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Announcements Archive: 2012

Sandy Hook Bells observance

Sandy Hook Bells - Across the nation, church bells will ring 26 times at 9:30 a.m. Friday to mark the the one-week anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The National Council of Churches said many of its 100,000 congregations plan to participate in the bell-ringing during a minute of silence that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for earlier in the week.

"I'm asking that Friday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week after the horror began to unfold in Newtown, that the entire state observe a moment of silence," Malloy said at a Monday press conference.

"I'd like to ask those houses of worship or other buildings that have the ability to play bells to do so as well — 26 bells for the beautiful children and six wonderful adults who were killed at school that day."

Posted Dec 20, 2012 by Candace Higginbotham

2013 NAGCR Calendar

The 2013 NAGCR calendar which print subscribers received with their latest Clapper is now available as a PDF on the website that may be printed. This is the usual one page listing of ringing events that many find convenient to plan out their ringing year.

Posted Dec 16, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Update added Dec 16, 2012 by Don Morrison

In case it isn't clear, the calendar Bruce refers to can be found at <>.

Update added Dec 16, 2012 by Don Morrison

Just a little warning to folks using the PDF calendar this year: look carefully at the heading rows in the calendar proper to make sure you get the right day of the week. It's not laid out the same way as US calendars usually are (nor the way it was laid out last year) and might cause some confusion if you're not careful!

New Membership Card Option

At the suggestion of a long-time member of the NAG, I am offering members a new choice to opt out of receiving a membership card upon renewal of their membership.

The argument against the card is that many people just put them away in a drawer and forget about them, and that the production of the card and mailing expense is a cost to the NAG that can be avoided by eliminating the membership card.

Any member may opt out of receiving the card simply by letting me know. I will put an indicator in the member’s record that will suppress production of that member’s membership card in future, unless rescinded by the member.

I have set up this feature and am ready to process any and all requests from members to eliminate their membership cards. This is not a one-time option, but can be exercised and rescinded at any time.

If you do nothing you will continue to receive your membership card when you renew your membership.

Tom Miller, Membership Secretary

Posted Nov 30, 2012 by A Thomas Miller

Update added Dec 10, 2012 by Don Morrison

I think there are a couple of further things that should probably be done to support this. (a) The membership form ( should have a check box added to it to facilitate saying whether or not you want a card; and (b) the page on this site ( describing membership categories and fees should mention this matter, too.

Update added Dec 11, 2012 by A Thomas Miller

The new member form for the website is underway, as we speak, and the next Clapper will show an option to opt out of the "hard card".

December 8 - Mid-Atlantic Area Meeting Update

Lunch and Handbells Update: The Area Meeting in NYC on Saturday, December 8 will be from 11:00 to 5:30. If you are interested in ringing handbells earlier, from 9-11, please contact Martha Partridge and let her know.

Everyone welcome to attend. Trinity ringers have graciously offered to provide lunch for participants. If you have not already let John Hitchings or myself know that you plan to come, please do so.

Cheers, Bruce Butler


Posted Nov 27, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Update added Dec 01, 2012 by Don Morrison

I believe the email address given for Martha is defunct, and no longer accepts incoming mail. I believe her current address is

Fred E Dukes International Bell Fund

Fred E Dukes International Bell Fund

Applications are invited for grants from this Fund, which are paid only for work carried out by the main UK bell founders on bell restoration projects in countries outside the UK and Ireland. Details of the allocation criteria and administration procedures and an application form are available from the Central Council website or direct from me.

Closing date for applications is 31st January 2013.

The Cottage
School Hill Warnham
West Sussex RH12 3QN

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers Bell Restoration Committee

Posted Nov 15, 2012 by Ian Oram/ Candace Higginbotham

Area Meeting December 8 NYC

More information on December's Mid-Atlantic Area Meeting.

Posted Nov 07, 2012 by Bruce N Butler


Message from Kate Flavell, Central Council President

Please can you and/or Madeleine convey my very best wishes to all towers and

ringers who have been affected by this awful storm/hurricane. As you may know,

Paul & I (with others) toured down your East coast back in 2004 and I feel that

many of the towers where we rang are likely to have been affected to some

degree. I do hope so much that everyone is safe, the bells are all safe and the

churches have not suffered any serious damage. We have all been quite horrified

to hear about it all - there has been extensive media coverage here.

