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Tower News Archive for 2016

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This page will present news about the tower with the most recent at the top of the page

Current News News this year
2016 Archive
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Earlier Archive
2015  2014  2013  2012  2011

All images © Andrew Pollock (www.barrowbells.org.uk). To ask permission to use - please see contact us page.


December 2016



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 Eve

Crib service (special service for young families)

Our new sweatshirts/hoodies and T-Shirts had arrived and looked great!


Iwan, Cameron, Martin, Owen, Andy, Alan, Clarissa, Ken and Jo.

See the full size originals and more at Jo Sweeney photo blog

There was an open invite to members of the PCC and other visiting ringers and neighbouring towers.
Revd. Jack Knill-Jones joined us before the ringing, where we all relaxed and enjoyed mince pies, Christmas cake, shortbread, warm mulled fruit punch! YUMMY!


NW Evening Mail Carol Service.

Ringing on all 8 bells with live video feed of bells projected on screen for benefit of packed congregation.
Thanks to support from Owen, Martin and Alan and all our local ringers. We had 10 ringers - great! and positive feedback.

November 2016


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.

Photo gallery is maintained by the Scout Group (click on photo below)


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

Phil and Keith
Phil and Keith
Jeg from millom wears bowtie and red jacket, toasts his meal with beer
Jeg from Millom
Lillian has her eye on Carl's dinner.
Lillian has her eye on Carl's dinner.
Cameron and Andy
Cameron and Andy
Margaret Taylor celebrates a special birthday
Margaret Taylor
celebrates a special birthday!
Jacqueline says a few words for Dorothy
Jacqueline says a few words of thanks to Dorothy on behalf of
the Dalton ringers and everyone who has rung with Dorothy.
Dorothy is presented with flowers from Dalton ringers.
Dorothy is presented with flowers from Dalton ringers.

Branch Training Day (plain hunt/treble bob) at Flookburgh

Good attendance in ringing room at Flookburgh for training course.
Very well attended (both students and helpers) hunting course at Flookburgh.
Plain hunt, trebling to grandsire and even some treble bob

October 2016


Dalton Tower Outing

Church of St Leonard the Less, Samlesbury
First tower of the day
Church of St Leonard the Less, Samlesbury
Owen and Keith arrive ready to ring
Owen and Keith arrive.
8 bells (tenor 19-1-10 Taylors)
8 bells (tenor 19-1-10 Taylors)
Ribchester, St Wilfred (11-3-4 Thomas II Mears + Whitechapel)
Tower two of the day:
Ribchester, St Wilfred (11-3-4 Thomas II Mears + Whitechapel)
Late autumn colour in the churchyard
Late autumn colour
in the churchyard
Six bells, Barrow ringers Ken Parkinson sits and watches Jo Sweeney concentrating on her ringing (centre)
Six bells, Barrow ringers Ken Parkinson sits and watches while
Jo Sweeney concentrates on her ringing (centre)

Rob Chapman & Garstang ringers, with Iwan and Cameron from Barrow.
Rob Chapman & Garstang ringers,
with Iwan and Cameron from Barrow.
Lunch at The Black Horse, Pimlico
Lunch at
The Black Horse, Pimlico
Margaret, Jaqueline, Bill, Owen and Jeg Carl, Keith, Anne, Alan, Ian
Missing Stan, so Keith made a short speech on his behalf Nick Harrop, Rosemary Spencer, and Carl Hallows
Montage of lunch photos.
St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe
Tower three of the day:
St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe
Iwan and Ken ringing
Iwan and Ken ringing
Iwan demonstrates the fate of a wispa choc bar if you put it in trouser pocket while ring for an hour!
Iwan demonstrates the fate of a wispa choc bar
if you put it in trouser pocket while ring for an hour!

6 bells at St Helen, Waddington (7-3-16)
Final tower of the day:
6 bells at St Helen, Waddington (7-3-16 Taylors)
Ground floor ring of 6 bells
Ground floor ring of 6 bells
Pubic gardens alongside river near church in Waddington
Pubic gardens alongside river near church in Waddington

See also Jo Sweeney's photo blog for more photos.

