Cambridge Surprise Minor Practice Night – Branston 6th January 2018

January 12, 2018

We have often held training sessions to encourage ringers to move into Plain Bob Doubles, but very rarely hold any events for more advanced ringers.  Tonight, we focused on Cambridge Surprise Minor.  We had 5 local ringers who have been learning Cambridge, but have little opportunity to ring it regularly enough in their own towers.  From the surrounding towers, 11 experienced Cambridge Ringers joined forces at Branston to have an evening dedicated to this one method.

 

The church warden was kind enough to open the church early for us and put the heating on – it was freezing outside.

Each ringer learning the method rang once with an experienced band of ringers around them.  They each had a mentor to stand with them with words of wisdom as they rang.  It was an ideal opportunity for those learning to stand behind different bells to help them learn their place bells.

After the first round, a well-deserved break was taken to enjoy hot drinks and mince pies.  It was a chance for a bit of tuition on a one-to-one basis, and of course, a chance to chat.  We all know how much bell ringers like to talk (and eat)!

We encouraged the ringers back into the ringing chamber for the second attempt at the method.  Each ringer took it in turn and each rang better than the first attempt, requiring less input from their mentors.  Those helping, on the other hand, were finding little mistakes were creeping in which caused a few knowing smiles across the tower.

We just had enough time for a final burst for each “learner”; again improvements were seen from each ringer with minimal assistance from their mentor.

It was a very enjoyable evening.  It gave those learning the method the opportunity to ring more frequently than normal with an experienced band around them.  It was very satisfying for those helping, to see the progress made throughout the evening.

Thank you to everyone involved, especially to the Designated Ringing Master for keeping us in order.

If you are interested in receiving training, either for yourself or for your tower within the Framland area, please do not hesitate to contact the society.

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Striking Competition 2017

December 8, 2017

The 2017 Striking Competition was held at Hose on Saturday 2nd December.  There were three teams of five, where ringers were randomly selected by drawing team numbers out of a hat.  Each team had a few minutes of practice time followed by the judged piece of 120 call changes.

Our judge, Mary, was sat outside the church in the porch where she had good lighting to help her see her scoring sheets … or so she thought!  Part way through the judged piece for the first team, she discovered that the porch light went out causing her to leap up and wave her arms about to trigger the motion detector to switch the light back on.  Fortunately, the team ringing at the time had kept a lovely even rhythm so it was easy for the judge to continue with the marking.

Once all three teams had taken part, there was an opportunity to exchange Christmas cards, eat mince pies and drink hot chocolate.  It was very cold in the church so a hot drink was very welcome.  After much chatter, we realised that time was against us, so we assembled for the results from our judge.

Mary presented her comments and results for each time.  She commented on the steady rhythm from the first team (and the mishap with the outside light).  It was a good effort from the second team to ring and it was suspected that the less experienced members were ringing.  They showed promise for future competitions and they were congratulated for taking part.  The third team to ring also rang with minimal faults so it was between them and the first team ringing as to who takes home the trophy.  It was revealed that the team who rang last had won and the ringers were presented with the “Frith Shield”.  The hardest part of the evening was getting the ringers to pose for the compulsory photograph.

The Winning Team presented with the Frith Shield

Our thanks go to Mary for judging this fun competition for us and thank you to all those who took part.  The ringers taking part were proud that the junior members were able to join in this year.  It shows how much progress they have made and shows promise for next year.

The Framland will meet again on Saturday 3rd February at Plumtree.  Until then, the Society of Framland Ringers wishes you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

December 7, 2017

30th November 2017 – Lance Corporal Charles Henry Read

Today was the 6th and last quarter peal at Hoby during 2017.  This time it was to commemorate the death of Charles Henry Read.

Charles was born in 1892.  He was working as a groom at Normanton hall in Rutland before enlisting in the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914.  He was sent to France the following year where he was injured several times (most seriously during the Battle of Loos in October 1915 and again in the September 1916 during a battle to regain Thiepval Ridge).  He returned to England for hospital treatment and eventually transferred to the 5th battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.  In November 1917, his regiment was involved in the Battle of Cambrai, during which Charles was recommended for gallantry in the field for his bravery.  Unfortunately, only 10 days later Lance Corporal Charles Henry Read was killed by a shell on 30th November 1917 near Bleak House.  His Commanding Officer wrote to his widow (Mary) I can only partly realise the sorrow you must feel at the loss of one who will be missed so much, but at the same time must feel proud of his gallant deeds and splendid life. He was an excellent N.C.O. and would have gone far in promotion, as he had been recommended for gallantry in the attack on 20th November.”  Charles was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British war medal and the Victory Medal.

