Branch Practice Tuesday 21st June at Bicester

On the longest day thirteen ringers went to the branch practice at Bicester, where after raising the bells we rang a number of courses of plain hunt on nine, followed by call changes on ten, then some plain courses of Grandsire doubles on the front six.

After some plain hunt on five on the front six a touch of Grandsire doubles was attempted, followed by some better struck plain hunt on five on the back six, with the team appreciating the weightier bells.

A reasonably struck short touch of Grandsire triples was completed, followed by more call changes on ten, a bobbed course of plain Bob triples called by Emma, then well struck courses of plain hunt on seven, finishing with lowering the back eight.

Another full programme!

the next branch practice is on Wednesday 6th July at Launton. See you there!

Branch Practice at Middleton Stoney 8th June 2022

Eleven ringers from seven towers came to tonight’s branch practice at Middleton Stoney. The weather was playing tricks, with blazing sunshine originally forecast, then heavy downpours from 7pm, but at Middleton the sun came out and a rainbow was spotted!

It was good to see Colin, our steward and his son Simon. After ringing up we had some plain hunt and plain courses of Grandsire to get used to the bells. We took a short break to give Philip and another from Middleton a first go at ringing. Graham called a touch of plain Bob doubles and Steve a touch of Grandsire doubles for Julie to treble to. There was no stopping Simon who put himself inside the the Bob doubles band, although a few words were had with dad!

After a touch of Bob minor called by Colin, we had another break for handling, then more Grandsire for Christine to ring no. 2 to. After a couple of attempts to ring a touch of Stedman Doubles we settled for a plain course before lowering.

Team photo time at the end in the beautiful surroundings. Next branch practice is Tuesday 21st June at Bicester. See you there!

The team outside the tower
Changeable weather!

Steve Vickars

Branch practice 26th May at Weston

Fifteen ringers from five towers came to tonight’s special practice at Weston,
hosted by Gerald, Mandy and Andy. Nick, a new ringer, was also there to practice rounds. Jeremy our branch ringing master was in charge, but we were also joined by Celia, Richard, Graham, Alison and Laurence who gave great support.

We started with a number of plain courses of Grandsire doubles, giving Sally and Julie a turn on the treble and two, Mandy, Judith and Gerald inside. Noting that Mandy rang the four inside for the first time, well done!

We rang a touch of Bob doubles for Julie to treble to, as well as a touch of Grandsire doubles for Graham. After plain courses of Bob doubles for Judith and Gerald inside Alison called a touch of Stedman Doubles with Graham affected.

After more rounds for Nick we rang a touch of Bob Minor with Jeremy, Celia and Richard, called by Alison and then more plain courses of Grandsire Doubles for Sue, Mandy and Gerald. And finally a very reasonable lower on six, led by Graham with Mandy, Judith, Andy and Gerald in the team.

Finally we caught the late evening light to take a group photo with our two mascots. Another full practice and some prime rings, which was great!

Next branch practice is on Wednesday 8th June at Middleton Stoney, hopefully with their 2nd stay mended.

Steve Vickars

Branch Practice 4th May at Ambrosden

Thirteen came to last night’s branch practice at Ambrosden, the second time the bells have rung there in less than a week.

The practice was led by Richard, and helped by our steward, Colin, and we had a good number of strong ringers, including Laurence, Emma, Steve, Celia and Jeremy enabling us to ring triples and major as well as plain hunt on seven and eight and call changes on eight.

We rang a couple of plain courses of Bob major, a plain course of Bob triples, with Anne trebling and Graham inside, a plain course of Stedman triples and a touch of Grandsire Triples.

The ring is a heavy, albeit easygoing eight, but take a bit of getting used to. Our striking improved during the evening. Towards the end we had a set of call changes on eight with Gerald and Anne in the band.

We finally lowered on eight, with Simon taking the tenor. There was a moment at the final chime, where Simon, with help from dad Colin, tried to eke out a final bong, but to no avail.

Next branch practice is on the 26th May at Weston, I believe, where Gerald will host us ringing doubles and minor.

Thirteen came to tonight’s branch practice at Ambrosden, the second time the bells have rung there in less than a week.

The practice was led by Richard, and helped by our steward, Colin, and we had a good number of strong ringers, including Laurence and Emma, enabling us to ring triples and major as well as plain hunt on seven and eight and call changes on eight.

We rang a couple of plain courses of Bob major, a plain course of Bob triples, with Anne trebling and Graham inside, a plain course of Stedman triples and a touch of Grandsire Triples.

The ring is a heavy, albeit easygoing eight, and take a bit of getting used to. Our striking improved during the evening. Towards the end we had a set of call changes on eight with Gerald Bushby and Anne inside.

