Guild Newsletter

The Guild Newsletter is published quarterly and is distributed to the Districts at each of the quarterly Whole Guild Meetings which are held in January, April, July and October, in rotation between the districts.

Articles for inclusion in the next newsetter should be sent via email to

They will be published on receipt on this website and included in the next available edition of the newsletter. They can be accessed from the tabs at the top of this page.

Please ensure that all items for inclusion are sent in by approx. a fortnight prior to a meeting to allow time for the collation and printing of the Newsletter. The deadline is always shown in the current edition.

The current edition can be read online via the appropriate link in the Newsetter menu, as can PDF copies of previous newsletters.


 

Annual Carol Service

This year, the Guild held its annual Carol service at St Mary’s Warwick. The popularity of this event has been increasing over the past few years and this year was no exception. The Bells of St Nicholas Warwick were available for ringing from 2.00- 3.00 and then the fine 10 at St Marys from 3.00 until the service started at 4.00. The Christmas tree festival was on in church so there was plenty to see while people waited for the service to start. The bell ringers’ choir, assembled by Barbara Howes and directed by Richard Taulbut had rehearsed during the afternoon and visitors to the church had said how much they enjoyed hearing the traditional carols sung so well. John Newbold played the organ and Karen French, resplendent in her pearly queen costume, handed out the service sheets.

carols1

At exactly 4.00, the bell ringers choir ‘sauntered’ purposefully down the aisle to the choir stalls. The Rev’d Vaughan Roberts conducted the service and welcomed the Guild to this wonderful church. Joy Pluckrose had written a moving service around the football game played between the German and the British soldiers in the trenches during WWI. Ian Wilson looked the part in a genuine WWI uniform and delivered the dialogue with warmth and humour. Members of the youth team also took part and the handbells were rung by the Warwick ringers. The singing by the choir and the congregation was full voiced and filled the church with the sounds of Christmas. Over 100 members and friend attended the service and it was so rewarding to see such a large church filled with an appreciative congregation.

carols2

After the service, the Warwick ringers had provided seasonal refreshments of mince pies and mulled wine. Thanks to everyone for making the service so successful.

Draw Club Results
  1st Prize (£25) 2nd Prize (£10) Third Prize  
October 52 - J Plukrose 13 - J Ingham 37 - A Alldrick  
November 125 - Clifton Ringers 95 - G Pratt 5 - J Slack  
Bonus Month 1st Prize (£40) 2nd Price (£30) Third Prize (£20) Fourth Prize (£10)
December 88 - C Jamieson 60 - P Spencer 78 - M Ingman 51 -  J Wykes

Renewal Forms for 2018 are out. If you haven’t received one yet, (or you would like to become a new member) please get in touch with Chris Worley: 024 7666 5946

2018 - Dates for the Diary.

Your District Secretaries work hard to provide a varied calendar of events throughout the year. In addition, they send monthly reminders of events closer to home. The Guild Calendar for the year is available on the Guild website. Our dedicated web master, Mike Chester, places notices of meeting and practices each week.

Significant dates for 2018 are as follows:

  • January 6th Guild Social at Wellesbourne 3.00-4.30
  • March 10th 6 Bell Striking Competition, Bilton and Dunchurch
  • April 14th Conductors Workshop to be held at Leek Wootton.
  • April 28th Guild AGM at Berkswell
  • May 2nd-5th Archbishop of Canterbury visiting the Coventry Diocese
  • Royal wedding to ring for? Date to be announced.
  • July 14th Guild Social, ringing tour, Rugby District, followed by skittles and food.
  • September 6th. Centenary of the Coventry Diocesan
  • October 6th 8 Bell Striking Competition and Guild half yearly meeting Lillington
  • November 11th Ringing Remembers
  • December 15th Guild Carol Service Coventry District.

Further details on any of the events; please contact your District Secretary or .

Ringing for Remembrance

Over the past 4 years, members of the Guild have been ringing quarter peals and peals to commemorate the passing of our fallen comrades during the Great War. 15 members of our Guild were killed and I think many of us had them in our thoughts at the recent Carol Service.

The centenary of the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 2018, will be a time of national remembrance and you may have seen plans on how this will be commemorated.

More than 1,400 of our bell ringing community laid down their lives for peace in the ‘war to end all wars.’ We know in retrospect that wars were not ‘ended’, but we also know that there is an ever increasing movement to address this. Our fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we ringers still do today (from skilled workers to academics to business people – you name it!), and today we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace around the world.

The Central Council are being supported by Government (DLCG) in encouraging the recruitment of 1400 new ringers over the next year, who will be able to ring as part of Armistice 100. There is also the suggestion we ring 1400 quarter peals in memory of the fallen.

<p?November 11th 2018, falls on a Sunday. The Central Council have recommended ringing half muffled in the morning and then ringing open in the afternoon and evening. The idea being that we start with commemorative ringing, which naturally has its sombre tone, to recognise the loss of so many lives, and then later in the day we move to a more forward-looking tone of affirmation, - to acknowledge that our fallen have contributed to the future in terms of helping secure peace, and to make the clear statement that bell ringers want peace.

There is also an opportunity to ring as part of the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening; this organisation (fully backed by all the key military) would like to encourage 1000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day, if this fits with local arrangements – (towers do not need to be aligned with the beacons).More details can be found at

If you have any plans or ideas on how you wish to commemorate the end of WWI, please send them to . Updates on progress and ideas will be shared in the newsletter and on the website.

WWI Memorial Peal

Private George Henry Kettle, known as Harry to his friends, was born in Solihull in 1882. He married Susan Ellen Crumtpon before WWI and they had a son, Ralph Henry Kettle, born in 1914.  He lived in Rectory Cottage, being just one of the 4/5 gardners employed by Revd William Bree, Rector of Allesley. The rectory was then a much larger building, later demolished. The current rectory was built on just part of the old garden.  

