Articles By SMG Webmaster

Molly Barron – RIP

Molly P Barron died on 21 November 2020.

Molly was a ringer at King’s Norton for many years and will be deeply missed in the parish. She was probably the last survivor of the band which learned to ring at Kings Norton in 1945. 

Online training session 25 November 2020: Bellringing and elections in the West Midlands

On Wednesday 25 November at 7pm, Gareth Davies returns to speak to us about the role ringing has played in civic affairs – especially in elections around the West Midlands.


Future dates…

Wednesday 25 November at 7pm. Gareth Davies: Bellringing and elections in the West Midlands

Wednesday 2 December at 7pm. David Pipe: Exploring Treble Dodging Minor

Wednesday 9 December at 7pm. Haley Barnet and Mark Bell: The Secrets of the 12 Bell Contest

Wednesday 16 December at 7pm. Simon Linford: Long length ringing: the story of 100 Spliced

Online training session 18 November 2020: ART and post-pandemic ringing

On Wednesday 18 November at 7pm we will be joined by Lesley Belcher and David Sparling who will discuss the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) in relation to the future and post-pandemic ringing.

ART has been instrumental in developing teaching in recent years. The St Martin’s Guild and the Birmingham School of Ringing follow the curriculum of ART. Lesley and David will also be introducing their initial thoughts on how ART will be supporting the return to ringing.

Please sign up by 8pm on Tuesday 17 November: 
https://forms.gle/Q4kUbjDejtoMV2MJA


Future dates…

Wednesday 18 November at 7pm. Lesley Belcher and David Sparling: Association of Ringing Teachers: their approach to a return to ringing

Wednesday 25 November at 7pm. Gareth Davies: Bellringing and elections in the West Midlands

Wednesday 2 December at 7pm. David Pipe: Exploring Treble Bob Minor

Wednesday 9 December at 7pm. Haley Barnet and Mark Bell: The Secrets of the 12 Bell Contest

Online training session 11 November 2020: The Rolls of Honour

On Wednesday 11 November at 7pm, Alan Regin will deliver a talk for Remembrance Day. Alan will focus on his work as Steward of the Rolls of Honour, giving us an opportune time of reflection for the ringers who have sacrificed their lives in war.


Future dates…

Wednesday 11 November at 7pm. Alan Regin: Ringing Remembers

Wednesday 18 November at 7pm. Lesley Belcher and David Sparling: Association of Ringing Teachers: their approach to a return to ringing

Wednesday 25 November at 7pm. Gareth Davies: Bellringing and elections in the West Midlands

Wednesday 2 December at 7pm. David Pipe: Exploring Treble Bob Minor

Wednesday 9 December at 7pm. Haley Barnet and Mark Bell: The Secrets of the 12 Bell Contest

Online training session 4 November 2020: Safeguarding in our towers

On Wednesday 4 November at 7pm we are hosting the next of our joint talks with the Central Council. Dave Bassford and Ann White will be joining us to discuss safeguarding in our towers. This talk does require you to pre-register by filling in this simple form: https://forms.gle/DisyzPbc5UDDubfV9


Future dates…

Wednesday 4 November at 7pm. Dave Bassford and Ann White: Safeguarding in our towers

Wednesday 11 November at 7pm. Alan Regin: Ringing Remembers

Wednesday 18 November at 7pm. Lesley Belcher and David Sparling: Association of Ringing Teachers: their approach to a return to ringing

Wednesday 25 November at 7pm. Gareth Davies: Bellringing and elections in the West Midlands

Wednesday 2 December at 7pm. David Pipe: Exploring Treble Bob Minor

Wednesday 9 December at 7pm. Haley Barnet and Mark Bell: The Secrets of the 12 Bell Contest

Covid-19 update

The latest statement from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) regarding ringing in areas under Tiers 2 and 3 restrictions can be found here. As with previous statements, the St Martin’s Guild Standing Committee strongly advises you to read and digest this information.

