News

January '16

Saturday 23 January - Society Wedding; A quarter peal of Stedman Caters was rung prior to the wedding of Society ringer Alice Edgeworth to Joshua Kirk, welcoming their guests to the church. After the ceremony, Alice and Joshua joined the ringers in the belfry, where they were presented with a gift of a print by local artist Megan Ridgewell.

Alice wedding Alice wedding

September '15

Her Majesty the Queen as the country's longest serving monarch; Ringing took place at noon and during the afternoon a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung in to celebrate the event. We received the following message from Heather Asker, Mayor of Saffron Walden 'I would like to thank you all for making a wonderful occassion a little more special by getting together at such short notice. It was a great pleasure to walk around the Church grounds and the Town Centre listening to a great joyous sound, I really appreciate it and hope everyone else did to!'

Noon ringing Quarter peal

May '15

Greg & Dianne Cermak; It was with sadness that we said 'au revoir' and 'bon voyage' to Greg and Dianne Cermak. They have been great friends over the past five years. They will be missed for not just their reliable support of Sunday and wedding ringing but their quiz capabilites and after dinner entertainment. We wish them all the best for their future back in Boston; please keep in touch.

Sunday 13 May Greg & Dianne

March '15

Quarter peal; of Grandsire Triples rung half muffled to commemorate sinking of HMS Lapwing on 20th March 1945 with the loss of 158 officers and crew. The tragedy was felt not only by friends and families of the dead, but also by residents in Saffron Walden who had, as part of the Government’s War Week in 1941, raised more than £250,000 to sponsor the ship and have the town’s coat of arms placed on the quarter deck. It was torpedoed by a German U-boat as it escorted an artic convoy to the Kola Inlet, in northern Russia.

January '15

AGM '15; the Society's AGM was held on 20 January. The following officers were elected:

  • Master: Chris McCarthy
  • Deputy Master: Stephen Wood
  • Secretary: Roger Collins
  • Steeple Keeper: Nick Eldred
  • Treasurer: Hugh Maddams

December '14

Christmas period ringing; Click here for details.

June '14

Great Ringing Day - 21st June; Great Ringing Day was once again celebrated by many of the members. The event this year had particular significance as it marked the centenary of the augmentation of the church to 12 bells. Several took part in the peal of Grandsire Cinques, and achieved important ringing milestones, including several firsts. Others enjoyed an outing to South Cambridgeshire, kindly arranged by Patrick Draper, where they rang at five towers. Ann and Gerard (and Oliver!) Clinton were excellent hosts for the evening's BBQ. Thanks to all those involved in making the day such a success.

February '14

Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup - presentation of cheque; Members of the Society presented a cheque for £200 to the Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup (SWOP). The group is aimed at children aged 0-5 years with special needs, their parents, carers and under school age siblings . The money was raised at the Late Night Shopping event and through our Christmas card box - as reported in the local press.

Quarter peal; of Bristol Major rung for evensong.

January '14

Quarter peals; of Double Norwich and Cambridge Minor rung for Sunday evening services.

AGM '14; the Society's AGM was held on 7 January. After four years as Master, Ann Clinton stepped down from office and was roundly thanked by those present. The following officers were elected:

  • Master: James Watkins
  • Deputy Master: Stephen Wood
  • Secretary: Roger Collins
  • Steeple Keeper: Nick Eldred
  • Treasurer: Hugh Maddams

New Year 2014; Ringing in the New Year at midnight and wishing all ringers and friends everywhere a good year for 2014.

Ringing in the New Year

December '13

Quarter peal; of Grandsire Triples rung for the service of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Christmas Dinner; this year hosted by Julia Pointer at the Garden Room in Jubilee Gardens. It was the perfect venue for letting our hair down without annoying else, and so Patrick Draper organised some harmless after-dinner entertainment. This involved feeling Trevor's bits and bobs, handbell ringing and a fiendishly difficult who/what-am-I quiz.

Saffron Walden's late night shopping; event is now a regular feature in our calendar. Patrick Draper rallied the troops again this year , and once more shouted himself hoarse with his popular games. A new one this year involved rolling sprouts to try and win £5. The event also gave us an opportunity to show off our newly restored handbells, and so with a bit of practice, we managed to play some Christmas carols on them.

November '13

Christmas Fair; Once more the bells were rung to mark its opening. The tower was open for the rest of the morning for visitors to come up an lean about bellringing and to admire the view. This is always a popular attraction, and this year the band raised approximately £90m towards the final total.

Later that evening the annual NW District Quiz night took place at Willingale and the Saffron Walden team came a a magnificent 2nd place, amongst tough competition.

Quarter peal; of Stedman Caters was rung prior to Evensong on the feast of Christ the King. This was James Watkin's first of Stedman Caters as conductor and should be congratulated for calling it so confidently, helping to make this a very enjoyable piece of ringing.

October '13

Quarter peal; Lincolnshire Surprise Major rung for Choral Evensong.

