CDGCBR: East Cheshire Branch

The East Cheshire Branch of the Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers (CDGCBR) comprises 34 towers in the North East of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester. The branch includes Stockport, Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Buxton and Altrincham, as well as a number of smaller towns and villages in the area. The other branches in the guild are Chester Branch [19 towers with 6 or more bells], Mid Cheshire Branch [18 towers], South Cheshire Branch [22 towers], and Wirral Branch [20 towers]. As you can see by the numbers, we're the largest branch in terms of towers!

Pocket Sized Programme

Click on the top image to download a pocket sized branch programme and tower guide. Ideally, it should be printed on both sides of an A4 sheet of paper and then cut in half. Done correctly, you'll end up with two sets. One side is the 2018 Branch Programme and the other is a practice night guide for the towers in East Branch. If you just want to print it once, simply cut the page in half and then stick the two blank sides together. Either way, if you then fold the calendar in half and then thirds, you'll end up with something that nicely fits in your wallet/purse. [Last Updated 24 January]

Alternatively, you can print a two page version of the 2018 programme for hanging in your tower by clicking here or the double page image. That printout is A4 size [rather than the previous A5 size] with the January-June programme on one sheet, and the July-December programme on the other sheet.

You Want It All on Your Phone? You Got It!

If you're on your mobile phone now, then you can probably download the 2108 programme and the location of all the towers in the branch onto your smart phone. This will allow you to quickly look up the details for any event or tower in the branch and/or get directions.

  • To get the Tower List, all you have to do is simply click here.
  • To get the 2018 Programme for Google calendar, all you have to do is simply click here.

If you are on your phone, you should be able to save these details so you always are up to date. If you are on a tablet or laptop, then clicking on these will simply open up the page in your browser. You can also scroll through the calendar below

East Branch Agenda

The calendar shown here tells you what's going on in the branch. The default view is the Agenda [a simple list of the dates of forthcoming events]. You can scroll down the list or click on the weekly or monthly view to see an alternative display of what's going on in the branch. If you're interested in a particular event, click on it, and when more detail is revealed, you'll have the option to add the event to your calendar.

Live from Clive

The Latest News from the Branch Secretary

April in East Branch

First of all please find below the minutes of a Branch Committee meeting held Thursday, 5 April to consider the requests from Mottram and Sutton for grants from the Branch Contingency Fund to help towards the cost of significant work which needs to be done at these two towers. If you have a comment to make regarding this decision, please contact me no later than Friday, 13th April.


Present: Christine Broadley, Clive Calton, David Friend, Graham Jenkins, Duncan Matheson, Andrew Mayes, Rosemary Spencer.

Apologies: Kevin Rogers and Trish Halloran.

Having received requests from Sutton and Mottram for grants to help towards the significant costs of work on the bells at each of these towers, the Branch Committee met on 5th April, 2018.

Because at both towers ringing had had to be suspended, the respective PCCs had asked for quotes from a shortlist of suitable bellhangers. Those supplied by Whites of Appleton for Sutton and by Tom Blyth of Newark for Mottram had been accepted.

The Committee considered the costs involved in each project and the funds available in the Branch Contingency Fund. After discussion, it was unanimously decided to award £500 to Sutton and £750 to Mottram to be paid on the completion of the work.

Second, if you're planning to come to the 10-bell practice at Stockport St Mary's on Sunday and haven't told me, please email me no later than the end of Thursday, 12 April. You will be welcome whether your forte is rounds or surprise or anything in between. By the way, all the 10-bell practices in 2018 are scheduled for the 3rd Sunday in the month [if possible].

Third (and this one especially for tower captains) it's less than three weeks until the Branch 6-bell competition at Taxal (from 4.00 on Saturday 28th). Please let me know soon if your tower plans to enter a band.

Fourth, although we're now halfway through the Branch QP fortnight, as far as I can see from Bellboard only one quarter has been rung. Have I missed something?

