Welcome to the main website for the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers

  Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit ... it also makes a glorious sound! 
This website is primarily intended to keep local ringers informed of news and ringing events. We hope other ringers will find the details of towers, practice nights and the ringing programmes useful.

The association is composed of four districts, each with their own website:
and there is a separate website for the Ely DA Young Ringers

The Stretham Ringing Education Centre is now open. More information here
For an introduction to bell ringing, and how to learn to ring, click the bell.

Dates for the Association (larger calendar here)

Here are all the dates for the Association, Districts, Young Ringers and Stretham REC shown as a Google Calendar. A larger calendar (with space for more entries at a time, and options to view a whole week or month) is available here. Use of a Google Calendar is experimental - comments or suggestions to the webmaster (webmaster_at_elyda.org.uk) please. 

See also the ringing programmes for the individual districts: CambridgeElyHuntingdon and Wisbech, for the Stretham REC and for the Young Ringers.

New Ringer's Packs

KODAK Digital Still Camera
  New Ringer's Packs are now available from the Ely DA.

These can be ordered for any new ringer, whether or not they are an Ely DA member. Anyone can order one - tower captains, trainers or simply friends of the new ringer. The packs, which are free, contain informative booklets and leaflets about bell ringing and about the Ely DA.

Please email rats_at_elyda.org.uk to order a New Ringer's Pack.

Ely DA Handbell Day, Saturday 10th December

Alan Winter writes:

This is for anyone who may be interested in the EDA Handbell Day on Saturday December 10th.  I've booked the usual rooms at Christ's College and I'm aiming for the same format ... 
morning session, lunch with a talk, afternoon session, offer of a quarter peal in the months following.  Parking will be available at the college.

Without absolute commitment I would like some idea of who is interested and the sort of thing you would like to ring.  Please send me a brief e-mail to say you're interested, using the title ElyDA Handbell Day _ December 10th. No need to repeat if you've already sent me an e-mail.

For the lunch talk I have invited Albert Cringe to talk about, and demonstrate, tune ringing.  I think also he is willing to lead a workshop during the afternoon session and maybe some who attend that could contribute a carol to the Cambridge District Carol Service (Sawston at 18-30).  If you are dead set agin tunes on bells, don't worry because there will be change ringing during the afternoon as well as the morning.  If you do want to learn about tune ringing then please let me know that soon because there'll be a limit how many Albert can manage.

Victor Hughes, funeral arrangements

Sally Mew, Huntingdon District Secretary, writes:

Some of you will know that Victor Hughes, Sheila George’s father, has been unwell recently and I am sad to tell you that he died last Wednesday, 28th August. 

Victor Hughes, one time ringer at Great Gransden and member of the Association since 1978, died on 28th August. The service to celebrate his life was held on Tuesday 13th September at 11 am at Great Gransden Church followed by interment in Little Gransden Churchyard.  The bells were rung half muffled after the service in church, with to any ringer who wished join in.  Refreshments were served in Little Gransden Village Hall.  Victor was the organist at Great Gransden until his retirement last year and played the organ for monthly meeting services and Association AGM services when they were held there.

RWNYC, 2nd July 2016

Congratulations to the Fen Tigers (Ely DA Young Ringers) who were placed joint second in the Call Changes Category of the Ringing World National Youth Contest in London on Saturday 2nd July.

They rang in the heat at St James, Garlickhythe, and were awarded an A grade; in the final at St Olave, Hart Street, they were awarded an A- which placed them joint second, together with Three Spires (Lichfield and Walsall).

The winners of the Call Changes Category were Young @ Herts Hot Buns, and the winners of the Method Ringing Category, and of the Whitechapel Trophy, were Bedfordshire Young Ringers.

