One of our Surrey ringers is currently serving as Naval Surgeon on board a Royal Navy ship on pirate-hunting duties in the Indian Ocean. I emailed him to let him know that his ship's successes had been widely reported in the press at home and how exciting it all sounded. He replied in some dudgeon to demand to know what on earth had happened to Campanophile. A ringer is always a ringer first and last, no matter how many pirates he is chasing.
And very many congratulations to the Board of The Ringing World who pulled out all the stops to get an alternative to Campanophile up and running within a matter of days. Whether we go forward with just BellBoard, or with Campanophile as well, only time will tell, but at least we have somewhere to look to find out what has been going on in the very recent past.
Council meeting in Chester
The brochures with details of the next Council meeting weekend are likely to be distributed fairly soon, but I know a lot of members like to book the Headquarters Hotel early. The Queen Hotel in Chester is the Headquarters hotel for the 2012 Council meeting. The Chester Guild have advised that accommodation bookings should be made directly with the hotel on 01244 305000. They have quoted room rates for the Council weekend as follows when you quote reference CCC10612:
- Queen standard bedrooms - Single room £119, Double/twin room £140.
- King executive bedrooms - Single room £139, Double/twin room £160.
All prices are per night and include Full English breakfast. However, it may be worth looking on the website as internet prices fluctuate all the time and an early booking (not using the reference) made online may be cheaper. Other hotel booking websites may also offer good deals at the hotel. I have just booked two nights B+B in an executive double room through lastminute.com at a lower rate than that quoted above for a standard room. And lower than the Queen's own online rates.
I hope you have seen Mary's notice about the meeting, including deadlines for her to receive nominations for life and additional members. If you are retiring as an additional member this year and are engaged in good work for the Council please ensure you are nominated in good time.
Five Rings Triples
We duly rang this as part of our New Year ringing at Kingston and were delighted that the composer, Howard Skempton, was able to join us. Our recorded version was played on Radio 3 at the same time. I know many more towers rang it at midnight than are currently recorded on the website so please do ask your towers to report it to FiveRingsTriples@cccbr.org.uk if they have rung it.
The Cumberlands rang it at Shoreditch on January 11 as the opener for a party being held opposite the church by the PRS for Music Foundation - the main sponsor of the New Music 20X12 project. I was delighted to be able to watch some 200 non-ringers completely silent and listening to the ringing and to hear them applaud at the end. The party continued with some other performances of the 20 new pieces, including Handsfree, performed by members of the National Youth orchestra. This is a piece with no instruments, just the orchestra members' hands and voices. It was fantastic - well worth a listen if you get the chance, or better still watch them perform, as it's movement as well as sound.
Five Rings Triples is also to be rung as part of the Cultural Olympiad performances in Birmingham on 6th May. This is in association with Birmingham Conservatoire with which the composer is associated. And there will be another performance over the Council weekend in Chester, which Howard is also hoping to attend. He grew up in Chester.
With the start of 2012 there has been quite a lot of media interest in ringing, with the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee both featuring. I have tried to focus on the positives, stressing that there is going to be a huge amount of ringing this year, especially during the 70 day Olympic torch relay, covering the whole country. The media prefer stories of dissent and continue to report the lack of enthusiasm for all bells to ring at 8 am on the opening day of the Olympics. I'm sure there will be a lot of ringing that day, with some of it at 8 am.
The Council would particularly like to encourage as much ringing as possible over the long weekend of the Diamond Jubilee. (As if any encouragement is needed!) Many communities will be organising different types of celebrations on different days and ringers should establish what is planned locally and ensure that ringing forms a key part of these events. Peals, quarters and general ringing could all be appropriate. If there are no local plans, ringers are urged to take the lead and arrange special ringing at a suitable time, and consider notifying local media of what is happening and why.
We have asked the authorities which day they would like us to focus on for ringing over that weekend. They have suggested that the best time would be ringing on Tuesday June 5, to coincide with the service at St Paul's. We are therefore suggesting to ringers:
- as much ringing as possible across the country on Tuesday 5 June, including in particular along the processional route from the Palace to St Paul's;
- ringing at London towers along the river route to ring for the Thames Pageant on Sunday 3 June (Surrey, Middlesex, ASCY, SRCY);
- local ringing for any Big Jubilee Lunches also on Sunday 3 June;
- local ringing for visits by HM or other members of the Royal Family during the year;
- local ringing for any other local church services or celebrations;
- ringing for the lighting of the beacons on Monday 4 June.
We are currently researching suitable methods and compositions that you might like to use for the Jubilee.
Did you see...
- the Council calendar on the website? If you are planning an event involving many ringers please refer to this before deciding on the date to try to avoid clashes. And put your event on this calendar too.
- the note about the Methods Committee work on P 75 of The Ringing World?
- the note of the Council's meeting with English Heritage and the Church Buildings Council, also on P 75?
The Next Month or so
We hold our annual tower dinner in early February. This is always good fun and is attended by some 30 or so past and present Kingston ringers & friends. It is also an opportunity to socialise with our Rector and churchwardens. We are very lucky in having an excellent relationship with the church and events like this are great for oiling those wheels.
Comments or questions from Council members and others always welcome by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org