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Quarter Peal at Kirtlington 1st March 2020

This afternoon at Kirtlington, a band completed a very nicely struck Quarter Peal of Grandsire Doubles, rung to celebrate the 32 years of service given by Jean Sambrook to Kirtlington Village Shop. The quarter, conducted expertly by Hugh Deam, was also Charlie Bates’ first inside to the method, supported by Teresa, Kathryn, Paul and Steve.

This was also Charlie’s final practical target for his ART Learning the Ropes Level 5, achieved in less than eighteen months after starting to learn to ring. Very many congratulations, Charlie!

The Bellboard record is at:


Branch Practice 21st January at Bicester

Sixteen ringers from six towers and two branches came to tonight’s branch practice at Bicester, including a warm welcome to Darren, from Central Bucks Branch. Proceedings were led by our joint ringing master Jeremy, with Teresa and Kathryn.

After ringing up we rang rounds and call changes on ten, then rang Plain Hunt on Seven for Sue, Helen and Chris.

We next rang two nicely struck plain courses of Plain Bob Minor for Anne, Faye trebling, called by Steve, followed by more rounds and call changes on six for one of the Islip recruits.

Next up a plain course of Kent Minor for James to treble bob to, guided by Jeremy, which made it to the end, so a first for James.

In an interval, Teresa presented Sue with her ART LTR Level 3 certificate, achieved last week with her Quarter Peal at tenor to Grandsire Doubles. Congratulations, Sue!

We rang some plain hunt on five for Mandy, Chris and Jane, then Mandy was stretched a bit further by trebling to a touch of Grandsire Doubles. Well done, Mandy!

We then rang a couple of plain courses of Grandsire Triples, then more rounds on six. Finally all ten rang in rounds before we lowered the front four and back six in peal.

Good to see lots of people tonight. Hope to see lots of you again at the next Branch Practice on 13th February at Weston, to experience the recent improvements to the rope circle.

Teresa presenting Sue with her LTR L3 certificate

Special Practice at Kirtlington 16th December 2019

Thirteen ringers from four branches came to our final Special Practice of 2019 at Kirtlington, led by Richard, our joint ringing master supported by Kathryn, Malcolm, Clare, Charles and Rachel, Ron and Jane Burgess.
We welcomed Elaine from Ludgershall for the first time to Kirtlington tower, and Jane from Bicester, returning after four decades.
After raising in peal, we rang rounds and call changes for Elaine, Fay and Jane, then an attempted touch of Stedman Triples, which we tried at a later point, getting a little further.
Next we rang a plain course of Bob Triples for Charlie inside, with some nice striking.
After some more rounds and call changes we rang a nice touch of Grandsire Triples, called by Charles, Kathryn Grant trebling.
Next up we rang a reasonably well-struck plain course of Bob Major, for Charlie to treble to. Well done, Charlie!
As Cambridge was on the billing (and quite a few of our helpers were hoping to get a chance to ring it), we attempted Cambridge Major, which unfortunately fired out after 1 and a half leads.
After some nicely struck call changes we then made a fair attempt at spliced Plain and Little Bob Major, with Charlie trebling again, getting a reasonable way through.
Our second attempt of Stedman Triples was followed by a completed touch of Grandsire Triples, called by Richard with Kathryn inside, with the practice ending in some rounds on eight.
An enjoyable Practice, with a big thank you to Richard for leading us and our helpers from near and further afield who enabled us to ring a good range of methods on 7 and 8.
A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Hope to see lots of you at the first Branch Practice of 2020 at Islip on the 7th of January.

Branch Practice 6th November at Bletchingdon

Seventeen ringers came to last night’s Branch Practice at Bletchingdon, a very encouraging number. El presidente Willie was there in good form, together with Jeremy and Richard.
We were also joined by a full Weston contingent.
For Margie we rang rounds and as our number included several keen to practice Plain Hunt, we rang several courses of Plain Hunt Doubles, followed by plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, giving Gus, Brenda, Andrew, Mandy and Gerald opportunities to ring treble, two and tenor.
We also rang some plain courses of Bob Doubles for Sue.
For Tim, Judith, Faye and Anne we rang some touches of Grandsire Doubles, including a different 80 blow touch.
Finally we rang a couple of touches of Plain Bob Minor, the first with Faye trebling, the second Sue M trebled, gaining a real sense of accomplishment.
A very full practice and great to see so many from the Branch and outside.
Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice in 21st November at Weston on the Green.

Branch Practice 1st October 2019 at Islip.

A very encouraging nineteen from seven towers and three branches attended last night’s practice at Islip, including a big welcome to Malcolm and Claire, who rang in the Branch a while ago.
Proceedings were led by our joint Ringing Masters Richard and Jeremy. Teresa and Kathryn we’re also in attendance.

We kicked off with rounds for some of our recent recruits from Ludgershall.
Next we rang a number of courses of Plain Hunt on 5 with Sue C, Mandy, Gerald and Andrew.

For James we rang a few courses of Grandsire Doubles, then for Sue a couple of plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles.

