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Bell ringing for DoE Awards

Our three DoE teens with their tutors, Kate and Paul


Our newest recruits – friends Ed, the two Maxes – Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award participants, reflect on their bell-ringing experiences.

Ed

Ed’s first go at PH6, under the tuition of Chris

I am Ed and I have taken up bell ringing for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award is a way of doing challenges with an award; I have taken this up with my school as many do. I have to do volunteering, physical and skills development. I chose bell ringing for the skills development part. I chose bell ringing because my grandma does bell ringing and I was always fascinated by how the bells worked so I saw this as my best opportunity to do it. 

For my award I had to be able to ring rounds on up to 12, be able to ring call changes on at least 6 bells and be able to ring plain hunt on one of any bells.

Some highlights of bell ringing are being able to ring plain hunt on the treble, second and third bell. Another highlight of bell ringing would definitely be going to all the different churches with the Surrey Association young ringers, the Surrey Strikers, and ringing the bells.

One of the things I like about bell ringing is the sociability of it, just getting to know everyone in the tower was very fun for me as everyone is so nice.

In the future I am looking forward to being able to ring complicated pieces like Cambridge Maximus or Stedman but that is still very far from this point.

Keeping it in the family!

Ed pictured ringing with his grandmother. They recently rang a quarter peal together. Ed’s first! A special occasion – you can like it on Bellboard.

Max

Max (centre) ringing with fellow Surrey Strikers (Surrey Association’s youth band) band mates Fraser and Ed

I started learning bell ringing for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. The Duke of Edinburgh award is a youth programme set up to encourage self-reliance, responsibility, social interaction and teamwork and is active in over 144 countries. I chose to start learning bell ringing for the Skills element of my Bronze award, alongside my friends Max and Ed, whose grandmother is a ringer and introduced us to the tower captain at All Saints Church in Kingston. I have really enjoyed learning to ring, and my favourite part is going to different
towers across the country and meeting new people. In the future I hope to learn more methods and visit more towers.

Max C

We are continuing with tradition and when a second person joins the tower with the same name, the second person needs to use their surname initial and forever be called that, sorry Kate C and Max C!

“I started bell ringing in late February 2024 as I was looking for a fun, interesting activity to do for my skills section of my DofE. The DofE is comprised of 3 sections, skills, physical and volunteering, and an expedition. I chose my skill to be for 3 months as I didn’t expect to continue bell ringing but as soon as I started I got stuck in.

Some of my friends, Max and Ed, had started it before me and recommended it as they seemed to enjoy it and it would tick off a section of my DofE. I was taught by two lovely spirited people, Paul and Kate, who helped me become the great bell ringer I am today. It really is quite the skill and so took me some time to learn but after I had gotten the hang of it I really started to enjoy it.

It’s really interesting also to see the history of bell ringing on the walls of the ringing room – it seems to be a part of the Kingston community since the 19th century, maybe even further back. To complete my section I had to learn bell ringing up level 2 and participate in various social events. However it was only after I had completed it that I realised how fast it had gone by. The whole experience doesn’t feel like work and more like a fun hobby.

One of the highlights of my bell ringing journey so far would definitely be exploring different bell towers and trying to ring their bells. You get to see different towers and ring different bells, and belong to a strong community. I am looking forward I hope to become more able in different pieces such as plain hunt and then method ringing.”

The teens are proud to have represented Surrey Association in the RW National Ringing Competition – here they are with their medals
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Ringing out for Peace

Rounds, call changes and Plain Hunt for Ringing Out for Peace – 80th Anniversary of D-Day Landings

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Kingston Communities Awards 2024


Kate and Paul Flavell were recently nominated for a Kingston Celebrating Communities Awards 2024 in the category ‘Unsung hero’ – celebrating dedication in a volunteer role. The event recognised the amazing contributions volunteers and communities across Kingston, and was organised by the Empowering People, Supporting Communities Partnership, a partnership of Voluntary and Community sector and the Council.

