Rutland Bell-Ringers Newsletter for August 2018


Saturday 18th August

10am to 1pm

St Andrew, Glaston

Belfry Maintenance Morning

The workshop is geared towards covering basic skills and tips, answering any questions and identifying the do's and don'ts of good steeple-keeping.

The aim is to help any interested tower captains, stewards and steeple-keepers gain familiarity and confidence in the maintenance and general house keeping of their bells.

All our welcome.

I hope the event will encourage more ringers to think about looking after their bells, a responsibility sometimes overlooked.

Inadequate attention to the belfry can lead to costly and sometimes prolonged periods of redundant ringing.

Topics included:

  • Replacing stays.
  • Hanging bell ropes and repairing them (splicing).
  • Checking ringing chamber conditions (Rope storage, security, access,obstructions, lighting).
  • Checking belfry conditions (security, access, health and safety, cleanliness, items to inspect)
  • Clock Hammers
  • Q&A session
  • Do's and Dont's

Louis Totaro

Items for the September newsletter by Friday 31st August please, to Sue Webster


Armistice Ringing 2018

The requests for ringing via the Central Council and the private initiative ‘Battle's Over’ by Bruno Peek, have differed slightly. Over the next few weeks we (myself, Alan Ellis and Alan Wordie) will be putting our heads together to organise ringing for Armistice Day 100.

We intend to develop a working plan to ensure all of the ringable towers in Rutland will be catered for during the day.

It is hoped we will follow a similar format which proved successful for the Queen's 90th Birthday celebration ring, where teams of ringers travelled around regions within Rutland to cover groups of towers at once.

Several towers have already signed up for the 7.05pm commemorative ’Battle's Over’ ring on the day and there remains plenty of me for towers still interested to register their participation, which we will count towards our overall plans.

Those towers who would prefer to ring at an alternative time will be catered for as well.

Please let us know of your tower's interest so that we can incorporate these into our plans.

  • Louis Totaro -
  • Alan Ellis -
  • Alan Wordie - 

Branch Major & Triples Practices

Tuesday 7th August. 7.30pm Oakham

Thursday 6th Sept. 7.30pm Uppingham 

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Uppingham intermediate 8 bell practice Every 3rd Thursday. 7.30pm.
16th August & 20th September

All are welcome to join us

Branch Summer Tour - North Northamptonshire

I can only say that to all those members that missed the tour....'boy did you miss a special treat!!!!!!!'.

Alan Ellis organised and ran a most excellent tour, taking in 3 x 6-bell towers, plus what can only be described as Weldon (8)!

The whole day seemed very balanced, catered for all ringers of all abilities and took in a nice variety of different towers. From Stanion's 2 new trebles and a sloping floor, Bulwick's very warm welcome and nice handling bells, to Easton on the Hill's very noisy but fine sounding 6.

And then there is Weldon. A nice light 8 but with a 'dodgy 5th', which turned about to be the 7th! We were advised us that the bell had a 'bent stay and that it needs to be set at backstroke to bend it back!!!!!!???????'. Both Mr Beadman (Jnr), and your two ringing masters all took hold and were in agreement that stays do not 'bend', that it felt very much like a broken one and when set was sooooo springy it felt like ringing with an elastic band!

We were all in agreement that the stay was on its way out and hadn't been replaced yet! 

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To add to the variety, we were then informed which one was actually the treble, as I was calling call changes wondering how it was possible for the treble to strike before the ringer had even pulled the rope.......again, turned out that the 'Treble' was in fact the 3rd!!!

Now I do like to have the occasional tipple but even my cool sober experience realised that something didn't sound right. Rutland Branch members can be reassured that in the end the team figured it out!

An excellent lunch at New Lodge Farm near Bulwick (current site home to members Katie Noble and Matt Blurton) was had by all and everyone felt very relaxed in the bistro atmosphere.

Thank you to the Farm for being such excellent hosts.

Thank you too to all the 19 that attended during the day. It was a little disappointing that we didn't attract more ringers as at times we struggled with personnel, but I hope you will all offer your support for this Autumn's tour, where Alan E has some new towers in mind. Nice job Alan, well done!

