12/01/10 The start of a new decade and we have a new life to celebrate ! Our heartiest congratulations go to Simon and his wife Alison on the birth today of their daughter Lucy; a long awaited event in the history of Hillsborough tower captains !
02/03/10 A quarter peal of Plain Bob Major was rung here today to celebrate the arrival of Lucy Mary Catherine Walker; hopefully a ringer of the future!
24/04/10 Rang tonight as an introduction to 'Hillsborough's Taste of Spring'; a concert celebrating the life and work of local born musical master; the late Sir Hamilton Harty.
25/04/10 We rang the ten bells before and after the baptism service this morning for Lucy Mary Catherine Walker; the 10th generation of the Walker family to be baptised in this church
13/05/10 . This week is one of those- now rare - occasions when a member of the Royal family is staying at Hillsborough Castle. We rang for the Ascension Day service this evening just a few minutes after HRH, the Prince of Wales, arrived back in the village after a day of attending various places and events in the county. May we hope the ringing was noticed - favourably ?
23/05/10 A glorious weekend in the village. Hot weather for the Garden Festival and the Church Fete saw large numbers of happy people moving around. We rang for a while at the beginning of the Fete. This morning we were delighted to note the presence with us of the new Sec.of State for NI, Rt.Hon.Owen Patterson MP and his wife; possibly indicating a long awaited return to the tradition of The NI Sec.of State attending worship in the Parish Church with us.
25/08/10 Two more ringing visitors on Fri.20th; from Ditcheat in Somerset: Andrew & Carol Stuart, Viscount & Viscountess CastleStewart accompanied by the 8th Earl & Countess CastleStewart.
27/08/10 We rang today for the marriage here of ringer Mark Crothers and his bride Sarah Bambrick. Our congratulations go to them both for a long and happy future.
26/12/10 The coldest December for 100yrs and worst snow conditions for 25yrs plus attendant health problems has led to ringer shortages but the bells still ring. Someone also discovered that the webmaster had just completed fifty years as a ringer. He felt as though he was 'dragged to the line' rather than having arrived gracefully!
20/02/11 Congratulations go to Jonathan Houston, who on 16th Feb., conducted his first quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles. The first step in a long stairway ?
09/03/11 We rang the ten bells for Ash Wednesday service tonight. It is something of a pity the latest Royal visit to the village occurred yesterday. As it was, 'our man at the crush barrier', Harry Shortt, was present to shake hands and speak to HRH Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton. We were duly represented though two new recruits are not anticipated.
17/03/11 Naomh Pádraig conas atá tú ? Aon cheann déag ringers roimh an 0900 seirbhise! Oops! St Patrick, how are ye? Eleven ringers before the 0900 service ! The slight turn in the weather has seen an amelioration of the bleak attendance figures and gives rise to hope that Spring will -- at long last -- spring again and ringers emerge from their refuges. Seo é do na laethanta sin! Aye, here's to those days!
29/04/11 We rang the ten bells this morning - and fired them - to celebrate the marriage at Westminster Abbey of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. We were joined for a while by a 'roving' BBC cameraman. It is seven weeks since the bride and groom were in the village and 'our man at the crush barrier' then was there again today to help organize the street party at the scene of the 'walkabout'.
29/04/11 A quarter peal of Plain Bob Triples was rung here to mark the occasion of the Royal wedding. BBC1 local news featured ringers in action thanks to the visit of the 'roving eye' this morning.
08/05/11 We rang all ten this afternoon before the service to mark the centenary of the Hillsborough branch of the Mothers' Union and were pleased to be joined by two ringers from Blessington tower.
27/08/11 'Not forgotten'. On Thu 25th a visit from a band of St James' Guild resulted in a peal of London (No.3) Surprise Royal. It was recorded as a tribute to a former ringer on the 93rd anniversary of his death 'in action' near Bucqudy in France. That ringer, Captain Robert Stabert of the 4th Batt.,London Regiment, had visited and rung in this tower 102 years ago next month.
02/09/11 We were privileged this afternoon to be able to ring for a while in the company of a visitor from Brisbane, Australia. Warne Wilson, who would be at home in St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, was well able to cope with our moody ropes and quickly grasped our way of 'redesignating' bell numbers depending on what was being rung! Uncertainty adds spice to life!
