Cambridge District

of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers


Full Association Calendar


The latest addition to our Lockdown Learning pages picks up on a comment in last Friday's webinar and looks at Stedman on even numbers of bells. There's also a link to the Central Council's YouTube competition for May, searching for the best ringing on 6 or fewer bells. Previous articles include lapping, lead-end variants, names of methods and more on handbell ringing.

This week's learners' Q&A drop-in will be on Saturday morning at 10am. Do you know your 'ups' from your 'downs' and your 'ins' from your 'outs'? The general focus of this week’s Q&A will be everything you wanted to know about what the different bits of ringing jargon mean but were afraid (until now) to ask. All other questions welcome too! Join here (Meeting ID: 839 6099 3968, Password: 950098)

I'm very glad to pass on the news from Barry Johnson that a faculty for the St Clements 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.

As Saturday 30th May was to have been the Ely Diocesan Association AGM, the Annual Report to members has now been released electronically. If you are a member, you should have received a copy, either through your tower correspondent or via the District e-mail list. If you haven't yet received a copy, please get in touch with the District Treasurer, . No decision has yet been made, but some paper copies may be available for those who need them. If you would like to register an interest in a paper copy, please contact the Association Webmaster, .

The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths have produced a "Lockdown Challenge" for their members. But they have kindly said "please do share this with ... other members of your tower or branch who may find it interesting", so here it is.

Date Time Event
Saturday 6th June 10:00 - 11:00 am Learners' Drop-in Session - join

Links to previous webinars on the District YouTube channel, with slides:

Thursday 4th June Introduction to Abel - Nikki Thomas and Simon Rudd  
Friday 29th May A Medley of Methods - Peter Hinton slides
Wednesday 20th May Zones and Pathways - Will Bosworth  
Friday 15th May Can I judge a striking competition? - Katie Town  
Thursday 7th May Change-ringing in 18th century Cambridge - Gareth Davies  
Tuesday 28th April A History of Ringing Simulators - David Bagley  
Tuesday 21st April Introduction to Composition - Mark Davies  
Friday 17th April Introduction to Conducting - David Pipe slides
Tuesday 14th April Care of Bells and Belfries - Tom Ridgman slides
Thursday 9th April Blue Lines - Stephen Burr - part 2 slides
Tuesday 7th April Blue Lines - Stephen Burr - part 1

Following on from Katie Town's excellent webinar on judging a striking competition, the book she mentioned is 'Judging Striking Competitions' by Simon Linford, which is available from Central Council Publications.

Following updated guidance from the Church of England, the latest Central Council statement on ringing in towers is here. This also includes a link to a detailed analysis of the Covid-related risks related to ringing, which makes it difficult to foresee any return to our towers in the near future.

Here is the latest from Martin Kitson, Chairman of the Association:
"It would seem, they tell us, that things are looking much better. With talk of gradually relaxing the lockdown, it seems things are improving. Now, whilst I wouldn't want to be thought of as pessimistic, we must remember that, until a cure, or a vaccine at least, for covid-19 is found, the virus will still be with us despite all our optimism. You see, sadly, this may not be the "beginning of the end", but merely the "end of the beginning". The things we may still all have to do, such as social distancing, are quite impossible in a ringing chamber, and we have to remember that many of us, myself included, are in the over-70's and/or underlying health issues sector, and that can't, and won't, change. Until the Archbishop of Canterbury gives permission for churches to open again, our ringing will not get back to normal anyway. That doesn't, of course, mean we can't make plans for the future; that would be a good thing to do anyway. However, let's be flexible with the plans, as we don't know yet how things will pan out. Good luck with them, anyway!
To end on a positive note, I'm well aware of the initiatives being taken to "keep us all ringing" (on line). The webinars, the Ringingroom sessions, the Zoom chats….great stuff. All helping to keep us together, focused and cheerful. I've had the good luck to be a partaker of many of these, and indeed have given presentations….again, all great fun. If anyone hasn't tried any of these out, I seriously recommend that you do. There's no pressure, no irate conductor screaming at you if you go wrong….can't be bad! I really am very grateful indeed to all of you who have set up and organised these things. Good on yer!
So, my dear friends, stay safe, stay well and stay ringable!"

Despite the current restrictions on access to churches, ringing to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day has gone ahead in the District, albeit not quite as planned. Tom and Val Ridgman (right) rang 6 handbells between them, ringing Sixty on Thirds, then the Hintons rang Plain Hunt Minor in front of their house at the originally planned time for "Ringing Out for Peace". The Pipes rang a peal in Willingham and the Gormans rang a quarter peal of Plain Bob Minimus, as well as decorating their house with red, white and blue sallies! The Egans rang handbells outide their house in Barrington. Meg was even able to ring a tower bell at Haslingfield.

Videos marking the anniversary were also posted on the District Facebook page, featuring previously-recorded ringing at Little Shelford and Meldreth.

Congratulations to Sue Lee on her 80th birthday. A quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor was rung in hand by the Ovenden family, being a first quarter for Joe, as well as first in hand for Cathy.

Congratulations to the Pipe band which rang a triple peal at Willingham on Saturday, consisting of 21 extents of different treble-dodging minor methods. It was the longest peal rung by the two boys, but they've still got a while before they reach David's record.

Despite the current lockdown, this month's District Quiz was able to take place, over Zoom, on Saturday 25th April. This year, however, participants had to supply their own fish and chips. With questions once again provided by Val Ridgman and with Tom Ridgman as question-master, a fun evening was had by all. The Great St Mary's team triumphed, but only by a margin of half a mark, particularly helped by their Geographical knowledge. The other teams were Little Shelford, Shelford Parva, Cherry Hinton and Trumpington. Many thanks to Val all her work preparing the questions, as well as to Tom, Greg and Dave for their administrative skills.

Stretham REC (Ringing Education Centre) is also running a Drop in Social, on Saturday mornings, from 11:15 to 12:00. This is open to everyone who rings at the REC and others. There will also be a chance to look at RingingRoom for those who have not tried it before or are having difficulties using it. Please contact for more details and how to participate.

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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