Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Plain Bob Major Practice Night – Sproxton 5th January 2019

January 17, 2019

The first Saturday of the New Year, the Society of Framland Ringers concentrated on a dedicated practice night for local ringers to have a go at ringing Plain Bob Major.  We had 4 willing “learners” and 10 “helpers” participating in the event enabling us to ring courses of Bob Major with only one learner in at a time with someone standing with them for additional guidance.

Prior to the session, our designated ringing master had issued the learners with homework to familiarise themselves with the circle of work.  I must admit, that I also found this extremely useful.  I picked up additional signposts that I hadn’t noticed before.  The homework became clear once the learners got hold of the ropes to have a go at the method surrounded by experienced major ringers complete with a mentor guiding them through the process.

Once each learner had rung, we stopped for a deserved tea break complete with biscuits and mince pies.  As there was no heating in the church, we took little persuasion to return to the heated ringing room, keen to get back to ringing another plain course for each learner.  Now that we were all happy with the plain courses, the learners were taken to one side for a refresher course in the bobs.  While a theory session was taking place the “helpers” took the opportunity to ring Stedman Triples – grabbing the chance while they could!

Time was running short.  Only two learners were brave enough to attempt a touch, the other two wanted to consolidate their learning with the plain course.  We rang the touch with two learners inside at the same time, each with a mentor to guide them.  Both rang confidently throughout the touch putting the theory into practice.  We rang another plain course for those wishing to fully get to grips with the method, enabling us all to finish on a positive note.

All of us attending (learners and helpers) have benefitted from the dedicated practice.  It enabled the less experienced ringers to master a method with more experienced ringers around them.  Many of us in the “helpers” category commented on how much we enjoyed the practice.  We rarely have the opportunity to ring major methods in our own towers at a weekly practice night, so events such as these are good for us too.

Where do we go from here? As it happens, the next Framland meeting is at Melton Mowbray on Saturday 2nd February and one of the methods of the month is Plain Bob Major.

Thank you to everyone involved, especially to the 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.


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.

“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:

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

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.


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

Further details about the men we are commemorating can be found via

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

Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

October 15, 2015

26th September 2015 – WW1 Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

capture-20151015-083424Today is the day we commemorate the second man of Hoby to have lost his life during WW1 on 26th September 1915. His name was Sergeant William Edward Eldred and was only 26 years old when he was killed in action. William joined the 8th Battalion the East Kent Regiment, also known as The Buffs. He went to France where he fought in the Battle of Loos (referred to at the time as “The Big Push”). The order came to withdraw, and as they withdrew, they continued to come under heavy fire. The battalion lost 12 officers and 165 other ranks including Sergeant William Edward Eldred. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial which commemorates over 20000 officers and men who have no known grave.

The pressure is on to complete the commemorative quarters. This time we did not have an audience or a church service first so we felt more relaxed than we did for the previous quarter. A quick introduction as some of the ringers had not met before! We decided not to be quite so ambitious with the number of methods (in other words, I was the one who chickened out of ringing multiple methods). We settled for 600 of St. Martins and 660 of Plain Bob. Surprisingly, this still seemed to get the better of us. First attempt, we didn’t get very far in. We don’t know what happened apart from it just wasn’t “quite right”. A second attempt, this time we increased the pace. It definitely went better, but again we had to stop. It took the third attempt to get through the St Martins. This time we had settled down ringing at a nice pace with good striking. Once we heard Plain Bob called, we knew we were home and dry. We completed our tribute to Sergeant William Edward Eldred.

Further details about William (and the other men we are commemorating) can be found via

Details about the future half muffled quarter peals can be found via

Hoby – Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

June 14, 2015

162I0205 (2)-219th May 2015 – WW1 Commemorative Half Muffled Quarter Peal

After two years of planning, the day finally arrived where the Society of Framland Ringers assisted the parish of All Saints, Hoby, by ringing the first WW1 commemorative half muffled quarter peal. Each quarter is to be rung on the 100th anniversary of the death of the men of Hoby who lost their lives during WW1. The first man to commemorate on 19th May 2015 was Private George Henry Sharpe. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis having contracted the disease in the trenches.

The evening commenced with a service of Evensong at Hoby Parish Church which had been well attended by the residents. When the bell ringers arrived, the service had ended and they were enjoying a glass of wine waiting for “the big event” to start.

A delayed start while a professional photographer took control to record the evening. Five very bemused ringers posed for the photos – they were not very pleased with the Society Secretary for accidentally on purpose omitting to inform them about the photos. The ringers proudly ascended the stairs to the tower to the ready and waiting half muffled bells. By this time, the locals flocked out of the church, set the audio recording equipment and waited for the spectacular ringing to commence. Our chairman and secretary (William and Wendy) mingled with the residents answering any questions that they had. Disappointed faces occurred when the bells stopped after a few rounds. William and Wendy were on hand to explain they were checking their ropes. One resident replied “but the bells were working on Sunday”- Another explanation followed!

The bells started up again. This time William and Wendy could hear that the method had started. “I thought they were going to be muffled – I can still hear them” one local proclaimed. Again William and Wendy attempted to explain and pointed out the echo effect as the bells were ringing.

After 35 minutes, the bells stopped ringing … Had they finished the quarter or had it all gone wrong?

One local said “We’ve been short changed. You said it would take 45 minutes. They’ve only been ringing for 35”. The recording had been switched off. William and Wendy remained positive and said we need to wait for the ringers to come down to see how they’ve done. Our Ringing Master, Liz, appeared. The crowd clapped and cheered … They didn’t get the quarter … Oh dear. What do we do now? This is the one we really needed to get without fail after all these months of preparation and advertising.

