Welcome to the Banbury Branch News Page for 2015
News from previous years: 2016
If you would like to see the minutes from this years meetings please click on the links below.
November-December on 10
The end of the year saw the Branch final celebration to mark its 90th Anniversary.
When quarters were rung in June and July it had been planned to also ring a peal to mark the occasion. However this was not possible for various reasons and it was not until December that a band was finally assembled. On the afternoon of Sunday December 13th a peal of Grandsire Caters was rung at Banbury. Details of the peal can be seen on the Peals Page.
Those who took part in the peal were
Front row left to right – Graham Clifton, Alan Griffin, Rosemary Hemmings, Mark Sayers, Sue Burchell, Jean Davis.
Back row left to right – Harry Gibson, Colin Lee, Barry Davis, Robin Green
In November the Branch entered the Guild 10 Bell Striking Competition. This was held at Warfield in the Sonning Deanery Branch. The bells were light and challenging. However this year we lifted ourselves from the final place to finish 6th.
The judge’s comments said that – ‘The rhythm was never quite even, though nearly there. Not always even throughout the row.’
Below the band who represented the Branch.
Front – left to right Barry Davis 1, Colin Lee 2, Elizabeth Smith 3, Robin Green 4, Rosemary Hemmings 5.
Back – right to left Sue Burchell 6, Lionel Smith 7, Harry Gibson 8, Alan Griffin 9, Graham Clifton 10
The idea was born while idly reading the peal boards in the ringing chamber of St Mary’s, Banbury. Amongst the peals rung to commemorate a variety of events, both local and national, was one rung on 18th June 2005 to mark the 80th anniversary of the founding, on 20th June, of the Banbury Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. It didn’t require a mathematician to realise that the 90th anniversary was looming on the horizon, and there was soon wide-spread agreement that it should be marked in some significant way.
The Banbury Branch is the most northerly of the 15 branches that make up the Oxford Diocesan Guild. There are 30 towers in the branch, 24 of which have 5 or more ringable bells. There is one ring of 10, 8 of 8, 10 of 6 and 5 of 5 bells.
It was quickly decided that, during the period 20th June until the end of July, we should aim to ring quarter peals in as many of our towers as possible, involving as many branch ringers as could be persuaded to join in. We got off to a rather slow start but by the end of July we had attempted 23 quarters in 18 different towers, scoring 19 of them a very creditable achievement. There were 9 different conductors and 46 branch members took part.
Some performances are worthy of particular note. Two ringers rang their first quarter, both at the first attempt. Freddie Taylor of Steeple Aston rang the treble to PB Doubles at his home tower, and Liz Collett of Wardington rang the tenor, also to PB Doubles, at Rousham. There were a number of other first, and some ringers for whom the quarter was the first for very many years. Quarters were rung on some of the more challenging rings in the branch, including Cambridge S Minor on the 6 at Wardington (tenor 16¾cwt) and 5 Doubles Methods on the 5 at Duns Tew (tenor 14½cwt).
Unfortunately among the failed attempts was what should have been a first quarter for Rachel McLoughlin of Wardington: she rang the treble to PB Doubles at Hanwell but after 8 extents there was a mishap (nothing to do with Rachel) and the attempt came to grief. Primrose S Minor failed at North Aston, a mixed method attempt failed at Mollington and Stedman Doubles at Lower Heyford folded up suddenly in the way only Stedman seems able to do!
Our thanks go to the incumbents at the towers for allowing us to ring, to all the branch members who took part, and to Lionel Smith, Deputy Ringing Master, for much of the organisation.
We look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Banbury Branch!
Top the Steeple Aston quarter peal band and bottom the band that rang at Banbury
Many of you will be aware of the recent untimely death of Claire Tarrant. Although she lived and rang in the Chipping Norton Branch Claire also rang regularly in the Banbury Branch. She attended the Tuesday night practice at Steeple Aston and joined in many of the Branch practices and outings as well as the social events. Along with Sue Burchell she organised an annual ringing weekend for a group of past and present North Oxfordshire ringers.
Claire will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to her husband Cliff and sons Mark and John.
