We won the trophy in the Surrey Association 8 bell competition on Saturday 29 October at Betchworth. See our team, left to right: Adrian, Anthea, Nick, Mike, Linda, Kate, Paul, Anne (borrowed from Redhill). Redhill won the 6 bell competition so Anne was in both winning teams!
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
During our practice on Wednesday 16 March the 9th clapper suddenly broke. Paul denied that it was because of excessively loud ringing by the person who so often rings the 9th (him) although he wasn’t actually ringing it at the time. We are awaiting the return of the clapper from Whitechapel, which won’t be before Easter. Meanwhile ringing continues as usual, but the quarter planned for Evensong ringing on Easter Day has been cancelled.
Kingston ringers have collected a cup and a bottle of champagne for winning the Docklands Striking Challenge Competition that ran during most of 2015. See further details and photos here from Surrey Association website:
Sunday 20 December normal morning ringing. Evening ringing is ONLY 3.45-4.30 for a special community carol service.
Wednesday 23 December normal practice
Thursday 24 December ringing 10.15-11 pm for midnight service
Friday 25 December ringing from 8.30-9.30 am only
Sunday 27 December normal morning and evening ringing
Wednesday 30 December normal practice
Thursday 31 December Party then assembling for ringing at 11.45. Please get in touch if you want to come
There will be no ringing practice at Kingston on Wednesday 16 December as there is to be a carol service in church.
We started at the rather heavy going six at the impressive church of St Nicholas at Wade, so called because in medieval times it was necessary to wade through the marshes to get to the village! We didn’t have to wade through marshes to get to the Waterloo Tower in Quex Park, but it was necessary to drive across a field to get there.
The Waterloo Tower was built in 1819 by John Powell Powell to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Waterloo, The original twelve bells were cast in 1818/1819 by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel and four subsequently recast in 1951. The metal spire, not unlike the Eiffel Tower, was added by John Clark of Ramsgate in 1820. The tower and spire can be seen for miles around and several of our party took the opportunity to enjoy the views of the Thames and Kent from the top of the tower. The sound of the bells is rather mushy in the ringing chamber, making them tricky to ring to methods, but we managed to ring a bob course of Grandsire Cinques with the help of a couple of local ringers.
Lunch was taken in Minster where we had hoped to ring, but unfortunately the church was booked for an all-day conference of monks!
Following on from the light eight at Birchington with its vertical ladder, and slightly more difficult ten at St Lawrence in Thanet, we rang on the nice little six at Westgate. The last tower was Margate, a rather laborious 23cwt eight which sounded good but were hard work to ring. We felt we had acquitted ourselves fairly well during the day, especially our learners Matt and Isabelle, and were very satisfied with the outing. We celebrated with a drink and a snack in the Bell Inn in St Nicholas at Wade.