Gransden Church Bells 

Blog 2020

13th March 2020

We have had a couple of good events this week, starting with ringing for deanery evensong on Sunday 8th March, when there was a joint choir including our own and augmented by St.Neots, Gamlingay and Gt. Staughton. Sheila G had organised tea for the choir after rehearsal and the ringers were able to welcome two visitors from St. Neots and Gamlingay, the Rev Paul Hutchinson, Catherina Griffths and John Boocock. We enjoyed our ringing and were pleased to welcome them to the tower.

 Ringing for Deanery Evensong 8th March

On Wednesday the 11th three of us went to the ringing practice at Biggleswade. This was our fourth visit in 12 months and on this ocassion it was for the benefit of Hazel and Tricia. Hazel had been before and was able to ring Plain Hunt and Plain Bob 7 on the treble, both for the first time. This was Tricia's first experience on ten bells and she commented that it was a very much different sound. She managed very well ringing Rounds and Call Changes. It was a very pleasant evening and we were made most welcome, as usual, by the local ringers.


 Hazel and Tricia pleased with their efforts
after the practice


Before practice started yesterday 12th March we discussed the implications of the Coronavirus on our ringing. Guidance from the government today set out steps to be taken in case of illness. At the momernt we are not required to carry out social distancing. The emphasis was again made about handwashing. Sanitiser is available for use in the tower. Everyone understands the seriousness of the situation and we agreed to continue ringing until instructed by the government or the church to stop meeting, but that idividuals may stay away if they wish.

The following email was sent to the Rector Rev Rachel Blanchflower.

I want to let you know that during "weekly notices" at bell ringing practice this evening I talked about today's announcement from the government and chief medical officer. Some of the ringers had also seen it on tv.

At last week's practice I emphasised the importance of handwashing before and after ringing and I reiterated this tonight. I reminded everyone that we have sanitiser in the ringing room for anyone to use as they wish.

I also explained that we will carry on ringing as normal until such time that the government or church instruct us otherwise. We hope we will be able to continue but we are aware that the situation in the country will become worse and we don't yet know how our daily lives will be affected.

Everyone understood what had been said and we shared comments on this.

I explained the importance of self isolation if necessary (according to NHS guidelines), or that if anyone felt they didn't want to attend because of the general situation this would be perfectly ok (just let me know).

We have lots of ringing planned at home and away in the coming weeks and everyone is very positive but we will monitor and act accordingly.

Phillip George - Tower Secretary


27th February 2020

Well, we have had our new tail ends for a couple of weeks and find them to be very comfortable. They are flax and the same guage as the old ones, so plenty of weight on the rope for our 13.5cwt bells. They were for the back three which were worn most. We received a very good service from Mendip Ropes and will now consider sending the front three ropes although they are not as badly worn.

Tied bell practice this week was to be to practice Double Bob Minimus but Hazel was called away so we used the sim to do some leading practice and Plain Hunt on 5. It was a very worthwhile session, they usually are. Tricia is coming one well and we covered some call change theory and did some dodging practice in the morning session.

The photo shows the afternoon team.


 Georgia, Sue and Phillip


9th February 2020

No much happening in the last two weeks, most of us have had colds which has caused some absenteeism but we have been practising and we rang for the service last Sunday.

One thing I had overlooked was that during the quarter peal for Sue to gain her level 3 certificate, Georgia also achieved her level 4. So the photograph this week is of the certificate presentations at practice on the 30th January. A very good start to the year.


Presentation of LtR certificates during practice on 30th January
L-R Phillip, Sheila, Tricia, Sue, Hazel, Georgia, Sheila P, David

29th January 2020

Yet another success story for two of our ringers, this time by ringing a quarter peal. Sue needed to ring the tenor behind to a quarter peal to achieve her level 3 certificte in the Learning the Ropes scheme. We had tried just before Christmas but the ringing came to grief, and so this was a priority for this year.

