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.

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Aston Cantlow - ‘Alls bell that ends Bell’.

Back in the summer of 2018 the ringers of Aston Cantlow were busy practicing for another quarter peal, having decided to ring one per month. Tracey who was ringing the second suddenly declared that she could not keep the bell up. I tried it and it was horrible, something must have broken. On closer inspection one of the gudgeon boxes that hold the shaft on which the bell turns had sheared off on its inner fixing, allowing it to twist and turn. We took pictures and sent them to Taylors for advice.

Taylors advised that the gudgeon box would need replacing or repairing and that we would need to lift the bell and remove the headstock. This would then need to go to Taylors for work to be carried out. A quote was prepared by Taylors setting out the price depending on what work we undertook ourselves. If they did the work we were looking at a number of thousands of pounds. After a lot of thought and advice from Simon Adams and Chris Tennant we decided to do a lot of the work ourselves to save money and get the job done quicker. Taylors said that it would take 4-6 weeks once they had the headstock.

Tracey and I now began to gather equipment we managed to obtain some hardwood railway sleepers from Singletons for cost price because of the job we were doing. These were to place across the frame to take the weight of the bell once removed from its headstock. Chris obtained a long length of M18 all-thread which we would use to lower the bell half an inch onto the sleepers after releasing the headstock straps. We stripped off the wheel, stay, slider and clapper and set a date to start work.

Chris (a mechanical repair engineer by trade), Hugh an ex Welder, Tracey and John set about dismantling and using the all-thread to lower the bell by winding down the nut went really well, we soon had the bell on the sleepers safe and sound. Removing the headstock was relatively simple until it came to lifting it out. Chunks of hardwood with steel shafts and bearings on the end are quite heavy!! Now came the job of hoisting it down the tower. At Aston we have two medieval ladders and a metal spiral staircase. It was manhandled down the first 45 degree ladder by John and Hugh, then let down on an old bell rope with three above and one guiding down the next almost vertical ladder. Finally the headstock was let down the next vertical drop on two ropes with 3 above and one guiding. All the nuts and bolts were carefully laid out in the belfry so that they went back in the correct locations and the rusty brackets were taken home and cleaned up including a coat of red paint. Hugh then delivered the headstock to Taylors (beginning of August). We began the long wait for Taylors to do the repairs. It turned out to be longer than we had ever expected with 6 weeks turning into 3 months and we began to think that we would not make the remembrance celebrations. Taylors were apparently very busy. Eventually with a wing and a prayer they ‘repaired’ our old gudgeon box and we collected the headstock the weekend before Remembrance Day. Apparently they did not have a mould for a gudgeon box that would fit ours being narrower than usual and making a new one would have taken even longer. Anyway nicely repaired it arrived back.

We had just one week to get the second back together for our remembrance rolling ring. So we duly arrived on Saturday afternoon Hugh bringing the headstock but this time missing our engineer Chris who was away on holiday.

Hugh was our stand in engineer and this time Heather and Ingrid would provide the muscle with Tracey and John assisting. So how to get this lump back upstairs? We have no trap doors at Aston so it was hoist it up the outside or in three lifts up the inside. We went for option two. There was no time to build pulleys and hoists so we went for brute force on two ropes hauling it up each level. Mr elf and safety had to look the other way on this occasion, although we made sure no-none was below each of the lifts and locked the vestry door to make sure. Heather and Ingrid with Tracey were fabulous at hauling the ‘beast’ back up. Once in the belfry there was a bit of tricky manhandling and then a very tricky lift into position on the bell (we were missing Chris). We toiled away for a couple of hours with Tracey passing tools and parts and John and Hugh putting everything back in place. Heather and Ingrid moved all the sleeper sections and wood planks down to the clock room and by 8.00pm having started at 4.00pm we had the bell back together.

So how much had we saved the Church? Well at least £2000 compared with Taylors doing the work, in fact probably a lot more. We found it quite fun if not hard work. In fact we think that doing some of your own bell repairs could be easier than people think. The most important thing is to make sure you have assessed risk at all stages and have put in precautions incase of problems. For example no one under a lifted object, always more than one person working, know your post code, double up if using ropes and a hoist or use a safety line, make sure the area is well lit, and many more things.