September '13

Annual outing - 28th September; We are very grateful to Stephen who arranged our outing for us this year. The weather was perfect for a day in Suffolk, covering a little bit of his old stamping ground. The special methods of the day were Erin and Little Bob on all numbers and we even managed the odd half course of surprise major.  Lunch was delicious, and maybe the puddings would have been, too, had we not had to rush off to start the afternoon itinerary. The day came to a very convenient conclusion with Trevor’s wonderful cakes and an impromptu brew - up in the kitchen at Wickham Market church. Thank you, Stephen, for such meticulous planning and a most enjoyable day out.

Quarter peal; After a long summer of quarters being lost or cancelled, at last a success.  A quarter peal of Grandsire Triples was rung prior to Evensong.

August '13

Quarter peal; of Stedman Caters was arranged for The Assumption in which eight members of the band rang.

Robert Welham; It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to Robert. Over the years, Robert has been a loyal supporter of the band and although in recent times he has not rung regularly, he has always been willing to step in when we have been desperate for wedding ringers. His lovely home, ideally situated in sight of the church, was once the judges’ hideout for one of the 12-bell striking competition heats. On many occasions, Robert and his wife Edwina welcomed us into their home to celebrate the New Year. Robert was our quiz team supremo  - and his witty conversation always kept us entertained.  Indeed, our last pub session with him after our regular practice night went on well past midnight and was deemed the best pub session for years. Thankfully, Robert and Edwina have only moved as far as Ely, so hopefully we will see them both again from time to time. We all send our very best wishes.

July '13

Birth of Prince George - 23rd July; Our Tuesday evening practice night was dedicated to the birth of the (unnamed at that time) Prince of Cambridge, giving an opportunity for everyone to take part in the celebrations on this historic occasion.

Ringing for birth of Prince George Ringing for birth of Prince George

Great Ringing Day Service - 2nd July; Associated with Great Ringing Day is the short Bellringers service which was held in the Lady Chapel of St Mary’s and led by our President, Rev David Tomlinson. Attended by a good number of the band, this gives us an opportunity to reflect on the main purpose of our “hobby” – that it is our service to the Church.

June '13

Great Ringing Day - 29th June; This annual event was celebrated throughout the day, in many ways just as it was in the “old days” – lots of ringing, lots of drinking and lots of eating.  A peal attempt of Grandsire Cinques unfortunately came to grief, but that simply meant that we could get to the pub earlier and one of the band could have lunch before rushing off to ring another peal. Meanwhile, another group of ringers was out in the south Cambridgeshire area, enjoying a tower outing organised by Patrick and Nick. In the evening, we all met up at Trevor’s house for what turned out to be not a barbeque but a wonderful spread of hot food, salads and puddings. Our sincere thanks to Trevor and his team of helpers for giving us all such an enjoyable evening and rounding off the day so well.

GRD 2013 GRD 2013 GRD 2013

First Holy Communion - 15th June; Twenty-seven children from the catholic church of Our Lady of Compassion in Saffron Walden celebrated their First Holy Communion at St Mary’s church, and we were pleased to be able to ring the bells for them after the ceremony.

May '13

Quarter peal; of Grandsire Cinques was arranged to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi in which seven members of the local band took part.

Quarter peal; We offer our congratulations to Janice Lambeth who rang her first quarter peal - Plain Bob Doubles inside on the simulator. This was part of the NW District’s Challenge.

Quarter peal; of Stedman Triples was arranged to commemorate Rev Derek Bond’s 60 years in the priesthood.

Quarter peal; of Plain Bob Major was rung by the Society to congratulate Penny and Ted Browne on becoming grandparents.

April '13

District 6-bell method Striking Competition; District 6-bell method Striking Competition.  Unfortunately, many of our band were unable to attend this year, but Patrick managed to persuade a band of willing volunteers to have a go. The team didn’t quite win, but we’ll try again next year.ur

Quarter peal; Our congratulations to Patrick Draper who rang his first quarter peal on 10 bells, on the treble to Grandsire Caters for Evensong.

Quarter peal; of Plain Bob Triples was rung by the Society before Evensong.

March '13

Quarter peal; for Easter Sunday Evensong - Cambridge Royal; first treble bob royal for John Hammond.

Quarter peal; for Palm Sunday Evensong - Cambridge Major.

February '13

Front page news; in our local press. Members of the Society were pleased to present a cheque to East Anglian Children's Hospices. A total of £150 was donated, made of proceeds from Late Night Shopping stall, our 'Christmas Card' box and further sum from society funds - as reported Saffron Walden Weekly News and SWR.

January '13

Quarter peal; of Stedman Triples rung in memory of Sarah Hammond whose funeral service takes place in St Mary's on Tuesday 15 January.

AGM; the Society's AGM was held on 8 January in the ringing chamber. All the officers were re-elected. The following key dates were agreed:

  • 29 June 2013; Great Ringing Day
  • 27-29 September; Annual outing
  • 7 January 2014; AGM

The minutes will be posted to the members area in due course.

December '12

Emily's first quarter; Our congratulations to Emily Downing who rang her first quarter peal - treble to Plain Bob Triples.

