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!

Special Practice 16 October 2018, Islip

Eleven ringers from five towers attended tonight’s Special Practice at Islip, including our Ringing Master, Deputy Ringing Master, Vice President and your correspondent. Our Branch Secretary was unfortunately missing owing to a social engagement.

we were also joined by Keith, Sally, Sue, Ricky and Roffa, who joined in ringing rounds and call changes on 8.

Sue and Sally rang Plain Hunt on 6, Sally also ringing treble to Plain Bob Minor, while Sue also trebled to a touch of Grandsire Doubles called by Jeremy.

The band managed a number of reasonably struck touches of Bob Minor and Reverse Canterbury, called by Richard, with the highlight of the evening being a nicely struck touch of “Clifford’s Pleasure” (Reverse Canterbury with Grandsire Singles) chosen by Jan, with Jan’s father who often rang this, in a photo looking over the proceedings. It would be nice to imagine him approving of the band’s efforts.

Next Branch Practice is at Bletchingdon, on Wednesday 7th November, before the big Ringing Remembers weekend of 11th November.

Steve Vickars

Special Practice Monday 17th September 2018, Kirtlington

There was a good turnout of thirteen ringers at Monday’s Special Practice at Kirtlington, including Judith and Tim who rang some good touches of Plain Bob Doubles, Tim on observation bell.

It was good to welcome James, Hugh, Judy and Benjamin, from Marston, Ron, Jeremy, Kathryn, Sally Wale and Freddie.

Rosemarie gained some good experience trebling to Bob Doubles and Ringing the 2 to Grandsire Doubles, as well as covering to Bob Doubles on the 6, adjusting to the springy new rope. A more experienced team also successfully completed a touch of Grandsire Doubles.

Sally rang some plain courses of Bob Doubles on the 2.
As we had numbers we rang a couple of courses of Grandsire Triples, including James and Kathryn, also including an attempted touch, as well as an attempted plain course of Kent Minor requested by Kathryn.

After an attempted short touch of Bob Minor we rang some Plain Hunt on 7, before ringing down.

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

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

Focussed practice 29th April 2018 at Bletchingdon

The students and helpers after the practice

A really big thank you to all the helpers from four different branches who came to the focused practice at Bletchingdon this afternoon,organised and run by Alison Merryweather-Clarke.

This really benefitted six students, including Judith Vickars, Ellie Seddon, Sue Macready, Sue Carter, Immi  (having just completed a Quarter Peal) and myself, who often wouldn’t get the chance to practice their favoured method with a such strong band.
The reward for the helpers was a selection of cakes, brownies and biscuits (baked by the students ) with cups of tea and coffee.

Sue C consolidated her ringing of Plain Hunt Doubles and tried different bells.
Sue M rang a few plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles, and then completed a couple of touches unaffected on 3.
Judith rang two unaffected touches of PBD on 3, then progressed to a 60 blow touch. Well done!
Immi rang some touches affected of Plain bob Doubles, trebled to Bob Minor then inside to a touch of bob Minor.
Ellie rang a number of different touches of Bob Minor.

Also a big thank you to Jane from Iffley, who stood with several students and gave very helpful guidance during the touches.

Several helpers and students commented afterwards on how valuable this session was.

The students and helpers after the practice
The students and helpers after the practice

Special Practice Bletchingdon 14th March 2018

13 ringers from 7 towers and 3 branches attended last night’s Special Practice at Bletchingdon. First up, we concluded Rory’s handling session with him ringing rounds and call changes in the team. Well done Rory.

Next we rang some plain courses of Grandsire doubles for Jean, Hilary and Ann, followed by a few plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles for Judith and Sue. For Brenda, Derek and Rosemarie we rang a number of courses of Plain Hunt on 5, emphasising places. All did well.

After a touch of Grandsire involving Ann, Jan, Jeremy, covered by Brenda and called by Richard, we attempted a touch of Plain Bob Minor, but unfortunately weren’t quite strong enough.

With Brenda, Derek, Ernie and Rosemarie in the band we rang Kaleidoscope Mexican Wave, each dodging with the neighbouring bell.

Finally we rang a few plain courses of Bob Doubles with Sue and Judith inside, as well as another few courses of Grandsire for Jean, Hilary and Tim.