It is vital to get advice from the experts such as Simon Adams at Taylors or Nigel Taylor from Whites/Nicholson. Also talk to the Guild and put in for a BRF grant. Make sure you inform the diocese and obtain a faculty if required.

Anyway we rang our quarter for remembrance and took part in the rolling ring. Below is a picture of the Aston ringers involved with the ringing that day including the intrepid Aston bell hangers. If your tower needs help or advice with a simple repair, who knows, the Aston Hangers may be able to help you!!

John and Tracey Newbold and the Aston Cantlow Ringers


“Ding! Dong! Merrily on High, in Heaven the Bells are Ringing…”

As we approach the great feast of Christmas, and the end of 2018, I take this opportunity to give tribute to all ringers, willing volunteers, who give your time and skill selflessly week on week throughout the year. And what a year it’s been!

In December last year, I shared some “New Year’s Resolutions” for 2018, thus:

  • To recruit and develop new learners and new leaders
  • To engage maturely with the Church and other relevant stakeholders
  • To continue to raise positive public awareness of ringing

Looking back on the past 12 months, I feel confident in saying that we’ve embraced these aims wholeheartedly. Recruitment has experienced a massive boost, our “external relations” go from strength to strength, and we’ve had a bumper year of media attention – print, radio, TV and social.

Thank you!

Further, I offer my thanks to all those involved in the work of Central Council at whatever level. The call for reform, begun at Portsmouth in 2016, came to a crescendo at Lancaster in May this year. A strong vote of approval ushered in new governance and new structures, aimed at creating a more agile central body more responsive to the needs of ringers and ringing today. A good start has been made, and this excellent work continues. I am grateful for the way in which so many involved in Council’s activities have responded so positively to these efforts. If only the UK government could demonstrate such unity!

Still, it’s important to deliver on one’s commitments. For 2019, much is in the pipeline. Look out for the release of “Dove 11”, version 1 of the Framework for Method Ringing, a refreshed CCCBR website, further work on “leadership studies”, youth engagement, health & wellbeing, and more. My hope for the new year is to build on our recent successes, maintain focus on areas for improvement, and deliver tangible benefits and services across our widespread ringing community.

As Christmas bells call out across the land, may they bring us together in solidarity to share the pleasure of our art. Let’s continue to ring with precision, passion and purpose:

“Pray you dutifully prime, your matin chime you ringers!”

Christopher O’Mahony
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Central Council AGM 2019

The Central Council AGM in 2019 will take place on Saturday, 7th September at Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW. The business to include reports of the Council’s activities, a presentation of its budget & forward plan, plus the opportunity to review aspects of its work in more detail.

The format, which is to follow that successfully introduced at Lancaster for the 2018 AGM weekend, is expected to also include workshops, seminars and sessions of interest to all ringers. These will be held over the whole weekend. The Reception and Dinner will take place on the evening of Saturday, 7th September.

All ringers will be welcome to attend during the weekend and take part in the activities on offer. Look out for details of how to register in due course.

Mrs Mary Bone
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Charity Registration No 270036

Jane Does Her Bit for Ringing PR

Lillington ringer Jane Knifton contributed an article to the national magazine “Yours” for their “Try Something New” column. Her enthusiasm for ringing comes out in the article, entitled “Ringing in Friendship” and it obviously appealed to the editor.

A well-informed and patient photographer was sent to join us one summer evening practice when we tried hard to be photogenic while ringing bells.

The article was published in the December edition with some lovely photos.

Here you see some of the Lillington ringers gathered around our budding journalist.

Lillington Ringers

Well done, Jane; excellent PR!

