Making a noise at Ambrosden!

Eight ringers from four towers came to tonight’s branch practice at Ambrosden, aiming to make a good noise on a stately ring of eight that sadly isn’t much so rung these days.

After ringing the front six up in peal and ringing some rounds and a few plain courses of Bob doubles with Anne and Sally in we felt we had to get the tenors up and try out all eight, which we did with Dinah in the band, who did very well.

Next we rang some plain courses of Grandsire doubles, and couple of plain courses of plain Bob minor, which went quite well. After some more call changes on eight we rang a couple of touches of Grandsire doubles including one with Sally trebling and finished with more call changes before ringing the back six down in peal.

We were joined at the end by Pam, Ambrosden tower correspondent (see photo).

A very enjoyable evening. Look out for an opportunity to ring there for the Christmas Tree festival later this year. Hope to see lots of you at the next practice at Piddington on 27th October!

The team with Pam

Steve Vickars

Branch Practice at Weston, 2nd September 2021

A very creditable 13 ringers from five towers came to tonight’s branch practice at Weston-on-the-Green, kindly hosted by Gerald and Andy.

For many it was their first visit since the improvements had been completed to the ringing chamber ceiling and to the rope circle, if not their first visit altogether. It is now a very welcoming space and should be the location for many quarter peals in future.

We are very sorry that Mandy, Jeremy and Richard couldn’t join us, due to needing to self-isolate.

After ringing up we rang some rounds and call changes with Dinah, who is learning at Islip and who appreciated visiting another tower and meeting other ringers.

We rang several plain courses of Grandsire doubles, called by Charlie and Teresa, as well as plain hunt on five, with Andy showing that he hasn’t forgotten how to ring the three to it. Well done Andy.

Some more rounds and call changes for Dinah, then we managed to complete a plain course of Bob Minor at the third attempt, with James on treble and Willie rolling back the years taking two. Kathryn, despite strong reservations, also showed it could be done on four, Teresa on three and Charlie on five.

Finally, we attempted to ring the front five down in peal, where Andy kept behind the treble very nicely. I hope to see more of our Weston friends at Bletchingdon, Islip and Kirtlington in future!

Please don’t forget to put our next branch practice on 29th September at Middleton Stoney in your diaries. See you then!

Steve Vickars
2nd September 2021

Branch Practice at Weston on-the-Green 13th February 2020

Ten ringers came to tonight’s branch practice, including a welcome back to Charles and Rachel Morrish from Old North Berks Branch and also Gilly, a recent recruit to the Weston band, who received instruction from Andrew at intervals during the practice.

With us were Jeremy, Kathryn and Teresa, so we were able to provide a good band around the Weston ringers.

After warming up with a number of courses of Plain Hunt on five, we rang a few plain courses of Grandsire Doubles with Andrew on treble and Gerald on two, quite nicely struck.

Next we rang a well struck touch of Grandsire Doubles for the more experienced ringers, followed by more plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, then a touch of Plain Bob Minor, called by Charles.

Finally, we gave Mandy and Gerald a chance to ring treble to mini-touches of  Grandsire Doubles, with a strong band and a stander to help them. Well done Mandy and Gerald.

We all appreciated the improvements that the Weston team have recently made in moving the ropes for bells two and three away from the wall to improve the ringing circle. The good news is that a faculty has been granted for the remainder of the work, including inserting another floor to add sound control and ensure straight fall of ropes and improvements to the lighting in the ringing chamber and belfry.

It would be nice to think that we will see these welcome improvements at practices at Weston in the near future.

Hope to see lots of you at the Branch AGM on Saturday 15th February at Bletchingdon.

Branch Practice 21st January 2020 at Bicester

Sixteen ringers from six towers and two branches came to tonight’s branch practice at Bicester, including a warm welcome to Darren, from Central Bucks Branch. Proceedings were led by our joint ringing master Jeremy, with Teresa and Kathryn.

After ringing up we rang rounds and call changes on ten, then rang Plain Hunt on Seven for Sue, Helen and Chris.

We next rang two nicely struck plain courses of Plain Bob Minor for Anne, Faye trebling, called by Steve, followed by more rounds and call changes on six for one of the Islip recruits.

Next up a plain course of Kent Minor for James to treble bob to, guided by Jeremy, which made it to the end, so a first for James.

In an interval, Teresa presented Sue with her ART LTR Level 3 certificate, achieved last week with her Quarter Peal at tenor to Grandsire Doubles. Congratulations, Sue!

We rang some plain hunt on five for Mandy, Chris and Jane, then Mandy was stretched a bit further by trebling to a touch of Grandsire Doubles. Well done, Mandy!