With warmest good wishes,


Kate Flavell

President, Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Registered Charity Number 270036

020 8942 1662

07768 798395

(Copied to Central Council Officers and NAG CC members)

Posted Oct 31, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Change to DC Area meeting

Due to a variety of reasons , ringing at OPOT has been cancelled. However, we will ring at the Cathedral from 11:00 am. Lunch will be provided by the WRS If arriving before 12:30 use the West End, After, please use the South transept elevator and make sure you pull the gate closed!

Posted Oct 11, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Clapper deadline

The October 8th deadline is fast approaching.

If you have any reports/photos/articles for this issue, please send them along to the editor's mailbox.

Thank you.

Posted Oct 05, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Very sad news - Mark Rizzo

Very sad news, Mark Rizzo

I know that many of you will be as shocked as I am to read this news..... I am sure Tom will not mind that I forwarded this to the NAGCR website. Bruce Butler

Mark Rizzo passed away suddenly last week. Mark learned ring in the early 1980's at Kalamazoo College. In addition to being an active ringer, he served the guild as membership secretary for several years. He was elected to membership in the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. Mark was a good ringer and a good guy. He will be missed.

There will be a memorial reception on Friday, October 5th from 3pm to 6pm at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. There is an obituary for Mark at

Tom Farthing

Posted Oct 03, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Radio report on ringing in New York

George Bodarky hosts the "Cityscape" program on WFUV (Fordham U). He recently visited Trinity Wall Street, and this morning he gave this report (start at 13:04).

Posted Sep 29, 2012 by Jeremy Bates

2013 Ringing World Diaries and Calendar

Once again the Guild's Book Service will be ordering Ringing World Diaries and Calendars for members. Please take advantage of this service. You may email me your order and then put a check in the mail

The Ringing World Diary 2013: contains quick reference pages for methods, touches, quarters and contacts. Content updated for 2013; latest CCCBR and association contact details, First Peals, Record Lengths and Notable Events, revised Doubles, Triples and Caters methods and touches, pages of hints and tips.

Cheers, Bruce

Ringing World Diary 2013

To obtain a 2013 Ringing World Diary please send a check in US or CDN funds

payable to NAGCR Book Service to:

Bruce Butler

829 North 25th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Standard – USD or CDN $11.50

Standard with Pencil in spine – USD or CDN $12.00

Leather – USD or CDN $19.50



Quantity/Which kind?

Ringing World Calendar 2013

This year the calendar features the calendar features a selection of works from the art exhibition Inspired by Bells which was held at the ROA Gallery during the Ringing World Centenary celebrations in March 2011.

To obtain a 2013 Ringing World Calendar please send a check for $12.50 in US or CDN funds payable to NAGCR Book Service to:

Bruce Butler

829 North 25th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19130




Add USD $2.50- CDN $2.50 for each item if you wish airmail (not really necessary at this time – October)

Total Amount Enclosed $

Posted Sep 29, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Sonando Cambios

At Trinity Wall Street we were visited in December 2009 by Brooklyn-based choreographer/musician/artist Nancy Garcia.

Nancy has now posted on YouTube a lovely 10-minute video of her visit. It's here.

Most remarkably, Nancy chose to emphasize the visual. There is no sound to this video. Check it out for an artist's visual impression of what we do!

I have also posted this to the albums/videos section.

(Nancy's website is

Posted Sep 22, 2012 by Jeremy Bates

AGM Minutes available in Member Discussion file

AGM Minutes available in Member Discussion file
Posted Sep 11, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Update added Sep 11, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

AGM Minutes available in Member Discussion file

Update added Sep 11, 2012 by Don Morrison

Now also available so you can just read the minutes in your web browser, without having to download a file and figure out how to open it.

