November message from the Guild Master

For a long time, I have marked the passing years by the amount of daylight at practice nights. After the long summer evenings when it is warm and light at nine o’clock, we now have the winter months when we arrive in darkness to a dimly lit church, and possibly chilly ringing room. What a contrast to the heat of the summer when sandals and shorts are the preferred dress code and a ringing room with a fan is a positive blessing.

The summer brings a plethora of wedding ringing, tower outings, fetes, barbeques and a general air of celebration. We have had much to celebrate with the ODG Team winning the Ringing World National Youth Striking Competition in July at St Francis Xavier, Liverpool. It was a superb achievement for everyone involved in the preparation and the successful outcome and, again, I am delighted to congratulate Izzy (South Oxon), Daniel (Reading), Corey (Central Bucks), Ben (EBSB), Thomas (Reading), Sophie (Old North Berks), Dougie (North Bucks) and Josh (Old North Berks) not forgetting the adults who, nurtured, coached, persuaded and supported all the team, especially Colin Newman and Jenny Page. Thank you all for putting our younger ringers right in the spotlight.

The success of the ODG young ringers neatly takes me to our more mature ringers – of which I am one! From time to time I overhear comments which can be translated to something like ‘There are an awful lot of old ringers and we need to do something about it’. Yes, we do need to recruit, retain, encourage and support young recruits and there is much going on in many parts of the ODG to achieve this. More needs to be done and more will be done.

We also value our stalwart ringers; older, maybe wiser, often hugely experienced, sometimes just taking first steps into their ringing journey. In my travels around the guild territory, especially away from the city and larger town centres, these are the ringers who keep the small churches and village bells sounding out across the local communities; communities who most appreciate hearing their bells being rung for services and practices. The more skilful the rounds, call changes or doubles, the more pleasure our ringing brings to many non-ringers and worshippers alike; the music is a resonant comfort and an echo of centuries.

So, let us make all young ringers feel excited about developing their ringing knowledge and skills, welcome them on every occasion and cherish the loyal, steadfast members too.

And finally, by the time the next Odd Bob edition is in the towers, Christmas will just be just a few weeks away. At this time ringing comes to the fore, congregations will expect to hear the bells at carol services, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, ringing out the old year and bringing in 2020. Enjoy the festivities and recognise how important our ringing is to so many people who never see us, but they hear our message.

Safeguarding Guidance – June 2019 update

On behalf of Alison Hodge, SM Workgroup Lead, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

As mentioned in Chris Mew’s article in The Ringing World in September (page 904), Chris has prepared a new set of guidance on safeguarding; this is now available here: https://cccbr.org.uk/resources/stewardship-and-management/ (select the Tower Operation tab).

This includes the guidance and 3 appendices. The guidance and appendices are also available separately so that they can be customised as necessary and used appropriately.

Appendix A is a sample role description for completion for a bell ringing leader, Appendix B is a sample role description for completion for a safeguarding officer of a society, Appendix C is a good practice guide for display in your tower (after removing any other out of date guidance that may be there).

Please note the following from the guidance – “ Most ringing towers come under the jurisdiction of the Church of England, Church in Wales and Scottish churches all of which have common requirements. The UK legal requirements extend to other denominations and secular rings, whilst churches and ringing establishments outside the UK will be subject to local laws. In all cases ringers should maintain good practice principles whenever dealing with young and vulnerable persons.”

May we take this opportunity to thank Chris Mew for all the work that he has done for the Council and ringers more generally for many years. As he said in his article, he is handing over this responsibility at the end of 2019.

General Committee Meeting – November 2019

The arrangements for the November 2019 committee meeting are now available. For details, please see the attached arrangements.

The Guild  10-bell striking competition is taking place on the same day at Warfield, starting at 10:00am. So why notmake a day of it and listen to the contest ringing, even if you are not in one of the competing Branch teams.

Below can be found papers relating to Novemebr 2019 General Committee and the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Bell Fund.  The F&GP report is also linked below.

