Rutland Bellringers Newsletter for November 2016


Dates for your Diary

Rutland Branch Recruiting

The national press recently identified a shortage of replacements bell ringers when our older members retire.  In Rutland we have endeavoured to teach those interested in bell ringing but even so we are short of up an coming ringers.  With this in mind, and utilising the excellent Uppingham tower simulator with John Webster’s time and assistance, we plan 2 courses.

1..   For those who can ring but would like a refresher course, covering bell handling and to give confidence before going out into their local towers

2.  For those who have never rung before.  There have been some articles in the local papers and on local radio, so we have advertised.  From this we have 6 new starters and courses will be arranged very soon.

We have no returning ringers which is an area where we can very quickly replace the shortage. Do you know anyone who would like to be reminded?

How can you help?   By identifying friends, neighbours, family or work colleagues who might be interested and inviting them to “see what it is all about and have a go”.

Please contact Alan Wordie on

or 07802 215 294

BRANCH AGM:  Saturday 14th January 2017 - 2:30 until 7:30pm             

Withringing at Preston & Oakham.  The service, tea and meeting all at Oakham.

Preston (2pm); Oakham (3;15-4:15pm)   SERVICE; TEA (4:45pm).  AGM (5:30 pm)


on 1 October

Five very pleasant towers in churches decked for harvest, and an excellent pub lunch.  It was a recipe for a very enjoyable ringing tour, starting at Marston Trussell and finishing at Medbourne.  Twenty of us gathered, some beginners and others with years of experience, so we were able to ring a varied programme:  call changes, PBD and PBM, St Simons and St Clements, Little Bob, Cambridge, Norwich and even Original. 

We were joined by local ringers at some towers, and people arranging the Harvest displays made us feel welcome too.  A bonus was the fact that several ringers had a chance to try something new, because there were enough experienced ringers to give support.  That is something we miss by not having a monthly branch meeting.  That became impossible with our busy lives, but perhaps the occasional shared practice would provide the same opportunities – just a thought.

Our thanks to Alan Ellis for organising a very enjoyable tour, and to others who helped him.         M.S.

Farewell to David Couldwell

Our Rutland Branch is about to lose one of its most active and experienced ringers – David Couldwell, or Big D, as he is affectionately known.  He learned to ring in 1976 at Harringworth, under the strict guidance of Arthur Scholes, who never allowed anyone to touch the Tenor until they were really competent; indeed, ringing the tenor was a sign that you had made it.  The other mark of competence was, of course, a quarter of Plain Bob Doubles, which David achieved at Market Overton.  Since then he has rung more quarters than he can remember, but his last in Rutland was a quarter of Norwich Surprise Minor (his favourite) at Braunston on 27th October with others who have been his ringing companions for many years.

David spent time at Nottingham University as a mature student, and joined the University ringing team who rang on 8 bells.  There he graduated to such

surprise methods as Superlative, and has since rung major and minor quarters in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Rutland and Peterborough.  He lived for some time in Lincolnshire and was a member of the Ragby team, where the Tower Captain, Fred Johnson, invited all the ringers back to supper after the weekly practice – perhaps an idea to emulate!  Fred continued to ring into his 90’s, and David remembers one occasion when, in the middle of ringing a quarter, Fred’s grousers fell to the floor.  Even that did not interrupt the important business of ringing.

The Rutland bell ringers’ newsletter has been assembled and distributed from David’s computer for more years than he can remember and, as Press Correspondent, he has been a valuable member of our committee.  He has rung regularly at Brooke, Braunston, Langham, Harringworth, Uppingham, Seaton and Lyddington, where he has been Tower Captain.  Moreover, he is always willing to help out with special practices, not to mention Sunday and other services.  Our loss will be Norfolk’s gain, and we wish him and Brenda, his wife, well in their new home.

Thank you, David, for all you have done for the Rutland Branch.

We wish you well in your new home

and ‘Good Ringing’


Caldecott, Rutland, St John the Evangelist

 Saturday, 3 September 2016 in 2h 43 (8–0–15)

 5040 Surprise Minor (7m)

 720 each Carlisle, Wearmouth, Hexham, Ipswich,  

 Bourne, Beverley, Cambridge.

 1 Andrew E Else

 2 Robin H Rogers

 3 Susan E Marsden

 4 Alistair M Donaldson

 5 Michael Maughan (C)

 6 Anthony D Walker  

 Dedicated to the 49th wedding Anniversary, on

9 September, of locals Mary and Andrew Davidson.




 Caldecott, Rutland,

Thursday, 6 October 2016

 1320 Cambridge Surprise Minor

 1 Steve Millington

 2 Peggy Jennings

 3 David Murcott

 4 Alan Wordie

 5 David Couldwell

 6 Richard Beadman © 

 Rung as a compliment to David Couldwell who is  moving to Norfolk,

Braunston in Rutland, 27th October 2016

1320 Norwich S Minor

1) David Murcott

2) Janice Atkinson

3) Peggy Jennings

4) Alan Ellis

5) David Couldwell

6) Richard Beadman ©


Rung as a compliment to David Couldwell who is shortly moving to Norfolk




Repairs and Refits

Bellframes – The church bell frame is a vital part of any belltower but many are uncared for and un-loved.  A badly corroded and weak bell frame will cost many thousands to repair or replace but there is a cost effective solution.

Firstly, make yourself familiar with the CCCBR publication which can be found on their website:

Secondly, the coatings and materials mentioned in the recommendations will cost under £500.  If you employ someone to complete the work,  the likely overall cost will be in the region of £2400. You must ensure that your bell fund or PCC has adequate funds to meet the whole cost and are prepared to support your request to have the frame properly treated. 

Thirdly,  The Guild Treasurer, Alan Marks, has indicated that increased grants are available to persuade PCCs to take care of their frames; but you will require adequate funds to meet the whole cost in the first place, just in case any grant is slow in forthcoming

Tower funds:  Some repairs require urgent attention. Broken stays; broken sliders; the old frayed rope that has been spliced again and again and finally gives way; etc; etc.  Endeavour to build-up and then maintain a small fund to cover any eventuality.    A fund of around £500 will enable you to meet any day to day emergency and cover the cost of a bi-annual Taylors inspection.   

Go to the Ellis and Pritchard web site and see how much a pre-stretched polyester rope might cost for your tower. 

If you can afford a couple of ropes a year, then why put up with those ropes with multiple splices or are just past their sell-by dates? Get something decent.!    


 Battle of the Somme Commemoration

"In the last Branch Newsletter that I was shown, it was stated that no tower in Rutland commemorated the 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme".    This is not correct. At exactly 7.30 am on Friday 1st July 2016, in North Luffenham, Marriane Mosey blew a whistle to signify the exact time in 1916 that the Battle started. It was also my signal to toll the half muffled Tenor bell 100 times

A few people from the village turned up to listen, and it was a very moving event.  We even got 2 new learners out of it"                                                              

 Vic Arnold.  

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