Bellringers Update February 2013 - posted 12 February 2013
Our Church, St Mary Magdalene has six bells, the oldest originating from 1697. We were reformed five years ago by Chris Wassink and currently have six regular ringers from Helmdon plus Chris Wassink, with support from Pam and Malcolm Taylor. Phil Curtis and Ian Chapple provide additional help. Bell ringing is lots of fun and new recruits are always welcomed, so why not join the “band” of ringers in the Helmdon Bell Tower. Expert tuition will be provided by Ian Chapple who has trained nearly 100 ringers in his time. We practise on Saturday from 9.00 a.m. – 10.30 a.m. and also at weddings and memorial services.
Contact: Julian Partis. Tel: 01295 768917
(Taken from Helmdon Voice Spring 2013)
Bellringers Update April 2011 - posted 10 April 2011
Our current team is Joe Glenham (Tower Captain), Lynn Gartside, Denise Green, Brian Morris, Derek Morris, Julian Partis, David Powell, Ross Vicars and Chris Klein Wassink. We also have a new recruit in Danielle Jackson who is currently being taught to handle a bell by Ian Chapple of Whitfield.
The most satisfying part of this update is the progress being made by the whole team. We have practices every Saturday morning and have achieved our aim to ring for every Sunday Service throughout the year. Everyone is now proficient at handling each bell, and the hard work of method ringing has begun…..and hard work it is! Method-ringing is an art in itself and it is difficult to explain to non-ringers. It has a language of its own and is perhaps best described as solving a logic problem every few seconds, but with a weight of metal at the end of a rope to contend with at the same time! We are determined to succeed. As a team, we now each have royal blue polo shirts showing the Guild badge with Helmdon embroidered underneath.
The ringing balcony continues to be a joy and, after some unavoidable delays, work is now in progress to complete the necessary modifications. These include an urgent re-adjustment of the 3rd bell and changing the ringing position of the 2nd and 5th bells as well as an adjustment of the intrusive safety bar across the window. During the past few weeks, Ian Chapple from Whitfield and Julian Partis have put in hours of work dealing with these problems….and sincere thanks are due to them, together with Martin Rowling of Culworth who adapted the metal bar free of charge.
Over the past year, our team has rung for three weddings, and we have had a very interesting visit from a team of university ringers who, when they heard of our new ringing balcony, deliberately set about learning and ringing a method called “Helmdon Doubles” here. (They have given us copies and perhaps one day we may be able to ring it ourselves)
Helmdon Bellringers belong to the Culworth Branch of The Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers, and our branch is a very active one.
- Friday 29th April – Every one of the twenty-one churches in the Culworth Branch will ring to celebrate the Royal Wedding
- Saturday 7th May – There will be an Open Day for all towers in the Branch…when ringers from other areas will visit Helmdon Tower which will be open from 3-4pm.
- The Queens Diamond Jubilee 2012 – Arrangements are already being made for all-day ringing in the Branch with a celebratory dinner to follow
Our sincere thanks to everyone who has helped our bellringing progress throughout the year….we are very grateful.
Chris Klein Wassink
Helmdon Bellringers 2010 - posted 16 April 2010
The President's Cup
Our current team is Joe Glenham (Tower Captain), Chris Klein Wassink, Julian Partis, Lynn Gartside, Denise Green, Ross Vicars, David Powell, Derek Morris and Brian Morris.
Learning to ring is a long process, but we are making progress. Our Saturday morning practices are lively and enjoyable, and we now aim to ring for Sunday Service as often as possible. Helmdon is one of twenty-one Churches in the Culworth Branch of The Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers, and at the A.G.M held in Brackley in January this year, we were delighted to be awarded the President's Cup … both for the work by Joe and Chris in teaching seven new ringers, and for the enthusiasm and achievements of the whole team.
The new ringing balcony is a joy and we are gradually perfecting it …. Joe has hand crafted the blackboard, and a personal donation has provide a carpet plus various fittings. Last year we were grateful to HYHO who donated a full set of made-to-measure muffles which we used for the first time on Remembrance Sunday. The window has been enhanced with six small stained –glass bells which were hand made by Denise’s cousin in the U.S.A.
We have recently taken delivery of six urgently needed new bell ropes at a cost of just under £635. We very much appreciated a donation of £100 from Helmdon Parish Council, two personal donations of £50 each and a wonderful sum of £227.60 from a recent Bring and Buy coffee morning organised by Dorothy Micklethwaite and a large group of very willing helpers. Our thanks to all who helped. So far, we are unable to hang all the new ropes as some work has to be done in the ceiling to enlarge some of the “bosses” (holes through which the ropes pass!). Julian enjoys helping Joe with all this mechanical side of things.
1. On Friday 23 April (St Georges Day) it is hoped that every ringing band in the Country will join in “Ring for England” at 6pm for approximately half an hour …. so listen out for us!
2. On Saturday 15 May 7:30 – 9pm there will be a Culworth Branch Practice at Helmdon. Such practices are held monthly throughout the year with rotation of venues at the twenty-one churches involved.
3. In July the Culworth Branch will celebrate its 60th Anniversary, and it is hoped that each church will arrange for a Quarter-Peel to be rung during the week 12-17 July. We hope that at least two of our new ringers will be proficient enough to join Joe and Chris by then …. but there is a lot to learn!