Discussion regarding disallowed peals

Posted Sep 06, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Update added Sep 06, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Attendees at the 2012 AGM at Smith College will remember that there was discussion regarding the

dis-allowing of two peals, due to the lapsed memberships. The President, Madeleine Cheesman, committed to reviewing the Peal Secretary's decision process and together with the Executive Committee, determining if the decision should be overturned. The report has been placed in the "Member Discussion" section and

contains the final decision.

2011 ANNUAL REPORT now available

2011 ANNUAL REPORT now posted here.

Members who subscribe to The Clapper in print will receive the Report in print by snail mail. E-members may view and download the PDF version here, both at "Guild Documents" and at "Member Discussions".

Posted Aug 16, 2012 by Lyn Barnett

The Clapper - summer issue now available online. Download yours today

Posted Aug 05, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Update added Aug 06, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Be ahead of the pack. Get it online before the hard copies are out

Update added Aug 06, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Summer issue now online

Southminster hosting a tenth anniversary celebration 5-7 October

Please join us at Southminster Church in Pittsburgh for a tenth anniversary celebration of the dedication of our bells.

October 5th of this year is the tenth anniversary of the dedication of the ring of eight bells at Southminster Church in Mt Lebanon, a southern suburb of Pittsburgh. We are planning a celebration over the weekend of 5-7 October, to which we're hoping many North American ringers can come.

There is a schedule for the weekend available on-line.

It's also a great opportunity to visit Pittsburgh, a wonderful city: home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL's only six time Super Bowl Champion; home of what the Travel Channel recently rated the best sandwich in America; and rated America's most livable city by The Economist in 2011, Forbes in 2010 and The Places Rated Almanac in 2007.

If you come a day or two early to sight see, please do also plan on joining our regular practice on Thursday evening, 4 October.

There is no need to register for the weekend, though it would be best if those planning on attending let me, Don Morrison <>, know so we know how many to expect and can plan accordingly; and can ensure you are kept up to date with plans. It is possible, though not certain, that as arrangements progress we may ask folks to make reservations for one or more meals ahead of time.

Posted Jun 24, 2012 by Don Morrison

Update added Aug 01, 2012 by Don Morrison

Reminder: please do let us know you think you might come, so we can plan accordingly.

Update added Sep 05, 2012 by Don Morrison

The announcement has been edited to include a link to the schedule for the weekend, or just go to <>.

NAGCR's 40th Anniversary at Smith College

NAGCR's 40th Anniversary at Smith College. Please see the details and the registration form on the calendar. Deadline is July 15.

Posted Jun 19, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Officer Nominations

Officer nominations

The nominations period for 2012 officers opens July 20, and includes the offices of

president, treasurer, secretary (membership), newsletter editor, peal secretary, education

officer and public relations officer. All nominations should consist of a simple statement

(who is nominated, by whom, and for which office) in writing to the president and should

include both the signed consent of the nominee and his/her statement of candidacy.

Nominations close on September 17

Currently a term of office is for one year only. Please consider serving your fellow

ringers by standing for office!

Candidate eligibility

Pursuant to the 2007 amendment of the Guild Constitution, candidates for Guild office

must be and have been Resident Members of the Guild for a minimum of two (2) years

continuously and immediately prior to standing for election.

Voter eligibility

Any Resident Member whose membership is active on August 31 is eligible to vote in the

annual election of the NAGCR. Eligibility is determined as of the close of the day August

31. Members who join or renew after August 31 are not eligible to vote in the current

year’s election. Dues are considered timely if postmarked no later than August 31.

Please contact the Guild secretary (membership) with questions about your specific

situation. Associate Members are not eligible to vote.

Madeleine Cheesman


Posted Jun 18, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Memorial Service for Richard Graves

Richard Graves, Founding Member and Honorary Life Member, died Tuesday, June 12. He was 86.

A memorial service is currently planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, June 23, at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Houston with a reception to follow.

There will be ringing with the service.

Posted Jun 13, 2012 by David H Graves

Update added Jun 19, 2012 by Don Morrison

Obituary in the Paducah Sun:

Call for articles and area reports for the Clapper

Yes, I know that we have just had an issue, but the deadline for the next issue is July 8th. The current Guild bylaws mandate four issues a year.

