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.

Hoby – Commemorative Quarter Peal

September 29, 2016

24th September 2016 – Private Harry Jeffs

Private Harry Jeffs lost his life as a result of his wounds sustained during the Battle of the Somme (died 24th September 1916).  Prior to the war, Harry worked at Hoby Grange.  He was a member of the church choir and was an active bell ringer at Hoby.  His wounds were so severe, that his leg had to be amputated.  He became weaker and finally lost his life.  He had an older and younger brother who both served in the war and survived.  His mother received a letter informing her of his death which came as a shock as she was unaware that he had been wounded.  Following his death, the local ringers rang a muffled peal in his memory.

The Society of Framland Ringers have been ringing half muffled commemorative quarter peals on the 100th anniversary of the death of each soldier from Hoby. This was the 4th (and last) quarter peal for 2016.  As the soldier we were commemorating was a bell ringer, the parish of Hoby celebrated his life with a service of thanksgiving in the afternoon before we rang the quarter peal in the evening.  To make this quarter stand out and be different from the others, the parish asked us to ring this quarter “open”.  Having rung so many half muffled quarter peals at Hoby as part of this 4 year project, it definitely felt “different” to be ringing the bells open.  It sounded faster than our previous efforts, although the clock shows we rang at the same speed.  It was definitely easier to hear the backstroke and concentrate on the striking of the methods.

Our Chairman called this quarter with Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons and then back to Plain Bob.  It was a composition that we were all familiar with having rung this selection on previous attempts.  25 minutes into the quarter, we were ringing St. Martins, and for no reason, it fired up!  Ringing St Martins as part of these commemorations seems to get the better of us.  The command to “stand” was obeyed.  Such a shame, as the striking had been really good.  A quick breather to get our puff back and take off excess jumpers followed.  A second attempt commenced.  This time the pressure was on as the clock was ticking.  More importantly, our treble ringer has a bad wrist and pushing for a second attempt may be too much for her.  Fortunately, the second attempt was successful.  On the whole, our striking was good (ringing we can be proud of).  Our tribute to Harry Jeffs was completed successfully.

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The Quarter Peal Ringers 24th September 2016

The Society will be ringing again at Hoby for six half muffled quarter peals in 2017, and six in 2018.

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

Further details about the men we are commemorating can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/king-country/

Change of Venue for Meeting on 3rd September 2016

August 12, 2016

Due to tower repairs at Tilton on the Hill on Saturday 3rd September, our monthly ringing meeting has been moved to Great Dalby.  See Google Calendar for details (opens a new window).

A revised calendar for the rest of 2016 is available to download here Calendar 2016 revised.

Outing to Rutland 2016

July 1, 2016

Saturday 25th June 2016 – the day of our Annual Outing.  This year we visited only three towers in our neighbouring county – Rutland.

Seaton (6) 10-0-2 GF

Glaston (6) 7-1-22 GF

Uppingham (8) 14-2-2

As the towers were only just a hop over the border, we broke with tradition and decided not to organise a campsite.  Although we did not make a full weekend of the outing we were determined to make the most of the day together.

We arrived at the first tower in Seaton.  A lovely ring of six bells on the ground floor tucked away at the back of the church.  We rang a wide range of methods to cater for all of the ringer’s abilities.  Our two youngest ringers had the opportunity to ring rounds with the assistance of our ringing master and chairman to “stand with” them.  Both of them are progressing well and coped admirably in a different tower.

Time had beaten us so we left Seaton for Glaston only a few miles away.  We were in for a bit of a surprise when we rang the bells up.  We knew they were a light six, we hadn’t prepared ourselves for them being quite that light! To add to the complexity of ringing, it was difficult to hear the bells while we were ringing – much quieter under the bells than in the rest of the church.  That did not stop us from ringing the usual range of methods to give everyone a go.  Again, our junior ringers took hold for rounds – not their favourite bells being so much lighter than they are used to.  Credit to both of them as they rang very well.

Our time slot had ended, so off to Uppingham we went.  This was a lovely ring of eight.  The ringing room was raised with a balcony view over the rest of the church, looking directly across to the beautiful stained glass window above the altar.  It did get quite cosy in the ringing room with all of us in there at the same time.  We had the opportunity to shine by ringing triples and major methods that we do not get to ring on a regular basis.  The tradition of a group photograph took place in the ringing room, with the usual issues; no-one wanting to stand at the front and everyone trying to hide behind someone else.  Afterwards, we rang the bells down and gave our thanks to our President for arranging yet another successful outing.

Who can I hide behind?

Who can I hide behind?

Traditionally, we would now be winging our way back to the campsite (via the supermarket) and getting ready for a BBQ to end the day.  This year – no campsite – no BBQ.  We did however find our way (…eventually) to the pub on the outskirts of Oakham for a meal to round the day off.  We enjoyed good food in good company finishing off a fantastic day.