Louis Totaro

Peterborough Cathedral Evensong Ring

Sunday 24th June saw our annual visit to ring for Evensong at The Cathedral. Fewer attended than in 2017, but we still had a respectable 19 people in attendance. Including several of our new learners, and others who had not visited before, - so certainly a special treat for them! The team managed some excellent rounds and call changes along with a good effort of Plain Bob Triples. Many thanks to Robin and Judith Rogers for being excellent hosts and giving us the opportunity to ring the 12. 

Proms in the Park & Tower Open Day - Oakham

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A personal thanks goes to all those that attended and helped out on 30th June at Oakham.

At midday, after several dormant years, the small door of Oakham Tower was flung open to the general public. Encouraged by Sue Baker, who managed to accost many an unwary passer-by to stop and take a tower visit. Excellent support was provided by tower locals; Peggy, Jean, June, Helen, Stefan and Alan E, in demonstrating and explaining what bell ringing is and how fascinating it can be.

The tower was open until approximately 5pm and in that time managed to attract more than 100 visitors, with several leaving their contact details and expressing their interest in learning to ring.

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Early afternoon saw the arrival of Alistair Donaldson and the Maplestead Ring at Cutts Close Park. It was particularly entertaining to see my Son and new ringer Thomas Diep work out how to construct the ring 8, under the guidance of Alistair. They soon “got it” and in the space of a couple of hours 'practising' had figured out how to ring the peal very competently. Throughout the afternoon branch members dropped by to have a go and it certainly drew some interest from those attending the Proms concert in the evening.

The weather was excellent and as the evening drew in for the concert a team was mustered to ring for the 1812 Overture. The ring itself was kept simple and whilst one could argue that it was only rounds, it was perhaps the best ringing throughout the entire event. On a personal note, as I was ringing the 6th bell it suddenly dawned upon me that my Son, Alex, (who has only had a couple of taster sessions at learning to ring) seemed quite happy in his own element ringing the Tenor bell and doing it very well! It was the first time we had ever rang together as a family and I hope through encouragement he will choose to learn to ring soon. With 'Big Thomas' and 'Little Thomas' in attendance, it was also nice to see a band of young blood carrying on the tradition.

Thank you to Alistair for bringing over the ring, to the Branch Committee in offering their support and to all those members and non-members that came, had a go, promoted ringing and took part in the concert.....the list is endless - but thank you.

It was certainly different to previous years but our participation in the event was very welcomed and appreciated by the Rutland Concert Band. It is hoped this will be welcomed again for 2019 - so do have this pencilled in your diaries!!!! 

Quarter Peals

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Please click the button for listings

Government Announcement of Armistice plans

As posted on 13th July


The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sports have now announced plans for the International Moment as the Nations says ‘Thank you’.
Please see this Press Release that coincided with the announcement made 12th July on the BBC’s The One Show.

Ringing Remembers:
Bells ring out to mark the centenary of the Armistice. The UK Government invites all bell ringers to join the nation in marking the end of the First World War by ringing together on Remembrance Sunday.
They would like ringing to take place at 12.30pm on Sunday 11 November to coincide with the nation’s tribute as thousands march past the Cenotaph. Everybody is invited to take part, whether you are a new Ringing Remembers recruit or an experienced ringer. All are welcome. If you haven’t done so already speak with your tower captain to start making plans for ringing during this national moment.
Share your plans with us and we’ll spread the word to inspire other ringers. Contact:

Ringing Remembers is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and is a partnership with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

Please click the image below to find out more.

PROVISIONAL: Oakham All Saints - Bell Ringers Fundraising Concert

1st September 2018 (7.30pm)

Details are still being finalised, but it is hoped a concert will be held at Oakham in September, with proceeds going towards the Bells of All Saints. Funds raised will be used to cover essential maintenance work, including, potentially, a contribution towards the cost of a portable simulator. This would be available for use at Oakham and the wider Branch.

A separate notice will be advertised shortly to confirm further specific details.

