Rutland Bell-Ringers Newsletter for February 2018

Teaching sessions coming to a tower near you

Saturday 3rd February 10am–12. Uppingham ‘Ringing up, Down and Leading!’ A session being led by Louis Totaro

This is for new ringers not yet confident in ringing up/down, and for more experienced ringers who wish to improve their technique.

Saturday 3rd March 10am - 12. North Luffenham ‘Lets Start Ringing in Rounds’ 


8-Bell Branch Practice

Tuesday 6th February 2018: Oakham

The next branch practice will be soon upon us and following a well supported practice last month at Uppingham, I would like to extend a warm invitation to Oakham next Tuesday.

There will be opportunities to ring Plain Hunting on 7 & 8, Plain Bob Triples & Major, Grandsire Triples, Little Bob Major and maybe, just maybe, a course or two of Cambridge Surprise Major for the more seasoned ringer.

Please offer your support to attend as the more ringers we have provides us with the opportunity to extend the repertoire!

Louis Totaro


The Branch dinner this year will at The Wicked Witch, Ryhall, a 3 course meal, as previously advised.

The menu, from which you will select your choices, will be circulated in mid February. This will give me an indication of numbers for the dinner.

The Wicked Witch has a good reputation for food.

John Tomalin

Date: Friday 23rd March -- Time: 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Venue: The Wicked Witch, Ryhall

Cost: £25.00 per head 3 course meal.

Branch Major & Triples Practices

Tuesday 6th February. 7.30pm. Oakham

Thursday 1st March. 7.30pm Uppingham

Tuesday 3rd April. 7.30pm Oakham

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Uppingham intermediate 8 bell practice Every 3rd Thursday. 7.30pm.

15th February & 15th March

All are welcome to join us

Items for the March newsletter by Wednesday 28th February 2018 please, to Sue Webster 


None rung in Rutland during January. 

Tower Captain's Meeting

It has been my intention for some me to hold regular Tower Captain's meetings, as I want to encourage stronger ties and greater co-operation between towers, ensuring the Branch remains 'in touch' with current themes and practices.

We had a fruitful and constructive first meeting at Ryhall, before the AGM. A number of topics
were identified for particular focus, most notably Safeguarding, Health & Safety and teaching.

You will all have received minutes of the meeting which provide a flavour of some of the challenges and queries that were raised during our discussions.

I hope to hold these meetings at least annually, before our AGM, but I'm happy to host this on a half yearly basis if the need calls for it.

As a Tower Captain, if you were unable to attend the recent meeting then I would encourage all of you to try to be at the next one, as it provides the best opportunity and platform for towers to share their own success stories, raise any concerns, request help and provide opportunities where other towers and the Branch can support you.

I strongly believe that the more input we have have then the greater opportunities to share successful results and unity.

Louis Totaro Ringing Master


News from the Around the Branch

Great Casterton

There isn’t a ringing practice on Thursday’s during February . The next practice will be on 8th March.

Tim Holt



Rev'd Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani
Sunday 18th February 2018 - Leaving service

The Rev’d Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani, Team Rector of the Oakham Team Ministry and Rural Dean of Rutland, will be leaving Oakham shortly to join his wife, Guli, and the family in Rothley, as Guli takes up her new post as Bishop of Loughborough.

Consequently, it will be Lee's last service at Oakham at 10.30am on Sunday 18th February.
This will be the only benefice service, held in the morning, of the Oakham Team Ministry of churches. I would like to invite all ringers of the benefice and those from the wider Branch, to contribute to our farewell celebrations.

Lee has been a strong and vocal supporter of all group activities within the ministry, particularly of bell ringing.

On a personal note myself and Helen are sad to see Lee leave . He presided over our special wedding blessing in 2015 and baptised my children, Alex and Hannah.

I would like a quarter peal to be rung in the evening of Sunday 18th February. Please let me know if you would like to be included and I will see what I can be arranged. Naturally, please accept my apologies in advance if we end up over-subscribed!

Louis Totaro 

Ringing 'Up' and 'Down' and Leading

Saturday 3rd February 2018: Uppingham

On Saturday 3rd February 10am - 12.00 noon, I will be holding a training session at Uppingham Church for ringers who are/have been learning to ring up and down, as well as the concept of leading.

Whilst I do not expect everyone to have mastered these particular skills by the end of the session I do sincerely hope that you will be on your way and feeling a little more confident. We'll identify some of the "dos" and "dont's", help remove any bad habits and provide some useful tips you will be able to incorporate into your own development at your own towers.