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peals

June 13, 2016

It has been a busy week for the Society of Framland Ringers.  Three quarter peals (31st May, 5th June and 8th June) all part of the WW1 commemorations held at Hoby successfully took place.

31st May 2016 – Private Walter Pick

HMS Black Prince

HMS Black Prince

Private Walter Pick lost his life in the Battle of Jutland (31st May 1916).  Walter was a butcher before joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry.  He was on the ship “The Black Prince” which sank during battle.  It had been hit by at least twelve heavy shells and several smaller ones at point blank range and sank within fifteen minutes.  The wreck is designated a protected place under the protection of the Military Remains Act 1986.  Walter was only nineteen years old when he died.

Five of us arrived at the church ready to ring.  The bells had already been muffled and rung up for us, which surprised some of the ringers when we rang the initial rounds and could not hear the backstroke!  For this quarter we rang mixed doubles, Grandsire, St. Simons, St. Martins and Plain Bob.  It was called by our ringing master, who managed to keep me in order when I fell asleep – much appreciated!  We rang without a false start unlike the first two commemorative quarters in 2015.  We all left feeling very pleased with ourselves and discussed the methods for the next two quarters later in the week.

5th June 2016 – Brigadier General Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson

Brigadier General Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson was an advisor to the Ministry of Munitions at the request of Lloyd George.  He was selected to accompany the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, on a mission to Russia.  They were traveling on HMS Hampshire which struck a German mine off the Orkney Islands and was killed (5th June 1916).

Our tribute to Sir Hay was to be Grandsire Doubles. Just over ten minutes into ringing the quarter, our conductor (our Chairman) called rounds.  A missed call had been the problem.  A fresh start was required.  The second attempt went well and at a faster pace than the quarter only a few days earlier.

8th June 2016 – Private Alfred Henry Higgins

Private Alfred Henry Higgins was part of the 10th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters.  He was killed in action on 8th June 1916.  His service record has been lost, but his medal card shows he disembarked in France on 9th February 1915.  His next entry was for his death.  Exact details regarding his death are unknown.  He is however buried in the Auchonvillers Cemetery which contains the graves of many British soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme and other soldiers (such as Alfred) who were killed in the actions which preceded it.

The third quarter this week! The ringers assembled at the church.  Most of us were flustered having rushed to get there on time after work.  Our Chairman called this quarter with Plain Bob, St. Martins, St. Simons and then back to Plain Bob.  We rang at a faster pace again – we have obviously become accustomed to the bells now.  We left the tower feeling that we have successfully made our tributes to all three men who died this week 100 years ago.

Further details about all three men we are commemorating can be found via http://www.hobyanddistricthistory.co.uk/king-country/

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

2015 in review

January 2, 2016

A Happy New Year to our followers and readers from the Society of Framland Ringers. Our next gathering is Saturday 6th February at Colston Bassett. In the mean time WordPress.com has prepared a 2015 annual report for our blog you can see full details by following the link.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 Striking Competition

December 7, 2015

It was that time of year – the annual striking competition (5th December 2015). This year we met at Waltham on the Wolds (one of the original founding towers for the Society). Last year it was a chilly night. This year it was surprisingly mild for December, although we did battle the gale force winds of Storm Desmond that have been hitting the country this weekend.

The winning team 2015 plus judge

The winning team 2015 plus judge

This year we welcomed a few new faces to the competition. They were local ringers from our hosting tower, entering for the first time. The usual format was applied, where ringers were selected on the night by drawing teams at random out of the hat. However, to make up the numbers, three of our members had the opportunity to ring in two teams.
All three teams had a practice session before the scored piece of 120 rows. The first team to ring rang Plain Bob Doubles, the second team rang Rounds and Call Changes and the third team finished with Grandsire Doubles. Those of us listening in the church to the ringing could not predict the results. All of the teams rang to a very high standard, each with their own merits.
The final team descended from the tower so we could all tuck into the mince pies and other festive nibbles along with a hot mug of coffee. Plenty of opportunity to chat and hand out Christmas cards – is it really that time of year already? The judge re-appeared having collated the scores. No amount of bribery of mince pies tempted our judge to give away any clues as to how we did until the big announcement.
We gathered together as our judge read out his comments about each scored piece. The winning team had 13.25 faults ringing Plain Bob Doubles. The team ringing Grandsire Doubles came second with 16.25 faults and a close third place with 17.25 faults went to the team ringing Rounds and Call Changes. Positive comments were made about all three teams. The scoring was so close that any team could have won.
The shield was presented to the winning team followed by the compulsory group photograph.
Our thanks go to Waltham on the Wolds Church for hosting the competition, our judge David, and to Ken who organised the ringers on the night. The Framland ringers will not meet again until February 2016. In the meantime, we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.