He became Secreatry of the Warwickshire Guild, the previous name for the Coventry Guild, on 10th October 1914. He rang in a number of peals, his first being Grandsire Triples at Stoke in Coventry on 30/12/1911, and he called the first peal by a local band at Allesley: Grandsire Doubles on 14/12/1912 – this was the first peal by the five other ringers and his first as conductor. He left for France in December 1916.

Harry died of wounds in France on November 28th 1917. A peal of Plain Bob Minor was rung in his memory and the members of the Guild paid for a handsome peal board to be erected at Allesley in his memory. Exacatly 100 years after Harry's death, a band of past and present officers of the Guild rang a peal in his memory.  Simon Rogers came up with an unrung Alliance method and it was named after Harry Kettle.

Details of the peal are:-

Coventry Diocesan Guild
Allesley, West Midlands All Saints
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 in 2h 44m (12)
5100 Kettle Alliance Major
Composed by M Maughan
1 Geoffrey W Randall
2 Annie Hall
3 Raymon A Sheasby
4 Michael Chester
5 John W G Gwynne
6 Mark W Sayers
7 Simon P Rogers (C)
8 Andrew F Alldrick
Rung, by past and present officers of the Guild, in memory of Private George Henry (Harry) Kettle, a ringer at Allesley.
Died 28/11/1917, aged 35. Royal Berkshire Regiment 5th Bn. Service No.34988. Commemorated at Etaples Military Cemetery, France, Grave XXX N 2A.
He worked as a gardener for the Rector of Allesley before enlisting and was the Honorary Secretary of the Warwickshire Guild.
First peal in the method.
Kettle A Major b -3-4-5-6.34-34.18.56.34.7

Peal Band

The peal band with a pencil portrait of Harry Kettle, presented to Allesley ringers by his relatives..

Memorial Peal Board

The Memorial Peal Band

Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight

Fourteen ringers from the Coventry District organised 29 quarters which were rung in 25 of the 29 towers in the Coventry District and one tower in the Rugby Deanery. All of the quarters were scored although one did require a second visit!

Fifty-four ringers from the Coventry District participated in one or more quarter and we were pleased to be joined by 16 ringers from the other districts and local guilds. The leading ringers were Ray Sheasby (17), Janice Sheasby (15), Joy Pluckrose (11), Doug Kempton (10), Gerald Trevor and Geoff Pratt (8).

The leading conductors, Ray Sheasby (6), Doug Kempton (6) and Andrew Alldrick (5) were assisted by 8 more conductors.

Three of the quarters were rung for Remembrance weekend and the remaining 26 were rung for the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of H.M. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. These included quarters of Cambridge Surprise Royal and Westminster Surprise Minor.

Congratulations are due to all of the following for their significant achievements.

  • 1st Quarter – Jaqueline Taylor, Martin Bradley, Peter Hollings
  • 1st Quarter for many years – Margaret Anthill
  • 1st Treble to Bob Doubles – Mary Jones
  • 1st Treble to Bob Minor – Norris Poon, Greg Reay
  • 1st Treble Bob – Julia Porter
  • 1st Bob Doubles inside – Norris Poon
  • 1st inside on 8 – Mark Goodman 
  • 1st Beverley Surprise Minor – Angela Roskelly, Steve Tibbetts
  • 1st London Surprise Minor – Graham Chadband
  • 1st Superlative Surprise Major – Gerald Trevor
  • 1st Minor as Conductor – Amy Collins
  • I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this very successful venture as an organiser, a conductor or a member of the band. It just goes to show what can be achieved! My sincere thanks go also to all the tower captains who put so much effort into keeping their bells ringing week by week. I hope you all realise that we are happy to be contacted at any time of the year if you need help to prepare for or ring a quarter-peal or simply to practice something new to ring on a Sunday.

Janice Sheasby – District Secretary (07533 443 749)
Ray Sheasby - District Ringing Master (07949 009257)

Read More
Firsts in Quarter Peals

Studley, Warwickshire Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday, 14 October 2017 (11)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Louise Grubb
2 Richard H Spray
3 Peter J Gordon
4 A J Barnfield
5 Rachel D Page (C)
6 Robert E Airlie
First inside at first attempt for Peter, aged 14, ringer of the 3rd.

Lillington, Warwickshire St Mary Magdalene
Sunday, 22 October 2017 in 46 mins (9)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Molly Woodier
2 Barbara Howes
3 Sarah Thomas
4 John Nutt
5 Richard Taulbut (C)
6 Roger Howes
First quarter peal: 1.

Lighthorne, Warwickshire St Laurence
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 in 43 mins (5)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 David Bell
2 David Rake
3 Sally Dick
4 Nigel Dick
5 Mike Rigby (C)
6 Nick Barrows-Rudd
First quarter as conductor 5. First quarter: 6.

Leek Wootton, Warwickshire All Saints
Saturday, 28 October 2017 in 45 minutes (7)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Angela Roskelly
2 Mark W Sayers (C)
3 Clare Gould
4 Ray Sheasby
5 Nathan Gould
6 Janice Sheasby
First inside 3 and 5.

