Annual Pittsburgh ringing course, 11-13 August
The eleventh annual Pittsburgh ringing course will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 11-13 August 2017.
The course will be aimed at helping students develop the practical skills necessary for students already able to ring simple, treble dominated methods on eight and slightly more complicated things on six, to progress to more complicated things on eight such as Stedman Triples and Surprise Major. The primary tools we will use will be ringing Stedman Triples and Cornwall Surprise Major. The course will be focused exclusively on practical skills, with no time spent on theory or learning methods. Students will be expected to arrive having thoroughly learned, on paper, the methods they will be ringing. Further information, including a list of things to learn is at <http://tinyurl.com/ld6h64s>.
The course will only be of use to those who are secure when ringing extended touches of Plain Bob Triples or Major, or Grandsire Triples, as well as slightly more complicated things on six, such as Stedman Doubles or Treble Bob Minor. As a baseline students are expected to have rung at least one quarter peal on an inside bell in tower to a Triples or Major method, and at least one quarter peal on an inside bell to a method other than Plain Bob or Grandsire (this latter can be doubles or minor, however).
The course will be limited to six students. If you are interested in joining it as a student please contact Don Morrison <>.
North American Guild AGM - early announcement
The AGM Team in Toronto is working hard to put together another wonderful AGM. Check back soon for current information.
The AGM will be held September 1 - 4, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.
Memories of Tom Miller for April Clapper
Please will you share your memories of Tom? Tom knew every one of us. Please send your memories and photos to me and I will put them into the issue. If you remember the format of Beryl's obituary and memorial page, I'd like to do something similar to honor Tom. Thank you, everyone.
With a heavy heart I must relay the sad news that Tom passed away last evening.
As most of you know, Tom was a pleasure to work with and we will all miss him terribly.
If you are able to attend there will be a visitation on Friday, March 10 from 7-9 pm in Woodstown, NJ at the Layton Funeral Home, 102 S Main St and the funeral service will be on Saturday AM March 11 at St Mark's. Please let me know if you plan to be there. There will be half muffled ringing before and open ringing after.
If you need more information, please contact me.
Seven Towers Registration Form
The registration forms for the Seven Towers Festival, to be held May 4-7, 2017 in Little Rock, is now posted in the NAGCR Calendar section. Please note again the change in date. Also, should you make your way to Little Rock a day earlier, we invite you to join us for our Wednesday evening practice. If you can't access the form, please email me at william.
I received the following from Lyn Barnett whose office kindly handled the validating and counting of the ballot.
HONORARY LIFE MEMBER Question
Congratulations to Tom Miller on being elected an Honorary Life Member.
2 ballots disqualified – no name and/or signature on outside of envelope. All remaining ballots were from members on the good-standing list Tom sent me.
Reminder: Quarter Peal Weekend
Quarter Peal Weekend January 13-16 in Philadelphia: We ring from Friday evening until Monday afternoon quarter peals at both Philly towers. Please see the calendar listing. There is a Groupon for overnights at the Warwick Hotel at 17th and Locust Sts which is half a block from St Mark's and a great base if you are bringing non-ringing significant others. We would love to have more ringers on Sunday/Monday as well as Saturday.
I copy edit for a blogger. He posted this on his blog yesterday. If you don't know this, here is what he wrote. My blogger is not a bell ringer. I think that NAGCR needs to be aware of this. We are losing a piece of history.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, England, one of the most famous foundries in the world, and the oldest in Britain, is set to close in May of 2017, when the current master bellfounder, Alan Hughes, retires. Negotiations are underway for a sale of the business, but it will not remain at the current site. The foundry was established in 1570, although it has existed under various names and in various locations. It has been at its current location in Whitechapel for over two hundred seventy five years, and Hughes is a fourth generation bellfounder, his great-grandfather having taken over the business in 1904.
The famous bells of Big Ben in London were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, as was the Liberty Bell. Many Episcopal churches in the US have Whitechapel bells, most prominently the ring in the upper belfry at the Washington National Cathedral, and Whitechapel bells can be heard all over the world. A listing of places with Whitechapel bells can be found here. More information about the foundry, an interview with Alan Hughes, and beautiful pictures here.
Improvement to electronic reporting of peals or quarters
Six years ago Tony Parry, the creator of Campanophile, kindly added a special form to the site for entering North American peals and quarters. That was originally used to ensure they went to the Peal Secretary and/or Clapper Editor, as appropriate, and has since also been used to populate a section of the North American Guild's web site, nagcr.org. Since that time, though, Richard Smith created Bellboard, which has proved exceedingly popular. In addition, folks have been using the special form less and less. Last I checked, over a quarter of North American performances were submitted not using the special form, which necessarily makes it less useful.