The nomination came from fellow Kingston bell ringers who have benefited from their dedication, So-Shan Au, with contributions from Kate Corney and Dwenna Georges. Although they didn’t win – there were 27 nominees in their category – they are winners in our eyes. Congratulations Kate and Paul!

“Kate and Paul Flavell are the epitome of unsung heroes within the bell ringing community. Their tireless dedication and commitment to the art of bell ringing make them exceptional candidates for the Unsung Hero award in Kingston’s Celebrating Communities Awards 2024.

For years, Kate and Paul have devoted countless hours to the preservation, promotion and teaching of ringing, a tradition that’s ingrained in the cultural heritage of Kingston and Britain. What sets Kate and Paul apart is not only their technical proficiency in ringing but also their passion for sharing this ancient craft with others. 

They have selflessly volunteered their time to teach newcomers: their willingness to mentor and support aspiring ringers has played a pivotal role in ensuring the continuation of this timeless tradition. They taught me in 2018 as part of the national campaign to recruit ringers for Ringing Remembers. Recently, they have been teaching and encouraging three 14-year-olds for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, devoting a lot of time and effort to pass on the traditions so that ringing continues to have a future.

Kate has been a member of the Kingston band since 1978. Paul joined the band in 1985 and assumed the role of Tower Captain at All Saints in 1988. Throughout these many years, they have instructed numerous learners in bell ringing and have overseen the care of the bells at Kingston, where we are fortunate to possess 12 magnificent bells. They maintain a sufficient number of ringers for regular church services (both Sunday morning and evensong ringing), civic events, celebrations, and memorials. Additionally, Paul sees to it that the flag is raised on designated flag flying days and to commemorate other significant occasions throughout the year.

Kate and Paul’s contributions extend far beyond the confines of their local church tower. They actively participate in regional bell ringing events, and have taken on voluntary roles within the broader ringing community. Paul is currently Master of the Surrey Association of Bell Ringers. Kate was Vice-President (2008-2011) and then President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (2011-2014) – plus, both have been judges for countless ringing competitions. 

Kate and Paul approach each ringing session with boundless enthusiasm and a genuine love for the craft. Through their generosity and commitment to the art of bell ringing, they have touched the lives of countless individuals and enriched their community in ways that will resonate for generations to come.”

So-Shan was taught by Kate and Paul for Ringing Remembers
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Surrey Association Northern District outing in London

Some of the Kingston bell ringers joined the Surrey Association Northern District outing in London on Saturday 18 May 2024, expertly organised by John from Wimbledon. It had great bells and an interesting and circular tour around London. I did 16,6000 steps that day!

Tower 1: St Dunstan in the West, Fleet Street (10 bells)

Tower 2: Christ Church, Spitalfields (8 bells)

Tower 3: Southwark Cathedral (12 bells)

Tower 4: St John’s, Waterloo (8 bells)

More photos can be seen on the Surrey Association’s Facebook page.

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Upcoming dates: May–July 2024

Thursday 9 May, 18:45-19:30
Ascension Day service

Saturday 11 May, Surrey Association AGM Godstone
Tea 17:00; Meeting 17:30

Saturday 1 June 10:00-11:30
Visiting ringers from Guildford

Thursday 6 June 6:30-6:50 pm Ringing out for Peace
(80th anniversary of D-Day, part of wider Kingston & UK celebrations)

Sunday 16 June Civic Service at 11:00
Ring from end of 09:30 service

Saturday 6 July, Ordination service 11:00
Ring for ordination service for Sarah

Saturday 13 July
Kingston bell ringers outing to Cirencester area

Sunday 14 July, Quarter Peal for Sarah at 17:00-18:00
Sarah will be taking her first communion Sunday 14 July morning after being ordained priest the week before.

Sunday 21 July (after evening ringing)
Annual Kingston bell ringers BBQ

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Diamond wedding Quarter peal

Congratulations!