Kenilworth, Warwickshire St Nicholas
Sunday, 5 November 2017 (14)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Cuckoo Kurian
2 Rosemary Spencer
3 Peter Spencer
4 Doug Kempton
5 David Crawley (C)
6 Jane Kempton
1st Q for treble

Berkswell, West Midlands St John the Baptist
Sunday, 12 November 2017 in 43 mins (16)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Mary Jones
2 Cathy Parry
3 Barbara Howes
4 Angela Roskelly
5 Steven Tibbetts (C)
6 Richard Turner
First QP on treble for Mary Jones.
Rung half-muffled on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate those who lost their lives whilst fighting for their country
and to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

Shilton, Warwickshire St Andrew
Friday, 17 November 2017 in 42m (7)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Wendy Atkinson
2 Steve Colley
3 Norris Poon
4 Raymon A Sheasby
5 Gerald Trevor (C)
6 Roy Followell
Rung for the Coventry Guild's Quarter Peal fortnight, to celebrate the Queen and Prince Philip's Platinum wedding anniversary.
1st inside: 3, 2000th quarter 4.

Wellesbourne, Warwickshire St Peter
Sunday, 19 November 2017 (10)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Simon Oram
2 Len Morley
3 John Wheeler
4 Stewart Heritage
5 Michael Dane (C)
6 Graham Allman
Rung for Her Majesty's 70th Wedding Anniversary.
1st Q inside 3

Kenilworth, Warwickshire St Nicholas
Sunday, 19 November 2017 (14)
1300 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Peter G Hollings
2 Rosemary Spencer
3 John Powell
4 Peter Spencer
5 Doug Kempton (C)
6 Jane Kempton
1st 1/4 for treble,
Also for the forthcoming Queens' Platinum wedding aniversary

Napton on the Hill, Warwickshire St Lawrence
Monday, 20 November 2017 in 44 mins (11)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Elizabeth A Smith
2 Alison Varney
3 Sarah Thomas
4 Margaret Ingman
5 Susan Bacon (C)
6 Chris Cooke
First quarter as conductor
Rung to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Clifton upon Dunsmore, Warwickshire St Mary
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 (9)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Holly Turner
2 Catherine Jamieson
3 Estella J Haynes
4 Andrew W Harvey
5 Simon A Allan (C)
6 Chris Scott
First quarter, treble. First as conductor.
Rung to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip.

Bedworth, Warwickshire All Saints
Saturday, 25 November 2017 (14)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Martin Bradley
2 Simon Danks
3 Roger Gane
4 Doug Kempton (C)
5 Kenny Burwood
6 John Ison
1st Q for treble, also rung for the Platinum Wedding Anniversary for the Queen

Stoneleigh, Warwickshire St Mary the Virgin
Saturday, 25 November 2017 (10)
1300 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Jacqueline Taylor
2 Janice Sheasby
3 Robert Taylor
4 Ray Sheasby
5 Doug Kempton (C)
6 Rodney Swallow
1st QP for treble, also rung to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Wedding Anniversary

Stoneleigh, Warwickshire St Mary the Virgin
Saturday, 25 November 2017 (10)
1260 Plain Bob Minor
1 Greg Reay
2 Robert Taylor
3 Janice Sheasby
4 Rodney Swallow
5 Ray Sheasby
6 Doug Kempton (C)
1st minor, 1. Rung as a Platinum Wedding Anniversary compliment for the Queen

On Ringing the Bells In Coventry

The old cathedral sits aloof
With toothy tower and absent roof.
Its nave has puddles brimmed by rain,
And silent walls all cracked with pain.
An open window spans one end,
And sawn off columns to earth descend.
Its bells for Reconciliation ring,
For Peace, not Hate that War doth bring.

Brave they are who sit and stare,
And contemplate the lack of care,
For gentle people forced to fight
And what they lost to save what’s right.
Fought to right those awful wrongs,
And paid the price with moonlight’s bombs.
Its bells for Reconciliation ring,
For Peace, not Hate that War doth bring.

‘Coventried’, goes the name,
When people died from air raid flame.
It marked a turn up of the wick,
To long and bloody, not short and quick.
Rebuilt cities tell the tale
Across the globe, of war’s travail.
I’ve rung those bells, their voices rail
‘Let not War, nor Hate, but Peace prevail.’

©Keith Murphy

Written for and read at the Poetry Event of the Coventry Positive Images Festival held on Remembrance Day 2017.

Ringing to Mark the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip

Berkswell, West Midlands St John the Baptist
Sunday, 12 November 2017 in 43 mins (16)  
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Mary Jones
2 Cathy Parry
3 Barbara Howes
4 Angela Roskelly
5 Steven Tibbetts (C)
6 Richard Turner
First QP on treble for Mary Jones.
Rung half-muffled on Remembrance Sunday to commemorate those who lost their lives whilst fighting for their country
and to celebrate the 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

Exhall, Warwickshire St Giles
Monday, 13 November 2017 (6)
1272 Plain Bob Minor
1 Janice Sheasby
2 Vivien Hopkins
3 David Harrison
4 Ray Sheasby
5 Chris Foxall
6 Doug Kempton (C)
Rung to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Wedding Anniversary

Walsgrave on Sowe, West Midlands St Mary
Monday, 13 November 2017 in 43 (6)
1260 Plain Bob Minor
1 Norris Poon
2 Alexander Guest
3 Gerald Trevor
4 Andrew Jackson
5 Vic Smith
6 Amy Collins (C)
During Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight. For the forthcoming 70th Wedding Anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip.

Allesley, West Midlands All Saints
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 in 42m (12)
1270 Westminster Surprise Minor
1 Amanda Slater
2 Janice Sheasby
3 Raymon Sheasby ~
4 Julie Tarling
5 Michael Chester
6 Andrew Alldrick (C)
Rung as a Platinum Wedding Anniversary compliment to HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip.

Meriden, West Midlands St Laurence
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 (7)
1260 Doubles (5m) Eynesbury, St Osmund, st Martin, St Simon's and Plain Bob
1 Sarah Thomas
2 Keith Chambers
3 Sue Marshall (C)
4 Steve Tibbetts
5 Graham Nabb
Rung for Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip's forthcoming Platinum Wedding Anniversary during Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight.

