Here is your April online update with some dates for your diaries and other information.
On Good Friday, 6th April, Phil Gorman says that there will be ringing at Great Wilbraham as usual, with hot cross buns. I don't have any more details than this, so please contact Phil directly (email@example.com) if you are interested.
The April district meeting is the outing to Essex, on April 14th. This is the second Saturday in April as the first Saturday falls in Holy week. Philip Bailey has arranged the following towers:
Hadstock (6, 2 cwt) 10 am - 11 am
Ashdon (8, 15 cwt) 11.30 am - 12.30 pm
Lunch 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm, The Bluebell Inn in Hempstead is recommended.
Hempstead (6, 12 cwt) 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm
Wethersfield (8, 11 cwt) 4 pm - 5 pm
Sible Hedingham (8, 18 cwt) 5.30 pm - 6.30 pm
Travel is by car, so please arrange to share transport with your local ringers. If you are in need of a lift, or can offer a lift to others, then please contact me and I will see what I can do. For lunch, The Bluebell Inn in Hempstead is recommended by local ringers and is 5 mins walk from Hempstead church. They are expecting lots of bell ringers on that day and don't need advance orders. For details of menus and so on, see http://www.thebluebellinn.co.uk. Please contact Phil (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself for any other details or information.
The 8-bell quarter peal attempt for April will be on the 21st, which is the third Saturday, at Burwell. We can ring at 10 am, 3 pm or 7.30 pm, depending on which is convenient for those involved. Roderick has provided a Doodle poll on http://doodle.com/54iiwy89tps4dxsd where you can show that you would like to ring, and at what time, or contact Roderick directly on email@example.com with any requests or other comments. The May 8-bell quarter peal attempt will be on May 19th at Fordham.
April 23rd is St George's Day and Libby Alexander of the Ringing for England Campaign will be pleased to hear about any special ringing on this day. Libby says that ringing for St George's Day will feature on The Archers. Contact Libby by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or text: 07769 700 669.
The May district meeting is at Littleport on Saturday 5th May, ringing from 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm. A handbell session can be arranged before the ringing meeting, from 5.30 pm - 6.30 pm. Please contact Dee Smith (email@example.com) if you are interrested.
The AGM of the Ely Diocesan Association will be held on Monday 7th May, which is the early May bank holiday. The meeting is hosted by the Wisbech district and will be based at Northwold. Details of times are:
8-bell inter-district striking competition at Northwold from 10 am
General ringing at Methwold and Hockwold 10 am - 12 noon
Service at Northwold at 12 noon, followed by lunch.
AGM in Northwold Village Hall at 2 pm.
Names for lunch, please, to Pauline O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01945 464668) by Saturday 28th April. Please note that an incorrect email address for Pauline was given in the March online update - the correct address includes '_' (underscore) and not '-' (hyphen).
Striking Competition (June 2nd at Oakington, draw at 6 pm prompt): this is a friendly competition for Sunday Service bands at towers within the Ely district, though you can 'borrow' one ringer in case only five ringers from your band can make it on the day. There is a Method section and a Call Change section - in this section, no more than three ringers may have already rung a quarter peal of a Surprise method on a working bell. In recent years, ringers with less than a year's experience of ringing have been included in a successful Call Change band. Do come along to the Striking Competition, even if your tower can't enter a complete team. If time permits, scratch teams can also enter though they cannot be awarded a trophy. There will be refreshments, handbells and a quiz during the evening. The full rules are on the Ely DA website (follow the link to Striking Competitions and then to Ely District rules). For more information, or any queries, please contact me.
Ringing for the Diamond Jubilee: This has already started with ringing to mark the anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne on 6th February. Dee Smith is keeping a record of all ringing in our District towers for the Jubilee, so please forward details of ringing as it happens to Dee (email@example.com).
We are aiming to ring at as many of our district towers as possible to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, so please keep this in mind when local events are being planned. The official celebration is on Tuesday 5th June, which is a Bank Holiday, and this should be the main focus of our ringing but ringing could also be arranged any time during or near to that week depending on local events and on the availability of ringers and bells. Quarter peals are welcome, but celebratory ringing on the bells is the first priority. For example, you could ring 60 changes of a Doubles method, or 720 changes of a plain method which is 60 leads, or 60 call changes based on Queens. And don't forget to tell Dee what you have rung, and to publicise it locally as well. For quarter peals, Dee is coordinating ringers and ringing, so please contact Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need some extra ringers for your tower.
As training officer, Dee suggests that a quarter peal for the Diamond Jubilee could be a focus for a first in method for one or more of the ringers, or a chance to attempt a method which you are not usually able to ring. If you would like additional ringers to support your regular practice night, so you can build up to the quarter peal attempt, or for the quarter peal itself, then please let Dee know.
Zero-rate VAT on church alterations: Catherina Griffiths has asked me to pass on this message from our Rural Dean:
If you want to lobby the chancellor for a u-turn on the end to 0-VAT on church alterations, you can do so here.
Please pass this on!
Note - the petition closes on 30th June.
Tower open morning at Ely St Mary: please book the time and date - 30th June from 10 am. The tower open morning is to promote bell ringing to locals and visitors in Ely, and to encourage new recruits and returning ringers. We will have a display of information, the mobile bell and refreshments in the churchyard and demonstration ringing and a chance to have a go at bell handling in the ringing chamber. More details and requests for help nearer the time.
Ringing for the Olympics: any ringing by individual towers will of course be welcomed. The Olympic torch travels through our district on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July on its way from Newmarket to St Ives via Cambridge, so this might be a suitable occasion for ringing in the towers close to its route. For the All The Bells project at 8 am on July 27th, there have been various suggestions in letters to the Ringing World about how Church bell ringers can join in, such as chiming one or more bells or ringing the bells half way up and then down again.
Annual subscriptions to the Ely DA for 2012 are now due, if you have not already paid. As agreed at the Ely DA AGM in May 2010, subscriptions for 2012 are £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. A Junior Member is defined as someone who is under 18 and in full-time education. Senior Members, that is those who have reached the age of 70 and have been members of the Association for the previous ten years consecutively, are not under further obligation to pay an annual subscription. The age of exemption from paying a subscription was raised from 60 to 70 at the Ely DA AGM in 2009. Anyone who was already exempt in January 2009 remains exempt in 2010 and later years, even if they are under the current age of exemption. Rosemary Palmer is our Membership Secretary, so please send your subscription to her, either individually or via your tower secretary. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque out to 'Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers'. Rosemary's address is 78 Mill Lane, Fordham, Cambs CB7 5NQ.
As always, please pass on any details in this email to Ely District members who do not receive it themselves.
Ely District Secretary