11/12/11 The bells were fired this morning to mark the announcement of the news that the Rev. Ferran Glenfield is to be our new rector.
01/01/12 The bells were rung before the Christmas Eve service and again at midnight. They were also rung before the New Year's Eve service and again at midnight to mark the end of a troubled 2011 and greet the start of a 2012 which hopefully will offer more comfort and beneficial advancement to those in need. As ever our greetings and best wishes go equally to all those who know us and those who don't. May all be encouraged to keep ringing as often as they can to preserve the culture of bell ringing. It is a case of 'use them or lose them'.
17/02/12 And lo! a new man has come on the scene. We extend our heartiest congratulations to Alison and Simon on the safe arrival this morning of their son Jonah Simon Cairns Walker
17/02/12 The RM's latest publication is revealed; another one worthy of widespread attention. See Pictures+ page for more on "The Bells and Ringers of Hillsborough Parish Church" then order your copy via the info on the Contact Details page !
29/02/12 AGM tonight saw the re-election of all officers.Much time was spent in discussion of a number of topics; not least the problems inherent in organizing ringing for Sunday services when service times lead to widespread confusion and the accompanying problem of trying to recruit new ringers - and recast old ones - when the congregations to recruit from are at times either depleted or out in strength at a time when the bell ringers have not been available. Anyone reading this who could assist with our Sunday ringing is most welcome to get in touch with the Ringing Master to discuss details. Our ringing schedule has tended to be become fragmented and help is needed to secure the sound of the bells on a strong regular basis. Following the meeting 15 ringers took part in practice and we took the opportunity to fire the ten bells twenty times to mark the birth of Jonah, our RM's new son and further responsibility to keep his mind accupied.
02/06/12 The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations have commenced. A military band preceded a parade of dignitaries between Hillsborough Castle and Hillsborough Fort where a 21 gun salute was fired at noon. As the guns fell silent we rang the ten bells for five minutes. The village was thronged with visitors and it is to be hoped that they had a good experience of this place.
24/06/12 The ten bells were rung before and after the service this morning for the baptism of Jonah Simon Cairns Walker; the most recent addition to the Ringing Master's household. May we hope his name will feature frequently in the future?!
27/06/12 A seldom in a lifetime occasion arose yesterday when HM The Queen & the Duke of Edinburgh stayed overnight in the village in Hillsborough Castle during the Diamond Jubilee visit to Norhern Ireland. Simon,Harry,Daryl & Alistair travelled to Enniskillen and took part in the ringing before and after the service in St Macartan's Cathedral. Our own bells were then rung in the evening to welcome the Royal visitors back to the village.
08/07/12 From Buckingham Palace,the Ringing Master has received a letter containing thanks for the ringing of the bells during the Royal visit.
23/07/12 An 'Irish Times' article covering the West Cork Ringing Festival featured a brief interview with Alistair who, with Daryl, might be said to be on a 'bell tower crawl'! There's no escape even at the far end of the country.
11/08/12 On Wed.8th, a much delayed (!) quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung here to mark the birth of one Jonah Simon Cairns Walker.
26/09/12 The new academic year is well and truly underway. Not helped in any way by disappointing weather and financial gloom, people are settling in to studies and new activities; things to occupy their talents and skills for the months and years ahead. This is where bellringing has something to offer. Physical effort, mental activity and good craic for the making! Towers are always looking for new recruits, ours included, and anyone who is the slightest bit curious about what is involved is invited to get in touch or simply 'turn up' and see for themselves; either on a Sunday or at a practice. We offer a welcome and would appreciate your interest and company. Try turning up at Hillsborough on a Wednesday night at or just after 8pm!!
16/12/12 N District practice was held here on Sat 1st. A quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung to mark the birth of Calum Joseph Chapman, grandson of the treble ringer.