Corley, Warwickshire
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 in 39 mins (5)
1260 Doubles (4m) 120 Stedman, 360 Grandsire, 240 St.Simon's & 540 Plain Bob
1 Robert Taylor
2 Janice Sheasby
3 Joy Pluckrose
4 David Price
5 Raymon Sheasby (C)
Rung for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's forthcoming Platinum Wedding Anniversary, during Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight.

Arley, Warwickshire St Wilfrid
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 in 42 mins (7)
1320 Cambridge Surprise Minor
1 David Price
2 Janice Sheasby
3 Joy Pluckrose
4 Rodney Swallow
5 Robert Taylor
6 Raymon Sheasby (C)
Rung for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's forthcoming Platinum Wedding Anniversary, during Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight

Ansley, Warwickshire St Lawrence
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 in 42 mins (8)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Rodney Swallow
2 Margaret Antill
3 Robert Taylor
4 Geoffrey Pratt
5 Raymon Sheasby (C)
6 Janice Sheasby
Rung for Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip's forthcoming Platinum Wedding Anniversary, during Coventry District Quarter Peal Fortnight.
First Quarter Peal for a long time - 2.

Warwick St Nicholas
Thursday, 16 November 2017 in 47min (15)
1328 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
Composed by Richard Angrave
1 Charles Hayward  
2Jane Rogers
3 Graham Nabb
4 Lucy Gwynne
5 Karen French
6 Sue Marshall
7 John Gwynne
8 Simon Rogers (C)
Rung to celebrate Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's 70th wedding anniversary.

Read More

Caroline Stockmann, Central Council Public Relations Officer

We know many of you are eager to have some guidance on next year’s Remembrance Day ringing (for and around 11th November 2018) but, as ever, there are so may considerations and people we need to talk to – so it’s great if you can bear with us in the meantime! But we do have a lot to say and to share already, and we hope this will mean that the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War will really be something special.

More than 1,400 of our bell ringing community laid down their lives for peace in the ‘war to end all wars.’ We know in retrospect that wars were not ‘ended’, but we also know that there is an ever increasing movement to address this. Our fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we ringers still do today (from skilled workers to academics to business people – you name it!), and today we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace around the world.

Many of you have been asking: for 2018, the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day, how will we make this really special for bell ringing? Here are a number of things we would like to support and help you in (and of course get your support for):

  • On Nov 11th 2018 we would like as much bell ringing as possible (goes without saying!)
  • We recommend half-muffled ringing in the morning, and opening the bells in the afternoon and evening – the idea being that we start with commemorative ringing, which naturally has its sombre tone, to recognise the loss of so many lives, and then later in the day we move to a more forward-looking tone of affirmation, - to acknowledge that our fallen have contributed to the future in terms of helping secure peace, and to make the clear statement that bell ringers want peace
  • We have been speaking with relevant government departments around the general commemorations and they would like to work with us in an official capacity; in particular they would like to support the idea of recruiting new ringers. One thought is to ensure that in 2018 we recruit 1400 ringers, the same number as those who fell in the Great War. These new ringers could be involved in some supported ringing on the actual day. We anticipate a more detailed announcement on this quite soon
  • Ringers will need to coordinate with their Church and work together on making the day very special. The more prominence on this special day for ringers and ringing, the better, as it will no doubt have a positive effect in terms of raising awareness for potential new ringers
  • We would like to share ideas as to what to ring on the day, providing a pool of ideas to tap into: varying from ‘whole pull and stand except the tenor’, which most bands would be able to do, to ringing appropriately-named methods such as Ypres and Gallipoli Surprise Major; we would love all ringers around the world to do something special this day to ring out for peace, and to send in their ideas to share with others
  • Another thought is to have 1400 quarter peals rung around the date (one for each of the fallen), for which we can set up an event on BellBoard and issue certificates
  • There is also an opportunity to ring as part of the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening; this organisation (fully backed by all the key military) would like to encourage 1000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day, if this fits with local arrangements – (towers do not need to be aligned with the beacons).

So, in summary, we suggest half-muffled ringing in the morning to tie in with the normal solemnities and, where possible, to ring open at other opportune moments during the day (with more to come on that in due course). We are looking at how to acknowledge the various efforts made around the world, eg in the form of certificates for the various activities (there is already one available to download from Battle’s Over). And you might want to consider a community lunch or social between ringing, – why not make this a really special day for your whole ringing (and broader) community?

To input your ideas for things to ring to commemorate our fallen, or indeed ring out for peace, for all levels of ringing and numbers of bells, please write to . We will then share what we hear on the CCCBR website, in the Ringing World and via other forms of communication.

To find out more about Battle’s Over and sign up to ring at 7.05pm please give your details to:

ALSO, and finally: a call to all towers to check their muffles, and order more NOW so that you’re not caught short!

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
    • Practice Night Information, or
    • Meeting Information, or
    • Ringers Required
  • Click on "New Topic"
  • Fill in the form with:-
    • Your name
    • A subject line for your message - not the whole message, something such as, "6-Bell Practice at XXXXXX on Thursday  XX December - this appears on the website
    • Type in the details in the "Message" box
    • Click in the "I am not a robot" box
    • Click on "Submit" to post the message

It is very simple to do. Please give it a go

Coventry Spires visit to Pershore Abbey, Friday 27th October 2017

Over two years ago, one of the members of the Coventry Spires youth team said they would like to ring at Pershore Abbey. The bells are famous for the beauty of their tone and the unique ringing platform, known as the ‘cage’.

