Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II platinum jubilee has been a success nationwide and no less in the Bluebell benefice where the Gransden ringers have taken an active part. We rang the bells on each of the days from 2nd to 5th June with a different ringing activity on each day.
On Thursday 5th we opened the village celebrations by ringing “60 on Thirds”. This is a set piece of call changes from Devon and was ably conducted by Sheila George, our tower captain. After this we welcomed some visitors from other towers and continued with open ringing for a further hour with a short break for refreshments.
Call Change Team: 1. Georgia Yarrow, 2. Julia Smith, 3. Christine Morton, 4. Sheila Prest, 5. Phillip George, 6. Sheila George (c)
There were four visiting ringers, Sue Marsden (Peterborough St.John), Becca Glazier (Thriplow), Diane Thomas (Catworth) and Ella Yarrow, Georgia’s sister visiting from Australia.
On Friday 3rd we held our Tintinnabulation event. This was an open invitation to all parishioners in the benefice to come along and chime the bells. It was open to young and old and we welcomed 66 visitors. This included a photographer from the Cambridge News and we were featured in the newspaper that evening. We also received wider advertising from an inteview with Radio Cambridgeshire the previous Monday when Phillip explained what we had planned.
As well as tower bells we set up our handbells so that people waiting to go into the ringing room could be supervised in playing simple tunes, namely Twinkle Twinkle and the national anthem. Smaller toy bells were provided for the youngsters.
Refreshments were served by some of our local ringers who also acted as meeter greeters and crowd controllers! They did an excellent job and everyone had a brilliant time.
Helpers on the day: Tricia Williams, Julia Smith, Mirjam Van Sluis, Sheila George, Phillip George, Sue Taylor.
Saturday 4th was reasonably straight forward. We had planned a quarter peal in the afternoon to officially mark the platinum jubilee. But this was a red-letter quarter peal too for Hazel Pettit, Sheila George and David Prest. By ringing this quarter Hazel achieved her level 3 in the Learning the Ropes scheme, David rang his 50th quarter peal and Sheila her 900th, of which 700 have been of tower bells and 200 on handbells. Well done everyone!
Ringers were: 1. Hazel Pettit, 2. Catherina Griffiths, 3. David Prest. 4, Naomi Laredo, 5. Phillip George (c), 6. Sheila George. The method was Plain Bob Doubles and it was rung in 44 minutes.
Our thanks to Catherina and Naomi for ringing with us on this special occasion.
Sunday, the last day in our ringing jamboree. It started with service ringing at 10.15am. This was general ringing for the service of Pentecost and Jubilee Thanksgiving. At the end of the day we rang our showcase piece, 70 call changes rung between 19:52 and 20:22 representing the years Her Majesty has been on the throne.
Timing was critical, to start exactly on 19:52 and “stand” exactly on 20:22. In between, the call changes had to be made at regular intervals and to do this they were called every 5th whole pull. This allowed some rounds at the beginig to settle the ringing and a few minutes at the end.
One of the highlights of our ringing over the four days was at the end of this ringing when a spontaneous cheer by all the ringers rang out as everyone stood first time, and we shared hugs and high fives in celebration. The bells were left “up” for effect – no ringing after 20:22, to be rung down the next morning.
We learned afterwards that several people had come to the church to listen, one gentleman not believing that the bells were rung by people, until he had looked in the church!
Ringers were: 1. Sheila George, 2. Sue Taylor, 3. Tricia Williams, 4. Sheila Prest, 5. David Prest, 6. Phillip George (c)
In the planning of our ringing we included all our ringers in at least one event and most were involved with two or more. All our ringing has been published on BellBoard.
Mirjam, our newest recruit also rang with us in the open ringing on the first day and and helped with the Tintinnabulation event. We clocked up a total of twelve hours in the tower. The team worked superbly together helping our visitors and enthusiastically promoting ringing. All our ringing was a high standard and very enjoyable.
We had advertised our ringing schedule widely in the Bluebell Benefice and the support was in thanks to this. The jubilee event organising committee generously gave all our ringers a jubilee medalion as a token of their aoppreciation of our contribution to the weekend. We thank them for this gesture.
With jubilee mugs, medals and chocolate we have ended the weekend tired but thrilled to have taken such an active part.