Welcome to the website for the Wisbech District of the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers.
Here are dates for the District, the Association and the Stretham REC shown in a Google Calendar. A larger calendar, showing these dates and dates for all the Districts and for the Young Ringers, with space for more entries at a time, and with options to view a whole week or month, is available on the Ely DA website here. Use of a Google Calendar is experimental - comments or suggestions to the webmaster (elyweb_at_elyda.org.uk) please.
For more dates see the District Ringing Programme. To receive emails about Wisbech District events, please contact the District Secretary (wisbechsec_at_elyda.org.uk).
I am sorry to report that Sid Drew of Denver died in April 2015. Here is an item about Sid written by Tony Stacey, a fellow Denver ringer, for the Denver church newsletter, and a photo of Sid and Mildred.
After last year, it was disappointing to see a reduction in the number of teams. Only one official team, Methwold, entered the novices section, although they were respectably challenged by the scratch team of District Ladies. In the method section, two teams battled it out and March beat Shouldham by 1½ points, thus guaranteeing a rematch next year. The judges were Alan and Marj Winter.
However, I've learnt from my own experience today that ‘instructor and pupil’ is best for ‘learners’; that more than two at a time would mean a lot of hanging around; and that it’s not really a ‘one-off’, you need to be prepared to start at the bottom and work up. Don’t go there with the idea that you can hone your Stedman Triples, or indeed, Bob Doubles, straight off. You need to get used to the computer and the steady, even pace, which may be quite unlike ringing in your own tower. (There have to be two of you, in case Barbara is unable to stay, in order to comply with insurance and health and safety requirements.)
I wanted to iron out handling faults in a calmer and less busy arena than a regular practice and I found it was in my best interests to start with rounds and plain hunt to doubles. Abel, the ringing program, provides visual clues, but it was much easier to listen to the bell without trying to follow a screen. I was really pleased to practise ringing the tenor behind to six, eight and ten bells without anything to guide me except my ears - a skill I'm always being exhorted to practise - and delighted to achieve at least partial success. I am very glad I went to see what it was all about and I hope to go again in the near future. Thanks to Barbara and to Anne, who very kindly came along to help me as well, I had a thoroughly enjoyable two hours of ringing time and hope to put the lessons to good use..
To find out more and check availability, contact the Acting Manager, Barbara Le Gallez (see http://www.elyda.org.uk/strethamrec for details). Don't leave it until everyone in the EDA is vying for time!
Pam Wakeling, 13/08/2015
On Saturday 18th April the local young ringers group joined in St Wendreda's church (with six bells) for a ringing session. Many learners new to ringing (me included) also came and despite sometimes catching the sally wrong – and sometimes missing entirely – everyone had fun and many very impressive rounds, peals and call changes were rung and even the adults struggled to keep up with some of us!
Upstairs in the bell tower it was surprisingly crowded with young ringers (I had no idea that there were so many young people involved). We started by letting the newer ringers practice on their own and some of the more experienced ones get used to the bells. Then we did simple rounds and call changes for ringers like me with a few adults filling in. Once we had finished that some of the more skilled young ringers began on more complicated method ringing.
Whilst people a lot more skilled than me were ringing, some of the newer ringers and I went to see how a bell worked, by playing with a contraption that looked suspiciously like a bike wheel on some pipes (mainly because that's what it was). It was attached to a tiny sally and rope so that as you 'rang' it you could see the 'bell' on the wheel swing and learn how it all worked on a much smaller scale.
After all the ringing on the large bells was done, we had a go on some of the handbells, which were nowhere near as simple as you might think: you had to swing them quite sharply to make any sound at all, and once you got going and could make a noise, you had to do it with a bell in each hand and four other bells in the same pattern that the large bells do. I really enjoyed playing on them and it was a skill I never thought I'd try to learn.
There is a photo of the group at St Wendreda's on the Young Ringers website, here.
The Ely DA seminar 'How to Run a Successful Tower' was held at Swaffham Bulbeck on 30th May 2015.
