Fourteen bellringers from Bournemouth, including the team from St. John’s, enjoyed our annual outing to the Salisbury area on Saturday 14th of September.

Fordingbridge Church

Starting at Fordingbridge, a beautiful medieval church with a variety of Victorian and modern Stained Glass, as well as some fine ecclesiastical embroidery. For the ringers, a fine peal of 8 bells was enjoyed for half an hour.
Then we travelled to Britford, where the ancient church is situated in peaceful meadows. These bells were rung from the chancel steps, and were a challenge to even the experienced ringers.
Before lunch, we visited Coombe Bissett, a typical Wiltshire village church with 6 bells, after which we moved on for lunch at a nearby pub before travelling into Salisbury itself.
The bells at St. Thomas’ church are a heavy, but tuneful and rewarding peal, where we were able to ring rounds and call changes, and some Grandsire Triples for the experienced ringers.
Salisbury Cathedral is unusual in not having a ringable peal of bells, however out visit to the Cathedral for a Tower Tour was a highlight for all who took part. The tour takes visitors to the base of the spire itself, taking in the West Balcony, the Elizabethan roof over the nave, the two extraordinary rooms high in the tower and the view from the parapet of the tower over Salisbury.
Thanks to Penelope and Richard Samuel for organising an enjoyable and unusual ringers’ outing.

Finding a bell tower for the first time

Having been born with almost no ability to navigate, it is essential that I should be able to put Bell towers into my satnav, but experience of previous ventures into the countryside told me that postcodes just don’t work all the time. Having ended up on the wrong side of the river trying to ring at Bryanston I finally cracked how to use the coordinates from Dove.

The Lat, Long 50.86206, -2.17947 are what satnavs need as coordinates. The 50.86206 is the degrees north and the second number is the degrees West. The negative sign perplexed me at first but it means the place is West of Greenwich. My satnav works with positive numbers only so needs to be told West 2.17947 North 50.86206. By default it wants the coordinates split into three parts, which stand for degrees,minutes and seconds. This works like hours, minutes and seconds of time, ie in base 60.

Once the satnav was adjusted to accept the coordinates in Dove format, I was in business, confident I could turn up at practice nights not some random location half a mile away!

Summer Project – Learning Grandsire doubles

This summer I am trying as hard as I can to make the transition from being a call changes ringer to being confident with at least one method.

On the advice of my tower captain I made Grandsire doubles my goal.

Armed with Beginners’ Grandsire by A. Waddington and the Internet, I planned a campaign of as much ringing as possible, backed up by as much reading and theory as I could get my hands on.

My first port of call was Dove Online
http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/dove.php where I wanted to find towers near me that practice on my spare evenings. After some experimentation I realised that I needed the postcode based search and this enabled me to plan seven day a week ringing. Sundays and Mondays were already earmarked for my own tower,  most Saturdays over the summer were an opportunity for a District or Guild event, which left 4 nights a week to visit local practices.

I have been made most welcome at all the towers I visited, and all the tower captains have given me a chance to develop my abilities with Grandsire Doubles.

I have also learned an unexpected amount about the Internet.