Rutland Bellringers Newsletter for December 2016



Dates for your Diary!

New Year's Day

New Year's Day 

If any towers want to ring a quarter peal on New Year's Day, I am available to conduct or make up the numbers.  Richard

Branch AGM:

Saturday 14th January 2017. 2.30-7.30pm

With ringing at Preston & Oakham.  The service, tea and meeting at Oakham.

 Preston (2pm), Oakham (3.15-4.15pm)

Service, Tea (4.45pm), AGM (5.30pm)

Annual General Meeting

Advanced notice -

The committee is looking for volunteers to act on the committee and to contribute and assist with matters relating not only with bellringing but, for instance, public relations and newspaper articles, safe guarding advice,  assisting the Steward with bell tower maintenance, amongst others.  Please consider volunteering to join the committee and help ensure bells will be rung in Rutland in 50 years time !!! 

At the AGM there will be 3 particular roles that will need filling due to retirement.


Ringing Master

Assistant Ringing Master

Might one of these roles or a general committee position be yours?

For further information please speak to the current Chairman, Richard Moore

Richard Moore:

St Andrew’s Church, Lyddington

 David Couldwell’s much lamented departure from Lyddington has opened up a TC opportunity, and the keys have been passed on to me.  I feel TC should for now stand for Tower Caretaker, rather than Captain, partly as I don’t actually live in Lyddington, but mainly because, as a late starting ringer, I feel I have neither the skills, nor the gravitas to fill David’s shoes. 

However I do love the Lyddington bells, and am very clear that they should continue to be rung as much as possible. 

We have an enthusiastic, and - thanks to John Webster in Uppingham, and Alan Wordie (Rutland ringing master emeritus) - increasing band of ringers in the Lyddington benefice, and will continue to hold regular practices at St Andrew’s. 

More ringers, new or returning, are always welcome – if interested, do please contact me.

At the moment the church is closed for repairs to the clerestory windows, but we hope to have a team to ring for the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve, and that practices will start again in the New Year.

Watch this space.

 Hilary Williams  - 01572 747044

North Luffenham Practices

 Thank all of you who came and supported our once a month practice at North Luffenham.

 It gets too cold over the next few months to carry on, but we will restart again in April, on the third Tuesday of the month, meeting at 7.30pm.                Vic Arnold.

St. George’s Memorial Church, Ypres.

 We will remember them.

 As we remember, in November 2016, the end of the battle of the Somme 100 years ago but are reminded of the ongoing battles that continued to rage in France and Belgium through to 1918, I draw your attention to a wonderful memorial to the many soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 to 1918.

St. George’s Memorial church is an Anglican church in the centre of Ypres built in 1927 to the design by Sir Reginald Blomfield who also designed the Menin Gate Memorial.  The tower was intended to house a peal of English change ringing bells. Permissions have now been given to fulfil the intention by installing a light ring of 8 with the tenor being just 6 cwt. 

The bells are to be cast by Taylors in Loughborough and the aim is for the bells to be hung and then ring out in honour of the English fallen by 2018 to mark the centenary of the war ending.  The cost of the bells and noise management is £195,000. 

Could Rutland Branch raise £1,000 towards thistarget to honour Rutland soldiers?  Would the current military bases in Rutland join this fund raising?

Would the County Council match it and could Rutland reach a donation of £3,000 - enough for a bell inscription to be commissioned immortalising Rutland soldiers or a Rutland regiment.  

I have been following my grandfather’s service in France (1916 to 1918) following his return from Elephant Island, and now realise the extent of the battles and the vast number of lives given to the cause.  To have English bells in an Anglican church ringing out in the centre of so many British and Commonwealth graves is something I fully support and I have asked the chairman if I might collect donations (which with cheques can be gift aided individually) at the AGM.    

I do hope you will research this initiative and collectively support it so we can dedicate a bell to the Rutland fallen. I am in contact with “Rutland Remembers” and hoping to encourage Uppingham and Oakham schools, and the Royal Anglian Regiment to join in too.   

 If anyone requires any information please view or ask Alan Wordie.

 Recruitment in Rutland

 Some of you or your friends may have heard the branch appealing for new ringers on both Radio Northampton and Rutland Radio. This week we have the Rutland Mercury/Times attending a teaching session at Uppingham to write about the shortage of ringers and what Rutland is doing to tackle the issue.

 You can help too. We would really like to hear from anyone who has rung in the past at any standard, and a refresher morning (or 2 if needed) will be arranged to give one on one encouragement.   

Also, if you meet anyone of any age (no musical ability needed) then please introduce them and we will create a teaching course around them. Currently at Uppingham there are 6 learning and Bob Willars is teaching 3 or 4 at Empingham.  Learning as a group is fun and can be faster than an individual having 10 minutes on a practice night.

