Rutland Bellringers Newsletter for April 2017


Dates for your Diary!

Guild Sponsored Walk or Ride

Saturday 15th April 10.00am start.

Rutland Water

Proceeds for Guild Bell Fund


Branch 6 bell Striking Competition

Saturday 29th April 2017 4.00pm-7.00pm



Uppingham Bell Fund Cake & Plant Stall

Saturday 20th May 9.00am-12.00pm

Uppingham Market Place

 Branch 8-Bell Practices

Oakham Tuesday 4th April 2017.  7.30pm

Uppingham Thursday 4th May 2017 7.30pm


Uppingham intermediate 8 bell practice

Every 3rd Thursday. 7.30pm.

20th April &  18th May


All are welcome to join us


Just a reminder that the next 8 Bell Branch Practices will be at Oakham (this coming Tuesday) followed by Uppingham next month.  The last two practices have included Rounds and Call Changes, Plain Hunting on 7 and 8, Plain Bob Triples & Major. 

Obviously what we can ring is very much dependent on who may turn up on the night but we have already had some really encouraging feedback from several new faces who found these practices really useful for their development.  I invite you all to join us where we will be ringing much of the same noted above but not forgetting those more experienced, we will be looking to ring some Stedman Triples and Cambridge Surprise Major - so get those Diagrams out! 

Branch Striking Competition

29th April 2017 - Caldecott


The Caldecott ringers will be hosting the competition this year, as they have done several times in the past, always providing a delicious tea to keep up the spirits of hopeful competitors.  Offers of cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls etc. would be much appreciated, as the Caldecott ringers are few in number.  Please contact Mary Davidson as soon as possible to let her know what you can offer, or ask what she could do with. 

It should be a very enjoyable occasion.

Mary can be contacted by email:

or by phone01536 770242


Following their Winter recess, practice nights at North Luffenham will recommence on Tuesday 25th April, meet 7.30 pm.  Vic Arnold. 


A celebration for the life of Gabrielle Arnold, the wife of Vic Arnold, will be held at St Mary the Virgin,

Edith Weston, on Tuesday 18th April at 2pm.


None to report this month.


Sue Webster


As you may have noticed the Rutland Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition will soon be upon us on the 29th April 2017.

Given the excellent turnout we had for 2016, I'm hoping that 2017 will see even more willing teams wanting to participate.  This year the competition moves to Caldecott, which is a good ring of 6 and if any members have never rung there then I would encourage you to do so.   

Some ringers can take striking competitions very seriously and after all they do have a point - it should demonstrate a band's best ringing quality and ability. I too find such events very important but I also acknowledge that there is a greater opportunity for newer members, and those with less experience of striking competitions, to just 'have a go'.  It certainly can help in providing the opportunity for people to work on their bell handling, method development, team building and most importantly, the opportunity to meet up with other members and share personal experiences.  Some of the biggest steps I have taken in developing my own ringing has not been from physically ringing a bell but listening and talking to others!

By popular demand I have asked Christopher Groome to be our Judge, which he has graciously accepted.

Following last year's event, there was some really constructive feedback from our judge, most notably about focusing on the roles of the treble and second for pace-setting and for teams to think about what they should ring for good striking.  (I know, Oakham's success was based on ringing rounds and call changes and sometimes keeping it simple can be the winning formula!)  Nevertheless, I shall try and make sure all the teams taking part will have some constructive feedback at the end of the competition. 

I would love to see lots of teams take part (albeit that it might create a logistical nightmare for myself in fitting you all in!) and I hope that we can all build upon this event, gaining not only valuable experience as teams and individuals but also a great social event.

I know Monica will be sending out a request for helpers and refreshments, so ladies.........and gentlemen - great baking!    Louis Totaro



1. The competition shall be open to any tower, benefice or group of towers from within the Branch where the bells are rung regularly and all members of the team shall normally ring at the tower(s) involved on a Practice night and for Services.


2. No team shall have more than two ringers who are in any other team, and no ringer shall ring in more than three teams.

3. The order in which bands ring shall be determined by a draw, held prior to the competition, except that the order may be altered at the discretion of the Ringing Master to accommodate teams with time constraints.

4. Each team shall have time to adjust the ropes before having an initial practice (limited to 5 minutes), the end of which shall be indicated by a steward if required by the team. The length of practice time may be altered prior to the start of the competition depending on the overall time available/number of bands taking part and this shall NOT include the rounds immediately prior to the test piece starting. Again, practice times may be altered at the discretion of the Ringing Master to accommodate the final number of bands taking part.

5. Bands may ring Call Changes, or any Doubles or Minor method. If call changes are rung, there shall be at least one change of lead bell.

6. The test piece shall be a minimum of 120 changes long (if call changes, at least 120 rows following the first change), with the 120 rows immediately following the first change being judged.

7. The start of the test piece shall be signalled by 2 whole pulls on the tenor prior to pulling off in rounds.

8. The method of judging shall be determined by the Judge(s), whose decision shall be final.



On Friday 10th March nineteen members enjoyed dinner at the Finches, Hambleton.  In a fine setting we enjoyed a well prepared meal and service even though there were last minute hitches as scallops, which many had ordered, were off and smoked salmon was substituted.

It was clear from the start that a relaxed atmosphere pervaded as the conversation around the table grew in intensity.  It was a delight to see the interaction between guests whose age ranged from 14 years to octogenarians.

The evening concluded with a raffle and the profit donated to the Branch funds.

While the evening was most enjoyable the numbers attending have declined compared to previous years.  With Branch membership of around 90 it is disappointing that only nineteen members attended. 

The holding of the dinner in the future has to be questioned; do members still want it, is it the right

format, is cost an issue, is Friday the best night. I would welcome any comments and can be

contacted on:

 I am sure this will be discussed by the Branch committee in the near future.  John Tomalin


If a stay breaks, or cracks, it can sometimes be very difficult to remove due to swelling of the wood or rust.  We have experienced this at Ryhall with No. 5 bell.

As an ex. Engineer I have devised a couple of tools that should help with the removal.  2 versions are available :-

  •       A coarse screw, that, after drilling a pilot hole will screw into the end of the broken stay.
  •       A plate that will screw onto the side of the stay.

In both instances the large round block is intended to be slid up to the nuts on top and act as a `slide` hammer.

I had these items made in readiness for the problem at Ryhall – although they were not needed this time. Obviously not yet tried out, but should work well, and are available on loan to anybody who has a problem. The attached photo. Shows the tools.                                          

Tim Holt (Great Casterton)









Saturday 29th April 2017


Open Ringing

Pattishall (6 Bells 11-2-24) 2:45pm to 3:45 pm


Competition Ringing

COLD HIGHAM (6 Bells 8-0-21) 4:00pm to 6:20pm


Running Buffet from 4:00pm to 6:00pm


Followed by

Guild Business Meeting



Open Ringing

Towcester (12 Bells 23-1-16)  7:30pm to 8:30pm


Entries to Andy Timms (, 01327 830381) by 22nd April 2017.

A copy of the Rules are available on the Guild Website.