Late night shopping; Patrick Draper organised another noisy evening in the Market Square for those brave enough to withstand the freezing cold. We raised £65 which will go towards East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Quarter peal; for Christingle Service - Cambridge Major.

Christmas Dinner; Another organisational success from Nick and Patrick. Before and after dinner entertainment included photo quiz, a visitation for Noah and 'feel my bits' game!

Christmas Fair; The tower was once again open to visitors to the Annual Church Christmas fair, which was opened to the ringing of bells.

November '12

Prague outing; A party of ten of us went on a tour with a difference. At the invitation of Jitka Sengerova, we spent a very enjoyable three days in her native Prague. With more than a nod towards bells and bell ringing (visits to carillions at Prague's Loreta (and carillonneur Radek Rejšek) and Zvonice towers, the unique set of bells rung full-circle at Rovensko pod Troskami and an introduction to the sole Czech bell founder - Petr Manoušek), the tour was an opportunity to visit a city on our must-see list and the city did not disappoint. Jitka's warm welcome and meticulous planning meant that we crammed much into our stay and into ourselves (beer and local cuisine)! Jitka's hope is to see another Saffron Walden tour to Prague in the not too distant future.

Ilyushin il-18 airliner converted to road-side cafe near Mlada Boleslav Rovensko pod Troskami tenor Wine drinking Hospoda na VŠclavce Our master in Petrin mirror maze Strahov Monastic Brewery lunch Loreta carillion

October '12

Striking competition; Our congratulations to the call-change band who returned home triumphant from the Essex Association NW District competition in Willingale, with the silver trophy which had been missing from the its shelf for a few years. Well done to Emily, Janice, Penny, Carol, JohnM and Roger.

Essex Life; The Society makes the press in "Essex Life's" November edition - click here.

August '12

Quarter peal; After several failed attempts, we finally rang a quarter peal (Plain Bob Royal) to celebrate the wedding of John and Christina Hammond. It was also James Watkin's 50th quarter peal.

July '12

The Olympic Torch; passed through Saffron Walden on Saturday July 7th. The excitement in the town was enhanced by the BBC's Blue Peter Big Olympic Tour. In spite of precise times issued to us, the torch relay was delayed by 20 minutes or so. Just as well, had it been on time, it would have been greeted by torrential rain; instead there was glorious sunshine and the sound of our bells to accompany its passage through the town.

June '12

Great Ringing Day; The day began for us with a good peal of Yorkshire S Royal, the first in the method rung by the Society, and several 'firsts' amongst the band. After refreshment in the Kings Arms, some returned to the tower to ring for a wedding. Other Society members enjoyed a buffet lunch and a mini-outing to Little Hadham, Standon and Arlbury. In the evening we all met at Penny and Ted's house for our traditional BBQ, and our grateful thanks are extended to them.

GRD BBQ GRD BBQ GRD BBQ

Saturday 9 June - Society Wedding; After a long bachelorhood, John Hammond married Christina Phillips. We pulled out all the stops for the occasion. Unfortunately, a quarter peal attempt before the wedding came to grief, but we rang the twelve bells after the ceremony, and then had our own little celebration in the churchyard, toasting the couple's happiness with a glass of wine while they lingered for photographs.

Wedding celebrations Wedding car

Tuesday 5 June - No practice; Jubilee Bank Holiday.

Sunday 3 June - Queen's Diamond Jubilee; The bells were rung at 15:00 joining in with bands of ringers from around the country and Commonwealth. 19 members of our band commemorated the occasion with rounds and call changes on 12. A touch of Grandsire Triples was rung prior to the Civil Service to celebrate the Jubilee. The bells were rung again after the service.

Diamond Jubilee band

May '12

Saturday 19 May - The Sparks Will Fly; Organised through the Essex Association, as part of the cultural festival in Essex to celebrate the London 2012 games. Eight members of the Society open the event with ringing at St. Mary's. Meanwhile, a further seven ringers were primed to perform a piece on handbells with the Grand Union Orchestra in the castle grounds. With the bells ringing later in the afternoon for a wedding, plus a mini-ring drawing lots of attraction, it proved to be a busy but enjoyable and worthwhile afternoon (link to report on Essex Association website).

Sparks Will Fly Sparks Will Fly Sparks Will Fly Sparks Will Fly Sparks Will Fly

Tuesday 8 May - No practice; Archdeacon’s Visitation.

Sparks Will Fly; The Essex Association is manning a mini-ring as part of The Sparks Will Fly event in Saffron Walden. This will include a procession of 120 primary and 50 secondary school children putting on a dance display, Morris dancers from Thaxted, Nepalese dancers from the Tang Ting Twinning Association, Saffron Walden skate boarders and the Grand Union Orchestra. At Walden Castle, where the mini-ring will be placed, there will be an exciting range of music, arts, dance, circus skills, storytelling and tennis workshops and performances and the opportunity to participate in building Uttlesford's very own Giant.

Sunday 6 May - No Service ringing; Visiting band - York Minster.