The band was:
Treble Alfie Pipe
2nd John Hinton
3rd Toby Johnson
4th Rachel Frost (C) 
5th Daniel Stevens
6th Ben Edwards
7th Henry Pipe
Tenor Jason Burnett

Full results on the RWNYC website http://rwnyc.ringingworld.co.uk

Ruth Ball

On Sunday 3rd July, Sally Mew reports sad news:
'I have just been informed that Ruth Ball passed away last night.   I do not have any further details but I will let you know as soon as I have information about the funeral.'
On Sunday 10th July, Sally added:
'I understand that Ruth Ball’s cremation will be at Cambridge at 1.00 on Tuesday 19th July and there will be a thanksgiving service at Godmanchester at 2 pm (not at 2.30 pm as announced earlier).'

Brian D Threlfall and Lilian Tan

Richard Smith of the Cambridge University Guild writes:

'I am sorry to have to report that Brian Threlfall died at ten o'clock on Saturday 3rd June at home aged 87. He was Secretary of the Guild in 1948, going on to become Master the following year, and later Senior Treasurer.  He rang 235 peals for the Guild including the Guild's first on twelve tower bells and first of maximus.  He was a regular supporter of Guild events, and particularly of Guild Week, until ill-health prevented it.

I have been informed that there will be a celebration of Brian's life at 14.30 on Saturday 6 August at the Friends Meeting House in Cirencester (53 Thomas Street, GL7 2BA).  All welcome, and it would be helpful if you could let Brian's son David (threlfalldmw_at_gmail.com) know if you intend to be there.  There may be a quarter peal before at Watermoor, so indicate if you would be interested in ringing.'

Alan Winter adds that Brian was a very active member of the Ely DA at Harston and then at Bottisham, and a prolific handbell ringer.  He was the Diocesan Bells Advisor for many years.

Andrew Downs writes:

'I am sorry to pass on the news that Lilian Tan, ringer at Melbourn, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday 7th June.'

Ridgman 10-bell Striking Competition, Daventry, 4th June 2016

The Ely DA band with the trophy
(photo: Odette Dawkins)
  On the glorious ten at Daventry, 4th June 2016, judged by Anne and Jeremy Pratt.

Place Team Rang    Faults
Winner Ely Diocesan Association 6th 21
Second Hertford County Association 7th 32
Third Essex Association 4th 40
Fourth Lincoln Diocesan Guild 6th 42
Fifth Peterborough Diocesan Guild    3rd 62
Sixth Suffolk Guild 2nd 64
Seventh    Bedfordshire Association 1st 68
Jeremy Pratt congratulated all bands on the quality of the ringing and the general advance since he last judged the competition (2011 at Ipswich).

Thanks indeed to the Daventry ringers and authorities, and to Andy Timms as the local organiser.

Full reports and more photos on the Ridgman Trophy website here.
Alan Winter

Thanks to Nick Elks for the YouTube video, featuring the recording and photos provided by Odette Dawkins.

From the Kilifi ringers

Here is a message from John Malala, the secretary of the Kilifi ringers, thanking us for electing them as NRLMs. 

I remember a time like this last year when we were very excited preparing for our trip to UK. I am glad for the Association to have honoured us. We still have the badges that you gave us. This is a nice idea and i believe in future we will make another visit to UK. As we become members i would like to request you to keep on updating us on the news of the Association so we are able to know what is going on. We are planning to have a picnic with all the ringers to celebrate the ringing achievement we have made so far one year since we returned from UK.
Regards from all the ringers.

Best regards, John Malala

Ely DA AGM and Inter-District Striking Competition, Saturday 7th May

The sun shone in Terrington St Clement for the Ely DA Striking competition and AGM on Saturday 7th May. It was warmer outside the church than inside, so very pleasant for those outside listening to the ringing. For the striking competition, there was a full complement of four teams entering, and the Wisbech District were congratulated on providing a band for the competition this year. 

The judges were David and Katharine Salter, and the results were: Wisbech District 4th with 42 faults, Cambridge and Ely joint 2nd with 26 faults and Huntingdon were the winners with 20 faults.