This is a personal perspective by participant Bob Cox, Walsoken, Wisbech
Successful towers are needed for bell ringing to have a sustainable future. We need to consider “what does ‘Successful’ mean?” for a tower. ‘Successful’ means different things to different people in differing situations which is a serious hurdle to overcome. Ringing institutions such as ITTS, ART, CCCBR and The Ringing World all try to embrace this issue by regularising their approaches towards their standards which many people baulk at for a variety of reasons. The rationale I use in this brief report will, of course, be my own as taken from my understanding of our group discussions kindly led by Mark Regan. Mark is the ringing master at Worcester Cathedral and the DAC advisor for Worcester. I would also like to thank Phil Bailey, Lesley Boyle and their support teams for providing a well run training event. Read the full report here.
A personal perspective by an ITTS bell handling training participant (M1).
ITTS have been promoting their Association of Ringing Teacher (ART) training courses by various means for the past few years. I have read some of their, seemingly, all-pervading communications about becoming a Ringing Teacher and, increasingly, took more interest. When the opportunity to attend Over Church materialised the reality of our local ringing world seemed to hold me back. More ...
A personal perspective by a bell handling training participant.
The presentation given by the Recruitment and Training Subcommittee (RATS) at the recent Wisbech District ADM gave rise to the subject of basic bell handling skills. My feeling was that some towers may pretty much dread a new recruit, of any age, turning up unannounced to try bell-ringing as many towers did not have ringers trained or confident to instruct newcomers in basic bell handling. More ...
At the Wisbech District ADM, held at Downham Market on 24th January 2015, the officers of the District were unchanged. There is one alteration to the other members of the committee, with Helen Greenleaves of March being elected in place of Andrew Davey. The ringing programme for the District was approved, details are here. Changes to the rules for the Novices section of the District striking competition were approved, these changes are intended to encourage wider participation in the competition. The resulting updated rules are here. Tom Ridgman presented Brian Hullah with a certificate to celebrate 50 year's membership of the Ely DA, and Brian was warmly congratulated by all present.
Wisbech District Secretary
Thanks to everyone who took part in the District striking competition. We had four teams in the method section and three in the novice section. All those who took part or came as supporters appeared to enjoy themselves and it was a worthwhile experience for all of us.
The method section was won by Shouldham, with Methwold retaining the novice trophy, but it was quite a close run contest in both sections and next year should be even more interesting! Many thanks to the Walsoken ringers for their hospitality - one of the visitors commented on the welcoming atmosphere and the beautiful church - and for their ringers who were willing to fill in where needed. I hope next year you will have a team of your own. Thanks to the ringers who took part from March, Upwell and Watlington.
The next meeting will be at Emneth on October 25th and it will be the first of the winter meetings, which start at 3 pm. Visitors always welcome.
Tony Boughen. St Wendreda in March, Cambridgeshire, is known to church architecture enthusiasts for its magnificent angel roof. It is probably the best example in England and features 120 winged figures. The three tiers of angels, many holding musical instruments, make a marvellous sight peering down from the double hammerbeam roof. Sir John Betjeman, the late Poet Laureate and lover of churches said, "St Wendreda's church is worth cycling 40 miles in a headwind to see." He was right.
This church has another unique attribute to set alongside its angels: the dedication to St Wendreda is the only one known. Wendreda (also known as Wyndred) was a Saxon princess, possibly a daughter of the seventh century King Anna of the East Angles, who had a palace at Exning in Suffolk. She was known for her healing powers and for helping others. After her parents' and brother's death Wendreda relocated to March and ministered to the people of the Fens. In 1343 her remains were returned to March. It is likely that the pilgrims who came to March in the hope of benefiting from the saint's healing powers, were part of the reason for the building of its remarkable roof.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen
For updates, corrections or suggestions, contact the District Secretary (wisbechsec_at_elyda.org.uk). Or use the contact form here.
|Email addresses||Many email addresses on this website are shown with _at_ instead of @ to protect against automatic scanning for addresses.|
|Mobile devices||This site is optimized for mobile devices, that is phones and tablets with Android >=2.2 or IOS>=3.|
|Safeguarding||It is important to ensure that written or verbal permission has been given by parents/carers before photographs which include children are submitted for publication to this website|