|Sadly, Peter Luddington, Tower Captain
(centre) passed away on Christmas Day 2004.
bells are of mixed origin, originally a peal of three in a wooden frame
was augmented to five, by the addition of two smaller bells hung in a
frame above, in 1925. Having five bells is a limiting factor in a
sense, especially when one has a dozen youngsters learning - eight or
bells is the norm these days.
is an ancient art, several centuries old, which continues to thrive. We
there to be 40,000 active ringers across the 5000-odd churches in the
with perhaps more than a quarter of a million who have at some time
to learn but then lapsed.
The mechanics of a bell, apart from developments in tuning technology
the advent of ball bearings a century ago, are largely as they were
centuries ago. The bell is attached to a metal headstock which in turn
attached to a large wooden wheel. The five ropes that you see in the
at Campton are attached to the wheels of the bells. The wheel, and
the bell, turns through almost 360 degrees, with the clapper striking
bell as it turns.
been well looked after in recent years and is in excellent general
- the bell installation is not and a major restoration will soon be
if the art is to continue to thrive in the village. In many rural
across the UK, such as in Campton, campanology is an important part of
activity. For example, the Millennium was marked by over 100 bell
project, perhaps aiming for a new ring of bells in a new metal frame,
represent excellent value in the long term - bells have many positive
possess real longevity and permanence (hundreds of years) and modern
require minimal maintenance. The bells remain the enduring outward
of the church in the village.
bells are rung on Sundays from 10.45 to 11.15 for Sunday Service -
no ringing on the fifth Sunday of the month.
We meet to practice every Tuesday evening from 7.15 to 8.30.
Anyone interested is welcome to come along on a practice night.
now have some established young ringers at Campton, with more starting
learn. Recently a new band has also started at Haynes, another Church
our Benefice, so bellringing's future in this area is looking good.
Minimum age to start learning is 9 years old and there is no
upper age limit!
Ringing can be an absorbing activity - we try to make it fun too!
John Loveless, 19A Gravenhurst Road, Campton, Shefford, Beds
SG17 5NY, Tel 01462 819074, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the Bells
Campton Bells Appeal
New Bells Arrive
Listen to the new
Listen to the old
Achievements for Campton Bellringers
This was a great day for these two chaps, to achieve this in your 70's
is quite remarkable.
"Quarter” L-R: Charlotte Smith
(Biggleswade), Ros Keech (Kempston), Terry
Brown (Clifton), Dennis Davis (Campton), Linda
(Campton), Sue Silver
“Quarter” L-R: John Loveless (Campton), Russell
Brown (Clifton), Nick
Brown (Clifton), Barrie
Chris Williams (Flitton), Linda Garton
dedication two years ago, Campton’s new bells have been put to good
use, with regular practices and Sunday Service ringing, training days,
and a number of peals (approx two and a half hours ringing) and quarter
peals. However, none of these quarter peals have been as special as two
rung on Sunday 31st May.
A quarter peal, about 40 minutes non-stop ringing, is a milestone in
anyone’s ringing career, but to ring a first quarter at the first
attempt as a septuagenarian is a real achievement, and for two people
to do this on the same afternoon is even more noteworthy. Dennis Davis
(75) and Barrie Glenn (72) are both loyal members of Campton’s Sunday
Service band. Dennis, who is also registered blind, learnt to ring
about 25 years ago, but only started change ringing relatively
recently. Barrie came along to the launch of the Campton Bells Appeal
back in January 2004, declared an interest in learning to ring, led our
grant application programme and has been hooked ever since!
Regular supporters of Campton’s Tuesday practice were invited to ring
in the quarter peals. Dennis was particularly delighted to find that he
would be ringing with a band of “glamorous girls”! Both quarters were
of a ‘method’ called Plain Bob Doubles, with Dennis ringing in the
first, and Barrie in the second. Both quarters had an audience of wives
and local ringers, who applauded loudly when each quarter came
praise well deserved! The day was rounded off with a celebratory meal
and the odd drink or two at the White Horse in nearby Southill.