We then rang a couple of plain courses of Grandsire Triples, then more rounds on six. Finally all ten rang in rounds before we lowered the front four and back six in peal.

Good to see lots of people tonight. Hope to see lots of you again at the next Branch Practice on 13th February at Weston, to experience the recent improvements to the rope circle.

Branch Practice at Islip 7th January 2020

St Nicholas, Islip

A very healthy 18 ringers from seven towers came to the first Branch Practice of 2020 at Islip on the 7th January, including two new recruits from Charlton, who got a number of goes at handling practice.

In charge were Richard and Jeremy our Ringing Masters, who were keen to get all eight bells going as much as possible, so we started with Plain Hunt on seven with Mandy, Andrew and Gerald from Weston and Chris and Jane from Bicester.

From there we rang a number of rounds and call changes on eight for our less experienced ringers, then a number of plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, with Judith inside and Sue covering. Gerald and Andrew had turns at ringing the 2 to these

After more rounds and call changes, we rang a touch of Grandsire Doubles, again with Judith inside and Sue covering, Faye, Jeremy and Teresa supporting.

More rounds and call changes followed, with a couple of plain courses of Plain Hunt on five, then a plain course of Plain Bob Minor for our helpers and Sue trebling, assisted by Judith.

A full practice again, with very encouraging numbers.  Hope to see lots of you at the next Branch Practice at Bicester on 21st January.

Branch Practice at Charlton 5th December 2019

Thirteen ringers came to last night’ practice at Charlton on Otmoor, including four of the Charlton team. Besides Willie Haynes el Presidente, last night’s proceedings were led by Richard and Jeremy, with Kathryn and Anne helping ring methods inside. It was good to see the Weston team out in force, as well as Sue from Islip seeking to gain trebling practice. A good number indeed, aiming to restore the sound of Charton’s fine bells to the village.

After ringing up the team rang a set of call changes on all six, effectively Plain Hunt on six, then a plain course of Bob Minor, Sue trebling. We rang sets of Plain Hunt doubles for the Charlton and Weston teams, then touches of Plain Bob Doubles and Grandsire Doubles for Sue to Treble to.

Marking the progress that the Weston team has made in the past year, we were able to ring plain courses of Bob Doubles with Mandy, Gerald and Andrew taking turns to ring treble. Andrew also enjoyed ringing the stately tenor to one of the courses. Well done to them!

More call changes followed as well touches of Grandsire Doubles and an attempted touch of Reverse Canterbury Doubles.

Thank you all for coming. Hope to see lots of you at the final Special Practice of 2019 on 16th December at Kirtlington (Cambridge Surprise Minor and St Clements Bob Minor on the menu – or whatever we can achieve), then the final Christmas social also at Kirtlington on 23rd December.

Branch Practice 6th November 2019 at Bletchingdon

St Giles, Bletchingdon
Seventeen ringers came to last night’s Branch Practice at Bletchingdon, a very encouraging number. El presidente Willie was there in good form, together with Jeremy and Richard.
We were also joined by a full Weston contingent.
For Margie we rang rounds and as our number included several keen to practice Plain Hunt, we rang several courses of Plain Hunt Doubles, followed by plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, giving Gus, Brenda, Andrew, Mandy and Gerald opportunities to ring treble, two and tenor.
We also rang some plain courses of Bob Doubles for Sue.
For Tim, Judith, Faye and Anne we rang some touches of Grandsire Doubles, including a different 80 blow touch.
Finally we rang a couple of touches of Plain Bob Minor, the first with Faye trebling, the second Sue M trebled, gaining a real sense of accomplishment.
A very full practice and great to see so many from the Branch and outside.
Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice in 21st November at Weston on the Green.

Branch Practice 1st October 2019 at Islip.

St Nicholas, Islip

A very encouraging nineteen from seven towers and three branches attended last night’s practice at Islip, including a big welcome to Malcolm and Claire, who rang in the Branch a while ago.
Proceedings were led by our joint Ringing Masters Richard and Jeremy. Teresa and Kathryn we’re also in attendance.

We kicked off with rounds for some of our recent recruits from Ludgershall.
Next we rang a number of courses of Plain Hunt on 5 with Sue C, Mandy, Gerald and Andrew.

For James we rang a few courses of Grandsire Doubles, then for Sue a couple of plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles.

As we had the numbers, we rang a touch of Plain Bob Triples, called by Richard, also a plain course of Kent Minor with Kathryn inside.

Back to Plain Hunt, this time on 7 for Sue, Gerald and Gill, then Plain Hunt on 5 for Andrew ad Mandy.

Finally, a touch of Grandsire Triples, Sally trebling and Kathryn inside to finish off before ringing down in peal.
A very full practice with something for everyone. Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice at Souldern on 15th October.

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 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