Happy 60th wedding anniversary Andrew and Shirley!

What a beautiful wedding photo!

A diamond wedding quarter peal was rung for Kingston bell ringers, Andrew and Shirley Bolton at All Saints Church on Sunday 10 December 2023 to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary celebrations (taking place 21 December 2023).

Go like it on Bellboard.

1280 Turramurra Surprise Major Composed by Becks Best 1280 The band (l-r front 1 Kate Flavell; 2 Isaac W Johnson; 3 Dylan Thomas; 4 Mike Bangham; back l-r 5 Paul J Flavell (C); 6 Linda Georgiades; 7 Fraser A Storie; 8 James White
First blows in method: 3, 7; First quarter in the method: 2

You can view a video snippet (by kind permission of Thomas Ashwinsiejkowski) of the special #turramurrasurprisemajor#quarterpeal on Instagram.


If anyone from the ringing world knows them from their time ringing in the North of England, Australia or South Africa, get in touch and we will pass on your wishes to them.

Congratulations from the Kingston bell ringers! ❤️🥂

Shirley and Andrew at Sunday coffee morning
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Surrey Association on Instagram

Surrey Association on Instagram

Surrey Association is now on Instagram. Follow them to find out more about bellringing, meet the Towers in the association and find out what is happening in the association.

They are also on Facebook and X/Twitter.

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Ringing in December/Christmas 2023

Unless shown otherwise below there will be normal practices in December, Wednesdays from 7.45 pm and normal ringing Sunday mornings and evenings from 08:30-09:30 and 17:00-18:00.

Saturday 9 December – Christmas Tree Festival starts.  

Sunday 10 December – Evensong quarter peal. No ringing.

Wednesday 13 December – No practice.
Tiffin’s carol service, ringing not required.  
Possible social event (tbc – contact us to join in).

Sunday 24 December – Normal morning ringing.
Then ringing for midnight mass from 22:15-23:00.

Monday 25 December – Morning ringing 08:30-09:30, followed by coffee and Christmas treats somewhere.

Wednesday 27 December – Normal practice night.

Sunday 31 December – Normal morning and evening ringing. Ringing the New Year in at midnight. Meet in church at 23:30.

Wednesday 3 January – Normal practice night.

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No practice 01/11/23

No practice 01/11/23

There will be a function at All Saints Church on the evening of Wednesday 1 November 2023 so there will be no ringing practice that night.

Kingston bell ringers will instead be going for a curry. If any of our regular visitors would like to join us for curry night, do get in touch with us and we can book you a place.

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Surrey Association striking competition

Kingston wins the 8 bell Surrey Association striking competition

The A Patrick Cannon Trophy Eight Bell Competition returns to the Kingston tower

Report by Paul Flavell, Master Surrey Association

The Association Striking Competitions were held on the afternoon of Saturday 7 October 2023 for the first time since 2019, and we are delighted that four six bell teams and two eight bell teams took part at East Molesey. The judge was Neil Jones from Kent County Association who was quite complimentary about the ringing. The results were:

The Taylor Trophy Six Bell Competition

TeamFaultsPeal speed
1Caterham A182hrs 43min
2Kingston 302hrs 51min
3Croydon 362hrs 47min
4Caterham B492hrs 46min

Kingston’s 6 bell band: Daniel, Paul, Mike, Kate, Zoe and Gabriel © Alan Cooke


The A Patrick Cannon Trophy Eight Bell Competition 

TeamFaultsPeal speed
1Kingston 372hrs 56min
2Caterham422hrs 54min

Congratulations to Caterham A and Kingston for their successes and also many thanks to everybody for taking part. 

Many thanks to Neil Jones and also to Jane Marsters and the East Molesey ringers for kindly hosting the event and providing welcome cups of tea and biscuits.

The winning 8 bell ringers: Daniel, Fraser, Jason, Paul, Mike, Zoe, Kate and Gabriel © Alan Cooke