Committee Meeting arrangements November 2019

Gen Comm Papers Nov 2019

Bell Fund AGM minutes 2019

Bell Fund EGM Agenda and Presentation

Bell-Fund-Rules-April-2019

F&GP report to Nov 19 Gen Mtg

 

ODG 6-Bell Final 2019

Article written by Bobbie May

ODG 6- Bell Final at Chalfont St Peter on Saturday October 5th 2019

Eight teams dodged the inclement intervals and two entertaining judges, Louise Booth, Bermondsey, and Linda Georgiadis, St Giles, London, deliberated on the teams’ attempts. The church itself is ideally situated in front of an enormous car park, so ringers weren’t left scrambling for car-parking space!

Linda and Louise introduced themselves in true “Strictly” style and explained their methods of marking.

Team

 

Branch Comment Faults

 

Placing
Wokingham All Saints Sonning Deanery Rang doubles with a good open hand-stroke though the tenor behind had some issues. Quite good ringing with some unevenness. 50 5th
Oxford St Giles Oxford Rang plain courses. They had difficulty getting the right rhythm but it was a good attempt 135 8th
Aylesbury Central Bucks Fairly steady ringing. They made a recovery from a hairy moment and kept going! 98 7th
Woughton on the Green North Bucks They had a few ‘moments’ early on but it sorted itself out later. 78 6th
Abingdon Old North Berks A nice piece of ringing! The tenor kept a lot closer here encouraging the other ringers to keep it moving along! 38 1st
High Wycombe EBSB Another nice piece of ringing and the tenor also kept it moving. 40 2nd
Thatcham Newbury Much slower test piece and they struggled with hand-stroke leads but otherwise fair ringing. 48 4th
Drayton St Leonard South Oxon Treble and tenor were a good combination. Slower ringing but they rang as a team/ 44 3rd

The judges agreed on the placings of the bands, though they didn’t go into great detail over individual attempts.

Deputy Master, Tony Crabtree, ensured that the day ran smoothly and thanked the local bands for their excellent catering and the stewards for their hard work.

Abingdon team
R-L Treble Priscilla Morris, 2. Susan Read 3. Brian Read 4. Sarah Barnes 5. Isaac O’Shea (c) 6. Tim Pett
High Wycombe team

R-L Treble Sheila George 2, Patricia Newton 3, David Sullivan 4, George Whiteside 5, Robert Newton (c) 6, James Vockins
Drayton St Leonard team
L-R Treble Linda Blansjaar 2, Daniel Rogers 3, Hilarie Rogers (c) 4, Christopher Rogers 5, John White 6, Amy Herlihy
Thatcham team
L-R Treble Susan E. Smith 2, Janet John 3, John Kape 4, Graham John 5, Anthony D.Smith (c) 6, Mark Backhouse
Wokingham All Saints team
R-L Treble Jane Mellor 2, Nigel Mellor 3, Stephen R. Smith 4, Jon Tutcher 5. John Harrison (c) 6, Kristin Fitch
Woughton on the Green team
R-L Treble, Jennifer Brookman 2, Brian Baldwin 3, Martin Petchey 4, Paul Cromblehome 5, Simon Head (c) 6, Graham Bartholomew
Aylesbury team
R-L Treble Rachel Sheppard 2, Sue Haines 3, Anne Hughes 4, Darren Washington 5, Grant Edney 6, Duncan Purchase (c)
Oxford St Giles team
R-L Treble Mona Setje-Eilers 2, Sara Jones 3, Jamie Allport 4, Kathy Xu 5, John Pusey (c) 6, Andrew Spicer

Events Update May 2020

VE Day Anniversary & ODG Ringing Day

The government announced earlier this year that the May Day bank holiday in
2020 is to be moved from the Monday to the following Friday (8th May) to
bring it in line with the anniversary of VE Day. They and the Central
Council of Church Bell Ringers have asked for special ringing that day and
preferably at 7:00pm. Further details can be found at
https://cccbr.org.uk/2019/06/18/ve-day-75th-anniversary/

Our Ringing Day will also take place on that day in Vale of White Horse
Branch, ending early enough in the day for ringers to ring in their own
towers for the VE Anniversary celebrations.

