Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

October 7, 2018

1st October 2018 – Second Lieutenant John Charles Wheatley

John Wheatley was the son of the village schoolmaster in Hoby.  He was only 19 years old when he died of his wounds.  John was a Corporal in the Rifles.  He was then commissioned in the Sherwood Foresters and posted to the 1/5th Battalion in France in July.  He was involved with the battle at Ramicourt on 3rd October 1918 which cost him his life.  The area around the village of Ramicourt was part of the Hindenburg Line system of trenches.  These were fortified villages with gun emplacements forming the last line of German defences on the Western Front.  On 3rd October 1918, waves of allied soldiers were advancing behind an artillery barrage towards the well defended enemy.  John was amongst the soldiers who lost their lives in this battle.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the memorial at the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery.

100 years later, 5 Framland ringers met at Hoby to ring in the penultimate half muffled quarter peal to commemorate Jo Wheatley.  The realisation as to how long WW1 went on for was beginning to sink in as some of us have been involved with this 4 year commemorative project from the start.  The soldier we were commemorating was only 19 when he died.  It seems such a tragic waste of a young life.

For this quarter we decided to ring mixed doubles methods with places in 3/4, Reverse Canterbury, Winchendon Place, St. Nicholas and a final flourish of Reverse Canterbury.  This is a composition that our Chairman has called for us before so we knew that it was a tried and tested method.  However, I think it was one of those days where simple mistakes were being made (I was the guilty party for these), so with a few minor hic-ups the conductor put me right and we continued without any further glitches – apart from a slight distraction from the treble ringer when the rope caught her glasses.  For a couple of rows of music we are all looking for the glasses on the floor so we know where not to put our feet in case we break them.  Despite not being able to see properly, we continued to ring yet another successful quarter peal.  A sigh of relief from all of us when the conductor calls “That’s All”.  When we had finished ringing, the church warden came to thank us.  We heard other voices coming up the stair case – who could it be?  A couple of non-ringers had come out of the local pub and heard “a lovely noise” coming from the church. Instead of driving straight home, they sat in their car to listen to us, so when we had finished they just had to come up to see what it was all about.  They watched us ring the bells down and seemed fascinated by it all.  You never know, we might have encouraged someone else to take up the art of ringing.

The pressure is now on to ring in the final quarter on the 19th October.  Details about the commemorative events and 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

September 16, 2018

14th September 2018 – Major Arthur Jardine Beresford-Havelock

Five members of the Society of Framland Ringers have met at Hoby to ring in a half muffled quarter peal to commemorate the life of Major Arthur Beresford-Havelock.  Little is known about Arthur.  He gained the rank of Major in the North Staffordshire Regiment.  He was killed in action at Baku in Azerbaijan.  He was only 28 years old when he died on 14th September 1918.  Arthur was mentioned in dispatches and is commemorated on the Haidar Pasha Memorial.  Although Arthur never lived in Hoby, he is commemorated on the South Chancel window in All Saints Church, along with other members of the wider Beresford family who died in the First World War.

We rang, what is now a familiar composition of mixed doubles; Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons followed by the final burst of Plain Bob.  We achieved the quarter peal on the first attempt, with only a few stumbles moving into St. Simons from the St. Martins, but these were corrected immediately and we were back on track.

Once we had finished, we rang the bells down and were greeted by the church warden – very handy to take the compulsory group photograph for us!  The vicar at Hoby also came up to the ringing room once we had finished, thanking us all for our continued efforts throughout this 4 year project.

We have commemorated the lives of 16 men associated with Hoby.  The final 2 men will be commemorated in October.

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

September 16, 2018

1st September 2018 – Private Sydney Graham

It is the first Saturday of the month, the Society of Framland Ringers are due to have their routine monthly ringing meeting.  Tonight it is at Gaddesby, but today is also the day that we are ringing a half muffled quarter peal at Hoby in memory of Private Sydney Graham.  So that we could combine both events, we held the quarter peal at an earlier time.  There is always the added pressure of these quarters when we know we have a deadline in which to compete it in.  We are constantly calculating in our heads how much time we have to spare if there is a false start.  As it happens, we rang a successful quarter on the first attempt.  We stuck to a tried and tested combination of mixed doubles; Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons followed by the final burst of Plain Bob.  We rang well.  It felt that we had been ringing at quite a pace, however, the church warden had been recording some of the ringing from the church yard and played it back to us afterwards.  We all commented on how much slower it sounded, as we all felt it had been quicker than that.  Perhaps it is deceptive with the muffles on.  It was a worthy quarter in memory of Sydney.

