Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers

Church bellringing in the Salisbury Diocese

Edington Ringing Centre

The aim of the Edington Ringing Centre is to provide a safe, friendly and encouraging facility for the training and development of bell ringers, both new learners and those with more experience. The Centre has ringing teachers who are accredited by the Association of Ringing Teachers to deliver their Learning the Ropes programme. Our teachers also follow the safeguarding requirements of the Salisbury Diocesan Safeguarding Authorities by undertaking safeguarding training, DBS clearance and any other required actions.

We have a ring of 10 bells (24 cwt in D) and a Saxilby dumb bell. A ringing simulator using Abel software is also available – the bell frame by each bell is fitted with an LED light and photo sensor. This detects a reflective patch fixed to the wheel of the bell which signals when the bell is mouth downwards. An electronic circuit then delays the signal until the bell is at the point in its swing when the clapper would strike the side of the bell. 

Before ringing commences each bell’s clapper is restrained by attaching a custom made wooden clapper stay to each bell that prevents the clapper from striking the bow of the bell. This means only the ringers themselves can hear a simulated sound within the confines of the ringing chamber. 

As an alternative, a large screen is fitted to enable just one or two ringers to practise any method, on any number of bells up to 10.

The ten bells are also rung open by the local ringers for services, and both quarter peals and peals have been rung for special national occasions.

The Centre is very active and offers the following training sessions:

  1. A programme of monthly training courses for Branch or Guild ringers ranging from Plain Hunt to Surprise methods, usually held on Saturdays.
  2. We also host the Devizes Branch Triples practice every fourth Wednesday evening of the month.
  3. Plus Learner Practices are being run by Dusty Millier (TC Bratton/Edington) and Jeremy Davies (TC Great Cheverell) from 7pm to 8.30pm each Wednesday (except the fourth Wednesday) for all branch learners wishing to progress through rounds and call changes to Plain Hunt (ART level 3). 

Above all, the Centre exists to encourage, inspire and motivate new and existing ringers!

During the late 2000s, the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers (SDGR) offered its support to set up Ringing Centres within the diocese to act as focal points to help train ringers. Edington Priory was chosen as the best location to create a Ringing Centre within the Devizes Branch as it has a large, roomy ringing chamber, easy access for silencing the bells, car parking, kitchen facilities and toilets. With the help and encouragement of the local ringers, their enthusiastic tower captain Dusty Millier, financial support from the SDGR and the support of the Reverend Graham Southgate, the Ringing Centre became a reality and was officially opened on 2nd January 2010. 

Saxilby simulator
From left to right: The President of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers Mr David Hacker, Rev Dr Graham Southgate and Mrs Christine Purnell, the Devizes Branch Training Officer. Photographed in front of the Guild’s Saxilby simulator.