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Tilehurst comes second at ODG 8-bell contest

Tilehurst represented the Reading Branch at this years 8-bell contest, which took place at St Andrew, Shrivenham (10 bells, 13-0-2) in the Vale of the White Horse on Bank Holiday Monday, 7 May, a glorious spring day. However, Reading branch was well represented by a team from St Michael, Tilehurst, which came second, just two points behind the winning team from Newbury.
The test piece was three courses of Double Norwich Court Bob Major. Afterwards the judges gave the results, and their comments:
1st Place: Newbury, 54 faults. “This team rang steadily with the changes spread evenly. Leading a little inconsistent with one method mistake but settled into a good rhythm.”
2nd Place: Tilehurst, 56 faults. “Good pace and best pull off. Bells 7 and 8 worked very well together. One method mistake at the end and some rushed blows, but periods when the ringing was extremely good.”
3rd Place: Banbury, 58 faults. “Rang more slowly than the first two teams, and the leading was sometimes inconsistent, but the piece improved as it went on and the last couple of leads were very good.”
4th Place: High Wycombe, 91 faults. “An excellent start, good speed and rhythm, but several method mistakes brought the score down.”
The fifth team, Thatcham, did not complete the piece.
Many thanks to Oxford Branch Secretary Lindsay Powell for the information in this report.
Rosa Bardwell took the photo of the Tilehurst team on the front page: 1. Joanne Druce, 2. Eunice Wark, 3. Colin Newman, 4. Joanna Knight, 5. David Bardwell, 6. Anna Sherwood, 7. Colin Cairns, 8 Giles Winter (C).
The Reading Branch team for the Guild 10-bell competition at Olney (24 cwt), North Bucks, in November 2017 unfortunately suffered a miscall which disqualified them, but the judges were very complimentary about the ringing up to that point. Reading won the ODG 10-bell competition last year, which took place in Banbury.

Tilehurst wins 2017 six-bell striking contest at Shinfield

The winning team, l. to r.: David Bardwell, Colin Newman, Jo Knight, Colin Cairns, Anna Sherwood, Tom Sherwood

This year, the branch Striking Competition took place at St Mary, Shinfield (6 bells, 11-3-13), on Saturday 9 September. There were seven entries, representing only four of Reading's 23 towers. St Mary & St Laurence, Reading, and Tilehurst both fielded two teams, Caversham and Mapledurham each had a team, and there was a Youth Band made up of young ringers from Tilehurst, St Mary and Caversham. Some of the St Mary band also ring at St Giles-in-Reading, so one could say that five towers were represented. Sadly, Pangbourne had to drop out at the last minute.

Tilehurst's Steady Strikers team won, Caversham came second, and Tilehurst's other team, the Tintinnabulating Warriors, came third - with St Mary & St Laurence only one point behind, in fourth place. Many congratulations to Tilehurst, and to Caversham. Incidentally, last year, a Tilehurst band also won, Goring came second, and St Mary & St Laurence came third.

It was very good to see so many young ringers in the competition. Congratulations to Tom Sherwood, aged 14, who rang the treble in the winning Tilehurst team. His sister Anna, aged 17, and a veteran of many striking competitions, rang the second. And Matthew Stone, aged 15, in the other Tilehurst team, was responsible for "the best tenor ringing" that afternoon. A special welcome to two newcomers to the competition: Jennifer Ellis, aged 12, who rang the treble for St Mary, and Kiran Bahra (14), from Caversham, who rang the second in the Youth Band. Daniel Page (14), another very experienced young ringer, rang for St Mary.

Wonderful to have branch chairman Ann Osborne ringing the treble for Caversham, when still convalescing from a recent illness.

Tim Pett and David Thomas, both from Abingdon, were the judges. Before giving the results, Tim Pett said that these were not easy bells, and the third, in particular, was very odd struck, and had caused difficulties for several teams. He said that the winning team, Tilehurst's Steady Strikers, had sorted out the third right away. They rang fast and, apart from the occasional trip, had hardly any problems. He added that it was a nice piece of ringing.

Tim Pett said that Caversham, who came second, rang with a very nice rhythm. The tenor was occasionally quick at handstroke.

