Rutland Bell-Ringers Newsletter for May 2018


Saturday 5th May

10.00am - 12 ‘Understanding Call Changes’ Uppingham

Following the ongoing success of our training sessions the next one will be held at Uppingham, where we will focus on good striking and call changes.
This session will be centred on those would like to understand call changes better, know what to look for to improve striking and for those who would like to have a go at conducting call changes.

The session will be designed to cater for everyone, so everyone is most welcome! 

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Saturday 12th May
8.00am - 12md.
Uppingham Fund Raising Cake & Plant Stall Uppingham Market Place

Donations of cakes would be very welcome!

Can be collected if needed. Give Sue a call on 01572 821922 or 

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Peterborough Cathedral Ring 24th June 2018

If you would like to attend contact- Louis Totaro


Alan Ellis so that we have an idea of numbers.

Louis Totaro

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Saturday 12th May 4.00pm - 7.00pm
Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition Whissendine

If you are intending to take part in the compe on let Louis Totaro or Alan Ellis know asap!

If you are uncertain about what to ring.... rounds and call changes are more than acceptable.

The competition has been won in the past by ringing good rounds and call changes - so no excuses!

It is also a fantastic event for members to meet up, have a tea/coffee, cake and share experiences, or just to have a chat that doesn't involve ringing!

Louis Totaro

If you are thinking of attending, whether ringing or not, do let Janet Underwood know. She does need to know how many are expected for tea! 


Branch Major & Triples Practices

Thursday 3rd May. 7.30pm Uppingham

Tuesday 5th June. 7.30pm Oakham

Thursday 5th July. 7.30pmUppingham

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

17th May & 21st June

All are welcome to join us

Items for the June newsletter by Thursday 31st May please, to Sue Webster


Peterborough Diocesan Guild Harringworth, Northants.
St John the Baptist
21st April 2018

1260 Bob Minor:

1. Thomas Saunders

2. Peggy Jennings

3. Alan Ellis

4. Alan Wordie

5. Rob Morris

6. Richard Beadman (C)

First quarter for Thomas Saunders.
Rung to celebrate the 92nd birthday of The Queen 

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Peterborough Diocesan Guild
Oakham, Rutland
All Saints
Sunday, 22 April 2018 in 49 minutes (24–2–9 in E♭) 1274 Plain Bob Triples

1. Pat Monro

2. Peggy Jennings

3. Katie Noble

4. David Murco

5. Rob Morris

6. Alan Ellis

7. Louis Totaro (C)

8. Richard Beadman

Rung to celebrate the 92nd Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen.
Rung to celebrate St George's Day 23rd April 2018 First to ring inside method No:3 - Well Done Katie!!!! 

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Peterborough Diocesan Guild
Ryhall, Rutland
St John the Evangelist
23rd. April 2018 in 47 minutes (11–1–5 in F) 1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1. Rachael Cummings

2. Eloise Dickerson

3. Anne Russell

4. Jane McKee

5. Roger Scholes (C)

6. Louis Totaro

To celebrate the birth of the 3rd child to HRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
To celebrate St George's Day.
1st of method on Treble for Rachael - Well Done! 

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Peterborough Diocesan Guild Uppingham, Rutland
St Peter & St Paul

23rd. April 2018 n 45 (14–2–2 in E )

1280 Bristol Surprise Major

1. Alison Daniels

2. Janet Garnet

3. Katie Wright

4. Lucy Gwynne

5. John Gwynne

6. Adrian Malton (C)

7. David Webb

8. Jonathan Adkins

For St George's Day and to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Cambridge, the third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 



North Luffenham

Our normal ringing practice for this year will start on Tuesday 15th May at 7.30pm.
All are welcome and we will cater for all levels of ringing. (This is provided the recently broken rope can be repaired in time!).

We continue to ring once a month until November when it gets rather too cold for comfort.

Vic Arnold.

In Celebration of St. George's Day

In Celebration of St. George's Day

Great Casterton

Ringers from Great Casterton went to ring at All Saints, Stamford at 1.00pm and then on to Great Casterton to ring for St George on April 23rd.
Also to celebrate the new Prince born that day. The third child of HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We were able to ring the back five, our original Henry Penn bells.

The ringers were: Ann Archer, Mick Allman, Tim Holt Kate Riley , David Wilson, 


The bells were rung from 16.30 to 17.00pm at St Mary the Virgin, Ketton, on April 23rd. In recognition of Saint Georges Day.


Rounds and Calls were rung at midday.


