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BELLS ON SUNDAY

DIARY 2002

From January 2002 I have been trying to keep a list of towers featured, in advance if possible, otherwise in retrospect... with what is rung, and my comments in red!

Don't forget that you can listen to the latest week online by visiting: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/religion/bells.shtml

29 December 2002. From St Michael's and All Angels, Great Cumberton (Comberton), Worcestershire. The BBCi Listen-again website introduction reads: "The first four bells were hung in 1687 and two more were added in 1869. The tenor weighs 8cwt and is tuned to the key of B flat. They ring a sliced (spliced) quarter peal beginning with Plain Bob Doubles." I have emailed corrections for the two howlers to the BBCi website and hope they might be corrected before the broadcast. They were, within a few hours, well done BBCi. Lets hope the announcer gets it right too.

22 December 2002 Wakefield Cathedral. 14 bells, tenor 35-1-0 in G. Special called changes composed for the Millennium by Tower Captain Adrian Moreton, using all 14 bells. Rather grand, but pity they stopped rather precipitately.

15 December 2002 Bollington, Cheshire, St John Baptist. 8 bells, 16-3-6 in F. "From St John the Baptist, Bollington in Cheshire. A ring of eight bells, although only six are heard, in Plain Bob Doubles. The bells were cast in 1881 in Loughborough and were rehung in 1931. The tenor weighs 17cwt."

8 December 2002 St Michael Cornhill, E. C. 3. 12 bells tenor 42-0-6 in B. Londinium Surprise maximus. Another recording off the excellent Saydisc Bells of London tape, I think. (good idea for a Christmas present?). A real 'money's-worth' length in the evening repeat, thanks!

1 December 2002 St Martin in the Bullring , Birmingham. 16 bells 31-0-21 in D. A chance to hear the 16 ringing rounds. Amazing noise. I am told that the top eight have one colour sally and the lower eight another colour. <Excuse a preceding length of the Shipping Forecast first on the listen again facility, but the recording is complete. This new situation gives the poor reader of the shipping forecast yet another factor to build in to the timing of their delivery, ie starting Bells on time>

24 November St Martin's, Eynsford, Kent. 8 bells, 9-2-13 in F#. A nice length of Grandsire Triples. This is the first week to be available on the BBCi website listen-again facility (see top box). Pity that the morning announcer had to field a typo which he read as 12 bells and quickly corrected to 2 bells ! Thanks to a cooperative contact we got the evening correctly as 8 bells but it was the morning recording used.

17 November St Martin in the Fields, London. 13, 29-1-1 in D. Stedman Cinques (or as the morning lady said in such perfect French … Sank!) The new bells, of course.

10 November St Annes Limehouse, London. 8, 12-1-0 Cambridge Surprise Major.

3 November Radio Times said Lymm Cheshire again but it was, St Helen's Church Sefton, Liverpool. 8 bells, 11-2-11 in F. A very nice touch of Grandsire Triples.

27 October Hythe, Kent, St Leonards. 10 bells, 19-3-3 in Eb. Another repeat.

20 October Lymm, Cheshire, St Mary the Virgin. 8 bells, tenor 29-3-8 in Db. Another repeat, Grandsire Triples, I think, although the method was not announced this morning; nice ringing.

13 October Barnes, London, St Mary. 8 bells, 10-2-20 in G. Bristol Surprise Major.

6 October 2002 Tiverton, Devon St Peter. 8 bells, 25-2-18 in D. Grandsire Triples; unfortunately there was something wrong with the beginning of the tape. This was, surprisingly, not corrected by BBC in the evening repeat, but the kind Continuity announcer gave us a lovely long piece to make up, even cutting out 'Sailing By' completely. Well done that man!

29 September London Westminster, St Clement Danes in The Strand. 10 bells, 21-1-23 in E. London Surprise Royal, off the Bells of London tape, I think. Very nice.

22 September Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos. St Edward, 8 bells 27-2-24 in E. The morning announcer omitted all details from this very nice recording which I assume is another one off the 20 yr old Bells of the Cotswolds record by Saydisc. The evening announcer introduced the method as "Gloucestershire Triples", but it sounded like Grandsire to me. Perhaps his notes had it abbreviated to G.Triples and he put 2 and 2 together incorrectly?!

15 September 2002 Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos. St David. 8 bells. The oft-played and very nice touch of Kent Treble Bob Major.

8 September 2002 Chislet, Kent. 6 bells, tenor 15-3-9 in Eb. Another repeat.

1 September Alverstoke, Hants. 8 bells 13-1-19 in F#. Grandsire Triples.

25 August 2002 Liverpool, St Peter's Woolton. 10 bells, 19-2-12 in G. Eight bells rang Surprise Major, I think!

18 August 2002 South Petherton, Somerset, SS Peter and Paul. 12 bells 22-3-15 in Eb. Recording of Stedman Cinques rung by the Birmingham band to win the 2000 national 12-bell competition. Good stuff. SS Peter & Paul. 8 bells 23 cwt in D.