Please will people start to pull together their reports (photos, too) so that everything is ready to go come the week of July 8th?

With regard to photos. If you use a High Resolution stop on your camera, then your picture can be enlarged without blurring. This is very important if the picture might be used for cover art.

If any of you have an article that you might like to include, please let me know so I can allocate space for it in the magazine.

Thank you.

Posted Jun 11, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Big Ben

Happy 153rd Birthday to Big Ben's clock! A rare look inside the tower at The Great Bell . . .

Posted May 31, 2012 by Lyn Barnett

Re: the new issue of the Clapper

June 7th is the estimated mailing date for the Spring issue of The Clapper. In case you haven't noticed, the current issue is posted on the website. We put it up early because of the Jubilee Bells notice in it.

Posted May 31, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Re: Postings to Campanophile

I have been putting together the quarter peal report, with some help from Rick DePuy. Please, when posting qp's to Campanophile, will you be sure to put the North American Guild on that top line?

That way you can be sure that your postings will make it into the Clapper without a hitch.

I have responded to one tower that I've picked up their qp's. Are there any others out there who might not have included the North American Guild in their listing? Please email the editor ASAP. You have another day or two before the qp's go into the master document.

Thank you for your patience this first time round for me as editor.

Diane Amison-Loring

Posted Apr 28, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Bells' BBQ Bash - Philly

Bells' BBQ Bash - Philly Saturday, June 9 for ringing and celebrating the bells' birthdays. Please join us. RSVP by June 1.

Posted Apr 25, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

May 12th in Orleans, MA!

Please join us in Orleans, MA at the Bell Tower of the Church of the Transfiguration on May 12th! This is a New England Area Meeting - but of course anyone is more than welcome. It will be a day of Open ringing - in the Open air! Cape Cod is beautiful, and not too hot this time of year.We lok forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, so please save the day and come ring our wonderful 10 bells!

Here is a basic schedule for the day:

10am - noon Ringing (coffee and snacks provided)
12-1 lunch Lunch provided (donations gladly accepted)
1- 2:30 Ringing
2:30 - 2:45 Break w/refreshments
2:45 - 5 Choral Evensong is at 5:15 which anyone is very welcome to attend

Please let me know by May 5th if you plan to come, so we can be sure of the count for lunch. thanks!

Posted Apr 20, 2012 by Sister Alicia Mitman


Quebec May Weekend 2012 Registration

Bienvenue dans les cloches de Québec

(May 25 pm – May 27, 2012)

Name ______________________________________________________________

Email __________________________ Telephone __________________________

Address ____________________________________________________________

Home Tower/Group ________________________________

Arrival Day & Time (if known) ___________________ Departure ____________________

Ringing level:

Novice (rounds, call changes, hunting) ________ on ______ bells

Basic (Plain Bob, Grandsire) ______________________ Conduct ___________

Advanced (Stedman, Kent) ________________________ Conduct ___________

Expert (Surprise) ________________________________ Conduct ___________

Would you like to conduct a practice session ? Yes ____ No ____

On which topics ? (Check as many in order of priority) : Rope sight ____, Rope handling ____, Ringing up or down in peal ___, Plain Hunts ___, Stedman ___, other (please specify) ________

Quarter peal request:

Method(s): ____________________________________ Number of bells: 6 _____ 8 _____

As a ringer _______ As a conductor ______ Indifferent ______

Registration and Dinner:

Registration (includes muffins, scones, coffee and juice Saturday and Sunday mornings) :

Before May 7 : FREE May 7 and after : 10$

I will attend the Ringers’ banquet prepared by the guild’s renowned chefs on Saturday (Bring your own beer/wine) $25 : Yes ____ No ____

Please complete and return by May 6 to: René Moisan 809, Ave De Lévis, Québec, Qué G1S 3E2 r.

Make cheques payable to Shirley Nadeau, guild’s treasurer.

NOTE : Cheques drawn on US banks in US dollars welcome

Posted Apr 09, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Clapper articles/announcements, etc.

The Clapper deadline is approaching, and can be somewhat flexible for those towers with area meetings in April.

Please will all area representatives send me your information if you haven't done so already? Let's make this issue a great one! Photos are welcome. Please identify any people in the photos.