The web site has now been changed to no longer need the special form. Instead, Bellboard is automatically searched each day for performances rung for the NAGCR or in North America, and pulls them into the web site. This technology has actually been in use for about the past year by Rick DuPuy to pull both peals and quarters out for The Clapper and for the Guild's records.
In particular, any North American peals or quarters submitted either to Bellboard or to Campanophile should be automatically picked up and placed on the NAGCR web site, and made available for publication in The Clapper. There is no longer any need to use the special North American form on Campanophile, though there is also no harm in doing so. Indeed, some folks may find it more convenient, since it is prepopulated with North American tower details.
The software to extract performance details from Bellboard is run only once a day, so it may take up to twenty-four hours for a performance to appear on nagcr.org.
Because of the ambiguity of place names some heuristics have to be applied to recognize performances rung in North America but not credited to the NAGCR They've been tuned a bit over the past year, and appear to be working well. However, if after twenty-four hours a performance you've submitted doesn't seem to have migrated to nagcr.org, or you see one there that shouldn't be, please let me, or John Danaher or Rick Dupuy, know. Thanks!
Please also double check the spelling of place or Guild names. For example, peals rung for the North Ammerrikkan Guild in the UK will not be picked up.
And many thanks to John Danaher for integrating this mechanism into the NAGCR web site, and to Rick DuPuy for have been exceedingly helpful in testing and correcting it.
Nashotah House breaks ground for bells on Nov. 16
Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin, will break ground for a new bell tower on Nov. 16. The House has made the following announcement:
"NASHOTAH, WISCONSIN, (November 8, 2016) – Recently recognized as an historical district by the Wisconsin State Historical Society, Nashotah House is again making history by bringing the first Change Ringing Bells to the State of Wisconsin and only the 42nd set of these special bells in North America.
"A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at noon on Wednesday, November 16th at the Nashotah House Theological Seminary thanks to the generosity of Dr. James and Mrs. Karen Hyde. According to Dr. Hyde, “We are contributing funds for the bell tower as a way to honor Nashotah’s work that has served as the impetus for the creation of many area churches such as St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dousman. We wish this gift to remind others of the impact of the Nashotah Mission every time they hear the bells peal.” The tower will be called the St. Mary’s Dousman Bell Tower."
There is more in the full press release.
This new tower has been designed by Charleston ringer and architect Dan Beaman.
Ringers also owe Roland Perschon a huge debt of gratitude for giving his Whitechapel bells to create this new home for ringing in the Badger State.
NAGCR members can find details of the ballot required following this year's AGM. The ballot sheet and accompanying proposals can be found under "Member Discussions" section of the website.
Please vote and return your ballots by the deadline December 23, 2016
Seven Towers Festival ***Save the Date***
The Trinity Ringing Society cordially invites everyone to the Seven Towers Festival, to be held Thursday, May 4-Sunday, May 7, 2017. Please note the change in date. 2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of the casting of our 8 Whitechapel Bells, and we guarantee a weekend full of ringing, fellowship, and fun.
More information will be posted closer to time.
Ringing World Diaries and Calendar - 2017
Ringing World Diaries and Calendar for 2017
If you wish please send an email to me with your order details:
To obtain a 2017 Ringing World Diary please send a check in US or CDN funds payable to NAGCR Book Service to:
829 North 25th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Standard – USD $10.50 or CDN $14.00
Standard with Pencil in spine – USD $11.00 or CDN $14.50
Leather – USD $18.00 or CDN $24.00
Ringing World Calendar 2017
The 2017 calendar is produced in partnership with the Scottish Association of Church Bell Ringers.
To obtain a 2017 Ringing World Calendar please send a check for $10.50 in US or CDN $14.50 funds payable to NAGCR Book Service to:
829 North 25th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Add USD $2.00- or CDN $2.50 for each item if you wish airmail (not really necessary at this time – October)
Total Amount Enclosed $
NAGCR Officer Nominations Needed
For those who do not frequent the Member Discussions section of our site, Bruce today posted information regarding nominations for NAGCR Officers for the coming year. We anticipate three positions where the incumbent will not run, and one incumbent on the Central Council who will not run. Please take a look as we need nominations for these positions by October 17.
New Castle Dinner and Ringing
New Castle Dinner and Ringing - More details are now available - see Calendar
2015 NAGCR Annual Report
The 2015 NAGCR Annual Report is now available under "Guild Documents" and is restricted to members.
Smith College Area Meeting Oct 8
October 8, 2016, is the area meeting at Smith College, Northampton, MA. The core area meeting is from 11-5 on Saturday.
