Our Tower Captain
Paul moved to Kingston in 1985 when he met Kate and has been Tower Captain since 1988. He’d quite like to hand the reins on to somebody else now!
Paul is the current Master of The Surrey Association.
Kate is the Kingston bell ringers’ chief organiser and ringing teacher. She is married to the Tower Captain, Paul.
Kate learnt to ring at Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey (3cwt 6) while still at school. In 1978 she moved to Kingston and has rung there ever since. She met her husband Paul (our tower captain) through ringing and they married in 1985.
Kate has been Vice President and President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers as well as Chairman of first the Bell Restoration Committee and later the Public Relations Committee. She has also been General Master of the Surrey Association, a post now held by Paul.
She has rung nearly 150 peals but now prefers to ring quarters for pleasure and for special occasions as well as to help learners. She is a qualified ART teacher (Association of Ringing Teachers) and is enthusiastic about teaching new ringers.
She also loves tower grabbing and has rung at over 3500 towers, including all the English Cathedrals and towers in the USA, Australia, France, Holland & Belgium. One of her favourite towers is Ditcheat in Somerset – a glorious 8.
Favourite method is probably Stedman on any number but particularly well-struck Stedman Cinques.
I’m self-employed and work online, at home, and all alone – which can be quite isolating. My wife spotted an ad for bellringing and, concerned that her husband was turning into a hermit, gave me the details.
I’ve been ringing now for a little over two years, and my hermit days are long gone. Through ringing, I’ve met dozens of genuinely interesting and delightful people. And – what with beers at pubs, coffees at cafés, ringing road trips, social events, extra ringing classes, practice sessions, and actual bellringing at Sunday services – my social calendar is now as pleasantly full as I want it to be.
As for the ringing side of ringing, I love it. The sound of church bells has always moved me, but learning how those sounds are organised and how to perform them myself has been a revelation. Bellringing is both mentally stimulating and good physical exercise. It’s also a form of focused meditation in that it as good as shuts down your inner dialogue and keeps you very much in the moment. I generally leave our ringing sessions feeling fantastic!
Colin is a master baker and celebrates his ringing anniversaries with delicious brownies.
Judith and David
Taken from article in March 2023 issue of The Diocese of Southwark’s newspaper, The Bridge.
David, “Well, the story for me started at the age of 18 when I went to university. I heard two of my fellow students talking about bell ringing. It sounded fascinating and I decided to learn. After several years, at the University of London Society of Change Ringers Annual Dinner, I met Judith.”
David likened bell ringing to riding a bicycle and said: “Once you can do it, you don’t understand quite why other people can’t.”
Judith, “I was about 15 and went to an all girls school. I came from an all girls family and I wanted to meet some boys. A request was put out for young people to come and learn bell ringing. I thought, ah, that might answer my question! I wasn’t part of a church, but it sounded fun. I first learned to handle a bell and then to ring methods. Then I went off
to university and went to my first annual dinner and sat opposite me was this young man – David – and we had quite a lot of the same interests.”
Judith describes bell ringing as “an art and a science, it’s physical and intellectual. You never stop learning: it requires coordination, listening, rhythm, and it’s very much about teamwork.”
For the last 30 years they have rung with the Kingston band.
I returned to ringing in March 2023 in response to the Ring for the King call up, having learned initially in the late sixties at Winchester Cathedral where my Dad was captain. Initially I was just interested to see if I could still ring a bell but now I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to do something that it is ‘just for me’ and excludes all other thoughts while I am concentrating on where my bell should be!
I never expected to meet such an amazingly friendly group of people, thank you Kingston regulars for making me feel so welcome and thank you Paul and Kate for your patience.
About Roshan: A gardener, a novice bell ringer and a Churchwarden at All Saints, Kingston.
I have always loved the church, music and bells since my childhood days. After moving to Kingston, I used to come early to the Church to listen to the bells ringing out on Sunday before the morning service and Evensong. While attending the AGM meeting as a Churchwarden on Sunday 20th February 2021 in the ringing room, decided to join the band as a learner and to join other friendly ringers.
I started learning on 12 March 2022 and after three lessons, there was a break as Kate and Paul were on holiday. Lessons were continued from 14th May 2022. Now I’m confidently ringing rounds of 12 and practising call changes and dodging. I also achieved my Level 2 in handling the ropes.
Especially for me, the sound of the bells and ringing in a band is always soothing and calms down the mind and is a perfect example of teamwork. I do appreciate and am thankful for the patience of my teachers Paul and Kate and the support and encouragement from all the other bell ringers.
So-Shan started to learn to ring for Ringing Remembers – a campaign to recruit 1400 new ringers to ring for the First World War 100 commemorations on 11 November 2018.
She is now addicted and ringing Plain Hunt on 7 and inside for Plain Bob Doubles, although progress is rather slower than she’d like!
She looks after this website and does our social media for us.