Ringing World 5264 (16 March 2012)

Front Cover: All Saints Wokingham – 100 for RW100 by John Harrison
It seems a long time since The Ringing World launched its ‘100 for RW100’ challenge last June. It would be good to take part, but how? What could we do 100 of that would be both challenging and achievable? 100 peals, or even 100 quarters would be beyond a band that normally rings a dozen quarters and a couple of peals a year. 100 visitors up the tower would be achievable (we had 108 on Heritage Day alone) but not very challenging. Many heads are better than one, so I asked for ideas via the tower e-mail list.

Letters
Ringing and the ITTS - Roger S. Riley
Kitty Willers - Stephen Theobald
Yesterday’s Cabbage – Crambo - Chris Munday
Rules for Ringers - Pauline Ridgwell

James Platt, of Saddleworth by John Eisel
The modern story of the ringing of spliced begins with the true extents of spliced Minor produced by the Revd H. Law James and his brother, the Revd E. Bankes James, in the early years of the last century. However, the idea of spliced goes back to the eighteenth century, a touch of three-spliced Minor being published in the 1702 JD & CM Campanalogia Improved. This consisted of successive leads of Oxford Treble Bob, College Pleasure, and College Treble bob, the Oxford lead bobbed, repeated four times, producing a false touch of 360 changes. This touch was dropped after the 1733 edition, but was certainly rung a number of times. As far as we know, nothing further happened in spliced Minor until the middle of the nineteenth century, when James Platt, of Saddleworth, composed true 720s of spliced Minor. Unfortunately Platt’s work was not published, and lapsed into obscurity, so that the James brothers had to start from scratch; had Platt’s work been known, then the history of spliced would have been rather different. An identification and assessment of Platt’s work as the originator of true extents of spliced Minor did not appear until 1969, when Cyril Wratten published a two-part article in these pages (pp.279 & 300).

Obituary
Sarah Elizabeth Stonehouse

How many bells? by Tony Singleton
The Eight Bells public house, facing Hawkhurst Moor has, predictably, a sign with eight bells painted on it, but also the year 1847 on a white cross. This is to tell us that two bells were added that year to the existing six bells in the tower of the nearby parish church, dedicated to St Laurence. It was therefore interesting to discover, in the early eighteenth century licensing records, that Robert Springate (also spelled Springett) was licensed at the Five Bells during the 1720s. There are also several entries in the churchwardens’ accounts around this period for payments being made to him for beer, either for the ringers on special ringing days, or for workmen engaged in various tasks in the church, such as glazing or other maintenance work.

Thought for the week
John Betjeman, a Poet Laureate and lover of bells, wrote in one poem:
“I used to stand by intersecting lanes among the silent offices and wait,
choosing which bell to follow; not a peal, for that was too well known.
I liked things dim. A single bell would tinkle down the lane.
My echoing steps would track the source of sound.”
Most ringers would agree with those last two lines – hearing a bell or bells and tracking the “source of sound.” We’ve all done it.

100 for RW 100 in the Market Harborough District
When The Ringing World announced the 100 for RW100, to mark their centenary, an idea occurred to our District Ringing Master. Let us see if we can achieve 100 ‘firsts’ of 100 changes or more by District ringers during the year. And so the challenge was laid down.

As Seen On TV (From Christ Church, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, Parish Magazine, February 2012)
Many will have seen our bell ringers on TV over the past month, ably assisted by ringers from St Paul’s, Whitley Bay. It all began with a phone call from the BBC asking me what I thought about the Martin Creed Project Work No.1197. It just so happened that I had just read an article in a newspaper about Creed’s idea to have every bell in the land, large and small, ringing at 8am on the morning of Friday, July 27th for the opening day of the Olympic Games. Not only did he want every type of bell ringing but he wanted it done fast and loud for three minutes. My immediate reaction was not favourable, a position held later by the Central Council of Bell Ringers, and that was the end of it – so I thought. Sensing a story the BBC was back on the phone a week or so later…

A blinding solution
 The bell ringers at St Mary’s Church in Watford, Hertfordshire, had a problem. The low winter sun shining through the stained glass windows dazzled some of them with obvious consequences. A large (8ft wide x 10ft high) roller blind would obviously be a solution, but look hideous, and the beautiful windows would be lost.