Covid-19 update: Tier 2 and 3 regulations

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) has issued a statement which specifically addresses the Tier 2 regulations those of us in the Birmingham area are now subject to. The St Martin’s Guild Standing Committee strongly advises you to read and digest this information. Our interpretation is that we should avoid meeting any other households (outside of support bubbles) indoors.

When one considers the letter, spirit and intention behind these regulations, it has clear implications for all indoor ringing activities. As the President of the CCCBR writes in the statement referred to above, we should show leadership by keeping people safe.

Online training session: Public Relations

On Wednesday 30 September at 7pm, Vicki Chapman will be joining us to discuss issues around Public Relations in ringing and in our towers.

If you’d like to join us, but haven’t yet received the Zoom login details, please email the Ringing Master.

Future dates…

Wednesday 7 October at 7pm. In Conversation with John Anderson (Part 2)

Wednesday 14 October at 7pm. Jon Bint: Devon Call Changes

Wednesday 21 October at 7pm. Richard Pullin: Birmingham composers and their entertaining rivalry

Wednesday 28 October at 7pm. John Loveless: ‘Shake my hand and I’ll show you the ropes’ – a biography of George Pipe

Online training sessions: September and October 2020

On Wednesday 23 September at 7pm, John Anderson will be joining us for a conversation reminiscing about the history of Birmingham ringers and ringing.

If you’d like to join us, but haven’t yet received the Zoom login details, please email the Ringing Master.

Future dates…

Wednesday 30 September at 7pm. Vicki Chapman: how can we improve Public Relations in ringing and in our towers?

Wednesday 7 October at 7pm. In Conversation with John Anderson (Part 2)

Wednesday 14 October at 7pm. Jon Bint: Devon Call Changes

Wednesday 21 October at 7pm. Richard Pullin: Birmingham composers and their entertaining rivalry

Wednesday 28 October at 7pm. John Loveless: ‘Shake my hand and I’ll show you the ropes’ – a biography of George Pipe

Save the dates! October 2020 business meeting and 2021 AGM

Future dates for your diaries:

Saturday 3 October (10am onwards)
Business Meeting combined with a social event.  As we would normally have held some sort of challenge event alongside the Business Meeting, we are cooking up a plan for some alternative fun activity that we can carry out online.

Saturday 9 January 2021 Annual General Meeting (10am onwards)
At this stage we are assuming that this AGM may also need to take place online, although guidelines may change in the meantime.

We will send out further details of the agenda nearer the time as well as opportunities to send us any questions or issues to be raised at the meetings. 

Online training sessions: Wed 22 July and Wed 29 July 2020


Wednesday 22 July 2020 7pm: A History of Birmingham’s bells

This session will be led by Chris Pickford.


Wednesday 29 July 2020 7pm: An Introduction to Composing (Part 2)

Part 2 of John Warboys’ Introduction to Composing.

John has compiled a quiz, based on Part 1, which you can complete via this form. Be warned – it is tricky and certainly needs time and focus, but don’t let that put you off! John has also put together a PDF of his presentation and this, along with the recording of Part 1, can be found here.


How can I attend these sessions?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Online training sessions: week commencing 13 July 2020


Wednesday 15 July 2020 7pm: How to ring big bells

Julia Cater will lead this session and is keen to emphasise that her talk is relevant to all, especially those of us who may not be familiar with ringing heavy bells or believe that we can’t do it.


Saturday 18 July 2020 10am: St Clement’s and Double Oxford Minor

David Smith will lead this session focusing on the methods St Clement’s and Double Oxford Minor.


How can I attend these sessions?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Online training session: an introduction to composing

The training session scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020 will be led by John Warboys. The talk has been specifically designed as an introduction to composition for all.


How can I attend this session?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Online training session: Handbell Ringing

With the easing of lockdown and the possibility of handbell ringing, now is an excellent time to re-visit those skills. On Wednesday 1 July 2020, at 7pm, we’re delighted that Tina Stoecklin and Simon Gay will be presenting to the Guild. They recently published a book titled “Change-Ringing on Handbells: Volume 1: Basic Techniques”


How can I attend this session?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Photography competition

Instead of the usual walking and ringing tour on Saturday 11 July 2020, we want to set you a challenge – to take the most interesting photos of your walks between now and what would have been our annual walking tour.