David Thomas gave the results for all seven teams - as follows:

PlacedTeamFaultsMethod / Judges CommentsRang
1st Tilehurst's Steady Strikers 20.5 Rang Grandsire5th team (E) to ring.
2nd Caversham 23 Rang Bob Doubles3rd team (C) to ring
3rd Tilehurst's Tintinnabulating Warriors25.5 Rang Bob Doubles and had the best tenor ringing of the afternoon.Last to ring (G)
4th St Mary & St Laurence's Reading Rhythm Crew26.5 Rang Grandsire4th team (D) to ring
5th St Mary & St Laurence's Reading Full Circle Crusaders 38.5 Rang Bob Doubles2nd team (B) to ring
6th Mapledurham 50.5 Rang Call Changes1st team (A) to ring
7th Youth Band 56.5 Rang Bob Doubles6th team (F) to ring

The band from St Giles-in-Reading (8 bells - 14-2-7) produced a delicious tea, coordinated by Lindsey Barker (St Giles very kindly offered to do the tea, because they never host the competition). Joseph Barrett (aged 10), a young ringer from St Giles, helped with the washing up, and so did Jennifer Ellis

After thanking the judges, branch chairman Ann Osborne also thanked Lindsey for organising the tea, Jo Knight, the branch secretary, for holding the fort while Ann has been ill, Bobbie May from Shinfield for hosting the event - and everyone who had prepared food for the tea.

Resounding win for Reading Branch against Sonning Denery Branch at Twyford - 8th October 2016

The Judges Ken Davenport and Jackie Roberts presenting the trophy to John Wells.

The Branch 8 Bell Sonning Deanery Striking Competition winnners were the Reading Branch team pictured here after ringing their test piece.
L/R: June Saint, James Champion, June Wells, Steve Rossiter, Steve Smith, Martyn Jordan, John Wells and Peter Ellis (not present).

The eight-bell striking competition between Reading Branch and Sonning Deanery Branch took place on Saturday 8 October 2016 at St Mary the Virgin (8 bells � 12 cwt), Twyford. The judges were Ken Davenport and Jackie Roberts.

Four teams took part - three from the Reading Branch: Reading C, Reading J (the initials of their conductors), and Tilehurst - and one Sonning Deanery Branch team. Each team rang their chosen piece.

Many congratulations to the Reading Branch teams � they came first (Reading J), second (Tilehurst), and third (Reading C). It was great to have three young ringers taking part: Anna in the Tilehurst team, and Daniel and Thomas in Reading C.

The results were as follows:

PlacedTeamFaultsJudges CommentsRang
1st Reading J 23 Good ringing with a few minor faults.Fourth
2nd Tilehurst 34 Good ringing, with two major crunches - but very nice ringing. Rang Spliced Surprise.Third
3rd Reading C 36 A few minor faults and a few quick leads. Rang Triples.Second
4th Sonning Denery 53 The speed got quicker towards the end and caused a few faults, but the leading was good. Rang Triples.First

The judges presented the trophy to John Wells, conductor of the Reading J team. The rest of the winning team were: June Saint, June Wells, Steve Smith, Martyn Jordan, James Champion, Steve Rossiter and Peter Ellis.

Ann Osborne adds: Thanks to all who took part and for the enjoyable meal afterwards.

Goring wins 2015 striking competition: �superb� ringing

The winning team, l. to r.: Ian Judd (C) 1, Antoinette Jackson 2, Wendy Middleton 3, Andrea Gilbert 4, William Harwin 5, Josie Irving 6.

The Reading Branch annual striking competition took place on Saturday 12 September at Streatley. Only five teams took part, and they rang in the following order: Goring, Caversham, Mapledurham, Tilehurst and the Young Ringers. Goring were the winners � many congratulations for their excellent ringing.

Goring should represent the branch at the Oxford Diocesan Guild competition next month, but as their ringers have a prior engagement on 3rd October, Tilehurst, who came second, should go on to represent Reading at the ODG competition.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon, just right for sitting in the churchyard and listening to the bells � and no one could have any trouble in hearing Streatley�s church bells: they are loud � especially in the tower.

It was good to have six young ringers taking part in the competition. Afterwards, the judges Jonathan Cresshull and Lizzie Frye gave the results in the Morrell room, as follows:

PositionTeamFaultsPeal speed
1st Goring 16 � 2 hr 36 min
2nd Tilehurst 42 � 2 hr 34 min
3rd Caversham 69 2 hr 57 min
4th Mapledurham 75 2 hr 50 min
5th The Young Ringers 92 � 2 h 48 min

Jonathan read out the following comments about each team: Team 1 (Goring): Excellent start to the competition. Superb piece of ringing. Team 2 (Caversham): Very different from Team 1. Some unsettled backstroke leads, better towards the end. Team 3 (Mapledurham): Practice didn�t go too well. Call changes might have been a better choice than Plain Bob Doubles. Team 4 (Tilehurst): Confident band. Treble, 2 and 3 were a bit fast. Team 5 (Young Ringers): Difficulties to begin with. Ringing improved towards the end.