When his death had been comfirmed, his wife, Mary, and their three children were served with an eviction notice they moved in with relatives in Thrussington.  They later moved to Hoby, where one of the daughters (Gladys Hack) lived for the rest of her life.  Charles is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral.  He is also on his wife’s headstone in Hoby.  The headstone has been classified as a War Memorial by the War Memorials Trust.

It was a cold evening when the ringers assembled ready to ring.  This time we opted for Grandsire Doubles instead of the mixed doubles that we have been ringing recently.  We had a rocky start and after the first 6 minutes, our conductor called us to stand.  The decision to try again or to revert to mixed doubles … let’s stick to the original plan of grandsire.  This time we rang much better with no method faults.  We rang much quicker than in previous quarters.  I think this was due to the cold and we really needed to keep warm.  I wonder what the weather was like for those in battle 100 years ago.

Yet again, it was an honour to ring for this brave soldier who lost his life fighting for his king and country.

There are six more commemorative quarter peals at Hoby during 2018.  The next being on the 4th April 2018.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Monthly Meeting Calendar 2018

December 3, 2017

The calendar of meetings for 2018 is now available to view.  You can use the Google calendar here and link to your own Google calendars.

Alternatively, view, download or print the pdf here Calendar 2018.

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

October 28, 2017

26th October 2017 – Lt. Col. Percy William Beresford D.S.O.

It was only a few weeks ago that five of the Framland Ringers met at Hoby to ring a quarter peal as part of the WW1 commemoration events.  The same five ringers met again this evening to ring in commemoration of Lt. Col. Percy William Beresford.

Before the First World War, Percy Beresford was the Assistant Priest of Saint Mary’s Church in Westerham, Kent.  He went on to have a distinguished war record.  He was awarded the D.S.O. in the Summer of 1917.  The citation reads: “For conspicuous gallantry and ability in command of his battalion during heavy enemy counter-attacks. The skill with which he handled his reserves: was of the utmost assistance to the division on his right, and his determination enabled us to hold on to an almost impossible position. He repulsed three counter-attacks, and lost heavily in doing so”.

Percy was killed in action on the 26th October 1917 during the 3rd Battle of Ypres (more commonly known as the battle of Passchendaele). He was commanding the 2nd/3rd Battalion of the London Regiment (The Royal Fusiliers).  He is buried in the Gwalia Cemetery in Belgium.  Percy Beresford’s name also appears on the South Chancel Window in Hoby Church along with the name of Major William Beresford who had died only a few weeks earlier.

Each time we meet to ring a quarter peal for the men of Hoby, the reality of why we are there is becoming more significant to us.  The pressure to complete the quarter on the specific date is firmly in our minds.  It is a dark October evening, the time of year when coughs and colds are abundant.  Many people would rather stay at home, but for us, these quarter peals have become so significant that despite the coughs, colds, sniffs and sneezes, we were determined to ring to the best of our ability.

When we arrived, the bells were already muffled and in the “up” position for us ready to go.  We rang a few rounds first, but something wasn’t quite right.  A muffled bell was heard at handstroke and a very loud ring was heard at backstroke – but only for bell number 2.  It was “up wrong”, so down it came and rung back up again.  This time it was correct so we launched straight into the quarter.  Thankfully, this half muffled quarter peal was very successful.  It was conducted by our chairman using a tried and tested combination of methods that we used earlier in the year.  We started with Plain Bob before moving onto St. Martins, St Simons and then back to Plain Bob.  We all rang well with good striking.  We rang without any errors.  There wasn’t any need for anyone to nod and wink at each other to put anyone right.  We rang at a slightly faster pace than the previous quarter.  Perhaps this was due to the dodging in 3/4 instead of places.  Perhaps, it was because the band consisted of the same ringers on the same bells and we were more settled this time.  Or perhaps it was the fact we had coughs and colds and wanted to get home to a hot drink.  Whatever the reason, it sounded good and it was a pleasure to ring and we are proud to be a part of the commemorations.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby on the 30th November 2017 for the next half muffled quarter peal.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

October 14, 2017

9th October 2017 – Major William Cecil Beresford

Monday evening; the ringers gathered at Hoby to commemorate the death of Major William Cecil Beresford who died 100 years ago, and ring a half muffled quarter peal.  There is very little service information about this Major in the First World War.  It is known that he was a Major in the Royal Defence Corps, and that he had died in the Burdon Military Hospital in Weymouth, presumably of wounds.