We hope you will be able to join us Saturday, no RSVP needed. If you can stay for an extended weekend of ringing, we have scheduled the tower from Friday through Sunday. please contact us to let us know your interests.
Smith College Bell Ringers mailto: smith-bellringing-
DC Earthquake - 5th Anniversary and the Cathedral's fundraising push
DC Earthquake - 5th Anniversary and the Cathedral's fundraising push
Last week, on August 23, 2016, we marked the 5-year anniversary of the earthquake that, in less than a minute, caused significant damage to the Washington Cathedral. To mark the anniversary, the Cathedral added a really informative package to their website that describes the extent of the damage, the restoration work completed to date, and plans for the remaining restoration work (http://cathedral.org/earthquake/). Putting any damaged building back together is a complicated proposition (as I well know) but this particular effort is even more challenging because nothing they’re doing can be done “off the shelf.” Additional factoid: To mark this anniversary, the Cathedral has has launched a new fundraising effort and (if you are interested in supporting this effort) you can make donations directly through the website.
New York bells 10th anniversary celebration: Oct 27-30, 2016
October 28, 2016, is the 10th anniversary of the installation of the 12 bells at Trinity Wall Street, New York. To mark this event, the Trinity band is planning a long weekend of ringing and socializing, running from the evening of Thursday Oct. 27 to early afternoon on Sunday Oct. 30.
We hope that ringers from near and far will be able to join us for this celebration. October is usually a very nice time of year to visit New York City! Our band website has more information, and also provides a link to the event registration form:
We hope that many of you will be able to join us.
The Trinity New York band.
AGM Deadline Extended - August 15
AGM Deadline Extended - August 15
Just a reminder that the NAGCR's Annual General Meeting will be held this year in the beautiful city of Victoria, BC over the weekend of September 14-18, 2016.
The deadline for registrations has been extended to August 15. Please do send your registrations in a timely manner as the Victoria team has been busy planning what I expect to be another outstanding AGM. The 1998 AGM held there was so very memorable with over 100 people sitting down to the Saturday evening dinner.
One major reason that we move the AGMs around the Guild is to provide the opportunity for members to attend those that may be closer geographically and while Victoria may not be the easiest place to get to, it is well worth the effort. I do hope that we will have attendees from those areas as well as representatives from the South and East.
Please do complete the registration form which can be found on the website:http://www.nagcr.org/materials/2016_09_nagcr-annual-general-meeting.pdf
If you have any questions about this, please contact me, Tom Miller, or any of the Victoria organizers.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in Victoria.
NAGCR 2016 AGM Registration
NAGCR Annual General Meeting Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, British Columbia September 14–18, 2016
The congregation and ringers of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C., Canada, take great pleasure in inviting members of the North American Guild of Change Ringers to come to their Annual Meeting in Victoria on Saturday, September 17th, 2016. The bells will be available from the time of our regular practice on the preceding Tuesday, 13th, until and including Sunday the 18th, except on Thursday evening which is the time set aside for Choir Practice. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the hanging of our original eight bells (augmented to 10 in 1983) and September is often a very pleasant month to be in Victoria, with moderate temperatures and low rainfall. Victoria may be reached by air from either Vancouver or Seattle (there are also a few direct flights from Calgary and Toronto) and by sea from Anacortes, Washington, Tsawwassen, B.C. (south of Vancouver) or Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. There is also a clipper service from Seattle which, however, takes foot passengers only (google “Victoria Clipper” for the schedule). All the sea passages are very scenic and even if you fly to Seattle or Vancouver you might like to make the last part of your journey by ship. Victoria is very much a tourist centre and there are many hotels and motels to choose from to suit every budget. It may be possible to accommodate a limited number of people in private houses. We have an effective sound-control system which enables us to ring for long periods without disturbing the neighbours, so there will be several opportunities for quarter-peals on eight or ten bells. If there is sufficient demand a peal attempt could be made on Sunday evening. Those who wish to ring in Vancouver or Seattle while they are on the west coast should contact either Alan Ellis () for Vancouver or Rebecca Woodgate () for Seattle to make their own arrangements. The Annual Banquet will be held in the University Club of the University of Victoria, on Saturday 17th September, and an informal barbecue will be held on the Deanery lawn (weather permitting) on the Friday evening. Your registration fee will cover our necessary expenses, primarily the provision of snacks between the ringing sessions and overtime payments to the Cathedral Staff that may become necessary. A Registration Form is now available on line on the NAG website.