Well done Dennis and Barrie! What next?
Belfry News from All Saints, Campton
Since our new bells were dedicated, we have welcomed a number of
visiting bands, most recently from Leeds University and Essex. The
bells were rung as part of an Open Day early in September, raising
£700 for the Biggleswade District Belfry Repair Fund, who gave us
a very generous grant. Over 30 visitors from all over the country
enjoyed lunch at Campton as well as ringing our new bells.
Regular visitors to our weekly Tuesday evening practice are helping our
own band of ringers to make good progress and we are very grateful to
them for their support. Following our Tuesday night practice on October
2, Dean presented certificates to Campton’s younger ringers in
recognition of their contributions to fundraising for the Bells Appeal.
They were also awarded badges (a national progress scheme) to mark
their achievements in ringing. Katie White and Linda Bryant have been
learning to ring since the new bells were installed and are doing well.
We welcome anyone from the age of 11 upwards who is interested in
learning. Come along on a Tuesday evening 7.15 to 8.45 to find out more.
We have rung the bells every Sunday since they were installed. Our most
recent learners will soon be able to join us for service ringing, and
we hope that this will enable us to ring all eight bells every Sunday.
Watch this space for details of more progress over the next few months.
Finally, we look forward to some special ringing to celebrate All
Saints Day in early November and the 60th wedding anniversary of the
Queen and Prince Philip at the end of November.
10th SEPTEMBER 2005
for your Diary
Bell Ringing Exhibition, in which Campton youngsters and adults will be
part, will be held on September 10 at Newbury Racecourse. The Ringing
is a popular event with a wide audience. If you are interested in
out more or want to learn to ring, please contact John Loveless or
Garton on 01462 819074 for information. The team is practising hard.
event is not a bid for the Olympics, but a bid for Campton . Please
it your support.
Bellringers celebrate the start of the school holidays!
On Monday July 25th 2005, Campton bellringers marked the start of
school holidays with a morning's ringing outing to some nearby towers,
Haynes and Southill. Our newest recruits, Tim and Helena Porteous, rang
John or Linda's help for the first time at Haynes, which are easier
to ring than Carnpton, Well done! Once we'd negotiated the ladder to
ringing room at Southill, all of our less experienced ringers did
well on the heavy bells there.
We were joined not only by other local ringers from Clifton, Kempston
Biggleswade, but also by two ringers from a little bit further afield
Hobart, Tasmania! Our friends, Doug and Jane, have just completed a
restoration of the bells at Hobart Cathedral, so we were able to swap
of "Bells Appeal" stories!
Although we picked a damp and drizzly day for our outing, everyone had
a very enjoyable time!
25th JULY 2005
outing for bell ringers was held on Monday July 25, at three churches
Bedfordshire; Flitton, Haynes and Southill. It was encouraging that so
children turned up early on a Monday morning, despite the drizzling
along with visitors from Tasmania who were on holiday in England. The
of St John the Baptist, Flitton is a lovely 500 year old building and
peals rang out over the village at 10am which heralded a good start to
week. At 11.00am, the team arrived at Haynes St Mary’s Church Tower,
to start again.
Instructors Linda Garton and John Loveless, helped the younger members
the group to join in along with experienced hands, giving the whole
a chance to ring. At Southill Church, the ringers plus the adult
entered the bell tower by means of a steep step-ladder and climbed
a trapdoor - a challenging task for Dennis Davis, a blind member of the
team, who never lets anything stop him from taking part. It was a tight
but even so, everyone had a turn to pull on the ropes.
The outing ended with a delicious lunch at the White Horse in Southill
by everyone. An encouraging turnout, despite the fact that many people
gone on holiday. Well done ringers and instructors.
Clean Sweep at Bells Contest!