01/01/13 A very Happy New Year to all our friends and viewers across the world! Yet another vexed and troubled year has ended and we can but hope that this new one will see us blessed with health and wisdom to conduct our social affairs with love and respect for all our fellow men. We were fortunate to have sufficient ringers to ring all ten bells at the Christmas carol service then ten and eight for the two Christmas Day services. We had eight before and after the Watchnight service and it had to be said that the ringing after midnight was our best so far this year(!). It was also the first in the year which marks the 350th anniversary of the building of the first church on this site by Colonel Arthur Hill.
02/01/13 A quarter peal of PBD was rung today to mark the 350th anniversary of the consecration of this church by Bishop Jeremy Taylor; also in thanksgiving for the life of Frederick (Eric) Walker, uncle of the conductor.
12/01/13 Time to put the bubbly away and look for the long lost silver polish. A trip to St Thomas's resulted in the Patterson Cup msking a return visit to Hillsborough. A fair start to 2013.
20/01/13 The fair start became better. Despite lying snow and freezing temperatures -- which are detrimental to ringers of a certain vintage! -- we were able to ring all ten bells before Morning Prayer today. Might we hope that the cold air bestows some longlasting benefits before it quickly (please!) disappears?
04/02/13 " --- and there he was GONE. Just 14 mths after we rang to welcome our new rector, Ferran, we are struck with the news that he is going to leave us. Not due to anything we said, mark you, but for the very good reason he has just been elected to become the next Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh. We can do little but offer our congratulations and best wishes to him and respect the wisdom of the Electoral College who have chosen to take him from us!
17/03/13 St Patrick's Day greetings to all! We fired the bells before Morning Prayer today to mark the occasion. It was also to mark the birthday this week of our latest new ringer, Catherine Beattie, who, after just a few weeks, is already taking part in service ringing - PLUS! - it was a tribute to Eleanor Baird who, since practice on Wed night, transformed a bump into a healthy baby boy in the early hours of Friday. There is good reason to believe that Mum intends to bring young Wilfred to the tower to introduce him to the tenor and book his place for the future.
29/03/13 The bells were rung for evening services throughout Holy Week then, half muffled, on Good Friday morning. A half muffled quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor was rung in the afternoon. Our newest ringer, Catherine, took part in all the service ringing and, this evening, reached an impresive new level of ringing. She elected to finish the session on a different bell and proved herself to be made of the 'right stuff'
06/04/13 Belatedly, Spring has sprung and the sun started to shine in earnest. Notably so in Lurgan today where we won the Cunningham Cup against a sadly depleted field. Hopefully the sun will follow us to Dublin for the Murphy Cup contest.
07/04/13 A 'wee' party was held this afternoon to mark the approaching 80th birthday of Louis Patterson, who but for health issues would still be a faithful ringer. During ringing for Evg service the ten were fired as a tribute.
14/04/13 'Gem time' This morning the bells were fired at the start of ringing and again at the end as a tribute to mark the Pearl wedding anniversary of Edmund & Heather and the Ruby weding of Alistair & Daryl. Didn't time fly!
14/04/13 We rang the ten bells this afternoon for the Hillsborough Women's Institute Golden Anniversary Thanksgiving Service.
26/05/13 We rang this morning for our rector's final service before his consecration next Friday in Armagh as Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh. His was a short stay here but there will be many happy memories to look back on. Our prayers and best wishes go with him and his family.
29/05/13 Practice tonight was graced by the presence of Martin Hough who, today, installed a rope guide framework both elegant and effective. The band tried and tested all ten bells and were obliged to report that all the misbehavioural characteristics of the bells seem to have been eliminated -- giving grounds for future ringing improvements ?? The installation was done in memory of former ringer and rector's wife, the late Eileen Barry. Also present was 9wk old Wilfred Baird who brought along his parents .. to help him decide what bell to start on.? He was noticeably very attentive throughout the ringing but the Stedman Triples sent him asleep; albeit very contentedly.
02/06/13 The bells were fired this morning to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty the Queen.
08/06/13 A trip to Dublin today to compete again for the Murphy Cup.. Thankfully it didn't result in a 'Well done. Better luck next year' result. It is good to mix and mingle but especially to bring the silverware home as a memento!
