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/

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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

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

April 24, 2017

23rd April 2017 – Private John Edward Ward

St George’s Day – a beautiful Spring Sunday evening with the smells and sounds of BBQ’s in the air …. and then the Framland Ringers come along to make a noise by ringing a commemorative half muffled quarter peal for Private John Edward Ward.  This is the first of 6 quarters for 2017, part of the WW1 commemorative events taking place in Hoby.

Our Chairman called this quarter with Reverse Canterbury, Winchendon Place, St. Nicholas and then back to Reverse Canterbury.  This was a new combination of methods for these commemorative quarters.  The combination worked extremely well.  Using methods with places in the middle instead of dodging seemed to work really well on the muffled back stroke.  It was during the extents of St Nicholas, where I thought to myself, how well it was going and which photographs should I use to accompany this web report, is there anyone to take a group photo and how should we pose – and then the inevitable … I got lost!  Thankfully, the other ringers put me in my place immediately and we carried on.  Apart from my momentary lapse of concentration, the rest of the ringing was very good.  It was a quarter we can be proud of in tribute to this soldier.  We were met afterwards by the church warden and new vicar who thanked us for the ringing.  After the “meet and greet” time was getting on so we rang down and left – we didn’t get to take the group photo.

Private John Edward Ward (born 1888) was killed in action aged 29 in 1917.  He initially worked as a labourer before enlisting in the Leicestershire Regiment in 1906.  He was posted to India in 1907.  Along with his regiment, he was mobilised at the outbreak of the First World War and went into the trenches at Calonne.  Later he was at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and also the Battle of Festubert.  His regiment went “over the top” at the Battle of Loos, where many of his comrades were killed or seriously injured.  John was one of the many casualties sustaining a severe gunshot injury to his head and face.  Following hospital treatment in Boulogne, John re-joined his unit eventually reaching Ali Al-Gharbi.  Days were hot and humid, yet nights were freezing cold.  These were difficult climate conditions especially for those still recovering from wounds.  Medical facilities were inadequate against endemic tropical diseases, and John was among those who fell ill becoming hospitalised.  He did re-join his regiment, eventually making steady progress through Turkish defences (after several previous unsuccessful attempts) finally reaching Baghdad.  The Leicestershire Regiment were the first to enter the city following its fall.  Operations continued further north with the aim to seize Samarrah.  It was during these operations that Private John Ward was killed (2 days before Samarrah was taken).

John’s parents had not seen him since he sailed to India in 1907 when he joined the army.  This was 10 years before his death.  He was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  John is remembered on the Hoby War Memorial.

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby on 14th May 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/

“A Peal Appeal” from our founding tower – Waltham on the Wolds

March 31, 2017

The Society of Framland Ringers was founded in 1875 at Waltham on the Wolds and remains to be an important tower to Framland Ringers.  The local team at Waltham has been led by Tower Captain, John, for over 20 years following in the footsteps of his father.  John started ringing at Waltham when he learnt as a boy still at school. He has taught many ringers over the years maintaining high standards of ringing.

This year John and his wife Christine have much to celebrate.  It was their Golden Wedding Anniversary in March.  It is a double celebration, as John recently successfully completed an 18 week course of chemotherapy.

To mark both events, John will be taking part in a quarter peal at Waltham on the Wolds on Friday 28th April 2017.  There will be a fundraising event in the church for the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity while the quarter peal takes place.  Do come along to support the event.

If you would like to donate to this cause, or for more information, you can do so via the just giving website at: https://www.justgiving.com/apealappeal.

Good luck to John and his team in the quarter peal and many congratulations to John and Christine on your Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Striking Competition 2016

December 19, 2016

The Annual Striking Competition was held at Sproxton on Saturday 3rd December 2016.  Although we held the event in an 8 bell tower, we put in 3 teams of 6 ringers.  All teams rang 120 rows of rounds and call changes.  It was an opportunity for some of our newest members to take part in the competition for the first time.

Each team had a few minutes to practice before the judged piece.  It was difficult to predict the results as all teams rang to a high standard, so we had to wait for the judge to give us the scores.  While we were waiting, we tucked into mince pies and biscuits along with a deserving cup of tea – and another opportunity to chatter!

Still eating mince pies and talking, we noticed the time and suggested that we should really hear the scores and carry on ringing … so we had a few moments of quiet to listen to the comments made from our judge – what is he going to say?

The judge commented that none of the teams made use of the full 3 minutes of practice time … however, the rest of us were unaware of the 3 minute time limit so we all kept the practice sessions short and sweet.

The first team to ring were given 9 faults; the second team to ring, 19 faults; the third team, 15 faults.  The winning team members were presented with the “Frith Shield”.  The compulsory posed photograph followed.

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The winning team 2016 presented with the Frith Shield

This is the last year that the “Frith Shield” will be presented as it is now full.  The member who had donated the shield, sadly passed away this year.  It is a fitting tribute that it is used up fully in the year of his death.  There will be a new shield in place for 2017 as another chapter opens.

Although teams were allocated at random, the winning team consisted of the ringing master, chairman and secretary.  It wasn’t a fix – we promise.

Our thanks go to Sproxton for hosting the competition and putting the heating on, our judge Barry, and to Ken who organised the teams on the night.

The Framland ringers will not meet again until 4th February 2017 at Asfordby.  In the meantime, we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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When our backs were turned, we gained a new ringer!

Monthly Meeting Calendar 2017

October 27, 2016

The calendar of meetings for 2017 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 2017.