Winners: Yorkshire Association Striking Competition

The Cathedral bellringers are delighted to have had a recent significant success.  Each year, like the other eight branches, the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Branch of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers holds a ringing competition between the churches in the branch.  In April this year, the Cathedral ringers won the branch competition and, therefore, went forward to represent the branch at the Association competition where we were up against the best teams from the other branches.

The Association competition was held on Saturday 16th September at North Cave, between Howden and Hull.  We rang first which is not considered to be a good draw as there is no opportunity to hear what speed the other teams are ringing at and what speed might sound best.

The Cathedral was represented by the following band ringing 240 changes of Grandsire Doubles

  1. Anne Wood
  2. Robert Wood
  3. Janet Wadsworth
  4. Andrew Aspland
  5. Martin Davies (conductor)
  6. Charlie Brown

All the teams rang before lunch and there was then general ringing at several other local towers followed by a service and then tea.  A business meeting followed tea and it was during the meeting that the competition results were announced.  In general comments, the judges said that our piece of ringing was very stately compared to the other teams.  The results were announced in reverse order with the tension building until there were just two teams left, Ripon Cathedral and St. Martin le Grand, York.  To our delight, the York team was placed second leaving us as the winners.  We hold the trophy until next year when we will aim to defend it.

Full results as follows:
1st Ripon Cathedral  (C&NY) 35 faults
2nd. St. Martin le Grand (York) 36 faults
3rd. Sheffield Cathedral (Sheffield) 47 faults
4th. Pickering (Scarborough) 49 faults
5th. Selby Abbey (Selby) 79 faults
6th. Keighley (Western) 95 faults

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Outing to the Northern Dales: 17/06/17

Theo Kendrick one of our younger new recruits has kindly provided this report of our recent ringing trip


Ripon Cathedral Bell-ringers Annual Tower Outing Saturday 17th June 2017

By Theo Kendrick age 10

We arrived at the first tower, which was Grinton, for a 9:45am start! It was a lovely sunny day. There was a tall ladder to climb up to get into the ringing chamber. Ellie had to be careful because she was wearing her Heelies! There are 8 bells there and they were really quite nice. Lots of people arrived, some from Ripon Cathedral, John from Richmond and others from towers in the area.  Everyone got to ring. There were enough boxes for the children who needed them and some for the adults too!

We rang there for about 40 minutes then headed off in the sunshine to Reeth. We weren’t ringing there but Robert and Anne (the trip organisers) had planned lots of refreshment stops in between towers, which was a good idea as it was a very hot day! We all had a drink and lots of people had cake or even an ice-cream! Dean John took photos of us all before we headed back to the cars and set off for our next destination, Barnard Castle.

It was a fantastic drive over the top of the hills. There were hundreds of sheep wandering around, some on the road, which slowed us down. We also stopped to look at some vintage Massey Ferguson Tractors that were parked up in a lay-by. Ethan had a look at them with Charlie and the men driving them said they were taking them out for a day trip to Yarm.

Barnard Castle was another 8-bell tower up a spiral staircase, which was through a door from outside the church instead of inside.  This ringing chamber had a lovely new wooden balcony along one side that meant the children; Lottie, Eleanor, Ethan, Rachael and I got to sit up out of the way and play while the others were ringing. The tower even had its own supply of Lego and toys too!! I think they were a nice ring and everyone else thought so too.

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The Cathedral Ringers at Barnard Castle

Next stop on the journey was The Black Bull Pub in Frosterly, which was not only our lunch stop but also a ring.  There is a Mini-ring of 12 bells there, which my brother Ethan & I had rung before, as had a few of the other ringers. My Grandma came and joined us too at this point and it was a grab for her. She told me that ‘Ethan and I are like Min-ring experts,’ because we’d rung the Durham & Newcastle Min-ring lots of times with our Uncle Kris (it’s a family thing!) We all had great fun ringing on the bells. We rang lots of rounds on all 12, Andrew & John even rang 2 bells at once (double handling) but I stuck with just one. There was lots of concentration when they rang Grandsire – it sounded lovely while I stood outside with Grandpa listening to it in the sunshine.

In action at Frosterly

After a lovely lunch and ring we headed over to Bishop Auckland. Some people didn’t make it to this nice 8-bell tower as it’s not really in Bishop Auckland it’s in South Church! This was a nice tower with a lovely thick red carpet; the bells were quite nice too! After a ring here it was definitely time to find an ice cream. We couldn’t find the café we were suppose to go to so we called into a lovely Garden Centre and got one there.

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The Smart Ringing Room at Bishop Aukland

Gainford was our last tower of the day. They are a heavy ring of 6 bells and are extremely loud inside the tower so it’s quite hard to hear the conductor. Everyone had a ring but a few of the children found them a little tricky and there weren’t many boxes for us to use.

It was a great day out and a brilliant opportunity to fill up the tower grabs in my Dove’s Guide. Thank you Robert for organising it. Can’t wait for my next Ringing Trip!

Planned Improvement Work

Work is planned to improve the dynamics of the bells to make them easier to ring accurately, it is anticipated that the work will take place later this year or early 2018.  A schedule of work has been agreed with John Taylors of  Loughborough to fine tune the swing rates of all the clappers and some of the bells , this requires the removal of the clappers to the bell foundry and therefore a period when the bells cannot be rung. The dates will be published here once they have been agreed. The work will cost in the region of £5000.00 and will be paid for by the cathedral bell ringers.

The cathedral has produced a press release regarding the work which can be found here

Ripon Cathedral Press Release

Branch Striking Competition Success

The Cathedral Bellringers entered two teams in the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Branch Ringing Competition held at Sowerby on 22nd April. Our teams came 1st and 3rd so the Cathedral Ringers will now represent the Branch in the Yorkshire Association Competition which will be held at North Cave in the East Riding in September.

Martin Davies (Ringing Master) receiving the trophy
from  the judges, Wendy and Colin Belsey

Annual Dinner 2017

On Saturday 18th March, the Ripon Cathedral Guild of Bellringers gathered at The Crown Inn, Roecliffe for our annual dinner. This was the third year that we had been to the award-winning pub. Twenty of us enjoyed a convivial evening in the private dining room overlooking the garden area.

Once again, we had a good choice of starters, mains and desserts with clear favourites being Wensleydale soufflé to start, followed by daube of beef (with, of course, Yorkshire puddings!) for the main course. There was, however, no clear winner when it came to desserts, with berry pavlova, lemon tart and sticky toffee pudding all getting plaudits.

We were pleased that the Mayor and Mayoress of Ripon were able to join us – especially when the Mayor told us that in the 1980s, early in their marriage, they had been taught to ring at the Cathedral by Ted Hudson! Speeches were kept to a minimum and were pleasingly informal. The Ringing Master, Martin Davies, was keen to inject fun into the proceedings and so we entered into the spirit by playing “Tom Swiftly” – a word game in which there is a punning relationship between an adverb and the statement to which it refers. We decided that ringing was an ideal hobby for this – with appealingly, surprisingly and quarterly all being used. The worst groan came after this little gem….. “I keep going wrong on the 5th” said the ringer, forthrightly! The Dean (also a ringer – although he doesn’t get much time to visit the ringing room at the moment) showed his prowess at wordplay when he thanked the ringers for all that they do, employing a Tom Swiftly into practically every sentence. We are indeed fortunate to enjoy harmonious relationships with the Dean and Chapter.

After coffee, the Cathedral handbells were rung (well, in truth, most of us just sat and watched in awe!) and the assembled company spent the rest of the evening putting the world to rights – some might even have enjoyed a pint or two.

Write up kindly provided by Anne Wood