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Society of
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PEAL WEEKEND FOR THE ST MAGNUS THE MARTYR APPEAL
Saturday 17th May, 2007
(Click on pic to enlarge)

Inspired by an initiative admirably executed by Alan Regin in the 1990s to raise money for the appeal at Shoreditch, a peal weekend was organised to raise money for the appeal at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge.  A number of towers were booked for peal attempts, all of which agreed to donate the peal fees to St Magnus, just leaving the organisers with the task of filling as many of the ropes as possible.  A team led by Dickon Love set about making this happen.  Gwen Rogers took on the task of approaching towers and ensuring that arrangements were confirmed and communicated.  David Dearnley had the rather large task of collecting names of volunteer ringers and putting them into practical peal bands with a conductor and method.  In some instances bands of ringers volunteered to ring en bloc, notably the Cambridge University Guild, South Northamptonshire Society and the FODS.  Otherwise individual ringers from all over the county and beyond (including Scotland and Germany) applied  separately, and for once were not placed in peal bands according to the London Society they happened to be a member of.  This mixing of the College Youths and Cumberlands is something that rarely seems to happen and many concluded that it made the weekend that much more enjoyable. 

The first peals took place in the week prior to main weekend, and a number were arranged afterwards, however the main bulk of the peal ringing took place on the Saturday.  Most of the towers in the City of London were involved and there was even a handbell peal in the ringing room at St Magnus itself.  In the evening on the Saturday, many of those taking part gathered in “The Paternoster” which was opened especially.  The atmosphere at the party was superb, and there was general interest as peal bands arrived one by one to celebrate their successes and compare blistered hands. 

Just over 200 ringers took part in the weekend.  30 peals were scored with only 4 losses. The organisers are particularly grateful to all those who took part, to all those towers that agreed to hand over their peal fees, and in particular to those towers and bands who heard about the event and volunteered to join in.  As part of this, we were touched at the support given by two towers on opposite sides of the world: Old North Church Boston rang a quarter peal and forwarded their donation, as did the band at Swan Bells. 

It appears that everyone enjoyed the weekend. A number of people expressed appreciation at ringing with Harold Rogers, himself a former ringer at St Magnus and whose late wife took part in the last three peals on the bells. Financially the weekend was a great success too, and over £5,000 has now been added to the fund. There is still more money to be raised and so anyone who wishes to make a donation to the St Magnus the Martyr Bells Fund are invited to send in cheques to Dickon Love, 10 Wharton Road, Bromley BR1 3LF. We hope that the new bells will be a credit to the City, and to Whitechapel who will be casting and installing them, and we look forward to more ringers’ parties next year when the new bells are dedicated.

Robin Shipp and Hilda Richard A Smith, Karen & Rod Lebon
Alex Pool Andy Bradford, Katie Town, Graham Bradsaw, Mark Humphreys and Ian Fielding
Mark Humphreys shows off his sore hands. Liz Hibbert, Terry Streeter and Paul Mounsey
Heather Kippin, Simon Smith, Mark Esbester and John Thurman. Simon Holden, Master of the Cumberlands, enjoying the company of Claire Dyer and Rhiannon Meredith.
  Richard Inglis and David Rothera
Cathy Hughes-D'Aeth Richard Pearce and Ian Bushell
  The Scottish contingent: Andrew Kelso, Jonathan Frye, William Dawson and Mike Clay.
Colin Parker, Richard A Smith, Leigh Simpson and Matt Dawson. Jill Galloway and Colin Parker.
Brian Meads, Philip Saddleton, Anthea Edwards and the back of David Rothera's head. Dickon Love, the organiser.
Chris Kippin, the Master. Peter Valuks and Jason Hughes.
 
The band which rang the handbell peal at St Magnus: Roger Bailey, Mike Trimm, Peter Blight and Dickon Love, with St Magnus in the background.  

 

 

 

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