ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

SATURDAY 28th FEBRUARY 2015

St Mary’s, Chalgrove (6)

The AGM will take place on Saturday 28th February 2015 at St Mary’s, Chalgrove. Ringing at 3pm will be followed by a service at 4pm. Tea and meeting will follow, the meeting not starting before 5pm.

 

AGENDA

 

  • Apologies for Absence
  • Approval of the Minutes of the AGM held on 23th February 2013.
  • Matters Arising from the Minutes
  • Donations from the surplus branch funds to the Guild Bell and / or Restoration Fund.
  • Treasurer's Report and approval of accounts
  • Secretary's Report
  • 100 Club report
  • Branch Representative's Report
  • Ringing Master’s Report
  • Branch Outings
  • Election of Officers:
  • Chairman
  • Vice Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Ringing Master
  • Deputy Ringing Master
  • Training Officer
  • Branch Representative
  • Newsletter Editor
  • 100 Club
  • Webmaster
  • Auditor
  • Election of New Members and presentation of certificates.
  • Any Other Business

 

If you would like a tea at the AGM, please contact Andrew Davis by phone: 01865 890755 or email: andrew davis5@btinternet.com by Wednesday 25th February.

The Bells of St Mary’s Church, Chalgrove

The six bells at St.Mary's are hung in a beautifully crafted oak frame and were previously re-hung in 1888. Some minor work was also carried out in the 1970s including fitting two RSJs to support the frame, but the bells had become increasingly difficult to ring with only the brave able to handle the heavier bells, making it very difficult to train new ringers.

A plan was put together for the refurbishment of the bells and an appeal made to the people of Chalgrove, who responded magnificently so that the complete sum required was raised in a very short time. When all permissions and advice had been received, the bells were taken down in July 2010. Whites of Appleton provided advice during the process and managed the bell refurbishment. New headstocks and clappers were fitted to the bells, which would enable more people, and particularly the young of this village, to learn to ring.

The refurbishment was completed and the bells replaced in the tower during November that same year.

As can be seen from the table below, three of the bells date from 1664, two from 1729 (listed because of their historical importance), and the smallest from 1888. The largest, the tenor, is the one that strikes the hour. There is a little additional "Ting Tang" (Sanctus) bell, the earliest, which dates from 1652 which can be rung before services.

Bell

Inscription

Date

Weight (cwt)

Ting Tang

 

1652

Treble

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”

1664

Recast 1888

5

2

“Praise to the Lord”

1664

6

3

“Hope in God”

1664

7

4

“Fear the Lord”

1664

5

“Robert Hall and William Gray Churchwardens”

1729

12

6

“I to the Church the living call and to the grave do summon all”

1729

16½

The bells were re-dedicated on 23rd January 2011 and first quarter peal rung on 30th January 2011.

The bells have also since hosted a striking competition, which saw the crowning of Drayton St. Leonard as victors in April 2013.

Treasurers Report by Maureen Bosley

SOUTH OXON BRANCH OF ODG

RECEIPTS & PAYMENTS FOR YEAR ENDING 31st DECEMBER 2014

Receipts

Brought Forward 

31/12/2013

Subscriptions

100 Club

Donations

Subtotal

Interest on Deposit

Total Receipts

£

2034.63

1120.00

800.00

3.00

3957.63

1.14

3958.77

3958.77

Payments

Guild Subscriptions

Guild Bell Fund

Bell Restoration Fund

100 Club prizes

Tower Fees

Total Expenses

Balance Carried forward

31/12/2014

£

725.00

250.00

250.00

410.00

27.00

1662.00

2296.77

3958.77

 

BALANCE SHEET

AS AT 31st DECEMBER 2014

Balance brought forward 1.1.2014

Receipts

Payments

Balance carried forward 31.12.2014

Current Account Balance

Deposit Account Balance

Cash

£

2034.63

1924.14

   1662.00

2296.77

1116.13

1145.47

35.17

2296.77

Prepared by Maureen Bosley Audited by F D Norman

Date 11th January 2015 Date 13th January 2015

In 2014, the Branch had 145 members, of whom 140 paid subscriptions and 5 were honorary members who do not pay subscriptions. The subscription for the year was £8.