And, finally, don't forget that we have an 8-bell practice at Bowdon from 8.00 on Thursday 19th.

In summary, here are the branch events for April. The tower poster for April is available here.

  • Saturday 1st till 14th - QP Fortnight.
  • Sunday 15th - 10-bell practice at St Mary’s, Stockport 3.00 till 4.30 CANCELLED!
  • Thursday 19th – 8-bell practice at Bowdon 8.00
  • Saturday 28th – Branch 6-bell competition at Taxal 4.00

Because of a shortage of numbers, the 10-bell practice at St Mary's was cancelled. Also, Branch Quarter Peal Fortnight is now over, and so far I know there were only two successes!

Meanwhile, I hope to see lots of people at Bowdon next Thursday for the 8-bell Branch Practice!!

At the end of the month we have our Branch 6-bell striking competition at Taxal. Last year 7 teams competed, some ringing doubles or minor methods and some ringing call changes. More teams please! You can view the competition rules by clicking here.

See you on the end of a rope somewhere.

Branch Outing - Saturday, 2nd June 2018

I'm about to start the process of booking towers for our Branch Outing on 2nd June! The schedule is

  • 10.00 till 10.45 Farnworth St John BL4 8DA 8 bells 12 cwt
  • 11.15 till 12.00 Horwich Holy Trinity BL6 6AF 8 bells 13 cwt
  • 12.15 till 1.10 Blackrod St Katharine BL6 5EP 6 bells 10 cwt
  • 1.30 Lunch at the Rivington Pub and Grill, Station Road, Blackrod, BL6 5JF (0871951 1000)
  • 3.00 till 3.45 Westhoughton St Bartholomew BL5 2BE 8 bells 14cwt
  • 4.15 till 5.00 Leigh St Mary WN7 1QL 8 bells 16 cwt
  • 5.30 till 6.30 Newton-le-Willows St Peter WA12 9SU 10 bells 24cwt

I know it's early to start thinking that far ahead but I don't want to book towers and then find no-one wants to go. All I'm asking for at this stage is that you let me know if you're minded to come so that, even if some people find nearer the date that they can't make it, I'll at least have some idea as to whether to go ahead or not. Drop me an email if you think you'll be there. [Click here to email Clive]

I'm forwarding some info about what's on offer at the Central Council Meeting at Lancaster in May.

CCCBR Annual Meeting Lancaster - 26-28 May 2018


As already previewed, the Central Council meeting weekend is following a NEW format, themed on inclusion and outreach. As well as the annual meeting itself, there is a wide variety of seminars, sessions, stalls and activities on offer for ALL ringers.

We are pleased to announce that we are now taking online bookings from ALL RINGERS. Click here for more details.

The attachments to this email contain comprehensive information regarding the event. Do please print out the event poster and pin it to your tower notice board!

We look forward to seeing ringers from far and wide at this exciting event.

Yours sincerely

Christopher O'Mahony [CCCBR President]

Attachments: Click for the poster and the event summary. The image below shows the poster, and you can also click on it to view the image as a pdf.


To see what else is happening in the branch in 2018, click here for the Programme page. From there, you can always download the latest version of the programme, as well as the tower poster for this month's branch events. Alternatively, click here to view and download a two page version of the programme, or here for a single page version. You can even download the programme for your Google calendar by clicking here.

A Special Edition of Diagrams

Harold Cataquet, our branch webmaster, has put together a special edition of Diagrams.

It only goes up to six bells and doesn't cover all of the same methods as the standard Diagrams. For example, most of the surprise minor methods are excluded but there are extra doubles variations and some alternatives to plain bob minor [eg, minor methods replacing dodges with places]. It's also A4 sized so it's easier to read and there is plenty of space to make notes.

If you click on, you will see a few sample pages and the table of contents.

