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!

Ringing in Liverpool

Tom Nestor is organising a trip for South Branch to Liverpool on Saturday 21st October. The poster is here.

Two towers: Pier Head at 4pm and Liverpool Cathedral at 6pm until 7.30pm joining them for their normal Saturday practice. Both 12 bell towers are big heavy bells and certainly the Cathedral is welcoming and friendly but presents a worthy challenge.

He'd welcome ringers from East Branch to join them. Note that trains are not running to Lime Street on that day instead a Mersery Rail shuttle is operating from Liverpool South Parkway.

Anyone wanting to come along could make an afternoon of it shopping as well... Please let me Tom know if you're interested so that he knows the numbers involved. You can reach Tom via email by clicking here or call him on 07775 747222.

Want All the Branch Towers on Your Phone? You Got It!

If you're on your mobile phone now, you can probably download 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 tower in the branch and/or get directions. All you have to do is simply click here. If you do this on a tablet or laptop, it will simply open up the page in your browser... I will shortly be posting more details on how to use this map. Until then, have fun playing with it.

Congratulations to the team from St George's [Stockport] for winning the Guild 6 Bell Striking Competition for East Branch.

The Latest from Clive

These are the events for October

  • Wednesday 18th – 8 Bell Practice at Prestbury 7:30
  • Sunday 29th – 10 Bell Practice at St Mary’s, Stockport 3:00 Till 4:30

You can download the monthly poster for October to hang in your tower by clicking here .

To see what's happening [or has happened] in the branch in 2017 so far, click here for the 2017 programme.

If you're coming to the St Mary's 10 Bell Practice on the 29th, email me no later than Thursday 26th. In general, for any events where numbers matter, if you're coming, please let me know by email, not by word of mouth - more years less memory!! Here's hoping for a good turnout at all these events!

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.

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 telephone numbers are in the Annual Report.

East Branch AGM

I know it's almost two months until our Branch AGM (on Saturday, 25th November) but I thought I'd send this notice in the hopes that we can have a really good crowd at this important yearly event. Once the Branch Committee has met and compiled a suggested programme for next year, I'll send it out for your comments before it forms one of the items on the Agenda.

The ringers at St Paul's [Staley] have kindly agreed to host the event but, as you'll see from the notice, the bells at St Michael's [Mottram] will also be available.

Please make a point of putting this important event in your diary - and I hope to see you there.

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.

Guild AGM & 6 Bell Competition Results

The Guild had its AGM on Saturday, 23rd September at Poynton [St George, SK12 1QT].

Congratulations to the team from St George's [Stockport] for winning the Guild 6 Bell Striking Competition for East Branch. Worth pointing out is that they rang Cambridge Surprise Minor whereas the other teams rang Plain Bob Doubles or call changes!

Of the proposed rule changes, the first was accepted. Under "Bell Restoration and Augmentation Fund", paragraph 2a, the words "previously without" are now deleted. However, the proposal to replace "Bell Restoration Officer" with "Bell Restoration Secretary" was rejected and will return to the Guild Committee for further consideration.

On a more positive (and more interesting?) note, work on the Guild website is clearly progressing and Tom Nestor from Goostrey will act as Guild Webmaster. Meanwhile, if you have anything which you would like to be placed on the Branch website email the webmaster or me.

The Central Council Reforms Update

Pam Thomson asked me to circulate two documents. The first is a Call for Volunteers [available by clicking here], and the second is about simplifying the rulebook [available by clicking here]. Both of these documents contain links to additional material about the reforms taking place. The deadline for the first document is 29 September, and the deadline for the second is 6 October. But they have been flexible about these deadlines, so if you have an opinion, take the opportunity to express it.

News Update: I just received another email from Pam in which she forwarded this email from Christopher O'Mahony (CCCBR President):


This is your chance to influence the future direction of our central ringing organisation, to re-energise and re-invigorate ringing at local, national and international levels.

To do this, we need skilled, charismatic, hands-on change agents, ready to give back to something we all love and cherish.

Even if you can’t make a commitment yourself, please put this under the noses of fellow ringers who you believe have plenty to offer.

The executive will start processing nominations after the published closing date, 29th September, particularly with a view to appointing workgroup leaders. The on-line form will however remain open for a further week, until 6th October, and late nominations will be considered for any positions that remain unfilled. Here’s a reminder of the link:

If you're not up to date on matters, in September 2016, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) set up a group to review the Council‘s purpose, structure and function. It's now a month since the CCCBR had their annual meeting in Edinburgh. At that meeting, among other things, the Council voted to embark on an ambitious programme of reform. Christopher O'Mahony, president of the CCCBR, is making a call out to all ringers to express interest in being involved in the reformed central organisation. This page highlights the intended short term actions, and explains how to indicate interest in any of the identified roles. Please read it, and circulate it to as many ringers as as you can. You can get more information about the review and the intended reforms on this page of the Council's website.


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.

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].

Guild Report for 2017

You should all have had your guild reports by now. However, I still have a few in the boot of my car, so if your tower hasn't had its guild report yet, click here to email me or give me a call on 07779 488359 to arrange a suitable date and time for a pickup.

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 the mailing list. If you need to get hold of Clive urgently, his mobile number is 07779 488359.

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 late 2017. 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 22 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.

Pocket Sized Programme

Click on the image to download a pocket sized branch calendar and tower guide [Updated 03/02/2017]. Ideally, it should be printed on both sides of an A4 card and then cut around the outermost border of the calendar. Done correctly, you'll end up with two sets. One side is the 2017 Branch Programme and the other is a practice night tower guide. If you just want to print it once on plain paper, cut out the tower guide and stick it to the back of the calendar. Now fold the calendar in half and then thirds. Put it in your wallet/purse, and you're good to go! Alternatively, there is a larger version [click here] that is almost A4 size [rather than sub-A5] . This one is handy for sticking in your Diagrams book.

If you have any comments or ideas for the website, we would love to hear them. You can email the webmaster by clicking here.