Parish of Llandudno

NEWS 2008

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News and information 2008


We wish our ringers and ringers everywhere (especially our friends in Harare) a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.  Thank you to all who have rung our bells week in, week out, and to those who have visited our tower during the year.
Sunday service ringing over the Festive Period will be as usual.  There will also be ringing at 11pm Christmas Eve for the Midnight Mass service at 11.30pm, also at 10am for the Christmas Morning service at 10.30am and at 12 noon on New Year's Day.

Sunday 21 December.  The following is part of a message sent to our ringing friends in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

"We wish you to know that we are thinking of you all at this festive time as far as we are concerned, though whether you are all able to regard it as such we do not know.  Anyway Christmas greetings to you and all the other ringers and their families and friends."

John and grandson
Sunday 14 December. We are delighted to welcome a new grandson for one of our ringers John Horsfield.  Charlie John Horsfield arrived at 3.04pm today weighing in at 7lb 1oz. Congratulations to John and to son John-Paul and daughter-in-law Helen.  This is especially good news bearing in mind the sad death of John's wife Enid earlier this year (see under February). 

Santa run
Sunday 7 December.  One of our ringers, Sue Calvert, participated in the Santa Run on the promenade to raise money for Ty Gobaith, Hope House, childrens' hospice.  Over 600 'Santas' turned up which must have been quite confusing to the youngsters watching, but they raised a lot of money for these good causes.  Sue herself contributed 150 by her sponsorship.  Well done Sue.
Sue (right) with her friends Sonia and Lucy who also took part in the 'run' from the pier end to the paddling pool end of the prom.

Wednesday 26 November. The handbell team visited one of our former ringing members Brian Blythe who following a stroke, is being looked after at the Convent of Mercy Nursing Home in Colwyn Bay. Seasonal tunes were played with some of the residents singing along as well. We finished the visit by ringing a couple of tunes for Brian in his room and we were pleased that his wife Betty was able to join us.
We wish Brian well and hope for an improvement in his condition.
Handbell ringers visit a member
Left to right:  Brian, Betty, Stan Whittaker, Linda Fraser, John Horsfield, Ann Mills, Carolyn Ratcliff, and Robin Marsh

Saturday 22 November. Five of our tower members joined members of the NWA (Gwynedd & W Clwyd) Branch on a day's ringing at Hope, Farndon, Holt, Eccleston and Buckley. A very pleasant day and a good turnout.

Saturday 15 November.  The handbell ringers provided entertainment at the Parish Christmas Fair, playing seasonal tunes outside the church.  There is another photograph on the parish Holy Trinity Events 2008 page. 

Handell ringers at the Christmas Fair

Gillian and granddaughter
Friday 31 October.  One of our ringers Gillian Blackwell with her newborn grand daughter Katie Ffion Ashton who weighed in at 9lb 10oz. Congratulations to Gillian and to daughter Carol and her husband.


Sunday 19 October.
  Last Sunday's quarter peal attracted the attention of quite a number of people in the town at the time it was being rung including "Oscar" who has a website blog called
Whilst some people have an idea who "Oscar" is, nevertheless it seems he continues to remain anonymous. His site is really quite interesting with his thoughts on lots of things which happen in Conwy County with a number of organisations and individuals being on the receiving end of his critical comments.  Fortunately he seems to like bellringing and his comments last Sunday were very critical of a "yob" who made an inane remark in the direction of the bells.  The story appears under the heading "Speechless" and Sunday's date 12th October.

Sunday 12 October
.  Members of the Bangor Students' Society of Change Ringers (with NWA) rang a quarter peal of 1260 St Clements College Bob Minor for evensong. The ringers were, Peter Cox 1, Ron Miers 2, Donald R Marshall 3, David Raggett 4, Garry Peel 5, Jason M Walker 6 (C).  First in the method 5.  First in the method as conductor 6.

Bellringers on their Golden WeddingJust over 18 months ago, Brian Blythe, one of our "senior" ringers suffered a stroke and became hospitalised. He was then transferred to a Colwyn Bay nursing home where he remains to the present day. Brian cannot move without assistance, or even speak, but he can still see, read, hear, and understand, as local ringers Stan Whittaker and John Horsfield found when visiting him last week.
Brian became a ringer in about 1978 at Smarden in Kent and subsequently joined us in Llandudno a few years ago when he and wife Betty moved to the area. Whilst a member of our tower Brian
and Betty celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in March 2004 and we were delighted to ring a quarter peal for them and four other couples who were celebrating Ruby Wedding Anniversaries. We all wish Brian well and hope that his condition will improve.
The photograph here was taken in Holy Trinity's ringing chamber on the happy occasion of Brian and Betty's Golden Wedding anniversary.


