Cambridge District

of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers


Full Association Calendar


Congratulations to Stephen Croxall on his 30th birthday. A peal was rung at Great St Mary's in celebration.

We have been asked to publicise the monthly Surprise Major practice at Barkway, just over the border into Hertfordshire. The next one will be on Thursday 9th March, from 11:00am to 12:30pm. All are welcome, whether you are starting to ring Cambridge and Yorkshire or would like to try splicing the standard 8. Barkway is a ground floor ring of 8 bells, tenor weight 14 cwt. There is a toilet, and parking in the lane outside the church. For any more information, please contact the tower secretary, .

A peal was rung at Barton on Sunday 5th February, in memory of Felicity Webster, by a band of past and present District officers. For other ringing in her memory, see below.

The application letter for the 2017 Gipson Trophy was distributed at the ADM. We would welcome and encourage any other teams to enter; it's a fun and friendly way (yes, honestly!) to improve your tower's striking and meet up with ringers from other towers. The closing date for entries was 10th February.

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) is the national (and indeed international) organisation for "all who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel". Paul Seaman is currently our representative on the Council. There is currently a review into its activity and organisation, being undertaken by the Council Review Action Group (CRAG). Their latest report has been published in the Ringing World and is available on their website. They have also launched a survey, to which they would like ringers at all levels to respond.

The Annual District Meeting was held at Great Wilbraham on Saturday 14th January, with a record attendance; more than 70 people signed the book! For many, it was their first chance to try out the new ringing gallery at Great Wilbraham and Phil ensured that the ringing catered for all levels. The meeting was preceded by the final of the 2016 Gipson Trophy striking competition, held at Bottisham. The five teams in the competition were all level after 20 matches, with 4 wins each. Richard and Jane Hough kindly came to judge the play-off, which resulted in a narrow win for Little Shelford; Clive Jones received the trophy before tea.
At the ADM itself, we were delighted to elect 20 new members, including 8 from the new band at Sawston. Louise Dobson and Ian Ager were welcomed as the new Education Officers, Anand Pillai has volunteered to take over the Book Stall and Ian Hamilton becomes the new Bell Restoration Fund Trustee. Posy Marriage and Catriona Shearer were also elected to the District Committee. Many thanks are due to Jackie, Greg, Phil, Sam and Sue for all their hard work last year, which included so many successful innovations in our programme; I'm glad to say that they have all agreed to carry on in 2017.

Congratulations to Henry Pipe on ringing a peal of Bristol Surprise Maximus on handbells, at the age of just 13, the youngest person to do so.

I am very sorry to pass on the news that Gerald Barnard, ringer at Haslingfield, died peacefully at home on 2nd January at the age of 89. A peal has been rung in his memory at Mawson Road. Gerald's funeral was at All Saints', Haslingfield on Monday 6th February.

Trumpington ringers have welcomed the New Year in their traditional style with a date touch - 2017 Superlative Surprise Major. Robert Oakeshott's composition was also rung in Sydney. This is at least the tenth year in a row that they have rung a date touch on 1st January. They have followed it up with another date touch on 2nd January, this time spliced Triples and Major, to a composition by Oli Bardsley.

District ringers who helped with the visit of the Kilifi ringers in 2015 may be interested to see that Barbara Le Gallez was in Kenya recently, for the wedding of Deborah Mulobi and John Malala. Two quarter peals were rung there; Plain Bob Doubles and Grandsire Doubles.

A More Ringing course started at the EDA Stretham REC (Ringing Education Centre) on Saturday 7th January. This will cover the initial skills of ringing with others, following the ART Learning the Ropes Level 2 syllabus. It follows on from the recent Start Ringing course run at the REC, which covered Level 1. Also, in spring 2017, Stretham REC will be hosting the Association of Ringing Teachers Simulator Awareness Workshop. The Workshop is designed for people with limited or no knowledge of simulators. It explains the various sensor systems and software available, and their advantages and disadvantages, as well as troubleshooting common problems. There will be a charge of £12 for the Workshop. There is a Doodle poll to determine a suitable date, for people to fill in if they wish.

With the greatest regret, I pass on the news that Felicity Webster has died, following her year-long battle with cancer. Fliss was District Secretary for five years from 2009 and in that time she brought a huge sense of joy and inclusivity to ringing in the District; her enthusiasm was always infectious. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judith, Richard and the family. Ringing in her memory has included peals at Mawson Road, Benington and Barton (by past and present District officers) and quarter peals at Mawson Road, Linton, St Edward's, Preston (Suffolk), OLEM, Ickleton, Somersham and Caxton, St Edward's again, Trumpington (where a new method was named after her), Laughton (East Sussex), Meldreth, Henham, Soham, Thriplow, Barton, St Edward's again, Great Wilbraham, Cherry Hinton, Mawson Road again, Willingham, Duxford (both by the Ladies Guild), St Bene't's, Saffron Walden and Little Eversden, as well as a touch at Histon. The quarter peal of Julie McDonnell Doubles rung at Fairwarp (Sussex), arranged by Fliss's young nephew as his first quarter, is also highly notable.

There was a Service of Thanksgiving for the Felicity's life at Haslingfield church on Tuesday 20th December, with open ringing before and afterwards. A touch of Grandsire Triples was also rung during the service. Donations may be given to the Arthur Rank Hospice or to support the maintenance of Haslingfield bells.

Geoff Perryman does a fantastic job, single-handedly coordinating the Practice Night Support scheme, but his band of helpers is dwindling, which means that he can't cater for all the requests that he has from towers for help. So, please get in touch with him (C. 207790) if you can help, as your assistance is greatly appreciated by the towers. Even if you can only ring plain hunt, you can still make a difference, enabling bands to ring things that they otherwise wouldn't have enough people to so.


First Quarter

Tracy Boyt (at first attempt) - Great Wilbraham, 12th February
William Louth - St Clement Danes, 4th February
Ronald Cron - Cherry Hinton, 16th January 2017

Quarter Peal footnotes

Catriona Shearer - First Yorkshire Surprise Royal - St Neots, 3rd February
Jenny Goodwin, Stephen Theobald - Most spliced - Trumpington, 22nd January
Toby Johnson - First inside - Cambridge (St Bene't), Sunday 15th January
Annemarie Adams - Most spliced - Little Eversden, 15th January 2017

Peal footnotes

Henry Pipe - 50th peal - Cambridge (Gt St Mary), 25th February
Greg Pearce - Most methods (21 Surprise Major) - Trumpington, 11th February
Catherine Richardson - First Surprise - Barton, 5th February
Catriona Shearer - First in hand - Cambridge (Mawson Road), 24th January
Henry Pipe - First Bristol Surprise Maximus in hand - Orwell, 12th January
William Brooke - First spliced inside (8 Surprise Major) - Trumpington, 7th January 2017
Sue Binns - First in hand - Cambridge (Mawson Road), 30th December 2016

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