Guild Newsletter

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Ringing World National Youth Competition 7th July 2018

At the StationWe had an early start for the competition this year. Our test piece was scheduled to be rung at Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs. We rendezvoused at Cornhill where we were one of the first teams to ring on this lovely 12. Then it was off to catch the DLR to Island Gardens and the 10 minute walk to the church. The team were a little nervous while we waited for the Salisbury Guild to ring their piece. Our test pieces were a little hesitant as the team adjusted their ropes. 15 minutes was the allotted time for adjusting the ropes, practicing and then ringing the test piece. Despite the nerves, they rang confidently and the Plain Hunt 168 changes were completed competently. The bells were more difficult to handle than Brinklow, where we had practiced, but the team got to grips with the bells and rang very well.

At the Station

Then it was back to St Mary-le-Bow for the results. Coventry Spires were awarded B- for our test piece. The judges said we rang at a rapid speed which did lead to some errors. They were impressed with the great rounds which gave the test piece a good structure. This is the highest score we have ever achieved in the 4 years we have entered the competition.Just time to draw breath and then it was off to walk under the Thames to catch the boat ‘up west’ to Tower Pier. We then had a short break for ice cream before going to St Magnus the Martyr to ring on the new 12. We received news we had not reached the final and it was very busy at this tower, so we persuaded Chris Mew to take us back to the East End to grab 3 more towers. We rang at Lime house, Rotherhithe and Bermondsey. We rang Cambridge Major and 3 leads of Bristol along with Plain Hunt on 9 and rounds and call changes.

In good rugby style, it does not do to criticise the judges, but a few observations may be shared in person, not in print. However, the winner of the Method competition and the overall Competition winners where both in our heat proving the competition was tough. Coventry Spires rang a great test piece and were only pipped at the post by the Oxford Guild, a much more experienced band.The Team

And then it was all over. We were all exhausted. Temperatures during the day had hovered at about 30 degrees and sometimes the tube felt about 40 degrees. Bermondsey was a great air conditioned tower so we enjoyed ringing there. This is the last time Simon Allan and Estella Haynes will be able to ring for the team as they become too old!! Thanks for all your hard work and commitment to the team. Albert, Immi, Molly Ruby Alec and Eddie, thanks for being great competitors and here is to next year’s competition in Liverpool.

At the Station

Thanks to all our supporters and to Joy, Marie, Mark, Nick, Sammi, Natalie, Isobel, Keith, Andrea and Bill for coming with us and a special thanks to Chris for his organisation and for being a great tour Guide

Ian Thompson Retires as Tower Captain at Allesley

Ian Thompson

I came to Coventry over the August Bank Holiday Weekend of 1987. I had bought a Guild Report to see where there was ringing around the area and chose to give Allesley a try. On the Sunday morning I arrived at Allesley tower to be met and greeted by Ian Thompson, who had already been Tower Captain for a while.  Thirty-one years later Ian has decided that it is time that he gracefully retired from this position, having recently had a pacemaker fitted, and I have been elected to try to fill his shoes.

During all this time Ian has been climbing the notoriously awkward stairs up the the ringing chamber for two services on Sunday and our Tuesday practice, week after week. He has maintained an exemplorary attendance record over the decade and has organised bands for innumerable weddings, joining in with our "How late will the bride be", grumbles of late! (28 minutes for the last one, in case you would like to know.)  He has taught quite a number of ringers how to ring in his time as Tower Captain. He also has rung 98 peals at his home tower between 1966 and 2016.

He led on the replacement of our third and fourth bells in 2011, paying himself for the new fourth in memory of his late wife, Janet.  He was still a leading light when our sixth bell was replaced by a better (Taylor) bell from Bury in 2016.

This is not a goodbye, nor even "au revoir", for Ian at Allesley. While he is able to get up to the ringing chamber he intends to continue his association with Allesley and will remain a loyal ringer to the tower.  We thank him for all the hours he has put into the tower and hope that he continues to enjoy ringing with us.

It will be some job to take over from Ian, but I know that he will give all the help and advice that I need.  However, Ian, please don't expect me to still be there in 31 years time!

Mike Chester

CCCBR AGM Report 2018

The report by our CCCCBR Representatives about the 2018 AGM, at which a major restructuring of the Council was voted upon, can be found here:


This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One. The Coventry Diocesan Guild, under its previous name the Warwickshire Guild, lost 18 members during the four years of hostilities. In total, 11,600 men from Warwickshire lost their lives in the war to end all wars.

Many churches within the Guild have made special efforts to commemorate the losses. Atherstone has information sheets recalling the details of the fallen from their parish. In Warwick, a replica bell of St Mary’s tenor has been constructed and will be covered in poppies. The headstock carries the names of the Guild members lost and the towers where they rang.

Guild members will probably have commitments to ring at their own towers, but in addition the Guild would like to arrange a series of routes through the Guild to ensure as many bells as possible will be rung, and also to allow members to see the displays in different villages or towns. The ringing routes may be on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th. It might be possible to arrange for a central rendezvous or even a master class on half muffled ringing.

If your church has a special commemoration over the weekend, which you think might be of interest to other members, please let me know and I can include it in one of the routes. In addition, if you have responsibility for a tower with not enough ringers, again let me know and we can see if we can arrange for other members to assist you in ringing the bells over the remembrance weekend.

There are a number of different National initiatives regarding the ringing of church bells over the remembrance weekend of 10th -11th November 2018. The Central Council is advising ringing bells half muffled during the morning of the 11th and then open in the afternoon. There is another plan to ring all the bells at 7.00pm on the evening of 11th November. It is estimated 1400 bell ringers lost their lives during WW1. The initiative ‘Ringing Remembers’ to recruit the same number of new ringers during the year is making good progress. In May, 558 had been recruited so far and the intention is they will take part in ringing on 11th November. If you have any learners, who have joined your band since last November, they can sign up to be included in the total number.

If you have any suggestions or comments about any of these initiatives, please let me know.