17 in total at practice tonight. Call changes on ten, some Single Oxford for a change and a slightly optimistic attempt at Spliced Major.
Ten ringers at Staplehurst this morning, some well struck call changes as well as an excellent touch of Grandsire Triples.
Around 20 ringers from the Tonbridge District enjoyed the bells this evening. Ringing rounds on ten, several people’s from first goes at Plain Hunt 9 and some very good Kent Treble Bob Royal.
Ten ringers from Staplehurst took part in the combined district method ringing and call change striking competition. We were placed first in both sections of this competition, this is the second year running we have won both, lets hope for the hat trick.
A rather reduced practice tonight, early ringing included rounds on 6, where our newest ringer was “putting it all together” at only his second practice. Later on we rang Orpheus Doubles, Cambridge Minor & Grandsire Triples, all half muffled.
As autumn approaches things are getting back into full swing in the tower with our ringers now home after their holidays. Although, as mentioned last month, August was a quiet month, we did have some visitors from the Whiting Society. You wouldn’t have heard the bells being rung though as the clappers were tied and the sound transmitted to the ringing room by means of a simulator. This is an ideal way of enabling ringers to have extended practice without disturbing our neighbours. Our simulator was the creation of steeplekeeper, Chris Bassett, – maybe we could persuade him to write an article about it at some stage.
At the beginning of September two of our ringers attended the Ringing Roadshow at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire. The Roadshow is a mixture of ringing activities, seminars, trade and organisation stands from the world of ringing, and of course the obligatory real ale bar (which your scribe was unable to do justice to as he was driving!).
Looking ahead, our ringers will be participating in All Saints’ Birthday Celebrations on Saturday 1st November when the Tower will be open from 2.00 – 4.00pm for visitors to see the bells and learn a little about their history and about bellringing in general. Before that however we are hosting the Annual Meeting of the Maidstone District on Saturday 11th October. There will be ringing from 3.00pm until 4.30pm, when there will be a Service at which anyone is welcome to join us. This will be followed by tea in the church and possibly further ringing afterwards. This apart, we will be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday services during October.
August is generally a quiet month for church activities, with many people being away enjoying their summer holidays. Ringing is no exception and there is thus little to report this month. However we did have one happy occasion when we rang for the wedding of Catherine Marks who was a member of the Staplehurst band until she went to university. We were pleased to welcome a number of Catherine’s university ringing friends who joined us to ring before and after the wedding service. We wish Catherine and husband Richard well for the future.
Looking to the future there are no more weddings this summer requiring bells, so during September we will just be ringing for the usual Sunday services and our normal Tuesday evening practices.
A solid practice at Staplehurst tonight, Superlative Surprise Major (the Superlative both describes the method and the quality) as well as some fine Triples and Doubles ringing. Some really good progress on the London learning front, with three successful touches of London Surprise and Little Bob Major.
In last month’s Magazine I reported that the Staplehurst bellringers would be entering a band in the Maidstone District ringing contest at Stansted.
The article was necessarily written before the event, and I am sorry to say that the event did not take place, due to the fact that we were the only tower that entered a band. We had won this competition for the previous two years so perhaps other towers were too scared to challenge us!
However the District Barbeque at Marden two weeks later did go ahead and our ringers were there in force. The weather forecast was ominous, but turned out to be mainly fine with just one short shower and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
On Saturday 2nd August we will be ringing for the wedding of Catherine Marks, daughter of Maggie Marks, both former Staplehurst ringers. We have no other weddings requiring bells during August, nor do we have any visiting bands scheduled for the month. However we will, of course, be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday Services during August.
On Saturday 14th June Staplehurst bellringers entered a band in the Maidstone District ringing contest, held at the attractively situated church at Stansted nestling in the North Downs. Two weeks later on 28th June a number of our ringers attended a District Barbeque at Marden. Both events took place after the copy date for the July magazine, but we will have reports on both in the August issue.
After several years when Staplehurst was a popular venue for weddings, this year we have very few and none at all during July for which the couple have requested bells. Neither have we any visiting bands scheduled for July. However we will, of course, be ringing on our normal Tuesday practice evening and for the regular Sunday Services during July.