Cambridge District

of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers


Full Association Calendar


The Cambridge Youths band have qualified for the final of the National 12-bell striking contest, coming third in their eliminator at Sheffield on Saturday 25th March. Congratulations to them. The final will be on the new 12 at Southwark Cathedral on Saturday 24th June 2017.

The latest ringing in memory of Felicity Webster has been two quarter peals of Felicity Delight Major (here and here) rung on Lundy Island. A peal was also rung at Barton on Sunday 5th February by a band of past and present District officers. Other ringing in her memory has included peals at Mawson Road and Benington 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, Little Eversden and Barrow (Suffolk), as well as a touch at Histon.

There have been two notable performances of Norman Smith's well-known composition of 23-spliced Surprise Major in the District recently. Firstly at Trumpington on Saturday 4th March, when Greg Pearce and Jonathan Spencer rang their first 23-spliced. Then at Great St Mary's on Thursday 9th March, where Henry Pipe rang it as his first tower-bell peal as conductor. Congratulations to all three of them. The significance of the composition, which recently celebrated its 50th birthday (first rung at Bilsborrow in December 1966), is that it was the first "all-the-work" peal of 23-spliced. That means that during the peal, every ringer rings every place bell in each of the 23 Surprise Major methods, so there's a lot of learning - the blue lines are all here. And the method is changed at every lead too, so ringers need to be able to swap between the methods quickly. And why 23? Because that is the greatest number of Surprise Major methods that you can fit into an ordinary length peal. The record is 100-spliced all-the-work, which was rung at Loughborough Bell Foundry in 2005 (22400 changes in almost 11 hours).

April's District Meeting will be ringing at Fen Ditton, followed by a quiz and supper. Orders for food need to be placed by April 1st (but don't need quiz teams in advance); the food available is Fish and chips (£6.00), Jumbo sausage and chips (£4.00) or Spring roll and chips (vegetarian - £4.00).

Phillip George has reviewed and revised all the safeguarding documents on the Association website. He comments that he has not yet heard any more from the Diocese regarding the roll-out of new National Church procedures on safeguarding. If you have any further questions, Phillip will be happy to help.

Congratulations to Stephen Croxall and to Clare and Louise George on their 30th birthdays. These events were celebrated by a peal at Great St Mary's and a quarter peal at Trumpington.

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 and a quarter peal at Haslingfield. Gerald's funeral was at All Saints', Haslingfield on Monday 6th February.

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

William Brooke - First Bristol Maximus - Cambridge (Great St Mary), 26th March
Alastair Simpson - First Surprise Major inside - Lundy Island, 16th March
Alastair Simpson - Most methods as conductor - Lundy Island, 15th March
Vanessa Webster - Most spliced Major - Lundy Island, 15th March
Jenny Goodwin - First Minor as conductor - Lundy Island, 13th March
Vanessa Webster - Most spliced Major - Lundy Island, 11th March
Jenny Goodwin - First Surprise Royal - Lundy Island, 11th March
Stephen Burr - First Royal as conductor - Lundy Island, 11th March
Jenny Goodwin & Stephen Burr - First Royal - Lundy Island, 11th March
Clare George - First inside on 8 - Lundy Island, 10th March
Catriona Shearer and Jonathan Spencer - First Bristol S Maximus - Cambridge (Great St Mary), 5th March
Sam Gorman - First 8-spliced as conductor - Trumpington, 26th February
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), 15th January
Annemarie Adams - Most spliced - Little Eversden, 15th January 2017

Peal footnotes

Graham Hall - 750th peal - Meldreth, 10th March
Henry Pipe - First tower-bell peal as conductor (Smith's 23) - Cambridge (Gt St Mary), 9th March
Greg Pearce, Jonathan Spencer - First 23-spliced Surprise Major - Trumpington, 4th March
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

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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