At the AGM, Bruce Mew was elected as the new independent examiner and all the existing officers were re-elected, as listed in the Agenda (here). The nominated General Committee members, Bell Fund Trustees and Central Council representatives were all ratified. Bell fund grants were approved and Catherina Griffiths was ratified as an Honorary member.

Thanks to the Wisbech District for all the arrangements (including the weather), and to Geoff Grayton for the photos (click on a photo to see a larger version).

Photos clockwise from
top left:
* Terrington St Clement
* General ringing
Judges David and Katharine Salter presenting the trophy
to Nick Smith
* The winning Huntingdon
District band

The Ringing World Survey

  The Board of The Ringing World Ltd thinks it essential to have a full, informed consultation with as many ringers as possible, subscribers and non-subscribers, over several possible ways to a sustainable future for the business, by means of a survey.

The survey is now closed. Results are being published in instalments, in the Ringing World itself, and also on the BellBoard website http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk

Stretham Ringing Education Centre - Manager appointed

The Stretham REC Committee is pleased to announce that, at the Committee meeting on Sat 5 Dec 2015, Barbara Le Gallez was appointed as Manager. Congratulations and best wishes to Barbara, who has been acting as Manager since the REC opened in July.

Ely DA Special General Meeting and Quarter Peal Event

A Special General Meeting of the Ely DA was held at Houghton on Saturday 31 October 2015. The main business of the meeting was to ratify Bell Fund grants - £500 to St Neots and £15,400 to Great Catworth.

A number of Quarter Peals were rung during the afternoon and evening, these involved twelve towers and 36 ringers. Attempts ranged from Yorkshire Surprise Major to Plain Bob Doubles (three times, to accommodate different requests) and nine of these were successful. An additional five quarter peals were rung in the area during the day, bringing the total to fourteen successful quarter peals.

Details of all the quarters are on Bellboard, linked to the event here. A photo of the band which rang in Sarah Alexandra's first quarter at Houghton is on the Ely District website.

Official opening of the Stretham REC

Local historian Mike Petty officially opened the Stretham Ringing Education Centre on Saturday 15th August. The occasion was celebrated with speeches, handbells and cake. Thanks to Geoff Grayton for the photos (click on a photo to see a larger version).

Mike Petty cutting the ribbon   A handbell fanfare for the new Stretham REC   Mike Petty cutting the cake

RWNYC - Congratulations to the Ely DA Young Ringers

Barbara Le Gallez writes:
Congratulations to the Ely DA Young Ringers for doing so well at the Ringing World National Youth Contest (RWNYC). Ringing call changes, they achieved a B grade and were placed equal 4th, two grades up from last year's grade of C+, when they were equal 7th. Full results are here.

The chief judge, David Pipe, described the bells at St Thomas' Church, Oxford, as "easy to ring, but hard to ring well". His comment on our piece was: "A steady piece of ringing. Very good treble and tenor. The band were well placed. The judges were slightly frustrated when listening to this band, who they felt could have rung better than they did. There was a very good piece of ringing trying to get out, but it didn't quite shine." Peal speed 3h14 (one of the slower ones).

  The band, in ringing order, was:
Henry Pipe,
John Hinton,
Dorothy Brooke,
Alfie Pipe.
Benjamin Edwards
Rachel Frost (C)
Billy Brooke
Adam Safford
Jason Burnet (reserve and row counter)

The photo shows the band and supporters (click on the photo to see a larger version). More photos here.

Thank you to the parents and other supporters who came to cheer us on. Thank you also to our team coach Alan Winter and also to David Pipe for his helpful comments during our practices. 

The next RWNYC will be on the first Saturday in July, 2nd July, in London, and we hope to ring a method then. The young ringers themselves will be starting to arrange method ringing practices shortly - I will keep you informed of dates and times. Anyone hoping to be in the band next year, please keep the late afternoon / early evening of the Sunday before, Sun 26 June, free for a final practice.

