Branch News

<< 2017 << 2018

Contents

Skittles Evening & Supper

Old North Berks Branch are holding a Skittles evening with supper at Radley Village Hall on Saturday, 10th November, at 7.00pm. Please see the attached poster for more details (including food options).

Please note that payment is required in advance by 29th October absolute latest. You can send your food orders with cheques directly to Daphne, whose address is on the poster.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at this fun event.

Half Term Young Ringer's Party (24th October).

We are hoping you will come and ring with us in Cholsey on Wednesday 24th October (in half term). We will start ringing at 1.30 pm, and will be joined by some of the older ringers from our branch at 2 pm. At about 2.30 the young ringers will go downstairs into the church for refreshments and party games until 3.30 when we will disperse.

Any young ringers who can handle a bell safely by themselves will be welcome. (Parents and more experienced ringers are welcome too.) Donations of £5.00 per young ringer will be collected.

Please let us know if you are coming. Please arrange to complete and bring a permission form for those under 18 years old if you haven't previously provided one to us (form linked above).

Susan and Brian Read
Tel: (01235) 529 779
Email email

ONB Committee Meeting (Sunday 7th October)

There will be an Old North Berks Branch Committee Meeting at 7.30pm on Sunday, 7th October. This will be held at:

Dornie Lodge, Bessels Lea, Blewbury OX11 9NW.

Every tower in the Branch is invited to send one of their members to represent them at this meeting.

Click the links below for the agenda for the meeting and also the minutes of the last committee meeting.

ART Weekend Masterclass

The Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) ran a weekend masterclass in Birmingham for ringers who had completed Level 5 of the Learning The Ropes scheme. Two of the Abingdon youngsters qualified this year and attended the weekend. ART paid for their travel, hotel and meals as well as organising a really superb weekend of training. Here is Sophie's report:

On Saturday 8th September, Josh (17) and I (15), accompanied by Susan and Tim (adults), travelled to Birmingham to attend the annual ART celebration event, for those who have achieved Level 5 of the Association of Ringing Teachers Learning the Ropes scheme. When we arrived we collected our lunches and were given details of our overnight accommodation.

Each student was assigned a personal mentor to help develop their ringing throughout the day. I was paired with David Hull and Josh with Paul McNutt. Before heading to the towers, we were welcomed and completed a few listening exercises as a group, to see if we could identify striking errors and know how to correct them. We were also given individual objectives for the weekend.

The first ringing of the day was at St Phillips (a twelve) where we rang a mix of methods so everyone’s capabilities could be assessed. We worked closely with our tutors to develop our personal objectives and then went on to St. Paul’s for targeted ringing on 10. In the afternoon we experienced the St. Martin’s 16, before being joined by other groups throughout the afternoon, so that everyone could have an opportunity to ring on higher numbers. We were all encouraged to try something new, with the help of our tutors. I called call changes on 16, called touches of Stedman and grandsire cinques and rang the tenor at the bullring!

Firsts for Josh were ringing Grandsire Caters for the first time (a touch!), Little Bob royal inside, a touch of Cambridge major, Cambridge Royal inside, and Littleport Maximus (inside to a touch). He was really thrilled!

In the evening we were treated to a delicious diner at Byrons, a burger restaurant. Later we played card games in Josh’s palatial hotel room – cheat, blackjack and spoons.

An ‘All You Can Eat’ breakfast at our Premier Inn set us up for the next day when we walked to the Bullring for some handbells prior to the usual Sunday service ringing. We then were allowed to ring on both the 12 and the full 16 for the service, as well as witnessing some impressive spliced surprise Maximus by the famous Birmingham band. After stopping for coffee and some impromptu coursing order tuition from Michael Wilby (thank you!), we headed down to St Chad’s for 20 minutes of ringing, before returning to St Paul’s. There we rang a quarter of Cambridge Major, my first of Major as conductor and Josh’s first of Surprise inside.

It was a brilliant weekend, and many thanks go to all of the organisers and helpers, in particular Stephanie Warboys, Simon Linford and Arthur Reeves for the time and commitment they put into making this event the huge success that it was.

Half Term Young Ringer's course

Please see linked posters (above) for two ringing events for young ringers.