Contact: Margaret Ketchen
Click, download and save the registration form. You may print it and fill it in by hand, or you may open it and fill it in on your computer, and then re-save it. When complete either print it out and mail it with your payment, as follows: If you're paying in Canadian currency send it to Margaret Ketchen. If paying in US currency send it to Tom Miller. Margaret's and Tom's mailing and email addresses are on the form.
If you have any problems with the registration form, please contact Tom or Margaret.
Download as: PDF
Aug 11-14 Hendersonville Ringing Weekend
Anniversary Celebration Hendersonville Bells Extended Weekend Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 14, 2016
All are invited to join an extended weekend of ringing, Thursday thru Sunday, August 11-14 to celebrate 38-years with tower bells at St. James Episcopal Church Hendersonville. We'll probably have a Wednesday evening practice to give those in town a start. Thursday thru Sunday will include ringing with focus sessions depending on the ringing level and support level of those participating. We'll look at scheduling a couple of quarter peals each day. With the expectation that participants are past the basic handling stage, we'll work in opportunities for ringing at as many levels as the participants support, and try to give everyone a fair share of the time.
Costs to cover expenses will be $10 for the full time, or $5 per day for Fri and/or Sat. Pay the registration upon arrival. Limited accommodations will be available with local ringers, so let us know if your participation may depend on being able to stay with someone.
Please let us know if you plan to attend, which days you would be with us, what you would like to ring, and your interest in conducting or participating in quarter peals. So, with some indication of how likely that you will attend (e. g. For sure, very likely, interested but uncertain, etc.) please e-mail
With sound control we have pretty much unlimited opportunities to ring through the weekend.
Most likely we'll have lunch at the church Thursday and/or Friday, in-town no-host supper/libations after ringing, full days of ringing Thursday through Saturday, Saturday evening gathering arranged depending on participants, and service ringing Sunday followed by ringing Sunday afternoon as availability of ringers supports. .
Numerous opportunities exist to enjoy the area by extending your time beyond the weekend. This website provides information and multiple links for lodging, tours, etc., etc.:
Posted June 8, 2016 by Robert Aldinger
NAGCR AGM in Victoria
Please see the calendar entry on the website for the invitation and registration form for the 2016 AGM. The locals have planned what I know will be a very successful event in one of North America's most beautiful cities.
Question Time at Central Council's Open Meeting
As an innovation this year over the Central Council weekend in Portsmouth there is to be an opportunity to debate some of the current “hot potatoes” in ringing today! Join some of the key commentators on the health of the Exercise. There is a flyer describing "Question Time" session which explains how to join in by being there (need to reserve a place) or by joining in the streaming on the Council’s website. Please do pass this on to all your towers to print and display and encourage your members to join in – possibly even by submitting a question in advance.
This is not an event purely for Council members but for all ringers to join in.
Toronto 12 Bell Weekend
Registration is now available online for the Toronto 12 Bell Weekend. Detailed event nformation is posted on the Calendar of Events:
Memorial Service for Bob Coughlin
Bob Coughlin's memorlal service will be held at St Martin's on April 9 at 11:00 am. There will be ringing before and after the service. Please do let me know if you are planning on attending and would like to participate in the ringing as well as attending the luncheon after the Service.
Tenth Annual Pittsburgh Ringing Course, 29-31 July
The tenth annual Pittsburgh ringing course will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 29-31 July 2016
The course will be aimed at helping students develop the practical skills necessary to make the transition from simple, plain hunt dominated methods to ringing more complicated methods, specifically Stedman and Kent Treble Bob. This is a reprise, for our tenth anniversary, of our first ringing course! It will be focused exclusively on practical skills, with no time spent on theory or learning methods. Further details can be found at http://tinyurl.com/z6bpgyw.
It is likely that most of our ringing over the weekend will be of doubles and minor, though if student preparation and skills allow there may be forays into triples and major.
If you are interested in being a student on this course please send email to Don Morrison <> as soon as practical, but certainly before mid-April.
Last Call for the Seven Towers Festival
This year's Seven Towers festival will be held on 1st through 3rd April at St James Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX. If you are planning to come, the deadline for registrations is now Friday 18th March. Hope to see you there!
The updated website for the ringers at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, B.C. went live yesterday. The address remains the same: victoriaringers.ca.
Seven Towers Festival
The 2016 Seven Towers festival will be held in Dallas, Texas at St James Episcopal Church. On Thursday, March 31st an ITTS Module 1 course will be held. General Festival ringing begins at 9 am on Friday, April 1st and runs through Sunday, April 3rd. The festival includes a striking competition between towers in the region and a festival dinner. There will also be opportunities for quarter peal attempts during the festival. Hope to see you there!
2016 Ringing Course and Annual General Meeting
The Guild of Ringers of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C. is looking forward to welcoming as many of you as can come to the NAG Annual Meeting on September 17th and 18th.