As we had the numbers, we rang a touch of Plain Bob Triples, called by Richard, also a plain course of Kent Minor with Kathryn inside.

Back to Plain Hunt, this time on 7 for Sue, Gerald and Gill, then Plain Hunt on 5 for Andrew ad Mandy.

Finally, a touch of Grandsire Triples, Sally trebling and Kathryn inside to finish off before ringing down in peal.
A very full practice with something for everyone. Hope to see lots of you at this month’s special practice at Souldern on 15th October.

Quarter Peal in Memoriam Stephen Cameron 29th May

A team of six ringers from our Bicester Branch, including Gareth from Charlton, gathered at Charlton on Otmoor to ring a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Doubles in memory of Stephen Cameron, Tower Captain, who very sadly passed away last month.

Thank you to Kathryn, Jeremy, Teresa, and Gareth for ringing a very nicely struck Quarter and thanks to Richard for conducting so assuredly. Big congratulations to Gareth for steady covering on his first Quarter! The first of many more, I’m sure!

The Bellboard entry is at:

Bicester Branch focussed practice 19th May 2019

The team of students and helpers

Four Bicester Branch ringers from three towers plus Kathryn helping, attended this afternoon’s focussed practice at Bletchingdon, giving Sue M, Sally, Sue C and Judith  valuable practice at trebling and inside to Doubles methods.

They were joined by a very experienced team of helpers from Bicester, Oxford City and Witney & Woodstock branches: Kathryn, Alison , Ron, Malcolm, Clare, Sue, Jane and Colin, who provided such strong support to the students.
Our helpers enjoyed tea, coffee and homemade cake in return.

Sue M and Sally rang plain courses of Grandsire, followed by observation then fully affected on 3. Well done, both!

Sue C trebled to touches of Grandsire, then to plain courses and touches of St Simon’s Bob Doubles. Some really nice striking was achieved.

Judith rang 4 to Grandsire Doubles affected, including a full 120 change touch with 9 bobs and singles.

Finally, Sue M, Sally and Judith rang down in peal with the team, a nice finish.

It was evident to all concerned that everyone made huge progress over the two practices this month, helped by the close proximity of the 2nd practice, ensuring momentum was maintained.

Special Practice at Bicester 20th November

Seven ringers from four towers came to tonight’s practice at Bicester, including our Branch Secretary and Web Master. Our numbers were depleted by  Helen who had broken an arm, Steve and Jeremy who are both unwell. Get well soon, all!

After ringing up in peal, we rang call changes for Chris, Jane and Sue, called by Ian. From there we moved to Plain Hunt on 5 for Sue and Jane and then to a number of Plain Courses of Plain Bob Doubles with Jane, Kathryn and Sally inside. We then rang some plain courses of Grandsire Doubles, with Ian, Sally and Jane inside, followed by more Plain Hunt, this time with Chris on treble, definitely improving as we went on.

More plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles followed, with Jane trebling and Chris on tenor, where we got nearly to the end of the second course. Feeling more emboldened, we tried a touch of Plain Bob Doubles, Sally ringing observation on 3, which just about got to the second bob call before firing out and finally we rang down in peal.

Branch Practice is at Charlton on Otmoor on the 6th December. Hope to see lots of you there!

Focussed practice 29th April at Bletchingdon

A really big thank you to all the helpers from four different branches who came to the focused practice at Bletchingdon this afternoon,organised and run by Alison Merryweather-Clarke.
This really benefitted six students, including Judith Vickars, Ellie Seddon, Sue Macready, Sue Carter, Immi  (having just completed a Quarter Peal) and myself, who often wouldn’t get the chance to practice their favoured method with a such strong band.
The reward for the helpers was a selection of cakes, brownies and biscuits (baked by the students ) with cups of tea and coffee.

Sue C consolidated her ringing of Plain Hunt Doubles and tried different bells.
Sue M rang a few plain courses of Plain Bob Doubles, and then completed a couple of touches unaffected on 3.
Judith rang two unaffected touches of PBD on 3, then progressed to a 60 blow touch. Well done!
Immi rang some touches affected of Plain bob Doubles, trebled to Bob Minor then inside to a touch of bob Minor.
Ellie rang a number of different touches of Bob Minor.
Also a big thank you to Jane from Iffley, who stood with several students and gave very helpful guidance during the touches.

Several helpers and students commented afterwards on how valuable this session was.

The team for focussed practice

Oxford City Branch Practice 2 April 2018 at Kirtlington

Twelve ringers from eight towers and three Branches braved the flooded roads to attend Easter Monday morning’s Branch Practice at Kirtlington. Although slightly down on strength from January’s practice at the same venue, we still benefitted from the conducting skills of Hugh, Paul and Malcolm.

We rang an extensive repertoire of methods including:

  • A couple of plain courses of Grandsire Triples
  • An attempted plain course of Plain Bob Major
  • A few courses of Plain Bob Triples for Andrew
  • Two touches of Grandsire Triples, including one for the correspondent
  • A few touches of Plain Bob Minor for Andrew
  • A couple of plain courses of Stedman Triples including a first go for the correspondent.

All in all, a good practice.