Tower News Archive for 2016
Please send an email to the address given for Ringing/Tower Contact on the Contact Us page if you wish to be informed when updates are made to the news page.
Those people that register will receive a brief email with the web page address of the pages that have been updated
This page will present news about the tower with the most recent at the top of the page
|Current News||News this year|
All images © Andrew Pollock (www.barrowbells.org.uk). To ask permission to use - please see contact us page.
For the first time this millenium, we managed to ring the bells (6 of them) for service on Christmas Day. We were very grateful to Jeg from Millom for joining us. He could not ring his own bells, so kindly offered to help at Dalton and Barrow on Christmas morning (Millom bells out of bounds still while they fix asbestos issues at St George's Millom). It made a big difference to what we could ring, and the standard of ringing was excellent. A proud moment, thanks everyone.
Christmas bells on Christmas EveCrib service (special service for young families)
Our new sweatshirts/hoodies and T-Shirts had arrived and looked great!
There was an open invite to members of the PCC and other visiting ringers and neighbouring towers.
NW Evening Mail Carol Service.
Ringing on all 8 bells with live video feed of bells projected on screen for benefit of packed congregation.
Scout Group Visit
1st Duddon Scout Group visit tower to learn about the bells, see them ring, and have a go!
This visit will use the simulator to simulate the sound of the bells inside the tower on speakers, but will not disturb residents around the church, so that the bells are only audible outside the church on the normal pactice night tomorrow.
The scouts will learn about the restoration project, and how the bells are made and rung, with examples of parts of bells and videos. They will climb the spiral staircase to the ringing room and old belfry to see the size of the bells and watch them (up to 621Kg and over 1m wide across the mouth of the bell) swing full circle, if almost silently. They will also be given an [optional] opportunity to ring a bell with supervision and tuition from an experienced ringer.
Jeff (Jeffrey) Turner, of Myrtle Terrace, Dalton-in-Furness passed away peacefully aged 69 years
Ringer at Barrow and Dalton-in-Furness, LACR member attached to Barrow from 1972. Father was Tommy Turner (tower captain at Dalton?) and sister Murial Short.
Funeral service at St Mary's Dalton-in-Furness at 12.15 on Wednesday 7th December
Dalton Tower Meal at the Red Lion
Branch Training Day (plain hunt/treble bob) at Flookburgh
Very well attended (both students and helpers) hunting course at Flookburgh.
Plain hunt, trebling to grandsire and even some treble bob
Dalton Tower Outing
See also Jo Sweeney's photo blog for more photos.
HERITAGE OPEN DAY 2016
Our Saturday morning volunteers included Beryl, Paula and Alan from Ulverston; Jo, Clarissa, Gwyn and me from Barrow; Jonny from Dalton; and Andrew Deakin from www.octopuscollective.org looking after the handbells.
The Sunday team welcomed Helen, Margaret and Hilary from Kendal; Phil, Owen, Jacqueline, Carl & Rachel with their whole family! from Dalton; Jo, Clarissa, me and the youngsters from Barrow (Cameron and Iwan), and help from Iwan’s parents Graham and Anne-Marie.
Over the weekend we had about 30 or so visitors (including a dozen or more youngsters) that came for the full tower tour. It was great to see Dawn Roberts – a Barrow ringer that learned as a teenager in the 90’s but had not rung since before the millennium. Dawn rang a bell again without any problems, and commented how easy they are to ring now compared to before. All the comments on the visitor sheet were exceptionally positive such as ‘wonderful’, ‘enjoyed the tour’, ‘very interesting and informative’, ‘special/fantastic experience’, ‘easy to use’ (ring a bell), ‘never done anything like it before’. I hope one or two consider giving ringing a go sooner or later… you never know!
Thanks to all the volunteers for making the HOD weekend possible including Dorothy, John, Shelagh, and Brenda for helping with refreshments and setting up/and tidying up after and means a great deal to have everyone’s support.
