Guild Newsletter

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A FIFTY-TWO YEAR ADVENTURE

Well, Friday 10 July 2020 was a slightly special day for me. I finally managed to get up to see the bell in the turret of St.Francis of Assisi’s Roman Catholic Church at Baddesley Clinton - a 2 cwt Mears bell of 1870. The bell is of no real interest, but seeing it - ‘the last bell in Warwickshire’ - means that I have finally completed a survey I first began in 1968.

I learned to ring at boarding school at Worcester in 1966. My teacher, Paul Cattermole, introduced me to the historical interest of bells right from the start. He taught me a lot and I owe a great deal to his early encouragement. He took a group of us to visit a number of belfries around Worcester and as a school works gang we did maintenance and repairs to the bells at St.Swithun’s, Spetchley and White Ladies Aston - all with interesting historic bells.

It was in the Easter school holidays in 1968 that I decided to start exploring local belfries at home in Warwickshire. On calling at Great Alne Rectory to ask if I could look at the bell there, I met Christopher Wain (the Rector’s son) who took me to the church and helped me get up to see the bell. He became a good friend and even learned to ring. We subsequently cycled round a number of local churches together and that was when I started to collect material for a revision of The Church Bells of Warwickshire. Over the years this has grown into a full and detailed survey of ALL the bells in the County - not just church bells, but also bells in the churches of other denominations, public buildings, country houses and (a surprising range) “other locations”.

Suffice it to say, no book has yet appeared. I had a draft almost ready for publication in the later 1970s but nobody was willing to publish it - or help to meet the costs. That was a disappointment but I didn’t give up. Although not living in the area I have always continued to collect information and keep the survey records up to date, but lack of time has prevented me from writing it up fully. Realising that the information was of interest to some ringers I handed my original draft over the Mike Chester a while back and he has made the core details available - supplemented with material of his own - on the internet.

I still hope at some stage to assemble all my Warwickshire stuff for publication. It’s been a huge labour of love over the years and while it will never be a book of general interest it would be greatly valued by a handful of enthusiasts and of considerable interest to people with associations with individual places and towers. My similar study for Bedfordshire is nearing completion for short-run publication in the near future. All being well, Warwickshire (and Worcestershire) will follow later on although there’s still a huge amount of work to do to get it all in a suitable form.

Of course, the ‘last bell in Warwickshire’ is a moving target. There will still be some I don’t yet know about. There will be others that I need to revisit for reappraisal or where changes have taken place. There are some which - although I have fully adequate details - I haven’t actually seen and touched at close quarters.

I think I can genuinely say, though, that the little bell at Baddesley Clinton is the last for which I knew a visit was necessary in order to document it properly. Thus a mission begun at Great Alne on 27 March 1968 ended on 10 July 2020.

Of course, if anyone knows of any bells that I might not know of - or who sees scaffolding on a turret that is normally beyond reach - please do get in touch. I’m always glad to follow up leads - or to have a chance to re-examine bells I’ve already seen. Contact me on 07811-453525 or via .

Chris (with lockdown hair and beard!) inspecting the turret bell at St.Francis of Assisi’s Catholic church at Baddesley Clinton - 10 July 2020

Chris Pickford
July 2020

July 2020 Edition Available

The latest newsletter is available to view as "Current Edition" and a printable version has been put into "Downloads".

Please note that the deadline for the following edition 1st October 2020 and items submitted after this date may have to be held over until the January 2021 edition.


 

Resumption of Ringing - a Guild Statement

Dear Fellow Members of the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers I am sure you will agree, it is welcome news that bell ringing is to resume within Churches in our Diocese. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) has been working with the Church of England Recovery Group to help outline how very restricted opportunities to return to our towers for ringing for divine service can take place safely.

This current relaxation is a good step in moving to a "new normal" for our varied and diverse ringing activities that we have all missed so much over the past 15 weeks. The following is a very limited commentary/interpretation of the CCCBR papers produced for Coventry Guild members.