09/06/13 St Columba's Day and a milestone day in the life of our vice-captain, alistair Jameson. Just 50 yrs ago he was a crew member of the curragh which was rowed/sailed from Derry to Iona to mark the journey 1400 yrs before of St Columba and twelve companions to the Isle of Iona. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 voyage to Iona Alistair & Daryl have thoughtfully and generously presented a new visitors' book to the bell tower.
26/06/13 Yesterday evening Alistair & Daryl were joined by Jean Jeffery, Guarang Patel, Eric Thompson and (conductor) Simon Walker to ring a quarter peal of 1450 Original, Stedman and Plain Bob Doubles to mark the 50th anniversary of the voyage which marked the 1400th anniversary of St Columba's voyage to Iona. Hillsborough bellringers, Alistair and the late Rev.Canon Barry were members of the 1963 crew.
30/06/13 With another half year gone attendances are getting 'weaker by the week'. As people go off on holiday 'gaps' are left and these would be perfect spots for a holidaying visiting ringer to pop into ... just to see how the other half live ! .. or ring! A warm welcome awaits anyone who fancies popping in to fill one of those 'gaps'!
25/07/13 To celebrate the joyful birth of Prince George of Cambridge, the newest heir to the throne, the regulars & recruits at last night's practice rang a happy mixture of call changes on ten, Plain Hunt, Grandsire Doubles & Triples and Stedman Doubles.
01/08/13 All ten bells rang out crisply and clearly today - before and after - to mark the wedding of ringer Suzanne Walker, the RM's sister. Even the rain ceased long enough for the guests to greet Mr & Mrs Paul Kelly and take photos. Our best wishes for the future go to the happy couple and our thanks are due to ringers from other towers for their support today.
16/08/13 Mixed good news as Peter Elliott, one of our newer ringers, finds he has been accepted to study music at Oxford. So we lose him for a while. He intends however to continue ringing while he is there so perhaps yet another seedling planted here will flourish in a 'foreign' place. Good luck is called for!
22/08/13 Tower practice last night included firing all ten bells as a form of congratulations to Peter on his good news and also to mark the birthday of one of the gentleman in the tower.
09/09/13 We travelled last night to St Donard's and rang a mixture of methods and call changes before the Ordination service to the Diaconate of Graham Spence; a very popular Parish Reader. Our best wishes go with him for the future.
10/09/13 Following the resolution of an ongoing technical problem the 'Hilltown' bell has resumed normal service; calling out and 'covering the gap' when ringers are scarce on the ground. A vital role
20/09/13 The years take their toll on a tower. It is with a mixture of sadness and gladness that we record the passing early this morning of George White. At a few weeks short of 93 he was our oldest member; having become a ringer shortly after arriving in the parish in the early 1950's. He was a stalwart service ringer over many years and last rang in 2007 before going in to 'undeclared' retirement. He was last in the ringing room to witness the bells being fired as a tribute on his 90th birthday.
23/09/13 The bells were rung half muffled before Morning & Evening Prayer yesterday as a tribute to George White. Today, at noon, we gathered in the neighbouring parish church of All Saint's, Eglantine for his funeral service and to hear the rector, Rev Tim Close, deliver an address summarising the account of an active churchman's life. Born and brought up in Eglantine parish, George could, at times, regard himself as being 'on loan' to Hillsborough parish; albeit for some 60 years. He now rests where, in the mid 1940's, he served as sexton and bellringer. A true return home.
26/09/13 At tower practice last night -- following words from the RM and a short silence -- call changes were rung on all ten bells - half muffled - as a tribute to George White; long time ringer and former tower captain of many years ago. The ringers included his son Edmund and grand- daughter (& goddaughter) Lauren.
08/10/13 Harvest Festival weekend just past and lo! the harvest was good. Virtually 'the full of the blade'.10 bells for Morning & Evening Prayer and 8 for the Monday evg Youth Service. truly something to be thankful for.
11/10/13 A treat today from a band of the Society of Cumberland Youths who rang a peal of 5040 Anglia Surprise Major to mark the 350th anniversary of our church. It was especially pleasing to see that one of the ringers - KY- was someone who - such short years ago! - learned how to ring in this tower.
30/11/13 We are delighted to hear that we have a new rector coming and look forward to the arrival of Rev Dr Bryan Follis and his family. May we get to keep this one?!