Draw Club Results 2018

Date 1st Prize   2nd Prize   3rd Prize   4th Prize
  No Name   No Name   No Name   No Name
Jan 75 A Mew   72 A Houghton   21 J Montgomery       
Feb 14 L Grove   4 K Chambers   101 S Tibbetts      
Mar 82 R Grifiths   114 M Sayers   101 S Tibbetts      
Apr 32 M Whitehead   36 D Jones   2 P Richardson       
May 32 M Whitehead   4 K Chambers   121 S Tibbetts      
Jun 11 M Fiander   49 S Rogers   63 K Davies      
Jul 10 D Butcher   121 S Tibbetts   38 M Williams       
Aug 123 M Chaplin   105 P Hollings   74 T Hill      
Sep 51 J Wykes   120 W Pauling   46 C Mew      
Oct 92 A Fleming   39 P Richarson   7 M Chester      
Nov 56 Brinkow   78 M Ingram   1 M Dew      
Bonus 1st Prize (£40)   2nd Prize (£30)   3rd Prize (£20)   4th Prize (£10)
Dec 71 D Brasenell   97 S A Lawley   72 A Houghton   76 C Idle

Annual Report - 2018

It is always a big job to collate and produce the Guild's Annual Report.

Can we all do our bit, please.  Have a look at your entry for the current report.  Are there any inaccuracies?  Have there been any changes to your ringing times?  Are your ringing times missing?  Has anything else changed?

Please let Annie know straight away if you find anything amiss.  It is very dispiriting to be told of an error/omission as soon as the new report comes out, when this could easily have been flagged up beforehand.

Mike Chester

Draw Club 2019

Renewal documents for the Draw Club for 2019 are being sent out over the next week.

Could anyone who does not get the notification please phone Joy Pluckrose on 024 7634 8233.

Anyone else wanting to join the scheme for next year should also give her a ring.


I have put together a booklet on our project in Great Wolford to ring quarter peals for all the fallen on our war memorial on their 100th anniversaries 2015-2018.

Any funds raised will be split equally between Great Wolford Church and our local community magazine, The LINK, which has been covering and supporting the project over the years. The booklet also contains details of the Wolford Peal rung on Nov 9 and the local ringers marking Nov 11.

The link to the booklet isL

I can help others with Amazon self publishing, if they would like to do something similar for their ringing projects.

Keith Murphy

"We remembered” – a message from the President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

Last Sunday – Remembrance Sunday – we were called to “look to” and take part in a most momentous commemoration. Being so intimately linked in to our local communities, it was no surprise that bellringers everywhere stepped forward to participate, collectively and individually, in such a solemn centenary.

And it is entirely right and fitting that bells gave voice to the deep and lasting emotions felt so widely at this time. So many today owe so much to our forebears for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy one hundred years on. As bellringers, we are the “external choir” that calls out across time and space, giving tribute on this day for those who have gone before. This is what we do, this is our calling, this is our service.

On behalf of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, I wish to thank all who participated in this historic event. The Ringing Remembers campaign, promoted by the Central Council, has claimed some inspiring headlines – towers silent for many years have rung out once more; hundreds of bands have been augmented with new learners; tens of thousands of ringers mobilised to ring in thousands of towers – not just in the UK, but across the world; ringing featured strongly in local, national and international media; and the BellBoard website went into meltdown!

Our campaign sought to recruit 1400 new ringers, to symbolically replace those ringers who fell in the First World War. At the most recent count, new ringer registrations for the recruitment campaign totalled 2792 – close to 200% of the original target. The Council’s newly-stated mission is, among other things, “to promote an environment in which ringing can flourish”. Last Sunday we witnessed what “flourish” looks like – more of that please.

Whilst it is impossible to thank all key individuals by name, I would like to pay a special tribute to Vicki Chapman – Ringing Remembers Project Coordinator, Colin Chapman – Coordinator’s “roadie”, Alan Regin – Steward of the CCCBR Rolls of Honour, Andrew Hall – developer and administrator of the Ringing Remembers web platform, and Bruce & Eileen Butler – who linked thousands of enquirers to guilds, districts and towers. And there are so many others…

My thanks go also to all those who have come to ringing through this route – may you continue to develop in skill, and gain many happy years of fulfilment in your ringing. And to that widespread army of ringing teachers who have risen to the challenge of training so many enthusiastic learners – well done!

Last Sunday was a day of reflection, a day of commemoration, a day of participation. Bellringers everywhere were able to say – “I was there – I remembered”.