The Royal Defence Corps was formed from the Home Service Garrison Battalions of line infantry regiments, with soldiers too old or medically not suitable for the front line.  The Defence Corps provided troops for security and guarding the home front.

I wonder what part he was playing to end up in the hospital and ultimately die of his wounds.  I do not know how old he was, or if he had left behind any family.

His name does appear on the South Chancel Window in Hoby church.  It was installed in the early 1920s.  The lower panel has a list of members of the extended Beresford family who were killed in the First World War (including Major William Cecil Beresford).  The window is now classified as an official war memorial by the War Memorials Trust.

 

The quarter peal was very successful, no false starts or errors.  Only the occasional nod and wink was observed across the tower, but even these weren’t really needed.  The quarter was conducted by our chairman using a tried and tested combination of methods that we used earlier in the year.  We started with Reverse Canterbury.  We moved onto Winchendon Place and then St Nicholas before finishing with the final burst of Reverse Canterbury.  All of these used the same bob, which helped with the transition when we changed methods.  I felt that this selection of methods which have places in 3/4 instead of dodging, suited the half muffled bells beautifully.

Despite knowing very little about this soldier, it was a privilege to ring in his memory.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby in a few weeks on the 26th October 2017 for the next half muffled quarter peal.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Outing to Leicestershire 2017

July 2, 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017 – The Framland Outing.  This year we visited three towers in our own county – Leicestershire.

Markfield St. Michael (6) 10-1-15

Newtown Linford All Saints (6) 7-3-20

Anstey St. Mary (8) 10-2-4

Despite being low on numbers, we rang well at all three towers.  Everyone said how good the bells are at Markfield.  It is such a shame that this was the tower that I missed due to a wedding over-running the other side of the county!

The second tower was Newtown Linford.  A lovely ring of 6 where the church is in the beautiful surroundings of Bradgate Park – OK it was next to the car park, but the thought is there.

The final tower of the day was Anstey, a ring of 8.  By this time, we were relatively low on numbers so there were not many opportunities to sit out and admire the church or the surroundings.  We did however ring Plain Bob Major, Grandsire Triples and Stedman Triples.  We had a good attempt at Cambridge major, so it was a shame not to be fully successful in this.

We thanked the tower organiser for all of his hard work arranging the towers for us and most importantly suggesting pub grub afterwards.

We found our way to a pub on the outskirts of Syston where we enjoyed a lovely meal followed by the biggest puddings I have ever seen.

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

June 23, 2017

21st June 2017 – Private William Harris

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day.  It also happens to be the hottest – apparently the hottest day in June since 1976!  This morning, many watched the sunrise at Stonehenge.  For the rest of the day, many complained of the heat.  Having endured a very hot and sticky day, five Framland Ringers met in the evening at Hoby to ring a commemorative half muffled quarter peal.  Fortunately, the tower was relatively cool compared with the sweltering temperatures outside.  I can’t help but wonder what the weather was like 100 years ago today.  Was there a glorious sunrise at Stonehenge, and did anyone go to celebrate it during the war? Was it this hot in 1917, and did the weather have any impact on the events that led up to William Harris’s death?

Census records show that William was a farm labourer (aged 11 in 1891).  10 years later he was working for the Midland Railway.  By 1911 it is believed that William had joined the army.  He was initially stationed with the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment based at Aldershot.  Records suggest that he did not serve overseas during the first few years of war.  Some soldiers in the regular army were kept in the UK to train volunteers.  It is thought that William was among them.  By 1917, he was in Northern France were he was killed.  The war graves commission record states that he died of wounds on 21st June 1917.  However, these were not sustained during battle.  William and several of his comrades were killed in a tragic incident.  They were due to carry out a gas bombardment of mine buildings.  Somehow, the gas projectors fell into the trenches and within a few seconds the trenches were filled with phosgene (at the time, reported to be the deadliest of all gases).  Twenty-four died from the poison, and sixty-two went to hospital.  William is buried in the Loos British Cemetery along with his comrades.

