In memory 3 December 2016

Today a quarter peal was rung in Islip – details below:

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Islip, Oxon
St Nicholas
Saturday 3 December 2016 in 47mins
1260 Grandsire Doubles

1   Sally Wale
2   Kathryn Grant
3   Ron Burgess
4   Keith Thomas
5   Anthony Cole (C)
6   Teresa Carter

In celebration of the life of Eileen Mary Grant 30/1121-03/12/2015, her beloved dog Lucy 24/01/2002-23/11/2016 and the marriage of her granddaughter Alexandra Durnford to Tim Johnson on 03/12/2016

Bank holiday Firsts 30th May 2016

Many congratulations to 3 of our branch members who scored “firsts” in a quarter peal at Bicester on Monday 30th May (Spring Bank Holiday):

  • Anne Martin: 1st Quarter Peal (and it was “inside” too!)
  • Steve Vickars: 1st Quarter Peal
  • Jeremy Adams 1st Quarter Peal as conductor

After a nervous start (fully expected given 3 “firsts” being attempted) the ringing settled and we managed some good striking throughout the quarter peal. There were a few little hiccups but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. Anne wondered “is that it?” at the end – such had been the level of concentration she achieved. A fabulous achievement from all and a good step up in their respective ringing career ladders. A visit to a local watering hole followed!

Full details below (copied from

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Bicester, Oxon
St Edburg
Monday 30 May 2016 in 44
1260 Grandsire Doubles

1   Anthony Cole
2   Anne Martin
3   Ron Burgess
4   Richard Haseldine
5   Jeremy Adams (C)
6   Steve Vickars

Rung on front 6
2,6: 1st QP
5: 1st as conductor

QP for Bill Knapton (May 2015)

On Monday 25th May ringers from Bicester rang a quarter peal to celebrate the life of one of our own, Bill Knapton, who died at the end of April, aged 92. Bill rang at Bicester and Caversfield for many years, only retiring about 18 months ago after a heart bypass.

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Bicester, Oxon
St Edburg
Monday 25 May 2015 in 42 mins (15-0-7)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles

1   Janet Smith
2   Sarah Cole
3   Simon White
4   Jeremy Adams
5   Anthony Cole(C)
6   Steve Walker

Rung to celebrate the life Bill Knapton, ringer at Bicester for many years, who died recently aged 92.

Islip QP

On Sunday 2nd November a quarter peal was rung in Islip to mark a number of occasions. The full details of the quarter peal are below:
Oxford Diocesan Guild
St Nicholas, Islip, Oxon
Sunday 2 November 2014
1260 Grandsire Doubles in 43 mins
1   Sally A Wale
2   Kathryn Grant
3   Ron P Burgess
4   Keith Thomas
5   Anthony Cole (C)
6   Teresa Carter
Rung to commemorate the 100th anniversaries of Mrs Anna Awdry (mother of Sally), Arthur Grant (father of Kathryn) and 80th anniversary of Dennis Mitchell (father of Teresa).
Also in memory of Madeline Gibson 89yrs & Marjorie Adams 88 yrs (both passed away this week)
A video of the band ringing part of the quarter peal can be found on YouTube (
And here is a post-quarter peal photo of the band:

Team Rector Quarter Peal

On Thursday 25th September 2014 Rev Verena Breed was installed as the new Team Rector for Bicester. This was a good excuse for a quarter peal to celebrate.

Details thus:

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Bicester, Oxon
St Edburg
Thursday 25 September 2014 in 46 mins (15-0-7)
1260 Plain Bob Doubles (on front 6)

1   Helen Parkinson
2   Ian Smart (1st inside)
3   Steve Walker
4   Jeremy Adams
5   Anthony Cole (c)
6   Janet Smith

Rung to mark the installation of Rev Verena Breed as the new Team Rector for Bicester.