30/11/13 Our church is currently holding a Christmas Tree Festival to mark the 350th anniversary of the church. Some fifty 'trees' were uniquely designed by parish organizations and local businesses which now adorn the church in a spectacular display of colour, light and ingenuity. The bellringers' 'tree' is a particularly distinctive creation; based on 'a lot of old rope'! Credit for the idea and time & effort expended on it has to go to Simon, Alistair & Ian.
02/12/13 " - and lo, an extremely good weekend came to pass" The 3 days of the Christmas Tree Festival were an occasion for much activity in the tower. 9 bells rang for the opening of the event at Friday lunchtime and, on Sat. afternoon, 17 ringers provided over 2hrs of ringing. Home tower ringers were joined by friends from other towers and quite a number of our former ringers who responded to an invitation to come and celebrate! Well over 100 visitors made their way up to watch the ringers in action with much interest shown and -- hopefully to be realised -- promises of future returns. On Sunday afternoon, Bishop Glenfield, our recently 'removed' rector, visited for the re-hallowing of the Harty momument and to dedicate the rope guide structure recently installed in the tower, and a plaque, to the memory of the late Eileen Barry. Following words of reflection from Alistair and Jonathan, Eileen's eldest son, the dedication was carried out and the ten bells were rung, with Jonathan on the tenor. Again, many visitors, recruiting leaflets distributed, books sold, promises made to return. The 10 bells were rung for both Morning & Evening service with the latter attended by the Fort Warders and the bugler to represent Lord Downshire. The service ended with the Hilltown bell sounding across the village. "So! Much ado in the loft with, hopefully, some birds which had flown returning to the net ---and there's plenty of room for more!"
08/12/13 N District practice held here yesterday with some 18 ringers present plus 2 new learners, Stewart and Andrew Walker, who came as a follow on from the events of last weekend. Wouldn't it be daring to dream of first signs of an early Spring?! The 18 included 5 from Dublin but not the BBC correspondent who conducted some interviews for the 'Arts extra' programme.
13/12/13 The cancelled practice of 11/12/13 did take place after all with all 4 learners present and a student from Oxford who left these shores just a few weeks ago with our best wishes and hopes for his continuing enthusiasm for bellringing. Our qualms were dispelled when Peter Elliott, for it was he, revealed that he had just rung in his first quarter peal for the Oxford University Society. 'Well done that man! There's always a rope waiting for you!
24/12/13 The RM and the sound of the bells featured in last night's Christmas edition of the BBC 'Arts Extra' radio programme.
29/12/13 Quite good attendance for Christmas ringing even if not full 'rope occupancy'. 10 for the Christmas Eve Christingle service; 9 for midnight ringing and 8 & 9 for the Christmas Day services. It could be hoped that this will be maintained and improved on through the Winter.
30/12/13 To mark the 350th anniversary of our church a group of friends from Belfast, Dublin, Limerick, Cork & England gathered here on the penultimate day of the year to attempt a peal of Grandsire Caters. Alas! 'Twas not to be; the effort failing a few mins short of three hours. Thanks and commiserations are due to all for the time taken to travel in, at times, hostile weather conditions.
01/01/14 We rang eight for the Watchnight service and again at midnight to welcome the New Year. It seems a pity it arrived in damp and dreary wrapping! As always, we send our best wishes for the future to all fellow ringers and to anyone else viewing this site!
11/01/14 A fair start to the year by winning the Patterson Cup today at St Thomas's.
24/01/14 Matters to make the RM smile. Attendances of 17 at the last two tower practices; including five under16yr olds. Something that will dramatically lower the age profile of the band!
23/02/14 Upwards, ever upwards. Catherine, who found fame last year in reaching new heights in ringing, took part in service ringing last Sunday at Coventry Cathedral. She gets around too! Harry - 'our man at the crush barrier'- reached a milestone today when, for the first time, he was joined in service ringing on ten by his son-in-law Stephen and grandson Stuart. All learners are progressing. There will be spaces for them to fill! The older brigade are getting a little 'frayed' if not quite 'threadbare' just yet! Stairs are getting harder to climb; even with the use of steroids!