The teams were as follows:
Goring: Ian Judd (C) 1, Antoinette Jackson 2, Wendy Middleton 3, Andrea Gilbert 4, William Harwin 5, Josie Irving 6.
Tilehurst: Anna E Sherwood 1, Joanne Druce 2, Joanna Knight 3, Colin Newman 4, Giles Winter (C) 5, Robert Sherwood 6.
Caversham: Kester Jacob 1, Diana McClure 2, Ann Osborne 3, Vicci Alexander 4, Doug Beaumont (C) 5, James Champion 6.
Mapledurham: Mary Westley 1, Ann Osborne 2, Diana McClure 3, David Sumner 4, Adam Carlill (C) 5, Richard Bisgrove 6.
Young Ringers: Thomas Sherwood 1, Matthew Stone 2, Kester Jacob 3, Elinor Bailey 4, Anna E Sherwood (C) 5, Joshua J. Shepherd 6.

Before the results were announced, branch Chairman Ann Osborne called for a minute�s silence, in remembrance of Frank Lewis, who died in July 2015. Frank was a ringer at St Mary�s for many years, and a member of the Reading Branch from 1953 to 1979.

Ann Osborne thanked the Streatley and Goring ringers for an excellent tea, and she also thanked the incumbent for giving permission for the use of the bells.

Reading Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition - 13th September 2014 at Mapledurham

Branch 6 Bell Competition Winners - Caversham

Alan Marchbank presents the Trophy to the Caversham representative, Doug Beaumont.
Branch 6 Bell Competition Winners - Caversham

The Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition winnners were the Caversham team pictured here after ringing their test piece.
L/R: Ann Osborne, Diana Mc Clure, Julie Champion, Jenny Page, Doug Beaumont (c), James Champion. - Grandsire Doubles.

The Reading six-bell branch striking competition took place at St Margaret, Mapledurham, on Saturday 13 September 2014. In a surprise result, Caversham won the branch Topper Trophy, beating the team that usually wins, St Mary, Reading, by one point. (Last year the competition took place at Shinfield, and Tilehurst won; St Mary, which did not enter a team in 2013, won in 2010, 2011 and 2012; Goring won in 2009, beating St Mary by one point.)

This year, there were 10 entries altogether, including a branch team of six young ringers (organised by Training Officer Ann Osborne) from three different towers - Tilehurst, Caversham and Shiplake � average age of the band 12 years 5 months.

It was great to have so many youngsters taking part in the competition, especially as two of them only started ringing a few months ago.

In addition to the Young Ringers, Tilehurst and Caversham both entered novice teams, all three competing for the John Butler Trophy. Many congratulations to Tilehurst Novices, who won this year.

Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, was the judge, and he listened to the ringing from the garden of the Old Vicarage, next to the church, courtesy of the Cumming-Bruce family.

It was quite a pleasant afternoon, rather cloudy. Afterwards Alan said how pleasing it was to come to a branch with a wide cross section of bands, able to achieve high percentages. He made the following comments about the performance of each team, before giving the results of the competition:

1. [Pangbourne � Grandsire] Very nice � rounds settled very quickly. No drama, no one doing anything wrong. Quite slow peal speed: 3 hr 20.

2. [Mapledurham � Plain Bob Doubles] Less settled, less experienced, kept ringing going. Trip halfway through, recovered. Tenor kept cover really well. Peal Speed: 3 hr 9

3. [Caversham - Grandsire] Very good ringing. Occasional trips, little trip at beginning � picked up and settled quickly; some good clear faultless rows. Peal Speed 3hr 5

4. [Shiplake - Grandsire] Nice rhythm � a fraction slow. Might have been better quicker; when quicker, the rhythm is easier. Peal Speed 3 hr 08.

5. [Tilehurst A - Grandsire] Incredibly competent. Very steady, very nice, a band that clearly rings together often. A trip in the middle took them several rows to recover. Peal Speed 3 hr 2

6. [Tilehurst Novices � called changes] Very good, very determined, they made it happen. Easier to lose rhythm in called changes, than when ringing a method. Very well done. Peal Speed 3 hr

7. [St Mary, Reading - Grandsire] Good from the outset. Swift ringing, occasional little glitches, nothing serious. Very few faults in rounds, nice accurate striking. Peal Speed 2hr 55

8. [Goring - Grandsire] Good and competent. A bit nervous at times. Back bells pushed along the pace. Very minor clips, nothing consistent. Enjoyable to listen to. Peal Speed 2hr 56

9. [Young Ringers] Rang called changes � kept it going;. 3 and 4 had difficulty with the bells � when they weren�t together, it was nice and rhythmic. Very good effort, very well rung. Peal Speed 2 hr 50

10. [Caversham Novices � called changes] A piece of ringing that was a credit to the ringers � picked up a number of faults, but they got on with it and made it happen. A number of faults in the rows, no calamities. Nice to listen to. Peal Speed 2 hr 52

Alan Marchbank then said that he had given each team a score, calculated from the number of faults, the general quality of the ringing, a percentage given for faultless ringing, etc. He said he would begin with the team that had the lowest score and was in the 10th position, and then surprised and amused everyone by naming Team No 7: St Mary, Reading (the team most likely to be in 1st position). Realising that there must have been a mistake, he went through the score sheets again and then gave the following results, beginning with the team in 10th position:

The results were as follows:

PositionBand% Score
2ndSt Marys95%
7thTilehurst Novices88%
8thCaversham Novices86%
10thBranch Young Ringers *85%

* The Branch Young Ringers team was formed by ringers from Caversham, Tilehurst and Shiplake.

