On Saturday 6 May 17 approximately 20 members of the Eastern Branch met at St Margaret’s Sibsey for a Branch Meeting and ringing practice evening.
At the meeting Gladys from Coningsby & Tattershall was proposed and seconded as a new member. The Branch outing was discussed as the proposed outing to the Loughborough Foundry was now cancelled. Gemma was looking into arranging a Tower Tour around the Loughborough area and would welcome ideas for a suitable date. Members were reminded about the EB BBQ on 7 Jul 17 (details and poster on homepage). Tony reported that Fishtoft is now ringable and thanked Bob and Russell for their hard work at Old Bolingbroke. Thanks were also expressed to Ian for tidying the stairs and Tower before the meeting.
Tony then commenced the ringing, which ranged from rounds and call changes to courses of Grandsire Triples and Double Norwich, covering all abilities at the practice.
It was generally agreed that the timing of 6.30-8.30 pm was convenient and all members gained something from the evening, even it if wasn’t how to smile at a camera!
St Mary's at Wainfleet is an ornate, richly decorated high church with several figures of the Virgin Mary, including a black Virgin Mary, reminiscent of the much revered Black Madonna at Candelaria in Tenerife and a statue of St. George slaying the dragon. It has a ground floor ring with good going bells, pleasant sounding and easy handling. Seventeen people attended the practice, mostly experienced ringers with just a few learners. Ringing as up to and including touches of Plain Bob Minor although this was extended, on request, to include a touch of St. Clement's Bob Minor. There were four ringers from the Central Branch and one from the Southern Branch. It was also, the first Branch practice for the new Ringing Master, Tony Barker. Although the weather was fine there was still a chill in the air and John Seymour, churchwarden, provided some very welcome cups of tea and coffee with biscuits.
The learners took full advantage of the practice and were eager to ring. This may have been due to the football rattle used to call ringers to the next piece of ringing! All the learners handled the bells really well. There were willing helpers to stand behind and stand in to ring. The standard of ringing was good, the bells rang well with newish ropes and progress was made. For those standing out there was chat to be had, news to be told and heard and a quiet time to soak up the atmosphere of this pleasant church.
At the end of the practice six of the experienced ringers rang a touch of Stedman Doubles.
The practice went really well and bodes well for the future of the Branch.
Helen Brotherton image compliments of Val Wild
The Eastern Branch practice at Wainfleet, St Mary’s was held on Saturday afternoon 1st April, unfortunately the ladies failed to turn up, the men are shown on the attached photo.
Mr F Noos, Wainfleet
Five Eastern Branch members ventured down into the Elloe Deaneries on a slightly wet Wednesday evening to Spalding to join in their Stedman practice. The practice was well attended with around twenty ringers coming from the areas surrounding Lincoln, Boston, Alford and Ingoldmells; along with the local ringers.
I arrived as they started with a plain course of Stedman Triples and as this is the first time I have rung at Spalding I got a quick look around the tower. The tower has lots of interesting peal boards, including one for John Pratt, who used to ring with me at Alford. We were made very welcome by the gentleman running the ringing, and it was nice to see people I’ve not seen for a while. As the title of the practice states it was a Stedman based evening, so the ringing varied from Stedman doubles, to Stedman triples, to touches of both. I feel that I gained a lot of valuable experience from this practice as it has improved my confidence as Stedman is a method we don’t get to ring much. We then took a break for refreshments. WOW… the refreshments were great, a lovely choice of cakes, savory snacks and grapes along with a wide range of drinks. I had the lemon drizzle it was scrumptious.
We then continued to ring until 9 pm, I rang a touch of Stedman triples which is the longest touch I had rung of it since the last guild AGM, and I wish I could ring more of it as Stedman is such a lovely sounding method. To finish the bells were rung down and they really sang. The church of St Nicholas and St Mary at Spalding is a beautiful spired church in the market town of Spalding, the church has a beautifully painted chancel and the bells are really nice to ring and is well worth a visit. The next special practice is the 5th Wednesday in May.
St Helena Willoughby was the venue for the joint Eastern and Northern Branch Practice on Sat 4 Mar 17. The bells here were originally a complete ring of 6 by Henry Harrison II of Barrow on Humber, hung in a timber frame in 1770, the same year that Harrison also cast a ring of 6 for nearby Addlethorpe. Taylor's of Loughborough recast 2 of the bells and rehung all in a new metal frame in 1933. They are a very pleasant sounding ring and go well. In readiness for our visit, the ringing chamber had been given a good 'spring clean' by Gemma Evans.
Approximately 35 ringers from both Branches and further visitors from Central Branch put the bells to good use for 2 hours, during which a variety of methods were rung, including the named special method; touches of Double Court Bob Minor. Caitlin Meyer was Ringing Master.
The Alford ringers, together with Helen Brotherton, provided welcome refreshments that included some very nice cakes.
Inter-Branch events seem to be a good idea and it is hoped that Eastern Branch can next join with the Northern Branch at one of their towers.
Tony Barker - image Val Wild
The very well attended funeral of Jim Sutherland was held on Thu 2 Mar 17 at All Saints Church Wragby, followed by a peal arranged by Jim himself.
"No more will I climb the Stairs, and get a rope to ring a bell" - Jim Sutherland 2016
Rung in affectionate memory of James A Sutherland ‘Jim’, Tower Captain at this Church for 30 years and Honorary Life Member of the Guild, on the afternoon of his funeral.
The ringers of 1, 4, 5 & 6 were all taught to ring here at Wragby by Jim. The father of 2 was Tower Captain here at Wragby immediately prior to Jim.