11 August 2002 Loughton, Essex. 8 bells, 18-2-19 in E. Sorry I slept through this one, both times! If you heard it and can recall the details do email me.

4 August 2002 St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford. 10 bells, tenor 11-2-6 in G. Spliced Surprise Royal; quite nice ringing but the leads were rather difficult to pick out.

28 July 2002 Manchester Town Hall, 13 bells (including sharp 2nd), tenor 42-2-25 in B. Extended by 10 chiing bells to automatically operated carillon of 23 bells, also Hour Bell "Great Abel" 162.75cwt, the 7th biggest bell in the British Isles. Yes, over 60 seconds of good Cambridge Surprise Maximus. And these bells chosen for today to celebrate the Commonwealth Games taking place in Manchester this week. Well done BBC, and ringers for appropriate choice.

21 July 2002 Dunster, Somerset. St George. 8 bells, 20-1-6 in E. Yorkshire Surprise Majors (sic), just over
two minutes of very nice ringing. Thanks to James Rooke for this information as I was away on the Young Peoples (!) Cycle Tour in Derbyshire Dales and missed it.

14 July 2002 Guildford, Holy Trinity. 8 bells, tenor 23-3-8 in D. The announcement said Grandsire Triples. When I heard them in the repeat a reasonably long bit of rounds on 8 was played but they never got as far as starting the Grandsire! To avoid this, if you send up a tape do not leave on more than a few rounds at the beginning!

7 July 2002 St Michael, Whichford in Warwickshire. These bells (8, 12-3-23 in G) were augmented from 6 a couple of years ago. Once again this morning they played the old, but very nice Grandsire Doubles recording sent up years ago. Total play time including talk, 40 secs including the same error I have told them about once (they said Triples) and two new ones which they managed to weave in. That's horrendous!

29 June 2002 St Nicholas Leeds in Kent 10 bells, 17-2-0 in E. AGAIN! Still they said it was Kent Bob Triples but we could clearly hear ten bells. Sounded like Kent Treble Bob Royal to me.

23 June 2002 Ebrington, Gloucestershire, S Eadburgha. 6 bells tenor 12-2-12 in F#. The same touch of Grandsire Minor with the identical introduction which has been played previously. Thanks to James Rooke for this information as I was still away.

16 June 2002 St Chad, Farndon, Cheshire. 8 bells, 12-1-22 in F. Announced as Plain Bob Minor but actually rang Major. Thanks to James Rooke for this information as I was away abroad.

9 June 2002 St Nicholas, Sandhurst, Kent. 6 bells, tenor 12-1-10 in F#. Grandsire Doubles, as announced. Pity we only got 21 changes of the method, but a nice touch in the evening was that Astley Jones, the Continuity Announcer said, as it faded away,"… a nice touch of Grandsire Doubles". Coincidence, insider information, or is he a ringer?

2 June 2002 St Paul's Cathedral, London. 12 bells, tenor 62cwt in Bb. The Queen's Golden Jubilee Weekend. Unfortunately I overslept, then mistakenly wiped the tape before listening to my back-up. I'm sure it was excellent ringing, as was the ringing for the Jubilee Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday. Bells are truly part of the fabric of our national life and tradition. Almost every other tower in the land will have rung in joy this weekend. Except unfortunately Sherbourne where our tower is still inhabited by steeplejacks.

26 May 2002 Lamberhurst, Kent, St Mary. 6 bells, 13-0-17 in F#. Bells cast in 1770, tuned and rehung in 1925. Introduction was spot on - Spliced Plain and Little Bob Minor. Just three leads (PLP(B)) was a bit short and the ringing was slightly off rhythm due mainly to poor leading, but a fair sample.

19 May 2002 Ilmington, Warwicks, St Mary. 8, 12-3-26 in E. We've heard this tower on BOS several times in the past. However they have recently augmented from 6 to 8 bells. This recording was just the old 6 off the 'Bells of the Cotswolds' record yet again. Ringing - Plain Bob Doubles, but a good 2 minutes. The text said thay are rung from the ground floor of an open tower. It is open to the nave of the church, not the churchyard! The striking is not bad, but the current local band would do better - they are the local champions hereabouts and have been for about the past decade.

12 May 2002 Daresbury, Cheshire, All Saints. 8, 16-1-5 in E. Nice, well struck rounds and called changes - and again a good long sample, thanks BBC.

5 May 2002 - Benenden, Kent. St George. 8, 18-0-24 in Eb. The announcer said they rang Grandsire Triples, but listening to it more carefully I'm certain it was Stedman Triples. Quite nice ringing and lovely bells and a full 2 minutes was allowed but more than half the time was given to the initial rounds so we only had 23 changes in the actual method!