St Michael's church, Workington

Andy Pollock and Jo Sweeney attend the ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) Module 1 one-day course for teaching bell-handling at St Michael's church in Workington.

The course was very interesting and was a good mix of theory and practical sessions, ably led by Judith Frye from Dunblane. There were ringers from across Cumbria - North, East, South and West, young and old(er), and a broad range of experience of teaching from none to years!

The course approached teaching bell handling in smaller steps and with a number of techniques, and there were some techniques that seemed particularly useful and straightforward. There was time to discuss common handling faults and how to try and correct them. There was an information pack - Teaching Tips book, Log book, Learning the Ropes materials and several sheets and leaflets.

The proof of how helpful the course has been will be when Andy and Jo put what we have learnt into practice with a new learner. I will try and find a guinea pig in the new year - volunteers welcome!

Chris De Cordova and Judith Frye demonstrating to class Chris De Cordova and Judith Frye demonstrating to class Chris De Cordova demonstrating to class

September 2016

Saturday (AM)
10 & 11


St James has taken part in the national Heritage Open Day (HOD) scheme before, but this year the bellringers jumped at the opportunity because there was a special ‘Challenge 500’ event. The aim was to open up the heritage hidden inside over 500 of England's bell towers to bring to life the 400-year old tradition of English-style bell ringing, and also to get as many towers involved to ring at the same time for an hour on the Thursday before. Early involvement gave St James prominence with a feature on their website as one of just 4 highlighted towers nationally, and a FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT - Barrow Bells, St James Church feature which we were very pleased with.

The weekend arrived and Andy Pollock and his wife Jo spent 2.5 hours on Friday Evening cleaning up the tower from top to bottom and setting up for the open day sessions on Saturday Morning and Sunday Afternoon, followed by 4 hours overnight dealing with a burst pipe at home, 3 hours sleep and then finish setting up for 10am start!

The open days had Handbells on show, rope splicing (Jonny/Owen), tower tours, restoration video, displays, photos, 1877 log book, bell-parts on show, handouts, quiz sheets, bell-frame wood turned souvenirs, and refreshments.

Each open session began with an hour general ringing as an opportunity for the volunteers to grab a ring or two, and visitors to listen and watch on the live video feed.

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:

Group of visitors on tower tour listen to Andy giving talk and using old bell parts to explain
Andy Pollock stands behind parts salvaged from old bells to introduce a group of visitors to
explanation of history and engineering behind English style bell ringing. [photo c/o: Jo Sweeney]
Splicing ropes activity with Owen
Owen Osmotherley splices ropes
for activity stall in church.
Iwan and Cameron look at handbells from 1870
Iwan and Cameron look and try some handbells.
Visitors ring a church bell Visitors ring a church bell Visitors ring a church bell Visitors ring a church bell Visitors ring a church bell Visitors ring a church bell


The Central Council (of Church Bell-Ringers) had joined forces with Heritage Open Day (HOD) scheme to devise and promote a special ‘Challenge 500’ event. The aim was to open up the heritage hidden inside over 500 of England's bell towers to bring to life the 400-year old tradition of English-style bell ringing, and also to get as many towers involved to ring at the same time for an hour on the Thursday before.

So local ringers from towers in Furness came together to ring as part of national promotion of the heritage in Bell Towers across the nation.

Dennis Ellisdon (who learned to ring at Barrow and generously sponsored our bell restoration) took a detour on the way to his Scottish fishing trip and join ringers from Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow for a quarter peal.
The standard of ringing was good, although moderately sedate – taking 50 minutes to successfully complete – wahey!
Thanks to everyone for ringing so well and making the conductor’s job easier

There were 37 recorded performances as part of the Challenge 500 even (with many more presumably unrecorded or simply ringing/open towers)

Back Row [L-R]: Jo, Jacqueline, Owen, Jonny; Front Row [L-R]: Dennis, Linda, Clarissa, Andy.
St James the Great, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Thursday, 8 September 2016 in 50 mins (12-0-24)
1260 Grandsire Triples
1Linda Marshall
2Jacqueline Preston
3Owen B Osmotherley
4Clarissa J. E. Caroe
5Dennis Ellisdon
6Jon Bamford
7J Andrew Pollock (C)
8Jo Sweeney
Rung for the special Challenge 500 collective ringing event for Heritage Open Days 2016


Repeat Twice

August 2016


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
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!

