Rutland Bellringers Newsletter for January 2017


Dates for your Diary!

 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)

 The venue for the tea and meeting is Oakham Church Hall, just acrossthe carpark opposite the church.

 The tea is being organised by Oakham but donations of cakes would be greatly appreciated.  If you are taking something for the tea please let Louis Totaro and/or Marilyn Tomalin know.

Annual membership

It is the beginning of a new year and subscriptions are due.  Your subscriptions support various elements of bell ringing around the Rutland villages, Branch funds and the Guild bell fund which various towers have called upon at time of need.

 The subscription is £6 for adults and £3 for those in full time education.  In Rutland we also encourage a January donation of up to £6 per head and this way Rutland contributes to the bell fund without the need for tower captains to encourage purchase of raffle tickets and quiz sheets at different times of the year.

 To facilitate the collection of annual subscriptions the Branch membership secretary, Jane McKee asks tower captains to print out copies of the membership form and either collect subs from those unable to attend the AGM (and bring tower subs and completed forms to the AGM) or individuals attending can complete their paperwork at home and ease Jane’s admin at the AGM.  The aim is to have all subs raised by the AGM, so tower captains your assistance over the next 10 days is welcomed.

St. George’s Memorial church Ypres

– new bells campaign

 In the last newsletter we identified an initiative the Rutland Branch is keen to support during the centenary of the battle of The Somme and battles around Ypres in 1914 to 1019.  The target is to raise £195,000 and for Taylors of Loughborough to cast 8 bells that will be transported to Ypres, Belgium, and hung in a new frame in St. George’s Memorial Church close to the Menin Gate.  There will be a collection point at the AGM and we hope individuals and towers might feel encouraged to donate to help achieve the target.  When one compares with what 1,100,000 soldiers gave in 1916 surely Gift Aiding £10 or £20 in 2017 so English bells can ring out over the battlefields is small in comparison.  Ketton tower has raised £50 over Christmas and we hope other towers might find ways to support this also.

Rutland Remembers supports this branch initiative and the aim is to raise a good sum and for the 647 fallen from Rutland to be remembered either with a bell inscription or in a Memorial Book to be kept in the church tower in Ypres.  Just before Christmas a charity gifted £100,000 to the appeal, and others who I have alerted have also given generously, so the bells will be cast, transported and hung, as the target is close to being achieved.

However a contribution from Rutland Branch will benefit the appeal and allow the contract with Taylors to be placed this Spring.  I will bring Gift Aid forms to the AGM and hope to encourage donations. If we can raise over £500 then the 647 who died in the Greta War from Rutland can be recorded accordingly.

For Information: Rutland Remembers website is

Enquiries or interest please contact Alan Wordie, committee member.


Alan Ellis has noted during the last year there have been a number of new recruits taught to ring.

Tower captains are reminded that when a ringer can ring rounds safely and un supported then they can be put forward for membership of the Rutland Branch of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. 

 Could tower captains notify Alan Ellis (Ringing Master) or Louis Totaro (Deputy Ringing Master) of anyone who they propose to nominate at the AGM.

We suspect there are between 5 and 10 ringers who have achieved the grade and would be welcomed as members. 

Rutland Surprise Major

I’m calling on ringers who might be interested in learning this method for the celebration of all things Rutland at Peterborough cathedral, directed by the High Sheriff, on 26th February 2017

I would very much like all branch ringers to participate with rounds and call changes at the cathedral but would really love a team to ring a plain course of our own county method on 8 bells.

We will be dedicating 15-20 minutes of our weekly Oakham practice for ringers to learn this, so all are invited!  Louis Totaro

Ketton Hand Bell Ringers

Raise Money for The Ypres Bell Appeal

On December 13th the hand bell ringers of Ketton rang a selection of Christmas carols before the annual Christmas dinner of The Rotary Club of Stamford St. Martins.

The rotary club very kindly presented us with a donation of £50 for our efforts, which we decided to pass on to the Guild to commence the attempt to raise £3000 for the Ypres bell appeal.

The band of bell ringers rang carols to entertain the residents of four residential homes in the run up to Christmas: Chater Lodge Ketton, Oak House Greetham, Whitefriars in Stamford and The Tallington Rest Home.

Before the service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Mary the Virgin Ketton, we managed a band of six ringers in the tower ringing the main bells, whilst another five performed carols on the hand bells in the church.

The ages of the Ketton ringers range from nine years old to seventy-three, with four of the team joining in 2016.  David Rippon

The High Sheriff’s Rutland Service

 Peterborough Cathedral

Sunday February 26th 3.30pm

 Rutland is part of the diocese of Peterborough. Yet many in Rutland do not feel they belong. I want to address this through a wonderful service packed with music.  Let’s fill the cathedral with Rutland residents! There will be tea, fizz and cakes to follow the service – a party. Please help us celebrate our county in this remarkable place.