Please read all the CCCBR papers yourself and familiarise yourself with their contents as these must remain the definitive documents. They are very comprehensive, well thought out and clearly presented material. On 1st July, Simon Linford, President of the CCCBR, distributed the full advice to Guilds. It is 6 explanatory documents (all no more than 2 pages) and 3 more lengthy documents for ensuring there is a good paper trail of what has been done and agreed with the particular church. In addition, there is a full risk assessment. Please take time to read it and share it with your fellow ringers. I think you will find this makes many issues and questions you have much clearer.

It has to be very clearly understood at the outset that the current relaxation gives permission for 15 minutes of Sunday service ringing and no other purpose. It has to be with the permission of the incumbent and the ringers adhere to the stipulations in the CCCBR papers. We believe, this includes the raising and lowering of bells.

There are three pre-requisites.

(1) There is a Sunday service to ring for. There will be more of these as the weeks go by as parishes get their building and pattern of worship agreed as satisfying the CoE general guidelines for re-opening churches for services with congregation present.

(2) The ringers themselves are prepared to ring in accordance with the content of the CCCBR papers so there are enough to have a viable band. Many ringers will, quite rightly, feel that the covid-19 risk to themselves and those in the same household is still too high (the end of lockdown is happening too fast for them). Ringers are fully entitled to express that health comes before this limited opportunity to get back on the end of a rope.

(3) The incumbent (not a decision delegated to the Churchwardens and PCC), will permit ringing and has agreed all the recommended paper trail documents. Before ringing the bells an inspection of the bell installation must be carried out. What is to be covered in highlighted in the CCCBR documents and two people must be involved to meet existing Health and Safety recommendations. The objective of the inspection is primarily to ensure that nothing will impede the bells nor that any structural damage has occurred since the last ringing. Realistically the level to which fittings can be inspected is limited and anyway 15 weeks of non-ringing is unlikely to see any real deterioration. When first ringing up do so with more caution than usual.

Be well aware that social distancing needs to be in place in the tower. After requesting a clarification from the CCCBR the distance is two metres and not one metre. This is more difficult to have in place for almost all towers. One opportunity to investigate is to have the entire band part of a household or "social bubble" who are already exempt from social distancing by recent general changes in government rulings. This might be possible where there are families of bell ringers, which we do have within our Guild. Looking forward, and hopefully without a second wave of this terrible virus, further relaxations will be made by the government and these will almost certainly work in favour of having less regulated forms of ringing. Some towers may well decide it is be simpler to wait a week or two and direct efforts in either what is then an easier situation or learn from other towers' experiences. However, in the meantime, we hope to hear of bands being successful in their Sunday service ringing endeavours.

If you do need further clarification on any points, or require help with an inspection of your bells, please let me know. Mark Sayers is the Guild Health and Safety advisor and will be able to offer practical help if required. Finally, remember that the CCCBR documents are the definitive statements and the Guild will do its best to give those asking useful advice on how to proceed.

Kind Regards

Andrew Alldrick Guild President;
Mark Sayers, Guild Ringing Master;
Simon Rogers, Guild Treasurer;
Annie Hall General Secretary,

Trustees of the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers.

Returning to Ringing - a Message from Simon Linford, President CCCBR

Returning to ringing is a subject dear to all our hearts. Simulators, Ringing Room, and training webinars are just not the same although we should applaud all those initiatives. On 12th June bellringing appeared in a list of activities which cannot take place in churches. That made us determined to find out who was advising government so that we could make our case. All the hard work being done on guidance and risk assessments is useless if the keys to the ringing room door have been taken away.