A Quarter Peal of Plain Bob triples was rung on April 22nd.


Rang a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Doubles on April 23rd.


A visiting team from East Anglia rang a Quarter Peal of Bristol Surprise Major


On 21st April a Quarter Peal was rung for the 92nd birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. 

From The Ringing Master

Striking Competition
So far 5 teams have indicated their interest in taking part in the striking compe on at Whissendine on May 12th. Christopher Groome (and his Son) wll be our Judge(s) - and are absolutely delighted to have been asked. There is still time to enter a team from your tower, just let myself, Alan Ellis or Sue Webster know. It is a great opportunity to strengthen ties, share experiences and promote ringing as a whole.

St George's Day/Weekend Ringing
The planned change to having a Quarter Peal weekend, instead of a whole month, has been encouraging, with 3 quarters a empted and 3 successful!
Well done to those teams at Harringworth, Oakham and Ryhall.

QPs were also achieved at Caldecott and Great Casterton on the 16th March and 2nd April respectively, marking other anniversaries.
We have several newer ringers that are more than capable of ringing a QP (and don't realise they are!!!!) but have yet to have the opportunity. Therefore, if you want to a empt one let myself, Alan Wordie, Alan Ellis, Richard Beadman or your Tower Captain know and we will make the arrangements.

New Ringers
I am currently teaching a band of 7 new learners from Hambleton on Saturday mornings, all are making steady progress. We must be prepared to accommodate new learners and do all we can to introduce them to the posi ve aspects of ringing. So, if you hear of any new interest do encourage those individuals to come along to your Tower.
If anyone can o er their me to support and help to me with the tuition it will be greatly appreciated.

Peterborough Cathedral Ring - 24th June 2018

Another event for your diary is our annual visit to Peterborough Cathedral. Please have this on your RADAR and let myself, Alan Ellis or Sue Webster know if you and your tower band are planning to attend, so that we have an idea of numbers.
Having seen such welcomed support at last year's meeting I would very much like to see the same for this year too.

Louis Totaro


Rutland Branch members need not be Bellringers

At the committee meeting on Friday 27 April it was agreed anyone interested in supporting the ringing and maintenance of bells in our local churches could become members of the Rutland Branch of Bellringers. There are 2 membership levels available:

1. Friends of the Rutland Branch of Bellringers. Anyone who is not a bell ringer but is dona ng prac cal or nancial support on a one o or annual basis will become a Friend of the Rutland Branch of Bellringers. A Friend will be recognised by the Branch, receive the monthly newsle er, be able to contact the commi ee and make enquiries about bellringing ma ers and a end the Annual General Mee ng.

2. Associate Member of the Rutland Branch of Bellringers. We already have non ringers who assist in the inspection and maintenance of our church bells and who are recognised for their practical support to the Branch Bell Steward and local Tower Captains who ensure the bells, ropes, mechanisms and bell frames are in good order. Bells are regularly inspected and maintenance undertaken. A second pair of hands, someone to hold the ladder, or to ensure a safe visit to the bell chamber, is invaluable. If these hands are also those of an engineer that is perfection. These active non ringers can be elected as Associate members of the Branch, and enjoy the same benefits as active bellringing members of all ages.

If there are tower captains who have volunteers for practical or financial support then please invite membership as a Friend or Associate.

Alan Wordie

An invitation to Volunteers -
From The High Sheriff of Rutland

The High Sheriff of Rutland
Cordially invites you to:
A Community Service in Celebration of Voluntary Work
in the County of Rutland
with orchestral, choral and solo accompaniment
The Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Reverend Donald Allister and The Reverend Pippa Madgwick
All Saint’s Church, Oakham
On Monday 11th june 2018 at 7.30pm.
Drinks & nibbles to follow
All are most welcome

Ringing at St George’s, Ypres.


On Sunday 22nd April, Bob & I visited Ypres, the culmination of a 5 day tour of the Western Front supporting a friend who was cycling around the battle fields to honour a great uncle who was killed in action near Ypres on 22nd April 1918. It seemed a fitting end to the trip to ring the bells at St George’s in his memory.

We had made contact with Elizabeth Milward, TC at St George’s some weeks before, and arranged to ring there at 5pm. When we arrived, we found 6 other visitors, and several of the local band of beginners, together with Liz, and her father who was also visiting. Liz has managed to gather a local group of 16 learners and started teaching them only a couple of months ago. Some of them are doing amazingly well already and are very keen to join with visiting ringers for practice. When the bells were first hung in October 2017, Liz was the only local person who knew how to ring!