80 members supported the 100 Club in 2014 and £200 each was raised for the ODGCB Restoration Fund and the Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund.

In addition, the Branch donated £50 from our surplus for the year to each of these funds, in accordance with the resolution passed at the AGM in 2014.

Fees for Branch practices outside the Branch were paid for out of Branch funds – in accordance with the resolution passed at the 2010 AGM.

The Branch Income for 2014 was £1924.14, whilst the expenditure for 2014 was £1662, giving a surplus of £262.14.

On behalf of the Branch I should like to thank Margaret Coombe for running the 100 Club and Frank Norman for auditing the accounts. Their help and support is greatly appreciated.

100 Club by Margaret Coombe

South Oxon Branch of ODG 100 Club 2014

Receipts

Subscriptions

Petty Cash

B/F from 2013

£

790.00

10.00

10.00

810.00

Payments

1st Prize 12 x £23

2nd Prizes 11 x £10 (Jan– Nov)

                   1 x £14 (Dec)

3rd Prize      1 x £10 (Dec)

Total Prizes

Transfers to

ODGCBR Restoration Fund

Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund

£

276.00

110.00

14.00

10.00

410.00

200.00

200.00

810.00

 

The prize money was as follows:

2013

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1st Prize

Kathy Bainbridge

David Watkin

Hilarie Rogers

Liz Perry

John White

Tim Spalton

Wendy Hawkins

Daniel Rogers

Stephen Hoar

Dave Page

Kay Tuckwell

Wendy Hawkins

2nd Prize

David Watkin

Christopher Rogers

Anne Thomson

Hattie Burdett

Sue Dyke

Gt Milton Tower

Paul Smith

Geoff & Mary Riglar

Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter

Sue Dyke

Margaret Coombe         

3rd Prize

Mark Hunter

Total

30.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

33.00

47.00

410.00

Secretary’s Report by Amy Herlihy

This year we have not had an October Newsletter as there has been a search for a new Newsletter Editor. This means I need to report on a full year worth of activity! Over the past few years we have had limited interest in branch outings. But this past April, we had a mini-outing to the West Oxfordshire area. We visited St Mary the Virgin in Witney and SS Peter and Paul in Church Hanborough before lunch at The Kings Arms in Kidlington. These half day outings seem to suit us and 12 keen ringers were able to attend. I must admit – it was educational for me, in that I learned the hard way that there are two (two!) St Mary’s churches in Witney. I have tried to blame the satnav for taking me to the wrong one – but that only goes so far!

This year many towers rang to mark the WWI centenary in August. Unfortunately we did not have our standard 6-bell competition in the spring due to lack of towers entering. We shall try again in 2015.

25 Years Ago

The AGM was held in the Watlington on the 28th April 1990. John Tchighianoff chaired the meeting as Chairman Stan Day was ill. Patrician Newton attended the meeting as Guild Ringing Master. The meeting discussed using excess branch funds to sponsor 1-2 ringers to attend the Easthampstead course. Andrew Davis, as Branch Representative, reported from the guild, and Louise James reported on the Branch Outing to Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

Election of New Members – Reminder

If you want to nominate a new member, please give Amy Herlihy the names of the ringers 2 weeks prior to the AGM.

Distinguished Membership

Should you wish to nominate a branch member for Distinguished Membership please contact the branch secretary. This award is given to a member of at least 30 years who is considered to have given meritorious service to the Guild or Branch. Details can be found here: http://odg.org.uk/pdf/dm_nomination_form_2014.pdf

Reminder that many useful documents about bell ringing can be found on the web! Check out our branch web page: http://www.southoxonodg.co.uk/ as well as the Guild Web page: http://odg.org.uk/ Look on the Blog tab for musings from the Guild Master (aka Hilarie Rogers).

