Tower Reports

Autumn 2018 – tower report for the period Jan 2018 – Jun 2018

Jersey, St. John’s

Ringing remains positive at St. John’s.

We have good numbers attending practices and Sunday service ringing (which actually occurs after the main service).

We have retained and are continuing to develop our younger ringers whose ages range from 11 to 17.  William continues to specialise in tenor behind, Ivan competently rings rounds and called changes on eight, Eve and Barnaby are competent at Plain Hunting to Plain Bob Doubles and are starting to ring inside and Hannah has been working on Surprise Major and London Minor.  It would be super if some of our young ringers could take part in the Ringing World National Youth Competition next July in Liverpool.

In my last report, I mentioned Maddie who had moved to the Island. Sadly, she and Sarah (another adult learner) have decided that ringing is not for them. On reflection, I wonder if there is anything we could have done to retain them and if we have focussed too much on the younger talent. This is something that we have been discussing amongst ourselves but have yet to reach any firm conclusion.

Team Jersey was very pleased to win the inter-island eight bell striking competition in April. We were very pleased with our performance on the day and were happy that we performed our best. We also enjoyed ringing a few quarters with the visiting ringers. It was great to get two good Surprise major quarters, including Hannah’s first of Cambridge Major.  It would be good to ring a few more quarters in the coming months.

We are currently working on the logistics of the next eight bell competition in Alderney and forthcoming six bell competition in Guernsey.

As ever, we would welcome visiting ringers from the other islands.

Alderney, St Anne (including Wells Bells)

After the excitement of last year – the record length and the opening of Wells Bells, the first half year has been remarkably quiet.  This may be related to Helen and myself spending most of this half of the year overseas. It always seems to be quiet when we are away.

Local ringers took no part in two quarters of Grandsire Cinques or the peal of Yorkshire Max at St Anne’s. We did, however ring a lovely quarter of London New Bob in the run-up to the Spring Meeting in Jersey. A special method – hat tip to Duncan who suggested it.

The Alderney Handbell band continue to have great fun – attempting the tower bell special methods in hand. We are ringing DNCBM in hand and hope for a quarter later this year. Two handbell quarters were scored, one of which was a memorable Double Court Bob Minor, making use of a visit to Alderney by Duncan (who called it). Finally five quarters and two peals at Wells Bells,  The quarters were all visitors plus locals and the peals were by visitors.

Wells bells has had great use for teaching and Wednesday afternoons have become learners’ practice. The safe and easy going bells lend themselves to teaching – especially children.

Aaron Hallett, having achieved Grade 5 ART, will be off to Birmingham to ring with other successful pupils and some of the best ringers in the UK. We are all very proud to see his progress. He is currently working with us all to crack surprise major, but a local band peal may be a few months away!

Thursday, 17 May 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre), Alderney 1264 Plain Bob Major
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre), Alderney 5088 Rutland Surprise Major
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre), Alderney 5024 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre, Wells Bells), Channel Islands 1260 Grandsire Triples
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre, Wells Bells), Channel Islands 1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Sunday, 25 March 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre), CI 1260 Plain Bob Minor
Sunday, 25 March 2018 Alderney (Channel Islands’ Ringng Centre), CI 1260 Plain Bob Doubles
Sunday, 25 March 2018 Alderney (Dalhousie ), CI 1440 Double Court Bob Minor
Saturday, 31 March 2018 Alderney (Dalhousie), Channel Islands 1320 Cambridge Surprise Minor
Thursday, 17 May 2018 Alderney (St Anne), Alderney 1254 Grandsire Cinques
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 Alderney (St Anne), Alderney 5042 Yorkshire Surprise Maximus
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 Alderney (St Anne), Alderney 1319 Grandsire Cinques
Saturday, 21 April 2018 Alderney (St Anne), Channel Islands 1260 London New Bob Minor

Spring 2018 – tower report for the period July – Dec 2017

Alderney, St Anne (including Wells Bells)

The Alderney band has had a cracking 6 months. We have installed a whole new peal of 8 for the Island, and re-installed our popular simulator, all housed in the purpose built Channel Islands’ Ringing Centre. We have had 44 Bellboard events from Alderney (St Anne, Wells Bells and handbells) and were the front cover of RW

Training with ‘hawkear’ enabled Alderney Puffins to win the Inter Tower 6 bell competition on Sept 16th – ringing plain courses of Grandsire doubles – Pam Pearson, Philippa Arditti, Helen McGregor, Mariko Whyte, Peter Bevis and Victoria McAllister beat off stiff competition from St John’s. Alderney Hedgehogs – Maurice Stupart, June Banister, Aaron Hallett, Aileen Wilson, Heather Winder and Donald Hughes – were 6th only just behind Vale and ahead of Forest/St Peter’s. We were the only tower entering 2 teams

10 Alderney ringers went to Surrey on Sat Oct 7th on a Tower Outing – for some it was their first ever outing! We were joined by 5 UK ringers and together we rang at Redhill, Reigate, Bletchingley, Godstone and Caterham.