Sydney was the youngest of eight children, born in Hoby in 1896.  The family lived at Lodge Farm.  The 1911 census shows that Sydney was still living in Hoby working as a page boy at Brooksby Hall.  He enlisted on 1st March 1916 at the age of 19.  He was transferred to the 6th Battalion of Leicestershire Regiment during the Battle of the Somme. He had a broken forearm as a result of a gunshot wound in October 1916.  Sydney returned to active service in February 1917.  However, by the following month he was sent back to England with a chest condition.  He returned to France in June and for the remainder of 1917, his regiment was involved with the battle of Polygon Wood near Ypres.  By November, Sydney was suffering from trench foot and was sent back to England for treatment. He returned to France on 31st March 1918.  Five months later, Sydney was involved in the actions around Bapaume resulting in his death on the 1st September 1918.  It was part of the Battles of Amiens.  This is considered to be the turning point of the War on the Western Front by the British Offensive where 60 miles had been advanced in 80 days.  The Hindenburg line was broken and 67000 prisoners had been captured before the Armistice on 11th November 1918 which ended the war.  Sydney Graham was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Outing to Stamford 2018

July 20, 2018

Saturday 14th July 2018 – The Framland Outing visiting five towers in and near Stamford.

Greatford St. Thomas a Becket (6) 6-1-4

West Deeping St. Andrew (6) 9-3-11

Uffington St. Michael & All Angels (6) 11-1-22

Stamford All Saints (8) 14-1-14

Breat Casterton St. Peter & St. Paul (6) 5-1-18

Although we were low on numbers at the start of the first tower, more and more ringers turned up on what seemed to be one of the hottest days in the summer heatwave.  We finished with 15 brave ringers attending the outing.

We started the tour at Greatford, a lovely ring of six on the ground floor.  Knowing that we needed to pace ourselves to survive the day, we rang simple methods – no need to be over ambitious when we had an entire afternoon of ringing ahead of us.

We went on to ring at West Deeping, another ground floor ring of six.  This time the bells were a little heavier which some of our members preferred.  We were however in competition with the organist who was having their organ practice at the same time as our outing.  Most of us have rung for weddings and competed against the organ for a few minutes while the bride leaves.  You often rely on rope-sight alone as you cannot always hear the bells.  This was the case for West Deeping.  It did make the ringing “interesting”.

The third tower was at Uffington.  We were a little surprised to come across a sign saying that the church was closed for building works.  Fortunately, the church had been unlocked for us, so we managed to enjoy another ring of six.  This was however, once we had finished moving excess items away from the ropes in the ringing room.  I suspect the builders had moved loose items into the ringing room to give them space to work.  These bells were a little heavier again.  We were more ambitious with our choice of methods at this tower as we knew we would be having a well-deserved coffee break before the next tower.

We all made our own arrangements before ringing at the next tower.  It isn’t always easy to find somewhere to park in Stamford on a busy Saturday afternoon, but we all managed.  Some found a nice coffee shop to go to, others found the ice cream van by the river.  Some took the opportunity to walk their dogs that were also joining us on the outing.

Break time over – off to find All Saints in Stamford.  This was the only eight bell tower that we were visiting on the tour.  By this time, we were starting to feel the heat and finding it difficult to ring major methods continuously.  Despite being hot and bothered, we did ring well and enjoyed the tower grab there.

The last tower was at Great Casterton.  This was the lightest ring of the outing which came as a surprise to some when they first pulled on the bells.  It was lovely to have been met by one of the local ringers who stayed to have a ring with us.  It is always a pleasure to be joined by the locals.

Time had beaten us at the last tower.  Some were so keen to get to the pub, they had already departed before we took the compulsory group photo – perhaps we should have taken it earlier in the day before some ringers escaped.  We did however get most of us in the picture.

 

 

The outing ended with a group meal at a pub in Ryhall.  The food and company was very enjoyable.

Our thanks go to our Ringing Master who made all of the necessary arrangements organising the towers (and pub) for us.  It is very much appreciated by all of those who took part in the tour.

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

May 7, 2018

5th May 2018 – Rifleman Charles Edward Gamble

It is the first Saturday in May; traditionally it is the date of the Annual General Meeting for the Society of Framland Ringers.  It was also the 100th anniversary of Rifleman Charles Edward Gamble who lost his life during WW1.  As a result, the Society managed to get 5 “willing” ringers to meet earlier in the afternoon so that we could ring the quarter peal at Hoby before going on to the AGM at Kirby Bellars.  It also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year so far, but fortunately, it was a little cooler inside the tower so ringing was comfortable.  With the additional pressures of completing the quarter on time before the AGM, we opted for a “now very familiar” composition of mixed doubles; Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons and a final burst of Plain Bob.  We rang at a reasonably quick pace, so it did not seem long before the second method was called, and then the third.  The final burst of plain bob was completed finishing the very successful quarter in only 41 minutes.  What a relief to us all that we achieved the quarter on the first attempt.  Perhaps the added pressure of the AGM later in the evening was enough to keep us on our toes and concentrate on ringing.  Perhaps it was the temperature that influenced our ringing.  Either way, it worked; no false starts, or late bobs.  We did not have any hesitations or missed dodges.  It was a very enjoyable ring.  As always, it was an honour to celebrate the life of a war hero.