Louis Totaro


From the Towers

Tower Inspection: Tickencote, Rutland 27-July-2018

Tim Holt, Ann Archer, Ted Phillips


Tickencote is not listed in Dove’s Guide, as it has only 2 bells. The Ringing Chamber is in the entrance porch, with the bells located 2 floors up. The bells were re-hung on new bearings/metal headstocks in 1934 by Taylor’s. The Treble is a Thomas Norris bell cast in 1630, with Canons. The Tenor is a Taylor’s bell, dated 1934. This is a replacement for the original 1630 bell which, being cracked, is now on display in the body of the Church.

The bells have not been rung recently, probably for about 5 or so years. The last entry in the visitors’ log is from 2012. This inspection is to ensure that the bells are safe to ring.

The general condition is very good; the woodwork is dry, with no observation of any infestation or rot. The metal work has been painted and looks in good condition with little rust. The ropes are sound, with no obvious fraying or damage. The rollers move freely and smoothly. The wheels are sound, with Soles and Shrouds being in good condition. There is a bolt missing from the Treble wheel, which should be replaced.

Stays, Sliders and stops are in good condition, and the headstocks are clean and sound. The Treble clapper is still quite stiff, and this makes the bell difficult to ring. A closer look will be necessary to free this up. The Tenor clapper is loose and has quite a lot of play, but is safe to ring. This clapper brushes the slider below, and has left a polish mark on the wood.

The ropes look in good condition, and we rang the bells as far as we could. The Treble won’t ring up, probably due to the stiffness in the clapper bearing; this bell was chimed to hear how it sounded. The Tenor rang up and was rung successfully.

Ted Phillips, Branch Steward

Tower Inspection: Tinwell, 17-May-2018

Derek Brown, Simon Forster, Ted Phillips


Tinwell is listed in Dove’s Guide as unringable; due to the frame having been insecurely attached to the Tower, and thus would cause serious damage if it moved under the action of the bells. There are now new and substantial brackets on all four corners of the frame, securing it to the tower. The bells need to be examined to determine what needs to be done to bring them back into use.

A previous Inspection report (N. Meadwell, March 2012) contains recommendations, some of which appear to have been carried out. 

The four bells are mounted in a single level wood and metal frame. Access is quite tight, and anyone visiting the Bell Chamber needs to be prepared to crawl underneath.

The metal parts of the frame are dated 1882; they appear clean and generally corrosion free. The newer bells are dated 1883, and both these and the metal work are from Taylor’s of Loughborough. The wooden parts of the frame appear sound, although there is some evidence of woodworm; it is not known if this has been treated.

The floor appears sound, and has considerable bird debris, mainly twigs. Removal of this would make access easier and safer. A large nest is present on the stonework above the bell frame.

All the bells were examined and appear in good condition. Again, there is some evidence of previous woodworm, and it is not known if this has been treated. The clappers show no signs of play, and appear freshly painted. The wheels and ropes are in acceptable condition, with some wear and tear due to age. The rope pulleys all move freely. The stays, sliders and stops appear sound and the sliders move freely. There is a large crack in one side of the headstock of the Tenor bell, but this does not go all the way through. This was also remarked upon in the 2012 report, with no action required, and subsequent advice received confirms that this is safe to use.

The gudgeon bearings are all of the plain (open-top) kind, with one or two securing nuts missing. These are quite greasy, with accumulated debris, and could do with clearing out prior to re-greasing. No sign of any retaining felt was seen. There is some surface rust on some of the gudgeon pins, which is to be expected after a period of disuse, and will disappear when the bell rotates once or twice.

The void space was also visited. Both the floor here and the underside of the Bell chamber floor look clean, dry and sound. The clock mechanism is located in this chamber. The ropes are tied together in the void space, raised to be out of reach from the ringing chamber. The ropes pass straight through the flooring, without any rope guides or bosses. This may cause some increased wear on the ropes, and it would be good to fit some guides

The ropes look sound and usable. There is quite a collection of material stored here which would need to be moved to ensure safe ringing.

Ted Phillips, Branch Steward