Next Branch Practice is at Stratton Audley on 4th April. Hope to see lots of you there.

Special Practice 15/01/2018 at Bicester

13 ringers from six towers headed over to Bicester to join in last night’s special practice. Oxford Branch was also represented by Ron and Derek. The practice was ably led by Steve Walker and Jeremy Adams.

We rang rounds and call changes for a few times on 8 and 10 bells, giving a long overdue and welcome airing of the full Bicester ring as well as giving Gus and Derek the opportunity to develop a rhythm on unfamiliar bells. Both got well into the swing of things by the end.

For Helen, Sue, Ellie and Judith  we rang several courses of Plain Hunt on 7, improving each time and also 3 touches of Plain Bob Doubles, in preparation for the ladies’ QPA next month. In this we were helped by Steve, Jeremy, Simon (returning after a while away from ringing), Ron and Ian.

After a touch of Grandsire Doubles, Ellie trebling, we rang down the front 4 then the back 6 in Peal, finishing in Queens. A very worthwhile practice.

Hope to see lots of you at the next Branch Practice, at Kirtlington on 5th February. Perhaps a chance to see the new simulator in action?

Branch Christmas Practice and Social 18th December 2017

There was a great turnout to Monday’s Branch Christmas special Practice. So good to see our regulars plus Ian and Helen from Bicester, Kathryn Grant and Sue from Islip, Roy, our latest group member and U.S. correspondent as well as Richard, Jan, Jeremy, Ron, Jane, Derek, Tim and Brenda. Some 20 ringers all told.

We rang call changes on 8 for Derek, Sue, Caroline, Judith and Louise, Plain Hunt on 5, 7 (for Roy, Caroline, Louise, Judith and Brenda) and 8 for Helen.
There was a nicely struck touch of Plain Bob Minor, Ian on 2 observation, called by Richard, Grandsire Triples and a touch of Grandsire Doubles, with Sue Macready on 5 observation bell.
Finally a short burst alternating between rounds and Queens, before we rang down sort of in Peal, at which point Gareth Miller, Kirtlington rector, joined us as we took some photos and headed back to Caroline‘s for a wonderful apres bell Social (big thank you to Caroline and Louise for hosting, organising and providing mulled wine, and to everyone who contributed food), later featuring hand bell ringing. Definitely improved over last year.

See the  Kirtlington and Bletchingdon Facebook group for some video clips  uploaded by our remote location editing team!

Hope to see  lots of you at Islip on 3rd January for the first Branch Practice of 2018.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Special Practice at Islip 18 October 2017

Having left ex-hurricane Ophelia behind in the Lake District Tuesday morning, I headed over to Tuesday evening’s special practice at Islip. Not having rung for almost a week, I needed my fix of tower bells.

Our branch president, Willie Haynes and I were initially the only non-Islip ringers to join Teresa, Kathryn, Sally and Sue. The practice had Reverse Canterbury doubles and Plain Bob Minor on the agenda, but for Sue we kicked off with Plain hunt on 5, Sue on 3, which was getting pretty steady after a couple of courses. We later did some more Plain Hunt on 5, Sue ringing 2.

By this time we had been joined by Richard and Jan Haseldine, who formally received the branch striking competition shield from Willie, complete with engraved inscription. We then rang a couple of plain courses of Reverse Canterbury, followed by a touch.

As we were strong enough to provide a stander for Sally, we rang a touch of Plain Bob Doubles, Sally ringing 3 affected, called by RIchard, which went pretty well.

Following the agenda, we duly rang Plain Bob Minor, starting with a plain course, followed by a 120 change touch involving 2 singles at 5th and 10th lead ends, called by myself. However, two calling blemishes to report, the first being ‘bob’ corrected to single – thanks to Richard for putting right a couple confused ringers in the band- the second that I forgot to say “that’s all” immediately after the second single, so we had an extra 60 before coming round again.

Finally, we very nearly completed a 120- change touch of Grandsire doubles, Sally ringing 3 observation, supported by Jan, before we rang down in Peal. All in all a good practice.

Hope to see you at the next branch practice at Bletchingdon on 2nd November.