Jo Sweeney has posted another great photo blog, this time titled "Heritage Open Days at St James"
Here are just a selected few photos from Jo and Andy:
Visitors from the University of London Society of Change Ringers (www.ulscr.org.uk)
On good authority there was some very fine ringing, and extremely positive comments about the bells which they enjoyed as much or possibly better than other bells on their tour.
University of London Society of Change Ringers tour group photo
Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Dean Morgan and Claire Moorby.
Wedding Ringing for the marriage of Matthew Gregg and Kate Worrall.
A sudden and brief but fierce storm lead to water coming into the tower again! and so Jo Sweeney is seen here dressed accordingly!
Meandyring#5 - Ulverston
A quick rethink was needed when the Branch Meeting was swapped from Millom to Ulverston due to asbestos discovered at St George's, which has closed the church until they make it safe. So instead of the planned walk around Hodbarrow Nature Reserve (save for another day) we plumped for an easy circular walk clockwise from the Gill past the flanks of Flan Hill and Out Rake Plantation to Hoad Hill and the Sir John Barrow Monument, and finally down to Ford Park and the church of St Mary's.
Jo Sweeney's photo/walking blog has a full set of photos from the day at Bell Ringers’ Walk up The Hoad, but here are some other photos...
Tower open day is now on HOD national website!
Coffee and Strawberries!
After Sunday Service Ringing some of the ringers adjourn to relax and enjoy coffee and home-grown strawberries in the flourishing garden of Brendan and Jo Sweeney. Another Sunday we agree to enjoy summer weather and hospitality at Geoff & Ros's garden with miniature railway!
Photos courtesy of Jo Sweeney
Meandyring#4 - Sedbergh to Dent on the Dales Way
Weather was not as promising as previous meandyring, but we met up stoically prepared to walk between the two St Andrew's churches from Sedbergh to Dent.
We were met by Adam Hopkins who opened up the tower, and we were grateful when he stayed on to help out with our ringing - thanks Adam!
Following are a handful of photos from the walk. Click on any to take you to the Flickr album with more photos from this and previous meandyrings
Also look at Jo Sweeney's photo blog from the day at Bell Ringers’ Walk from Sedbergh to Dent
Fire Brigade Called Out
The fire brigade were called out by a concerned member of the public when they saw what appeared to be smoke coming out of the spire late in the evening, and the Fire Brigade attended at about 10.30pm.
In the end, after searching throughout the tower, it was concluded that the smoke was most likely a swarm of bees or other insects, that looked like smoke in the fading daylight.
See the North West Evening Mail article: 'Fire of bees' in Barrow leads to 999 call from concerned member of the public
Trumpington (Cambridge) Ringers Visit on Ringing Tour
Meandyring#3 - Brathay to Hawkshead (via Ambleside and Wray)
On a beautiful sunny day, ringers from St James Barrow and friends (Rosemary & Alan) met up at Brathay (Holy Trinity) for 8.45 in the morning to ring the bells. The tower captain Clive joined us briefly for an early ring, and the ropes needed some adjustment due to sallies being lower because of the warmth and dry weather... no boxes needed today.. and Sue had not one, but two figure of eight knots in her rope. We managed some good call changes, plain hunt, and grandsire. Perhaps we can add more to our repertoire at Sedbergh for the next meandyring in June.
After the ring at Brathay, we set off for our 'cruise' on a launch on Windermere from Ambleside to Wray Castle, so we had an hour to walk a mile and a half while snatching a brief visit to Galava Roman Fort, and buying tickets and ice creams!
The views of the fells from the sun deck were excellent and there were even better views from the elevated position of Wray Castle. The walk was relatively gentle, and the bluebells carpeted many sectins of woodland along the route. Sue purchased a potted Mecanopsis that was on sale at the gatehouse to Wray castle, and a cow stubbornly obstructed our bridge across a small stream at one point!