Guild AGM & Eight Bell Competition

We are moving the eight-bell striking competition to the same day (and
location) as the Guild AGM. The Old North Berks Branch will host these
activities on Saturday 16th May. Our thought is to start the competition at
2:00pm and to follow it with the business meeting (c 4:15pm) with the
results of the competition announced during the meeting. The other
arrangements for the day will be announced later.

In recent years the Guild striking contests have been a good gathering of
members with plenty of socialising, whilst we have seen Branches that have
been hosting the AGM have faced challenges organising activities that
attract members to the AGM day. Hence the proposal is to combine the
eight-bell contest, which has previously been held on the early May Day bank
holiday, and the AGM.

Guild Calendar

The Guild calendar has been updated to show all the events in the coming 9 months. View it at http://odg.org.uk/diary/.

Oxford Diocesan Guild 8 bell striking competition

Article and photos by Lindsay Powell

The Oxford Diocesan Guild 8 bell competition took place at St Mary the Virgin Great Brickhill, in the North Bucks branch on Monday 6th May. With a wonderful tea provided by the Great Brickhill WI, ringers were able to stroll between the village hall and the church, and listen to some very enjoyable ringing.

Four courses of Grandsire Triples was set as the test piece, and the competition was judged by Paul and Kate Flavell, who said the judging had been made difficult by the quality of the ringing.  Seven branches entered teams – two more than the previous year, and the ODG youth band joined in. Although they did not complete the test piece, they gave us all a lesson in ringing down in peal, and we wish them the very best for the youth competition later in the year.

Winning St MAry and St Giles team
St Mary & St Giles (Reading) team from left to right in ringing order (treble to tenor) 1. June A Saint, 2. June D Wells, 3. Jenny Page, 4. Tim Hayward, 5. Stephen Bennett, 6. Daniel J Page, 7. Stephen A Rossiter (c), 8. E John Wells

Reading St Mary and St Giles came first with a score of 85%, and the judges said that while the pace was fast, the little bells gave the big bells enough space, and they created a very good rhythm. High Wycombe came a close second, with 83%.  They made no method mistakes and the striking improved as the test piece went on.  Third were Central Bucks, with a score of 80%. There was only one method mistake and a very good recovery. In fourth place were Tilehurst with 78%, 5th place was tied between EBSB and Banbury on 75%, with North Bucks in 7th on 64%.

Stephen A Rossiter, the Reading team captain receiving the trophy from judges
Stephen A Rossiter, the Reading team captain receiving the trophy from judges Paul and Kate Flavell

Many thanks were offered to our hosts in the North Bucks Branch for the welcome, stewarding and the tea, and everyone had a very enjoyable afternoon. The judges presented the trophy to Stephen Rossiter, the Reading team captain.

Auction for bell-themed stained glass window

Some of you will already know about the commissioning of a new stained glass window with the theme of bells and bell ringing at Blewbury (Project Resound). Here is the link to the project on the village website: http://blewbury.co.uk/?s=Resound+
Our biggest fund raising event will be a promises auction, to be held at 7.00pm on 11th May in Blewbury Village Hall. This will be an exciting evening, starting with wine tasting and canapes. There are many outstanding and unique promises on offer and the auctioneer is very entertaining. Lot 10 is a fantastic opportunity for 6 people to visit Westminster Abbey and have an after hours personal tour of the bells and Abbey. Lot 1 is the chance for two to have a helicopter flight with our own Guild Treasurer, Stuart Gibson. There is something small or large for everybody and I have attached the list of promises for you all to see (please note that the Westminster Abbey experience has now been increased to 6 people).
The cost is £10 each, including wine tasting, canapes and cheese and biscuits, and everyone is welcome to come along with friends and family. Please can you forward this email around your tower members and to any non-ringing family or friends who might be interested.
Please let me me know as soon as possible if you would like to come along as tickets are selling fast! Please send an email to gillianloyd@gmail.com .
Thanks
Gill Loyd
Secretary ONB Branch