If any of you are working on articles and need research help, please let me know how I can help you.


Posted Apr 02, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Dove's Guide for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Dove's Guide is available to download from the App Store. This is a free app which became available on March 10, 2012 for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users.

Posted Mar 22, 2012 by Bruce N Butler


North American peals and quarters are now displayed on!

Recent performances show up in a new widget on the home page, and as a new box on the mobile version. From there you can click through to the index of all performances by month, or to a page giving details of all of the performances reported last week. You can also go straight to the monthly index at the easy-to-remember

We're getting our data from submissions through the NAG form over at Campanophile. We don't want to rush your submissions, so you have a three-day grace period: every Wednesday night, we'll automatically publish a new weekly report covering performances through the previous Sunday. Any submissions recived after Wednesday will be in the following week's report.

If you're subscribed to the RSS feed (or you get emails from Feed My Inbox), then you'll see the weekly report show up already--no need to subscribe to anything new. Hope you enjoy it!

Posted Mar 18, 2012 by John Danaher

2012 Pittsburgh Ringing Course

The sixth annual Pittsburgh ringing course will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 27 to 29 July 2012.

As last year’s course was so popular, this year’s will be a reprise of that one, aimed at folks learning to ring Plain Bob (doubles or above), or ready to make the transition thereto. The emphasis is not on complexity or even the method Plain Bob itself, but rather on acquiring the skills necessary to ring at this evel well. Students will be asked to do some study beforehand, and no time will be spent on theory. Rather, students will be expected to have already learned that, and be in a position to put it into practice.

Students should be at least comfortable ringing plain hunts on at least five with a cover. Students well above that level, but who stillfind ringing Plain Bob a challenge, will benefit even more.

Further information can be found at

If you would be interested in joining this course as a student, please contact me, Don Morrison <>, ideally by 9 March.

Posted Feb 23, 2012 by Don Morrison

Update added Mar 04, 2012 by Don Morrison

I'm afraid this course is now FULL, but we do have a waiting list, so please feel free to write and ask to be added to it. In the past it has not been unusual for one or more folks to have to withdraw before the date of the course, so slots could open up again before July.

From your new editor

The April deadline for the next issue is rapidly approaching.

Tower captains/representatives, please start to put together your news/pictures/anecdotes.

Who is working on an article for The Clapper? Please will you let me know so I can set aside the space in the coming issue?

Many thanks. I will send out more reminders as the deadline gets closer.

And, yes, I was once known as "the ringing nun"...

Posted Feb 23, 2012 by Diane M Amison-Loring

Death of Victoria Ringer - Tim Hanna

With sadness Steve Smith reports the unexpected and untimely death of Tim Hanna, a ringer at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC. Tim's obituary can be found at this link:

Our sympathies go out to the ringers of Christ Church Cathedral for their loss.

Posted Feb 23, 2012 by A Thomas Miller

New Clapper Editor

I am delighted to advise the NAG membership that we have a new editor for The Clapper. Diane Amison-Loring has offered her services as editor and the Executive has accepted her offer with grateful thanks. Diane will be editing the Spring edition of The Clapper. Kindly ensure that your submissions for this and future editions continue to be forwarded to the Editor at

Posted Feb 22, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Vernal Equinox aka Spring Dinner

Spring Dinner in Philly

Just a reminder that our annual event is fast approaching, March 17. We look forward to seeing many of you in Philly. While the deadline is March 9, it would be nice to know if you were thinking of coming ahead of that date as it would help in our planning.

The registration form can be found in the last issue of The Clapper or in the Calendar section of this website. Or just send an email to the



Posted Feb 20, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

AGM Survey from Bruce Butler


> If you are aware of anyone who may not get this, please feel free to forward or copy.

I received this message from Bruce Butler, though there were no other recipients list on the copy I received so it's not at all clear who did or did not receive it. But it seems worth posting here!

I have also written to Bruce for clarification on exactly how we are supposed to answer question number 6 in the survey. It's not at all clear, at least not to me, what #1, #2 and #3 mean in this context, particularly since we can check any two or three of them for each tower! I'll update this when I have an answwer from him.

