2021 AGM Documents

The documents relevant to the 2021 Bicester Branch AGM are available on this post for download prior to the meeting at 2.30 pm Saturday 13th February 2021.

Branch Practice at Launton 2nd July

An astonishing nineteen ringers from six towers attended tonight’s Branch Practice at Launton, on a lovely high summer evening, no doubt taking the benefit of the good weather and extended light. We had a full complement of branch officers, including el Presidente Willie Haynes, Richard and Jeremy, Teresa, Kathryn and Sally.

After ringing up, some touches of Grandsire Doubles were rung, followed by Plain Bob Doubles for Sue, Jean and Anne.

A few plain courses of Cambridge Surprise Minor were attempted, but we were unfortunately not quite strong enough to get through them, despite Richard’s valiant efforts at putting the band right.

A course of Stedman Doubles, then rounds and plain Bob Doubles for less experienced members, then more plain courses of Grandsire Doubles for Jean, Sue and Anne.

We then rang a plain course of Kent Minor with Steve, Kathryn, Jan, Teresa and Andy then to finish we rang a touch of Grandsire Doubles, with Sue trebling, supported by Richard.

Launton Tower
Some ringers enjoying the summer evening
Architectural shot

Bicester Branch Outing 27th April 2019

Richard has kindly organised this year’s outing to a number of towers starting at Northleach, Gloucestershire on 27th April. Please see the attached itinerary.

Bicester Branch Outing
April 27th. 2019

09.30 – 10.15 Northleach Glos. SS Peter & Paul
Bells 8 18½ cwt in E
OS grid ref. SP111145 Post Code GL54 3EA

10.45 – 11.30 Sherborne Glos. St. Mary Magd.
Bells 6 9cwt 3qtr 23lb in G#
OS grid ref. SP168147 Post Code GL54 3DZ

12.00 – 12.45 Windrush Glos. St. Peter
Bells 6 7cwt 1qtr 13lb in Ab
OS grid ref. SP193130 Post Code OX18 4TS

Lunch own arrangements. There are two pubs fairly close.
The Fox Inn Barrington 01451 844385 www.foxinnbarrington.com
The Lamb Inn Rissington 01451 820385 www.thelambinn.com
Numerous places in Burford

14.15- 15.00 Taynton Oxon. St. John Evangelist
Bells 6 6cwt 0qtr 27lb in Bb
OS grid ref. SP234135 Post Code OX18 4UB

15.30-16.15 Fulbrook Oxon. St. James Great
Bells 6 4cwt 0qtr 13lb in C
OS grid ref. SP258130 Post Code OX18 4BN

16.45- 17.30 Asthall Oxon St. Nicholas
Bells 6 6cwt 0qtr 10lb in B
OS grid ref. SP287114 Post Code OX18 4HW

There will be ringing for all standards but we do ask that you are able to handle a bell.
In addition to rounds and call changes we will hopefully be able to at least attempt the methods listed for the special practices.
If you are able to come it would be helpful if you could let me know jphaseldine33@gmail.com


Word attachment below:

bicester branch outing 20190427

Special Practice at Bicester 20th November

Seven ringers from four towers came to tonight’s practice at Bicester, including our Branch Secretary and Web Master. Our numbers were depleted by  Helen who had broken an arm, Steve and Jeremy who are both unwell. Get well soon, all!

After ringing up in peal, we rang call changes for Chris, Jane and Sue, called by Ian. From there we moved to Plain Hunt on 5 for Sue and Jane and then to a number of Plain Courses of Plain Bob Doubles with Jane, Kathryn and Sally inside. We then rang some plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, with Ian, Sally and Jane inside, followed by more Plain Hunt, this time with Chris on treble, definitely improving as we went on.

More plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles followed, with Jane trebling and Chris on tenor, where we got nearly to the end of the second course. Feeling more emboldened, we tried a touch of Plain Bob Doubles, Sally ringing observation on 3, which just about got to the second bob call before firing out and finally we rang down in peal.

Branch Practice is at Charlton on Otmoor on the 6th December. Hope to see lots of you there!

Notes from ODG General Committee Meeting 25th November 2017

Our Guild representative, Ann Martin, has provided some notes from the last General Committee Meeting of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of bell ringers, held in November 2017.


  1. There is a vacancy for the General Secretary for the Finance and General purposes committee. If anyone is interested, contacts are on ODG website.
  2. Education committee: Applications for the Michaelmas and Steeple Aston courses were up this year.

They are asking for help to organise the Michaelmas, Steeple Aston and Radley courses this year, in particular, for Steeple Aston, for arranging and booking the towers.  Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact the Education committee, contacts on ODG website.

It is the 25th Radley course this year.  They would like to hear from people who attended the first Radley course (and any other of the Radley courses).

