|Established January 17 1881|
Welcome to the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
LATEST NEWS and EVENTS for 2016 :
|O.D.G. Ringing Day and 8-Bell Competition|
The early May Bank Holiday must have been a triumph for the Bell Fund if early intelligence is to be trusted. One of the stewards collected £90 from two towers, albeit one selling day tickets, and a four bell tower at that, which seemed to be doing brisk business. Despite dire warnings to the contrary many towers started ahead of schedule, in the main, those in isolated rural spots. The heavenly beginning to the day was, however, masked with cloud and even some quite heavy showers later on, though, thankfully, the entrance to the competition tower, Chieveley, was inside the church and not through an outside door!
Stanford Dingley (4) seemed to be a great attraction with its four ropes in a straight line, the treble not being everyone's choice of bell with its lack of handstroke pull! The new ring at Great Shefford, now a beautiful anti-clockwise 6, drew people in having for so long been unringable. I baulked at the next tower since Great Shefford had been something of a free-for-all and not wishing to end up with the tenor at East Garston, or any of them if I'm honest, left for the competition venue, despite its being the home tower or one of our revered Past Masters, Cyril Jenkyn. Our young ringers, ODG Youth Band, appeared in time to ring in the competition, by the skin of their teeth and then dashed off to do some more tower grabbing! I admire their energy.
For some, the main business of the day was the eight-bell change-ringing competition, the test piece this year being Little Bob. Judges were Alan Shepherd, assisted by John Harrison: generally the bells were difficult and everyone had trouble though most of the ringing was good.
Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master, thanked everyone who took part; Richard Marshall, who was in charge of the ordering of the day, the Incumbent who allowed the bells to be rung, Rosemary Evans for marshalling the troops and getting the teams through with maximum efficiency, the branch caterers who provided excellent sustenance, the teams for taking part, the Judges for giving up their day and the stewards for opening the towers and contributing to the smooth running of the day.
The AGM of the Guild will be held on Saturday 21st May 2016 at 2pm at Faringdon Church, Barber Rooms.
Please can members of the guild indicate their intention to attend the meeting to , Guild Steward, by Saturday 14th May either by email or telephone (01844 352926).
This is so that we can be sure we have a quorum. If you are unable to do so in advance, you will still be welcome to attend.
The events planned for the day, including booking details for lunch and activities along with the papers for the AGM can be found here.
|Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund Sponsored Ringing Week|
The 2016 Leap Year Sponsored Ringing Event is almost upon us again!
The Sponsored Ringing ‘Week’ will be 20th to 29th February, The Shield will be presented to the Branch raising the greatest amount per head of membership.
It's a great opportunity for ringers of all abilities to have some fun and do a bit of extra ringing to generate sponsorship for the Bell Fund. It does not have to be quarter peals and peals, all sorts of ringing at all levels of ability qualify. And where appropriate Gift Aid can be applied to the sponsorship money making sponsorship even more valuable!
The Trustees appreciate the efforts if everyone who organises and rings in this event which is a key fund-raising activity for the Bell Fund.
Sponsorship forms are available to down load by following this link or can be supplied by the .
|Ten Bell Striking Competition 2015|
Each of Guild's competitions and meetings takes place on a 15-year rotation, the number of branches in the Guild. This time it was Sonning Deanery's turn with the light but challenging bells at Warfield. The judge was the ever-accommodating Mike Wigney from Barnes. Mike stood in at the last minute and was ideal. Not only did he judge it alone but he had a result within 7 minutes and with seven teams competing! The competition piece was 288 Little Bob Royal and all the teams finished, though few without the odd ‘splat’ as Mike would have said.
The results and comments are as follows:
Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master, who organized the day, had a long list of ‘thank-yous’ as the morning had progressed seamlessly. Local ringer, John Brownscombe and his wife Gisella, took care of the marshalling and Aidan Hopkins not only had the visitors' book to which he directed the ringers but a map of all the local hostelries, with the size of each showing whether you had to book or not! The locals, who are down to 5, were delighted to have heard all their bells rung well. Sue Sargeant and her team provided refreshments. Alan congratulated the Reading team for their twelfth win in the ten-bell competition since its inception. A good morning was had by all despite the inclement weather.
|8 Bell Striking Competition 2015|
This years 8 Bell contest was hosted by the Central Bucks Branch, and Winslow was tower of choice for the 6 Teams to test their skills with 252 changes of Plain Bob Triples.