The colour edition has sold out, but you can buy it directly from Lulu for £10 plus postage by clicking here. There are only a few B&W copies left. The cost is £3 for the black and white edition [treble is a thin line, bell 2 is a thick line]. In the colour edition, the treble is a red line, and bell 2 is a thick blue line. Both editions are made from an A3 sheet of paper folded in half and stapled in the middle, with an A3 card cover. The paper used in the colour edition is much thicker than that used for the B&W edition. In fact, the colour version is almost twice as thick as the B&W one.

If you're interested, please contact Harold at

Guild Bell Fund Committee Member Wanted

At the recent Guild Committee Meeting it was suggested that instead of there being just one person overseeing/considering requests from towers for a grant from the Bell Restoration Fund for work on their bells, a sub-committee should be formed in order to do this and make recommendations to the Guild Committee.

Branch secretaries have been asked to put forward one volunteer for this. So one volunteer from each of the five branches within the CDG will make up the sub-committee.

With the increasing number of requests for guild support for bell restoration projects it is important that each branch be represented. Four meetings a year is not onerous and I hope that there's someone out there who feels they could do the job! If that's you, please let me know.

I've had the following from Pam Thomson, as Guild Secretary, to stress the need for each branch to find a volunteer as outlined below.

"We would like each Branch to send one representative to serve on this group. If you elect such a representative at your respective AGMs we could have an initial meeting early next year to discuss the way forward.

    • Ideally the person should have some technical knowledge of bells and bell hanging but they do not need to be experts.
    • Be able to liaise with the applicants
    • The BR reps will not be members of the Guild executive committee but they may hold other offices on that committee
    • The BR sub-committee will meet several weeks before the Guild executive committee meets, possibly up to 4 times a year, to receive and examine applications and request more details/information if necessary.
    • The sub-committee will then make recommendations to the Guild executive committee"

To this end, I am asking if any of you would be willing to take on this role. More information is available from either Graham Jenkins or myself - our contact details are in the Annual Report.

Armistice 100

The Central Council has issued a document with suggestions for next year's Remembrance Day ringing (for and around the 11th of November 2018). You can download that document by clicking here.

Annual Report Numbers for 2018

Thanks to all those tower captains/secretaries who have already let me know how many Guild Reports they want next year. If your tower has not yet sent me a figure for this I shall assume you want the same number as last year and order accordingly.

Quarter Peal Club (QPC)

There is a page on this website about the Quarter Peal Club (QPC). If you've not seen this and are interested in ringing a Quarter Peal, either as a 'one-off' or perhaps on a regular basis, please sign up by clicking here. Quarters are a good means to get really familiar with a method, without having the strain of ringing a full peal! Both of the ringing masters, Andrew Mayes and Christine Broadley, are keen to promote some 8 bell ringing as well as “beginners” quarters. Let them know what you would like to ring and they will see what can be arranged. Please sign up soon [before you forget!] and Andrew and Christine will set things in motion as soon as possible. You can contact Christine and Andrew by just clicking on their names [where underlined].

Contact the Secretary

Members of the branch should have already received the above messages directly from Clive. If you haven't, click here to email Clive and get on his mailing list. If you need to get hold of Clive urgently, his mobile number is 07779 488359.

Guild Logo Vote Results

It was announced at the AGM that Logo 3 was the clear winner. However, that logo was not adopted by the Guild. In brief, the logo appears to be a coat of arms and these can only be issued in England by the College of Arms. It was decided that the logo design would be reviewed by the Guild Committee. That review has taken place and the guild logo is now the one shown here.

The Guild on Facebook

You can find the Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers on Facebook by clicking here.


I recently became aware of a request from a tower (not in the CDG) for an assurance that we have insurance in case of damage. Otherwise they didn't want us ringing at their tower! I didn't know if I was covered by the CDG insurance, so with thanks to Paul Treby, I managed to get a copy of the policy schedule from the Ecclesiastical Insurance (the company which insures the CDG). This policy document details Liabilities (Section 4), Legal Expenses (Section 6) and Personal Accident (Section 10). You can read the Insurance Policy for yourself by clicking here.