Our original plan was to eat at the Outgate Inn, but we arrived promptly at 12.30 to find no orders were being taken to 1pm and there was another table who would be served first, so after supping some refreshments we reverted to plan B - to eat in Hawkshead at the Red Lion.
We finished eating about 20 minutes after the branch ringing meeting was supposed to start, although we had not heard the bells... so we joined the other ringers at around 3pm
Jo Sweeney has an excellent photo blog of the day at josweeney.net
The following photos have 'tooltip' captions which will appear when hover cursor over them... for more detail click on the photo to be taken to flickr where you can read the full captions
Ringing for St George's Day Parade
The South West Lakes District of the Scouting Association parades from Ramsden Square in Barrow to St James' church for St George's Day.
Two of our younger ringers are Scouts with the 7th and 17th Barrow Groups, and the tower captain is currently a Scout Group chairperson, so we wanted to ring for the occasion to welcome Scout Groups from across the South West Lakes District as they approached the church. Iwan and Cameron were able to show the skills they have diligently learnt, to ring bells more than 7 times their own weight as part of a team of ringers, including today some visiting ringers from Bardsea and Millom.
The District Commissioner - Eddie Richards - also came along to give his support and encouragement to Iwan, Cameron, and thank everyone for ringing for the parade.
The North West Evening Mail published nearly a full page on p19 of the Wednesday April 27 edition (see here )
Ringers [L-R]: Phil Benn, Geoff Holme, Cameron, Sue Fryer, Ken Parkinson, Iwan, Andy Pollock, Jo Sweeney (not pictured Alan Dewar and Jeg)Geoff should patent the portable hole that he appears to be standing in! :D
Furness & South Lakeland Branch - monthly ringing meeting and ½ yearly AGM
Number of ringers descended on St James, Barrow for ringing meeting, followed by service, and then a ringers tea, and finally the business meeting. Revd Jack Knill Jones put together a special service, and Mark Latimer played the organ. After the service we tuckled into a pretty impressive spread of food, both sweet and savoury. Finally the meeting was held in the Carey room.
LACR Training Day - Basic
Four ringers from St James, Barrow went to Preston/Blackburn area for the LACR Training Day - Alan Jones went to learn touches of plain bob minor, and Cameron Pollock went to learn Plain Hunt. Clarissa and tower captain Andy went as helpers.
An early start and we had gathered by 7.30am and set off a few minutes later, and arrived precisely at 9am at Hoghton
The plain hunt group (Group A) was at All Saints, Houghton for the morning session. This was handy (no travel and extended session) but a few of the bells were light set and a couple had springy ropes, so this made it difficult at the start for the students to concentrate and focus on plain hunt. There were only just enough helpers, with six including Martin Daniels (tutor) until half way through and then helpers were reduced to 5.
Lunch was provided in the £6.50 cost, and was meat and potato pie and pickled cabbage & buttered roll, with fruit pie and cream to follow
Afternoon session was at Immanuel, Oswaldtwistle and after we went to the wrong church on New Lane to start with (Holy Trinity), we heard the bells in the distance and walked a further ½ mile to the correct church. These bells were a little bit easier.
We gained an extra student but all the learners made good progress and most ended with an attempt at trebling to Grandsire doubles. Cameron also learnt to cover behind and rang the tenor for nearly an hour while 7 students had a go at trebling. Very impressed.
It was also tiring for the helpers because they were all needed for all rings, and there was no opportunity for a rest once in a while. It was all worthwhile with the progress being made.
Group C with Alan concentrated on plain bob doubles and minor. Alan thought the training course was very good, Jean Barnes controlled the team excellently and kept everyones noses to the grindstone. The helpers had little chance for a rest. Alan's first touch found him unaffected (causing some mirth with helpers) but subsequent touches had him running in and out to bob's. Only one attempt to 'make' the bob, and no time to try singles, so overall group C made progress, but perhaps it was not quite as successful for all the students as it could have been (especially those that had prepared and were wanting both bob and singles in touches of plain bob minor).