Branch Representative’s Report by John White

The 2014 March General Committee Meeting was preceded by the AGM of the Oxford Diocesan Bell Fund, which reported a decrease in income in 2013 (£8,650 compared to £14,175 in 2012) which was largely attributable to the fact that the Leap Year Sponsored Quarter Peal Week took place in 2012, but happily there was a slight increase in investment income which totalled £23,778 in 2013. Four grants were paid during the year.

The Committee Meeting itself received reports which covered the Guild Striking Competition Rules, which remained unchanged, a proposal that the way that the Central Council Fees are calculated be changed, which would cost our Guild more, and the possibility of a further grant to the Association of Ringing Teachers (the motion for which was lost). The Guild’s Accounts showed a surplus of £852 for the year and the Guild Restoration Fund showed an increase in funds raised to £2,740, almost double that of 2012. Four grants from the latter were paid during the year. The Kimberley Project (to hang six bells in the Cathedral at Kimberley, South Africa) reported some progress following a meeting with the Dean.

The Guild AGM in May saw the election of our own Hilarie Rogers to succeed the retiring Master of the Guild, Robert Newton. Our congratulations to her. Verna Wass was confirmed as the new Public Relations Officer. Jack Page from the Reading Branch won the Young Ringer’s Award.

At the General Committee Meeting in November the possibility of a future Central Council Meeting in Oxford was raised, and it was reported that the Kimberley Project had now stalled due to the Dean being appointed to another role. The Guild Librarian, Doug Beaumont, reported on the need for an additional bookcase and asked whether now was the time to review the contents of the library and its future purpose. A small working group was set up to review this. The Central Council Representatives reported on concerns raised at the last Central Council Meeting that the advent of the Integrated Teacher Training Scheme (ITTS) might mean that insurers would in future insist that all ringing teachers are “qualified”. The Vice-President of the Central Council said that they remained confident that the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office would not insist upon this. The Guild Budget for 2015 projected an excess of income over expenditure of £1,740 and therefore it was decided that subscriptions for 2015 would remain at £8.

From the Ringing Master by Hilarie Rogers

During 2014, we ran a couple of Cambridge Minor practices for those who had requested them – and also continued to help and run the practices at Marsh Baldon.

The targeted practices still seem to be the best way of providing training for those who want it, and an opportunity to ring together regularly. These are

  • Monthly afternoon Doubles practice alternating between Grandsire and Plain Bob (although we have included Plain Bob Minor when appropriate)
  • Surprise Minor every other month
  • Surprise Major (with help from other branches) every other month (alternating with above)

The monthly 8-bell practice struggled a bit due to lack of numbers, and only a couple of times did we muster enough to ring. Branch Practices took place most months, and proved useful to all those who came.

The Tower Twinning has continued to be popular and enjoyable, giving towers the chance to visit another tower and to benefit from them attending their practice.

Do ask if there is anything we can help you with, or if you would like a concentrated session on something particular.

TOWER NEWS

Aston Rowant by Robert Newton

Our half-day outing in November took us to Aynho, Croughton and Souldern: three very different rings of bells and all good experience. We were delighted to meet up with William (former AR ringer) and Jane Bowers, who live next door but one to the pub in Souldern, so our delicious pub lunch was rounded off by equally delicious cake and tea and coffee at their cottage.

We have managed just three quarter peals in the whole of 2014 - all of Grandsire Doubles – to celebrate St George’s Day, to mark the outbreak of the First World War and in anticipation of Tricia Newton’s significant birthday. Adam and Wendy each rang their first ‘inside’ in the first two of these.

Successful twinning practices have been held with Shabbington and Benson and we look forward to ringing with Marsh Baldon in the near future.

Christmas was again a busy time and our hand bell ringing, in particular, seemed to go down well. Support for service ringing and practices, particularly from those with some distance to travel, has been much appreciated. Unfortunately, all six bells have been rung for fewer than 50% of our Sunday services. With the prospect of a couple of our regulars moving away, I think we will be looking for yet more recruits! Our practices are usually well supported, with Stedman Doubles, occasional Cambridge Minor and, recently, Double Oxford Bob Minor on the agenda. Do come and see us on a Tuesday.

We are again looking forward to hosting the branch striking competition and very much hope that there will be more than one entry this year!

