District officers

District officers

President

Phillip George
I learned to ring at St.Neots in 1965. In the early ‘70s, I moved to the Gransdens, and Gt Gransden has been my home tower ever since. Over time I have held office as District Ringing Master and District Secretary. I have served on the Association Committee for many years and was the first Association Safeguarding Officer to be appointed.
Although I have taken a break from office in the last few years, I, together with my wife Sheila, have been keen supporters of the district attending meetings and ringing in quarter peals. I also enjoy change-ringing on handbells with Sheila and others.
Gt Gransden tower has a 6-bell simulator which we use weekly, and all our ringers are part of the Learning the Ropes training scheme. We are always pleased to welcome visitors to our practice nights which are on Thursdays. We are all members of the association.
Main interests in ringing: Teaching ringing and helping others, practice nights where there is a lot of laughter, learning from others – especially learners, conducting (will I ever be able to do it?), good striking, change ringing on handbells, ringing for my local community and working with them to gain support and help others understand what we do.

Phillip George

Secretary

Caroline Stevens
I learned to ring in around 1983, the ringing master asked if anyone in the Sunday school would like to go up the tower and see the bells. The tower was of the huge church in Great Yarmouth with 12 bells, however, the ringing was 3 or 4 of us on a Sunday morning and something like 30 people attending the branch practice once a month. So, I learned to treble to triples first. A few years later I moved to Norwich and joined in ringing with the university ringers as I was a similar age. They had a five bell tower and so I learned lots of doubles methods and variations. I also started ringing at Colegate where, surrounded by a band of good ringers, my method of learning rocketed. I returned to Yarmouth for two years and started a weekly practice, and then back to Norwich. There followed a period of ringing seven days a week most weeks and lots of happy memories. Interestingly during this time, I was asked to be a Branch Secretary, but declined as I didn’t have a car to travel around in. By the time I left Norfolk, I had rung 33 peals and 255 quarters. I still remain a member of the NDAR.
In 1998 I moved to Swavesey and became a member of the Ely DA and carried on ringing regularly. Having children curtailed my ringing somewhat, although a regular babysitter allowed me to continue practice nights at Swavesey, and they were dragged along on Sundays. As a result, both our sons leaned to ring and so I have been out and about again in recent years, although sadly have forgotten lots of the methods I once knew. We changed churches in 2017 and now ring at Fenstanton on Sundays for service, and join St Ives on Mondays and Huntingdon practices on Tuesdays. I enjoy ringing quarter peals and helping learners to progress.
When I am not ringing, I run a Rainbow unit, volunteer in reception class in school, am PSO, on the PCC and help with children’s work at church. I can also be found covering the school crossing patrol in March and October. I enjoy sewing and crafts when I get the time.

Membership Secretary

Roger Beaman
My first involvement with bells was as a regular ‘chimer’ at the Abbey Church, Shrewsbury in the second half of the 1970s. The task of chiming the 8 bells for all 3 Sunday services, using an Ellacombe apparatus, was shared between myself and my elder brother and yielded the glorious sum of £2 each per month (plus £1 for weddings). It would be another 16 years before I had my first brief experience of bell ringing, which took place at Asfordby in Leicestershire.
Following a move to Holywell-cum-Needingworth I restarted my bell-ringing learning process in 2000 and rang my first Quarter in 2005 (Plain Bob Major at St Ives) and my first peal in 2011. I became Tower Captain at Holywell at the start of 2013, replacing Sid Brown who had done the task for more years than many could remember. One of the jobs I have done
as Holywell Tower Captain is to refurbish the Ellacombe apparatus and I was pleased to chime during lockdown, when general ringing was not possible.
Having found over the years that being in gainful employment greatly restricted my opportunities for ringing Quarters, I took early retirement last year and took pity on Geoff Burn at the last ADM. Hence, I am now Membership Secretary for Hunts District of Ely D.A. and am looking forward to tracking down late payers.
I am also looking forward to having all members pay promptly by BACS at the start of the year as it’s always good to have a challenging goal.

