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Christmas Newsletter 2017

Please click here to read the 2017 newsletter from Joe Wakeling.

Holiday to the Isle of Wight - 18th-25th August 2017 

The inaugural CUGCR summer holiday was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. Our chosen destination was the Isle of Wight, with lodgings at Northcourt House, an amply appointed Jacobean Manor house with all the modern conveniences – including formal dining/table tennis room, barbecue terrace and grandiose gardens. We kept ourselves amused with trips to the beach, walks through the beautiful countryside, rides on steam trains, and just a tiny spot of ringing (including the characterful steel three at Swanmore). Plans are already well progressed for a follow-up event during the August bank holiday week next year, so watch this space!

Guild Week - 4th-9th August 2017

In an unusual twist on the format, Guild Week 2017 was split between London for the weekend and St Albans for the rest, so the pubs and belltowers of two cities had to prepare for an upturn in influx. The time spent in London was a 'Who's Who' of the City's famous rings, with trips to the Bow bells, the Jubilee bells at Garlickhythe, St Magnus and the infamous new ring at Southwark, which we confirmed in their 'challenging' reputation. After rounding off the weekend with a Brick Lane curry, the next day brought some healthy exercise to the proceedings, all the towers being within walking distance of each other, and St Albans' huge expanse of parkland offered us plenty of chances to get some fresh air and sore legs. Ascending to the ringing chamber at the Abbey offered little respite, but the weary traveller was rewarded with the novelty of oak beams obscuring some other ringers from view.Other highlights of the week were the hospitality of the Blacksmith's Arms in laying on a buffet for the guild week meeting, and the challenge of Weathampstead's long draft on the last day.

Despite the excess of cities and well-known towers on the trip, two elements of Guild Week were in short supply. Fewer than usual peals or quarters were scored, and due to a dearth of student members, post-ringing exuberance at the cheaper accommodation was sadly reduced. However, one of these omissions was to be put right a couple of weeks later when Guild members decamped to the Isle of Wight(and it was not the former).

Thanks go to Brian Meads and Dickon Love for organising a week of excellent and challenging rings.

Joe Wakeling - Master, CUGCR

Alternative Dinner - 20th June 2017 

Hosted this year at Hughes Hall, a debut appearance for many, the Alternative Dinner was as popular as ever. We turned out in our finery for drinks and a splendid dinner overlooking the college grounds. The Alternative Committee were elected afterwards - including the Curry Officer, Anti-Curry Officer, Quote Book Keeper, and so on and so forth. All that remains now is to remember who's doing what when the students return to Cambridge in October!

Thanks must go to Courtney and Hannah for their organisation and for hosting pre- and post-dinner drinks.


Association of Ringing Teachers: Module 1 - 29th April 2017

The Cambridge University Guild (CUGCR) hosted a Module 1 course at Great St Mary’s, Cambridge, at the start of our third term of the year. Having had a year of unprecedented enthusiasm for teaching and learning bellringing, we decided an ART course would be just the ticket to maintain this momentum going forward, and to ensure we were operating as effectively as possible; with short 8-week terms it’s important to train intensively!

A group of 12 teachers – mostly CUGCR members, but with a few local friends – took part in the course under Graham’s able instruction. The day consisted of alternating theory and practical sessions, giving everyone a chance to try out the various exercises introduced on tied bells. The day was packed full of useful information, particularly regarding our interactions with the learner – making sure they feel confident, that they are achieving something, and that the teaching is tailored to their needs.

The plan looking forward is to establish the CUGCR as a centre of teaching – with a constantly shifting undergraduate population it will be important that skills are passed down in group teaching sessions, rather than having any one particular person in charge for years on end. This challenge is inherent to university ringing in general, so I’m sure it’ll be one we can overcome.

Our thanks go to Graham and the whole of the ART administration for putting on such an excellent day for us, and kicking off what I hope will be a long and prosperous campaign of teaching in Cambridge.

Oliver Bardsley – Master, CUGCR

The Boat Races - 2nd April 2017

Once again, in collaboration with the OUS, we rang the bells on either side of Putney Bridge for the Cambridge vs. Oxford Boat Races. A quarter peal of Cambridge Major was scored at All Saints, Fulham while the women's race was taking place before we quickly rang down and ran up to the roof to watch the start of the men's race. It wasn't all ringing, though, we also went out for lunch and took a trip to the Science Museum.



 Annual Guild Dinner - 18th March 2017

As is tradition, members of the Guild gathered from far and wide for the annual dinner, held this year in Peterhouse college. The day started well with 10 out of 10 successful quarter peals, including four 'first quarters' for some of our learners who started ringing in October 2016. Speeches from Jennie Earis as past master, Roger Booth as the guest speaker and Oli Bardsley as current master, tasty yet controversial food choices and a handbell touch (see it here on Bellboard) all made for a very enjoyable evening.


 Guild New Year 2017

This year James (Junior) took on the task of hosting 12 ringers at his Northamptonshire abode. The trip kicked off with a quarter peal and a walk for the early birds. On New Year's Eve we visited 5 different towers, all exciting in their own special way and one of which required ear defenders, before ringing in the New Year at Brigstock. Another quarter peal followed on New Year's Day and then 10 intrepid members of the party played some rather soggy paintball. Thanks must go to James and his family for cooking lots of delicious food and for putting up with us!

 Christmas Newsletter 2016

Please click here to read the 2016 newsletter from Oliver Bardsley.





Christmas Dinner - 4th December 2016

Dinner for 18? No problem! As long as everyone brings their own plate, cutlery, glass and chair! Plenty of food was had by all, secret santa presents were swapped, and everyone took part in a (slightly aggressive) game of pictionary. Merry Christmas!




Southern Universities Association Weekend - 11th-13th November 2016

Ringers from Cambridge, Southampton, Bristol, Oxford, London and Leicester congregated in Cambridge for a weekend of striking competitions, open towers, beer and dancing. Congratulations go to Southampton who came first in the 8-bell competition and Cambridge who came first in the 6-bell. See you all next year!




Freshers' Fair - 4th-5th October 2016Freshers' Fair

We had a successful freshers' fair hosting The Charmborough Ring on Parker's Piece. A pretty central location and the sound of bells ringing all day meant that we weren't hard to miss! Hundreds of people had a go and we got lots of new sign-ups. Thank you to everyone who helped out!





Guild Week - 20th-24th August 2016

Members of the Guild from far and wide descended on Bristol for five days of ringing and socialising. This encompassed some rather challenging bells within the city itself, plus day trips to Bath and the nearby countryside. With an average tenor weight of 24.4cwt, we certainly weren't taking it easy!





6-Bell Striking Competition - 9th July 2016

Six of the Guild's best took on the Cambridge branch of the Ely DA in a striking competition at Brinkley, we rang Cambridge Surprise Minor and came away with a very creditable 2nd place. We had dinner together, followed by a somewhat unplanned pub crawl...