News 2016


Welcome to the Banbury Branch News Page for 2016

 Guild 10 Bell Striking Competition         Cropredy bells Silenced
Queens 90th birthday                                   Branch Striking Competition
First Peal on Cropredy 8                              Les Underdown’s BEM
November December on 10


News from previous years: 2015

Photos from the archives
 Branch Events            Miscellaneous

Latest News

Guild 10 Bell Striking Competition

On Saturday November 26th Banbury hosted the Guild 10 Bell Striking Competition on behalf of the Chipping Norton Branch because there are no 10 bell towers in the Chipping Norton Branch. Chipping Norton provided two stewards and Nicki Unwin and her husband from Taynton supplied the excellent refreshments.
Banbury Branch ringers helped where needed and on a sunny morning it was a pleasure to stand outside and hear some good ringing. The judges took nearly an hour to determine the results which indicated how close it was between teams 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Reading came out winners. Banbury were 5th with 74% just behind team  6 – who were second with 77% and teams 3 and 6 who were joint equal 3rd place with 76.5%.

The Banbury Branch Team

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Cropredy Bells Silenced

The bells of Cropredy will remain silent (except for the clock chimes) until further notice (24th October 2016). This is because of the parlous state of the roof of the Church.
Recently the roof had its lead removed for recasting and restoring. When inspected the old timber structure was in such poor condition that it had to be supported by internal scaffolding. The movement caused by the ringing of the bells could, it is feared, cause further damage to the roof and hence the bells may not be rung until the roof is repaired. This is unlikely to be this year but, with a fair wind, early in the new year.
The Band will be meeting this Monday in the Brasenose Arms to discuss possible alternative practice arrangements.
Wish us luck.
Stephen Day
(Tower Captain)

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Queens 90th Birthday

Several Branch towers celebrated the Queen’s official 90th birthday on Sunday June 12th.
Steeple Aston rang a peal – see peals and quarter peals page for details.
Bodicote rang a quarter of Anniversary Doubles prior to the village tea party in the church hall and at Banbury an attempt at a quarter of Grandsire Triples was sadly unsuccessful. A quarter was also rung on Tuesday June 14th at Hanwell.

Below the band that rang the peal at Steeple Aston which also celebrated the Ruby Wedding Anniversary of Graham & Dorothy Clifton. The band are stood from left to right in the order they rang.

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.Branch Striking Competition

The Branch 6-bell Striking Competition, hosted by Cropredy on Saturday 4th June, was a very happy occasion. Bands from 8 towers competed for the two cups, 5 in the method ringing section and 3 in the call changes category. Blessed with fine, warm weather, many of the ringers settled themselves in the churchyard to listen to the test pieces and to support and encourage the teams, many of which contained comparatively inexperienced ringers. All the teams are to be congratulated for putting on a good performance.
Following the competition a barbeque was held in an idyllic orchard setting beside the Oxford Canal, and our thanks go to Brenda and Stephen Day and Heather Bletchly for organising such a sumptuous feast. Ringing Master Lionel Smith then introduced the judge, Chris Roberts, who announced the results, presenting the cup for method ringing to the Bloxham team, and the call changes cup to Cropredy.
Elizabeth Smith

Call Change        1 Cropredy, 2 Banbury, 3 Wardington

The winning team receive the cup

Method             1 Bloxham, 2 Steeple Aston, 3 Bodicote, 4 Mollington, 5 Adderbury.

The winning team

The teams taking part


Adderbury                                                                    Banbury

Bloxham                                                                     Bodicote

Cropredy                                                                  Mollington

Steeple Aston                                                          Wardington

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First Peal on the Augmented 8 at Cropredy

Cropredy Peal BandOn Saturday March 5th the first peal was rung on the 8 bells at Cropredy at the second attempt. It was rung as a belated Golden Wedding compliment to Brenda and Stephen Day. Sadly only three of the original band were available to ring in this attempt. Full details of the peal can be found on the peals page.

Left to right front and then back row the band in the order they rang

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British Empire Medal for local ringer

In spite of not being born in Cropredy, Les Underdown BEM has devoted 75 years of service to the village.  He began at 9 years of age, pumping the old bellows organ at St Mary’s, then progressed to bell ringing at aged 12, learning on tied bells during the war. For many years he
was Tower Captain and is still a member of the band. He was on the PCC, has been a sidesman and helped at the Church Fete. At 17 he joined the Village Hall Committee only retiring a few
years ago.
From 1948-1950 Les saw national service in the Royal Air Force. Since 1952 he has served on the local Royal British Legion Committee filling a number of roles and is now President. During that time he has done much welfare work, been standard bearer since 1961 and been on parade at every Remembrance Day Service since then.
In the 1960s he was a co-founder and organiser of the Cropredy Boat Club to the benefit of many residents.
His musical talents included membership of the Jubilee Singers and playing his keyboard in the day-care Rowan Ward at the Horton Hospital. He also assisted at the Banbury Stroke Club until its closure.
His award of the British Empire medal for services to the community is well deserved.

This article is courtesy of the Cropredy Crier

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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

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