Bell-ringing update

Commeration of 70th anniversary of VE Day
At 11am on Saturday 9th May local ringers will ring the bells of St Matthew's Harwell in remembrance and celebration of the 70th anniversay of VE day.

This is in support of a campaign to get as many church bells as possible across the UK ringing at the same time in commemoration.

The significance of this act is that, throughout World War II, all church bells in UK were silenced, to be rung only as a warning of an invasion by enemy troops. On VE Day in 1945, many churches rang their bells as a way of marking the end of the war in Europe.

Wedding of Kathryn Roberts and David Lock
On Monday 4th May (Star Wars day), Kathryn, the daughter of our tower captain, Philip Roberts, got married to David Lock.
Local ringers rang a quarter peal in the morning in celebration of the wedding and then rang before and after the service
The details, as reported on the Ringing World bell board site, were:

Oxford Diocesan Guild
Harwell, Oxfordshire
St Matthew
Monday, 4 May 2015 in 45 mins (16–1–26 in E)
1260 Grandsire Triples
1 Callum Cockburn
2 Debbie Greenfield
3 Shirley Goss
4 Stuart Gibson
5 Josie Irving
6 Paul Hartley
7 Nick Clarke (C)
8 Philip Roberts
Rung as a compliment to Kathryn Roberts and David Lock, prior to their wedding later today in this church.


WW1 Centenary Commemoration Quarter Peal
Local bell ringers rang a quarter peal on Monday 4th August 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1.
The bells were rung half-muffled (one side of each of the clappers has a leather cover on to make that stroke sound softer).
This results in an evocative, mournfull sound to the ringing. Many listeners reported that they could hear the difference and said that the ringing sounded lovely.
We typically ring the bells half-muffled for Remembrance Day and for funerals.

The details, as reported on the Ringing World bell board site, were:
 
Oxford Diocesan Guild
Harwell, Oxon
St Matthew
Monday, 4 August 2014 in 45 mins (9)
1299 Grandsire Doubles
1 Debbie Greenfield
2 Clive House
3 Nick Clarke
4 Philip Roberts
5 Mark Vincent (C)
6 Steve Denton
Rung half-muffled to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
 
St George's Day
The bells were rung on 23rd April 2014 for half an hour from 6pm to celebrate St George's Day. 

Fabian Stedman
The bells of St Matthew's Church were rung for about half an hour at 4pm on Sat 16th Nov 2013. We rang a method called Stedman doubles to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Fabian Stedman, who was a pioneer of the art of change ringing. Here is more information about why we did this:
'Church bells will ring out across England and the world on Saturday 16 November 2013 to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Fabian Stedman, who was a pioneer of the art of change ringing.

Stedman was born in 1640 at Yarkhill Herefordshire, and apprenticed to a master printer in London where he became influential in the early London ringing societies, first the Scholars of Cheapside, and then the Society of College Youths, of which he became Master in 1682.

In 1668 Stedman published the first book on change ringing, Tintinnalogia, which was a joint effort with Richard Duckworth who wrote much of the content. Stedman later wrote Campanalogia, which was published in 1677.

In later life he became auditor to Customs and Excise for the Crown. He died in 1713, and was buried at the parish church of St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London on 16 November 1713.

Publication of these two books was Stedman’s most significant contribution to the development of the art of change ringing, but he is better known to modern ringers as the author of a ringing method that bears his name, and which will feature in much of the special ringing to commemorate his death. The ringing will include peals (over 5000 changes, which takearound 3 hours to ring) and quarter peals, as well as short performances of 300 changes, some of which have been specially composed for the occasion.'

 
Debbie Greenfield
(last updated 7th May15)