I am pleased to say we have now made a lot of progress. Mark Regan tracked down the people in the Church of England who are coordinating the opening of churches, resumption of choral singing and organ playing, liaising with Public Health England, and the ministries (DCLG and MHCLG). The people with the metaphorical keys to our ringing room doors are Mark Betson, convenor of the Church of England’s Recovery Group, and Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s Adviser for Medical Ethics, Health, and Social Care Policy. On Monday this week, Mark Regan, Phil Barnes and I had a Zoom call with them to position ringing in the church recovery plan.

It went extremely well. Our goal for the meeting was just to establish the Council as the trusted advisor to the CofE team and hence government on bell ringing. We had sent them our suite of six guidance notes, which they loved, describing them as “great, bite sized, well balanced” and said they were much better than anything they had come up with! That put us in a very strong opening position.

Having not really considered bell ringing specifically before, they are 100% committed to making ringing part of the return of church activities. In the first instance though it must be just that. Our return will be about Sunday ringing as part of the church’s mission, not practice or self-indulgence, though they understood our longer-term desire and need to resume that as well. Mark Betson said it would be really good to get ringing going again, reminding everyone which day is Sunday, and letting the bells proclaim that the church is open. He wanted “a package of good news” to be launched together.

Brendan was particularly cautious of any misinterpretation of the drop in the UK Government’s social distancing rule from 2m to 1m, which will have happened in between me writing this and its publication. He cited all the guidance coming to him that 2m was not sacrosanct, but that going from 2m to 1m represents a 10 fold increase in risk, and that he would remain cautious saying “Our first job is not to kill anyone.”

Mark and Brendan had meetings with Public Health England and UK Government that afternoon and this week. They promised to include ringing in the plans and coordinate with us. We advised that we would need a couple of weeks to get restarted, allowing for maintenance inspections, and they would clear such access with Becky Clarke, Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings. They were happy to link our Guidance Notes from the main Churchcare website where their primary Coronavirus guidance sits.

We have watched with some envy our fellow bellringers in places with no new infections (or no infections at all) start ringing again. In order to get ringing going before we get to the zero infection stage will need patience, resilience and understanding."

We are going to get lots of ringers will not want to bother ringing three or four alternate bells for 15 minutes for a service. It could be a long time before peals or even quarters are possible. However it is an essential part of the strategy for us getting ringing going again that the church values our contribution, and we have managed to get them to include us in their plans and see ringing as a positive that we want it to be." 

If we do not get bells ringing for Sunday service in this first phase of resumption then it will slow down later phases of opening up. It will reinforce the impression of us that some in the church have. We don’t know exactly which day this will be from yet, although some Diocese have said they expect to have services after 4th July. We received specific confirmation subsequent to the meeting that access to towers to check bell installations ready for ringing was approved, provided it was done safely by more than one person, socially distanced.

We therefore need to try and find ways of making this positive. Perhaps it is the opportunity to get ringing going in all those churches which rarely have their bells rung at all. I know a few threes near Birmingham where the ropes are definitely 2m apart and which do not have local bands so I may be off to one of those! We could turn this into a real show of solidarity. 

Simon Linford
President CCCBR

John Illingworth's Ringing Books - For Sale

Notes re John Illingworth’s book lists.

I am selling these on behalf of his widow Linda – now Linda Monrowe

Prices listed are mostly based on the price he paid and were his latest valuation from some years ago, but prices don’t seem to have changed much.

Reasonable offers will all be considered. Postage will be extra or collect from Rugby.

Why not make an offer for the lot and start your own ringing library – will include the bookcase!!

If there’s a title you need that is not on the list do ask – I might have a copy and be willing to sell.