Sue Burchell has written an appreciation of Claire’s life.Click Here
This years Branch Outing was to the Vale of the White Horse area. Just over twenty ringers and friends enjoyed a warm sunny day in South Oxfordshire. Before lunch the eight bells at Wantage and Childrey were sampled before most of the ringers tried the local food and ale at Uffington. In the afternoon the sixes at Uffington and Shellingford were enjoyed along with the eights at Longcot and Standford in the Vale. The day finished with a meal at Sturdys Castle. Above ringing at Longcot
Once again thanks go to Brenda Day for
organising an excellent day.
Congratulations to Stephen and Brenda Day of Cropredy who celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on June 28th. A double celebration had been planned with an attempt at the first peal on the 8 bells.
Sadly the peal was unsuccesful but a quarter of Grandsire Triples was rung to celebrate Stephen and Brenda’s Anniversary. The band along with other ringers and friends than helped Stephen and Brenda celebrate the day.
Left the band who rang the quarter of Grandsire Triples(see Peal and Quarter page for details).
The previous day Elizabeth Holmes the daughter of Chris and Charlotte Holmes of Adderbury was married in Adderbury church. The bells were rung by a band of mainly past and present Adderbury ringers. Afterwards the band were invited to join the guests etc. for a glass of wine. This was served in the churchyard and was accompanied by a jazz band and Morris Dancing.
Jean Davis has done it again by winning another competition held by the Thimble Guild. This time she designed the winning entry for a thimble to celebrate Princess Charlottes birth.
This month has also seen the start of a series of quarter peals to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Branch. These are recorded on the Peals and Quarter page as they are rung.
On Saturday June 20th a quarter peal was rung atAdderbury to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The method chosen was Wellington Little Bob Major and despite a false start, as everyone got use to the method, a quarter was successfully achieved. (See details on peal and quarter page).
After the ringing the band was treated to a celebratory drink of Waterloo Ale. This had been specially sent by the vicar the Rev. Stephen Fletcher. He was unable to join the band as he was with his two sons at Waterloo attending the celebrations.
Above the successful band enjoying Waterloo beer and right a bottle of the special brew.
The Branch Striking Competition was held on June 6th at Horley. Those taking part were able to enjoy the late afternoon and evening sunshine while they listened to the nine teams that had entered the competition.
The ringing on the newly augmented 6 was followed by a barbeque in the village hall and then the announcement of the results.
The call change section was won by Wardington with Tadmarton as runners up. Banbury won the method section with Cropredy a close second and Steeple Aston third.
Thanks go to Alison Tite and herhelpers for the splendid barbeque and the use of their bells; also to our judges and the Branch Ringing Master.
Left the barbeque in full swing Above Wardington with the call change cup
Alison Tite (tower secretary at Horley) reports that the first peal was rung on the newly augmented 6 on February 7th . Details of the peal can be found on the peal page.
On the same day about forty Branch members enjoyed a social evening and quiz in a somewhat chilly Deddington church. Malcolm Hensher from Steeple Aston was the compiler and Question Master for the evening. The winners were Steeple Aston with Cropredy winning the table quiz. Thanks go to Lindsey, Brenda and Vicki, Malcolm for the organising the quiz and Rolf our very able score keeper.
The end of January has seen the deaths of two Branch ringers.
Claude Hemmings was a member of the Branch and rang at Bloxham. He joined the Guild sometime before 1953 and rang regularly at Bloxham and attended meetings until the late 1980s when he stopped ringing. A quarter was dedicated in memory of Claude on February 8th at Banbury. See the peal page for more details.
Donald Higham a ringer at Adderbury for many years died at home on Saturday 31st January. He had not been in the best of health for several years but was still able to attend the annual tower meeting only a week earlier and indeed had enjoyed a short ring himself. A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s church Adderbury at 3pm on Tuesday 24 February.
Banbury Ringer wins National Competition
Towards the end of 2014 Jean Davis submitted a design for a Christmas thimble in a competition held by The Thimble Guild. Top prize was a £30 voucher and the opportunity to see the winning design turned into a thimble and sold in the Guild’s catalogue.
Thimble and certificate
Much to Jean’s surprise her entry won the competition and she received both the vouchers and the thimble of her design for her collection.
The Christmas edition of TheThimble Guild catalogue