The newly finished ringing chamber is very fine – panelled in oak, and with extremely sophisticated temperature and sound control equipment. Unfortunately, the air conditioning wasn’t working, and as the outside temperature was 26C, and the chamber is small and was very full of people, it was extremely hot work. However, we managed to ring, with variable degrees of tunefulness. A bit like your average Rutland practice night, really. There was some pretty decent Bob Minor, some respectable Triples Plain Hunt, and some rather average rounds and call changes. But it was all good fun.

The bells are extremely light, and sound a bit thin, but they are beautifully hung and very easy to ring. We felt very lucky to have had the opportunity to ring there.

If anyone else feels moved to go and try them out, Elizabeth’s email is on the St George’s website.

She was very welcoming, and I think they are genuinely pleased to have people visit.

Hilary Williams

11 November 2018

Centenary of the Armistice of the 1st World War


During the 1st World War, church bells were silent and only rung in the event of an emergency or invasion. On 11 November 1918 the Armistice was signed at 5am and took effect at 11am (French time). In recognition of the Centenary of this peace at 7.00pm on 11 November 2018 1,000 beacons across the UK will be lit to celebrate this great moment. In conjunction at 7.05pm 1,000 church towers will start to ring their bells. This sight and sound should be seen and heard by all.

In Rutland we aim to encourage and arrange for ALL our active bell ringers to be involved. We have 101 ringers and 182 ropes in the Branch, so we plan to ring in as many towers as possible at the same time, as will be the case across the UK.

If you are interested and want to ring on 11 November please contact the Ringing Master (Louis Totaro) or his Deputy (Alan Ellis) who are arranging this.

If you know of anyone wishing to learn to ring and join in this Centenary celebration please contact either of the Masters or our Chairman Alan Wordie ( as the plan is to teach all volunteers.

Any towers wishing to register can contact Alan Ellis

or go online to and register, but also let Alan know.

There will be some press coverage nearer the time.

Alan Wordie

Ypres Bells Update - April 2018

Rutland Branch made a very generous donation to honour those from Rutland who gave their lives in WW1.
I hope those who contributed will be able to visit Ypres and witness how Rutland bellringers played their part in this Centenary memorial.

Alan Wordie

From Alan Regin

Trustee, Bells4StGeorgeYpres,

Dear Ypres Bells Supporter,
I thought I would update you on what has happened in the tower at Ypres over the past few months – quite a lot!
The bells were rung half muffled on both 11th November and 12th November 2017 by visiting ringers joined by Liz Millward, the new Ypres Tower Captain. On the afternoon of the 11th and all day on the 12th November we were joined by Christopher O’Mahoney, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and Harrow School Master, along with ringing boys from Harrow School, who had come to try out the new bells and to ring “their” bell - the tenor of the new ring, given by Harrow School and the Harrow Association. A very special occasion with the bells being rung open for this very important commemoration weekend in Ypres. The bells were enjoyed by those gathered in the church and the nearby square.
Thanks to all those that helped with this. The muffles were brilliant Wilf!

On Thursday 04th January 2018 the Charles T. Coles handbells were rung to a peal for the first time in well over 70 years with members of the Ancient Society of College Youths ringing a peal of Stedman Cinques, 5021 changes, in 2 hours and 55 minutes in the Vestry at St Michael’s Cornhill, London. John Coles, the donor of the handbells, and myself, were able to hear part of the peal, congratula ons to all those concerned. The bells were enjoyed by the band and we are very grateful to them for using the Ypres handbells.

You can see details of the performance here:

The following week, on Wednesday 10th January 2018, a group travelled to Ypres to attempt the first peal on the new tower bells, always a very special occasion, and I am pleased to report that the peal was successful, Ypres Surprise Major being the chosen method (this method was first rung to a peal on 24th May 1969 at Sittingbourne, Kent. Since 1964 Sittingbourne has been one of the towns twinned with Ypres!) The band were very pleased to have rung this peal, the full details and photographs can be seen here:

One further peal has been rung on the bells so far:

(Another was planned to take place on Saturday 14th April 2018) 

On 13th February 2018 I met with Ian Staves and Mick Angrave to complete a few outstanding jobs in the tower, these included:

Installing re-framed photographs and information sheet along with a replica Victoria Cross that commemorates Sergeant William Henry Johnson VC, who was the only bell ringer known to have been awarded the Victoria Cross. His citation read as follows:

For most conspicuous bravery at Ramicourt on the 3rd of October, 1918.
When his platoon was held up by a nest of enemy machine guns at very close range, Sjt. Johnson worked his way forward under very heavy fire, and single-handed charged the post, bayoneting several gunners and capturing two machine guns. During this attack he was severely wounded by a bomb, but continued to lead forward his men. Shortly afterwards the line was once more held up by machine guns. Again he rushed forward and attacked the post singlehanded. With wonderful courage he bombed the garrison, put the guns out of action, and captured the teams. He showed throughout the most exceptional gallantry and devotion to duty.