Monday 29 September. Members of the Isle Valley Youths started their 'Tour of Wales 2008' at Holy Trinity.  A quarter peal of 1280 Plain Bob Major was rung.  The ringers were Mandy Spearing 1, Liz Rendell 2, Eddie Hancock 3, Lynne Smith 4, Bruce Hicks 5, Janet Wyatt 6, Terry Spearing 7, Patrick Rendell 8 (C)
We hope you all enjoyed your visit to Wales and Llandudno in particular.

Wednesday 17 September.  We received an email from Ruth Hutchinson in Harare.  Despite the possible encouraging signs about power sharing in Zimbabwe, our friends at Harare Cathedral are still unable to ring the bells there and so the 'lock-out' continues.  We extend our good wishes to the ringers (particularly for their personal safety), and hope that a satisfactory solution will be found at an early date.
(For the background to this issue, please see information under July and August)

Saturday 13 September. The North Wales Association striking competition took place at Christ Church, Prestatyn.  We entered a team ringing a touch of Bob Doubles, and came a creditable fourth after Bangor, Buckley and Mold. The team was David Jones, Lynn Ferriday, Elizabeth Curtis, Martin J Brown, David Raggett and Stan Whittaker. 

Saturday 6 September.  Three members, tower captain Stan Whittaker, John Horsfield and Gillian Blackwell attended the Ringing World Roadshow held at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.  An enjoyable and interesting expereience with lots to see.  We also met friends from other towers and amongst the trade stands visited, we were pleased especially to see Brian and Diana White and Graham Clifton of Whites of Appleton (the bellhangers who carried out Holy Trinity's re-hang in 2002), and Big Wilf (Grove) and wife Cherie who have visited Holy Trinity tower on a number of occasions.


Saturday 23 August.  We welcomed members of the Exonian Society who were on their annual tour, this year to North Wales.  We hope you all enjoyed your visit to this area and to Llandudno in particular.
A quarter peal of 1250 Yorkshire S Major was rung in 44 minutes by: Judy A M Howard 1, Lesley A Tucker 2, P Wendy Campbell 3, Judith M Reading 4, Susan M Sawyer 5, Simon J Reading 6, Graham P Tucker 7, Ian L C Campbell 8.

Exonian Society bellringers
The Exonian Society bellringers.

Sunday 17 August.  We have noted with concern the item in a recent edition of the Ringing World outlining the current situation of our ringing colleagues at Harare Cathedral (see below). Our tower captain has made email contact with his opposite number there offering support and a donation to help. (The latter has now been sent).

We hope to remain in contact and to monitor what is happening, and also to let our friends there know that we are thinking of them in their difficulty and are extending our best wishes for a swift solution.