 I hope that each group of parishes will attend in numbers - the more the better. I want this so much I will help by putting £50 towards any coach hired to take people to and from Peterborough for the service.  (Travelling by coach or mini bus will be the cheapest form of travel if any number are travelling together.  It will also mean people can be dropped and picked up near the door and there are no parking difficulties.)

Not only will the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr Laurence Howard be attending, we have a very exciting extra special Rutland guest for the service. The Rutland Sheriff from Vermont USA, Sheriff Stephen Bernard, is travelling over especially to take part.  He will be in his Sheriff’s uniform. I am keen that we show off our beautiful cathedral and the enthusiasm of the people of Rutland to him.

Please let me know how many people from your parish or group of parishes will attend.  I don’t want to run out of cake, tea or fizz for the party afterwards! (

Peterborough Cathedral is one of the most important twelfth century buildings in England.  Not only is the cathedral an architectural feast but the choir and organ are second to none.  Catherine of Aragon was buried here and on her grave people still leave flowers and pomegranates – her symbol.  

The service will provide us all with a chance to celebrate our historic county and its links with this historic and spiritual place.

I have been approached, as Lay Chair for Rutland, to gather support for this event.  I would like to suggest that Rutland ringers ring at the cathedral that day! 

 Any takers??        JohnTomalin

Strikes Back Against Blood Cancer

Julie McDonnell is a remarkable person. Her campaign for awareness of Blood Cancer and her fundraising efforts have snowballed in the few short months since she started.  In July she managed to get 'large sponsors' to pledge huge sums of money to the charity if a number of bell ringing related challenges were completed.  Over the months these challenges have grown more numerous and seem to have taken a life of their own.  Nearly all the challenges involve the ringing of Quarter Peals (or Peals) of newly named 'Julie McDonnell' methods.  There were large sums for getting an 'A-Z' rung - i.e. getting a Quarter Peal in a tower name starting with each of the letters (I suspect excluding 'X', although I think they counted 'Exeter' for that!)  There were large sums for getting 100 QPs rung before Christmas - that turned into more money for 200, then 300, the 400. There was also a challenge to get a QP rung in each county. 

Despite arguments over what a county was, this challenge was progressing well, and there were just 3 left .. Cheshire, Bristol, and Rutland. 

It seemed to me that Rutland being a party-pooper would just be bad form. To prevent that ignominy, a band was assembled on 14th December, in

Uppingham, to ring a Quarter Peal of Julie McDonnell New Bob Triples.  None of the band had rung the method before and therefore everyone was a little anxious at the start.  Despite this, a lovely Quarter was rung and we are all proud to have helped in this remarkable fundraising event.  Rutland was the third-last 'county' in the challenge.  Since that time the other two stragglers have been done and the challenge is complete. Vast amounts of money generated.

 At the time of writing, a total of around £6.3M has been raised by all this frivolity for a great cause.

Despite the success, there is still sponsorship money for ringing more QPs of 'Julie McDonnell' methods.

 I would like to encourage all ringers and towers in Rutland to make the bold step and have a go at the methods, and then arrange some more charitable QPs.  I understand that each future QP will automatically gain £100 for the charity.

More information is available on the CCBR website and at

Steve Millington


 Uppingham, Rutland

SS Peter and Paul

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 (14–2–2)

 1260 Julie McDonnell New Bob Triples

1 Sue Marsden

2 Janice Atkinson

3 Diana Young

4 Brenda Parr

5 Steve Millington

6 Nicholas Parr

7 Andrew Young (C)

8 Nick Elks

First blows in method for all inside ringers.

The Happy Band

The Happy Band

Quarter Peals, continued

Barrowden, St Peter’s, Rutland

Friday, 23 December 2016 in 48m (9–3–17 G#)

1272 Plain Bob Minimus

53 courses, three plain leads of Bob Minimus with No.5 covering and No.6 following.

 1 Ronnie Fraser *

2 Mark Webb (C)

3 Julia Nichols

4 Peter Voller ^

5 Paul Diver

6 Graham Ball

 Rung in celebration of Christmas and the 60th birthday of Ronnie Fraser, a dedicated member of our band.

^ First Quarter Peal on an inside bell.

*First (ever) Quarter Peal.



Oakham, 1st January 2017.

Cambridge Surprise Minor

1320 changes in 46 minutes.


