District Striking Competitions - Saturday 10 March - Ightam

The District Striking Competitions will take place instead of a normal District Practice this month. The arrangements are as follows:
Date: Saturday 10 March
Time: Bells available from 09:30, draw 09:45, competition 10:00 onwards.
Location: Ightham 6 (7-0-22)
Postcode: TN15 9JD
There will be two competitions - one for call changes and another for methods.

If your tower is not planning on entering a team, but you would like to take part, scratch team(s) will be organised on the day.

I wish all teams who enter the very best of luck.

A Very Enjoyable District Practice at Boxley 

24 people attended with plenty of opportunity for all levels of ringing.  Thank you to the Boxley church and ringers for laying on excellent refreshment and being so welcoming.

The next district event is at Ightham on the 10th March - its a ringing competition but dont let that put you off at its designed for all levels and there are opportunities to turn up onthe day and form a band - but you willl need to get there on time to register.  (details to follow expect a 9-10am start).

Other notices:
For those with Google mail e-mail accounts, there is a Google calendar for our district practices:
The minutes of the January Quarterly Meeting and the Tower Captains' Meeting are now on the district website:


Ros Bell

Sadly Ros Bell, who rang at Yalding and Wateringbury for some years, passed away overnight, 25th/26th January 2018.  She suffered poor health for several years, and moved to a care home near Stirling, Scotland in 2015, to be closer to her sister-in-law, Mandy.
There are no further details at present, but the funeral will probably be in Scotland, with a memorial service to follow in the Maidstone area around September, when her remaining family can all be together.  If anyone is interested in receiving further details of either the funeral, or the memorial service, then please contact Duncan Button:  
01622 661149  

A Great Congregation of Ringers at Linton

We started with the tower captains' meeting -  a good turn out with 17 towers represented (and many more people).  Topics included GDPR (Data Protection), tower support and training.
Minutes:  http://www.kcacr-maidstone-district.org.uk/pdf/tcminutes13012018.pdf
Ringing commenced shortly afterwards with 37 signing the attendance book.  It was good to see so many ringers turn up.  The tower did get rather full - as the church was closed.  Apologises to anyone who struggled. The committee are looking into options to avoid this in the future.
There was a short break for the district meeting held in the pub - The Bull directly opposite.  Thank you to Linton church for hosting the facilities and providing tea and coffee.  Again this was well attended with many topics raised.  Draft minutes to follow.
Minutes: http://www.kcacr-maidstone-district.org.uk/pdf/minutes13012018.pdf
After some more ringing we return to the Bull for some light refreshments before heading off home.
The weather held out but it was cold - but not raining.
Thank you to everyone who took part in making this a great meeting.
The next district meeting is at Boxley on 10th February 2018.  After that we have the district call change and striking competition at Ightham on the 10th March 2018. 
Finally - can I remind all towers to pay their KCACR subscriptions and to return the personal information consent forms.

An enjoyable start to Christmas

Around 24 ringers and friends started the festive season in style at the District Carol Service at Addington on Saturday 9th December.  Before the service the four bells were put to good use, with Ringing Master Phil Barnes conducting us from rounds and call changes up to reverse Canterbury.  Following the service we enjoyed the traditional mince pies, tea and coffee in the Village Hall, kindly provided by the church.  

A big thank you to Tom, the Vicar and all those helping out with the catering.

Splendid !

District Practice - 11th Novemeber 2017 - St Mary's Hunton

Twenty four people attended the November District Practice at Hunton on Saturday 11th November.  As ever there was ringing for all abilities, with the less experienced having the opportunity to ring call changes, plain hunt and touches of Grandsire and Plain Bob Doubles, surrounded by a strong bands.  For the more experienced other doubles, methods such as Stedman, and both plain and treble dodging minor methods were rung. Addiontally by request Kent Treble Bob, Cambridge and London Suprise.  

The District's bookstall was also present and left with its diverse stock much depleted.

At 11am, we obseved a 2 minute silence for Armistice Day.

Thank you to Hunton using the bells and for looking after us so well - the refreshments were excellent.

Hope to see you at Addington - 9th Dec from 4pm for some ringing, singing and dinging (I know but it rhymed)

Annual District Meeting

The Annual District Meeting took place on Saturday 14th October at Leeds. Given the number of ringers at other meetings this year, the attendance of around 20 was rather disappointing.  Although we were able to ring Rounds and Call Changes on all ten bells and Plain Hunt on 9, we didn't have enough experienced ringers to ring methods on all 10.

At the Business Meeting there was a change to the format of the Committee and a number of changes of District Officers.  Further details will be available here shortly.

Gallant effort by our District in County 6-bell Competition

The Maidstone District band, represented once again by Staplehurst, gave of their best in the County 6-bell Competition but unfortunately it was not enough.  In the contest, held at East Malling on 23rd September, they finished fifth with 103 faults.  Judge Mark Esbester from Portsmouth commented that after a nervous start with a few faults in the first four leads the ringing settled down in the second half.

The winners were Hadlow, representing Tonbridge District, with just 37 faults.  For a more detailed report go to the County website.

Plenty of variety at  autumn District Practice

Although the attendance of around 20 at the District Practice at St Michael and All Angels, Maidstone, on 9th September was lower than many recent meetings we were still able to ring a good variety of methods.  As well as Rounds and Call Changes the repertoire included Grandsire Triples, Bob Major, Cambridge Major and London Minor. Once again the refreshments provided by the church were excellent. 