A letter sent from Harare which appeared in the Ringing World (July 25th 2008)
News from Harare Cathedral
I am the Tower Captain at Harare Cathedral and would be glad if you would give publicity to this report of what has happened to my Deputy, an African. I am writing with his approval, but think it wise not to publish his name.
The background, which has had a lot of publicity in the National Press as well as the Church Times, is that in August 2007, the then Bishop, Nolbert Kunonga, decided without due authority to remove the Diocese of Harare from the Province of Central Africa, which comprises Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The result of this was that Kunonga was sacked and later excommunicated, by the then acting Dean of the Province. A retired Bishop, Sebastian Bakare, was appointed to act in his place.
On February 3rd. 2008, Bishop Bakare was consecrated at the Sports Stadium. This venue was chosen because the numbers of people who wanted to attend would have overwhelmed the Cathedral. It was planned that he should subsequently be enthroned in the Cathedral. As Feb 3rd was also the AGM weekend of the Zimbabwe Guild of Bell Ringers, a team of ringers was waiting to ring for the arrival of the new Bishop. This was not to be as the former Bishop, Kunonga, together with his wife and a group of thugs, locked the Cathedral, invading the tower and driving out the ringers. The Cathedral has remained locked ever since. The bells, including the tenor, had to be left up, and some ringers did not have time to collect their things. Amongst these was the Deputy Tower Captain who left his jacket. In the pocket was his Ringing World diary, his ID, and US$250 which he had managed to get hold of for a new passport. He is a cross border trader, for whom these documents are essential.
In April he decided to try and ask for these documents to be returned. He approached one of the Kunonga priests still attached to the Cathedral, who passed him onto to others, all of whom put him off with excuses, such as we do not have the keys to the tower. This was untrue as Mrs Kunonga had taken the keys on Feb 3rd and they had in fact already broken into the tower and removed all the ringing documents. Finally on the fourth or fifth attempt they said he could come in. He was sat down on a concrete seat, and four thugs appeared. He was then questioned with the ex-Bishop watching. Being asked why he had a diary from England, why he was a ringer, and what was his relationship to Ruth Hutchinson, who was known to support Bishop Bakare. They then started to hit him and kick him after he had been knocked to the ground. They threatened to kill him if he ever came near the Cathedral again, or saw me. When they let him go he managed to stagger to report to the police, who so far have taken no action.
This young man spent the next two weeks at home in bed, unable to see with his left eye and convinced he was going to be blind. He had multiple bruising and a grossly swollen hand which had been trodden on. His wife sold their refrigerator in order to have money to go to a doctor about his eyes. The doctor charged very little and with this medical care his sight is now back to normal. But he has been unable to carry on his business for three months.
Ruth Hutchinson
Tower Captain. Harare Cathedral

Monday 7 July.  On Monday evening a half muffled quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung by members of the North Wales Association of Bellringers (including three of our own bell ringers), in memory of the Rt Revd P Anthony Crockett (23 August 1945 - 30 June 2008), Bishop of Bangor 16 July 2004 - 30 June 2008, whose Requiem Mass and Funeral took place at Bangor Cathedral earlier in the day. Requiescat in Pace.
The ringers were: 1 Lynn Ferriday, 2
Ron Miers, 3 Elizabeth Curtis, 4 Martin J Brown (C), 5 Tony Diserens, 6 Stan Whittaker. 


Friday 30 May.  A quarter peal of 1260 Grandsire Triples was rung to celebrate the end of the Bangor University academic year and as a farewell compliment to those students not returning next year.  The ringers were: Ron Miers 1, Alison Greenhalgh 2, Tony Diserens 3, Donald Marshall 4, Martin J Brown 5, Garry Peal 6 (C), Tim Hollinghurst 7, Stan Whittaker 8.
Two students, Garry Peal and Tim Hollinghurst, regular visitors to our tower, were included in the band, and this was Garry's 75th quarter peal.

Saturday 17 May.  There was a Branch Striking Competition at Prestatyn.  The Llandudno team, which came third, is shown in the photograph below. 

Striking competition team

Back row (l - r): David Raggett (C), Lynn Ferriday, Stan Whittaker, Jason Walker.
Front row: Ellen Jenkins, Gillian Blackwell.

We were also pleased to play host to a group of bell ringers from the Frodsham area of Cheshire on this day, led by Duncan Hyde.  We hope you enjoyed your visit to North Wales towers and Llandudno in particular.

Wednesday 14 May.   Tower Captain Stan Whittaker gave a talk about bellringing to members of the Probus Club of Ormeside, Llandudno, at their monthly luncheon meeting.  He had been hoping to recruit one or two new members but no takers so far!

Sunday 4 May.  A quarter peal of 1260 Grandsire Doubles was rung for Evensong and to mark the 21st Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza Festival.  The ringers were:- Lynn Ferriday 1, Jason Walker 2, Stuart Raggett 3, David Raggett 4 (C), Thomas Raggett 5, Stan Whittaker 6.


4 March.  James Whittaker arranged and conducted a quarter peal of 1260 Grandsire Doubles at St Petrock's Church, Exeter, in memory of Enid Horsfield.  The bell ringers were 1 Naomi Jolliffe, 2 Richard Johnson, 3 Maff Glover, 4 Tom Hinks, 5 James Whittaker (C), 6 Robert Dietz.  James has been a student in Exeter and is currently domiciled there.