Our annual Bells Birthday Dinner saw 18 of us at the Mai Thai on Fri 20th October for a very pleasant evening. John Mackey has decided to hang up his bellringing spurs and was presented with a framed photo of the Alderney band

The Tower Open Day on Sat Oct 21st was well attended in advance of the Record Length.

Wells Bells were pealed for the first time on Sunday Oct 22nd. Ringing 5056 changes of Wells Delight Major as first blows in method for all – Jenny Page, June Wells, Mariko Whyte, Helen McGregor, Daniel Page, Peter Bevis, John Wells and Stephen Rossiter (c) rang very well indeed together. Mariko had stepped in at the last minute when bad weather prevented Jack Page reaching the Island and Steve had to learn the composition overnight as Jack had been due to call the peal – but it all came right in the end with a truly excellent peal being scored.

Hosting the Record Length of Changes on 12 bells on Weds Oct 25th was MASSIVE. 25,056 immaculate changes of Bristol S Maximus by the College Youths, just amazing. Support from the Island was tremendous, the band provided tea and cakes throughout the event and the President of Alderney came to the after-peal party to congratulate the band. We achieved marvellous coverage in the island press, on Facebook, the radio, TV and in RW – it has really put Alderney on the ringing map – we already have 5 different groups from UK booked to visit us in 2018.

New method November was warmly embraced by the Alderney band. Some of the successes were as follows : June & Aaron rang their very first peal, Victoria rang her 1st quarter of S Major, Aaron rang his first qtr of surprise, Aileen, Heather and Philippa rang a first qtr of double bob, Aileen also succeeded in scoring a qtr of double bob in hand. Our Grand Finale was a quarter of St Peter Bob Triples as a first in method for all.

June Banister reached her Level 5 LtR on 7th Dec – many many congratulations

We continue to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Alderney soldiers in WW1. We rang half muffled in 5 such occasions in this period

We have had to say goodbye to Mariko – her presence amongst us for the last 18 months has given us a huge boost and we wish her every success in her new job in Hampshire


Guernsey, Vale

It has been another difficult six months for us at Vale. With two of the band being servers they are not always able to ring for the full time prior to the service.  Barry, who started learning last year, has had to give up ringing, hopefully temporarily due to illness. He did, however, ring his first quarter peal, on 24th September

Harry White, who had been a stalwart member of the band passed away in November. A quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles was rung open in his memory. After his funeral 240 Grandsire Doubles was rung.

With the exception of a couple of Sunday mornings we have been able to ring for the 10 30 service.  Calling the faithful to worship and reminding those not so faithful of the Church’s presence in the Vale.

Our quarter peal’s have again been few and far between. Of worthy mention is Nicky’s 900th quarter peal rung on 17th December.

As I write the Vale Church is closed for redecoration and a big thank you to Peter Gallienne and the Forest Church for allowing us to practice there of a Monday night. We should be back to the Vale on 4th March if all goes well and nothing nasty is found when the roof is inspected.


6th Feb     1260 Grandsire Doubles
2nd Sep     1260 Doubles in 6 methods and 1 principle
24th Sep    1260 Plain Bob Doubles. Jointly cond. First quarter, Barrie Linnecor
2nd Oct     1260 Plain Bob Minor
5th Nov     1260 Doubles in 3 methods & 6 variations. Most methods to a quarter, Olivia
15th Nov    1260 Grandsire Doubles. Rung open in celebration of the life of Harry White
17th Dec    1260 Doubles in 6 methods and 5 variations. 900th quarter peal Nicky
24th Dec    1260 Doubles in 2 methods

Mike Bubb,  Tower Captain


Jersey, St. John

All is going very well at St. John’s. Our new Rector, Beverley Sproats, is a real breath of fresh air. Even though she has only been in her post since September, the congregation is growing.  Fantastically for us, she is very positive towards ringing. The minute she arrived, we took the opportunity to introduce her three children to ringing.  Barnaby and Eve have devoted time to learn and can competently handle a bell, ring call changes and plain hunt on the treble. Ivan has other commitments on practice nights but can still handle a bell very well on Sunday mornings.  Special thanks must go to Helen for running a bell-handling finishing school with our young ringers in December. We have also welcomed Maddie who has relocated to Jersey from the mainland where she and her husband have been ringing for two years.

We have also found ringing Bastow Doubles and Mexican Wave useful exercises, and we’ve also been encouraging learning to conduct Called Changes starting outside the ringing circle.The next target is to get Barnaby and Eve to ring their first quarter peals.

We have been a little light on quarter peals in recent months, as we have been focusing on bringing our learners on, but I am sure things will pick up soon.

We enjoyed our trip to Alderney for the six-bell competition in September.  Despite not winning, we were happy with our performance ringing the more challenging method of Cambridge Minor. The highlight of the weekend was Hannah’s first Surprise Major quarter (of London).

A number of us enjoyed Colin and Wendy Belsey’s tour to Cornwall and Somerset in October. While the weather could have been better the company was excellent and there was some good ringing in what were quite demanding towers in places. Many of the ropes were exceptionally long (William was pleased, he didn’t need a box)

We are looking forward to hosting the eight-bell competition in April, along with a few quarter peals.