Clarke Walters
clarke.walters-at-gmail.com  (replace "-at-" with "@")

A.John Illingworth Bell Catalogue

Bannister W. Change Ringing 1874 £80
Bray M.I. Bells of Memory, The Loughborough Carillon 1981 Ist Ed. £3
Camp J. Discovering Bells & Bellringing £4
Central Council Collection of Minor Methods 1975 £4
Central Council Towers & bells Handbook 1973 £15
Colchester W. Hampshire Church Bells 1979 reprint £20
Coleman S. Bellringers Bedside Companion 1994 1st Ed.signed £15
Cook W.T. Bells of St. Paul’s 2nd Ed.1984 £4
Cook W.T. Westminster Abbey Bells and Ringers 1984 £9
Crocket M. Bells in Our Lives 1973 £8
Cule W.E. The Bells of Moulton 1948 reprint
Eisel J. Bells of Hereford Cathedral 1977 £7
Elphick G. Sussex Bells & Belfries. 1970 £60
Ferriday P. Lord Grimthorpe 1957 £15
Foxon J. Tail Ends of Bells 1982 1st Ed. £4
Gatty A. The Bell 1848 £75
Gillett & Johnson Carillons, Chimes & Tower Clocks 1932
Handley D. Notes on the Furness Branch bells 1982 £5
H.M.S.O. Big Ben and Clock Tower 1987 1st Ed. £2
H.M.S.O. The Story of Big Ben 1969 6th Impression £2
Hubbard H. Elements of Campanalogia 1854 1st Ed £100
Ingram D. & Jones R. Belfry Life in Birmingham c 1780-1860: The Recollections of John Day. 2002 £15
Ingram T. Bells in England 1954 1st Ed £30
Ingram T. Bells in England 1969 2nd Impression. £15
Jennings T. Bellfounding 1986 £3
Jennings T. The Development of Bell Fittings 1991 signed £30
Jennings T. Master of My Art 1987 £10
Johnson R. Bellringing 1986 1st Ed. £20
Kimball D. The Story of the Liberty Bell 1989 £10
L.A.C.R. Instruction & diagrams for Beginners 1937 4th Ed £5
L.A.C.R. Instruction & diagrams for Beginners 1948 5th Ed. £5
L.A.C.R. Objects & Rules 1952 £2
Lee M. Henry Penn Bellfounder £10
Lee M. Peterborough to Pennsylvania 2000 signed £10
Lukis W. Account of Church Bells 1857 £125
Morris E. History & Art of Change Ringing 1st Ed 1937 £65
Morris E. “ “ “ “ rep.1974 £40
Morris E. Bells of All Nations 1957 £25
Morris E. “ “ “ “ 1951 Ex.Lib. £20
Morris E. Legend of the Bells. 1935 £10
Morris E. Tintinnabula 1st Ed. 1959 £10
Morris E. Towers & bells of Britain 1st Ed 1955 £20
New Zealand Govt. Old St. Paul’s bells 1979
Nicholls Bells thro’ the Ages 1928 Ex Lib £30
Pickford C. Bellframes – A Practical guide to Inspection and Recording 1993 £12
Pickford C. Steeple, bells & bellringers of Coventry Cath 1st Ed 1987 signed £12
Pickford C. Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century Part 1.1994
Potter D. The bells & Ringers of York Minster 1987 £10
Price P.F. The Carillon 1937 Ex Lib £60
Price P. Bells & Man 1983 £70
Raven J.J. Bells of England 1st Ed 1906 £55
Raven J.J. Church Bells of Suffolk.1st Ed 1890 11/500 £200
Rice G. Carillon Music & Singing Towers  1925 £45
Rice G. Carillon Music & Singing Towers of the Old & New World 1926 £45
Rigby F.F. Elementary Change Ringing 1946
Ringing World. Volume for 1966 & Volume for 1976
Roast J. Change Ringing in Essex 1989 (?) £5
Sanderson J. Change Ringing an English Art Vol.I 1987 £10
Sanderson J. “ “ “ “ “ Vol.II 1992 £10
Sanderson J. “ “ “ “ “ Vol III 1994 £10
Sayers D.L. The Nine Tailors Sixteenth impression 1946
Scotland Soc.of Antiquarians Vol XCIX 1966/7 (Includes article on church bell of Kirkcudbright)  £10
Sharpe F. Church Bells of Berkshire 1970 reprint 2nd Ed £20
Sharpe F. Church Bells of Cardiganshire 1st Ed 1965 £60
Sharpe F.& Bliss Church Bells of Gloucs. 1st Ed. 1986 £50
Sharpe F.Church Bells of Guernsey, Sark etc.1st Ed.1964 £30
Sharpe F. Church Bells of Herefordshire Vol I-V 1976 £80
Shepherd E. Tower & Bells of Solihull Church 1950 £25
Snowdon J. Ropesight 5th Ed. 1900 £5
Snowdon J. Standard Methods 12th Ed. 1954 £5
Springer E. That Vanishing Sound 1976 £25
Stedman F. Tintinnologia 1895 reprint by The Bell News £40
Thurlow G. Church Bells & Ringers of Norwich 1st Ed.1947 signed £35
Thurlow G. Church Bells & Ringers of Norwich 2nd Ed. 1948 signed 35
Thurlow G. Tower & bells of Gloucester Cathedral 1979 £5
Troyte C. Change Ringing 4th Ed.1880 £20
Troyte C. Change Ringing 4th Ed. 1880 £20
Troyte C. Change Ringing 4th Ed. 1880 £20
Turner M. Art & Science. of Handbell Ringing (tune ringing) £10
Tyack G. A Book about Bells 1898 (FG) £40
Tyack G. “ “ “ (G) £40
Varah W. Barton Bells 1948 (Barton on Humber) £10
Walker H. York Minster its bells and ringers 1st Ed. 1973 £4
Walters H. Church Bells - Arts of the Church. 1st Ed 1908 £25
Walters H. “ “ “ “ “ “ “ £25
Walters H. Church bells of England 1912 £80
Warwickshire Guild of Church Bell Ringers Annual Report for 1925 & 1926? - incomplete
Warwickshire Guild of Church Bell Ringers Annual Report for 1927 & 1928
Warwickshire Guild of Church Bell Ringers Annual Report for 1935 & 1936
Whiting A. Bells of Chester Cathedral 1974 £5
Williams V. Bells of Russia 1985 £90
Yolen J. Ring out Ist Ed. 1978 £8