07/03/14 What could have been a 'flash mob' at the Maze tonight turned outt to be a traditional annual dinner; albeit quiz free and (almost) speech free. A gathering of people for dinner at 'Gowdys'; people who were linked by bells. Some who rang, some who watched, some who listened and others who did none of these but simply 'followed the band'. The food was good; the craic was good and no-one really minded if there was no 'flash' appearance.
13/03/14 The AGM was held last night. The officers were all re-elected and note was taken of the RM's pleasure at the increase in recruit numbers tempered by a request for 'more' please! If you, the viewer, are interested please get in touch. Soon.
15/03/14 Ten bells were rung before and after the Institution Service this afternoon for our new rector, Rev.Dr Bryan Follis.
17/03/14 Eight bells rang out this morning to mark St Patrick's Day. Greetings to all of Irisn ancestry across the world. Continue to make a difference!
22/03/14 Another light has gone out. With deep sadness we record the death of Dorrie KIlpatrick; mother of our esteemed colleague Charles. A lifelong churchwoman,she wwill be remembered for her cheery nature; an eternal optimist! May she rest in peace.
03/04/14 As part of the Britain in Bloom competition the Hillsborough 2014 'Going for Gold' campaign was launched yesterday at Hillsborough Castle by the Duchess of Cornwall. Amongst others she met our Ringing Master's alter ego in his ceremonial dress.Who was most impressed ?
22/04/14 Masters of the close result! Yesterday, at Carrickfergus,in a sadly depleted field we managed to win the Cunningham Cup again. Some planning is called for now as we study our invitation to go to relatively unknown territory (for us) for the Murphy Cup contest next month. Limerick? There must be a story there somewhere.
10/05/14 A band of, mostly English, visiting ringers today rang a peal of 5040 Bushmead Surprise Royal in 3hrs 19mins. Mike Pomeroy was the 'linkman' and KY opted to ring the bell she learned ro ring on!
17/05/14 More competition today in a 3 team Murphy Cup contest held at Mt St Alphonsus, Limerick. Distant pastures for our band. Having taken the Murphy Cup down with them, the judges chose to let them bring it home again! This is the fourth different tower the band has brought the cup home from. Can we aim for another?
30/05/14 The ten bells were rung unmuffled this morning before a service of thanksgiving for the life of Judith Gillanders (nee Boreland) following her untimely death this week. Like many of her forebears Judith learned to ring in this tower.. Our condolences are offered to her family circle.
31/05/14 The annual Parish Fete was held today in perfect weather. The bellringers made somewhere around £200 on their bottle stall and crowned (!) it off by gaining a silver 'award' for the best decorated stall. After Limerick that last award gives room for thought!
25/06/14 Twelve of the band gathered tonight to ring 25 mins of call changes on the ten to welcome HM the Queen & HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to Hillsborough Castle at the beginning of their latest visit to the Province.
20/07/14 The ten were rung before and after the wedding on Friday of our steeple keeper, Ian. To ensure he didn't arrive later than his bride, Sharon, which was a very strong possibility, his best man brought him up to the tower to ring for his own wedding. Our best wishes for the future are sent to the happy couple. 'All you need is love'!
02/08/14 Another week, another ringer wedding. Today the spotlight was on Christopher Jameson and Rebecca, the new Mrs Jameson. Yesterday morning, after rehearsal, the RM was joined by all four of the Jameson family and five bells were rung for a while by way of an 'aperitif'. Our congratulations and best wsihes go to the happy couple.
04/08/14 Fifteen ringers gathered this evening to ring call changes on the ten half muffled bells; marking the centenary service commemorating the outbreak of WW1. The bells were rung before and after the Royal British Legion community service. At the end of the ringing the tenor was rung for 119 strokes, to represent the number of men in this community who lost their lives in the war.
01/10/14 Three years ago we wondered how Jonathan would adapt to coping with a 3yr Diocesan Organ Scholarship as well as 'bells'. He obviously adjusted his focus well as he is now due our congratulations for completing the course with flying colours. All this on top of a place in the Murphy Cup winning team!