Benson by John Tchighianoff

Our Wednesday evening practices continue to be well attended and include a range of ringing from rounds and call changes to plain bob or grandsire triples. We also have three more youngsters who are anxious to learn and we plan to start teaching them in the spring. Sunday mornings we usually have up to ten in attendance.

We have enjoyed taking part in ‘tower twinning’ which as well as getting us out to ring in other towers in the branch, is also a good social evening.

Some thought was given to how we should commemorate the outbreak of the First World War. In the end having publicized it in the village two of us tolled the tenor half muffled for half an hour from 11.00am on Monday 4th August.

A group of us take our hand bells to the Day Centre once a month and give the folk a chance to try their hand at ringing tunes. Each person has one bell. A large chart is hung up on the wall with numbers for the music. Although it takes quite a time for the tune to become recognisable it is good fun and they all say how much they enjoy it.

A few months ago during Messy Church I took a group of children up the tower to see where we ring and then up into the belfry to see the bells. I have now been asked to arrange a hand bell workshop for some of the children at the next Messy Church.

Although our bells were only rehung in 2009 we have been disappointed to find that the ropes supplied at the time have shown considerable wear. We ordered a replacement set of ropes and we have already had to use four of them. As the wear is only below the sally we are having new tail ends spliced onto the worn ropes as this is a relatively cheap option.

New Year’s Eve was the usual good excuse for a party, following which six ringers together with their partners and four dogs (!) adjourned to the tower where the tenor was rung twelve times to coincide with Big Ben on the radio followed by about ten minutes of call changes. This was followed by further celebrations in the ringing chamber.

Berrick Salome by Wendy Simon

Our bells are being taken out on 9th and 10th February. This follows a successful year of fund raising with much support from many villagers, local ringers, friends and grants.

Whites of Appleton will be handling the refurbishment, which is badly needed after (what we think is) 100 years. The three unlisted bells (1, 2 and 4) will be tuned by Whitechapel.

A quarter peal will be rung on Sunday, 1st Feb after the Family Service, which will be the final ring on the bells. Whites anticipate that the work will take 3-4 months, and we look forward to the summer which will see their return.

We have three learners who are making good progress – and a big thank you to the Chalgrove ringers for their support generally, and with the training and teaching specifically.

Chalgrove by Andrew Davis

As many of you will be aware the day after last year's AGM, Margaret had a "Diva" moment whilst ringing for service. I have added the details previously published in Odd Bob as I am keen for other towers to learn from our experience. Margaret has made a good recovery, able to ring and guide others learning Plain Bob. We now have an Instruction sheet on lifting the trap door should the need ever arise again.

With the assistance of Barry and Margaret we retained Gold for the Tower Maintenance Award Scheme. Almost getting 100%, only losing marks for not having emergency lighting in the Belfry and Clock Room. The scheme is well worth taking part in, the help and advice from the Towers and Belfry's representative is very helpful. As Steeple Keeper I take great pride in the fact that Chalgrove is used by the Guild to train members in good tower maintenance practice.

At Christmas we were able to provide a full team for each service at Chalgrove and Berrick Salome, it was easier this year as Berrick Salome's ringers were able to join in.

The second Tuesday of the month practice at Berrick Salome proving so popular became weekly. It is a good social evening with Wendy's team making good progress. We look forward to the refurbishment of the bells as we regard Berrick Salome as our second home.

We continue twinning with other towers, it can be a struggle getting dates as we all lead busy lives, however it is well worth taking part and meeting other ringers.

The following was first published in Odd Bob

On the 23rd February at Chalgrove Margaret had a nasty turn whilst ringing, what followed has prompted me to share the experience. Missing a dodge Margaret said she didn't feel well before falling away from the rope, Brian, who was sitting out, quickly grabbed the tail and set the bell. After sitting Margaret down, lack of breakfast was to blame... Her daughter was contacted, to come and collect her. On arrival, being medically trained and a first responder, Alison realised that things were far from fine, further assistance would be needed. At this point a retired matron from the congregation expertly took control of matters.