April '12

Saturday 28 April; At long last, a Saffron Walden band won the Essex NW District 6-bell method striking competition held at Henham. The band rang 240 Grandsire Doubles with Penny Browne (treble), Ann Clinton (2), Hugh Maddams (3), Katrina Bond (4), Stephen Wood (5,C) and John Mumford (tenor). Our thanks to Hugh who stepped in at the 11th hour, and to Roger, who judged the competition and picked the winners!

March '12

Quarter peal; Stedman Triples - For Saffron Walden & Villages Team Licensing Service. Rung in memory of John Bullough. First Stedman Triples for Patrick Draper.

Saturday 3 March; We took great pleasure to ring for and be a part of the Maze Music concert which itself was part of the Music Nation weekend and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The Society rang call changes on 12, welcoming the hundreds of concert goers to the church. The picture below is from the concert programme. The event was also reported in the local press.

Maze Music programme

February '12

Quarter peal; Grandsire Caters - congratulations to Dianne Cermak - first on ten. Rung to celebrate the life of Harold Rogers and also remembering Gladys Wilkie, mother of Penny Browne, who died fours years ago today.

Uttlesford Volunteer Centre - presentation of cheque; Members of the Society met with the Mayor and Mayoress to present a cheque for £150 to Linda MacFarlane of Uttlesford Volunteer Centre. The money was raised at the Late Night Shopping event and through our Christmas card box - as reported in the local press.

Quarter peal; Little Bob Royal - congratulations to Hugh Maddams first Little Bob.

Quarter peal; Stedman Triples - rung to mark the 60th anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to the throne.

Sunday 5 February; Unusual weather combination (wind, snow and temperature) results in snow blowing its way into the belfry and staying there even after service ringing!

Snow in Belfry Snow in Belfry Snow in Belfry

January '12

Quarter peal; Grandsire Caters - congratulations to John Mumford his first caters inside.

AGM '12; the Society's AGM was held on 10 January once again in the private room of the Kings Arms.

The following officers were all elected:

  • Master: Ann Clinton
  • Deputy Master: Stephen Wood
  • Steeple Keeper: Nick Eldred
  • Secretary: Roger Collins
  • Treasurer: Hugh Maddams

The following key dates were agreed:

  • 30 June 2012; Great Ringing Day
  • 28-30 September 2012; Annual outing
  • 8 January 2013; AGM

The provisional minutes can be found on the member's page. Ringing analysis for 2011 can be also be found here.

Sunday 22 January - No Service ringing; as there is a United Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Baptist Church at 10:30.

Quarter peal; Erin Caters for Choral Evensong to start the new year in fine fashion.

AGM / No practice; Tuesday 10 January - the Society's AGM will be held at 19:45 in the function room at the Kings Arms. The agenda and last year's minutes can be found in the member's section.

December '11

No practice; Tuesday 27 December - Bank Holiday. Christmas period ringing can be found on the calendar.

Quarter peal; Grandsire Caters rung for Service of Nine Lessons and Carols - a welcome back to 10-bell ringing for Annette Hall.

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Major rung for Christingle Service.

Late Night Shopping; The Society once again manned a stall at Walden's Late Night Shopping where we entertained the people of Walden with a number of games. Our thanks to Patrick Draper who has driven our involvement and worked hard to make it happen. (click on pictures for larger version).

Late Night Shopping 2011 Late Night Shopping 2011

AGM '12; The Society's AGM will be held on Tuesday 10 January at 19:45 in the function room at the Kings Arms. The agenda and last year's minutes can be found in the member's section. There will be no ringing that evening.

November '11

Quarter peal; Cambridge Maximus rung for Advent Carol service by ten Society members and two guests - a very creditable performance with four "firsts" scored.

High Sheriff of Essex; letter of thanks for ringing for the recent Justice Service.

Christmas period ringing; Christmas ringing schedule - details have been added to the calendar - this will be kept up to date.

Quarter peal; Stedman Triples rung half-muffled for Remembrance Sunday Choral Evensong.

October '11

Quarter peal; Yorkshire Major for Holy Communion - Penny Browne's 600th.

Sunday 23 October; Ringing (before - 10:30 and after) for 11:15 Justice Service - No 10:00 service.

Quarter peal; Grandsire Triples rung prior to Choral Evensong to celebrate 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Richard Freeman's first away from the tenor.

September '11

Autumn Crash Course; In order to give our "learners" some intensive 6-bell ringing (Call Changes, Plain Bob Doubles and Minor), we are planning a short, sharp course of Wednesday evening practices on the Saffron Walden simulator from 19:30 - 21:00, starting 5th October and ending 30th November.

Annual outing to Newcastle and Durham; After a frustrating journey to Durham for all of us, we were treated to a fantastic weekend of glorious bells, food and drink, a lot of healthy walking and another of Fred Bone's impossible "it's easier than last year" (there were less questions!) quizzes. The entire weekend was brilliantly organised by techie whizz-kid James Watkins, who as coolly as ever, pulled the whole event off with hardly a hitch. Our thanks to Hugh Maddams for bringing along the credit cards. Ringing was around Newcastle (metro and walking) on the Saturday and Durham on Sunday -Jesmond (8), Gosforth (10), Whitley Bay (8), North Shields (10), Newcastle Cathedral (12), Durham Cathedral (10), St Oswald (8), and Brancepeth (8) - pictures.