We all met at Bidford where Sandra Parker not only let us ring on the bells, but also made us drinks and snacks. We then set off for Pershore Abbey. It is quire intimidating when first seeing the ringing cage. It is suspended between the pillars in the tower and although it has been there since 1864, it is still a little scary. Trust Gilbert Scott to remove the floor to open up the lantern tower. Wide steps start the climb up the tower, before squeezing though narrow corridors and then the final walk along the metal steps and gantry. When in the cage, everyone relaxed. The young people went up in two groups to allow everyone to have a good ring.

Then it was off to the final tower of the day. Fortunately, this was just across the road at St Andrew’s Centre. We had the best ringing of the day on these lovely bells. We rang Cambridge Surprise Major as well as Plain Hunt on 8 and rounds and call changes. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had our picnic outside the centre.

A competition was set for the young people to take a photo of the day. The only stipulation was the photo had a have link to bells, or bell ringing. The photos in this article have been submitted by the young people. The results of the competition will be announced at our next meeting on Thursday 23rd November at the Cathedral. Thanks to everyone for coming along and help make the day a great success

Simplifying the Central Council Rules

Part 2 of 4 – The First Draft 

This is update you on the work to simplify the rules of the Central Council, triggered by the Central Council Review (CRAG) proposals accepted at the Edinburgh meeting. Progress to date is summarised below and a shortened version for the wider ringing community will appear in the Ringing World on 27th October.

High Level Papers

On 22nd September the Rules Working Group published three high-level papers setting out its proposed terms of reference, approach and recommendations on a small number of high level decisions where the CRAG proposals are silent.

This is a technical area and we did not expect an overwhelming postbag on these papers, but we received twenty responses containing very useful feedback.

A digest can be found on the Rules Work pages of the Central Council’s Website at https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/rules/, but in summary the overall view was substantially in favour of the Central Council remaining a charity with a constitution comprised of a set of Rules (dealing with the essential provisions necessary to secure good governance and charity status) and separately a set of Procedures, or bye-laws dealing with operating procedures which can be changed more flexibly, but are always subservient to the Rules.

Whilst the CRAG proposals require appointments to be for terms of three years (renewable once) there was general agreement that the concept of an overarching ‘triennial cycle’ (under which almost all of the Council’s business is conducted in terms of 3-years) should be retired.

We received one comment questioning the desirability of the maximum term for Council posts. This is outside our remit as the CRAG Proposal “all posts will have a term of office of three years renewable no more than once …” was a clear instruction and is consistent with Charity Commission guidance. It is of course always possible that the Council’s view on this point will change, and if it does, it will be able to modify this or any other rule in future years.

We have now adopted the architecture decisions set out on 22nd September with some modifications in the light of the comments received.

The Power of the new Executive

A number of those responding were concerned about the need to protect against the Council’s new Executive abusing their many new powers. As one of those responding to the consultation put it “The rules should be formulated so the Executive is always subservient to the Council of elected representatives” and there is clearly a balance to be struck between empowering the new Executive to get on with the job and giving it unfettered control.

The CRAG proposals, which we have been asked to implement, were very clear that the Council of Representatives should no longer be involved in operational decisions This is consistent with charity law as it is the trustees of a charity who take legal responsibility for its affairs, for which they are personally liable.

However, we also recognise the need for checks and balances, so that Council members have the confidence that the Executive is carrying out its task in a responsible way, and the tools to hold it to account if it is not.

Recent, well-publicised issues with charities such as the RSPCA and Kids Company, point to the trouble which charities can get into if their systems of governance are weak.

We have reviewed the Council’s systems of control with this in mind and where necessary additional protections recommended by the Charity Commission have been built into the new Rules.

Additional Checks and Balances

The three objectives set out in our Terms of Reference are to :

  1. Build those CRAG proposals requiring rule changes from May 2018 into the Council’s rules
  2. Make the rules compliant with current Charity Commission guidance, and
  3. Create a “short statutory set of rules supported by a set of operating principles and procedures” as referred to in CRAG’s Proposal F.

There is an irony here as both Objectives 1 and 2 create a tension with Objective 3.

Making the Council’s rules compliant with Charity Commission guidance means adding clarity on many matters which are not covered at all in the existing rules together with the greater precision which legal language brings. It means adding sections on conflicts of interest, insurance, how the Council could be dissolved, how Executive decisions should be made and so on.

These new additions will not be consulted when things are going well. They will only be needed when something has gone wrong, but they mean that the resulting new rules are longer than the Council’s existing ones. So are these additions really necessary?

Our current approach is to assume that the answer to this question is “yes” for three reasons :

  1. For as long as the Central Council remains a charity its rules need to comply with Charity Commission guidance. Even if it ceased to be a charity, it would still need most of the provisions which the Charity Commission recommend.
  2. While the Rules need to contain the right content, it is not the Rules which will drive the Council’s activities. The Rules simply contain the fundamentals which guarantee that the Council remains well run. It is the Council’s byelaws or Procedures, which will empower the organisation in future years, exactly as CRAG envisaged.
  3. The clarity which these additions bring is important. A few gaps and some vagueness is less of a problem where most operational decisions are made by Council meetings or committees formed of and elected by society representatives. Under the CRAG proposals however, many of those taking decisions on behalf of the Council will not be representatives, meaning that greater clarity is needed to ensure that the boundaries within which the new Executive operates are clearly understood.

We have compared the new draft Rules against the constitutions of similar organisations. They are the same length as those of CAMRA, shorter than those of the Royal College of Organists and substantially shorter than the constitutions of the Ramblers Association, the English Bridge Union and British Cycling.

Nevertheless, we will study the feedback we receive from Council representatives, societies and individual ringers very carefully on this point.

The Impact on Your Society

It is important to emphasise that these reforms relate to the way in which the Central Council manages its business and makes its decisions. They do not affect your society’s representation in any way and they do not, to the best of our knowledge, require any changes to your society’s constitution. The only impact on your society is that under the new rules the Council’s triennial system will be retired, so it will need confirmation of your membership total each year, rather than each three years as at present.

