Cambridge District

of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers


Full Association Calendar


Quarter Peals

Becca Glazier - First away from cover on tower bells - Thriplow, 27 June


The in-person social event that we hoped to hold on Saturday 10th July had to be postponed. In its place we are running another virtual district ringing session using Ringing Room and Zoom from 5.00 to 6.00 pm. No previous experience of ringing online is needed, so please come along and have a go if you're curious what it's like! Please use this link to join.

Given that the Government has now decided not to further relax the COVID-19 restrictions until 19 June at the earliest, the existing Central Council guidelines on how limited ringing can restart remain in force. The specific guidelines are available here as part of the Central Council's general coronavirus guidance.

With the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions on 17 May, ringing has returned to some towers in the District. However many bands are still be restricted in what they can ring by the need for social distancing, ventilation etc. which will impact some towers much more than others. To help people to return to ringing as soon as they feel confident and safe enough, the District committee has contacted a number of the more 'COVID-safe' towers and are maintaining a list of those that have confirmed that they are able to host additional practices.

We are sorry to have to report that Richard Howard of Toft has passed away. Richard was born in the same hour as Prince Phillip and had been hoping to reach his 100 birthday - sadly he fell 3 weeks short. Richard was the prime mover in getting the Toft bells restored and augmented from 3 to 6 and raising a band to ring them. He was possibly our oldest member.

The Ely DA are maintaining a page on Ringing Recovery with links to useful information from the Ely DA, the Association of Ringing Teachers and the Central Council.

I'm very sorry to have to report that Alan Kennedy of Great Shelford sadly died on Friday 5th March. He was a well-known character around Stapleford and the Shelfords and will be greatly missed.

We are very sad to report the death of Ian Grant who died peacefully at home on 10th February. His ringing career spanned more than fifty years, for many of these he was Ringing Master at Fulbourn.

Lesley Boyle, Alban Forster and Dee Smith are running a series of beginner sessions over Zoom on behalf of the Ely DA for anyone interested in learning to ring handbells. These are on the first and third Saturdays of the month at 10:15am and the next session is on Saturday 20th February. Further details are in an email recently sent to the District mailing list.

Just over the District border into Hertfordshire, but you may be interested to hear that Royston bells have returned to the town. Following the devastating fire in December 2018, the bells were cracked and had to be recast at Taylor's of Loughborough. You can hear the sound of the recast bells here and reports of their return can be seen on the BBC or Royston Crow websites.

Here's the next instalment in my photographic survey of the towers of the District. Following on from the "Beating the Bounds" ride at the end of last year, I was aiming to visit all the remaining ringable towers, as well as taking photos of any other towers I passed. I also grabbed the chance to get day-time photos of the final three towers of the previous ride - and I've slipped in another repeated tower (from a different angle) to try to catch you out. Can you identify all the towers? As before, they are in the order I visited them, but aren't all from the usual side, and don't all have ringable bells...

The latest article in our Lockdown Learning series looks at drawing Graphs to explore methods and touches. Previous items in the series include Lead Head types, Odd and Even rows, Work above and below the treble, Calling Simple Touches, Music, Three-Bell Ringing, Original, Reading Touches, Place Notation and Blue Lines, Handbell Ringing and more.

I'm very sorry to pass on news of the death of Professor David Newland. As well as being a ringer at Ickleton and Duxford, David was Head of the Engineering Department at Cambridge University from 1996 to 2002, as well as being a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1999 to 2003. He also had a great interest in butterflies and moths, writing "Discover Butterflies in Britain" and "Britain's Day-flying Moths". A quarter peal on handbells was rung in his memory near the Engineering Department on Thursday 24th December.

I'm very glad to pass on the news from Barry Johnson that a faculty for the St Clement's project has now been granted. The aim is to install a ring of six bells in the tower in Cambridge, to create a ringing centre, with electronic teaching aids and displays to introduce visitors to bell-ringing. Fund-raising is now beginning in earnest and it is hoped that the treble bell can be funded in memory of former District Secretary, Felicity Webster. Details of how to donate are here; if you wish your contribution to go towards Fliss's bell, please make that clear when you donate. And don't forget that Gift Aid can increase the value of your donation.

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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