The first “event” is a Ringing Course/Club each morning from 20 – 24 August in Abingdon. It is an opportunity for young people to bring their friends/siblings to learn to ring from scratch while those who can already ring enjoy ringing exercises, all using a simulator. It will be useful if at least some of the youngsters bring their tower captains with them to provide a few better ringers to help.

The other event takes place in St Giles church, Oxford whilst the St Giles Fair is on. St Giles offers comparative peace and refreshments to those wishing to retreat from the clamour of the Fair. We will ring the tower bells and then enjoy some time in the church, exploring the church, having some refreshments and ringing tunes and changes on the handbells. The young people may enjoy visiting the Fair before or after our event.

Also attached is a Child Registration Form which we will need completed for every under 18 year old attending either event. Please make sure we are notified about those coming so that we can make sure we have room and enough help.

PLEASE NOTE this is a new version of the permission form due to new regulations. Please complete a new form even if you have done one before!

Branch Outing & BBQ

Join in the fun after the Branch Outing on Saturday, 21st July 2018 from 7.00pm at the home of Stuart and Naomi Gibson:

The Croft, Milton Hill
(A4130 between A34 Didcot exit and Rowstock)

All proceeds to branch funds: £10.00 each (payable on the day).

Proposed Towers:
NB: Free Prize Draw for attendees!

09.30-10.30 Tadmarton St Nicholas (6) (11-0-15) OX15 5TD
10.45-11.45 Bodicote St John the Baptist (8) (8-1-4) OX15 4DW
12.00-13.20 LUNCH Red Lion, Adderbury OX17 3NG
13.30-14.30 TBC TBC TBC
14.45-15.45 Deddington St Peter and Paul (8) (15-3-3) T OX15 0SA
15.45-16.15 TEA Deddington (TBC) OX15 0SA
16.30-17.30 Steeple Aston St Peter and Paul (8) (12-2-16) OX25 4SF

Half Term Young Ringer's course

Rather than running an outing for young ringers in half term week, we decided to try a Club with ringing (on the simulator) each morning for two hours and the option of teaching some new ringers. There were four days (we didn’t run it on the bank holiday). We used St Helen’s, Abingdon because the simulator allows us to ring as much as we like without our bothering the neighbours.

Up to six young people came during the four days including two who had no experience of ringing, both of whom came close to handling on their own by the end of the week. We had arranged for me and my husband to run the club but four ringers came at various times during the week and helped, as well as one non-ringing parent. We were also really pleased that Daphne came and provided a generous amount of cake, cheese scones and pop for our morning breaks.

Apart from teaching the two new ringers, we rang lots of call changes, played ringing games and used the simulator to start to teach the young ringers to hear their bells and to learn to ring a cover bell entirely by listening.

Whilst ringing we were sometimes distracted by a pair of pigeons who had found their way into the ringing chamber. They did a lot of cooing and occasionally fluttered across the room. Amelie decided we should name them Bob and Sally. We were glad when one of our ringers managed to eject them from the tower and closed the window firmly!

And after our refreshments each day, we rang handbells, including ringing some simple tunes from music and ringing plain hunt with one bell each.

The week went well with lots of fun. We hope to run a ringing club again at some point.

The next ONB young ringer outing will be on Monday 3rd September, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at St Giles, Oxford during the St Giles Fair. We will send out further details nearer the date. Details now available above.

Guild 8-Bell Striking Competition

Many of you will know that ONB has nearly always entered a tower team into the Guild 6 Bell competition and a Branch team into the 10 Bell competition.

However, it has always proved to be too challenging to raise a team for the 8 Bell competition held on the first bank holiday Monday in May. During a recent pub conversation at Cumnor, Andrew and Jenny Dyer said that they would be happy to be part of a branch 8 bell team for 2018. The date is Monday 7th May and it will be held on the back 8 at Shrivenham during the late afternoon.

On the basis that it is easier to find 6 rather than 8, are there 6 branch ringers out there who would like to join Andrew and Jenny to make a team? The method will be Double Norwich Court Bob Major (a straightforward touch).

It would be really nice for ONB to enter in this competition, especially if we could have some 'new faces' to volunteer in the band.

Afternoon Outing (Weds 25th April).