The weather was fine and ideal for consuming some excellent ringing on these quite challenging bells. All the bands were congratulated by Peter Blight, our Judge, for delivering some enjoyable, competent and confident ringing. Encouragingly there were no fire-outs!
EBSB rang first with a peal speed of 3:08. A very enjoyable and competent piece of ringing attracting 68 faults Next were Tilehurst. Peal speed 3:10, backstroke leads caused some issues but the ringing was improving all the time. 67 faults North Bucks rang third, peal speed 3:10. Very good ringing with trips coming in clusters then settling again. 63 faults. Banbury branch were next, ringing at a peal speed of 3:16 this was the slowest ringing. They had a &lquo;moment” and recovered well. 86 faults. Oxford City were 5th to ring. They seemed to disagree about the speed they wanted to ring at. Peal speed 3:14, 77 faults. High Wycombe were last to ring pushing the bells along at 3:06 peal speed. Excellent ringing. 46 faults.
So High Wycombe retain the Trophy, the 10th time they have won the 8 bell competition. North Bucks score their 2nd Second place, the first was at the inaugural competition in 1982 and Tilehurst record their 5th Third place.
We are grateful to the ringers and incumbent at Winslow for the use of the bells, to Brian and Paul who acted as Marshals and kept the competition flowing. We thank the Winslow ringers who provided an ample supply of delicious tea, sandwiches and cakes, and Peter Blight our judge.
|New discussion forum|
At the Spring meeting of the Guild's General Committee, a new discussion slot was launched by the Master, Hilarie Rogers, to take advantage of an opportunity not just to transact the usual business but also to discuss matters that affect us all while members from all branches are in one place. It is planned to make this a regular feature of General Committee meetings from now on.
In Hilarie's words: “The things we need to consider as ringers at all levels – tower, Branch and Guild – include being relevant to those around us; attracting and retaining new ringers; making the best use of each practice; and following up people's reasons for leaving. As this General Committee meeting is one of the few occasions when people from all branches come together, I would like us to spend a little time sharing ideas.”
One person from each of the Guild's 15 branches was invited to consult members beforehand and to speak at the meeting for up to 2 minutes on these questions:
A summary of the main answers is here.
Question 1 takes up more space than Question 2, but not because I flagged at the end! Rather, towers across the Guild have clearly tried a wide range of approaches to recruiting and retaining ringers, but the same reasons for giving up were mentioned time and again. Even for Question 1, some answers came up more than once, so several bullet points are "composites" based on more than one individual response.
James Champion, Hon. General Secretary.
|10 Bell Striking Competition 2014 – Results|
here are the headlines results of the 23 Guild 10 Bell Striking Competition, held on Saturday 22 November at Long Crendon.
The test piece was 270 Grandsire Caters, picked out by Charles Botting which contained a number of "runs" to test the striking.
We are very grateful to our Judges Kate and Paul Flavell, this is the 4th time they have judged the 10 bell contest for us.Thanks you also to Andrew Haseldine and the Long Crendon ringers for making the arrangements for us to use their bells and for providing excellent refreshments.
Note that the 1999 competition had only 2 entrants.
|ODG 6 Bell Striking Competition 2014 and 50th Annual Striking Competition Final|
On the first real day of Autumn the annual competition was held this year in the Old North Berks branch. ‘Old’ because when the boundaries changed in 1974 the branch suddenly found itself transferred entirely to Oxfordshire and Berkshire got Slough. Who said life wasn't fair? Not wishing to lose its connections with Berkshire it decided to add ‘Old’ in a moment of nostalgia.
As there were 11 teams entering the heats were held at Cholsey and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell. Heat 1, Cholsey, was judged by Doug Hird and Nicki Kings from Newport Pagnell, the bands going through to the final being Caversham, Hanslope and Drayton St Leonard. Heat 2, Brightwell, was judged by Tony Crabtree and Joe Norton from Vale of the White Horse: the successful bands here were Wokingham All Saints, Thatcham and High Wycombe.
The six remaining teams in the competition assembled variously at Aston Tirrold church and Aston Tirrold church hall, which in the sunshine is a rural idyll and which, after dark, feels more like the last outpost of Empire, though the pub is lively enough. Someone said that Tim Henman lives here. That might explain a lot of things.
Aston Tirrold church bells are famous for several things; their loudness and their waywardness. They have also been silent for very many years. However, one noble gentleman, Christopher Hawker, decided to take them to task and, having made them reasonably ringable, began to teach a band. The locals were delighted that their bells were being rung again but, it turns out, they would have been even more delighted if they, the bells, could have been rung a little more nicely. The Old North Berks Branch, in its wisdom, decided that this was reason enough to have the finals at Aston Tirrold (!)
