal. This was to celebrate the birth of the new Prince George of Cambridge but was also dedicated to a new grandson of Hazel, Archie Roberts who was born the very same day as the new Prince. When we had finished it also transpired it the very day of Dick birthday, so the band went down to the Gate Pub to celebrate. A very successful afternoon. Quarter details are in the quarters area of the website.
The local band is practising to be able to complete a quarter peal of plain bob minor for Easter.
We are looking forward to 2012 as we have a number of events to ring for. This year sees the 35th anniversary of the bells being installed in the tower as well as of course the Diamond Jubilee year. In addition to this all church bells are going to be rung to celebrate the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Recently we have managed to ring the bells at Lea Marston Church for the United Benefice service which is the first time we have rung these three bells for over a year. The belfry has been cleaned and the bells greased and cleared of debris which makes them much more pleasant to ring.
We have developed a new website in an effort to break into this new form of communication. Much effort has been taken to record the details of the quarter peals and peals which have been rung at St Giles since 1977 and these are now available to view online. In addition we have a number of historical photographs and information about the installation of the bells. The site is being used to advertise what the bellringers do as well as to showcase our achievements.
We are on the look out for interesting photographs – is anyone able to offer pictures of our bells going round the village in 1977 on a lorry or being unloaded? We would love to copy them and publish in our history section of our website.
This month we are recovering from the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee. The Arley and Whitacre ringers have done lots of ringing at both towers and further afield. The weekend started off with a celebration of a completely different nature. The ringers rang for the Christening service of Libby Tilbrook, grandaughter of Terry and Elizabeth Waters and afterwards rang a very well struck quarter peal of 1260 plain Bob Minor which was appreciated by all who heard it.
The actual Jubilee was celebrated at Arley on the Monday with a quarter peal of Stedman Doubles. This is quite a complicated five bell method and was a first for a number of the band. Then on the Tuesday morning the band attempted successfully to get the quarter peal of Cambridge Minor which the Sunday service band lost last month. This time we made not mistake and the quarter was rung in 43 minutes.
A number of people have commented to me that the ringing they hear sounds really good except for the very last piece of ringing heard before we finish. Our pub listener who awaits in "The Gate" also complains about the last bit of ringing. This is called ringing the bells "down" and allows us to safely leave the bells so that they cannot be easily swung or cause a major accident. It is also one of the most difficult parts of the exercise to get right along with "raising the bells" at the start of the practice or service ring. The group are progressing with the raising and lowering and whilst not perfect yet it is a lot better that it was, when we first started raising and lowering in peal a couple of years ago. Prior to this the bells were often raised on their own singularly or in pairs.
The reason for this raising and lowering is because in England, church bells are rung in complete 360 degree revolutions. One forward revolution and then one in reverse. This developed in the 12th century onwards. Change ringing as we know it today developed in the 17th century with people like Mr Fabian Stedman writing down methods and naming them for the first time. Hence the quarter peal of Stedman Doubles mentioned at Arley above. There are about 5500 ringing peals in England and less than 500 in the rest of the world namely in the former colonies. For instance there are only 17 towers in Scotland whereas locally Arley, Astley, Ansley, Kingsbury, Coleshill, Shustoke and Whitacre all have ringing peals. Even Lea Marston has three bells.
When down the bells have their mouth facing downwards and can only be swung slightly. When they are up for services the bells swing a full circle from the mouth up position. If a non ringer were to pull a bell off in this state they would not be able to control it and could injure themselves hence the need to ring them down. In Cornwall where they do less change ringing they ring up and down immaculately and very regularly and sometimes between each ring!
As always we would love to welcome new recruits
For various reasons it was a quiet month except for the special ringing to celebrate the life of the Queen Mother. A deeply muffled quarter peal of 1260 changes of Grandsire doubles was quickly arranged in the day of her death and the few who could hear it heard some ringing rarely heard. Deeply muffled is similar to half muffled ringing done for Remembrance Sunday or ringing out the old year at New Year, but with both strokes of every bell muffled with leather straps except for the tenor. From a distance one can only hear the tenor slowly tolling but closer in, the rest of the bells will stately fill the gaps between the open tolling.
Other than this quarter peal we have been busy getting our new ringing chamber habitable again Boxes that allow us to compensate for short ropes and short people have had a lick of paint and our notice board has gone up. We still have to sort out coathooks and get our quarter peal boards and methods boards back up on the wall.
This months highlight must be the half muffled quarter peal, which the group rang for Remembrance Sunday. This was a very well struck quarter peal of Plain Bob minor and included a first for Kat Howes who had not rung inside before. This means she was doing the complicated part of the method.
Some of the Sunday congregation was good enough to comment favourably about the quarter peal. Readers may remember we last rang half muffled for the September 11th tragedy and some may recall the beautiful but unusual noise the bells make when half the notes are dulled in volume by leather straps.
A few Whitacre ringers went on the annual Arley tower outing which rang at six towers around Ashby-de-la-Zouch. All had an excellent day rounded off by a loud bonfire party in the evening.
Of course we are still desperately short of ringers and only rang for Remembrance Sunday because the Arley ringers helped out again. Anyone interested in starting this fascinating exercise is welcome to join us every Thursday evening from 8pm.
St Giles Bellringers
The trials and tribulations of a small village bellringing band.