Saffron Walden Maze Festival; letter of thanks for quarter peal.

No Sunday Service ringing; on Sunday 24 September - Society Annual Outing.

Quarter peal; Single Oxford Bob Triples rung to celebrate Carol and Nick Eldred's 7th Wedding anniversary and for Evensong. Ann Clinton has finally worked her way around the tower to quarter peals.

August '11

Great Ringing Day service; 19:30 Tuesday 30 August - a little later than usual this year.

Festival Quarter Peal; Grandsire Caters for Saffron Walden's Maze Festival (see below) and for Evensong.

Quarter peal; Lincolnshire Surprise Major for Evensong.

Saffron Walden Maze Festival;

SW Maze Festival logo

On Sunday 28 August between 17:15 and 18:30 we will be attempting a quarter peal as part of the Saffron Walden Maze Festival. Bell ringing methods have some maze-like attributes - for a more detailed explanation please see the attached article.

Weddings; No wedding ringing at Saffron Walden in August - the previously published wedding dates for August have either been cancelled or postponed.

July '11

Quarter peal; Clive Moore described this evening's quarter of Stedman Triples as "a lovely quarter on the best 8 in the county" - who are we to disagree! For Evensong and remembering the people of Norway. First in method for John Hammond.

Handling practices; the handling practice of Tuesday 19 July, 19:00-19:45, was the last one before a summer break. If there is still a need we will restart in September. Our normal practice time of 19:45-21:15 will of course continue uninterrupted. Many thanks to all of you who have supported this extra practice.

Summer outing; to towers north of Bury St Edmunds, many of them recently augmented and a joy to ring - Pakenham (6), Gislingham (8), Palgrave (8), Hopton (8), Bardwell (8), Ixworth (8) and Ampton (4). The ringing-up of the Ampton bells in the order 3,2,1,4 causing much amusement - due to some of us forgetting that they were an anti-clockwise ring - pictures.

Saturday 2 July; a hectic day for the Society...

  • A wedding to ring for at Newport;
  • The 6-bell striking competition final at Rayne; a tough contest, and although the team rang well, we were placed 6th out of 11 entries. Oh, well, there's always next year;
  • The 8-bell striking competition at Great Bardfield with seven members of the Society in the team representing the district. We rang well again, but this time came 5th out of the six district teams. However there were only 12 points separating the first and last teams - so a very close contest;
  • And the BIG event - Saffron Walden Carnival - Patrick Draper rallied the troops and got together a fantastic float to join the carnival procession of over 100 floats (click on pictures for larger version). Our newly-weds also featured in the local press - Saffron Walden Reporter.
Carnival float Carnival supporters Carnival float The happy couple Carnival supporters The happy couple The happy couple The divorce is around the corner

June '11

Great Ringing Day; the highlight of the Society's calendar:

  • Our first GRD peal success for 3 years - Cambridge Royal;
  • Nick Eldred arranged an outing for the afternoon allowing our newer ringers to experience some of our local delights - Littlebury, Elmdon and Chrishall;
  • All perfectly concluded with a barbecue at Neil and Katrina Bond's, their mini-ring giving us another opportunity to extend our skills and interesting a couple of very young recruits (click on pictures for larger version).
GRD outing GRD outing GRD outing GRD BBQ GRD BBQ GRD BBQ

NW District call change competition; took place at Great Parndon. Despite a brave and worth effort, our band came third, but watch out next year. At least we cannot be accused of bribing the judge [Roger Collins]!

Video; Kevin Nicholas has posted a short video on YouTube portraying his experience of a practice evening at Walden.

May '11

Quarter peal; Our congratulations to Julia Pointer who rang her first quarter peal (Doubles 2M) at Henham.

April '11

Royal wedding; Ten members of the Society gathered to ring Rounds and Call Changes on the bells prior to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The band included four of our new ringers who were able to join in the celebrations whilst other society members rang quarter peals in the local district (Ashdon, Arkesden and Steeple Bumpstead) (click on picture for larger version). The ringing was also reported in the local press - Walden Local and Saffron Walden Reporter.

Royal wedding ringers

No practice; Tuesday 19 April - Holy Week.

March '11

Quarter peal; Grandsire Caters for Taize Service. Rung to celebrate the Centenary of the Ringing World. A welcome back, to ringing ways, for John Hammond.

AGM minutes; for the meeting of 11 January, along with an updated members / contacts list have now been posted to the member's section. Amended login details will be sent to Society members by the secretary via email.

February '11

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Triples for Evensong. First behind on eight for Patrick Draper.

