A reminder that the branch competition will be held at East Claydon on Saturday 12th May. All towers are encouraged to enter a team (or two!). You do not have to be able to ring fancy methods as this is about the quality of the striking, so good call changes is better than bad bob doubles! Find six people who would like to come out for this fun and sociable afternoon (yes there will be a proper ringers tea) and then decide what you can ring well. If you need any help contact one of the branch officers who can give advice on anything from calling call changes to finding one more person to make up your band.
Having had a break last month because of Holy Week, the new Improvers 8-bell practice is back this month at Stewkley. Joining the normal practice, but with a focus on Stedman Triples and simple Surprise Major, anyone looking to move on from Plain Bob and Grandsire is welcome, but please come having looked at the blue line! Next month will be at Haddenham on 24th May (4th Wednesday)
Saturday 14th April was the date set for the third branch outing to London, again all on foot or using public transport. This year we visited Docklands and Greenwich. 22 people from across the branch, including a good number of younger members, caught trains from three stations but all arrived within five minutes of each other at the first tower, Bermondsey. From here we headed on to Rotherhithe, walking along the Thames path with lovely views back to the city. From Rotherhithe it was a walk to the bus for Greenwich where we had a good long lunch time enjoyed variously picnicking in the park, viewing the sights or just supping pints with lunch. We reconvened at
the entrance to the foot tunnel and walked under the river to the next tower, on the Isle of Dogs then on by way of the DLR to our one 10 bell
tower at Limehouse. Then it was back on the DLR to Shadwell and a short walk to the final tower of the day, St George In the East, before wearily making our way back to the appropriate mainline stations for the journey home. We visited some impressive towers and rang on some very nice bells in a completely different part of London. Although not over complicated the ringing was good, including some very good raises and lowers, Cambridge Major and Grandsire Caters. Many thanks to Jeremy for organising another rinteresting and enjoyable day out.
After best part of a year out of action around the branch, Anne is back and looking for projects to support. Saturday 10th February saw a very successful morning at Winslow where the band had asked for help in securing their Plain Bob Doubles. A good group of helpers from around the branch were able to support a two hour session including looking at raising and lowering. It is a session that the tower would like to repeat for consolidation in a few months. Could this be the type of session that your band needs? Horwood are next on the list!
As you will have seen from the AGM report, we have a new monthly practice focusing on developing more advanced ringing on 8. The first session at Haddenham on Wednesday 28th February will focus on Stedman, Yorkshire and Cambridge, within the normal practice. If you already ring Cambridge Minor or Stedman Doubles this will be an opportunity to move on. For others it will mean revisiting methods not rung for quite some time. Please make sure you have done some homework before you come! There will not be a practice in March as it would fall in Holy Week so the following practice, at Stewkley, will be on Wednesday 25th April.
The CBB AGM was held at Quainton on Saturday 10th February. About 20 members braved the wintery afternoon – well done! There was ringing before the service, then a much needed tea before we retired from the very cold church (the heating system had broken) to the ‘Upper Room’ which was very cosy. The meeting covered all the normal annual business, with reports and accounts all approved. We then had the election of officers. Jan and Rachel had already let everyone know that they would be standing down from their respective posts as Ringing Master and Secretary. They were thanked for the huge amount of work that they have done for the branch, Jan in particular having been Chairman before taking over as Ringing Master. The new post holders, elected without objection, are Darren Washington as Ringing Master and Anne Pratt as Secretary. Anne made it clear that she is covering this post for a year while members think seriously about a new person for the job.
In other business:
The chairman reminded members that the George Edmans Fund is available for loans up to five hundred pounds for work on rings in the branch.
The plans for ringing through the year were distributed and a new sheet for each tower with contact details of the new officers will be available soon. The Chairman was able to update with outline details of the branch outing in April. This year we will be heading to the eastern side of London, focusing on Greenwich and walking under the Thames. Please put a note in your diaries.
The monthly ‘Improvers’ practice at Aylesbury is stopping. Aylesbury need support for learners rather than improvers, so this year we will be holding special practices on the 4th Wednesday of the month for those moving into Stedman Triples and Surprise Major. These will be held in alternate months in Haddenham and Stewkley during their normal practice nights, both towers having bands working at this level. The first of these will be at 7.30 on Wednesday 28th February at Haddenham.
Finally the training officer pointed out that there is plenty of support available in the branch if you need help at your tower, whether with handling, moving into change ringing or ringing quarter please. Please contact her direct for help.
Tuesday 5th, 7:30 until 9pm Aylesbury, Progressing 8 Bell Practice.
Saturday 10th, Quainton, AGM. Day starts with ringing at 2:30.
Wednesday 28th, Haddenham, 8 Bell Improvers
Saturday 10th February, Quainton, ringing 2:30, Service 3:30, Tea 4pm, Meeting starts 5pm.
Progressing 8 Bell Practice at Aylesbury, CANCELLED.
Saturday 13th, Branch Practice, CUDDINGTON, 2:30 until 4pm.