Miscellaneous books, leaflets and audio. Not priced – any offers?

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers publications:-
Beginners Handbook 1981 2 copies
Doubles Collection 1980
Change Ringing on Handbells Fifth edition 1974
Handbook on the Installation, Preservation and Repair of Bells, Bell-frames and Fittings Sixth edition 1966
Bell Restoration Funds 1979
The Council’s Decisions 30 May 1989
The Bell Adviser 1989
Collection of Rung Delight Treble Bob and Alliance Methods 1991
Cyril A Wratten Collection of Surprise Compositions
Hiller M.J. Collection of Doubles Methods and Variations c.1986?
Bells of the Durham and Newcastle Dioceses 1979 Peter L Rivet ?
Marshall C.J.B. St. Andrew’s Wiveliscombe It’s Bells, ringers and Ringing. 1980
Winyard T. The Priory Church of St. Bartholomew The Great c1973
Atkins W.M. (Minor Canon) St. Paul’s Cathedral A Guide 1969
St Mary Portchester – A Short |Guide 1976
Porter J. History of the Bells at SS Mary and Nicholas Spalding c. 1980?
Bishop Selwyn’s Bells (St. Matthew’s Auckland, NZ.) c 1975?
Walmsley R. A Short History of St. Bartholomew’s Church Westhoughton 1955
Bolton Parish Church Fourth edition 1973
Glastonbury Abbey Pitkin series 1973
Crowe Revd. P. St Martin’s in the Bull Ring – A Story of Seven Centuries. 1975
Lincoln Cathedral Pitkin series 1974
Chester Cathedral – A Short Guide c.1975
The Field June 1993 Includes article on bells by Steve Coleman