Christopher O'Mahony

Recently I was asked to write a poem for This years armistice, by my son who is a keen bell ringer. So I wrote the poem the sound of the Bell. Also here is my poem about the poppy.

Roy W Jenkins

Sound of the Bell
By Roy W Jenkins

Let the sound of the Bell fill the air
Peace and tranquility is now everywhere
Let the sadness of war be of yesterday
Not forgotten, our memory must stay

So all you Bell Ringers with magical hands
Let the Bells ring out across the land
To remind us what freedom is all about
Rejoice and laugh & even shout

But toll the bell for the past of yesterday
For all who suffered in many ways
And those who were cut down by war
We should stop for awhile and remember them all

So let the Bell send a message so loud and clear
To everyone who wants to hear

Flower of Hope By Roy W Jenkins

Poppy lowers its head towards the ground
Drenched by rain falling all around
For miles around in barren land
Anything growing can hardly stand.

Yes this is a zone that is crippled by war
Where men have been sacrificed as never before
Large craters and mud are everywhere
And the stench of cordite fills the air.

Time passes by and it’s another day
Once more the poppy is happy and gay
But alas in this world of ours your faith has gone
As history has proven. Man does not agree for long.

The poppy once more starts to look so sad
Once again the human race has gone mad
This has been the case for thousands of years
The only outcome is it will end in tears.

So if you see a poppy that’s happy please take note
The only answer there can be is to live in hope.


 2018 Edition Available

The latest newsletter is available to view as "Current Edition" and a printable version has been put into "Downloads".

Please note that the deadline for the following edition 31st December 2018 and items submitted after this date may have to be held over until the April 2019 edition.


Inter-District 8-Bell Competition

Result in order of ringing:

1. Warwick A 37 faults - 7th
2. Rugby A 21 faults - 4th
3. Coventry A 19 faults - 2nd
4. Youth Team 29 faults - 5th
5. Rugby B 11 faults - 1st
6. Warwick B 20 faults - 3rd
7. Coventry B 36 faults - 6th

Thanks go to judge Alan Hartley and congratulations to the winners - Rugby B

Rugby B

Dates for the Diary
  • 17th October Guild 8 bell practice at St Nicholas Warwick 6.30-7.30
  • 27th October. Guild training mornings at Leek Wootton, Honiley and Stoneleigh.
  • 10th November 2018. Guild Ringing Remembers, Towers open across the Guild.
  • 11th November. Armistice Day. Muffled ringing before 11.00am. Open ringing 12.30. Battles over at 7.10pm
  • 21st November. Guild 8 bell practice at St Nicholas Warwick 6.30-7.30
  • 24th November. Guild training mornings at Leek Wootton, Stoneleigh and Honiley.
  • 8th December. The Guild Carol service will be held in Stoke.
  • 12th January 2019 The Guild Social meeting will be held in the Coventry District.
  • 2nd March. The 6 bell striking competition will be held in the Warwick District.
  • 27th April 2019, The 2019 AGM will be held in the Rugby Deanery,

Using the Website Message Board

If you want a message put onto the website, please follow these simple steps

  • Click here - the link is at the bottom of the messages if you forget this one. It is also on the "News and Notices" menu.
  • Click on
    • Practice Night Information, or
    • Meeting Information, or
    • Ringers Required
  • Click on "New Topic"
  • Fill in the form with:-
    • Your name
    • A subject line for your message - not the whole message, something such as, "6-Bell Practice at XXXXXX on Thursday  XX December - this appears on the website
    • Type in the details in the "Message" box
    • Click in the "I am not a robot" box
    • Click on "Submit" to post the message

It is very simple to do. Please give it a go

Coventry DG Brokerage Scheme

The Guild is hoping to be able to give a helping hand to ringers and towers in the area by arranging for ringing support for what YOU want to be able to do next.

Do you need some ringers to provide a steady band around a learner in a given method?  Do you just need the odd ringer extra so you can make the next step with your, or your tower's, ringing?  Do you need a conductor for a quarter or a peal?  Do you want to ring a quarter peal or a peal and don't know the next step?

Help is at hand!  Simply download the CDG Brokerage file that you can find from

, in both pdf and Word format, complete it and then send it off.