As detailed in the programme , we will be holding further sessions over the next few months, looking at the areas of Call Changes, Plain Hunting and Plain Bob - so if I don't see you on Saturday, I hope to see you soon. As we teachers always say, the key to making all of this stick is:

Patience, Perseverance and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! 

From Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers 


Caroline Stockmann, Central Council Public Relations Officer, has written about plans for marking Remembrance Day 2018 - the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. The full article as published in The Ringing World is summarised below and available here:

More than 1,400 of the bell ringing community laid down their lives in World War
1. Fallen bell ringers came from all walks of life, as we do today and we are all united in wanting to ring out a message of peace. 

Here are a number of things CCCBR are suggesting:

  • On Sunday, November 11, 2018 as much bell ringing as possible! Half-muffled ringing in the morning, and open in the afternoon and evening
  • Government departments would like to work with us in an official capacity; in particular they support the idea of recruiting new ringers - recruit 1400 ringers, the same number as those who fell in the Great War. 
  • Ringers will need to coordinate with their Church and work together on making the day very special. 
  • Ideas for ringing on the day vary from ‘whole pull and stand except the tenor’, ringing appropriately-named methods such as Ypres and Gallipoli Surprise Major; please send in ideas to share
  • Ring 1400 quarter peals around the date (one for each of the fallen) with an 'event' on BellBoard and issue of certificates
  • Take part in the large-scale British project, ‘Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute’. Pipers will be piping in the morning, bugles sounding and 1,000 beacons lit across the UK in the evening. Get 1,000 towers to ring at 7.05pm on the day.
  • Consider a community lunch or social between ringing, – why not make this a really special day for your whole ringing (and broader) community? 

ALSO check your muffles, and order more NOW so that you’re not caught short!

From CCCBR website

Last Friday evening, 19th January, during the weekly ringing practice at St Helen's Church in Abingdon, there was a rare and unfortunate accident involving one of the ringers. A key piece of the bell safety mechanism (the “stay”) unfortunately broke and the seventeen year old holding on to the end of the rope was carried up. When he let go he fell to the floor, somewhere between 10 and 12 feet. The paramedics were called and decided it was best to enlist the help of the Fire Service who were able to lower him through the trapdoor in the floor to ground level.

This youngster was treated for a dislocated shoulder at the hospital and was later discharged. He is now resting at home, with further investigations being done today to assess the state of his injuries.

Our sympathy is with the boy and his family and we wish him a good and speedy recovery.

Note to Editors:

  • A stay is a part of the mechanism of a bell hung for change-ringing and is designed to prevent the bell from turning over full circle and to break under sufficient force.
  • The help of the Fire Service was called for because of the difficulties involved in getting an injured person down from the bell tower. Normal access involves the use of a tight spiral staircase which would be difficult for a stretcher and its bearer to negotiate, hence the use of the trapdoor.
  • Accidents in bell ringing are rare – Dr O’Mahony, the President of the Central Council of Church Bellringers said “there are only 1 or 2 accidents per year in bell ringing internationally”. 
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The above incident was reported in ‘The Ringing World’ and other publications.
After reading about it Harry Poyner of Whissendine did some research into ringing as reported in the Leicestershire press during the 19th century, using the "Find My Past" program.

Here's a fairly local horror story for you:

1825 January 1; Leicester Chronicle


Death by Misadventure

On Christmas Eve a shocking accident occurred at Bringhurst, near Uppingham. A youth of that place named Wright, aged about 14, was engaged at the church with others in ringing, when his bell overset, and instantly pulled him up to the ceiling with such force that one of his arms was fractured, and in descending from the ceiling he fell in a dreadful way to the ground, and expired a short time after - a melancholy warning to youth of the danger and impropriety of their engaging in amusements calculated for mature strength.

A coroner's inquest was held on the body on Saturday: verdict, accidental death.

In 1825, St Nicholas, Bringhurst, had three bells dated 1776, 1724 and 1618. North gives no details of their diameters or weights. Of interest is the somewhat casual way in which the report describes ringing as an "amusement". (In those days, ringing for Church services was not allowed - partly because it was considered to be "work" and not to be encouraged on the Sabbath - and perhaps also because ringers were considered to be not the sort of rough people to be encouraged to mix with the respectable congregation, anyway.)

Harry Poyner


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