Key Features of the First Draft

The first drafts of the Rules and Procedures documents can be read or downloaded from the Central Council’s Rules Work pages at https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/rules/first-draft/. T

hey are designed to meet our three objectives as follows :-

Objective 1 – Implement the CRAG proposals which must be in place from May 2018

CRAG Proposal A – CRAG’s Vision and Mission statements have been incorporated into the Council’s objects in a way that satisfies the Charity Commission rules. The Executive’s forward plan is dealt with.

CRAG Proposal B – the Executive of 8 elected and up to 2 appointed people is builtin, with the much wider powers which CRAG gives it.

CRAG Proposal C – The new Executive will be empowered to establish and remove Workgroups as the organisation’s needs change.

CRAG Proposal D – the powers of Council representatives are modified to reflect the greater empowerment which CRAG gives to the Executive. Important checks and balances are nevertheless included to ensure that representatives are able to hold the Executive to account.

CRAG Proposal E – new provisions allow the Executive to create additional classes of non-voting individual member.

Objective 2 – Make the Rules compliant with Charity Commission guidance

All the essential ‘hygiene’ recommended in the Charity Commission’s model constitution is now built-in. Because this is derived from the Charity Commission’s own model constitution, there is a high level of confidence that we are making the right choices.

Objective 3 – “A short statutory set of rules supported by a set of operating principles and procedures”

Whilst making the Central Council’s rules compliant has added rather than taken away, we have made every effort to create rules which are easy to read through enhanced clarity, clear headings and paragraphing, even though we hope they will not need to be read very much!

The real work of the Executive will be done through the Council’s Procedures, or byelaws and we have provided an initial set of Procedures for adoption in May next year, which the current officers will almost certainly wish to add to over the next few months.

Have We Got the Balance Right ?

We have conducted a number of ‘stress tests’ on the draft rules and have compared them with the constitutions of a range of equivalent charities, but this does not mean that we have got everything right.

It is now vital that we receive comprehensive feedback on the draft rules, particularly from existing Central Council representatives and societies to ensure that what we are proposing is fit for the future, meaning that it is balanced, robust and acceptable to the vast majority.

We will consider very carefully all the feedback we receive.

We need to lock down the final draft of the documents next January, so timely feedback will be critical to our success. If we receive important comments after December, it will be more difficult to take them into account, which could in turn frustrate the reforms on which the Council has agreed.

As with any constitution, the acid tests for the new rules are:-

  1. Are they clear to those who need to use them ?
  2. Do they get the balance right between enabling the Council’s officers to get on with its business and providing adequate controls to ensure good governance ?

We realise that reading the draft documents cover to cover will involve an investment in your time and there are very few people who can claim to have read any society’s constitution in this way. However, we would ask you to make an exception in this instance if you can and we would welcome your feedback in one of two ways:-

  1. For brief comments, just use the “Review the First Draft” button on the Rules Work pages at https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/rules/first-draft-review/. 
  2. For more comprehensive feedback, email your thoughts to .

Please ensure all comments are submitted by Friday 24th November. These comments will guide our work on the second draft of the new rulebook, which will be published in early December for consultation.

This second draft will go through the same iterative process, which should ensure that the final version of the rulebook, which we aim to produce in January, will be fit for purpose.

I will send a further update in December, once we have reviewed the feedback so far.

Many thanks,

Clyde Whittaker 
On behalf of the Rules Working Group

A draft copy of a new Guild Handbook can be downloaded from:-

Comments on content and distribution should be send to Joy Pluckrose

Pillerton Hersey - Progress Report

Things are moving apace for the bells at Pillerton Hersey.  The bells are being made ready for installation in a new 5-bell frame during late-November.

The Three Bells at Taylors
Here are the three old bells as they arrived at Taylors
The Five Bells at Taylors
The five bells at Taylors - three original bells, plus
one from Addlestrop and a new bell from Taylors
that turned out too flat for a chime in Texas and was
therefore surplus to requirements, but ideal for here.
The Tenor
 A closeup of the fine decoration on the tenor bell.

 

First QP "Inside"

Congratulations go to Peter Gordon, one of the ringers in our Coventry Spires Youth Team, who has rung his first quarter inside.  The first of many, we're sure!

Studley, Warwickshire Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday, 14 October 2017 (11)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Louise Grubb
2 Richard H Spray
3 Peter J Gordon
4 A J Barnfield
5 Rachel D Page (C)
6 Robert E Airlie
First inside at first attempt for Peter, aged 14, ringer of the 3rd.

First Quarter Peal and First as Conductor

Lighthorne, Warwickshire St Laurence
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 in 43 mins (5)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 David Bell
2 David Rake
3 Sally Dick
4 Nigel Dick
5 Mike Rigby (C)
6 Nick Barrows-Rudd
First quarter as conductor 5 First quarter 6

8-Bell Ringing Competition Results

Here are the results of the 8-Bell Competition which was held at Brinklow on Saturday, October 14th.  Thanks go to the judge, Colin Lee of Adderbury.

Rang Team Method Peal Speed Score Position  Band Photograph
1st Rugby A Cambridge S Major 2h 45m 89% 1st
2nd Coventry A Cambridge S Major 2h 47m 79% 3rd
3rd Warwick A Cambridge S Major 2h 56m 84% 2nd
4th Rugby B Grandsire Triples 2h 57m 73% 5th=
5th Warwick B Grandsire Triples 3h 21m 76% 4th
6th Coventry DG Scratch Grandsire Triples 3h 25m 73% 5th=

 Congratulations go to Rugby A, who were the winners

 October

 2017 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 is Saturday 15th December 2017 and items submitted after this date may have to be held over until the January 2018 edition.