         1. Richard Beadman

2. Peggy Jennings

3. Marilyn Tomalin

4. Alan Ellis

5. John Tomalin

6. Louis Totaro (c)


Ringing for the New Year

Ryhall did ring in the New Year amidst all the firework celebrations that were going off.  Whilst a quarter peal would have been nice, we settled for rounds/call changes!  Jane McKee

Quarter peals are not just for New Year

If there are any ringers wishing to be included in a quarter peal or tower captains wanting a quarter peal conducted in their tower then please contact the Ringing Masters or any member of the Branch committee and we will arrange a suitable QP.

What is a quarter peal? Well, a peal is when more than 5,000 changes are made without repeating the sequential order. If a plain course is rung then after a hundred or so changes (depends on the number of working bells) the bells are back in rounds and the bells have coursed in the same order throughout. So, if the conductor changes the coursing order with a “call” of “bob” or “single” the number of un-repeated courses can be extended. A full extent with no repeats in triples on 7 bells provided 5,040 changes (7 factorial for the mathematicians). 5,000 changes is close to 5,040.

A quarter peal is thus a piece of continuous ringing of more than 1,250 changes. Depending on the weight and natural speed of the bells a quarter peal tends to take around 45 minutes to ring. To focus for this length of time is a really good test for any ringer and hence learners are encouraged to be involved either with tenor covering behind, the trebleplain huntingover different coursing orders, or ringing the method with bobs and singles (once you have learned what to do when each is called).    Alan Wordie

Membership/ Subscription Form

    Gift aid Declaration Form for Ypres Memorial bells

 I have included these forms on the next two pages for your personal use.

 They can be printed from the newsletter or from the separate email attachments, if that is an easier


 Please complete them and take them to the AGM, or alternatively, send them to the address indicated on the forms.

 If you wish to print only the newsletter pages for display in your tower, print pages 1-4.


 Also sent as a separate email attachment is the 2017  practice rota for the Braunston, Brooke & Langham Group

  Please print this for your information and use if required.  Editor


Send me your items for the February newsletter by Tuesday 31st January please.

 Sue Webster


Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Rutland Branch


Membership Details 2017


Subscriptions and Donations, 2017

Under the rules of the PDG, monies raised through subscriptions are split, with 75% going to the Guild, and 25% staying in the Branch. If the Rutland Branch is to continue providing grants towards the cost of essential repairs in local towers, additional funding is necessary. Rather than extra fund-raising, most people prefer to make a voluntary donation to help towards these expenses, and these donations are split 50% (Guild) and 50% (Branch).

Ideally, a donation of £6.00 per member, (in addition to any subscription), will enable the branch to meet these needs, and pay the required amount to the Guild.

 Subscription -

£6.00 for full adult members

£3.00 for those in full time education

Retired members do not need to pay a subscription

Donations – All members are invited to make a donation – (suggested amount £6.00 per adult)


Personal Information

These details will be entered on the Rutland Branch membership list. This list is held by the secretary and the treasurer and is not made available to any other member or organisation. The PDG Annual Report only publishes members’ names under their home tower.

Your email address is used to forward the monthly newsletter, any notices from the committee, and information about events.

 Please complete the following details, and return the form and cheque (made out to PDGCBR – Rutland branch) to the membership secretary:

Jane McKee. The Vicarage, Ryhall, Stamford, Lincs. PE9 4HR


If you are happy to make online payments, these are the details you will need. 40-43-05 31507540

Please use your surname and tower as the reference, and let Jane McKee know that you have paid online ( 01780 762398)


Thank you for your co-operation

Jane McKee and Simon Forster

Membership Secretary and Treasurer


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Name……………………………………………………… Tower………………………………………………


…………………………………………………………………………….. Post Code……………………

Telephone no……………………………………………… Mobile ………………………………………

email ………………………………………………………………………………………………


Membership type (circle as necessary): Full / FTE / Retired (see above)

Subscription (£6.00/£3.00) £_ _ _: _ _ cash/cheque Donation £_ _ _:_ _ cash/cheque


Charity Gift Aid Declaration single donation


Boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate


Gift Aid is reclaimed by the charity from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer.


In order to Gift Aid your donation you must tick the box below:



o           I want to gift aid my donation of £___________ to:


Name of Charity: Bells4StGeorgeYpres


I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference.


My Details


Title ____________________


First name or initial(s) ________________________________




Full Home address ______________________________________________________



 Postcode _______________________Date ___________________________________

 Please notify the charity if you:

    want to cancel this declaration

   change your name or home address

    no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains

 If you pay Income Tax at the higher or additional rate and want to receive the additional tax relief due to you, you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self-Assessment tax return or ask HM Revenue and Customs to adjust your tax code


Please post to:


39 Maud Road


E13 0JT