Following the building work to the top of the spiral staircase during July, we are now ringing again as usual. Do come & join us.
The long-awaited work to replace the roof skylight and re-mortar the walls at the top of the spiral staircase is due to start on 26 June and finish on 28 July. We have agreed that we will not ring during this time so that the work could be completed as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost – although it is still very expensive. While we are unable to ring at Kingston we will be arranging ringing at other towers for practices and provide suggestions for Sunday service ringing in the area where help will be appreciated.
Congratulations to Linda Aldroish on ringing her first quarter peal at Merton Park on 8 April 2017
Kingston won the Docklands Trophy, a new striking competition measured and judged by Abel on the simulator set up at Christ Church Poplar, in 2015. We decided to defend the Trophy in 2016 and managed to post a winning touch of Grandsire Doubles, scoring 97%! Roger Booth from Docklands is seen here presenting the prize of a bottle of champagne to Kingston captain Paul Flavell. This will be opened at our barbeque in August!
There will be no Wednesday practice at Kingston on the following dates:
22 March (Event in church)
12 April (Holy Week)
Here is our programme for ringing during December. All ringing will be at normal times on Wednesdays and Sundays unless shown otherwise here. In particular please note we will be having our usual practice on Wednesday 28 December and usual morning and evening ringing on Sunday 1 January:
Wednesday 14 December: No practice due to carol service.
Sunday 18 December: Evening ringing is from 3.45 pm to 4.30 pm due to early carol service.
Saturday 24 December: Ringing from 10.15 pm to 11 pm for midnight mass.
Sunday 25 December: Normal morning ringing. No evening ringing.
Saturday 31 December: Ringing in the New Year. Meet at the church at 11.45 pm after earlier party. Get in touch if you would like to come to that.
During Sunday morning ringing on 26 June the 11th clapper broke with a spectacular crash, making us all jump out of our skins. Fortunately no other damage was done and the clapper is now at Whitechapel for repair. So far this year we have now had two clappers break and one chiming wire, meaning that we have now had three breakages and don’t expect any more for some considerable time, please!
Like most towers, the Kingston upon Thames ringers has an outing each year. In odd-numbered years it is usually a day outing, and in even numbered years we make a week-end of it. This year we were mainly in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, with brief forays into Wales.
All three towers on Friday were in Wales, first the 12 at Newport Cathedral. With several of our regular ringers unable to join us we were not entirely up to strength for 12-bell ringing, but with the assistance of two Newport ringers, we were able to ring a course of Stedman Cinques and Little Bob Maximus on this lovely 12. In contrast, the bells at Tregare (5, 8 cwt) were, shall we say, “challenging”. The ringers of 4 and 5 could not see each other because there was a large cupboard in the way; when ringing up, 1 and 2 didn’t strike until the bells stood; and the third tended to drop like a stone if not very carefully nurtured. We did just about manage a plain course of Stedman Doubles. Our last tower on Friday, Dingestow, seemed easy in comparison, although there was a lot of noise from upstairs due to a sticking pulley. We rang a selection of Doubles and Minor methods.
The Saturday tour started at Staunton (6, 9¾ cwt, rung from the middle of the church). These are nice bells and we did them reasonable credit with Cambridge Minor and Stedman Doubles. Next was English Bicknor (6, 7½ cwt) which is a fine Norman church. We successfully rang a course of Norwich Surprise. Goodrich (6, 10 cwt) are another nice ring which we put to good use with several methods including Oxford Treble Bob. At Weston-under-Penyard (6, 10 cwt) we had a good raise. These are tuneful bells on which we rang Double Oxford and Stedman.
Lunch was at the New Harp in Hoarwithy, a quiet village with an interesting church (although without bells). King’s Caple bells are hard work (several are still on plain bearings) but were worth the effort. We rang Grandsire Doubles, Bob Minor and had a good lower. Bridstow (8, 8¾ cwt) were a nice ring and we did them reasonable credit with Double Norwich, Yorkshire and Stedman.
The last tower of the day was at Ross on Wye (8, 20 cwt), a very enjoyable ring although they seemed to go a bit slowly for their weight. We rang a full course of Cambridge, touch of Stedman, and had a good lower.
Sunday started with service ringing in Monmouth (8, 16¾ cwt) a fine ring to which we did reasonable credit with Stedman, Grandsire and another good lower. We then had time for a coffee break at Henry’s café where there was a table arrangement that was almost a feature of the week-end – one long table with a small round one at the end, a bit like an exclamation mark!
At Newland (6, 16¼ cwt) there was the slightly unusual arrangement that the treble needed a box, but the tenor didn’t! We were warned that the 2nd and the 5th had a tendency to go up “wrong”: the 2nd did indeed go up wrong but the local who met us put that right very efficiently. We rang Cambridge and a touch of Plain and Little on these sonorous bells.
The last tower of our tour was Lydney (10, 13½ cwt) where we rang among other things a good 2 course touch of Stedman and had a good 10-bell lower. We could hear the whistles from the local steam trains in the distance. Lunch was at the Cross Inn at Aylburton where we were well looked after. Our thanks are due to Paul and Kate Flavell for making all the arrangements and to all the tower representatives for meeting us and making us welcome.
There will be no ringing at Kingston on Sunday 19 June as we are all away on our ringing outing weekend. We look forward to seeing visitors again at Kingston very soon on Wednesdays or Sundays