This is where having a plan, should the worst happen, is needed. We have the postcode and location of the church clearly visible in the ringing chamber. One of us went to the bottom of the lane to guide the emergency services in. Within a short while the ringing chamber was full of people and kit. Keeping the bell ropes clear, I pulled ours into the clock room. It soon became clear that Margaret could not be carried down the stairs, she would have to come out on a stretcher. We have a trap door that can be lifted out. By now we had two fire crews on the scene, I was able to advise how to lift the trap out. Rescue ropes would be needed. Did we have an anchor point? It was decided to use the bell frame. I had to advise that the bells were up, I would need to ring them down. The ropes would need to be dropped back into the ringing chamber. The fire chief told all those in the ringing chamber not to touch the ropes as I passed them back down. It was quite surreal ringing whilst a team of medics moved Margaret around the floor! Having cleared the ringing chamber the trap was lifted out, Margaret was lowered and finally transferred to hospital. Margaret was taken ill at 9.15 am, it was now 1.45 pm.

The rescue teams debriefed in the ringing chamber, in total there had been first responders, two ambulance teams, two fire and rescue teams and various other specialists. Hindsight is always helpful, what would we do differently? Let the Vicar know! He could see that there were problems in the ringing chamber, but the congregation was unaware of this. Pull the clock hammer off! I pointed out to a fireman whilst we wrapped slings around the bell frame that the clock was about to strike. "Will it be loud?" he said just as it struck. "Fairly loud" was my answer as he picked himself up. Try and ensure those helping have a snack. Fairtrade biscuits were ideal as many involved were getting light headed having not eaten for so long. We will print an instruction guide with pictures as to how to lift out the trap door should the need arise again.

Dorchester by David Parker

We seem to be having an exceptionally busy year, and it’s fun. Compared with only one wedding last year, we have had seven so far this year, with two more to come. As so many of them coincide with holidays, we have had to call upon our good neighbours for help several times. We are most grateful to our friends for helping us out, giving up their valuable time. A bonus is that we get to know our friends in neighbouring towers better, and this has resulted in one of our ringers (Gillian) going to the Benson practice several times. She is learning new methods and ringing others which we rarely manage to ring at Dorchester. I am hoping that these contacts will soon lead to us joining in the twinning exercise. It is such a pity our ringers are so fearful of ringing at other towers. They need not be. They are guaranteed a warm reception by ringers who are mindful of the fact that they have all faced similar challenges themselves. After helping us with a wedding, James Anderson-Besant kindly came to some of our practices in the summer holidays and enabled us to brush up on Bob Minor. Thank you, James.

All towers have to be constantly looking out for new recruits. We have been quite lucky lately. In April, we took part in an event held in the Village Hall to welcome newcomers to the village. In the past we have had little success in attracting new ringers, but this time there was more interest, and one lady, Diana Vass, who learnt to ring in her youth but who had not rung for many years, said she would like to take it up again. Like riding a bicycle, she had not forgotten, and we are delighted to have her among us. Then we are delighted to welcome Ian Brace, who has just retired with the intention of learning to ring (He has also taken over as editor of the Dorchester News). Ian is making excellent progress, but he has some way to go before catching up Mandy, who is on the brink of ringing Bob Doubles ‘inside’, as is Nick Jenkins. Isabel, who can no longer be regarded as a novice, has just taken her GCSEs, and has done so well that I fear we shall lose her when she goes to university after her A levels. [It is now January 2015, and we have lost her already; her family have moved to Burford and we wish them well.]

Two events this year have been different. In February, we had a big concert in the Abbey to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mary Tame, and by request the concert was preceded by ringing. Mary had been a Dorchester ringer in the (distant) past, and she can remember how hard it was to ring the bells before they had ball bearings. She remembers being unable to ring during WWII, when the bells had to be silent, but with other ringers she was on standby to ‘fire’ the bells as a warning if there was an invasion. Firing the bells involved ringing all the bells at once to make a frightful din. Then on 4th August this year we rang half muffled to commemorate the outbreak of WWI.