Jo Sweeney - soggy ringing 3rd
Jo Sweeney - suffering water ingress while ringing 3rd
Wedding Ringers
Wedding Ringers: Frazer Smith, Jo Sweeney, Beryl Jefferson, Clarissa Caroe,
Alan Jones, Gwyn Murfet, and Ken Parkinson, (and Sue Fryer taking photo).

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...

Group photo of walkers outside St Mary's church, Ulverston
The obligatory group photo at the start of the walk outside St Mary's, Ulverston.
[L-R] Andy Pollock, Jo Sweeney, Alan Dewar, Cameron, Jason, Jo Pollock
Waterfall/weir below Flan Hill
Waterfall/weir below Flan Hill
Railway in garden next to Out Rake Plantation
Railway in garden next to Out Rake Plantation
View of the St John Barrow monument on top of Hoad Hill
View of the St John Barrow monument on top of Hoad Hill
View from Hoad Hill to Heysham Power Station and Bardsea
View from Hoad Hill to Heysham Power Station (left distance), and Bardsea (right)
Group picture at top of Hoad Hill
[L-R] Jo Pollock, Jo Sweeney, Cameron, Jason, Alan Dewar
by flagpole near top of Hoad Hill
Sir John Barrow Monument
Sir John Barrow monument
was not open unfortunately.
heading downhill
heading downhill.
enjoying treat from Ford Park cafe
Jane and Alan Dewar, with Jo Sweeney enjoying treat from Ford Park cafe.
Ford Park Cafe
Ford Park Cafe.
Ford Park Gardens
Ford Park Gardens (quick photo before wedding party took it over)
Fun in the playground
Fun in the playground.
Jo Sweeney on zip-wire Jo Sweeney concentrates
One minute larking about, next concentration!
Ulverston ringing room
Cameron trebles to first touch of grandsire (Clarissa stands by)
Anne, Sue, Dave, Jeg, Hilary ring bells 2 to 6.
Branch Meeting at St Mary's, Ulverston
St Mary's church, Ulverston
St Mary's church, Ulverston.

June 2016


Tower open day is now on HOD national website!

Website: www.heritageopendays.org.uk and direct link to event: Barrow Bells - Up Close and Larger Than Life


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

Phil, Jo, Andy, Geoff sit around garden table enjoying strawberries and coffee
Phil Benn, Jo Sweeney, Andy Pollock, Geoff Holme
Phil, Sue, Andy, Geoff sit around garden table enjoying strawberries and coffee
Phil Benn, Sue Fryer, Andy Pollock, Geoff Holme

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 Google photo album with more photos from this meandyring

Group photo of ringers in ringing room at St Andrew's, Sedbergh
The ringers group photo by Adam Hopkins who kindly helped us to ring more (thanks Adam).
[L-R] Martin, Cameron, Sue, Ken, Andy, Helen, Rosemary, Jo
Ringers, families and friends crossing the stone bridge over the river Rawthey near Sedbergh Near top of short rise out of Sedbergh on the Dales Way, hills in background, walkers in waterproofs, low cloud and drizzle
Walkers looking a bit wet and bedraggled but still smiling as walk through field with lots of bistort flowers Lads demolish large platefuls of gammon and fish at the Sun Inn

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

Photo of Trumpingtong bell-ringers in sunshine outside St James' tower
Including familiar faces of Patrick and Ali Brookes and June Kendall
Looks like they were blessed with good weather!