Doug Beaumont, representing the Caversham team, received the Topper Trophy from Alan Marchbank, and Anna Sherwood received the John Butler Trophy on behalf of the Tilehurst Novices.

Ann Osborne, the branch Chairman and Training Officer, addressed the competitors after the ringing had ended and before Alan Marchbank gave out the results. She thanked Alan Marchbank for being the judge, and also Eunice Wark and Ken Baker for helping him with the timing, etc, as his assistant was unwell and unable to come, and she thanked Joyce Vernon, Steve Rossiter and Ken Baker for helping with the stewarding in the tower.

Those present stood in remembrance of Gus Grey, former ringer at Checkendon and St Giles-in-Reading, and of Avis Rosser, former ringer at Shiplake, who, very sadly, have died since the last meeting, and who are sorely missed. (Avis hand-made the record book for the Topper Trophy and the box in which it is kept.) And, on a happier note, it ratified the election of Nick Mounson from Mortimer, proposed by Keith Vernon and seconded by the meeting.

There was a vote of thanks for Christine and Richard Bisgrove and the other members of the Mapledurham band (and friends and mentors Ann Osborne and Joyce Vernon), for providing an excellent tea.

Branch 6 Bell Competition - Pangbourne
Pangbourne: Mandy Morris 1, Rosalind Palfrey 2, John Harland 3,
Len Palfrey 4, Michael Palfrey 5, Richard Carpenter 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Mapledurham
MapledurhamDiana McClure 1, Christine Bisgrove 2, Roger Hopkinson 3, David Sumner 4, Adam Carlill 5, Richard Bisgrove 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competition - Goring
Goring: Andrea Gilbert 1, Antoinette Jackson 2, Josie Irving 3, Ian Judd 4, William Harwin 5, Martyn Jordan 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Tilehurst
Tilehurst: Jo Druce 1, Colin Newman 2, Colin Cairns 3, Bob Sherwood 4, Giles Winter 5, Chris Johnson 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Tilehurst Novices
Tilehurst Novices: Joanna Shepherd 1, Thomas 2, Anna 3, Matthew 4, Josh 5, Jayse 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Caversham
Caversham: Ann Osborne 1, Diana Mc Clure 2, Julie Champion 3, Jenny Page 4, Doug Beaumont (c) 5, James Champion 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Branch Youth Ringers
Branch Youth Ringers: Daniel 1, Kester 2, Thomas 3, William 4, Josua 5, Ann 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - St Marys
St Mary's: June Saint 1, June D. Wells 2, Jack Page 3, E. John Wells 4, Stephen A. Rossiter 5, Kelvin Britton 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Caversham Novices
Caversham Novices: Daniel 1, Kester 2, Jane Havelock 3, Gill Hopkinson 4, Vicci Alexander 5, Ann Osborne 6.
Branch 6 Bell Competion - Shiplake
Shiplake: William 1, Steve Smith 2, Joyce Vernon 3, Cyril Crouch 4, Jo Knight 5, Keith Vernon 6.

The winning team, Caversham will go on to represent Reading Branch at the ODG six-bell striking competition in October.
We wish them well.

Ufton Nervet - work gets underway to restore the belfy for ringing again

Work has begun to restore the Ufton Nervet ringing chamber and bells for full ringing once again after many years. The Church itself, St Peters, is a redundant Church but a project is underway to create the St Peter's Ufton Cultural Community Centre - a project regarded as the most exciting to visit the area for over 100 years. It is hoped to have an Open Day around Easter 2014 and a launch in the summer. The Reading Branch was asked to help restore the bells and ringing chamber as part on the ongoing work. The last time the bells were rung was for the Millennium.

A small team from the Branch has worked to clear the belfy of a massive amount of bird nesting material and to fit new meshing over the louvres to stop the birds entering again. A second hand set of ropes is being sourced. The bells and fittings have been inspected and all looks good so far. Over the next few months a final clean up will take place and it is planned to have a small re-opening ceremony in due course.

The following photos show how the work is progressing.

