2012 has proved to be a very eventful year with many highlights.
Our year started with a very merry group ringing in the New Year at Woodford. A very successful A.G.M followed a few days later when a busy and varied ringing programme was agreed for the Year, including continuing our very successful 8-bell advanced practices at Woodford.
One of our early events in the year was the opportunity to ring at the Cathedral, for many of the members this was a completely new experience, both in visiting the Cathedral itself, finding the way up to the Ringing Chamber and ringing on the higher number of bells. The Peterborough Guild was very complimentary about our standard of ringing and we hope to arrange another visit in the near future.
Although St. Peter’s Church at Raunds was pronounced structurally challenged, fortunately the Tower and Bells were deemed unaffected for ringing .Unfortunately Ringstead St.Mary’s is , for the foreseeable future un-ring able due to corrosion in the Frame. However you win some and loose some, so it was a pleasure to welcome back the Bells of St. Nicholas. Islip. The bells have been completely refurbished and are just awaiting their new ropes. The bells were re-dedicated in November by the Bishop of Peterborough in a very up-lifting service and have been rung for weddings and branch meetings. All Hallows at Hargrave also underwent a ‘Belfry Move’ with a new Ringing Chamber and Balcony being installed. We hope to be able to meet there as a Branch in the New Year.
May brought a very successful Ringing Outing to the wilds of Rutland Water with, of course, a celebration meal at one of the local watering-holes. Our thanks to Len Hallifax for organising this.
In June, along with most of the Country, Royal Jubilee Fever took over the Branch. In a feat of organisation we managed to have a group of ringers, both home tower and branch members ring at nearly every Tower within the Branch. It was truly a memorable day and something to be long-remembered. Special Thanks must go to Rachel and Richard for organising the Tower Lists and for their superb hospitality at the Post – ringing Barbecue; also to Chris and Frank Jenkins for their back-up support and Dennis Thrift for producing the commemorative Certificates.
July brought more celebrations with our Summer barbecue at Ringstead, wonderfully hosted by Chris and Frank. Then some of the more hardy ringers joined in the National Olympic Ringing on a glorious summer morning. We were heard across the Nene Valley from Woodford to Thrapston. Again another special event to remember.
September brought the Summer Festival Striking Competition and although we didn’t win, all the ringers were very pleased with being placed fourth. A lovely tea and good company completed a very pleasant day’s ringing.
As our Ringing Year draws to a close the Thrapston branch is very much in good heart. Several of our members including Ted and Diane and Chris and Frank are now joining the ranks of ringers who have retired. Congratulations to them all and we hope they have many happy ringing times ahead.
We are regularly welcoming new and old ringers and visitors to our meetings, although like many branches, we would like to see our numbers increase. With continuing practice our standard of ringing, especially striking and method ringing is improving and as a Branch we look forward to 2013 being another very successful Year of Ringing.
Alison Byrnes – Honorary Press Officer