28 April - Bridlington Priory, Humberside. 8 bells, tenor 26-2-14 in D. Well, I wonder what the story behind this recording is? According to the introduction it was Rounds and Called Changes. But the bells were so fluid in their striking that a change which seemed to occur on a handstroke had disappeared again by the backstroke. Perhaps it was a VERY new band doing their best, or maybe it was recorded and sent up by a non-ringer. The technical quality may have been fine, but ringing-wise it was really not of an acceptable standard for broadcasting.

21 April - St Nicholas, Durweston, Dorset. 6, 9-3-12 in F#.. We were away and I missed hearing this one but I think it was a repeat.

14 April 2002 - Tewkesbury Abbey, Glos. 12 bells plus flat 6th, tenor 27-1-5 in D. Stedman Caters, rung by the University of London Society.

7 April 2002 - Selby Abbey Church of St Mary and St German, North Yorkshire. 10 bells, tenor 25-2-20 in D. Another repeat of a previously played recording, called changes on the ten.

March 31st 2002 - Canterbury Cathedral, Kent. 14 bells, 34-3-4 in C#. Nice dignified rounds on the twelve. Easter Sunday and the day after The Queen Mother died. The morning service came from Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Very fitting.

March 24th 2002 - St Chad's Far Headingley, Leeds. 8, 18-2-13 in E. Stately and musical called-changes.

March 17th - St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. 14 bells, tenor 45-1-18 in C. Yet again, but it was St Patrick's Day. Interesting historical details in the introduction. No method name given but as previously, Plain Hunting Cinques was being rung on the 12. I did send in a correction after the last broadcast when it was introduced as Stedman Caters, and actually had the thrill of having my correction made on air by the Continuity Announcer in the evening repeat.

March 10 2002 - St. Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside, London. 12 bells, 41-3-21 in C Bristol Surprise Maximus was announced. But there were clearly only 10 bells, ringing Caters, probably Stedman Caters. Four of us were discussing this over coffee after our own ringing this morning and we thought it would be nice to hear again the old Interval Signal recording of the pre-war Bow Bells ringing Called Changes which used to be heard on the 'wireless'.

March 3 2002 - Howden Minster, East Yorkshire St Peter 8 bells 22-1-3 in E flat. Stedman Triples. Yes, some nice ringing, mellow bells.

Feb 24 2002 - London, Smithfield St Bartholomew the Great, 5 bells, 5.5cwt in B anticlockwise. Ringing Grandsire Doubles. Yes, details as given. Listen to the lovely open handstroke closed backstroke leading making the bells sound like a 10 not a five! These bells were all cast by Thomas Bullison of Aldgate in about 1510 which makes them the only complete surviving medieval ring of more than 4 bells in Britain. They survived Henry V111's supression of the Augustinian Priory (founded 1123) and were rehung when the present brick tower was built in 1628.

Feb 17 2002 - Wambrook, Somerset Blessed Virgin Mary, 5 bells tenor 9cwt in A ringing Winchendon Place Doubles. Yes. See obituary in RW 22/2/02

Feb 10 2002 - Bledington, Glos St Leonard, 6 bells tenor 9-2-14 in G ringing Cambridge Major. Clearly 6 bells not 8 ringing and so the method was Cambridge Minor. A nice bit of ringing on bells which I know from experience are not the most tuneful nor the easiest to strike

Feb 3 2002 - Swindon, Wilts, Christ Church - 10 bells, tenor 22-0-9 in Eb ringing Swindon Surprise Royal. Yes, Surprise Royal in was, and very nice too - but the introduction described the bells as tenor 13cwt in F#. Somebody got the paperwork mixed up again!

Jan 27 2002 - Tonbridge, Kent. Ss Peter & Paul, 8 bells, tenor 19-1-0 in E. Cast in 1770; recast in 1950s; still in original wooden frame. Ringing Grandsire Triples.

Jan 20 2002 - Russian Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Solovki Islands, in the White Sea (Arctic Ocean). The bells of the most northerly monastery in the world. There was a following programme on Radio 4 which unfortunately I missed and cannot find on the BBC4 website (why can I never find the archived progs I am interested in here?). However I have tracked down another website which is well worth a visit, reminding us that we live in a big world... see link.

Jan 13 2002 - Durham Cathedral, County Durham, 10 bells, tenor 28cwt in D, ringing Grandsire Triples. But in fact they are ringing Grandsire Caters.

Jan 6 2002 - Andover, Hants St Mary, 8 bells, tenor 15-0-21 in F, ringing Grandsire Triples. This is a recording from Roy LeMarechal's CD 'Hampshire Bells' sold in aid of the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers' bell Restoration fund. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear - The bells were lovely, but the announcement described the bells as "Three and a quarter tons" instead of "Three-quarters of a ton". I know that The Ringing World is moving their office to Andover but surely the church has not had a heavy metal transplant to celebrate the event!!!. I will email the producer so any repeat of this recording is corrected.

2004 2003

 

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