May 2016


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

Photo of Holy Trinity church Brathay from South  Photo of ringers at Holy Trinity church Brathay  Photo of River Brathay  Photo footbridge crossing the River Rothay  Photo of small figure (Jo Sweeney) crossing field toward mature tree close to Galava Roman Fort  Photo of Jo stood on top of style over fence surrounding Galava Roman Fort  View North from Galava Roman Fort to Fairfield Horseshoe  Path between Roman Fort and jetty  View of calm waters of Windermere on North Shore looking South  Alan Dewar on jetty boarding our launch, with ice cream in hand  Sue and Jo sat on sun deck of lauch as we cruise between Ambleside and Wray Castle  Similar boat passes us in opposite direction as we cross Windermere  Rosemary  Sue and Jo on sun-deck, with view from lake Windermere looking back toward Fairfield horseshoe  Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the Langdale Pikes from the launch crossing Windermere.  Photo of the boat house and landing stage at Wray Castle  Panorama of the view from Wray Castle, from Bow Fell on the extreme left past Langdale Pikes, Loughrigg, and over to Fairfield.  Jo and Rosemary at edge of woodland undergrowth in the grounds of Wray castle.  Alan admires bluebells with Wray Castle in backdrop  View North East from Wray Castle grounds to Ambleside (spire of St Mary's visible) to Fairfield, Hart and Dove Crags.   Jo, (Rosemary), Cameron, Alan, and Sue stride along the driveway from Wray Castle.  Sue can't resist the lure of a Mecanopsis for sale at Wray castle gatehouse  Cows block ford and bridge over small stream  Photo of South-West end of Blelham Tarn looking South to Latterbarrow  lan, Rosemary and Sue take path for the Outgate  Cameron, Sue, Jo, and Alan pause near the top of Spicka Coppice.  Group photo enjoying refreshments in the Outgate Inn  Alan tries an old hand pump opposite the Outgate Inn  Photo of footpath through bluebell woodland  View South of Hawkshead  Walking through cobbled yard to the Red Lion in Hawkshead  The Red Lion Inn  Group photo inside the Red Lion Inn  Photo of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Hawkshead  Hawkshead church looking to North Eastern Fells in the distance

April 2016


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 )

Photo of DC with Scout ringers in St James ringing room  Photo inside St James packed with Scouting members and leaders.
Photo of St James flying flag of St George.  All the ringers for St George's day parade.

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.

Photo of ringers in St James ringing room  Photo Revd. Jack Knill-Jones  Mark latimer smiles for the camera  the long bench laden with food

March 2016


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

Photo of All Saints, Hoghton  Photo of All Saints, Hoghton, from lych gate

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.

Photo of Immanuel church, Oswaldtwistle  Group photo of helpers and students on the plain hunt group

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).


Tower Meal

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.

Photo of Jane and Alan Dewar  Photo of Alan Jones  Photo of young bellringers at tower dinner  OMD-P3050516  OMD-P3050518  Photo of Val Jones and David Nixon  Photo of David Nixon  Photo of Louise Nixon  Photo of Fish and Chips at The Crown in North Scale, Walney  Photo of Phil Benn  Clarissa, Rachel and Carl  Carl, Owen, and Ken  June and Jean  Photo of Heoff Holme  Photo of Alan Dewar with tall ice cream

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.

  • Ken really is getting to grips with call changes now and starting to look at plain hunt.
  • Phil also ringing call changes well and now tackling plain hunt pretty well.
  • Gwyn has been great help typically ringing tenor but has been known to venture into territory of other bells on occasion.
  • Iwan and Cameron making impressive progress with plain hunt, including today’s training where started to treble to method ringing.
  • Sue and Jo now combine to treble and ring inside to Grandsire Doubles, and Beryl has managed to ring Plain Bob Minor.
  • Alan now looking at Plain Bob Minor with course teaching touches due in a fortnight, and had even dabbled with Stedman
  • The band is strengthened with Andy Pollock, Andy Painter and Clarissa
  • All supported by Owen, Paul, Keith & Anne, Rachel, Jacqueline, Stan, Linda and other visitors who join us from time to time, and we’re very grateful, and really boosts everyone’s 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
View of SW Lake District as leave Barrow
Venue for the Branch Plain Hunt training course 2016:
View of outside St John, Flookburgh in sunshine  view inside Flookburgh ringing room
View of Coniston fells from just North of Holker Hall on Cartmel peninsula
Rural view on sunny day with Coniston snow capped mountains in the distance

February 2016

Wednesday24Ringing 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
and back again for Candlemas service in the church.

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

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