Talk about your skill and hobby with passion and encourage others to have a go. We will do the rest.

Contact Alan Wordie. |

 t: 01572 748 711 | m: 07802 215 294


Braunston ringing demonstration evening

 One of our church wardens was asked by a villager, who should have known better, if the bells ringing from the tower were a recording!As a result he suggested we do an evening demonstration of bell ringing, Sunday 27th November.

We had around 15 villagers turn up, with Alan Ellis providing a commentary I used my mobile phone as a web cam to give a guided tour of the tower followed by a demonstration of a bell being raised, some call changes and then plain hunt. We concluded by giving those who wanted a go a try at backstroke all washed down with a pint in the pub afterwards.

We might get some recruits as a result, and I would recommend the format as a means of increasing public awareness.    Richard Beadman







St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Uppingham

November 2016

Work on the refurbishment of the ringing chamber at Uppingham has now completed.  From conception to completion this has been a two year project.

The previous low barrier and curtain were deemed a health and safety hazard at the last quinquennial inspection.  Whilst no small child had slipped through, nor had any adult toppled over the top, it was time for a change.

 The new balustrade is of clear laminated glass 22mm in thickness. It is topped with an oak handrail and has an integral curtain track, to hang a simple curtain for reasons of modesty (for ringers who wear skirts).

It has proved popular with the Rector, PCC and the congregation as not only can they see the Tower window with Saints Catherine and Cecelia,  but also the East window is reflected in the glass, making for a colourful display.

The ringers are now clearly visible to the congregation which has generated a greater interest in what we do.     John Webster

The view from the ringing chamber towards the alter and the East window

The view from the ringing chamber towards the alter and the East window

The new balustrade about to be lifted into position.      20th September 2016                                       

The new balustrade about to be lifted into position. 

20th September 2016                                  


All Saints, Oakham

 Great news! The average age of Oakham ringers has gone down from 60+ to, well you can work it out, thanks totwo 14 year old boys newly admitted to the branch and ringing at Oakham on a Sunday for first time two weeks ago. Thank you Caleb and Josh Tomalin.

 There has been ringing for weddings and unfortunately,  2 funerals. 

Though after one service a mourner did place an early request for bob triples on half muffled bells for his funeral.

 As with other towers, there was much ringing associated with Remembrance Day culminating in 25 minutes sustained 8-bell ringing, rounds and call changes, for the civic and military parade and service on Sunday afternoon 13 November. A listener said the emotive sound of the half muffled bells made her eyes water.

And today Sunday 4th? Tower Captain Louis said mention the "excellent bob major" rung for this morning's service. It was great fun to ring as well.

Jean Tinsley

There were no Peals or Quarter Peals recorded this month

It's better than golf...

Rutland Branch Recruiting

Following on from Alan's piece last month...

With permission from the tower captain think about bringing any visitors to your Sunday morning ring or practice night; having done this a couple of times the visitors have returned to their home locality - and taken up ringing!

Age is no limit. Almost half Rutland ringers are "retired".  OK, many have been ringing since they had to stand on a box to reach the ropes, but others did not start until retirement was looming.  Some of those have almost fallen into ringing by accident, being dragged along reluctantly by friends or family despite protests of - can't remember numbers/not musical/too old to learn new tricks/no time now I'm retired.... Then once at the end of a bell rope with a "teacher" in charge, find they want to be able to do it and are not too old to learn a new skill.

So, what about targeting- err, encouraging, the about to be or newly retired to have a go?  It will keep them off the streets, get them out of them house or the 19th hole.  Though actually the pub after a practice night can be quite an incentive.  Other incentives - keeps body and mind alert; all weather indoor activity, scientific research reports bell ringers' minds stay active longer and they are less likely to suffer from dementia.

The forty to fifty age group may be good hunting ground; more settled in career path, not exhausted by babies and young children and if they are at the taxi-ing to guides and scouts stage they can taxi them to bell tower as well; the offspring can stand on a box and ringing can become a family activity.

However, bell ringing can be a hidden art.  Those who attend a church with a ground floor ring may have some idea.  At other churches the bell ringers disappear through a little doorway and are not seen again;  it is all a mystery.  Questions from the public vary from -  how many bells do you each ring; to - how many does it take to ring a bell; and, after Remembrance Day half muffled ringing - do you have two sets of bells?

It is up to us to spread the word; let people hear and see, and, help Alan Wordie in whatever way he wants.

Oh, and there are no hefty joining fees or exorbitant subscriptions.

And yes, I know, some ringers still stand on a box. 


Jean Tinsley


If you have any thing for a future month's news letter, please send it to me please at



Jean Tinsley