The happy ringers on the hottest day

100 years after this tragic accident, the Framland Ringers are paying tribute to William Harris by ringing the half muffled quarter peal.  This was to be conducted by our chairman using a combination of methods that has been working well in these quarters.  We started with Plain Bob before moving onto St. Martins and then St. Simons.  Another burst of Plain Bob took us to the 1260 changes.  At this point in my reports, I usually make a comment about how there was a miss call, or one of us drifts into a world of our own resulting in a re-start.  Maybe it was the heat and the prospect of stopping and starting again was just too much for all of us.  It obviously worked, because we didn’t have any hesitation or deviation.  The quarter was very well struck throughout; no-one missed a dodge, or faltered at a call.  We managed without the extra nods and subtle coughs that we normally do when we see a slight uncertainty.  It certainly was a quarter that we could be really proud of.  It was a privilege to be a part of this tribute to a local soldier.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby on 9th October 2017 for the next half muffled quarter peal.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

May 21, 2017

14th May 2017 – Private Arthur Felstead

Another Sunday evening ringing a half muffled quarter peal at Hoby, this time commemorating the life of Private Arthur Felstead.  He was born in Hoby in 1880 (the youngest of eight children).  The cottage where his family lived is now the site of the pub car park.  Arthur was listed as a brick layer in the 1911 census.  He had also worked at the Holwell Iron Company’s Furnaces and later worked at Ragdale Hall, very much a local man.

He initially joined the Leicestershire Regiment but later transferred to the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment and embarked for France in July 1916.  Ten months later his regiment received the order that they would be called on to capture Bullecourt.  The Battle of Bullecourt was part of the Arras offensive and the battalion suffered heavy losses.  Arthur was among them; killed in action on 14th May 1917 aged 37.  Either his body had never been recovered, or his grave had been lost as he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial (one of 35000 servicemen who died in the Arras sector and have no known grave).  He is also commemorated on his parent’s head stone in Hoby Churchyard.

The Arras Memorial

 

We arrived at the tower; the bells had already been rung up in preparation for us.  We selected our bells to ring a few rounds but something wasn’t quite right.  Of course it would be my bell with the muffle on the wrong way round.  A quick trip to the bell frame, turn the muffle around and head back to the ringing chamber – then a voice shouted up the stairs “is the bell up wrong?”.  Back to the bell frame we go.  Yes… he was right, the bell was in fact up wrong.  I don’t know how I missed that the first time!  Simple solution, turn the muffle around again and move the clapper.  Now we are ready to go again.  This time the rounds sounded so much better.

Our Ringing Master was in charge of this quarter.  A slight change in methods was proposed – no problem, we are all more than capable of ringing multiple methods … but as it turns out, not quite as easy as we thought.  First attempt, there was a miss-call in the Grandsire.  We still had plenty of time for a re-start so off we went again.  Despite knowing in advance that we would be ringing variations of bobs and singles in the quarter it completely took me by surprise to hear a Gradnsire Single in the St. Simons.  Somehow, by the time I had processed the call, acted on it and then got back into the method, two of us managed to swap over.  Back to rounds!  Time was now becoming an issue.  We could not afford to have yet another false start.  It was imperative that we complete the quarter on the third attempt.  Our conductor reduced the numbers of variations – much to my relief.  We successfully completed the first 180 changes of Grandsire before moving into the 360 changes of Plain Bob.  There were a few stumbles during the 240 changes of April Day before moving into the 240 of St. Simons and 240 of St. Martins.  What a relief when the conductor called “that’s all”.  We all looked at the clock and decided that the quarter had actually taken 1 ½ hours.  In reality it only took 45 minutes.  We had completed our tribute to Arthur Felstead.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby on 21st June 2017 for the next half muffled quarter peal.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Accounts for year 2016

May 1, 2017

Attached is the balance sheet for the financial year ending 31st December 2016.  Members will be able to view the detailed accounts at the Annual meeting on the 5th May at Ashby Folville.

Accounts 2016   .pdf file 140kB