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM, Bruce & Eileen Butler

<> wrote:

> Hello,


> The 2012 AGM will be held at Smith College, where the NAGCR was founded 40

> years ago! We do hope many of you will be able to attend this event. Some

> of you may remember the wonderful AGM we had there for the 25th and it is

> only fitting that we return now for another milestone.


> A link to a very brief survey is given below that will provide the Planning

> Committee some idea of your interests and a preliminary number of attendees.

> Please respond as soon as possible so that costs, arrangements and plans

> can be organized.


> Depending upon projected numbers, we will propose a nominal registration fee

> to cover expenses, i.e. liability insurance, as well as possible venues and

> charges for group meals on the Friday and Saturday evenings. There will

> also be workshops given as well as side trips to alleviate congestion in the

> tower at Smith.


> Bradley International Airport is served by many airlines including

> AirCanada, US Airways, American Airlines, Southwest and Delta and this would

> be the closest airport to Northampton - 35 miles away. A shuttle service is

> available from both Bradley and Boston's Logan airport. There is also bus

> service to Northampton. The closest train service is to Springfield.


> We look forward to hearing back from you whether or not you plan on

> attending. If you are aware of anyone who may not get this, please feel

> free to forward or copy.


> Regards,

> AGM Smith Planning Committee

> Bruce Butler, Chairman


Posted Feb 20, 2012 by Don Morrison

Update added Feb 20, 2012 by Don Morrison

As promised, here's Bruce's reply to my question about number 6:

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Bruce & Eileen Butler

<> wrote:

> Yes, I agree Question 6 is tricky and the poll did not allow me to get both

> interest and preference as I was trying to keep the it short and simple. I

> am more interested in getting levels of interest. Maybe I should have had

> another question.

Status of Ringing at the Old Post Office

Ringing at the Old Post Office - Keep Calm, It Carries On!

Like others in the ringing community, Washington ringers were excited to hear earlier this month that the Federal Government’s General Services Administration (GSA) had selected an organization to redevelop the Old Post Office where the Congress Bells are housed. For some years we had monitored the ups and downs of GSA’s efforts to find a developer to turn the wonderful old building into a profitable enterprise.

Finally, last spring GSA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP). The bells and the Clock Tower where they are located were very minor items in the RFP. The bells were mentioned in the “Exhibits” section of the RFP, and the RFP specified that the developer must maintain “public access for the Clock Tower.” Proposals were submitted in July, and GSA announced the winning bidder, Trump Hotel Collection, on February 7th.

During the proposal period, WRS met with GSA and provided both our concerns about how the redevelopment would affect the bells and ringing and our view that improvements in public access to the tower coupled with some bell-related modifications could result in making the site a more significant public attraction. Since the selection, Katie Emmons, the WRS Ringing Master, has talked with GSA’s Project Manager for the redevelopment. He supports our involvement as plans for the Clock Tower development move forward, and we’re working with him to arrange a meeting of all the parties after things settle a bit.

While we have concerns about the effect the redevelopment will have on our ringing at the Old Post Office, we believe that it can be an opportunity to highlight the Congress Bells and change ringing. We appreciate the NAG and wider ringing community's interest and concern, and we'll try to keep NAG informed as things progress.

Something to note is that construction is not scheduled to start until spring of 2014, so we don’t expect to see changes in the ringing schedule at the Old Post Office for some time. So do come visit!

Katie Emmons

Posted Feb 17, 2012 by Quilla Roth

A Floating Ring

Here is another way to celebrate Her Majesty`s Jubilee:

Pageant bellringers hope they won’t be sunk by floating belfry challenge

Valentine Low

February 16 2012 12:01AM

The bells that will peal out from the Thames for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee are being cast tomorrow, and the man in charge of ringing them is doing his best to sound confident. “I think the whole idea is totally bonkers,” Dickon Love said. “That is partly why I like it.”

If he is sounding nervous, it is for good reason: no one has ever tried ringing church bells from a floating belfry on the river before, a challenging exercise made more nerve-racking by the fact that the bells do not belong to the pageant at all, but to a church in the City of London . The £180,000 bells were commissioned by St James Garlickhythe, which has agreed to lend them before they are installed.