King's Arms; Our regular Tuesday evening watering hole is going through a tasteful makeover, including the launching of its own website. This is likely to mean that we will have to drink at an alternative venue next week (29 February) - to be agreed at end of practice. We look forward, however, to our enjoying many an evening in the warm, and still very traditional, surroundings of the King's Arms.

Quarter peal; Cambridge Surprise Minor at Henham. Rung as a birthday compliment to John Hall. First treble bob for Patrick Draper.

Buffy Bus presentation; This year's 'Christmas Card Box' donation (supplemented with proceeds from our Late Night Shopping stand) of £100 was made to the NW Essex community playbus charity Buffy Bus - this was the charity chosen by St Mary's children's carol service. The presentation was also reported in the local press. Rosie Juhl, Buffy Bus Project Manager (right) is pictured receiving the cheque from (left to right) Julia Pointer, Hugh Maddams and Ann Clinton (click on picture for larger version).

Buffy Bus presentation

NW District Ringing Master; Congratulations to Roger Collins on his election to Ringing Master of the NW District of the Essex Association of Change Ringers at the AGM of Saturday 29 January.

January '11

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Royal for Evensong. First Royal for Carol Wilkinson.

No Morning Service ringing on Sunday 23 January; as there is a United Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the United Reformed Church at 10:30.

AGM '11; the Society's AGM was held on 11 January in, a new departure for us, the very congenial and warm surrounds of the private room of the Kings Arms. The current officers were all re-elected to serve for another year. The following key dates were agreed:

  • 25 June 2011; Great Ringing Day;
  • 23-25 September 2011; Annual outing (provisionally to Durham / Newcastle);
  • 10 January 2012; AGM.

The provisional minutes will be available shortly on the member's page.

No practice; Tuesday 10 January - AGM - see below.

Site update - RSS feed; following a request, a news feed has been added to enable news alerts to be received using RSS - click on the RSS icon under the "News" title above to subscribe to the feed or add it to your feeds aggregator.

Quarter peal; London Surprise Major to start the new year - first in method for James Watkins and Gerard Clinton. First in method as conductor for Mary Bone.

December '10

No practice; Tuesday 28 December - Bank Holiday.

AGM '11; The Society's AGM will be held on Tuesday 11 January at 19:45 in the private room at the Kings Arms. The agenda and last year's minutes can be found in the member's section. There will be no ringing that evening.

Christmas period ringing; details have been added to the calendar - this will be kept up to date.

Practice cancelled; Tuesday 14 December practice is cancelled due to an event being held in the church.

Quarter peal; Doubles (750 Grandsire and 600 Plain Bob with 7,6,8 cover) rung to celebrate Michael Down's 75th birthday and 25 years of ringing. Hugh Maddams' first quarter as conductor. For Christingle Service.

Late Night Shopping; The Society manned a stall at Walden's Late Night Shopping in a continuing bid to raise our profile in the town. Visitors, and those manning the stall alike, were delightfully entertained by Patrick Draper while running the game of "higher or lower". Our wonderful new display stand was used for the first time - thanks to Trevor Reynolds and Patrick Draper (click on pictures for larger version).

Roger with new display roll-a-penny Jitka Janice Julia higher or lower

Annual Dinner;

November '10

Quarter peal; Stedman Cinques was successfully rung prior to Advent Carol Service. This was first Stedman Cinques for three of the band and first for Fred Bone as conductor. The quarter was rung to celebrate Fred's 60th birthday.

Practice cancelled; Tuesday 23 November practice is cancelled due to an event being held in the church. An alternate practice has been arranged from 19:45 at Radwinter making use of the simulator.

Site update - historic photographs; a new version of the historic photographs page provides an improved display mechanism for the site's most visited page; in parallel subtle changes have been made to the navigation system.

Quarter peal; Grandsire Triples half-muffled for Remembrance Sunday Evensong.

October '10

Quarter peal; Yorkshire Surprise Major for United Nations Association service - first treble bob major for Hugh Maddams.

Quarter peal; St Clements College Bob Minor at Henham.

Quarter peal; A joint Essex and Herts band rang a quarter peal of Grandsire Cinques for the service to celebrate the work of St. John Ambulance. A 60th birthday compliment to Patrick Draper.

Additional practices; will run from Wednesday 13th October for 7 weeks (until 24th November). The practice will be from 19.30 until 21:00 and focus on plain hunting doubles and minor, possibly with treble bob minor towards the end of the practice if appropriate. To help with planning we will put a list on the notice board, (much like we use for weddings) for students and helpers alike to let us know who will be there. The ringing calendar is kept up to date.

Site update - account books; Page added describing the detail to be found in the Society's account books going back to 1818. The books are a fascinating record of the members, their attendance record, ringing occasions, income and expenses.

September '10

Quarter peal; Members of the Society rang a quarter peal of Stedman Triples as an au-revoir to James Watkins, who is leaving us for Durham University. His first quarter of Stedman as conductor was a fitting way to mark his departure.

