Happy New Year, and welcome to 2024! Here’s all the latest news you need from your Lewisham District.
December District Practice and Christmas Social
Thanks to all who took part in a really enjoyable “end-of-term party” practice at Beckenham in December – and well done especially to those who rang something on ten for the first time. “Thank you’s” go to Lizzie Hardy and the local Beckenham ringers for hosting us and providing the mulled wine and cakes; to Graham Long for playing the Christmas tunes on the organ during the Social; to the experienced ringers who came along to support the practice; and to those who provided the colourful entertainment in the pub and curry house afterwards.
The New Year Honours 2024
We start 2024 with some fantastic news – Dickon Love has been appointed MBE for services to bell ringing in London and Kent in The New Year Honours List.
Dickon lives in Bromley and is the Steeplekeeper at Bromley Parish Church. He is also an active bellringer in the City of London and is a Past Master and Hon Librarian of the Ancient Society of College Youths. He is Tower Keeper/Captain at St Magnus the Martyr, St James Garlickhythe and St Mary Woolnoth. He conceived and ran the projects to install the new bells at St Magnus, St Dunstan-in-the-West and at St James Garlickhythe; the latter of which are the Royal Jubilee Bells which he managed when they rang on the River Thames leading the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
The warm congratulations extended to Dickon in the footnote to this peal at Bromley are no doubt shared by us all. Well done Dickon on your well-deserved award.
January 2024 District Practice & Business Meeting
The first District event of 2024 is a Practice Plus Business Meeting at St Mary Cray on Saturday 13th January – 1000 ringing; 1100 cuppa and Business Meeting in the church; 1130 further ringing; 1230 finish. The car park next to the church is now closed; if there aren’t any spaces on the road outside then either try the other side of the viaduct, or you get free parking for up to three hours in the Nugent Shopping Centre. Please notify any significant items of business for the meeting to the Chairman in advance.
Here’s the (mostly!) confirmed District Events calendar for 2024, below as a poster – please do share with your ringers and pin a copy to your tower wall. Every event (except for June and maybe July) is on the second Saturday of each month. Final confirmation of the last couple of TBC items will follow in the upcoming monthly Updates but the dates and timings should be set now so please put them all in your 2024 diary and come along to as many as you can!
Firsts and Footnotes
A special note must be made for the resident KCACR (and mostly Lewisham District-based) band that has been building up a series of Spliced Major performances for a few months, which culminated in an impressive all-the-work peal of 23-spliced at Eltham. Congratulations also to the following for their quarter peal achievements:
- Max Ganesh – first away from cover, treble to Grandsire Doubles at Crayford
- Peter Norwood – most methods inside, 4 Doubles at St Mary Cray
- Nevil Stonehouse – first Stedman Doubles at Crayford
- Andrew Sinclair, Ann Saunders, Rupert Cheeseman and David Gyles – first Antelope Doubles at Crayford
- Amber Cusick – circled the tower at Bromley
2023 Performances Summary
13 handbell peals were rung in Kent in 2023; all but one of them took place in the Lewisham District and all but one of them was conducted by Tom Hinks. Lewisham also led the way in tower bell peals – of the 72 peals rung in the County in 2023, 29 of them were rung in 13 different towers in the District; Farnborough was the County’s leading tower with 9 performances recorded.
Farnborough was also the District’s leading tower for Quarter Peals with 27, followed by Bromley (15) and Crayford (11). Leading QP conductors were Nick Wilkins (28), Rupert Cheeseman (19) and Tom Hinks (16). In all, 101 tower bell quarter peals were recorded in nineteen different District towers in 2023 – congratulations to everyone who took part in any of them. Only four handbell quarters were rung in the District though – note to self, must try harder on that front!
Ruth & Nigel