Audio – offers invited – guide £10 each

Tape cassettes

Change Ringing from St. Mary Redcliffe Bristol. Saydisc 1973
Inveraray Bells
The Bells of London Saydisc 1983 – 2 copies
Church Bells of Kent Saydisc 1979
Harangjatek Glockenspiel

Vinyl LP Records

Music on Handbells from Worcester (12 in. LP)c. 1980
The Rhythm of The Bells (12 in. LP) Central Council 1970
Rostov Chimes (10 in. LP)
Souvenir from Kecskemet, Hungary (12 in. LP) Carillon and other instrumental pieces.
The Chimes (12 in. LP) Various Russian towers

Guess the Tower

Here are 70 towers from the Diocese.  All have at least 3 bells hung for ringing, but not all of them are ringable!

See how many you can get before looking online!!

Alderminster Brinklow Whichford Exhall Allesley
Bishops Tachbrook Avon Dassett Warwick, St Mary Southam Farnborough
Dunchurch Tredington Coughton Whitnash Fenny Compton
Cherington Harbury Ufton Weston under Wetherley Stoneleigh
Barford Cubbington Fillongley  Tysoe Kineton
Foleshill Ettington Snitterfiled Grandborough Willoughby
Honiley Withybrook Honington Leamington Hastings Ladbroke
Rowington Willey Shipston on Stour Hatton Aston Cantlow
Leek Wootton Salford Priors Mancetter Clifford Chambers Hillmorton
Leamington Spa RC Stoke Lighthorne Newbold on Avon Napton on the Hill
Radford Semele Long Itchington Nuneaton Shilton Clifton on Dunsmore
Frankton Offchurch Henley in Arden Ilmington Lillington
Bubbenhall Burton Dassett Preston on Stour Ryton on Dunsmore Ashow
Wormleighton Wolvey Ansley Bedworth Claverdon
Guess the Tower - 2

Here are 70 more towers from the Diocese.  All have at least 3 bells hung for ringing, but not all of them are ringable!

See how many you can get before looking online!!

Chris Pickford has kindly donated one of his Warwickshire “Pevsner” Architectural Guides as a prize to the winner. It will be signed by the author.

Please use this answer sheet and send it to Mike Chester,  by Tuesday 2nd June. The winner will be announce as soon as he can mark all the entries!

 

 
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6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16  17 18  19 20 
21 22 23  24 25
26 27 28 29  30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 
46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55
56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65
66  67 68 69 70
Guess the Tower - Answers
Alcester Beaudesert Bishops Itchington Bourton on Dunsmore Wootten Wawen
Ansty Astley Sutton under Brailes Halford Coventry Cathedral
Keresley Tidmington Rugby Kenilworth Chadshunt
Leamington  Spa Alveston Monks Kirby  Warwick, St Nicholas Stretton on Dunsmore
Atherstone Radway Meriden Shotteswell Butlers Marston
Newbold Pacey Chilvers Coton Priors Hardwick Ullenhall Oxhill
Sherbourne Pillerton Hersey Bidford on Avon Priors Marston Brailes
Studley Wolston Long Compton Bulkington Marton
Berkswell Bilton Wappenbury Corley Wellesbourne
Church Lawford Stratford upon Avon Burton Hastings Stockton Walsgrave
Guess the Tower

Here are 50 towers from the Diocese.  All have at least 3 bells hung for ringing, but not all of them are ringable!

See how many you can get before looking online!!

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16  17 18  19 20 
21 22 23  24 25
26 27 28 29  30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 
46 47 48 49 50

Using the Website Message Board

If you want a message put onto the website, please follow these simple steps

  • Click here http://www.coventrydg.co.uk/news/messages - the link is at the bottom of the messages if you forget this one. It is also on the "News and Notices" menu.
  • Click on
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  • Click on "New Topic"
  • Fill in the form with:-
    • Your name
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It is very simple to do. Please give it a go