Ufton Nervet Church
>Ufton Nervet Church
The door to the ringing chamber
Door to the chamber
The only way up to the bells
Stairs to the chamber
The bells are inspected
The Bells are inspected
Inspecting the bearings etc.
>Inspecting the bearings
Checking the clappers
>Checking the clappers
Rusty clappers
>Rusty Clappers
Mr Jackson arrives
Mr Jackson arrives
Cleaning the birds nesting material away
Cleaning the birds nesting material away
Netting added to the louvres
Placing the netting on the louvres
Completed work
Completed job
Mr Palfrey inspects the work
Mr Palfrey inspects the work
When the work is complete we will let you know. All ringing at the tower will be controlled by Anthony Peabody and initially will be limited to special occasions.

Reading Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition - 14th September 2013 at Shinfield

Branch 6 Bell Competition Winners - Tilehurst

Robert Newton presents the Trophy to the Tilehurst Tower Captian, Jo Druce.
Branch 6 Bell Competition Winners - Tilehurst

The Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition winnners were the Tilehurst G team pictured here after the judge, Robert Newton had annouced the results. L/R: Jo Knight, Jo Druce, Chris Johnson, Giles Winter, Colin Cairns, Colin Newman. - Grandsire Doubles.

The G team from St Michael, Tilehurst won the Reading Branch annual six-bell striking competition which took place at St Mary, Shinfield (six bells - 11-3-13) on Saturday 14 September. Many congratulations to them. They had a slightly higher score than they did in last year�s competition, when they came second.

There were six teams competing this year, fewer than last year at Nettlebed. St Mary, Reading (who won in 2010, 2011 and 2012) had not had enough ringers available on the Saturday, and nor had Goring (who won in 2009).

There were no entries for the Novice trophy; we look forward to seeing some next year.

It was good to have two youngsters taking part in the competition: Kester Jacob, aged 11, was in the Branch team. And Jack Page, aged 16, who has become a very good ringer, was in two teams: Caversham and the Branch team. Both teams did very well � they came second and third. Congratulations to both boys.

It was a grey, cold afternoon. Those of us who had stood outside listening to the ringing got rather chilled, and afterwards we were very glad of a hot cup of tea, kindly served by the Shinfield band in the church hall, together with sandwiches and cakes.

Then everyone went to the church, where Ann Osborne, Branch Chairman, thanked the Shinfield band for the use of their bells and their church, and for providing us with tea. She asked for a minute�s silence in memory of two members of the branch who have very sadly passed away in the last few months: Pat Scouse from Shinfield and Derek Brown from Shiplake. The judge, Robert Newton, Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, gave out the results, preceded by some helpful comments on ringing.

Robert Newton said that nearly all the ringing had been of a good Sunday service ringing standard, and some of it had been very good. He added that you can never underestimate the effect of �competition nerves�. He also spoke of the importance of good leading. He said some of the leads had been a bit rushed: good leading is essential for establishing a good rhythm. There must be a one-beat pause before the handstroke lead, giving an overall beat (on six bells) of 13. He added that the treble and the tenor tend to stand out. On this occasion, as all the bands had rung doubles, the tenor stood out even more.

The results were as follows:

PositionBandFaultsOrderJudge's comments
1stTilehurst G21 faults Team A Very even rounds and and very good rhythm. The odd small blemish.
2ndCaversham25 faultsTeam E A pleasure to listen to. Measured beat. Very accurate leading. Shade quicker might have meant fewer minor clips.
3rdBranch team *37.5 faultsTeam F Nice steady pace. Minor faults in leading.
4thPangbourne39 faultsTeam DGood even beat from the tenor. Ringing a bit ponderous. Noticeable coaching from conductor. Miinor blemishes.
5thTilehurst D50.5 faultsTeam BRhythm variable, a bit hesitant.
6thMapledurhamUnclassifiedTeam C Congratulations on persevering. Tenor made a valiant effort to keep it together when things fell apart. Well tried.

* The Branch team was formed by ringers from Caversham, St Giles-in-Reading, Nettlebed and Whitchurch.

Branch 6 Bell Competition Team E - Caversham
Caversham l to r: Ann Osborne 1, Julie Champion 2, Jenny Page 3, Jack Page 4, Doug Beaumont (C) 5, James Champion 6. Grandsire Doubles.
Branch 6 Bell Competion Team F - Branch Team
Branch team l to r: Ken Baker 4, Keith Vernon 6, Ann Osborne 3, Kester 1, Jack Page 5 (C), Joyce Vernon 2. Grandsire Doubles.
Branch 6 Bell Competition Team D - Pangbourne
Pangbourne front row, l to r: John Harland 2, Wendy Roberts 1, Mandy Morris 4, back row: Richard Carpenter 6, Len Palfrey 3, Michael Palfrey (C) 5. Plain Bob Doubles.
Branch 6 Bell Competion Team B - Tilehurst D
Tilehurst D l to r: Joanna Shepherd 1, Rosa Bardwell 2, Eunice A. Wark 3, David R Bardwell 4 (C), Robert Sherwood 5, Martin Foakes 6. Plain Bob Doubles.
Branch 6 Bell Competion Team C - Mapledurham
Mapledurham l to r: Diana McClure 1, Gill Hopkinson 2, Christine Bisgrove 3, David Sumner 4, Roger Hopkinson 5, Richard Bisgrove 6 (C). Plain courses of Grandsire Doubles.