Even to experienced bands they turned out to be a bit of a handful, such bells as Geoff Dodd would have referred to as a ‘handy little six’. The judge, Mike Wigney from Chiswick, declared that they weren't easy bells and that the treble had been a challenge to all teams. The results were as follows: E. B. S. B, represented by High Wycombe, came first with 14 faults, Thatcham from Newbury Branch came 2nd with 15 faults and Wokingham All Saints (Sonning Deanery) and Drayton St Leonard (South Oxon) tied for third place with 19 faults. Hanslope and Caversham came 5th and 6th respectively. Special comment must be made that diminutive Daniel Page wrestled the terrible treble and came away unscathed and Bill Butler, it was claimed, from Thatcham who was congratulated on managing that same bell without incurring the judge's criticism.
After the adjudication Christopher Hawker hoped that the locals' dreams had been realized by the ringing of the bells by experienced teams!
The Ted Peett 6-bell trophy was presented to Patricia Newton of the High Wycombe team by the Judge, Mike Wigney.
Alan Marchbank, Guild Deputy Master and MC for the afternoon thanked all and sundry who made this happy occasion and 50th annual 6-bell competition so successful.
|Guild Master's Blog|
You may have noticed a new entry on the menu at the top of the guild web pages; blog which links to Hilarie's blog. This will grow over time chronicling some of her experiences upon assuming the mantle of Guild Master after the AGM in May.
|Guild 8 Bell Competition News|
In the Guild 8 Bell Competition on Bank Holiday Monday, 7 teams battled to take home the Trophy. Chris Povey and Richard Lewis-Skeath, were the judges and placed the teams as follows
So once again a victory for High Wycombe, but by a narrow margin as Oxford City overcame the might of the Reading Band taking a very comfortable 2nd place!
Full report and Pictures will be in Odd Bob and the Comic in due course. Thanks to the Witney and Woodstock Branch for making it possible and for all the arrangements.
The May 2013 issue of Odd Bob, the guild newsletter is now available for download.
|2011 Young Ringer Awards|
The results for the Award Scheme were announced at the Guild AGM in May. 2011 saw a record number participate in the scheme, with 10 registering at the start and 8 making submissions for assessment at the end of the year. The results were:
Jack Page was also awarded the trophy for the most impressive achievements during the year. The trophy was given some years ago by Ian and Meg Rodrick, ringers at Bodicote (Banbury) in memory of their daughter.
The Master presented certificates to those who were present at the AGM, and presented Jack with the trophy. For details of the Award Scheme (provisionally planned to run again from April 2013) see the education pages.
|EBSB FUND RAISING|
A link to the EBSB fund raising website (http://www.bellfund.org.uk/) from our Guild website has been added. Please follow through our "links" page to learn about and support the project.
|EDUCATIONAL TRAINING AIDS|
There are now a number of educational training leaflets available on the Guild website. These may be freely downloaded and used for your own personal education or as a teaching aid for new recruits
About the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers
The ODG is a territorial society representing bell ringers in the English counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, which together comprise the Diocese of Oxford.
The Diocese now covers the counties of Berkshire (118 churches), Buckinghamshire (152 churches), Oxfordshire (227 churches). A full list of each Branch and Towers in alphabetical order can be found in the History section.
There are Fifteen Branches within the Oxford Diocesan Guild - each Branch is represented on the Branch Map - each Branch maintains its own Branch website and the content of each Branch website is therefore not under the direct control of the Guild Officers.
Each Branch Secretary maintains the details of each tower and their respective contacts and as these can change they are not provided or maintained on the Guild website. However an A5 booklet listing all current tower correspondents and practice nights can be sent free as an email attachment (Adobe PDF document) from the .
The ODG has in excess of 2000 members, the highest total of any Society which is affiliated to the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
|Data Protection Act 1998|
|As members should expect, a record of their membership is maintained on a combination of paper and computer systems. These records are solely used for the administration of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers and for notification of future events to members. They are not made available to anyone for commercial purposes. If any member wishes to inspect the records held, please contact the Guild Secretary.|
Further information on the Guild Policy on Data Protection can be found within the Documents section of this website.
Please note that the contact details provided on this website for the Guild Officers or tower correspondents should only be used for Guild related business or for arranging tower outings and no other purpose.