Gransden Church Bells 

Blog 2018

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Excellent ringing last Sunday the 15th April starting with a quarter peal arranged as a compliment to the Rev'd Catharine Furlong, Priest in Charge of our parishes for the last 12 years. Catharine has been very supportive of the ringers throughout this time. Her regular visits to the ringing room when we have been ringing for service has been much appreciated.

The quarter peal, by a local band, was also Alasdair's first on an inside bell. Well done Alasdair.


 Quarter Peal Ringers: Sheila G, Sheila P, Alasdair, David,Phillip, Martin.
   Catharine and more ringers arrive after the quarter peal
Phillip, Sheila G, david, Sheila P, Catharine, Martine, Lynn, Alasdair, Susanne and Reuben.


A copy of the certificate documenting the quarter peal and presented to Catharine can be found here: Catherine farewell.docx



Sunday 8th April 2018

A good weekend for one of our ringers. First, on Thursday at our parctice Lynn Walton passed her Level 1 in the Learning the Ropes scheme on bell handling. Having joined our team in September Lynn has worked through the many elements of bell handling and has become proficient at this stage in her ringing career. Well done Lynn.


 Lynn receives her certificate
from trainer Phillip

Also happening this weekend, on Saturday 7th April - Lynn, Sheila and Phillip G attended the Hunts District meeting arranged for new ringers and those at the ringing Rounds stage. This was held at Hemingford Grey. It was an excellent opportunity to meet other ringers from many churches in the Huntingdon area and get to ring at a new tower. It was a very useful meeting and gave encouragement and enthusiasm to the many new ringers.


 Lynn (in red) ringing the 3rd at Hemingford Grey
   Refreshments - ah!


Sunday 1st April 2018

Some lovely ringing this morning for Easter Sunday including Rounds and Plain Bob Doubles. Although some were away for Easter we had seven ringers.

Annual Ringers Meeting

David Prest presented his annual report for our ringing during 2017 which can be found here.Bell Ringing Report 2017.pdf

The meeting was held on Maundy Thursday. Only five in attendance due to holidays but it was an opportunity to discuss our ringing activities and plan for the year ahead. We talked about training and recruitment as well as ringing activities during the year. We hope to hold an outing in the summer and have set ourselves objectives in ringing quarter peals during 2018 in three different methods, namely St.Simons, St.Martins and Plain Bob Minor.

We are also investigating the possibilty of modifying the clappers of No5 and 6 bells to have nylon or wooden shafts. We are consulting Whites of Appleton about this.

Safeguarding was discussed following the introduction of new National Church Guidlines and Data Protection was also mentioned pending the enforcement of new regulations in May. The former is managed by the Tower Secretary and the latter will be discussed with the newly appointed church Data Protection Officer.

Our Priest in Charge the Revd Catharine Furlong retired on the 31st March but her last service for us will be the 15th April. The ringers are organising a farewell quarter peal. More new of this later.


Thursday 22nd March 2018

Another excellent practice this evening with successful attemots at a "simple" touch of Plain Bob Minor, and 120 St.Simons Doubles, a  first for David and Sheila P.Overall we are seeing a significant improvement in capability. We think our attempts at PB Minor have helped with ropesite and are adding more interest to the ringing.

Exciting banter all evening ranging from the flavour of some of the chocolates to explaining the meaning of course bells and the going rate for baby sitting. The notices were an amusing struggle, becoming more like an episode of BBC's Question Time, when a question is asked and the response is completely off topic and everyone interrupts! Lots coming up, not least our tower AGM next Thursday and, in due course, repair of the clock, which although still working is currently disengaged from the hands which have siezed up!

Cumbria Clock Company inspected the clock this week and will send a report and quotation for repairs. We hope to receive this soon so that we can get on a fix it. The church wardens are aware of course. A nearby resident asked me what was happening because the chimes were working but the hands are stationary at 12 o'clock.

Ringing this Sunday is at 5.15pm and we had a great debate as to who would be able to ring. Alasdair said he should be back in time, so it was funny to hear him ask, at the end of the practice, what time ringing was! Hey ho! its all in a days work.

Our practices are a happy time, lots of energy and enthusiasm, with great fellowship and laughter.


Tuesday 13th March 2018

Being aware that some odd-struckness had crept in on the treble and second bells we arranged for Whites of Appleton to visit, take some readings and make any necessary adjustments.

Mark Walker brought along his electronic deviceo which measures the accuracy of the clapper strike at handstroke and backstroke. Each bell was, as we suspected, in need of adjustment, being about 500 milliseconds out, causing the bells to be slow at handstroke and quick at backstroke. In each case the clappers were removed and adjusted by inserting tapered washers between the clapper and the crown of the bells. Several attempts were required but after not too long Mark got the strike error down to 9 and 5 milliseconds respectively. A job that was needed to be done has been done well.

We look forward to improved striking and accuracy in our ringing!


Monday 5th March 2018

Its been pretty quiet recently. Ringing has carried on but there has not been anything significant to report.

The recent severe winter weather led to the practice being cancelled last week but we'll be back to normal this week because the 3 inches of snow and accompanying ice has now completely gone. The clock stopped again, due I think to bitter northerly and easterly winds, but a re-start on Sunday was successful and it continues to run. We are still waiting for The Cumbria Clock Company to contact us about a site visit.

Tied bell practice resumed this week for Lynn. Her bell control is developing nicely and we are ringing Rounds nicely on the simulator to 6 bells and we have now started on 8. Dodging prcatice was successful too with up and down dodges.


Sunday 28th January 2018

Ringing for evening prayer this afternoon and we were pleased for Lynn, ringing for service for the first time. Ringing included some Plain Bob Doubles and nicely rung Rounds and call changes on six.

L-R: Lynn, Sheila G, David, Sheila P, Phillip, Alasdair.


Thursday 18th January 2018

Another good practice continuing the good work on Plain Bob. Amusing comment of the evening was made by Alasdair. We were talking about BCP and church services in general. This included comments about the Bible. Alasdair said that he thought reading the Bible was like reading Terry Pratchet, but not so amusing!  Laughter followed!

We have been struggling to keep the clock going. We fitted a "Heath Robisnon" replacement part toreplace the suspected faulty one but this seemed to make no difference. Just before the practice started I pushed the pendulum to see if it would go - and it did. It is still going, so this is a mystery. We are pleased of course. We are now waiting for the Cumbria Clock Company to arrange a visit to inspect the clock for any underlying problems which might cause it to stop again.

I have decided to remove the video from the Welcome page because it is nearly 4 years old. People change in that time - youngsters grow up and adults get older. We are happy to have new ringers since 2014 and hopefully we could include them in any future videos.


Thursday 4th January 2018

An excellent practice this week when we achieved a creditable plain course of Plain Bob Minor, a 120 of PB Doubles for Alasdair - now quarter peal ready; some of the same for Christine on the treble - also quarter peal ready; some Plain Hunt 5 for Susanne - tick, and a three batches of call changes with the same strong band for the benefit of different less experienced ringers. Llyn managed some steady Rounds - more 1:1 training lined up to help with bell control. 

During the notices members of the Association were riminded that subs are now due. This prompted interest from the newer ringers, who would like to become members. Very encouraging. Phillip to get the aplication forms.

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