We organised it to be at Caxton on a Tuesday evening. The ringers here don't practice in January and we knew that the bells would be available and we are familiar with them. It was just a matter of getting a couple of experienced ringers to helps us and Catherina was an obvious choice. We also asked David Griffiths and this left one rope. I saw it as an opportunity for Georgia to ring her first quarter peal inside and she was pleased to be able to ring.

The pressure was on a bit, with Georgia's longest length inside and Sue's L3 certificate at stake but we had a good quarter peal and we all very pleased at our accomplishent.

Many thanks to David and Catherina for ringing with us. 


 Happy band after quarter peal success
L-R: Sheila, Catherina, Sue, David, Georgia, Phill


19th January 2020

Sheila and Phillip G went to the Hunts District ADM on Saturday 18th Jan. As usual we enjoyed a "ringers' tea" of sandwiches, cake and lashings of tea. It was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and have a good chat.

During the business meeting we elected Tricia as a member of the association, along with other ringers from different towers in the district. I explained that Tricia started in September and was ringing call changes. This was met with ooo's and aaah's amongst members. Obviously good progress Tricia!!

At the end of the meeting a very pleasant surprise awaited Sheila. A presentation was made to her of a certificate marking her 50 years as a member of the association. This was greeted with warm applause from everyone. We were not aware that this was going to happen and didn't have tiome to photograph the event, so at home today we took the opportunity for a group photo with some of the Gransden ringers. Unfortunately ony five ringers this morning, we usually have at least six. Never mind, we rang some nice call changes.

Congratulations to Sheila.


 L-R: Sheila P, Tricia, Sheila G, Phillip, Sue

10th January 2020

Waking up from the "ringing slumbers" after Christmas, we met for our second practice of the year and were pleased to see Alasdair again albeit briefly before he returns to university in Glasgow. We managed to ring Plain Bob Mibor as well as PB5 and G% plain courses.

We talked about a visit to Peterborough cathedral on one of their practice nights and Phillip will arrange this. We are also planning a quarter peal for Sue at Caxton on 28th preceeded by practice there next week.

We have intended to replace some tail ends on the ropes and during the week the 4th and 6th ropes have been replaced by spare ones. The spares have not been rung for decades and are a bit springy but we managed them ok. They need a biot of adjustment as they stretched out during the evening.


 Replacement rope on No 4 bell

4th January 2020

On Saturday 4th January 14 ringers and partners celebrated the New Year with the annual ringers' party, this year held at Nutbells.

As usual everyone contributed to the meal with a variety of choices for startes, mains and sweet. After each course we were encouraged to change seating venue between the kitchen and the dinging room so as to be able to chat with everyone during the evening.

After the meal we enjoyed two quizes organised by Adrian and David, and finally Sheila and Phillip were presented with gifts as thanks for their ringing leadership during 2019 and for hosting the party.


 L-R: Hazel, Matt, Susanne, Glyn, Sheila P, Alasdair, Tricia, Georgia, Sheila G,
Sue, Adrian (front), Ant, David, Phillip

 Handmade personalised bell decorations
presented to Phillip & Sheila
Winning team receiving their prize from David (standing left), Georgia, Tricia, Ant, Hazel, Matt, Sheila G 
   Phillip & Sheila receive thank you gifts from David

1st January 2020

A lovely start to the New Year with a date touch being rung by local ringers and friends.

This was the 25th New Year's Day date touch, and quite possibly the last as it completes a long project (by definition). In fact we have attempted a date touch on 27 NYDs but two have failed, one due to method mistakes and the other due to a mis-call. nevertheless, this has been a great success.

Today's ringing was very good and methods rung included Cambridge S Minor, Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Doubles. This is the first quarter peal to be both minor and doubles methods. The details can be found here.

Thanks to all 31 ringers who have rung with us over the last 27 years.

Here is a photo of the band.


 L-R: Jon, Naomi, Catherina, Sheila, John, Phillip

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