The band wish to associate Colin Ward & Tony Barker with this peal. Jim left instructions for the seven methods that he wished us to ring in the peal today (No Doubles!) along with the band he would have liked to have rung the peal, being the four ringers he taught (1,4,5,6) and Colin & Tony who both have strong connections to ringing at Wragby and to Jim. Unfortunately both Colin & Tony were unable to ring in the peal today.
It was a chilly Saturday morning at Alford St Wilfrid’s, which marked the end of the year for the Eastern Branch ringers of the LDGCBR. Ringing started at 11am, and was well attended. Ringing was run by Mick Smith and varied in complexity from rounds and call changes to Cambridge Surprise Minor, we had visitors to the AGM from other branches, including the Central and Northern. Unfortunately, I was helping with lunch in the kitchen so left them ringing. But I did get to see the 8 Bell striking competition trophy.
The service was conducted by Rev Ros (Priest in Charge), and it was a lovely service and made us feel appreciated by the church. Once the service was over we all went over to the Church hall where the Alford Ringers/helpers had been busy setting the tables. As I was helping in the kitchen and acting as one of the waitresses bringing out the lunch. The lunch was several different types of homemade soup, from Leek and Potato, Tomato and Carrot and Ginger all served with a variety of crusty breads. There were several options for pudding, homemade cakes and fruit crumble. This seemed popular, and was welcoming because the tower had been a little chilly. Served with tea and coffee.
The meeting followed this and was an interesting one, thanks were given to Mick Smith and Jo French who were stepping down as the Ringing Master and Deputy Ringing Master positions, and to Rhoda Reynolds who was stepping down from auditing the accounts. The Election of new officers to these positions then happened, Tony Barker was elected as Ringing Master and Kate Meyer was elected as the Deputy Ringing Master. Tom Freeston became the new auditor of the accounts. We heard from Guild Master Alan Payne about the guild updates, especially about the safeguarding updates. The program of events was discussed and it was agreed to create two outings as some ringers would struggle to do a midweek outing to fit in with Taylors Bell Foundry. There was one new member elected, Lianna Leverton from Butterwick. We wished Tony Barker a speedy recovery after hurting his knee.
The meeting was closed and ringers then ventured back up the tower to ring for a bit longer, this time Kate Meyer ran the ringing, which varied again from rounds and call changes, Stedman, Spliced Plain and Little Bob Minor and Grandsire.
It was a long day as we started at 11am and finished at around 5pm, but was enjoyable.
Here is to another successful year for the Eastern Branch.
Gemma Evans - images compliments of Val Wild
On behalf of all attendees I would like to extend thanks and appreciation for the meal provided by the hard workers in the kitchen. Thank you.
A tour around some EB towers over the Christmas period was casually mentioned the week prior to Christmas and a few ringers at that particular training session felt that it was a good idea. The next thing, it became a reality, with towers being booked, names of ringers who would attend and lunches ordered all within a very short space of time.
I should have known that it was going to be a very cold day when the whole of Lincolnshire was mentioned in the BBC2 travel news due to ‘treacherous icy conditions’, with Stickney getting named and my garden looking like a Victorian Christmas card scene, very pretty but hiding all the leaves etc I have yet to pick up! After eventually de-icing the car I arrived at St Michael’s Coningsby at 1000 hrs, and after parking in a sunny spot (not wishing to repeat the de-icing procedure), I met with the other ringers and the tour began.
After Coningsby, we drove carefully to Old Bolingbroke SS Peter & Paul. After hunting for light switches and using Joan as a human coat rack (so she could keep warm), the bells were rung up and a team picked to ring the next quarter peal. Unfortunately, the fifth rope broke in the pulley during the first 120. After breaking through a jackdaws’ treasure trove on top of the trap door to investigate the problem, it was decided that there was no time to splice the rope but the repair made the rope seriously short and to ring it the conductor had to stand on a box, on top of a cupboard and even then he could only just reach the bottom of the sally. Congratulations to the whole team who managed the quarter!
After rescuing Joan from her heavy, but warm cardigan and coat burden, we headed for a welcomed lunch at the Black Horse Inn Old Bolingbrooke. The homemade soup and sandwiches were very welcome, along with steaming cups of tea. I think some feet actually started to thaw out and it was with reluctance that we left the fire to Tripod the three legged cat and headed onward.
Our third tower was St James Spilsby, where we were met by Phil Ford and his grandchildren. We were also joined by our youngest ringer Bryony who ‘snatched’ the tower. Another successful quarter was rung and the group parted company, some disappearing to a local pub for further hot tea and warmth, as Joan’s wellbeing was our priority, with the remainder going on to the next tower which those of us who were not ringing knew would be freezing.
The fourth quarter was rung at Langton-by-Partney and even if there was a reported lack of light and heat, the ringers thought that it was the best quarter of the day (obviously), but non-ringers maintained Joan’s wellbeing was the priority and not just an excuse to go to a warm pub!
The fifth and final quarter of the day was rung at Horncastle St Mary’s, where we joined by Don Hare. Luckily Don had got the heaters going and it was a pleasure to ring, even if the blisters were beginning to hurt. We left the Tower at about 1900 hrs, just as the freezing fog was getting settled for the night and parted company to head home.
The tour was very successful and thanks go out to Chris Woodcock for organising the ringers and calling the quarters and to Bob Hardwick for organising the towers. Also to the tower captains who allowed us to ring at their towers and of course all the ringers involved who made the day such a memorable one, which we hope to repeat on a warmer day in 2017. All the above quarters can be viewed on the 2017 Quarter Peal page.