Secretary/Treasurer: Isabel Pearce Email Tel 01732 742218 (Mon - Fri, 9 - 4 only please).

Chair Kate Felce

Southeastern District report for 2019

We have had another very enjoyable year and we welcomed two new members.

We held our ADM in March at Brede where a warm welcome awaited us. Many thanks are due to our local Member, Wendy Burchett, who along with her helpers provided us with a delicious tea following the ringing. At the Business Meeting Kate Felce was elected as Chairman, succeeding Shelagh Norman (our thanks go to her for her contribution to our District), and Helen Webb stood down as Ringing Master after 10 years (she was warmly thanked for all her hard work over those years). The post was not re-filled and it was decided, for the moment, that a Ringing Master would be chosen on the day from among the membership.

Two new Members were also elected and welcomed. We were so sorry that local member, Julie McDonnell, was not well enough to join us – we all signed a card for her.

In May, we had an excellent outing in the Ashdown Forest area, ringing at four towers.

Our July outing took us to four towers in the Romney Marsh area, ending at Saltwood, one of our Chairman Kate Felce’s home towers. Many thanks go to Kate for making all the arrangements. Some of us stayed on at Saltwood to ring for the Wedding of the Vicar’s Daughter. As the Bride walked up the aisle we were surprised to hear the Wedding March played twice after a very long gap . We discovered afterwards that the small page boy, carrying the ring up the aisle, had dropped it and a search had ensued! The moral of this story is never entrust the job of carrying your wedding ring up the aisle to a small boy!

The Autumn Weekend found us in the Stratford-upon-Avon area. We rang in three lovely village towers on the Friday afternoon starting at Tysoe. On the Saturday we rang at five towers, along with a good Pub Lunch in Newbold. We had a great day despite the fact that, very unusually for us, it was an extremely wet day.

The highlight for me personally was that we rang on the newly installed ring at Pillerton Hersey (my Sister’s own village church where I, together with two friends, had given a Concert in aid of the bell fund).

On the Sunday morning some of the party were able to join in Sunday Service Ringing on the beautiful ten bells at Holy Trinity, Stratford itself. Once again, we owe very many thanks to Helen Webb for making all the arrangements for us.

Isabel Pearce, Secretary

Southeastern District report for 2018

The 2018 ADM was held at Hythe, St Leonard, famous for its ossuary in the crypt.

A ropesight workshop was held at Staplehurst in April; some of the activities were amusing as well as being helpful, but learning should be fun!

Outings in May and July were to Sussex and East Surrey; our quarter peal day in September was held in North Kent. Additional quarter peals were organised so that we could support the Guild Challenge of 100; we scored a total of nine. Our autumn weekend was in the Banbury area.

Members of the district attended the Guild practice at St Clement Danes in November.

Isobel Pearce

Southeastern District report for 2017

We have had another successful year and have welcomed six new members. Attendances at meetings have been pretty steady.

At our ADM in Bexley we began the business meeting with a minute’s silence, to remember two Past Presidents – Freda Cannon and Jill Staniforth, and also Alison Fisher (Sue Fisher’s Mother). Prior to the ADM Helen Webb had run a morning call change training session. After the ringing, Mary Andrews (Life Member) together with her friend Christine, very kindly provided a delicious tea for us all (this being Mary’s home tower).

On May Day we visited three towers in the Maidstone area, combining this with an excellent pub lunch.

In June we were very pleased to host the National AGM at Bexhill, East Sussex, on a beautiful day – we were very grateful to all our members who helped in so many ways, and especially to Rosemary Cox who contributed hugely to the day’s success.

July found us in East Kent for our outing; again good ringing and a pub lunch.

The Autumn Weekend took us to the Bicester area and we rang at some delightful towers on the Friday and Saturday. We were particularly amazed at Rousham where the tower was only a few feet from the Manor House! Once again, Helen Webb’s organisation was super and very much appreciated. The Receptionist at the Travelodge recommended a great local pub for our evening meals. We were able to join the local band at Bicester on the Sunday morning.

We had two visits to St. Clement Dane during the year – once for a great quarter peal day with members joining us from across the country, and once for general ringing on the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Our own Quarter Peal Day. held in early September, had mixed success but was much enjoyed.

Once again, it has been a busy and happy year.

Isabel Pearce, Secretary

Southeastern District report for 2016

We have had another great year and have welcomed 14 new members to the fold.