At 10am on Saturday 11 July 2020, we will showcase your photos and winners will be selected by our friendly panel of judges. There are three categories, with certificates awarded for winners in each category. Entries may be in colour or monochrome, and there will also be recognition for best overall monochrome photo. There will be an adult and child competition. So there is plenty of opportunity to win!

  • Photos should only be taken between now and the final entry time, which is noon on Tuesday 7 July 2020
  • Participants may enter as many categories as they wish, but only one photo per category.
  • Photos would be uploaded to Flickr. We can copyright photographs if you wish and the Guild Flickr account is private to members.
  • There is no need to anonymise entries and participation is free
  • Please email entries to smgcbr@gmail.com with the category you are entering the subject line. Entering a photograph gives us permission to upload it to the Guild Flickr account. We will not be anonymising entries on Flickr.
  • See below details for the online results, at 10am on Saturday 11 July 2020.

Judging panel: Michael, Vicky and Elizabeth Wilby and Gill and Richard Postill

Competition categories:
1) Best photo of a church
2) Funniest photo (can include selfies)
3) A landscape depicting English summertime

Zoom details:
10am, on Saturday 11 July 2020 for the competition showcase and Quiz led by Clare. Zoom login details have already been sent to those subscribed to the Guild mailing list, or can be obtained by emailing smgcbr@gmail.com

Online training sessions: week commencing 15 June 2020


Wednesday 17 June 2020 7pm: What would ‘Trip Advisor’ say about your tower?

Session, delivered by Alison Hodge, focusing on “What would Trip Adviser say about your tower?”. This looks to be a useful and engaging discussion. Please forward to anyone else you think may be interested, especially those with responsibilities for towers. You may wish to bring a pen and paper, as this session will be not recorded nor resources uploaded.


Saturday 20 June 2020 10am: Ringing Room session

Saturday’s school session will be changing focus. Clare will be running Ringing Room with interested individuals. We will see how this goes and potentially look to expand in future weeks.


How can I attend these sessions?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Online training sessions: tower stewardship

Our next two online training sessions will be of particular interest to Tower Captains, Steeple keepers and others with responsibility for their tower. Please share this with anyone you think may be interested.


Saturday 13 June 2020 10am

Jonathan Townsend will lead us on considerations for tower safety, including thinking about when ringing may resume.


Wednesday 17 June 2020 7pm

Wednesday: Alison Hodge will lead us on how Trip Advisor may rate and review our towers. 


How can I attend these sessions?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

Online training sessions: week commencing 8 June 2020


Wednesday 10 June 2020 7pm: Stedman Part II

Mark will present a follow up to last week’s training, the session will begin by going through the answers to the below quiz. If you could try and complete it before Wednesday, it’ll give us a chance to see areas that people still need support on. We also know that going through answers to questions helps to consolidate our understanding.

All of the answers are available in David’s presentation/powerpoint from last week’s session. This is available on the Guild website under ‘Teaching and Resources’. The quiz link is here – good luck!


Saturday 13 June 2020 10am: Tower Stewardship

Jonathan will deliver a session on tower stewardship and considerations for bands moving forward from the current situation.


How can I attend these sessions?

Those signed up to the Guild mailing list will receive an email with Zoom Meeting IDs and passwords. If you have not received an email, and would like to attend, please contact the Guild Ringing Master.

‘Bake Off’ competition and Business Meeting – 16 May 2020

Although we are unable to host our 6 bell contest on the above date, we will instead hold a Business Meeting with results of a Bake Off Competition at the top of the meeting.  

For your diaries, the meeting will take place from 3pm on Saturday 16 May 2020. An agenda will be sent out nearer the time. The meeting will take place on zoom. Anyone who would like to use this but needs help can contact the Guild Officers to learn how.