A quick swap around of ringers as Wendy stood in for Liz. A change of conductor and another plan of methods were discussed before a second attempt. We were all aware of the time limits to ring, so this was it. We rang, at a slightly faster pace, starting with Grandsire. An almost seamless change to Reverse Canterbury, and then Plain Bob followed. The St Simons followed but it was after this the fun and games really began. St Martins … somehow it was getting the better of us. A few crunches – several cringes on the faces of the ringers – a look of panic. We all knew the importance of getting through this. The final Plain Bob to finish off the quarter commenced. We heard “This is all”. What a relief! But by this time the locals had all gone so did not know we had achieved our goal. We had completed our tribute to Private George Henry Sharpe.

Part of the recording of the quarter can be heard via along with further information about the events at Hoby.

Further details about George Henry Sharpe can be found via

Photograph supplied courtesy of Antonia Doyle Photography.

Our New President

May 11, 2015

At the AGM of the Society, held on 2nd May 2015, members greeted with acclaim the announcement that, following an all-member ballot, Andrew S had been elected as the Society’s new Honorary President.

Retiring President Maurice H hands over to Andrew S at the 2015 AGM

Retiring President Maurice H hands over to Andrew S at the 2015 AGM

Andrew has had a long and successful ringing career, with doubtless many more years to come!  His ringing statistics are daunting.  He learnt to ring at SS Botoloph & John the Baptist, Croxton Kerrial 42 years ago, taught by John Ward, and Andrew’s service to that church continues to this day.  He has been winding the church clock for 37 years, steeple keeper for 30 years and tower captain for 21 years.  He was in the Croxton handbell team for many years when they played tunes and carols at village fetes and pubs at Christmas raising money for charity.   In the 1980s Andrew helped remove the bells from All Saints Leicester and hung them at Sproxton, a popular tower that is part of the High Framland parishes where Andrew organises a rotating weekly practice on Monday evenings.

Andrew’s first peal was rung at Buckminster, which was sponsored to raise money for the recasting of the third bell at Croxton.  Since then he has rung 21 peals, mainly for special occasions, the last one being in 2006 at Eaton to mark the 100th anniversary of the first peal on the bells.  However, he prefers ringing quarter peals, and his total to date is over 300.

Andrew is a long-standing member of the Society and has been attending meetings for 39 years and a member of the committee for, he thinks, 32 years.  He started to arrange the annual and popular Society outing 21 years ago and during this time many parts of the country (and camp sites) have been visited

Like many ringers, Andrew enjoys visiting other churches to ring..  He says he used to be a keen tower grabber, having rung at approximately 1500 towers all over England, Scotland, Ireland and the east coast of America.  Get him talking in the pub after a meeting and there are fascinating stories to tell!

Andrew says he is honoured to be President in the 140th anniversary year of the Society and he will play his part in keeping the Society active, friendly and welcoming to new members.  We congratulate him on his worthy achievement.

Framland News – January 2015

December 25, 2014

140th Anniversary

Where did it all begin?

The Society of Framland Ringers was initially founded at Waltham-on-the-Wolds on the 29th November 1875 covering the Framland Deanery.

What are the aims of the Society?

1. To encourage and promote ringing for Divine Worship.

2. To give qualified instruction to learners in the art of bell ringing and matters relating thereto.

3. To provide advice to help ensure that bells and fittings are maintained in a proper condition.

4. To give as much assistance as possible to all towers within the Society in achieving the above objective.

When and where does the Society meet?

We usually (with a few exceptions) meet on the first Saturday of each month. We do not have a meeting in January. We have our Annual General Meeting in May, and a half yearly business meeting in October. We also have an annual ringing weekend away (which is combined with camping and a BBQ). We hold a Striking Competition in December where teams are drawn on the night. All of the events are really good fun. Members and non-members are welcome to all of the Framland events. Please refer to the latest calendar for forthcoming dates and events.

How do I join?

It is easy to join. Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons who are bell ringers or who support the aims and objectives of the Society. Names should be submitted to the committee at least 14 days before the AGM/Half yearly meeting and nominees must be present at the Annual or Mid-year Meeting at which they are to be considered for membership and they have attended at least two of the Society’s ringing meetings since the last Annual or Mid-year meeting. If you wish to join, please contact the secretary for full details.

Training Sessions

The Society of Framland Ringers can assist with training sessions. Do you have ringers in your own towers ready to progress from Plain Hunt into Plain Bob? If so, contact the secretary and we can help out.


The Society is keen to keep the bells in the Deanery in good working order. If your bells are in need of attention, but you don’t know who to turn to, contact the secretary as we have experienced ringers who can point you in the right direction when it comes to carrying out bell maintenance. If more work is required and funding is limited, the Society welcomes applications for grants from local towers. All applications will be considered by the committee.

First World War Centenary Commemorations 2014-2018

As part of the centenary commemorations, the Framland Society will be taking part in a four year project at Hoby by ringing half muffled quarter peals to mark the centenary of the death of 16 men who did not return from war. Further details are available on our website.

Any Questions?

Please don’t hesitate to contact the secretary (details above) if you have any queries about the Society of Framland Ringers. We are always happy to help.

Dates for your diary

Please see our 2015 calendar.

Change of Venue for October Meeting

August 20, 2014

Due to building work at Asfordby the Half Yearly meeting on Saturday October 4th has been moved to Croxton Kerrial see Google Calendar for details (opens a new window)