Guild Newsletter

The Guild Newsletter is published quarterly and is distributed to the Districts at each of the quarterly Whole Guild Meetings which are held in January, April, July and October, in rotation between the districts.

Articles for inclusion in the next newsetter should be sent via email to

They will be published on receipt on this website and included in the next available edition of the newsletter. They can be accessed from the tabs at the top of this page.

Please ensure that all items for inclusion are sent in by approx. a fortnight prior to a meeting to allow time for the collation and printing of the Newsletter. The deadline is always shown in the current edition.

The current edition can be read online via the appropriate link in the Newsetter menu, as can PDF copies of previous newsletters.


Ringing for Notre Dame

Can I thank all those towers and people who rang on Thursday evening, 18th April. as an act of solidarity with Notre Dame and ask you to cascade these thanks down to all tower correspondents.

I know that being Holy Week meant that many of us had to decide whether or not we should be ringing. I have seen some 20 reports from across the Diocese so far on BellBoard but there could be more to come. To those who did not wish to break this week's silence, this is fully understandable. As always, at a time of a request for national commemorative ringing, we have shown what ringing can achieve not only in this Diocese but across the country.

May I take this opportunity to wish all ringers a happy Easter, with plenty of ringing in celebration of Easter Day. Also I look forward to seeing many of you at the Guild Annual Meeting on Saturday 27 April.


Andrew Alldrick - Presidenty

Celebrating Our Millennium Babes 20 Years On

On Wednesday 27th February we celebrated 20 years since four of our ringers began learning to ring. In 1998 there wasn't any regular ringing at Brinklow, Warwickshire and only one ringer resident in the village. The church took a keen interest in the Millennium project which was to have all the bells across the country ringing on New Year’s Day 2000 and decided they wanted to be part of it. One of the Churchwardens, Jennie Wykes and Hamish Middleton the Church treasurer volunteered and I gather Philip and Sally Mawson were rather nagged into giving it a go!

Over the year the group were taught by Melvyn Howkins, who was the only ringer at the time, with help from the vivacious John Illingworth and the neighbouring Monks Kirby ringers. New Year’s Day arrived and all went well despite a very late night (or late morning) and a few hangovers! A photo that has hung on the ringing room ever since records the event.

What of our four intrepid learners then? Jenny Wykes has stuck with it over the years. Philip and Sally Mawson have recently come back to ringing after a few years break mainly in a bid to overcome a niggling arm injury! Unfortunately, Hamish Middleton passed away in 2012 but not before helping to kick start an augmentation and rehanging project. We still have the simulator he built!

One might think this would be the end of it with mission accomplished. But it hasn't been the case. In fact, in retrospect, it has taken on a larger consequence. We now have a handy ring of 8 bells, two regular practises a week and a healthy-looking band with plenty of promise, the majority of whom live in the village. The Millennium ringing initiative certainly set a seed for us. I wonder how many other similar tales exist?

Brinklow Ringers February 2019 after practice night

Brinklow Ringers

Melvyn Howkins (left) who taught Sally, Jenny and Philip. We were joined by Sheila Middleton,(2nd right) widow of Hamish who is pictured in the photo marking the event.

Tom Griffiths

18th February 1929 – 28th January 2019robin

Robin’s funeral was held at St Mary’s, Clifton upon Dunsmore on what would have been his 90th birthday, with open ringing before and after the service to celebrate his life.

Robin was born in Leicester and at the age of 8 years he boarded at Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire. It was during his time there that his various interests came to the fore, notably the great outdoors, travelling and bellringing. He also became a proficient pianist and his love of classical music was a constant throughout his life.

After 2 years National Service, Robin started reading Chemical Engineering at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1949. The Guy family drove through Europe and as far as the Middle East where his father was to work with refugees, towing their caravan which, incidentally is on display at the Museum of Transport in Coventry. You must go and see it.

It was on a joint Cambridge and Oxford bellringing outing in June 1951 at Rowington in Warwickshire, that Robin met Elizabeth Roe, eventually marrying on 7th December 1953 on the Island of Sark.

After graduation, Robin began working for Courtaulds in Coventry and while there rang at Allesley, later moving to Corley where he began training a band of ringers. With their move to the Coventry Guild, earlier university friendships with Dick and Anne Speed and Peter Border were rekindled. After a spell working in Derbyshire, their next move was to Southport, where Robin joined the local band at Emmanuel Church. His children Catherine, Patrick and Joan started ringing there. Following his time at Courtaulds, Robin became chairman of the Coventry Health Authority, where he was closely involved with medical staffing appointments and the commissioning of Walsgrave Hospital, as it was then known.

Their final move was to Clifton, where both Robin and Elizabeth were soon involved with getting the bells ringing again, augmenting them to six and of course, teaching more ringers. He was Tower Captain at Clifton for 30 years, passing that responsibility to daughter Catherine in recent years.

Robin, with others, was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby Deanery District of the Guild in the 1980s. I recall many a committee meeting held in their sitting room at Dunsmore Hall Farm. He became Chairman of the District and was extremely good at getting other people involved in committee work, don’t I know it!

He and Elizabeth were always very hospitable and over the years held many events in their lovely garden. The Clifton ringers began what became the annual Christmas social, with hilarious games which everyone enjoyed, that is when they had recovered from being bent double with laughter. The ‘Guys’, as they became known, were also keen on ringing outings and one that particularly comes to mind, was the ‘Ringing and Architecture’ outing in August 1992 to Northamptonshire. A grand day out.

Robin rang about 200 peals and was in the band for the first peal on the refurbished 12 at Coventry Cathedral in 1988 and also the 25th anniversary peal in 2013, which turned out to be his last peal. He was 83 at the time and as reported, ‘he rang faultlessly throughout’.

What a privilege to have known this talented, humble and gentle man.

Freda Bennett

*With grateful thanks for information from Andrew Jamieson (Robin’s grandson), Clarke Walters and John Fielden.

Results of the Guild Striking Competition

This was held at Radford Semele on Saturday 2nd March.

Call Change Section

Band No of
Stoke 19.5 1st
Youth Team 21.0 2nd
Kenilworth B 30.5 3rd
Aston/Bidford Ringing Remembers 51.0 4th


Method Section

Band No of
Warwick 6.5 1st
Aston/Bidford 10.0 2nd
Kenilworth A 10.5 3rd
Bulkington 11.5 4th
Lillington 15.5 5th
Leek Wootton 19.5 6th
leek wootton
Berkswell 26.0 7th
Radford Semele 43.0 8th
redford semele


Congratulations to Warwick and Stoke on winning their section of the competition. Special congratulations to the team from Bidford and Aston whose members had been recruited through Ringing Remembers and some had only been ringing for a few weeks.

method cup
Judge, John Fielden, handing over the Call Change and Method Cups to Noah Poulton and Simon Rogers respectful.