Mini outing starting at 10.00am to Burghclere, Kintbury and Hungerford. Lunch at the John O’Gaunt, Hungerford

Young Ringers' Easter outing (4th April).

The outing for Young Ringers in the Easter holidays will take place just after Easter. We are going to ring at two more towers on the outskirts of Oxford: Iffley and Cowley. Iffley has a really interesting church with lots to look at, so we will spend some time finding out about it before we walk to Cowley.

Any young ringers who can handle a bell safely by themselves will be welcome. (Parents and more experienced ringers are welcome too.) Donations of £5.00 per young ringer will be collected to pay for tower donations and lunch, etc.

Please make sure all young ringers wear/bring suitable footwear and clothes for the outdoors and the weather expected that day!

ONB Branch AGM

The ONB Branch 6-bell striking competition and AGM took place on Saturday 17th March at Cholsey .

Next year’s AGM will be held on Saturday, 16th March 2019.

Branch 6-Bell Striking Competition (17th March)

Just a reminder about the branch 6 Bell striking competition which will be hosted this year by Cholsey on the afternoon of 17th March.

In recent years we have had a fairly healthy number of teams entering the competition, and I am hopeful that 2018 will not disappoint! The competition is open to branch tower teams and the rules allow for one of the team to be from another tower, providing that they are an ONB member.

The competition welcomes novice teams to enter at call change level (240 changes with 5 bells being brought to lead). Otherwise any doubles or minor methods are permitted so long as a minimum of 240 changes are rung.

6-Bell Striking Competition Results

Robert and Patricia Newton of High Wycombe judged the competition and gave the results. They said that the four towers entering the competition had done a lot better than all the towers that had not managed to raise a team, and that they had heard some good ringing. The results were as follows:

1st Wallingford (20 faults)
2nd Abingdon (39 faults)
3rd Blewbury (92 faults)
4th Harwell (110 faults)

The Wallingford ringers were invited to represent the Branch in the Guild 6-bell striking competition on Saturday, 6th October, in the Central Bucks Branch.

ONB Committee Meeting (Sunday 25th February)

There will be an Old North Berks Branch Committee Meeting at 7.30pm on Sunday, 25th February. This will be held at:

Highfield, The Winnaway, Harwell, OX11 0JG.

Each tower in the Branch is invited to send one of their members to represent them at this meeting.

Click the links below for the agenda for the meeting and also the minutes of the last committee meeting.

Young Ringers' half term outing (14th February).

At half term we are holding another outing for you. This time we will be on the northern edge of Oxford, ringing at Old Marston and Headington. And we will be bringing ploughman's lunches, pizza and cake for everyone! So it is important that you should let us know you are coming so we can have enough food.

Any young ringers who can handle a bell safely by themselves will be welcome. (Parents and more experienced ringers are welcome too.) Donations of £5.00 per young ringer will be collected to pay for tower donations and lunch, etc.

Please make sure all young ringers wear/bring suitable footwear and clothes for the outdoors and the weather expected that day!

Branch Surprise Major Practices

The first Branch Surprise Practice of 2018 will be held at Harwell on 7th February 7.30-9.00pm.

These practices are intended to be very friendly and sociable, and everyone is welcome at whatever experience level. We particularly encourage those who are new to Surprise Major to improve their skills through practice with experienced ringers.

For your diary, here are the dates and venues for the rest of the year:

  • 4th April Wallingford (8 - 9.30)
  • 6th June Brightwell
  • 1st August Goring
  • 3rd October Milton
  • 5th December Drayton

Radley Course 2018

These courses have been running for a number of years and are designed for learners of all ages and levels of competence. No need to feel nervous about coming as you will be with others at a similar level.

We aim to improve your confidence as well as your ringing with friendly support and tuition.

Closing date for applications is: 1st February 2018 Maximum of 25 students

Young Ringers walk through Blenheim.

New Year’s Ringing & Refreshments.

Ring for the New Year at St Laurence, Appleton: 10:30am - 12:30pm. Everybody welcome!

As there is no Church Hall, refreshments will be served in the Church. However, the Rector has asked that we do not hold a raffle and, I'm sure you will agree, we have to respect his request.

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