As always, I am immensely grateful to John, Gillian, Alan, Frank, Chris and Nick Forman for helping in various ways to keep our band in good health. Without their loyalty and patience our learners would not have been able to make the splendid progress they have made. Also, it is really good to have Klaas return after a long period of illness.

Drayton St Leonard by Hilarie Rogers

We are currently ringing all 6 bells, after reducing the number to 5 over the summer.

Sadly 2 of our ringers have been unable to ring for much of the year - Charles because of hip trouble (now remedied) and hand trouble (still to mend); and Liz due to hip trouble. Our ranks are swelled by Catherine and John from Marsh Baldon who come over most Wednesdays; and we will be joined by Carys too this year.

We rang for all of the Christmas services, and in August, in common with many of you, we rang half muffled to start the vigil to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.

We have continued to enjoy our Twinning, both travelling away and hosting at home. The new under-pew heating and extra power sockets in the church have made it warmer and easier to brew up hot drinks when we have visitors.

We were very pleased to represent the branch again in the Guild 6-bell competition in October, held in the Old North Berks Branch. There were heats for the second year running, and we were drawn to ring first (again!) in the heat at Cholsey. As last year, we had a long wait for the result, and ended up being placed first in the heat, so made our way to Aston Tirrold for the final. Having circumnavigated the village a few times, we ended up at the Village Hall which was a good walk from the church – but just close enough to be able to hear the bells from outside. We knew they were going to be tricky when it took High Wycombe a good few rounds to settle into their trademark ringing! Here we were drawn to ring last (again!) so had another long wait. We were however delighted to finish 3rd = of the 6 teams.

Over a year ago, I started to explore the possibility of rehanging the bells and undertaking structural work to stiffen the tower. Needless to say this has not been straightforward and we are currently still waiting for the necessary permissions!

Great Haseley by Hilarie Rogers

Attendance on Monday evenings has dwindled a little largely due to the youngsters having more commitments at school. We have a core of 8 ringers from Benson, Little Milton, Marsh Baldon and Drayton St Leonard, but no local Haseley ringers.

We do manage to ring on the first Sunday of the month for service and also when there is a Benefice Service, the latter with ringers from Little Milton. We also managed to find a band for all of the services over Christmas.

Great Milton by Pat Cox

It has been a full year for GMB! We have rung bells for all the Services, for all the special days, and for the extra special times to remember the outbreak of WW1 in August, and Remembrance Day in November.

There were 14 weddings for us this year – 10 lovely Church weddings and 4 civil weddings when the bells rang for Le Manoir guests. Our Christmas supper at the Bull was a great success – 15 of us shared a really good evening.

Ian Melton, an experienced ringer, joined the Tower, and Ella Simms came to learn to ring for her Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. Recently, Tony Jefferis took the plunge and is learning with us each week.

At our AGM in January, our Captain reminded us that ‘we have been going for 20 years’ – and promised some celebration during 2015! At the end of our meeting, our Steeple keeper announced that there would be a major spring clean in April! It’s not all pleasure in this Tower!!

Little Milton by Jane Willis

We have just held our 15th annual general meeting, in the convivial surroundings of our Tower Captain’s home, complete with Burns Night Supper. Business took place interspersed with the wailing of bag pipes, and the wailing of those elected to positions of responsibility on the committee.

We welcomed a new ringer this year – Vivien – who is doing really well in getting to grips with the challenging intricacies of bell ringing. Viv was the winner of this year’s coveted “Most Improved Bell Ringer of the Year Award”. We look forward to seeing her wearing her bobble hat, complete with bells, with pride!

Our Tower Captain, Raymond, was delighted to receive a new uniform to mark one of those big birthdays which ends in a zero. Not only does he now possess his own “ringing polo shirt”, putting him into an elite class all of his own, but is the proud owner of a baseball cap, proclaiming to the world that he is “Captain of Clippers and Clangers” which just about sums up our usual performance.