Bellringers took part in a local Mid Beds bellringing contest
Meppershall Church recently. The team of ringers selected contained
current Bloomfield School pupils all aged under 14 - four of them are
in the same class! The sixth ringer was also an ex-Bloomfield pupil,
it a Bloomfield clean sweep!
l to r - Eleanor Dawson, Natalie Taylor, Lily Farmer, Joe Redman,
Robert Taylor, Nick Brown.
The youngsters all ring at Campton Church and some practice at other
in the area as well. This was the first time any of them had rung in a
contest. The contest was followed by an excellent fish and chip supper
by Meppershall ringers John and Anne Parsons. Our thanks to them and
to the judge, Michael White from Huntingdon. The winning team was
followed by Eaton Socon, Biggleswade and Meppershall.
The verdict for the Campton team was was 'good to see you entering, a
performance but with room for improvement' and the objective for next
is to gain experience and move a few places up the table.
Ringing at Campton continues to flourish. Campton Bells Appeal, which
already raised £40,000 towards a new ring of bells for All
continues to flourish. Some of the youngsters will be on our stand at
Ringing Roadshow at Newbury Racecourse on September 10, which is our
If you are interested in learning more about Campton Bells Appeal, or
like to know more about learning to ring, please contact John Loveless
Linda Garton on 01462 819074.
and Haynes Bellringers Outing
On the morning of February 15th Haynes Village Hall car park resembled
school playground – during half term! Twenty one young bellringers from
and Haynes congregated for a ringing outing, accompanied by mums and
some other young ringers from St Andrew’s Bedford and plenty of
ringers from Campton, Haynes and other parts of Bedfordshire.
Our first tower was Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, a lovely ring of
bells which are easy to ring. For most of the Haynes ringers, this was
first time that they had rung at a different tower, and they all did
well. Of course some of the Campton young ringers are becoming old
at this ‘tower grabbing’
At lunchtime most of us invaded the Kettering Business Park with a
of the gourmet delights of Pizza Hut, Burger King or McDonalds, whilst
enjoyed a picnic in nearby Wicksteed Park.
Our second tower was Warkton, a picture postcard village full of
cottages and a pretty church with interesting monuments to the Montagu
who lived in nearby Boughton House.
Our final tower was Barton Seagrave, whose eight bells are hung
– quite unusual. This is the tower where I learnt to ring (just a
years ago!) and the main attraction for the young ringers (and
was succeeding in identifying me on a photograph taken in 1976!
The ringing over, the young ringers demonstrated their bowling skills
Bedford Megabowl and the grown ups collapsed over a coffee or
The verdict was that it had been a really fun day! Thank you to
the mums, dads and other ringers who came along and made the outing
No doubt we’ll organise another when we’ve recovered from this
Another first for
young Campton Bell-ringers!!
After observing two minutes’ silence on Remembrance Sunday, Campton’s
bell-ringers, Eleanor Dawson, Lily Farmer, Kathryn Hare, and Robert and
Taylor met Simon Thomas from Blue Peter to show him the ropes on the
bells at Haynes Parish Church in preparation for Simon joining the team
ring the twelve bells at St Martin-in-the-Field (in Trafalgar Square)
the end of November.
Filming took seven
hours, which will provide just four minutes of broadcast
footage. The youngsters, along with Will Seear from Haynes, were
ringing and chatting with Simon about their experiences as
Linda Garton, who along with John Loveless has trained the youngsters,
put Simon through his paces and he was able to progress from complete
to ringing his own bell in rounds as part of the team in the space of
Each of the young people (and not so young!) was proudly awarded a Blue
badge and Simon, who was extremely approachable, happily gave signed
to everyone there. They will all meet again to ring at the Christmas
service at St Martin-in-the-Field on 30th November and, at the time of
the broadcast of a feature on bell-ringing is expected on 13th
so set those videos and get the red carpets ready for Linda, John and
young local TV stars!!
details visit http://www.campanophile.co.uk/