Our ADM was held in March at Frant, East Sussex, at which we elected our new Chairman – Shelagh Norman - on the resignation of Sue Cameron, for whose hard work we were very grateful. Also, six of the new members mentioned above were elected at this Meeting. Among their number was Dr. Julie McDonnell who humbled us all with details of her health problems when she told us about the special event she was planning for Saturday, 25th June – All Stand Together Against Blood Cancer – which comprised a sponsored walk, with ringing along the way, from Wye to Canterbury, and as many towers as possible taking part in sponsored ringing on the same day. She had also set herself a challenge for that day – to ring a quarter peal on the 12 at Canterbury Cathedral. Her target was £100,000 (and, as I expect many of you know, her campaign went global and the amount now reached is way beyond her wildest dreams – well over 7 million pounds!!) Helen said she would challenge any Ladies’ Guild member not attending the AGM to take part in some sponsored ringing on that day. I, in fact, did the walk and raised £540 (instead of supporting our Helen’s election as President of the Guild that day at the AGM which I would, of course, also have loved to do)!

In May we held an afternoon meeting with a Pub meal, ringing at Ardingly and Turners Hill. Our July outing took us to Oxford for a very successful day, kindly organised by Caroline Stockmann. In early September we held a Quarter Peal Day in the Ashford area – six Quarters were attempted and four were scored (one was lost because of a broken rope).

The Autumn Weekend away was held in the Newbury, Berkshire area and, as always, was most enjoyable; many thanks go to Helen Webb for her organisation. We also made three visits to St. Clement Dane this year, including a very happy Quarter Peal Day in January. The November visit fell on the day of The Lord Mayor’s Show. In August we had an extra “Country” Outing, instead of going to London, and visited the Lympne area of Kent.

On 5th November we attempted two Quarter Peals of the new method – Julie McDonnell Doubles – at Otford and Kemsing – success came at Otford only, but it was good to attempt both these for Julie. We have certainly shared much pleasant ringing together, quite a few personal achievements, and lots of camaraderie.

NOTE After the end of the year, early in 2017, we lost a great friend and stalwart member – Freda Cannon. Freda was a Past President of the Guild and a Past Chairman of our District.

Isabel. M. Pearce (District Secretary)

Southeastern District report for 2015

Another successful and enjoyable year has rushed by! We have been pleased to welcome four new members, and have continued to encourage each other to progress in our own stages of this fascinating art.

Our first meeting was the ADM held at Carshalton, Surrey. Fourteen members enjoyed the lovely eight bells before adjourning to Sue Bailey’s house, at her kind invitation. Here she had prepared a super tea for us to savour before holding the Business Meeting. I was very surprised and delighted to be presented with two lovely bracelets (in the Guild colours) to celebrate my having been District Secretary for 35 years (an anniversary which had escaped me until then!).

On a more sombre note, we were saddened to hear news this year that Elizabeth Todd had died (she had served for many years as District Secretary, prior to myself, and had also been Captain at Lypmne, Kent). We rang a quarter peal in her memory and I was able to attend her Memorial Service.

On the early May Bank Holiday we held an evening meeting at Edenbridge and Chiddingstone, followed by a meal at The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone.

In July, 15 members and friends enjoyed a whole day outing, visiting Sheldwich, Throwley, Newnham, Teynham, Lynsted and Tunstall. The weather was superb and we were able to eat our Pub Lunch outdoors.

Our Quarter Peal event was held in August and this time just our own district members took part – three quarters were achieved.

The Autumn Weekend was held in the Devizes area of Wiltshire, and we visited various delightful villages, lovely churches and some super bells – particularly spectacular was Steeple Ashton Church with bells (and an excellent Pub for lunch) to match! Our heartfelt thanks go to Rosemary for her organisation of this weekend.

During the year we continued our association with St. Clement Dane in London by visiting three times for general ringing and quarter peals; the 14th November ringing was for the Lord Mayor’s Show procession.

Once again, a very successful and enjoyable year came to a close.

Isabel. M. Pearce (District Secretary).

Southeastern District report for 2014

We have had another super year with lots of good ringing and friendship, and we have welcomed three new members.

Our first meeting was the ADM at Wye. A goodly number of us began the day at the delightful home of two of our members, where we were treated to a delicious lunch and introduced to the varied livestock on their smallholding. The weather was beautiful (Doris had obviously been busy again!) and when we arrived at Wye Church to ring on the ten bells, the vast array of daffodils in the Churchyard was just stunning.

On May Day Bank Holiday fourteen of us enjoyed some good ringing and lovely scenery in Surrey for a Day Outing, ringing at Betchworth, Dorking, and Ranmore, finishing up at Newdigate with its fascinating wooden tower interior — here we enjoyed cream teas, courtesy of the Church's Fair, before ringing began.

In July we held an Afternoon Meeting, ringing at Sevenoaks and Brasted. We followed this with an enjoyable meal, out in the sunshine, at the Stanhope Arms, Brasted.

Later on in August Helen kindly organised another very pleasant Quarter Peal Day in Sussex — this year we had three bands from several districts, each attempting two quarters — four were successfully scored. We all met for lunch at Petworth House.

In October another great weekend was enjoyed, based in the Andover area — many thanks again to Helen for all her organisation.

During the year we also had two more visits to St Clement Dane in London.

It was definitely a successful year, which went all too quickly, as usual!

Isabel M Pearce