It would appear that members of the CDG are indeed covered for damage to other bells outside the guild area - see Section 4. I hope that this interpretation is correct, but if it's not, I'm sure one of you will let me know.

Words from the Webmaster

The Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers is having a major redesign of its website. The basic idea is to give all of the websites [the guild's and each of the five branches' websites] a common style. The new version should be up and running in early 2018. In the meantime, this website is filling the gap.

Here's an introduction to the new site

  • The Contacts page has a list of all officers in the branch, and all the towers in our branch with their contact details. I've added practice times, a link to Dove's Guide, a link to Google Maps for driving instructions, contact email addresses and mobile phone numbers [where available]. I originally copied all this data from the annual report, but I've since contacted people for updates [note the "Last Updated" date at the bottom for each tower]. I am still waiting to hear from Hyde, Dunham Massey, Gawsworth, Hayfield, and Taxal. Therefore, the information shown for these towers may be inaccurate.
  • The Practices page allows you to identify where you can ring on a given day and for a given number of bells. The information is presented in a two different tables. The first one is dynamic and allows you to search for towers based on keyword, number of bells and/or practice day. The second is just a sorted list, which is very useful for a quick check [eg, where can I ring on Friday]. If you know of any practice cancellations in the branch, do let me know and I'll post them in Tower News section at the very top of the Practices page.
  • The Programme page obviously has the programme for 2017. There is a live calendar at the bottom of the page, but I'm not happy with how it looks/works. More generally, any news about upcoming events from the Secretary will appear on this [Home] page in the "The Latest from Clive" section above.
  • The Towers page shows a map of all the towers in our branch. If you click on any of the numbers, you'll get a side panel giving you more details about the tower. In addition, there's an active table underneath which allows you to search for a tower by name, location or number. However, please note that the table and the map aren't connected.
  • On the Map page, there is an interactive map for all the towers in the branch. From there, you can pick the number of bells and/or the practice night, and the map will show you which towers fulfil those criteria and where they are located. It's the same information as shown on the Practices page, but with the benefit of a map so that you can see relative locations of towers. This is really designed for use on a tablet or desktop computer; it doesn't work very well on a mobile phone.
  • The Gallery page is a picture of all the towers in our branch. If you have a better picture of any of the towers, please send it to me. You will notice that all the pictures are in a square format, so take that into account when framing your picture.
  • The Trivia page is a place to record some interesting facts and figures about the bells in the branch.
  • A Quarter Peal Club [QPC] page has also added. There are currently 29 members, but we're always looking for more ringers to join the club.

I would appreciate any feedback or comments you may have on the site. You can email me here.

Reasons to Contact Us

Here are four good reasons to send us a message

  • Stay Informed. Are you getting regular emails from Clive? Maybe your tower captain is getting them, but not passing the information on to you. If you're not on Clive's email list, then click here and we'll make sure that you're added. If you no longer want to receive any of those emails, then just click here.
  • Quarter Peal Club [QPC]. Are you interested in ringing a Quarter Peal? Would you be interested in ringing them on a regular basis? We're trying to get ringers together who would like to have a go [either for the first time or on a regular basis]. Don't think of these as massive hills that have to be climbed; instead, just think of them as a long practice sessions. As the saying goes "You don't really know the method until you've rung a quarter peal of it!" So, let us know if you are interested, and what you would like to do a quarter peal in, just click here.
  • Get Help. Is your band struggling to learn a method? Does your tower need a bit of help with numbers? This is your opportunity to reach out for help. Just click here and tell us what you need and we'll do our best to help.
  • Help Us. We can only get better if people tell us what they like and/or don't like. It's up to you to tell us if you like what we're doing on this website, at the branch events, or at tower visits. Every opinion is important, so take a few minutes and let us know what you think. Click here and tell us what you think of us.