Charles Gamble was born in 1899 in Gaddesby.  He was the son of John (a farm labourer) and Jemima (domestic cleaner).  They were from Church View, Hoby.  Charles had one older and one younger sister.  Although his service records appear to have been lost, it is known that he enlisted at Melton Mowbray.  He was posted to the 1st /6th Battalion of The Kings Liverpool Regiment.  In February 1918, his Battalion formed part of the West Lancashire Division which relieved the East Lancashire division in the front line at Festubert and Givenchy (East of Bethune in Northern France).  This area had been fought over since 1914.  In March 1918, a number of enemy raids had been fought off.  Unfortunately, this was only the prelude to a full scale German assault at Givenchy in the April of 1918.  The successful defence of Givenchy is considered to be a major part in blunting the German offensive.  The village has since been selected as the memorial site for the Division and for those who died serving in it.

Memorial to the 55th Division at Givenchy

The main assault at Givenchy was over by the beginning of May, however, artillery bombardment was a constant danger for those near the front line and caused many casualties.  The notes from the 1st/6th Battalion showed they had not suffered any casualties while they were in the Givenchy sector.  However, it was on the following day (5th May 1918) heavy German artillery had been very active demolishing almost all of the Battalions dug-outs and tunnels.  14 of its garrisons had been buried.  Only 4 garrisons had been recovered and listed as wounded.  The other 10 were missing.  Charles Edward Gamble was amongst those not recovered.  He is one of the more than 20,0000 British soldiers with “no known grave”.  Their names appear on the Loos Memorial to the Missing.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  At only 18, Charles is the youngest of the men from Hoby who died during WW1.

It is a very sobering thought that we as a Ringing Society have been involved with this 4 year project commemorating the lives of brave men from Hoby who lost their lives fighting for King and Country.  We have taken part in 14 quarter peals and have 4 more men to commemorate in the final months of the year.  The next is on the 1st September 2018.  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 2017

May 2, 2018

Attached is the balance sheet for the financial year ending 31st December 2017.  Members will be able to view the detailed accounts at the Annual General Meeting on the 5th May at Kirby Bellars.

Accounts 2017.pdf

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

April 9, 2018

4th April 2018 – Private Victor Albert Coleman

The first of six quarter peals at Hoby for the final year of the commemorations.  Today we are commemorating the death of Private Victor Albert Coleman.  He was the son of a farm labourer, born in Hoby in October 1893.  By 1911, he was still living in Hoby and worked on one of the local farms.  He initially joined the Leicestershire Yeomanry (a cavalry regiment).  He was a machine gunner when he joined the newly formed Machine Gun Squadron in February 1916.  Machine gunners often provided the infantry with the first line of defence, attracting enemy fire.  More than one third of the new Corps members became casualties, earning the nickname “the suicide club”.

During March and April of 1918, the Germans pushed towards Amiens to take control of that strategically vital communications centre.  To the East of Amiens (Villers-Bretonneux), on the 4th April 1918, there was a fierce defensive action by the British and Australian forces.  This is where Victor Coleman was killed in action.  This is now the site of an Australian war memorial as well as the cemetery where Victor is buried.

Posthumously, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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Australian War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux

The ringers met at Hoby Church ready to ring the quarter – although some of us were late due to the multiple road closures because of the local flooding.  We were determined to find a way through to the village to ring in this quarter.  We started with Reverse Canterbury Doubles before moving into Winchendon.  The transition was smooth and we continued to ring well.  We were ringing at a nice steady pace.  We were in the final stages of Winchendon when the ringer on the 2nd announced she was completely lost (… that ringer was me).  My announcement of being lost took everyone else by surprise that even the conductor was taken aback … between us, we managed to fire up.  This was not ideal, as we were already 6 extents into the quarter.  Our treble ringer needed a quick sit down and wrist guards tightened before we started the second attempt.

The pressure is now on to complete this quarter peal as we knew that a third attempt would be impossible.  We set off again with Reverse Canterbury.  This time, we rang at a much faster pace.  We had a successful transition into Winchendon and were so relieved when we heard the instruction to ring St. Nicholas.  At least this time we had gone further than the previous attempt.  It was an even bigger relief when we reverted back to ring a final burst of reverse Canterbury.

As always, it was an honour to ring for a local soldier who gave the greatest sacrifice for his king and country.

There are five more commemorative quarter peals at Hoby during 2018.  The next being on the 5th May 2018.  Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/commemorative-half-muffled-quarter-peals/

Cancelled Meeting on 3rd March 2018

March 1, 2018

Due to snow and ice weather warnings across the UK this week, the meeting due to be held on Saturday 3rd March 2018 at Somerby has been CANCELLED.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Weather permitting, we will be at Croxton Kerrial on Saturday 7th April 2018.

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.

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.