29 February.  The funeral took place today of Enid Horsfield and the bells were rung half muffled before and after the service.  The bell ringers were Stan Whittaker, Gillian Blackwell, Elizabeth Curtis, Sue Calvert, Linda Fraser and  Ellen Jenkins.  A good number of fellow ringers and friends joined family members for the service.
Later a quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung half muffled in memory of Enid and to celebrate her life. The ringers for this were:- Lynn Ferriday 1, Jason Walker 2, Elizabeth Curtis 3, Garry Peal 4, David Raggett (C) 5, and Stan Whittaker 6.

We were pleased that John (Enid's husband, himself a ringer), daughter Nicola, son John-Paul, and other family members and friends were able to join us at the end of the quarter peal.  The bell ringers and Enid's family are shown in the photograph below.

Bell ringers on 29 February with Enid's family

Please see below for a tribute to Enid Horsfield

21st February.  We were all saddened to learn that Enid Horsfield passed away earlier today - she had fought her terminal illness with great courage and our sympathy and thoughts are with John and the family at this time.
May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

16 February.  Several of our members attended the AGM of the North Wales Association (Gwynedd & West Clwyd Branch) held this year at St Margaret's Church (The Marble Church), Bodelwyddan. Sadly it was not well attended generally but members enjoyed ringing followed by a short service of evensong, tea and the meeting itself. Tony Diserens (Bangor) continues as Ringing Master, Tim Hollinghurst (Bangor) takes on the role of secretary vacated by Michael Bridges, and Stan Whittaker (Llandudno) continues as treasurer.

10 February.
For Evensong, the North Wales Association of Church Bellringers rang a Quarter Peal of 1320 Cambridge Surprise Minor.  The bell ringers were: 1. Ron Miers, 2.Martin J Brown, 3. Tony Diserens, 4. David Raggett, 5. Garry Peel (C), 6, Tim Hollinghurst.



Bag of bell muffles
30 January.  We have taken delivery of a new set of 8 muffles together with a beautifully embroidered bag to put them in.  They are the generous gift of Wilf Grove of Big Wilfs Bell Muffles, Streatham in London, and hang proudly when not in use, in the ringing chamber.  We are extremely gratefull Wilf. 

Wilf and wife Cherie have been regular visitors to Llandudno since the early 2000s and we are always pleased to see them.

The new muffles were first used very successfully for Enid Horsfield's funeral service and quarter peal - see entry for 29 February. 

Ringing in the new year in 2008

1944 - 2008
I am sure everyone who knew Enid would have been saddened to hear that she had passed away on 21 February after a very brave fight against her terminal illness. Family and friends who attended her funeral on 29 February heard John her husband, pay a very moving tribute to her. He mentioned what a determined lady she could be and we in the Parish of Llandudno, experienced that determination at first hand to good effect.
Enid and John moved from Stockport to Conwy in 1999 following retirement, and very soon after their move introduced themselves to me one Friday evening at the weekly practice, asking if they could learn to bell ring. They did and became valuable members of our team at Holy Trinity. In early 2000 after establishing that restoration work was required on our bells at a cost between 30,000 and 40,000 an Appeal Committee was set up with Enid as chairman. She led the various efforts to raise the funds with great success and of course as we all know the necessary amount was raised and the work was completed by November 2002.
In 2004 another project was looming and again Enid took on the challenge of chairing the Committee set up to raise the funds. This time it was the stained glass windows of Holy Trinity and a figure approaching 40,000 was required. Again various efforts were spearheaded by Enid and others with the result that the majority of the funds were raised. It was soon after taking on this task that the first signs of Enid's illness started to show, but amazingly she seemed to almost rise above this adversity in her determination to see the windows work completed. Of the various events that she initiated, who would ever forget the "Son et lumiere" just before Christmas 2005 when one dark December evening, the apse windows were illuminated in turn from the outside, and we saw the stained glass in all its glory.
Enid continued to ring the bells when she was able and eventually had to give up in May 2007 when husband John had what was described at the time as a "minor" heart attack. This was followed by John requiring further treatment but to maintain her contact with the bells, Enid suggested the forming of a handbell ringing group which started last summer on Monday evenings, and still continues. This was an activity she was able to do until early this year when sadly her illness became so severe it prevented her attending.
We her fellow ringers will miss Enid immensly as no doubt others will do too. We are very grateful for all that has been acheived with her at "the helm" and these acheivements will surely serve as memorials to her life with us that we shall never forget. We will hold John and Enid's family in our thoughts and prayers and hope that John will remain with us in the Church family and its activities.
May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Stan Whittaker

Last updated: January 2009.  Archived: January 2016.