Annual outing to East Kent; great bells once again. The weather was lovely on Saturday and just about held out for Sunday. Two lovely pubs with the meal at the Dering Arms being especially memorable. Ringing was at Great Chart (8), Biddenden (8), Benenden (12), Rolvenden (8), Tenterden (8), Appledore (8), Wye (10), Ashford (10), Little Chart (6) and Pluckley (6) - pictures.

Quarter peal; Single Oxford Bob Triples for Harvest Evensong, a get well wish for Nick Eldred and for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. First in method for John Hall and as conductor for James Watkins.

Site update - church clock; Page added documenting the history of the church clock and its place in the history of Walden bellringing.

August '10

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Triples for Evensong.

July '10

Site update - various; Over the last month or so the website has been updated and corrected following the Society's purchase of the Ringing World DVD covering the years 1911-1940 - the DVD will in time be added to the archive. The content changes are too numerous to list but amounted to small changes being made to around 40% of the pages - but perhaps the story of the Finchingfield peal board and the discussions in the Ringing World regarding the peals of 1753/74 make the most interesting reading. Additionally a page has been added on the subject of the handbells which were originally bought in 1833 and partly funded by a subscription to The Gentlemen of Saffron Walden

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Minor on the simulator at Radwinter.

June '10

Quarter peal; Congratulations to Sue Butler, one of our recent recruits, on ringing her first quarter peal (at first attempt) - the treble to Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles at Chrishall.

May '10

Practice cancelled; Tuesday 25 May practice is cancelled due to the Archdeacon's Visitation Service. 

Quarter peal; Cambridge Major for Pentecost Evensong - with best wishes from the band to Liz Griffith-Jones for her 70th birthday.

Quarter peal; Our congratulations to June Mackay who rang her first quarter on six (Plain Bob Minor at Henham) with members of the Society.

April '10

Quarter peal; Stedman Caters for Evensong - first Stedman Caters as conductor for Roger Collins.

Quarter peal; Yorkshire Major for Evensong and as a retirement compliment to the Director of Music and Organist, Andrew Malcolm. Also a wedding anniversary compliment to Katrina and Neil Bond. First in method as conductor for Mary Bone.

February '10

Quarter peal; Cambridge Minor on the back six for Evensong, after meeting short due to floods in Steeple Bumpstead leaving John Hall stranded - first treble bob for Hugh Maddams.

Quarter peal; Stedman Triples for Evensong - first Stedman Triples for Hugh Maddams.

Letter of thanks; from Little Haven Children's Hospice thanking the society for our 'Christmas Card Box' donation of £70.

January '10

Quarter peal; Grandsire Caters to thank Katrina for all her hard work as Master and for Evensong - first on 10 for Carol Wilkinson.

AGM '10; the Society's AGM was held on 12 January. After four and half years as Master, Katrina Bond has decided to step down to enable her to give more time to her family and business - we thank her for a highly successful period in office. The following officers were elected:

  • Master: Ann Clinton
  • Deputy Master and Steeple Keeper: Nick Eldred
  • Secretary: Roger Collins
  • Treasurer: Hugh Maddams

Agenda and minutes for 2009 are available on the members page.

Quarter peal; Start off the new year in positive fashion, Plain Bob Major for Evensong - first major inside for Patrick Draper.

December '09

A quarter peal; of Grandsire Cinques was successfully rung prior to the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. This quarter was a significant achievement with five ringing their first quarter peal on 12 bells. It was also Roger Collins' first on 12 as conductor and James Watkins' 100th quarter. Many congratulations to the band.

Bellring 350 - Sunday 13th December; We plan to ring the bells from 15.30 until just before the Christingle service at 16:00 as part of Bellring 350. We have been asked to take part in a bellringing campaign across the country on Sunday the 13th December. This is the Sunday in the middle of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which runs from the 7th to the 18th December. An international service is being held in Copenhagen Cathedral at which the preacher will be the Archbishop of Canterbury. The World Council of Churches invites churches around the world to use their bells to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change. It is suggested that bells be rung 350 times to symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 in the atmosphere according to many scientists. Press Release dated 07/12/09.

Annual Dinner - an update; The following pictures have just surfaced on the web - providence unknown...(click on pictures for larger version)

Note to self! Thump I'm so tired all of a sudden

Christmas Ringing; Arrangements for Christmas ringing - check the ringing calendar which is regularly updated.

November '09

Quarter peal; Stedman Triples at Saffron Walden for Advent Carol Service and first of Stedman for Nick Eldred.

Annual Dinner; The Society's annual dinner was once again held at St Mark's College - Patrick laid on another entertainment extravaganza of balloon modelling, handbells, poems, music and the production secrets of Mongolian Grandkhaan Vodka. Many thanks to Penny for all the arrangements (click on pictures for larger version).

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Site update - sound of the bells; Recording of bells added - 40 seconds of rounds recorded during Sunday Service ringing on 18 October, courtesy of Linda, John and Rob Bullough.

Quarter peal; Carlisle S Minor at Fyfield, rung in fond memory of Jean Sanderson, life member of the Society who died 30 October.

October '09

Annual Outing; more pictures added, courtesy of John Mumford.