The winning team, Tilehurst G (from the first letter of the conductor�s name) will go on to represent Reading Branch at the ODG six-bell striking competition on Saturday 5 October. This will take place at Monks Risborough in the Chiltern Branch. We wish them well.

Oxford Diocesan Guild Ringing Day and 8-bell Competition at Bray - May 6th 2013

The day began briskly, as it so often does, with the bells available before the given time and soon the early towers had run out of Day Tickets, which could only be for the good of the ODG Bell Fund. However, in some places, towards the end of the hour, numbers were thin on the ground in the afternoon: I couldn't make out whether this was due to log-jam on the Motorway in Windsor or whether people had run out of energy. The superb weather had certainly brought ringers out from all parts of the country but, unfortunately, it had also brought out people intent on numerous other pastimes and we found the roads jammed with car-booters, riding eventers and all manner of folk intent on having a splendid day out in the sunshine. Fortunately, the competitors for the Ted Peett 8-bell trophy all managed to arrive at Bray in time for the main event of the day.

The lovely, deep-toned bells at Bray are not for the unpractised or faint hearted. At just over 24 cwt. competitors must have had to look carefully for other bells on which to practise the test piece, St Simon's Bob Triples, which turned out to be a very musical method on musical bells. It was a treat to sit in the church yard, itself very attractive at this time of year, and just listen to some good ringing. Tea was held in the hall behind the church and Alan Marchbank, Deputy Master, thanked the Judges; Peter Mackie who arranged the competition; the Revd. Coles for the use of the bells; Graham Firman the tower captain and Wenda Fowles and team for the splendid rolling buffet.

The judges, Kate and Paul Flavell, made some general comments at the start which were relevant to several of the teams. “You are all winners!” they said. “Think of all the teams which didn't take part.” They said that all the ringing was to a good standard and the teams made good use of their practice times, ringing changes as well as rounds. Several of the bands encountered problems when moving from the rounds into the method. They were very pleasant bells to listen to though possibly some were a little odd struck. Graham Firman, the tower captain, suggested 3 hrs. 15 for an average peal speed of triples.

1stSt. Mary Reading85%3h08 There were rushed leads near the start and occasional irregularities but, generally, it was nice rhythmic ringing. The second part was very good and there were no method errors.
2ndHigh Wycombe83%3h07 The rhythm at the start was good. The little bells clipped some of the bigger bells and there were some rushed leads. The ringing settled down and there was a good recovery from a slight fault. The tenor ringing was good.
3rdEBSB Branch Band81%3h14 The opening rounds were good but the ringing became uneven in changes. Holding up at the front caused clips later in the row. There were some rushed leads and a crunch near the end but no real method mistakes.
4thOxford City79%3h03 This team set off at a faster pace and took a while to settle down after a method mistake. There were a few trips and rushed leads but it settled well towards the end.
5thTilehurst74%3h15 Good opening rounds. In method the ringing speed was inconsistent and it took a while to settle. The front 4 bells and the back 4 were ringing at different speeds making the ringing uneven and there was no agreed ringing speed. They recovered well from a method error.
6thBanbury Branch71%3h14 The opening rounds were good but the ringing was uneven in changes. The little bells were clipping the big bells and it was uneven throughout. They recovered well from a method mistake.

For pictures of the event etc please visit the Guild website at

Branch 6 Bell Striking Competition The 2012 6 Bell Striking competition took place on Saturday the 8th September 2012 at Nettlebed.

St Mary's won the Topper trophy once again and now go on to represent the Branch at the Guild 6 bell contest later this year. Mortimer were winners of the John Butler Novice Competition trophy and many congratulations are given to them. Having not entered a team for many years this is a good sign that the Branch towers are alive and well and we hope to see Mortimer again in the future.

The judges for the event were Ken and Sue Davenport. The chairman of the Branch, Ann Osborne, gave thanks to both Ken and Sue for their services and Ian Judd gave a vote of thanks to the incumbent for the use of the bells and for the use of the school hall and also to the team from Nettlebed who provided a splendid tea.