 

2018 ART Awards

The ART Awards recognise people and groups who are leading best practice and innovation in the teaching and development of ringing and our Learning the Ropes achievers.

The teaching awards are open to everyone, not just ART Members or those using the Learning the Ropes Scheme. The ringing award is 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.

Details of the 2018 Awards are now on the ART web site – please have a look here http://ringingteachers.org/recognition/awards

Safeguarding update for Ringing World September 2017

The last article regarding Safeguarding dwelt upon some of the processes being followed by the Church of England including responses to allegations. There were new issues arising from requirements for training and these have, to some extent, become clearer.

Regarding the York Minster situation, ringers will be aware of the appointment of a new Head of Tower, Angela Mitchell, reported in the RW issue of 16th June, p598. Subsequently the Minster has sought applications for a new band of ringers and has held interviews and made appointments, a definitive list being awaited. There remain issues over exclusions from the new team and the reasons for these decisions. The question of fair representation has been raised with the Church and it is ironic that earlier this year a new protocol for dealing with allegations against Clergy has given them greater rights of hearing. It is hoped that such machinery will be extended to lay persons who appear at present to be at a disadvantage.

There have been concerns raised about the extent and level of Safeguarding Training which is being demanded, not only amongst ringers but also involving other volunteers within the Church. The intention of the training guidance issued in January 2017 was to cover clergy, church officers and those having close contact with children or vulnerable adults where DBS checks were already required. However, under the guise of parishes having “due regard”, training is being extended to most volunteers whether flower arrangers or coffee servers. There is evidence that parishes are questioning this level of requirement but as far as both leaders and “rank and file“ ringers ( the church description), the current expectation by Church centre is as shown in the following table.

Requirement by
Person
Tower Captain
or Leader
Trainer of
Children
Rank and File
Bellringers
Comments
Role Description
and PCC Appointed
YES      
DBS Check YES YES   Query status of
Supervised Trainer
Basic Training
Level  CO
YES YES YES Renewable every 3 years
 Level C1 YES  YES   Renewable every 3 years 
 Level C2 YES YES    Renewable every 3 years
 Level S1 YES      
 Level S2 YES       

I have made no reference so far to “vulnerable adults” since this category is a contentious matter. There appears to be a difference between legal requirements as defined under the 2012 Protection of Freedoms Act and the latest definition issued by the Church which is as follows:

“a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is being temporarily or indefinitely impaired”

Following the 2012 Act, the definition of vulnerable adult was restricted to those in institutional or social care situations and I have not come across any instances of bell ringing being involved with training or supervising adults on behalf of such agencies.

In some Dioceses training modules are available on-line and whilst this does remove time attending lectures it does remove the opportunity for exchange of experience and views. There have been moves for training to be given on a delegated basis from the Diocese and possibly available to be given by fellow bell -ringers. This concession does mean that the circumstances peculiar to ringers can be accommodated within presentations thus improving the relevance of the information provided.

Another ongoing concern is that of treatment of visiting ringers and demands, whether by Parish or encouraged by Diocese, to seek “vetting” of visitors. Visitors may come to a tower as individuals or as a group as part of an outing or for a peal / quarter peal attempt. In the normal course of events none of these visitors are engaged in a regulated activity and there is no need for any confirmation of “DBS check” credit-worthiness. If a group includes juniors then the requirement for a DBS checked driver and permission from parent or guardian should have already been met as per CCCBR guidelines.

In the instance of a meeting or training session organised by the local ringing society, whilst it might be a one-off situation it is recommended that a DBS checked person be in charge or present. Training sessions might of course be of a regular nature and frequency triggering regulated activity needs. An individual “visitor” attending specifically to assist with teaching of young people should be DBS certified.

Finally, there is the question of treatment of persons who are either ex-offenders or have restriction orders placed upon them. Unless such persons have a specific barring from being in the presence of young people, then there is no reason why they should not join in ringing in an adult or mixed age activity provided they are not undertaking face to face training. The ability for tower leaders, let alone church authorities, to check the status of every ringer who visits a tower would imply either identity cards held by every one of 40,000 ringers or a doorstep interrogation which is totally unacceptable. There have been instances of ringers being refused visits even where restrictions are being complied with. The whole issue is very difficult to resolve since it relies upon the knowledge and discretion tower leaders being accepted and supported by local Parish authority.

I have had meetings with Church House, the lead Bishop for Safeguarding and my local Diocese and concerns and uncertainties relating to bell ringers and others have been raised. The Guidance documents issued by the Church are all subject to review and I will keep in mind the need to achieve good understanding with ringers and will update through the Ringing World as appropriate.

In the mean- time, I would reiterate my message given in March that as church workers we need to maintain good relationships and recognise our role in the field of Safeguarding.

Chris Mew, Safeguarding Adviser to CCCBR Tower Stewardship

First Quarter Peal Success for Berkswell Ringers.

Berkswell ringers Mary Jones and Theo Bratton have now successfully rung their 1st quarter peal and are well on the way to completing Level 3 of Learning the Ropes.

Mary’s QP in April was rung to celebrate the 91st birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, while Theo rang more recently in August, during the summer break from school.

Both were delighted with their achievement and are now looking forward to ringing the treble to their second quarter peal, which will take place during the quarter peal fortnight, November 12th to 26th.