06/10/14 Harvest Festival services and the harvest was good. the morning service saw a congregation of 399 - carefully counted?- with a total of 17 ringers to keep the ten bells in action. We were joined by two ringers visiting from Southend. It is wonderful to be joined by folk travelling round the countryside who like to share their love of bells and their message. More please!
20/10/14 On Fri 17th, the bells were well exercised with a peal of Stedman Caters rung by a band of Royal Cumberland Youths.
26/10/14 The Autumn Ringing Festival yesterday saw a lot of ringers attend - with 36 ringers in our tower at one stage! Peter Brown, Dublin, took the opportunity to present to Alistair a book he had been presented with in 1971 by the then rector, John Barry. It was an inscribed copy of the parish history given as a token of appreciation for the work he had done with Taylors when the two new trebles were installed. Peter now wanted the book to have a safe(r) home.
23/11/14 The bells were fired this morning to mark the 21st birthday of Jonathan Houston. Time disappears at an incredible rate. Wasn't it just ....? Attendance figures are heartening but there is much room for improvement.
27/11/14 A quarter peal of PB Doubles last hight to mark JH's birthday last weekend and to remind him that there is life - and ringing - after the 21st mile post!
06/12/14 N District practice held here yesterday saw 23 ringers in attendance incl some from Drogheda and Dublin; a pleasing way to end the year's schedule.
07/12/14 Another history lesson. On Advent II, 40yrs ago tomorrow, (8th) a former chorister, bellringer and son of the rectory of this parish, Jonathan Barry, was ordained to the Diaconate in this church. Truly, where did those 'good old days' go to?
08/12/14 A good day yesterday; ten bells for both am & pm with 'Charlies Angels'(Sarah & Alice Kilpatrick) making steady progress. 10yr old Alice read the lesson for the evening Christingle service.
21/12/14 11 ringers for ten bells at this evening's Christmas Carol service. New ringer Lois was thrown in at the deep end but coped well.
26/12/14 Reduced numbers this year but still seven bells rung on Christmas Eve with eight and ten at the Christmas morning services.
01/01/15 Good news for the New Year. 12 ringers for the ten bells at midnight incl, for their first time, a 10yr old, an 11yr old and a 17yr old. New blood to sustain that which is 'more mature'! As always we send New Year greetings and best wishes to all who know us and to those whom we have never met! There is always time!
15/01/15 Practice night continued as normal last night despite the fiendish weather. All ten bells were fired at one point to mark the webmaster having attained '3 score & 10' years this week.. No longer a secret --- is it a milestone, a leaning post or a launchpad?
23/02/15 Quietish times at the moment. Vice capt. Alistair has undergone yet another hip op. and is threatening to be a serious contender for AP McCoy to deal with in the Grand National. Our best wishes go for a speedy recovery even if a visit to Aintree ain't really on!
28/02/15 Some things 'take a little longer to come about' After a gap of some ten years, thanks in a major part to the drive etc of our RM, the Attendance Shield has come back to the tower. A good rewrd for a lot of effort!
08/03/15 The bells were fired tonight to mark the Golden wedding anniversary of Harry & Ena Shortt. It was a long journey and they deserve our congratulations and best wishes. 'Happy Harry' has won again. While considering the way the calendar is putting 'extra weight' on the runners for 'this year's races' it was extremely encouraging to note that 5 of this morning's 10 ringers only started within the last 12 months. The RM doesn't hold the whip hand for nowt!
11/03/15 With sadness, we pass on our condolences to our steeplekeeper, Ian. on the death of his mother.
17/03/15 With a bright sky above us it is time to send St Patrick's Day greetings to one and all across the world. 7 bells were rung early this morning with one ringer adorned with his green bowler. May we never forget 'Be thou .. my soul's shelter and be thou my high tower'
03/04/15 Good attendances for the Holy Week services. 10 ringers for M, T, W & 12 for Thu. A morning practice was held specially for learners to give them some concentrated periods of ringing with a focus on striking and leading. Three had their first experience of Plain Hunt while Stedman at the end was the sugar lump for the seniors on the scene.
05/04/15 Good turn-out this morning with 6 bells at the early service and 10 at the1000am.