St Mary's winning band for 2012Tilehurst A band for 2012
St Mary's Band
placed 1st with 19 faults, from L/R
June Saint(1), June Wells(2), Louise Ellis(3),
John Manley(4), Peter Ellis(C)(5), John Wells(6)
Tilehurst A Band
placed 2nd with 25 faults, from L/R
Jo Shepherd(1), Jo Druce(2), Colin Newman(3),
Colin Cairns(4), Giles Winter(C)(5), Chris Johnson(6)
Goring band 2012Nettlebed band for 2012
Goring Band
placed 3rd with 30 faults, from L/R
William Harwin(3), Josie Irving(4), Antoinette Jackson(2),
Wendy Middleton(5), Robin Middleton(6), Ian Judd(C)(1)
Nettlebed Band
placed 4th with 39 faults, from L/R
Jeremy Simon(1), Ralph Elmes(C)(5), Mark Castle(2),
Susan Byers(4), Viv Bloundele(6), Julie Champion(3)
Caversham band 2012
placed 5th with 59 faults, from L/R
Ann Osborne(1), Jenny Page(2), Julie Champion(3),
Ralph Elmes(4), Jack Page(C)(5), James Champion(6)
Mortimer band for 2012Mortimer band for 2012
Mortimer Novices Band -
winners of the John Butler trophy.

placed 6th with 71 faults and 1st in the novices trophy, from L/R
Janet Carless(1), Carol Wheeler(2), Jackie McGee(3),
Jeremy Wheeler(4), Andrew Slater(5), Rex Haigh(C)(6)
Mortimer Novices Band - presentation of the tropy by Ann Osborne, Branch Chairman at a Band practice at St Mary's, Mortimer.
from L/R
Ann Osborne, Jeremy Wheeler, Rex Haigh, Jackie McGee, Andre Slater,
Tilehurst B band 2012Mapledurham band for 2012
Tilehurst B Band
placed 7th with 79 faults, from L/R
Jo Knight(1), Rosa Bardwell(2), Eunice Wark(C)(3),
Bob Sherwood(4), David Bardwell(5), John Southern(6)
Mapledurham Band
placed 8th with 84 faults and 2nd in the novices trophy, from L/R
Christine Bisgrove(1), Ann Osborne(2), Diana McClure(3),
David Sumner(4), Roger Hopkinson(5), Richard Bisgrove(C)(6)
Caversham Novices band 2012
Caversham Novices Band
placed 9th with 86 faults and 3rd in the novices trophy, from L/R
Kester Jacob(1), Ella Wiles(2),Jane Havelock(3),
Vicky Alexander(4), Jack Page(C)(5), Roger Hopkinson(6)

Summer 2012 Newsletter Issue 105: The Summer 2012 Newsletter is now available for download and either read online or printed locally.

Jubilee Icon Queen's Jubilee Events: More details can be found in the Summer Newsletter


St Bartholomew, Nettlebed: 26 May 2012, 5040 Plain Bob Minor:

  • 1. Jenny Page 2. Diana McClure *
  • 3. Julie Champion 4. Jack Page
  • 5. James Champion 6. Doug Beaumont (C)
Rung for the Queen�s Jubilee. * First peal for 2, and second peal on tower bells for 4. Jack Page rang Yorkshire Surprise as his first peal, at Caversham, last October.

Tilehurst�s Jubilee peal � and a first for Chris Johnson

Jo Druce reports: We successfully rang a peal on Saturday 2 June in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. This was the first peal by a local Sunday service band for 18 years and was a very significant achievement. As well as a 1st peal for Chris, it was also a 2nd for Rosa and a 3rd for David, and another ringer only came back to ringing within the last year after some considerable gap.

St Michael, Tilehurst, 2 June 2012, 5040 Plain Bob Triples, Comp. �J Clatworthy:

  • 1. Eunice A Wark 2. Rosa Bardwell
  • 3. Joanna Shepherd 4. David R Bardwell
  • 5. Joanne P Druce (C) 6. Colin R Cairns
  • 7. D Giles Winter 8. Chris J Johnson *
* First peal for 8.
Young Ringer Events:
ODG Young Ringer of the Year 2012Robert Newton, Master of the Oxford Diocesan Guild, presented Jack Page, from Caversham tower, with the Young Ringer of the Year Trophy at the Guild AGM at Wokingham on 19 May 2012. Many congratulation to Jack, who also received the gold award
ODG Young Ringer Silver Award 2012Ella Wiles, from Caversham, receives the ODG Young Ringers silver award. She wasn�t at the Guild meeting as she was celebrating her 13th birthday that day, so newly-elected Guild Secretary James Champion presented her with her award at the next Caversham practice. Many congratulations, Ella! The tower celebrated with a cake decorated by Ella's sister Hannah.

Reading Branch come 4th in the 2012 8 bell striking competition. Please see the Guild Website for a full round up of the event.