BRF Trustee, District Bell Adviser

Geoff Burn
I’m Geoff Burn and I started ringing too late in life, my early 50s to be precise. I became interested after some folks (Chris Higgins and the Huntingdon Church Bell Restoration Society) rehung the bells at Bythorn. Chris started teaching a group of us and we were soon hooked – we rang regularly at towers with 3 to 8 bells and no bands of their own.
Some of us were invited to join the restoration society and soon every Friday evening was devoted to bell work, from maintenance to rehangs, notably Brington, Hargrave, Waresley and Catworth. The bell work, from checking, oiling and tightening to lifting bells made an interesting change to my daytime job as an Accountant. Since retirement, the bell work now takes place in daylight – much safer!
Being taught to ring by Chris and his partner Ruth was an unforgettable experience as most sessions were punctuated by stand-up rows between the two! As Chris’ health declined I became the HCBRS representative for Hunts District and recently the Ely DA bell advisor. My main tower is Catworth, which was augmented from 4 to 6 bells in 2016 and we now have a flourishing band of ringers aged from 9 to over 70.
I also ring regularly at Kimbolton and for all Sunday services in the West Leightonstone Benefice, where I am the tower correspondent for Keyston, Molesworth, Brington, Leighton Bromswold as well as Catworth

Ringing Masters

Cathy Moulton
I learned to ring at St Andrew’s Church in Gorleston, Norfolk in the mid 1960’s.
There was a hiatus of some years in my ringing progress as, after I left home to do nursing training in Sheffield, I only rang when back at Gorleston on holiday as I was so shy and timid, I could not bring myself to pitch up at a tower practice night and join in! This has been dealt with over the ensuing years!
Luckily, I went back to Gorleston regularly and so never lost the ability to ring, albeit only to Plain Hunting level.
In 1979, my husband, Rob, and I moved to Warboys, and I joined the band at St Mary Magdalene church.
After moving to worship at Ramsey in 1986, the Hunts Bell Restoration Society got our bells ringing full circle again after having been chimed with Ellacombe hammers for 70 years.
A band was formed and so came my involvement with the Hunts District. When Ruth Ball retired from leading us, I took on the role of tower captain until it was suggested I try my hand at being ringing master. After about five years I returned to being tower captain, standing in for our ringing master when necessary.
I have now been appointed as one of the District ringing masters and I am looking forward to this new phase of my ringing life as I remember how important their encouragement at district meetings has been for my ringing progress

Ringing Masters

Andrew Smith
I grew up and spent many years living in Berkhamsted where I heard the bells week in week out but I was always busy singing in the choir or playing the organ and never gave ringing a second thought.
In 2002, shortly after moving to Gamlingay, John Boocock persuaded me to give ringing a try. It had not been long since the bells were rehung and augmented to eight and there was an enthusiastic band with several learners. Rounds, call changes and plain hunt were the order the day with the more experienced learners attempting Bob doubles. All practices were of course followed by the customary visit to the pub. I had not appreciated how long it would take to learn to ring, and never imagined that 20 years later there would still be much to learn. It seemed to take an age to get as far as ringing Bob doubles with any degree of confidence. ‘Once I had more or less mastered it I started going to the Hemingford Grey practices in addition to
Gamlingay, and before long I was ringing Bob triples and major. In 2007 I rang my first quarter peal on the treble to Bob major at Bluntisham. Later that year I rang my first quarter inside to Bob Triples at Gamlingay. In 2012 I rang my one and only peal, the first at Gamlingay on eight bells.
I have enjoyed ringing outings and have organised one or two, including one which included Berkhamsted where I had the chance to ring the bells that I had only listened to for so many years. I have been coming to district meetings and events for at least 15 years now, and in 2016 I became one of the ringing masters. We had a very busy programme of meetings and learners’ practices lined up for 2020 and this was sadly cut short, so it has been pleasing to see things gradually returning to normal.

Central Council Representative and Webmaster 

Daniel Stevens
I started ringing when I was 9 at Swavesey. Once I was older I was able to go to other practices in the area. This included EDA Young Ringer where I compete in 4 RWNYC. I now help out at the young ringer event to help get more young ringer rings together In 2020 I became CCCBR for Hunts district and attended my first two council meetings online. Now that COVID is over the meeting our now back in person. Outside of the association, I am also a member of YCRA.
I work as an outdoor activity instructor. This job can mean that I am away from the Cambridgeshire area but I still try and ring wherever I am. In what space-time I have left I help with scouting as a district trustee for Cromwell District Scout and a member of Cromwell Network Scouts. I was lucky enough to go to America in 2019 as a part of the Cambridgeshire contingent to the World Scout Jamboree

