Please note - this site is no longer active. Maidstone district notices are hosted on the Kent County Web site.

Thank you

(September 2018)

Summer District Event:  Saturday 11th August 2018 - Staplehurst

The event was over subscribed with many classes fully booked.

Thank you to all at Staplehurst for making this such a great and rewarding event.

14th July’s District Practice and Quarterly Meeting was at West Malling. 

Thank you to the chruch and ringer for a great mornings ringing.

June District Practice was at Bearsted. 

Very Nice it was too - thank you to Ian and all those at Bearsted for hosting us.
A bit of tittle tattle:
The last person to be publicly executed on Penenden Heath was John Dyke, from Bearsted, who was hanged on Christmas Eve 1830 for arson after setting light a hay bale. Years later another man confessed to the crime on his death bed. Mr Dyke is commemorated by a stone in the churchyard Holy Cross Church, in Church Lane, Bearsted.


N.B. this is a change of venue from that published in the KCACR handbook and the District calendar dated 26 January 2018.

Everyone is encouraged to attend, and as usual there will be opportunities to ring irrespective of your ability, from rounds and call-changes to more advanced methods.

May District Practise - East Farleigh

21 Ringers attended the practice with Terry taking the lead.  I splendid time was had by all - thank you to the church for suppliers refreshments.

Note - the District Practice on 9th June 2018 will bnot be hosted by Bearsted. 

(Otham will host the 10th Novemeber 2018 practice).

April District Meeting and Practice  - Lenham 14th April

We had another good turn out (approx 33) attended the practice - thank you to all at Lenham for looking after us and providing excellent refreshments.

A very nice ring of 8 which was put to good use with District Ringing Masters Phil and Terry make sure every one was catered for.

Thank you to everyone that took part !

District Striking Competitions - Saturday 10 March - Ightam - Results

Thank you to everyone that took part and that is the most important part - having a go - big gains are made in small steps.  Even Liz and Dan where once beginners.

Judges: Daniel Jarvis, Hadlow; Catherine Heathcote, Lamberhurst (Tonbridge District)  Thank you so much for your time, patience and support.
Call change competition
1st  Staplehurst A,  92%  (Rang 4th)
2nd Maidstone All Saints,88% (Rang 3rd)*
3rd Aylesford, 85.5% (Rang 2nd)
4th Staplehurst B, 85% (Rang 1st)
5th Wrotham, 82% (Rang 5th)
Striking competition
1st Aylesford, 93.5% (Rang 2nd)
2nd Staplehurst, 93% (Rang 1st)
3rd Wrotham, 70% (Rang 3rd)
Once again a very close result with only 0.5% between first and second place.
2018 saw a reversal of last year’s result, with Aylesford over Staplehurst.

The shield for the highest place band with the greatest number of ringers who had not previously rung in a competition (= Newcomers) went to Maidstone, All Saints.  In actual fact each team had one member who had not previously rung in a competition.

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.

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.

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.  

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