Stretham Ringing Education Centre Open Day

10.00am to 1.00pm Saturday 25 July

Come and see what’s in it for you and your tower!

Whether you are a learner, experienced ringer or Tower captain, you are invited to the EDA’s new Ringing Education Centre at St James’ Church, Stretham to find out about and try the many different learning activities we have on offer.
You can:
  • Improve your listening skills with:
    • “Listen to ringing” CD from CCCBR
    • “Listen to it!” - evaluation copy of the Whiting Society’s latest DVD
  • Try out a bell ringing software package:
    • Beltower - Virtual Belfry - Abel
  • Experience ringing on a tower bell with the simulator providing your supporting band
  • Learn to ring handbells
  • Safely view a bell being rung (escorted visits only)
All these facilities are normally available at the REC, as well as conventional one-to-one teaching with experienced tutors, and can be booked through the Acting Manager, Barbara Le Gallez (details here) . There is usually a charge of £2 per ringer per session for using the Centre.  Charges may be higher for courses.

The Open Day is, however, free of charge. Refreshments will be available and there will be the chance to find out about:
  • The REC’s programme of courses for this year and next.
  • The EDA – how can you benefit from and support the work of the EDA?
  • The Association of Ringing Teachers and their courses – Integrated Teacher Training Scheme and Learning the Ropes – how could these help your learners to progress?
We look forward to seeing you. Stretham is on the A10 between Cambridge and Ely.  If you can’t come to the Open Day, then a visit can be booked for yourself or your group any time you like.

A short report and some photos from the open day are on the Stretham REC page here.

If you have any queries, please contact the Acting Manager, Barbara Le Gallez (details here).

Visit of Kilifi ringers, Friday 26th - Sunday 28th June

Barbara Le Gallez writes:

"The EDA is hosting the visiting ringers from Kilifi, Kenya, from Friday 26 June to Sunday 28 June. Their schedule is here. They are here to become proficient in simple Doubles methods and to learn how to teach the other members of their band. Anyone wishing to ring with the Kilifi visitors would be very welcome, but please could they get in touch with the organiser, Barbara Le Gallez, blegallez_at_yahoo.co.uk , beforehand, so that she knows who is coming.

There is more information on the Whiting Society website http://www.whitingsociety.org.uk/kilifi/kilifi-visit.html "

Central Council meeting, Monday 25th May 2015

The four Central Council representatives for our Association, Philip Bailey, George Bonham, Sue Marsden and Paul Seaman, attended the Central Council meeting in Hull on Monday25th May. Paul's report on the meeting is hereMembers were given the opportunity to participate more than usual, by taking part in group discussions with others from their regions. A report on these discussions, a summary of all the responses and the responses for the group discussion of the Eastern Region, which includes the Ely DA, are all available here. You can find contact details for our four CC reps here, they will all welcome feedback and are happy to answer any questions.

Safeguarding - DBS Certificates

All new DBS certificates can be registered with the government's DBS Update Service. This will enable your DBS certificate to be transferred to another organisation or to different parish within the Ely Diocese. Certificates must be registered within 19 days of issue but the service is free for volunteers and it is an easy process, just go https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service. More details can be found here 

Contact Phillip George, Association Safeguarding Officer, on safeguarding_at_elyda.org.uk for more information.

More photos and reports

More photos and general reports of interest to the Association are here. See also Reports and Education - training events.

St Benet, Cambridge
Cambridge District

Whittlesford bells,
Cambridge District

St Mary, Ely
Ely District

Ringing at Stretham,
Ely District

All Saints, St Ives,
Huntingdon District

photo: John Boocock
Gamlingay ropes,
Huntingdon District

Downham Market,
Wisbech District

Ringing at
Stow Bardolph,
Wisbech District

photo: Ruth Bramley
Inside Ely Cathedral

Visits since 15/02/2013
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