General Committee Representative

Vacant
Vacant

BRF Treasurer

Catherina Griffiths
My introduction to bells was as a little girl when my aunt used to sing “Why don’t you leave my wife alone; she is so drunk she can’t get home” to the sound of St Neots bells ringing what I now know to be Queens on 8! I was introduced to St Neots Belfry by members of the church youth club, but it was several years later before I actually learned to ring. I was taught by Wilf Ratcliffe in 1972 at West Bridgford, Nottingham when I was at college – my roommate was a ringer too. This was a 9 cwt 8 so whenever I had been home to St Neots I was kept away from the lighter bells
I was elected a member of EDA in 1973. The following year Tim and I were married and settled into the St Neots band. We both were elected to the district committee, Tim holding various offices and me as BRF Treasurer after a break of many years I am back in the post. I organised the Huntingdon District tour for 38 years and used to organise a couple of weekend tours each year to various parts of the country (I organised 49 of these!). I held the office of General Secretary for 21 years and at the end of my tenure was honoured to be elected as an Honorary Member. I was also involved in the writing of the Association History
I have been very fortunate to be in the St Neots band at a time when we were advancing our method repertoire and augmenting the ring to 10 bells gave me confidence in higher numbers.
 My 3 children are all accomplished ringers, David being Steeple Keeper and Deputy Tower Captain at St Neots. My granddaughter is also ringing in her church. Having rung tower bells for 50 years, I have also been a member of a tune-ringing handbell group for 45 years. Change ringing on handbells was a big mystery to me until I joined the EDA online session on Saturday mornings during lockdown. The mists cleared and I have now rung 4 quarter peals on handbells. It’s never too late to start something new

Training Officer

Ed Groome

Hi there, great to see you! My name is Ed and I started my ringing career in 2004 at the age of 8 (I’ll let you do the math to work out my age!) at St Botolph’s Church in Barton Seagrave, a tower in the Kettering Branch of the Peterborough Diocesan Guild. Before I learnt, I would go and watch my dad ring at towers (not sure how I sat through quarters at that age!) and remember climbing the stairs of Peterborough Cathedral many a time. I knew early on it was something I wanted to try. I rang throughout my school and university career and once I graduated, I moved home to Kettering and sat on the branch committee as a Press Correspondent before my move to Cambridgeshire in 2019 to start a new role at Cambridgeshire County Council. I now live in Godmanchester but love travelling around the area visiting new towers and meeting new people I joined the committee in 2021 and represent the Huntingdon District on the Recruitment and Training (RATS) Committee. I organised the Ely DA Training Day in 2022 and have a real passion for training and development so do let me know if you have any ideas!
Besides ringing, I am passionate about sports, travel, history, and fitness. I look forward to seeing you at some District events in the near future

District Committee

Tom Pinnock 
I grew up in Royston, Hertfordshire and at the age of 13, a girl asked if I wanted to go bell ringing! I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded promising. That was 22 years ago. I left Royston for University, and I had a couple of years away, before joining the Middlesex County Association and the Docklands Ringing Centre in London. I really started to enjoy ringing and was regularly going to three practices a week and conducting my first (and only) QP. In 2011 we were expecting our first child and we moved out of London where I rang at the double-glazed tower at Basildon for several years where my ringing
suffered due to a lack of ringers but got very good at methods on three and four!
In 2014 we moved to Papworth, expecting our second child and while in a very stressful job, I don’t hide that I suffered a nervous breakdown. While recovering and having taken 18 months out, it was recommended that I return to ringing. I was hesitant, but having found that All Saints’, Huntingdon was not far away and the band there welcomed me, I’m very glad I did. During lockdown, we continued to spend our Tuesday evenings together online and I’ve made some great friends. I joined the district committee in 2019 and served on the association’s Recruitment and Training Subcommittee for five years.
These days I split my time between family, ringing and running, and while I know my ringing isn’t great, I do still enjoy it 22 years on.

District Committee

Georgie Hunt

I started ringing back in 2018 when I was a student at the University of York – one Sunday afternoon I made the mistake of complaining I was bored to a friend who happened to be a ringer, so was (begrudgingly) dragged along to a practice at St Lawrence church next to the university.
Initially, I stuck around because they were a good group to go to the pub with, but eventually, I learnt to love the ringing aspect of practices and also served a term as the secretary for the university society. I was lucky to be in York the year we hosted the Northern Universities Association annual meeting (where the York team performed better in the ‘boat race’ than in striking competition!). After learning basic handling, I moved to Edinburgh for my postgrad and rung at St Cuthbert’s Church and St Mary’s
Cathedral where they taught me to call changes and plain hunt.
The pandemic and moving abroad for work threw a spanner in the works in the process of learning to ring, but I’m now lucky to be a ringer with the band at All Saints, Huntingdon and St Mary’s, Godmanchester who have been fantastic in helping learn plain bob and the basics of Grandsire.
Although I still consider myself a ‘newbie’ to ringing, I’d recommend it to anyone – it’s a great stress relief and is very sociable.