Honiley, Warwickshire St John the Baptist
Saturday, 22 April 2017 in 42 mins (6–2–4 in A)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Norris Poon
2 Steven Tibbetts (C)
3 Richard East
4 Angela Roskelly
5 Annie Hall
6 Mary Jones 1st Quarter Peal for the ringers of 1 and 6.
Rung to celebrate the 91st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Honiley, Warwickshire St John the Baptist
Thursday, 31 August 2017 in 40 mins (6–2–4 in A)
1260 Doubles (3 Methods)
240 Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Bob Doubles; 240 Grandsire Doubles; 780 Plain Bob Doubles
1 Steven Tibbetts
2 Janice Sheasby
3 Matthew Porter
4 Richard Turner
5 Raymon Sheasby (C)
6 Theo Bratton
First Quarter Peal for Theo Bratton

CCCBR reform – Phase II

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR WORKGROUPS

I last wrote in late August, reporting on progress with reform and renewal of our central ringing organisation. I am now writing to give a further progress report, and to call for volunteers as Workgroup Leaders or helpers. All ringers are invited to volunteer, which can be either self-nominations or the nomination of someone else (in which case it requires their consent). Full details, and a link to the online form, are given below.

By way of a brief reminder, the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) was set up following a vote at the Central Council’s meeting in 2016. Its recommendations were brought to the Council’s annual meeting in May 2017. The full CRAG report, including its scope, methodology and proposals, can be found here: http://cc-crag.weebly.com/

The story so far In the CRAG final report, Appendix Q proposed an indicative timeline for activities surrounding the reorganisation of CCCBR. Here is a taste of key actions from that timeline:

  • A ii Develop and publish draft 5-year strategy for consultation September – November 2017 - Commenced
  • B vi Make appointments to Executive June – November 2017 - Completed
  • C Confirm workgroup configurations and responsible Executives June – August 2017 - Commenced
  • C i Recruit Workgroup Leaders September – December 2017 - NOW OPEN!
  • E i Develop service offering for direct membership June 2017 – May 2018 - Commenced
  • F ii Scope out creation of employed professional support group June 2017 – May 2018 - To start
  • G Appoint neutral ringer to undertake Decisions replacement June – August 2017 - Completed
  • H Recruit Rules redesign group June – August 2017 - Completed

Having reported on appointments to the Executive (in my message of August 2017), I am now inviting expressions of interest for leadership and helper roles on “workgroups”.

What are Workgroups?

Recommendation C of CRAG’s final report is introduced as follows –

“The new Executive will, by November 2017, realign the current committees into a significantly reduced number (single figures) of Workgroups, each led by an individual Workgroup Leader.”

The CRAG report describes this concept at length. Although it may appear that this realignment is merely an aggregation of CCCBR’s existing Committees, the concept is much bolder than that. Workgroups are the way that the CCCBR will deliver its plans. While they will of course continue some of the work of the former committees their priorities will be determined by the overall strategy of the CCCBR and what is necessary to strengthen and refresh ringing. Workgroups and their leaders will work closely with the executive, other workgroups and people from outside the CCCBR for a healthy future for ringing.

The CRAG report proposed a set of workgroups that require skilled, charismatic and handson leaders and helpers. These are as follows:

  • Volunteer and Leadership Development (working with David Smith and Alison Everett)
  • Tower Stewardship and Management (working with David Kirkcaldy and Ernie de Legh-Runciman)
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Historical and Archive
  • Direct membership channel (helpers working with Phillip Barnes)

There is one other workgroup for which a leader has already been identified, and this will be announced in due course.

How to get involved Using the same mechanisms as in Phase I, I invite all interested ringers to visit the “reform” page on the CCCBR website and complete the nomination form:

https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/nomination-form

The online form will be open until Friday 29th September. I should clarify that those who responded in Phase I are still very much in the mix, and don’t need to re-submit. Furthermore, existing Central Council Representatives are particularly encouraged to put their names forward to assist with these new structures.

Do please think carefully about what you can do for ringing, and volunteer for one (or more) of these roles. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference. To give something back to ringing. To build and secure a bright future for ringing.

Yours in ringing,
Christopher O’Mahony
President Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Pudsey Banner

The Central Council Public Relations Committee has been working with the BBC’s Children In Need campaign for 2017, collaborating on an idea which should both raise national awareness of bell ringing, as well as money for a great cause!

We are hoping that many groups of bellringers will get themselves sponsored to ring bells to raise money for Children In Need, and this could be on tower bells, hand bells, or mini-rings. Anything from rounds and call changes, touches, extents, quarter peals, peals, – any sort of ringing that you would like to do. If you can ring a Pudsey Method, then even better, though it is not obligatory! (Pudsey is the name of the bear mascot of Children in Need). There is to be a special page created on the BT MyDonate website for ringers to show everyone what they have done and how much money they have raised, and an event on Bellboard to link to your performance. In this way we will be able to demonstrate, hopefully on the final TV show, what bellringers as a whole have done to support the cause.

The above logo has been produced, and is intended to be used for promotional material for any ringing activities associated with the campaign. We hope that it will gets lots of use and help to raise the profile of bellringing in a very positive way.

The campaign runs from October 5th to November 17th (which is Children In Need night) and you can do your sponsored ringing any time between those dates, – more than once if you wish! There are still some further details of other proposed activities to be worked out, and we will keep you informed when we know more.

Central Council PR Committee

The Education Column

The first series of some well written education articles from David Smith, Chairman of the Central Council Education Committee are available to read and/or download for printing at:-

The Education Column

The second series will be available from the same link when all have been published.

Coventry DG Brokerage Scheme

The Guild is hoping to be able to give a helping hand to ringers and towers in the area by arranging for ringing support for what YOU want to be able to do next.

Do you need some ringers to provide a steady band around a learner in a given method?  Do you just need the odd ringer extra so you can make the next step with your, or your tower's, ringing?  Do you need a conductor for a quarter or a peal?  Do you want to ring a quarter peal or a peal and don't know the next step?

Help is at hand!  Simply download the CDG Brokerage file that you can find from

, in both pdf and Word format, complete it and then send it off.

Simples!