“If they end up at the bottom of the Thames , someone somewhere will have to provide the church with a new lot,” Mr Love said. “But they won’t end up at the bottom of the Thames ,”he added swiftly. “It is a very big boat.”

At the moment all that exists of the bells is a few large lumps of sand, clay, goat hair and horse manure. That is how the moulds for bells have been made for centuries: sand and clay to make the shape and take the heat of the molten metal, goat hair and manure to burn away and provide a network of tiny air passages so that the gases from the hot metal can escape.

This week, Nigel Taylor, head tuner at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, has been applying the finishing touches to the moulds, stamping the inscriptions that will go on the outside of the bells letter by letter. There will be eight bells, the largest weighing almost half a tonne, and each one named after a member of the Royal Family: Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, William and Henry.

The foundry has been in Whitechapel since 1570 and, before that, can trace its ancestry to a foundry run in Aldgate by one Robert Chamberlain since 1420.

Despite this heritage, no one has any idea of what it takes to ring eight bells on a floating platform. The boat will be as steady as they can make it. An Olympic-class barge called the Ursula Catherine, capable of carrying 250 tonnes, it will be pushed by a tug at the head of the flotilla of 1,000 boats taking part in the pageant on June 3.

However, Mr Love, a former master of the Ancient Society of College Youths, a bellringing society founded in 1637, said: “Our bellringers can detect movements in a belltower of a few millimetres. It upsets the movement of the bells. They will have to be very skilled in order to manage it. But you have to be able to take risks sometimes. Whoever thought this up is quite visionary. It is so English, so London . It will be something to behold.”

Posted Feb 17, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Harold Rogers

Sad news from Robert Lewis, about Harold Rogers. Many North American ringers knew Harold, and his late wife Olive. Harold had continued to lead a vibrant life, continuing to ring peals regularly, until his health started failing about a year ago.

From: Robert Lewis:

I am very sorry to have to tell you that Harold W.Rogers of Isleworth has died, aged 95, today (Friday, 17th February). His son Chris has asked me to pass on the sad news. He tells me that Harold passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning.

Funeral details, once known, will be published in The Ringing World and elsewhere.

Posted Feb 17, 2012 by Don Morrison

Washington Post Column - OPO Bells & Trump

Washington Post column spotlights Trumping of OPOT bells!

Posted Feb 16, 2012 by Lyn Barnett

Update added Feb 17, 2012 by Don Morrison

In the article, Alan Hugues is quoted as saying "I can’t believe that there would be any other change-ringing peals in the world in a hotel." Amusingly, there almost were, and in the US, too! The bells now hung at the Perkins School were originally destined for Boston's Custom House Tower. But there was a furor about putting English bells in an American government building (though presumably really rooted in the conflict between those favoring and disapproving American involvement in what eventually became WWI), and so they found a different home at Perkins. The Custom House Tower has changed owners several times since then, but is now a Marriott Hotel!

Update added Feb 17, 2012 by Don Morrison

That should be "Hughes," not "Hugues." Sadly I can't find any way to edit my own comment and fix it!

Change ringing talk in Spartanburg

Here's a talk about change ringing in Spartanburg, South Carolina. You'll have to scroll down a page or two to get to it. Sadly I suppose this is equally inconvenient for those in Charleston, Atlanta, Hendersonville and Raleigh, but maybe someone can make the drive. Does anyone know Caren Diefenderfer, who doesn't appear to be a NAGCR member?

Posted Feb 15, 2012 by Don Morrison

Update added Feb 16, 2012 by Quilla Roth

I don''t know Dr. Diefenderfer, but she may be the Math professor who co-taught (with Dr. Cline, a Music professor) a January "Short Term" seminar about bells at Hollins University in January 2010. Dr. Cline and several students from the class came up from Roanoke (where Hollins is located) for demos of both the Carillon and the change ringing bells. Hollins has a 47-bell carillon. The seminar hasn't been offered again as best I can tell.