We have the enthusiastic support of the Cathedral authorities for this event, which will be preceded by a ringing course. We plan to reserve time for a peal, as well as for quarter peals.
Our plans are still in the very early stages, but we will provide more information in the April issue of The Clapper.
Our website is currently being updated.
St James, Marietta, Georgia, 20th Anniversary Weekend
St James, Marietta, welcomes you to their 20th Anniversary Weekend in celebration of 2 decades of tower bell change ringing in Georgia: March 11–13, 2016
Friday, March 11: Welcome and General Ringing 6:30- 8:30 pm. Dinner on your own
Saturday, March 12: General Ringing 9:30 am – 5pm. Lunch and snacks provided by St. James. Dutch-treat dinner 6 pm
Sunday, March 13: Service Ringing, Reception in the Parish Hall following 10:30 Service, General Ringing at noon, Peal attempt (tentative) 1:30
Please RSVP by March 1, 2016, to Mary Platt
It is with great sadness that I report that Bob Coughlin passed away this morning, January 7, 2016. Bob was instrumental in getting the bells at St Martin in the Fields, Philadelphia, installed in 1980. He had been a member of NAGCR since 1977 and was elected to the Honor Roll in 1993. Unfortunately, due to health issues Bob has not rung in several years, but remained a keen supporter of the NAG and of ringing, especially at St Martin's, Philadelphia.
Passing of member Tom Watson
It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of Tom Watson of Sewanee.
The Rev’d Ray Gotko of Sewanee reports that Tom died on Sunday, December 27, of complications following a fall at home.
Tom was a ringer at Sewanee (University of the South); a valued long time significant member of the university, and the community. Tom was intimately involved in the acquisition of Sewanee’s ring of 8 in 2004.
He is survived by his wife Gail who is also a NAGCR member and ringer at Sewanee.
Tom had been a member of the NAGCR since 2005.
Funeral services will be held on January 16 at All Saint's Chapel at the University of the South.
An important survey
A remarkable facet of the ringing community is that it has long had a weekly, printed magazine devoted to it. I can think of no other activity with a comparably small community that supports such a thing. And over the decades The Ringing World has undoubtedly played a major role in fashioning ringing into what it is. Unsurprisingly, financing such a thing has always been difficult, and has become many times more so in recent years with the rise of electronic publications, which is affecting all print publications.
To better help them plan for the future The Ringing World has asked folks to complete a survey, which is available on-line, or in a form to be printed and mailed back, if you prefer. They would very much like not just current subscribers but also non-subscribers to complete this survey. I encourage as many North American ringers as possible to complete this survey. Ringing in North America is obviously somewhat different than in the UK, both because of geography and because it is growing significantly here, and it would be useful to help the institutions supporting ringing better understand the needs here as well as in the UK.
Further information can be found on the Ringing World's home page.
2016 AGM-Victoria, BC
I am thrilled to announce that the 2016 AGM will be held in Vctoria, BC over the weekend of September 15-18. More details to follow.
Ringing World Diaries and Calendar - 2016
Ringing World Diaries and Calendar for 2016
If you wish please send an email to me with your order details.
To obtain a 2016 Ringing World Diary please send a check in US or CDN funds payable to NAGCR Book Service to:
829 North 25th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Standard – USD $12.50 or CDN $16.00
Standard with Pencil in spine – USD $13.50 or CDN $17.00
Leather – USD $22.00 or CDN $28.00
Ringing World Calendar 2016
The 2016 calendar is produced in partnership with the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers.
To obtain a 2016 Ringing World Calendar please send a check for $12.50 in US or CDN $16.00 funds payable to NAGCR Book Service to:
829 North 25th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Add USD $2.50- or CDN $3.00 for each item if you wish airmail (not really necessary at this time – November)
Total Amount Enclosed $
Save The Date: Ring Around Charleston 2016
Ring Around Charleston: February 26-28, 2016
Mark your calendars and book your airfares early. Enjoy the beautiful charm of Charleston, excellent food (southern, fresh seafood, and more), beaches, and ringing at four towers !
For your travel planning:
Quarter peal opportunities will start Friday morning (February 26) and run through Sunday afternoon (February 28)
General ringing sessions will start Friday mid-afternoon (February 26) and run through Sunday afternoon (February 28).
Sunday service ringing will be at St. Michaels, Grace, and The Cathedral Churches on Sunday February 28 (due to Lent, no service ringing at Stella Maris)
Registration is now open; visit this site for hotel information: https://rac2016.eventbrite.com
If you are interested in conducting, please contact Rosalie Crouch at