North West Essex quarter peal month (contd.);

September '09

Annual outing to South Leicestershire; truly lovely bells, weather, food and drink (including the nearly miraculous replacement of the fifth clapper at Rothwell). Ringing was at Sapcote (10), Whetstone (8), Countesthorpe (8), Thurnby (8), Oadby (8), Wigston Magna (8), Claybrooke Parva (8), Frolesworth (3), Lutterworth (8) and Rothwell (10) - pictures.

North West Essex quarter peal month;

Quarter peal; Grandsire Triples - our first success for some months.

Saffron Walden Societies' Showcase; We join around 30 others Saffron Walden clubs at the town hall looking to recruit new members (as advertised in local press) resulting in twelve potential recruits joining us in a highly successful open evening (click on pictures for larger version).

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June '09

Saffron Walden's loss is Peterborough's gain; Bryany Bartram leaves for pastures new - we wish her all the best. She will be sorely missed both in Saffron Walden and in Ashdon (click on pictures for larger version).

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Great Ringing Day; Unfortunately our peal attempt of Bristol Surprise Major came to grief after some 40 minutes ringing in stifling humidity. However we were spared the heavy thundery showers which skirted a very enjoyable evening BBQ....(click on pictures for larger version).

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Site update - New pictures added; (outings of 1997, 1999 and 2002) and new archive picture showing the Sunday band in 2001 - all taken by John Palmer (thanks to Pauline).

Cambridge Youths; joint practice held at Saffron Walden with the Cambridge Youths. Looking forward to a return visit once their new bells at GSM are in...

May '09

Spring outing; to the less-frequented towers in the NW Essex District, Farnham (6), Great Hallingbury (5), Bush End (3), Tackley (4), Rickling (5), Langley (4) and Great Chishill (5) - pictures.

April '09

Quarter peal; St Clements and Bob Minor - first St Clements for Patrick Draper.

March '09

Two quarter peals; Grandsire Doubles at Radwinter and Grandsire Triples at Saffron Walden, the latter rung in thanksgiving for the lives of Vanessa Franklin and Evadna Watkins.

February '09

Quarter peal rung in memory of Lady Butler of Saffron Walden; Plain Bob Minor.

Ringing in memory of Russell Green; as reported in local press and letter of thanks from Russell's wife Marion.

AGM '09; the Society's AGM was held on 10 February. All the officers were re-elected. An analysis of our ringing during 2008 was presented by James Watkins - this can be accessed in the members section.

Quarter peal; Grandsire Triples at Radwinter - first Grandsire for Patrick Draper.

January '09

Site update - ringing calendar; calendar page added to website.

Quarter peal; Plain Bob Triples in memory of Russell Green of Saffron Walden - a very distinguished citizen of the town who died 18th Jan.

Outing pictures; new pictures added for 2008 (thanks John Mumford).

AGM '09; the Society's AGM will be held in the tower on 19:45 Tuesday 10 February in place of the normal practice - there will be no ringing that evening. Agenda and related documents can be found on the members page.

Site update - quarter peals; new page added summarising all of the Society's quarters rung since 1977.

First quarters of the year; Single Oxford Bob Triples at Radwinter (first in method for James Watkins and Nick Eldred) and Cambridge Surprise Major at Saffron Walden.

December  '08

Site update - outing pictures; new pictures added for 2003, 2004 and 2008 (thanks John Palmer and Nick Eldred).

Christmas Ringing; Arrangements for Christmas ringing.

Victorian Christmas Fair - Saturday 13 December; As part of St Mary's fair, we opened the tower to demonstrate bellringing (using the simulator) and to allow those interested to try their hand at pulling a rope... (click on pictures for larger version).

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Annual Dinner; The Society's annual dinner was held on 7 December at St Mark's College - this year with laid on entertainments of handbells and carol singing - appreciative thanks to Penny Browne and Patrick Draper for the arrangements! (click on pictures for larger version).

handbell ringing poem recitation carol singing carol singing relaxing after diner relaxing after diner relaxing after diner relaxing after diner

November '08

Quarter peal of Grandsire Triples rung half-muffled for Remembrance Sunday and in fond memory of Roy Seaman a Life Member of the Society who died last Tuesday.

Roy Seaman; We've just heard that Roy Seaman, a Life Member of the Society and ringer at Littlebury, sadly died on Tuesday 4th November. His funeral is to be held on Friday 14th November, 1pm at Littlebury. The funeral will be a British Legion one and any donations will go towards the Littlebury bell fund.

September '08

Annual Outing to North Norfolk over the weekend of 26/28 September. We rang at the following towers: Little Walsingham (6), Skulthorpe (6), North Creake (6), Holkham (6), Wells-next-the-Sea (8), Wighton (6), Holt (8), Fakenham (8) and Great Ryburgh (6). All brilliantly organised by Hugh Maddams - but he perhaps could not lay claim for the fantastic weather. Photos can be found on the outings page. Great weekend had by all.

Quarter peal of Grandsire Triples rung for the Induction Service of the Revds. David and Jenny Tomlinson to Saffron Walden.

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