IN MEMORIAM: Gordon R Runham R.I.P

It was with great sadness that we announced that Gordon R Runham of the Tilehurst Tower had passed away. Gordon was a ringer at St Michael's in Tilehurst for many years and was a member of the Oxford Guild for over 60 years. A funeral service was held at Henley Road Crematorium in Reading on the 14th March at

All ringers who knew Gordon were invited to attend.

Branch Newsletter - Issue 105 Summer 2012

Earlier news in 2011: St Mary's Reading wins Guild 6 Bell Striking Competition 2011 at Streatley.

St Mary's, Reading beat off 8 eight other teams to bring home the Guild 6 Bell trophy once more. Please see the Guild Website for a full round up of the event.


St Mary wins branch striking competition

The Reading Branch striking competition took place on Saturday 10 September at Purley. Like last year, it included a competition for novices, as proposed by Len Palfrey and approved at the Reading Branch 2010 AGM. Three novice bands competed alongside five branch teams, but for a different trophy: the very fine John Butler Trophy, instead of the branch Topper trophy.

The judges were Hilarie Rogers and John White from the South Oxon branch.

There were eight teams altogether, and they rang in the following order:

Team 1 - Vernon/Smith (Shiplake) novices;
Team 2 - Shiplake
Team 3 - Shiplake novices
Team 4 - Tilehurst
Team 5 - Caversham novices
Team 6 - St Mary, Reading
Team 7 - Goring
Team 8 - Caversham

Purley, the host tower, did not have enough ringers available that weekend to put forward a team, but they did provide everyone with an excellent tea. It was very encouraging to have four youngsters taking part in the competition: Lucy and Matthew Smith from Shiplake, and Ella Wiles and Jack Page from Caversham. Afterwards, the judges made helpful comments about each team, and then gave out the results. Hilarie Rogers said that every team had a good patch, and all the novices had coped well with strange bells in a tower with a very small ringing circle.

Team 1: Fairly major problems with leading, particularly the front bells. Work needed on bell control. Good rhythm, trouble with back strokes.

Team 2: Nice rhythm. Leading a little bit rushed - most erratic leading from treble. Some clips. Faults from hesitation.

Team 3: Stuck to the task, but fell apart in call changes. Came round at end. Team struggled with the bells, but kept going.

Team 4: Good consistent rhythm. Tenor occasionally slow at hand stroke. Pushed along a bit faster than they were comfortable with. Good bit of ringing.

Team 5: A few rushed leads at beginning. Tenor kept very nice rhythm. Some lack of bell control.

Team 6: Some slow backstroke leads at beginning, then settled down. Very good piece of ringing. Perhaps tenor pushing just a little bit at handstroke.

Team 7: Very good rhythm � not everyone settled down, but very good piece of ringing. Some small wobbles. Occasional dropped backstroke leads. Improved as they went along.

Team 8: Commended for ringing Plain Bob Minor (the other teams rang doubles, and the novices rang Call Changes). Nice piece of ringing. Steadier than preceding two bands � understandable in minor. A few minor glitches.

The results were as follows:

1st Team 6, St Mary, Reading17 faults
2ndTeam 7, Goring32 faults
3rd Team 8, Caversham35 faults
4th Team 4, Tilehurst75 faults
5th Team 2, Shiplake83 faults
Then came the novice results:
1st Team 5, Caversham novices168 faults
2nd Team 1, Smith/Vernon novices (Shiplake)203 faults
3rd Team 3, Shiplake novices No mark.The judges added: Well done, have another go.

Steve Rossiter, representing St Mary, received the Topper trophy, and Jack Page from Caversham received the John Butler trophy for the novices. June Wells, the Reading Branch Chairman, called on everyone present to stand in silence, in honour of Jim Diserens, who died on 7 September from a heart attack, while visiting his son in Germany. She said that his sudden death was a great shock to all, and a great loss to Reading and the ODG.

Branch 6 Bell Winners 2011
St Mary's Team - June Saint, June Wells, Louise Ellies, John Wells, Steve Rossiter, Peter Ellis. The two smaller people were non ringers!!
Branch 6 Bell Novice Winners 2011

Caversham Novices: Ella Wiles 1, Jane Havelock 2, Ann Osborne 3, David Sumner 4, Mary Westley 5,
Jack Page (C) 6.

ODG 8 Bell Striking Competition: Once again a Reading Branch team succeeds in winning the ODG 8 Bell striking competition. This year it was held at St Mary's, Childrey and the successful team was Stephen Rossiter, June Wells, John Wells, Jo Druce, Giles Winter, Ian Judd and Bob Partridge

ODG 8 Bell Winners 2011
photo courtesy of the ODG website (photographer unknown)
Congratulations to the team who had only 6 faults in a 233 touch of Grandsire Triples.

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