Cambridge District

of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers


Full Association Calendar


The District Dinner made a welcome return this year, being held on Saturday 9th November. A peal and a quarter peal were rung in the morning, then ringers from across the District (and even Essex) gathered at the Quy Mill Hotel in the evening. It was also good to welcome non-ringing partners and other visitors. Proceedings began with a touch of Major on handbells, then a very good meal was served and enjoyed. As too were the table entertainments of modelling balloons and origami; most of the creations were seemly. Our President, Stephen Burr, gave an entertaining speech after dinner, wearing the pipe-cleaner glasses he had made at the Dinner in 2017! Then it was time for our guest speaker, Paul Roberson, former clockmaker for the Palace of Westminster. He gave a fascinating talk, with an accompanying slide-show, of his time working in the Palace, with many clocks, as well as the Great Clock, commonly known as Big Ben. Many thanks to Shirley and Jenny for all their hard work arranging the Dinner.

If you are already thinking about your plans and targets for 2020, have a look at the Ringing World's latest Pathways scheme. There are three routes exploring a variety of methods (and variations) - blue, red and yellow. The idea is partly to encourage ringers to try something a bit different and you can record your progress by a (free) subscription on BellBoard. Do let us know if there's anything in particular that you' like to see included at our District practices.

This year is the centenary of the founding of Save the Children. You may have already seen on the District Facebook page that churches have been asked to ring their bells to commemorate the life, work and vision of Eglantyne Jebb, one of the founders. She is remembered in the church calendar on 17th December (the anniversary of her death in 1928) and it is suggested that we ring either on that date or on Sunday 15th December.

The latest result in this year's Gipson Trophy striking competition is a win for Great Shelford, in a top of the table clash at Linton. The result was extremely close, with both teams ringing very well, but sees Great Shelford claim the trophy. Congratulations to them. The list of fixtures and results is here.

On Saturday 14th December, Alan Winter will be organising a Handbell Day, held in Christ's College in Cambridge. This is aimed at method ringing, with sessions held in the morning and afternoon, with a lunch and talk in between. And there's plenty of time to get to the District Carol Service afterwards. Alan is especially keen to welcome beginners and they can be assured of an excellent opportunity to practise within a band of kind, patient and talented people. Methods catered for range from Plain Hunt and Plain Bob Minor, to Stedman, Surprise Major, Royal and Maximus. There was even some demonstration ringing on 16 bells! Get in touch with for more information, putting "Handbell Day 2019" as the subject of your email.

A project to create a new teaching centre in Cambridge has been launched. The light ring of six will be installed at St Clement's church, with new training facilities, aimed at creating a centre that can act as a feeder to other towers and provide a boost to ringing across the Association. Their target is to raise £250,000, some from grants but mainly from members of the Association, the Cambridge University Guild and the Society of Cambridge Youths. This should be enough to pay for the bells, the building work, teaching aids and running costs for the first year, including the salary of a part-time manager. Donations of all sizes are welcome. For more information, see the project website.

Athough the building works in the church at Cherry Hinton are not quite complete, I'm glad to pass on news that practice and Sunday service ringing have restarted. I'm sure any visitors will be made most welcome (7:30 on Tuesday, 9:20 on Sunday). A quarter peal was rung on Sunday 6th October to celebrate the resumption of ringing.

Congratulations to Alan Winter on his 70th birthday; he celebrated by ringing the tenor to a peal of London S. Royal at Great St Mary's. Quarter peals were also rung at Mawson Road (here and here) and at Hitchin, as well as a peal at Northampton (Massachusetts).

Martin Kitson, Chairman of the Association, writes to remind all tower captains need to complete the Ely Diocesan C0, C1 and C2 Safeguarding modules. C0 and C1 can be done on-line, while C2 is delivered in person. There are C2 Safeguarding modules being held on 20th January at Downham Market and on 24th February in Cambridge. Martin emphasises that it's an easy module, with no test at the end, and simple to follow.

The peal of Stedman Cinques at Great St Mary's on Saturday 7th September was rung by the Cambridge Youths team that won the National 12-bell Striking Contest there 32 years ago. The test piece in 1987 was also Stedman. A classic band! And all still ringing at standards the rest of us can only dream of, all those years later.

Ely DA branded clothing is now available. Expertees of Huntingdon have set up a web shop for Ely DA garments, embroidered with the logo of the Association. Under the logo there is space for the name of your tower or District. At present, the available garments are: T-shirt, polo shirt, sweatshirt and fleece jacket with sleeves or sleeveless, all in a range of colours.

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 Peal

Sue Downing - Great Shelford, 29th September

Peal footnotes

Mike Purday - 1000th peal - Cambridge (OLEM), 16th October
Stephen Burr - First on 12 - Saffron Walden, 16th November

Safeguarding - It is important to ensure that written or verbal permission has been given by parents/carers before photographs which include children are submitted for publication to this website.

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Site opened February 2000; last updated 16th November 2019.
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