Little Milton has hosted regular Bob Double and Grandsire practices as well as the odd Surprise Minor practice throughout the year, much to the delight of the residents of Little Milton, who now get to hear some “quality ringing” on Tuesday afternoons. It has to be said that our ringing has actually improved slightly this year with help from the stoical Chalgrove pair, Geoff and Mary, and the ever patient Chris Rogers. Where would we be without them?

We end the year on a sad note however – the lovely Sarah Jones is leaving us for bell towers new. Sarah has been ringing at Little Milton for more than thirteen years – putting her in a very senior position in the tower hierarchy. Sarah always has a smile on her face and an encouraging word for us less able ringers, and great stories about clothes getting tangled in bell ropes! Great with the first aid box, and a very capable squash monitor – she will be sorely missed.

Shabbington by Caroline Lewis

We have all enjoyed meeting up every Thursday for are weekly practice sessions and have a good attendance. Our young ringers Dilan and Jasmine have progressed really well and were able to attend the Remembrance and Christmas service ringing. Which was lovely. Andrew from Towersey is a regular visitor and joins us most weeks. Brian Woodham rang his first quarter this summer. We are now facing a new challenge as the tenor bell is unringable due to a broken gudgeon and will need to find funding. As always many thanks to Gordon and Chris for all your help and support which keeps our little band very happy.

Thame by Rosalie Gibson

After the O.D.G. training day at the beginning of February we had a temporary suspension of Practices due to a member of a well-known local family complaining about the bells and claiming her baby and four year old were unable to sleep. The complaint was sent to the Environmental Officer who merely advised us that the complainant had been asked to keep a diary of events. If he felt it was justified we would be informed.

Regrettably we have had to agree to revert to ringing on practice nights to 7.30.p.m. – 8.30.p.m for the rest of this year. Hopefully after that things will change but rather than have an issue made of it have agreed this with the Environmental Health officer who is fully sympathetic towards us but feels this is the best solution.

The Tower Maintenance team continued to make their quarterly checks in the belfry and in August everyone got together to for a special clean and polish up ready for our Tower Inspection which gained us the reward of the renewal of our Gold Award. Thank you to all the ringers for this.

In May a Flower Festival was held in the Church in which we took part. As the theme was Memories we had a slide show running of ‘scenes before and after in the Tower’ beside our flower arrangement which proved to be of interest. Practice was stopped on another occasion by the emergency services who asked for ringing to stop when someone decided to end their life on the River Bridge nearby. This was very sad. On Sunday August 3rd the bells were rung half muffled for both services and the flag flown at half-mast to mark the beginning of the First World War on August 4th 1914. We also rang on St Georges day at 6.00.p.m. and Remembrance Day (half muffed) before and after 11.00.a.m. marking the two minutes silence at 11.00.a.m. During the year we rang for 27 weddings. The brides are getting later and later arriving, one was 50 minutes and many were at least 20 minutes late. Does this happen elsewhere?

There were several (non-ringing) visitors to the Tower, members of U3A’s, Scouts and Cubs and Church Young people. One of the visits by a Scout group also included the Investiture of three scouts in the Belfry.

Several of our tower members volunteered to help with keeping the shoots of the avenue of trees in the Churchyard cut back through the summer to help keep our Churchyard looking pristine.

Christmas saw our usual marathon of ringing for five services in 18 hours.

With so much going on at Christmas we still managed to fit in our meal out together on the 22nd December, instead of holding our practice night, when we went to the Old Fisherman at Shabbington as we had the previous year, where we were looked after very well and enjoyed the social gathering.

Warborough by Sue Dyke

The taster sessions for the local school children have been discontinued as it was felt that there was insufficient time during their lunch break to make it worthwhile - also we didn’t manage to recruit any new ringers!

We generally manage to ring 4 or 5 bells on Sundays thanks to our few faithful ringers. As usual we were pleased to ring for 4 weddings in 2014 with the help of Philip and Alf and we hope Alf will make steady progress and return to ringing following his bout of ill health.

We do have one new recruit, Sue P, who we have been training over the past few months and I am pleased to say she is making good progress and managed to ring rounds with us just before Christmas. It was good to hear 6 bells ringing instead of the usual 4 or 5!