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.
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.
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.
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
|1||Caterham A||18||2hrs 43min|
|4||Caterham B||49||2hrs 46min|
The A Patrick Cannon Trophy Eight Bell Competition
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.
by Gavin Collins
Ringers from All Saints church in Kingston made the long cross country journey to The Wirral Peninsula for their annual bell ringing our in June 2023. The idea for the tour came from Dwenna Georges, a former resident of Burton-in-Wirral who learned to ring in the area.
Dwenna describes her association with ringing as follows: “My husband had the idea that we should take up bell ringing as a pastime, and at first I came along with him to our local church to learn. But the learning opportunities were limited there, so to broaden our ringing skills, we would visit other churches so we could improve, and so I got to experience bell ringing all over the Wirral”. It soon became apparent to the Kingston Ringers that it would be a good idea to tap into Dwenna’s local knowledge so as to plan this year’s tower tour, which she did with great success!
The plan allowed for a tour of nine towers, which started with stop on the way at St Mary’s church, Nantwich which provided Paul & Kate Flavell of the Surrey Association a chance to revisit a church they had rang at 40 years ago, and to meet up with a old friend and former ringer at Kingston, Martin Turner, who would join us on the tour.
The red sandstone church at Nantwich been described as “great architectural treasure” and is decorated with ornate stone carving both inside and out, and the eight bells set in a magnificent octagonal tower are definitely worth the journey for any ringer with an interest in architecture and ringing in beautiful surroundings.
At the end of our long journey we arrived just in time to join the evening practise at St Michael’s church, Shotwick were we met a friendly band from Bangor who were also touring the area. With only 6-bells to ring and 14 ringers in the tower, it was a good opportunity to have a good chin wag with our fellow ringers and exchange notes about the ringing in Surrey and north Wales.
The second day of our tour involved a visit to six towers:
Eastham, Port Sunlight, Woodchurch, Thurstaston, Heswall & last but not least, Burton-in-Wirral. St Mary’s church, Eastham is another red sandstone church, but it was the thousand year old Yew tree growing in the churchyard that captured the imagination of Judith Robinson, probably because they have both aged so well and look so young and vigorous!
Back to where it all began: Dwenna Georges at her tower of origin, St
Nicholas’ church, Burton-in-Wirral.
Judith and her husband David also have a connection with The Wirral: “Shortly after David and I got married, we lived in a tiny cottage on the banks of the Mersey while we were waiting to move into our first house which was still under construction. I remember the spectacular views and huge ships sailing down the estuary, but it was not my idea of a good place to live, as the smell of chemicals from the nearby refinery where David worked was very strong”.
The chemical industry has been a big employer along the Mersey since Victorian times, and next church on our list is Christchurch, Port Sunlight which was built as part of the model village created by Lever Brothers whose business later merged with Unie Margarine of the Netherlands to form Unilever.
Roshan Jathnna who a church warden at Kingston was very impressed by the bell tower at Port Sunlight: “The ringing chamber is spacious, with seating on every side, and their filing system is situated behind the benches looks is so neat and ordered”. Clearly Roshan has ambitions to introduce a similar system to Kingston!
Whilst we visited Port Sunlight, another notable ringer and Ruth Blackwell joined the tour. Like Dwenna, Ruth used to ring at St Nicholas church at Burton-in Wirral and there is a ringing board there commemorating a peal of Plain Bob minor she rang there in 2009.
On the last day, we visited Chester Cathedral where we were able to join the service ringing for Sunday morning service. The bells at Chester are located in their own dedicated bell tower situated at the corner of the Cathedral gardens, with a spacious and comfortable ringing chamber.
Before heading home, we crossed over the border into Wales to ring
at St Peter’s church, Ruthin. Overall is was a great tour, and sets a
high bar in terms of the variety and quality of the bell towers we visited.
You can see all of the photographs and stories from the tour on the Kingston Bell Ringers Instagram page and in the gallery below:
By Paul Flavell
The striking competition for teams from the Home Counties was judged by John and Stephanie Warboys from the St Martins Guild, Birmingham and held at St Mary’s Walthamstow on the hottest day of the year! (Saturday 9 September 2023). After a welcome from the Rev Vanessa, Rector at Walthamstow and Andrew Kelso, Master of the Essex Association, Stephanie and John made remarks on the ringing in general and then commented on each team in the order that they rang.
We were lucky to be drawn first at 10.00am before the belfry became too hot! We had practised the test piece of Grandsire Caters on similar weight bells quite a few times and this paid off as we quickly got to grips with Walthamstow bells and rang the whole 14 minute test piece without any mistakes. Essential said the judges to keep a clean sheet as they had penalised other teams for method mistakes and trips. They said we set a really good standard for the competition. The little bells were particularly praised for controlled ringing which was maintained through the test piece. There was stiff competition from very good teams so we were absolutely delighted to win the Essex Trophy for the first time since 2006.
All our ringers travelled to Walthamstow by public transport so James White from Fleet has kindly agreed to bring the large Essex Trophy to Kingston tomorrow. We will share it out between our Surrey towers over the 12 months.
My thanks to all the ringers who took part in the squad and in the competition, well done all.
1st Surrey Association 82%
2nd Winchester and Portsmouth 80%
3rd Kent County Association 74%
4th Essex Association 72%
5th Guildford D Guild 70%
6th Middlesex 65%
Surrey Association Team
1 Caroline Prescott
2 Shirley McGill
3 Anne Rueff
4 Sheila Cheesman
5 Chris Ridley
6 Fraser Storie
7 Paul Flavell (cond)
8 Jeremy Cheesman
9 Noel Gibbin
10 Phillip Ridley
Congratulations to our tower captain, Paul Flavell on his special peal today to mark the 50th anniversary of his first peal!
The band rang 5088 Bristol Surprise Major at St James the Great, Norton, Sheffield, South Yorkshire to mark the 50th anniversary of Paul Flavell’s first peal on 18th June 1970 – a celebration delayed by Covid!
Paul said “It went very well and was a trip down memory lane for me as I learned to ring at Norton (Sheffield) in the late 1960s and rang there till 1985. I shall enjoy my curry tonight!” Enjoy! And a couple of pints too!🍺
St James the Great
Friday, 23 June 2023 in 3h 4 (15–2–6 in F)
5088 Bristol Surprise Major
Composed by A G Reading
1 David Hird
2 Shirley E McGill
3 Simon Humphrey
4 Robert M Wood
5 Paul J Flavell (C)
6 Christopher M Bennett
7 Ian Roulstone
8 Claire F Roulstone
50th Anniversary peal on Bellboard
And here’s the first:
Our Bell Sunday service appears on page 4 of the June edition of The Bridge, the newspaper for the Diocese of Southwark. The quarter peal rung for the Coronation in Kingston is also featured on the front page!
You can also pick up a copy in the church.
17 for Coronation morning ringing so plenty of rounds on 12 (first time for Ring for the King learner Anne – well done!👏🏻); Grandsire Caters; PH9 for Gavin and then So-Shan (both got the very good thumbs up👍🏻); Kings on 12 for Anne and finished off with some lovely rounds on 12 🔔
We welcomed Danica De Giorgio and Nick Phillips from Sky News Australia to the tower on Wednesday night. They are over in London to cover the Coronation and wanted to find out about the Ring for the King initiative and meet some of our learners.
You can watch the clip here.