He was a ringer at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and bellringers will be helping to mark the centenary of the action in which his Victoria Cross was won with ringing taking place in both Worksop towers.

Also the photograph of Private Alfred Fleckney was secured into position, Alfred was killed in action, near Ypres, on 22nd October 1914 and is remembered by his Grandson, Peter Fleckney, with an inscription on the 2nd bell of the new ring.
In the belfry the sound control system was completed with an additional covering of acoustic material – this was always planned but it is a fragile material that couldn’t be installed until the bell installation was complete, just in case it got damaged. In addition the fittings for the ringing simulator were installed, this is an electronic device used in many towers to assist learning. We are grateful to Ian and Mick for their continued support of the project. The sound control is everything we expected it to be!

On the 14th February 2018 we were joined by a group of ringing teachers from the UK. The Trustees of the bells project have engaged with The Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) to deliver a comprehensive training program. ART have developed “Learning the Ropes”, a progressive learning scheme for new ringers. This has been used across the ringing “world” to deliver training in the same, consistent way. It was felt this was the best vehicle to deliver training by different trainers, spread over a number of months, in a relatively “remote” (in ringing terms) new tower.
Liz Millward, Jean-Pierre Meirlaen and Frederik Vandenbroucke set about recruiting potential new ringers some while ago. On Thursday 15th February 2018, 15 of the 23 new recruits started training. The first set of sessions were led by Graham Nabb, chair of ART and it was wonderful to see a full tower with teaching often going on on 5 or even 6 of the bells – progress was being made right from the start. We were very grateful to Paul de Kok and Harm Jan de Kok, very experienced ringers who travelled from Dordrecht in the Netherlands to help with language translation on the Thursday and Friday along with Gregory Woods, another very experienced ringer who used his transla on skills to great effect. Many of the new learners are Flemish speakers so this presented a small extra challenge! The students signed up for 2 hours tuition each day over a 5 day period – Sunday was a day of relative rest!
The first group of trainers were Graham Nabb, Sue Marshall, Vinni Sullivan, Ken Lee, Margaret Lee, Ken Quick, Ian Griffiths and Marion Moldon. During this first training session the first quarter peal was rung on the bells:

The second group of trainers were in Ypres from Thursday 8th March 2018, leaving on Wednesday 14th March 2018 and were led by Gillian Hughes with William Evans, Clare Bellis, Janet Horton and Anne Sladen. The third group were in Ypres from 04th to the 11th April 2018, and were led by Clare McArdle with John Gwynne, Lucy Gwynn, Mike Gander, Ian Gri ths (again), Tracy Stevens and Phil Ramsbottom. Future training groups are booked to be in Ypres between 23rd May to 30th May 2018, led by Vinni Sullivan, and between 27th June to 04th July 2018, Led by Roger Booth.

The trustees have used project funds to provide accommodation for the tutors as part of the overall project.

Great strides have been made - rounds on six bells being acheived by six of the learners during the third training session, see link below:

WELL DONE to all!
The trustees are very grateful to all who have been part of this initiative to train local ringers to ring their new bells!
An article appeared in “The Ringing World”, on the front cover, about the training, written by Marion Moldon, this appeared in the issue dated 16th March 2018. Vinni Sullivan also wrote an article for her local branch newsletter:

Another quarter peal at Ypres can be seen here:

and the first one by a local ringer, very well done Liz, here:

You can find out more about ART here:

For those who have not yet been to ring on the new bells, if you would like to visit, contact Tower Captain, Liz Millward: Lots of visitors are booked and future ones will be helping the local band along!
I will finish this update with reference to The Friends of St George’s Memorial Church, Ypres, an organisation set up in 1955 to support this very special Church. They are great supporters of the bell project with an inscription on the 5th bell. Their November 2017 newsletter is attached by kind permission of their secretary, Mike McKeon. Please visit their website and perhaps consider becoming a member:

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and, once again, thanks for your support.

Warmest regards,
Alan Regin, Trustee, Bells4StGeorgeYpres,
along with fellow Trustees Ian G Campbell and David R Smith