  1. The Dove database is going to be brought up to date and re-housed on the Central Council’s server.
  2. Subscriptions remain as last year, £8 per member.
  3. There was a presentation about the new Guild website. In due course, they will be nominating a person from each branch to provide updates for their area.
  4. There was discussion on the suggestions in Ringing World for ringing on 11th November 2018. The suggestion was to ring muffled in the morning for 11 am, then remove the muffles and ring open later in the day. It was considered that it would be dangerous to remove the muffles with the bells up, but it would cause confusion to ring them down and then ring them up again.

The committee will relay the discussion to Ringing World.

  1. Safeguarding: Discussions are still ongoing with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, in particular with reference to the difficulty in having a safeguarding officer in each tower.  This is still to be resolved.

The Bletchingdon special

On Wednesday 23rd September 12 ringers from the Bicester, Witney & Woodstock and Oxford City branches joined together for the special practice at Bletchingdon.

As with previous practices at Bletchingdon we focused on Grandsire Doubles though this time Plain Bob Doubles was also requested. After a shaky “up” we rang call changes – well done Rachel – and then the first of many plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, interspersed with more call changes. Towards the end of the evening we rang Plain Bob Doubles and then had a discussion on the merits of setting / leaving bells at back stroke and (despite worries about it) had a go at setting the bells at backstroke from rounds .. 5 out of 6 managed it on time! Pulling off from backstroke proved to be more scary for some than setting at backstroke, but really there is little difference in what is going on upstairs – we are just less familiar with setting / pulling off at backstroke. With the bells set at backstroke you can tell how much rope you need for the backstroke when you grab the bell, but not necessarily where to catch the sally – normally it is the other way around and thus is less scary apparently – having been taught the exercise of setting successive times at backstroke I find this isn’t a problem, but it unsettles some. Perhaps more practice at it is required?? I bet that wouldn’t be popular at a branch practice!

Anyway, next branch event is the Branch Practice at Bicester on Monday 5th October so I look forward to seeing lots of you there.


2015 Striking competition Trophy’s new home

On Saturday 5th September Islip hosted the 2015 Branch BBQ and Striking Competition. As in the last few years Kathryn welcomed us to her home near the church and the BBQ was started whilst people arrived and teams were formed.

The ringing got underway at 18:30 with Alison and Louise from the Witney & Woodstock Branch judging our efforts. Despite a number of the main Islip ringers being away (Happy Wedding Anniversary Teresa & Richard!), we still managed to muster three teams (two tower teams and a “harlequin” team including two ringers from outside the branch). All teams rang call changes and the first two teams both included recent recruits – Caversfield had two recruits who have been ringing for about 18 months (youngest being 11 years old), Islip had one ringer who has only been ringing a few months.

The competition piece consisted of 1 minute of “rounds” followed by 5 minutes of call changes. There were no big crashes in any of the teams competition pieces and the results were as follows:

Team 1 (Caversfield) – 91%
Team 2 (Islip) – 82%
Team 3 (Harlequin team – apparently to be called “Stratton Audley” if they won, or “Bicester” if they lost!) – 90%

So congratulations to Caversfield (as the tower captain I admit to being very pleased with my students progress and a great result for them).

We retired to Kathryn’s for the remainder of the BBQ, wine, scrumpy etc and puddings! Another lovely evening and my thanks to Alison & Louise for judging, and Kathryn for opening her home once again. Do come over to Caversfield to look at our newly acquired trophy if you get a chance 😀

The winning team – Caversfield

Trophy presentation

results being read out

Results being read out

Mini fun April 2015

On Friday 25th April the Caversfield ringers and two of the Launton band trekked down the motorway to the Leigh End mini ring.

It took a bit of getting used to for some of the ringers but we had some pretty good ringing by the end of the evening.

We started with some handling tips from Mark Walker before we had goes on our own (including some double handed fun for those who had rung on mini rings before) and then had a go at rounds (one person had to ring double handed as we only had 7 ringers at the start.. I leave it to you to work out who was showing off!!). Next we rang call changes on all 8.
We then had a look at the bells as the last two ringers had arrived and then we had some more rounds on 8. That was followed by some plain hunt on 5 with tenor cover before stretching the limits and trying plain hunt on 7 which some haven’t tried anywhere before.
We progressed to Plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles with tenor cover and then Grandsire Doubles with a different tenor cover ringer. We rang rounds on the 8 at the end before the hilarity of ringing down.. though we didn’t try in peal despite Mark’s encouragement.

















Anthony Cole

Branch Outing details – Sat 18 April 2015

The branch outing to Bedfordshire is now booked.

Saturday 18th April

10:00 – 10:45 Haynes, Beds

11:15 – 12:00 Biggleswade, Beds

12:30 – 14:00 LUNCH – The Highwayman, Eaton Socon

14:15 – 14:45 Eaton Socon, Cambs

15:00 – 15:30 Eynesbury, Cambs

16:00 – 16:45 Elstow, Beds

Full details and sat nav postcodes can be found on Outing2015 poster. Note the poster has been updated with a better suggested postcode for Eaton Socon (specifically the church car park) – please download again if you previously downloaded before Fri 17th April.