At 5pm twenty people gathered at The Crown in North Scale, Walney Island for the tower meal.
Generally the food was excellent, and well priced, although there were a few errors with the orders - but these were corrected, and one Szechuan chicken with noodles and fresh chillies which had rather too many noodles and no fresh chillies.
There was rather too much noise and hubbub to make a brief speech so here is a summary of the year:
Another eventful year, with everyone making great progress.
Sadly Robbie has not rung with us this year, Hilary Dean stopped in the Autumn, and Geoff Holme is missed but we all hope he may re-join us and focus just on ringing at Barrow in the near future.
Notable events over the year were entering two teams in the striking competition in Millom, but even more significantly Jo Sweeney’s first quarter peal, and Andy Pollock’s first peal as conductor.
There have been some sad days too…. Freda Standish (daughter of Fred C Limb a Barrow ringer in years gone by) passed away in April 2015, and then Mona Tomlinson churchwarden passed away in July, and then just recently both Allan Johnson (lay reader) and Alan Bagnall (son of Jack Bagnall tower captain) passed away on the same weekend in February.
On happier note we have welcomed our new vicar Jack Knill-Jones and his family, and welcomed Jennie Dennett from BBC Radio Cumbria to illuminate the public on how bells can kill but are an alternative to zumba!... perhaps another thread from the recent ‘ringing is a sport’ newsline.
There have been some good social events with Meandyrings from Brathay to Chapel Stile, and Hawkshead to Bowness, and BBQ at Andy Painter’s man-shed! We’ve also joined in Dalton Tower Outing and Tower Meal. Jo’s blog always seems to capture some good photos in addition to her wonderful fellwalking galleries.
Look forward to more social events in 2016/17 and excited about prospect of ringing progress over the next year. There will be a recruitment drive and open day linked with the Heritage Open Day on September 10/11 to look for a couple of new recruits to feed in with our more established and experienced band to help them make good progress and expand our band of merry ringers.
Thanks everyone, and here’s to more fun and ringing!
Tower Training Day (plain hunt)
Training session from 2pm to 4pm for our own ringers and guests wishing to master plain hunt, at St James the Great, Barrow-in-Furness.
Thank you to Owen, AlanD, AlanJ, Clarissa, and Jo for helping to give Iwan, Cameron, Paula, Beryl, consolidate what they learned in the morning, and for Ken and Phil to have opportunities to learn plain hunt. The progress bodes well for the future of the ringing at St James and Ulverston.
Branch Training Day (plain hunt)
Training session from 10am to noon for learners wishing to master plain hunt, at St John the Baptist church in Flookburgh.
Two of our young ringers, Iwan Cotgreave and Cameron Pollock take part and end the session ringing plain hunt on second to grandsire doubles, and trebling to plain bob minor. Well Done!
View over Lake District as set off from Barrow for the Branch training day at Flookburgh
|Wednesday||24||Ringing for the funeral of William Allan Johnson.
Allan was the Lay Reader at St James, born 22 December 1941 and passed away after a battle with cancer on 14th February 2016.
The bells were rung half muffled before the funeral, and again after the service but 'open' in thanksgiving and celebration of his life.
Our thoughts and prayers are with him in a better place, and with all who know him and are left behind; we hope his passion for Barrow AFC is rewarded even after he is able to watch in person, and we remember his humour he shared with us all during services and PCC, and his general outlook on life. Finally we hope he was able to hear us ring for him, and was with us in spirit in both tower and congregation. May God bless Allan.
Passing of Allan and Alan
Sad news that our Lay Reader - Allan Johnson; and Alan Bagnall the son of former tower captain (Jack Bagnall) both passed away today.
Candlemas service ringing
St James annually has a candle-light procession from the church through Hindpool
Candlemas celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, 40 days after birth.
The bells were rung for half an hour as people gathered in preparation for the procession, and during the procession, ending when the procession returned to the church for the service
Go to News from 2015