Susan Hodge, whom Dr. Diefenderfer mentions as her connection to change ringing, was Smith '73, so someone at Smith in the early 70s may remember her (I don't recognize the name).

/Quilla Roth

Monmouth and Brecon Canal

While not named in this article, the coordination of the thirty towers ringing was arranged by Nick Jones, who used to ring in Atlanta and Marietta.

Posted Feb 11, 2012 by Don Morrison

Bonnie Armstrong

Bonnie Armstrong died on 3 Febrary, after a long battle with cancer. Bonnie was quite active in ringing in Hingham and Boston in the 1970s and 80s, and rang in the first peal on the bells at The Church of the Advent.

Here's an obituary from the Hingham Journal.

Posted Feb 10, 2012 by Don Morrison

Intriguing news about the Old Post Office in Washington

Intriguing news about the Old Post Office in Washington

Posted Feb 07, 2012 by Don Morrison

Orleans - change of Date!

Due to the annual ringing weekend held in Quebec May 25-28, we have changed the date of the Area Meeting planned here in Orleans at the Church of the Transfiguration. It was scheduled for the 26th and will now be May 12th instead. Hope to see lots of you here!

Posted Feb 01, 2012 by Sister Alicia Mitman

Winter issue of The Clapper now available

Winter issue of The Clapper now available.

Many thanks to Margaret Ketchen for producing this issue.

Click here to open the winter 2012 issue of The Clapper

Posted Jan 31, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman

Change Ringing in Hand in Ontario

News report about change ringing in hand in Ontario:

Posted Jan 23, 2012 by Don Morrison

Campanophile returns!

Campanophile is back!

From Tony Parry: "The e-mail service is restored. It appears that the most recent Microsoft automatic security update managed to prevent the mailserver from restarting properly. Apologies for the prolonged downtown -- I was spending an internet-free week with my family in the UK."

Posted Jan 21, 2012 by Lyn Barnett

Update added Jan 25, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

However, I am unable to submit directly from the NAGCR website.

Update added Jan 25, 2012 by John Danaher

It should work from here:

February Mid-Atlantic area meeting to be held in NYC

Please note that the February 11 Area Meeting venue has been changed from DC to Trinity, NY.

More details on calendar listing.

Posted Jan 17, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Campanophile down; Ringing World launches "BellBoard"

Change-ringers chat list reports Campanophile temporarily down, and launch of "BellBoard" by Ringing World.

Posted Jan 16, 2012 by Lyn Barnett

NAGCR 2012 Calendar of Events

For those members who only get the electronic version of The Clapper you would not have received the green insert. This is the 2012 NAGCR Calendar of Events which is now available for downloading. This can be found in the calendar section of the website.
Posted Jan 07, 2012 by Bruce N Butler

Reminder of The Clapper submission deadline

A reminder! Sunday, January 8, is the deadline for submissions for the Winter 2012 issue of The Clapper. Please send your Area and Event Reports, announcements, QP reports, etc., to .

If the holidays and new year have caught you off guard, please send a heads-up that you'll be forwarding newsletter material, what and when.

Posted Jan 07, 2012 by Madeleine Cheesman and Candace Higginbotham

7-Towers Ringing Festival

UPDATE - 7-TOWERS Ringing Festival APRIL 13-15, 2012

A couple of additional items:

617 South Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-374-9000, 1-800-753-3757,
Rate of US$65.00/night
(For those of you who attended our AGM, recall: NO BAR.)

2 Riverfront Place
North Little Rock, AR 72114
501-371-9000, 1-877-999-3223,
Rate of US$85.95/night
(Good bar - ostensibly convenient shuttle.)

The twenty-something iteration hosted this year by the inimitable Trinity-Little Rock ringers. Depending on the registration/interest, actual ringing will begin with our usual Wednesday (April 11) practice at 6:30 PM continuing through noon Friday (April 13) when the "actual" event begins.

Registration forms are now available at this website, with hard copies coming in the next issue of 'The Clapper.'

In the meantime, feel free to contact Mary Wilson or Porter Brownlee for additional information.

We look forward to seeing you!

Contact: Mary Wilson

Posted Jan 05, 2012 by Porter Brownlee