From the Ringing Chamber

 June 2010

St John's In The Newspapers: A Star Article on Bellringing
(Inspire June 2010 p8 & 11)

  I don't know how may of you saw page three of the Star on Saturday May 15th, but the article by Rachael Clegg relating to ringing at Ranmoor contains more errors than facts and I would like to take this opportunity to put a few of the many inaccuracies right.

  1. There are not "dozens of strokes in bellringing, with names such as Sally Stroke and the John Guild Association, each requiring a subtle variation on pulling the rope" There are two strokes: handstroke and backstroke. At handstroke the ringer pulls on the part of the rope known as the sally but who or what the John Guild Association is I have, after over 40 years of ringing, no idea.

  2. "Weighing as they do more than a few tons each.." The heaviest bell at St John's is only 16cwt 1qtr 5lbs, the smallest 4cwt 1qtr 14lbs and the total weight of all 10 bells is 76cwt 3qtr 11b. (To equate these weights into kilograms they are approx. 830kg, 223kg, and 3908kg respectively.)

  3. As she looked at the bells in the Tower, Rachael says Peter rang a bell up there to show how much noise this makes. This is impossible, someone (probably Elaine) rang the bell from the Ringing Chamber.

  4. "The huge bells at St John's Church, Ranmo0r, lift people off their feet" This again is totally untrue and portrays a very bad impression of what ringing is about at St John's or indeed anywhere else. Our bells are not huge in relation to other bells in Sheffield or anywhere else in the country and they certainly do not lift you off your feet.

  Ringing is not the hazardous and lethal occupation that Rachael portrays. There is one simple rule that has to be applied - do not touch any of the ropes when you enter a ringing chamber (unless you know what you are doing!) Would you sit in the driving seat of a car and start the engine without knowing anything about driving? As always please climb the stairs and come and see for yourself and do not believe everything you read in the papers!

Pauline Heath


Girl Guiding Centenary
(Inspire June 2010 p5 & 7)

  This year Girlguiding is celebrating its centenary. The celebrations started last 1 September - one-hundred years since some strong willed girls joined in a rally at Crystal Palace for Boy Scouts and told Lord Baden Powell that they wanted to be Scouts. The answer was `No, Scouting is for boys, you're girls: Eventually he had to give in and asked his sister Agnes to form what is now known as Girlguiding. Over the years the organisation has grown and is now one of the biggest for girls and young women in the world with over ten million members in more than 150 countries.

  As part of the celebrations Girlguiding issued challenge: Adventure 100. One of the challenges is to climb a tower, whilst another is to play different kinds of music such as Handbells. This has resulted in Ranmoor welcoming Brownies and Rainbows into the belfry - an experience that they seem to have enjoyed!

  The celebrations for the centenary culminate on 8.10 pm October 20th 2010 (20:10 20/10 2010) when members of Girlguiding join together to renew their promise. Here in Sheffield the event, called Vision; will take place in the Peace Gardens.

  On April 25th the Bellringers rang a quarter-peal to celebrate the centenary of Girlguiding.
All the ladies in the band had at some time been involved in Girlguiding.

Janet Else

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