Branch Practice Caversfield 2nd August 2019

Twelve ringers turned up at Caversfield to find no light in the tower, apparently the electrics have been condemned! Before we rang up it became clear that there was something very wrong with the 2nd, Jeremy investigated to find that a bolt had fallen out of the stay preventing the bell from swinging.

At this point we decided to decamp to Stratton Audley (there was some speculation that Jeremy had deliberately removed the bolt in order to get a few more ringers than normal at a Stratton Audley practice! )

Everyone had a good ring, the general consensus being that the bells weren’t as bad as some of us remembered probably due to the new ringing floor. Methods rung were Plain Hunt, Plain Bob, Grandsire, Stedman, Reverse Canterbury, St Simon’s and St Martin’s.  It was a warm evening and the bells were quite hard work but it was generally agreed that it was an enjoyable if eventful practice.

Richard Haseldine

Branch Outing Saturday 27th April 2019

Saturday’s Bicester Branch April outing to Gloucestershire as well as Oxfordshire coincided with this year’s warm Easter weather and churches decorated with lovely Easter flowers. The morning’s three of Northleach, Sherbourne and Windrush were all challenging whilst the afternoon’s group of Taynton (what a great ringing chamber!), Fulbrook and Asthall were much easier for the wearier group of 20 ringers in total from 5 branches officially!

All of us had opportunities to extend our ringing range with rounds, call changes, plain hunt, St Clements, Stedman Triples and Kent amongst the repertoire. A very enjoyable day out – and many thanks to Richard Haseldine, joint Ringing Master with Jeremy Adams, for organising it so well. Our supporting team – only 3 this year – gave it (and the extended lunch) full marks too!

Branch Practice at Ludgershall 3 August

The 5 bells of Ludgershall attracted 16 ringers from 6 towers for the monthly branch practice. Several ringers were missing – on holiday, suffering from the heat or celebrating wedding anniversaries! Although Richard Haseldine is rather hidden in this photo – taken to record the Cliff East shield before it (possibly) moves from last year’s winning team – he and Jeremy Adams ensured all ringers had plenty of practice – whether call changes, Stedman, Grandsire and even a touch of Reverse Canterbury.

Let’s hope we get as many, if not more, for the Striking Competition and barbecue on Saturday 1 September!

‘Taster’ evening at Weston-on-the-Green

We had a successful evening on Thursday 26 July with 8 potential recruits given an introduction to bellringing.
7  helpers came from Abingdon, Buckingham, and Maids Moreton to give support and encouragement with the addition of local ringers, Tower Captain  Bob Hessian, Willie Haynes, Michael MacArthur, and Jeremy Adams.. The plan is that the new recruits will take part in a reasonably intensive (i.e. 10 hours) programme at W-o-t-G or possibly Bletchingdon, Kirtlington, Islip for instance as well. That’ll probably be an autumn project and we are extremely grateful to those who gave up their time (on one of the hottest evenings – so far!) to help.

Special Practice 17th July 2018 at Islip

14 ringers from 6 towers came to Tuesday night’s special practice at Islip – we were delighted to see the perpetually youthful Louise Brown who was such a stalwart welcome visitor for many years.

Although we were missing 5 other Islip ringers, we had 4 of our most recent #RingingRemembers learners who might have felt overwhelmed by the attempts of the more established to ring the designated method of Kent Treble Bob Minor (slightly more successfully on the 2nd attempt) but all are making steady progress. Without our learners we won’t, in the future, be able to ring Grandsire and Bob Triples – both of which we managed for the first time for ages under the direction of both Ringing and Deputy Ringing Masters!  So something for everyone – even if not enough time for all!

Two upcoming events are Branch Practice on 3 August at Ludgershall and the Striking competition at Islip on 1st September. Hope to see lots of you then.

Kathryn Grant

Branch Practice Middleton Stoney 6th June 2018

A good turnout for Wednesday’s branch practice on a golden evening in the Middleton Stoney Park.

Although we missed the Vickars (enjoying their holiday in Dubrovnik!) Steve Cameron jetted in from Japan to join us and Kathryn returned from the US!

13 ringers (Teresa, Anne, Jean, Richard, Jan, Gareth, Eric, Hilary, Rosemary, Jan, and Linda) from 6 towers came so we were able to practice a variety of methods including Grandsire and Plain Bob and an attempt at a touch of Plain Bob Minor.

Middleton’s bells are a bit challenging but they sounded lovely enough to call two visitors who came to see what we were doing and stayed to listen.

Kathryn Grant

Special Practice at Bicester 14th May 2018

12 ringers from 8 different towers within the Bicester Branch (i.e. members from 50% of all towers) came to the Special Practice on Monday at Bicester. The methods specified for the evening were Little Bob Minor and Grandsire Triples.

We started by ringing call changes on all 10 bells, and then Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Minor plus ringing Plain Bob Major – congratulations especially to Ellie, from Kirtlington, who got through a plain course with some expert help from other ringers including Richard Haseldine, who managed to keep about three bells right at the same time!

It was good to see Sue, from Wotton, who rang plain hunt on 5 with increasing confidence.

The next Branch Practice is on Wednesday 6 June at Middleton Stoney – do come along if you can. The range of expertise is considerable which makes it all the more rewarding and interesting.

Kathryn Grant