The next meeting will be the Annual District Meeting at Leeds on Saturday 14th October.  Please note that this is an afternoon meeting, starting at 3pm.  

Perfect Summer District BBQ at Piltdown

We were very well looked after by our hosts Liz and Phil with a great selection of snacks, pizza, salad and ice cream. Additionally the beer brewed and supplied by Chris Bassett went down very well. It was also nice to see a good selection of wines and non alcoholic beverages.

 Ringing on the 12 bells ranged from rounds and call changes to methods (see picture). There was also half tone bell ringing with Pachelbel, Aura Lee and Waltzing Matilda - rather nice to see so many people taking part and enjoying this. Finally all 8 handbells were rung - and sounded marvellous.

 The weather was perfect.   The event was planned as a non profit making event, but as it turned out it did  make around £100 which will go to the ringing training fund.

 A very big thank you to Liz and Phil for hosting and organising a perfect summer event and also thanks to all those who helped and attended.  

Summer sizzler at Barming

The Summer Quarterly District Meeting was held at Barming on Saturday 8th July, one of the hottest mornings of the summer so far.  Maybe it was the lovely weather that encouraged no less than 46 members and friends to come and enjoy the recently refurbished ring of six.  And enjoy it they did, with ringing including Plain Bob Doubles and Minor, Single Oxford, St Clements and Cambridge Minor and, of course, plenty of Rounds and Call Changes. 

Add to that the usual warm hospitality and superb refreshments by the Barming ringers and you can see why it was such a pleasurable morning.

At the Business Meeting six new members were elected to the Association and we look forward to seeing them at District events in the future.


District 10-bell Practice proves popular

The 10-bell practice at All Saints' Maidstone on Saturday 10th June attracted an impressive attendance of 25 people. This enabled us to ring Grandsire and Stedman Caters and of course plenty of Rounds and Call Changes on 10 and Plain Hunt on 9.  It was particularly pleasing to see a good number of our less experienced ringers present, many of whom were ringing on ten bells for the first time.  We are sure they will go back to their own towers all the better for the experience.       

Our thanks go to Graham Heath for the use of these magnificent bells.

Plenty for everyone at Wateringbury

There was plenty for everyone at the District Practice at Wateringbury on Saturday 13th May, no matter what their level of ability.  The 21 people present enjoyed ringing from Rounds and Call Changes, various Doubles methods (including Stedman) and Minor.  Thanks to the Wateringbury ringers for the use of the bells. It was nice to have a District event there again for the first time for a number of years.

Sun brings out the crowds at Aylesford

The warm spring sunshine certainly attracted plenty of people to the Spring Quarterly District Meeting at Aylesford on Saturday 8th April. The 34 ringers present were able to ring Grandsire, Plain Bob and Stedman Triples and Bob Major along with plenty of Plain Hunt, Rounds and Call Changes. At the impressively short Business Meeting seven new members were elected - a healthy sign for the future.  The draft minutes of the meeting can be found here.

Our thanks go to the Aylesford band for the use of the bells and for the splendid refreshments.

Striking Competition a close call 

A very close call in fact! The District Striking and Call Change Competition took place on Saturday 11th March at East Farleigh and the Method Competition provided the closest result for many years. Five bands entered with Staplehurst winning for the sixth consecutive year - but this time by just half a fault from runners-up Aylesford.  However Aylesford had their revenge in the Call Change Competition which they won by a consderable margin over a scratch band, with Staplehurst coming third. The Staplehurst call change band also won the shield for the band having the most ringers never to have previously rung in a striking competition. Full results were as follows:

Method Competition
1st      Staplehurst     Rang 5th   3½ faults
2nd      Aylesford     Rang 4th   4 faults
3rd     Scratch band     Rang 3rd   11 faults
4th     Boughton Monchelsea       Rang 2nd   32½ faults
5th     Marden     Rang 1st   61 faults
Call Change Competition
1st     Aylesford     Rang 4th   15½ faults
2nd     Scratch band     Rang 2nd   40½ faults
3rd     Staplehurst     Rang 3rd   54½ faults
4th     Marden     Rang 1st   70 faults

Click here for pictures of the winners.

Our judge this year was Stephen Davis from the Ashford District, to whom we offer our thanks.  Thanks also to the East Farleigh ringers for the use of their bells and to Sue Clements and her helpers for providing refreshments.  

A Snowy Day at East Malling

The snow didn't prevent a reasonably good attendance - given the conditions - at the District Practice at East Malling on 11th February.  The 28 or so ringers present rang a good variety of methods including Rounds, Call Changes, Plain Hunt, Stedman,Grandsire and Plain Bob Doubles along with Bob Minor, Single Oxford and Cambridge.

The delicious refreshments included lots of cake from Sue Payne, Don Payne, Joy Barnard and Emma Tilston to whom we are most grateful.

New Year starts well at Yalding Quarterly Meeting

Around 24 people attended the first Quarterly District Meeting of 2017 at Yalding on Saturday 14th January.  They were rewarded with a good variety of ringing including Bob Doubles, Stedman, Kent  Cambridge and London.  There were of course also plenty of Rounds and Call Changes.  At the Business Meeting six new members were elected to the Association and suggestions were invited for a summer District event.  The draft minutes can be found here .     

Our thanks go to Richard Young and the Yalding Ringers for providing us with the usual splendid tea. 

New Year Message from the President of the Central Council

Ringers may be interested to see the attached New Year's message from Chris Mew, President of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.  

For archived news please click on the appropriate year below