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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Ringing Trip to Staffordshire and Derbyshire

Last week I went on a ringing week, organised by Paul Norris, along with other ringers from Norfolk and Suffolk. We mostly rang quarter peals although there were some straightforward tower "grabs" as well. This area is one that was formerly very industrial in parts, with various mines and mills and accompanying towns and villages. These of course are now mostly gone. The other part is very rural and agricultural. There is some lovely scenery here and the area is very near to the Peak District which is a National Park.

 Our first tower was Long Eaton near Nottingham - I spotted this quilt shop Munkey Creations. I also spotted Angie's Quilt Shop in Cheadle, but unfortunately it was closed whenever we were driving past.

Our base for the week was a house near Alton in Ramshorn - here is the view from the window. You can see a herd of red deer grazing in  the field.

I did not take photos of all the churches but most were built out of the local stone of a brown colour. This is the nearest village, Ellastone where the local ladies served us tea and cakes to raise money for the church.

Another church, Brown Edge, which again was a former mining town. Nice bells here, although the ropes were extra long! Before we rang our quarter peal we could hear the other group ringing their quarter at Norton in the Moors.

 The church at Wolstanton near Stoke on Trent. Nice bells here...

After ringing at Keele, we rang at a "mini ring" at Phil Gaye's house - our Rope fees went to a local charity. These bells are bigger than most mini rings and thus had to be handled in the normal way - some people found the transition difficult!

Wirksworth Church, where we lost a quarter of Grandsire Triples. A town that was very much in the bottom of a valley and thus very hilly.

Bradbourne Church, where I last rung in 1980 during a Durham University summer outing (of which I can remember very little). Very nice bells, rang a nice quarter of Cambridge minor here.

The very nice view over the fells from the Church door at Bradbourne.

Another church that I rang at 30 years ago, Ashbourne - this one I remember very clearly, as it has bells that are rung from the church chancel with very long rope drafts- rather offputting! I have improved a lot of course, but still not a comfortable experience to ring.

I then had to return to Suffolk to teach a morning at Quilters Haven in hand quilting.

A nice break, but with various people dropping out of the trip, I had to do much more ringing than I had planned to do - 14 quarter peals or about 10 1/2 hours of ringing! We also had two broken ropes and a broken stay so not uneventful. Back to work tomorrow....


  1. Hello Pippa, I enjoyed your bellringing tour. My husband used to work at the Collieries at Norton and Brown Edge/Biddulph.

  2. I really enjoyed this bell ringing tour, something quite different.
    Many thanks!

  3. Bell ringing seems to be a splendid past time....and the fact that you remember what / where you rang 30 years ago. Delightful.