We finally lowered on eight, with Simon taking the tenor. There was a moment at the final chime, where Simon, with help from dad Colin, tried to eke out a final bong, but to no avail.

Next branch practice is on the 26th May at Weston, I believe, where Gerald will host us ringing doubles and minor.

The team at Ambrosden

Steve Vickars

Branch Practice 4th April at Kirtlington

Fifteen came to tonight’s Branch Practice at Kirtlington, including a warm welcome to Katie Lane, Guild Master and to Colin, our Steward. We also welcomed Malcolm from Woodstock, returning from injury as well as our own Charlie Bates, back from Uni for Easter.

After ringing up we kicked off with Plain Hunt on five for Dinah, Mandy and Christine, then switched the team to include Gerald, Sue Carter and Sally.

Then onto plain courses of Bob doubles for Sue M, Gerald and Judith inside, with Sue C trebling at least for one, then some plain courses of Grandsire for Mandy on three, with good striking.

Next a touch of Grandsire Doubles for Graham and Charlie inside, supported by Katie and Colin, called by Malcolm, with Judith trebling and Simon covering, rather nicely struck, then more plain hunt for Sally on four and Christine on five.

As we had a good turnout we rang up the back two and rang a number of courses of plain hunt on seven, giving just about everyone a go on an inside bell, with Judith covering.

Our last piece was a plain course of plain Bob Triples called by Colin and with Gerald making a good go at covering on tenor, before lowering all eight in peal. A good practice!

We just had time to take a team photo, below.

Steve Vickars

Branch Practice at Islip 1st March 2022

Some fifteen ringers came to tonight’s branch practice at Islip, a change of venue as it was realised that as it was Shrove Tuesday Sally Wale was able to provide pancakes at her house afterwards.

After some rounds for Marcus, Islip’s latest recruit, we rang several courses of plain hunt on five and seven for Dinah, Kevin (from North Aston), Mandy and Gerald and plain courses of Grandsire Doubles for Sue, Gerald and Mandy to ring inside to.

As we had a strong band we were also able to not only ring a plain course of plain Bob Minor but also a first Bob triples for some time in a branch practice with Laurence, Kathryn, Jeremy and Graham, called by Emma and also plain hunt on eight, with Gerald on 2, before lowering in peal. A very good practice!

Then to Sally’s for some very tasty pancakes, cooked by Teresa and Sue and opportunity to catch up and make plans.

Branch Practice at Bletchingdon 26 Jan 2022

An amazing eighteen ringers from seven towers attended tonight’s branch practice at Bletchingdon, with plain hunt, Grandsire, plain Bob and St Simons Bob doubles on the agenda.

Dinah, Julie , Sally and Christine got valuable practice at plain hunt, Christine and Julie also tenoring.

We rang several plain courses of Grandsire for Gerald, Mandy, Ala, Sue C and Sue M, who also got to ring 5 observation to Grandsire, while Graham rang inside affected on 4.

We were indebted to Laurence and Emma for standing with our less experienced ringers. We also rang a touch of Grandsire for Judith and Teresa affected and a touch of Plain Bob doubles for Ala, as well as a couple of plain courses of St Simons, which was first blows for Emma and Laurence.

At the end we did a nice lower on six ending in Queens, including Judith and Graham. A great turnout to a really good practice.

Also to note that our next Branch Practice is a week on Friday 4th February at Ludgershall. See you then!

Branch Practice returns to Piddington 27/10/2021

Seven ringers from five towers came to tonight’s Branch Practice at Piddington, where it was great to see Jan and Richard at their first branch practice since lockdown, back from helping their daughter with their latest grandchild.

After ringing up in peal – good ringing up by Judith – we warmed up with plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, followed by a first attempted touch of St Simons, for Jeremy to blow away some cobwebs. Then a touch of Grandsire for Anne, called by Steve W, and a touch of Stedman for the inside ringers to practice “anti cats ears” at singles.

The team also rang a standard as well as a 9 Bob 120 blow touch of Reverse Canterbury. Judith was in again, trebling to a touch of Reverse Canterbury, then inside to a touch of Grandsire after a successful touch of St Simons by a separate team. Another touch of Grandsire and the team rang down in peal, ending with Weasels.

A good practice and great to make a good noise in a different tower in the branch. Morwen and Cheryl, local ringers from Piddington had welcomed us and stayed to listen to the ringing, and chatted with the team members about the plans to repair the bell tower roof and floor, as well as the challenges of keeping the ringing team going.

It is these occasions that make branch practices so worthwhile through meeting other teams in the branch and sharing of ideas.

Next branch practice is on Friday 12th November at Caversfield. Hope to see lots of you then!

Bicester Branch practice ringers with Morwen and Cheryl

Steve Vickars

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