Coventry District Secretary’s Report 2017

The members of the district were greatly saddened at the loss of Margaret Pratt towards the beginning of the year. Margaret had made a great contribution to ringing in the Coventry District, spanning over 5 decades. She was a very loyal member of the Sunday service bands where she lived; in the early days at Stoke St Michael’s, then for more than 50 years at Bulkington and additionally at Coventry Cathedral in recent years. However, Margaret’s greatest contribution to ringing was her never ending support and encouragement for Geoff’s ringing exploits and her friendship to all ringers she met. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

We were joined by a few visitors for ringing at Walsgrave and Stoke on the District AGM day in February. Just 14 ringers, representing 8 towers stayed to enjoy a sumptuous tea and the meeting which followed. In the absence of any other nominations all the officers were re-elected en bloc: Chairman and Guild Committee Rep, Chris Worley; District Secretary, Janice Sheasby; Subscription Secretary, Gerald Trevor; Ringing Master, Ray Sheasby; Committee Member, Rodney Swallow. 5 new members were elected to the Guild during the meeting.

The Coventry District entered 3 teams in the 6-bell Striking Competition, which they hosted at Berkswell in March. The home team provided a wonderful tea and also managed to win the Call Change Section.

In May, Leslie Lunn enjoyed the celebration organised by the Berkswell ringers for his achievement in being the oldest Sunday service ringer in the Coventry Guild at the age of 94.

The Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry came to the Kenilworth Show in June. Members of the district gave up many hours to help to erect and dismantle it and also to man it whilst the show was open.

The District Outing in September visited some interesting churches in Northamptonshire. Long Buckby, Spratton and Brixworth all had several 17th century bells and Brixworth is the largest surviving Anglo Saxon Church in the country. Sufficient ringers attended to allow ringing ranging from rounds to surprise major, and everything in between, despite the clash with numerous weddings which required bells.

The Coventry District Quarter Peal Week was scheduled to take place between 11th and 18th November so when we realised that the Queen and Prince Phillip would be celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary 2 days later it was decided to extend it to a Quarter Peal Fortnight, finishing on 26th November. My sincere thanks go to everyone who participated in this very successful venture as an organiser, a conductor or a member of the band. Fifty-four ringers from the Coventry District participated in one or more of the 29 quarters rung. Many ringers achieved a personal milestone ranging from 1st quarter peal to 1st of Superlative Surprise Major. The great thing about these weeks is the vast range of ringing experience and abilities in the participants. It is always good to see new ringers scoring their first quarter peal but they wouldn’t be able to achieve this without the help of many ringers who rang their first quarter more decades ago than they care to remember!

Monthly practices on 6, 8 and 10 bells have continued throughout the year.

Janice Sheasby – Coventry District Secretary

Rugby Deanery Report - 2017

We’ve had some really exciting events in the Rugby Deanery in 2017. I joined the scene in the spring with a practice combined with a fish and chip chow down (which set the tone for the rest of the year really). In April we had an incredibly successful Training Morning, where almost every tower in the district was represented, with over 35 people getting involved. May saw our Deanery outing around the Lichfield are, which happily coincided with a church fete (again much feeding on burgers and cake.)

The summer got incredibly busy with a QP day and District Striking Competition. Between 22 of us we managed 5 of the 6 attempts including Cambridge x2, Ipswich, Double Oxford Minor and Stedman Triples. Our District 6 Bell Striking Competition saw Rugby as the victors. July, of course, saw the big diocesan event in Leicestershire which Annie Hall organised. (Our turn in 2018!)

September saw a return to the “ringing with pub lunch” agenda, where feasting took place at a favourite of ours in Church Lawford. In October we hosted the Guild ½ yearly meeting at Brinklow (again lots of cake). In November Willoughby made us very welcome for some afternoon ringing, and several towers rang quarter peals to celebrate the Queen’s 70th wedding anniversary. The feasting continued into December where Clifton treated us to mince pies and mulled cider – oh and a bit of ringing!

So, between times, there have been lots of monthly evening practices focusing on target methods, with sufficient range to keep most of us on our toes (re Glasgow - thanks Catherine). Ryton band saw its first ringing tour (which happily coincided with another church cake stall). We’ve also established a new monthly Advanced Practice for those in the district who want to get to grips with Surprise Major methods and the like, and these will continue to take place on the last Friday of each month at Brinklow.

This year there’s lots of potential for maybe a regular monthly training session or to make more of our 10 bell tower at Newbold. Ringing within the deanery has been very rewarding. Thank you everyone who’s been involved, your contributions have made the events a success. And thank you again for making us welcome at your towers.

Mike Burdett – Rugby Deanery District Secretary

Warwick Archdeaconry Report - 2017

Our featured practices continued in 2017 and Saturday events were held at a number of churches including Shipston, Sherbourne and Bidford.

At the Annual District Meeting at Napton Barbara Howes was elected Ringing Master and we began a series of focussed Bob Doubles Practices also at Napton, aimed at encouraging people on to the next step. Special thanks go to the Napton ringers for their support and hosting these events.

Many of our members were pleased to join the Richard III outing to Leicestershire, with some ringing for the first time on 10 and 12 bells.

After the success of the Bob Doubles Practices, we began a series of Grandsire Doubles Practices at Radford Semele, and were pleased to welcome a number of local ringers as supporters and tutors, again our thanks go to these ringers and the Radford band.

The Guild AGM was held within our District at Wellesbourne and the Carol Service at St Mary’s Warwick. Members supported both events. Many thanks to all the towers which have made us so welcome this year.

Warwick Ringers

Members enjoying refreshments at Sherbourne

Sue Roderick – Warwick Archdeaconry Secretary