Well done to all, and especially Ian for his first quarter peal on an “inside” bell 🙂

Happy Birthday Terry

Quarter peals can be rung to mark all sorts of occasions (weddings, national events, memorials etc). If you go to or you will find details of many peals and quarter peals rung around the country and the world.

On Wednesday 30th April the tower captain of Witney, Terry Hester (known to some of the Bicester branch folk) celebrated his 75th birthday and to mark it a quarter peal was rung and of which I was privileged to be a part of:

Witney, Oxon
Wed 30th April 2014
1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major in 48 mins
1. Michael Probert
2. Richard White
3. Roger Barnes
4. David Floyd
5. Alison Merryweather-Clarke
6. Lorna Curtis (c)
7. Brian Curtis
8. Anthony Cole

Rung to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Terry Hester.
6: first major as conductor

100th birthday

On Saturday 13th December 1913 ringers from Bicester and the surrounding area formed the Bicester Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers.

On Friday 13th December 2013 the Bicester Branch celebrated its 100th birthday so it was only right that we mark the occasion in the way bellringers do – with some ringing! Due to the proximity to Christmas many many many of the Bicester Branch ringers were busy, but eventually a band was formed with all ringers living within the Bicester area and a quarter peal of mixed Doubles was rung at Bicester.

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Bicester, Oxon
St Edburg
Friday 13 December 2013 in 46 mins on front 6
1260 Doubles: 780 Grandsire, 480 Plain Bob
1 Jane Singleton
2 Sarah Cole
3 Philip Curtis
4 Jeremy Adams
5 Anthony Cole (C)
6 Ian Smart
Rung to celebrate the centenary of the formation of the Bicester Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers.

Special congratulations to Ian Smart on accomplishing his first quarter peal.

30th surprise 16th April 2013

Tuesday 16th April was the 30th anniversary of me starting to ring (yes, I am that old!). To help me celebrate Lorna Curtis kindly arranged a quarter peal with lots of my friends from the Witney & Woodstock branch at Bicester. The chosen method (at my request) was Cambridge Surprise Major, something I used to love ringing, but haven’t managed more than half a course of in many years as we simply haven’t a band capable of ringing it in the Bicester branch. One day maybe..!

The quarter peal took 45 minutes which is pretty quick for the back 8 at Bicester and my hands now have 4 blisters to prove it, but it was worth it for such a good quarter peal – the ringing was very well struck and hardly any trips were made by anyone. My thanks to all those who came to help me celebrate (and joined me in the pub afterwards!). Full details:

Tuesday 16th April, Bicester
1250 Cambridge S. Major in 45 mins
1. Michael Probert
2. Brian Curtis
3. Roger Barnes
4. Lorna Curtis
5. Josie Irving
6. Richard White
7. Anthony Cole
8. Stuart Gibson (c)

To mark 30 years of ringing by 7.

The record on bellboard can be found here 

Anthony Cole

Diamond Jubilee Ringing

A number of towers in the Bicester Branch have rung to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

At Bicester a quarter peal was rung:

Tues 5th June 2012
1260 Plain Bob Doubles in 45 mins (front 6)
1. Helen Parkinson (1st QP)
2. Janet Smith (1st PB Doubles)
3. Jane Singleton
4. Sarah Cole
5. Anthony Cole (c)
6. Jeremy Adams

Any other towers in the Bicester Branch wishing to add details of their ringing please add a comment.

Hopefully see a number of people at the Middleton Stoney Branch Practice tomorrow night.


QP Congratulations

On Monday 15th August, Jan Smith rang her first quarter peal on an inside bell at Biceseter – Congratulations Jan!

The band were all Bicester Branch members, details thus:

Monday 15th August 2011
Bicester, Oxon
1260 Grandsire Doubles in 43 mins (front 6)
1. Jane Singleton
2. Jeremy Adams
3. Janet Smith (1st inside)
4. Steve Walker
5. Anthony Cole (c)
6. Graham Frogley