06/04/15 Both with sadness and joyful memories we record the passing of our esteemed colleague, Harry Shortt, a long time ringer at this tower. Others will better and more fully record the events of his life; a churchman actively involved in so many activities in the community. For the moment we can reflect on the loss, on Easter Sunday, of a ringer who for so long was a member of our ringing contest team. 'Happy Harry' -- 'our man at the crush barrier'. a mine of information and a source of 'good craic'; we can be thankful for knowing him. Our condolences go to Ena and the wider family circle.
10/04/15 Yesterday the community-- represented by some 400 plus -- filled the church to pay their respects to a community man. Overseen by the uniforms of the Hillsborough Old Guard and in the presence of parliamentary reps and bellringers from North and South, young and old met to seek consolation at a time of grief. each had their own memories; their own story about Harry and his mischievous grin. That familiar figure on the streets of Hillsborough would have to be seen in the mind's eye now. The ten bells were rung half muffled for 30 mins after the service. His parting from us was marked in the public ear.
11/04/15 To Greyabbey today for the AGM & Cunningham Cup contest. We were able to enter two teams; thereby giving contest experience to Sarah (12) & Alice (11) Kilpatrick who, along with their dad Charles, made up half a team! It was the girls' first ring outside their home tower and their team came a creditable 4th out of five. Our other team came first and travel to Dublin for the Murphy Cup. The Attendance Shield for 2014 was also presented to our tower.
20/04/15 Yesterday evening, for the Irish Assoc., a quarter peal of PB Doubles was rung here as a thanksgiving for the life of Harry Shortt (1941-2015); a much loved ringer at this tower who died on Easter Sunday. Stan Scott, Alistair Jameson, Gaurang Patel, Daryl Jameson, Simon Walker (c) and Stephen Walker did the honours. This was the first quarter peal for Stephen, Harry's son-in-law.
27/04/15 Yesterday evening, for the Irish Assoc., another quarter peal of PB Doubles was rung here, again to give thanks for our late friend and ringing colleague, Harry Shortt. The ringers this time were Jonathan Houston, Daryl Jameson, Gaurang Patel, William Chapman, Simon Walker (c) and Gary Patterson. "one quarter more for the honour of Down"
04/05/15 Learners and seniors gathered this evening and rang the ten bells for an exuberant mixture of Plain Hunt, and call changes to mark the birth on Sat May 2nd, of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, daughter of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.
09/05/15 As in so many towers across the nation this morning we rang to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.(VE Day) We had a mixture; young learners through to pre VE Day vets!
17/05/15 Alas and alack! A trip to Dublin yesterday for the Murphy Cup contest saw the trophy pass from our hands again. A pic (on the Pics page) records its stay with us at the same time as the Cunningham Cup and the Attendance Shield were 'in residence'. Another day, another target? Good news was that our vice captain, Alistair Jameson, was elected a Life Member of the IACR to mark his 60yrs of dedicated service to church bellringing and the Association.
21/05/15 A busy practice last night during which time was taken to fire the bells as a tribute to our vice captain who marks his 60th anniversary of starting ringing this weekend. '60 down, plenty to go!'
23/05/15 Annual Dinner last night saw 25 ringers and friends witness Alistair discovering why people had been acting mysteriously lately. A peal board had been prepared on behalf of the ringers and the Select Vestry to mark his sixty years of bellringing.
22/06/15 Annual visit on Saturday by St Patrick's Cathedral ringers on their outing. 25 ringers busy for two hours! Also a visit to the church yesterday from Simon Barry.; one of our stalwarts from years ago.
02/07/15 Practice yesterday evening was marked by the attendance of our rector, Bryan Follis and the presence on the wall of the new peal board serving as an acknowledgment of Alistair's sixty years of bell ringing. The rector spoke of the commitment required to ring perhaps three times a week for 60 years and paid tribute to Alistair's service to the church. He acknowledged too Daryl's support as well as her own some thirty years ringing. A prayer of dedication was offered for the pealboard; marking the significance of its placing in the tower and emphasizing the role of calling others to worship and asking for God's blessing on the work of all bell ringers. at the end of the practice the bells were fired as a tribute to Jonathan Houston who has just graduated from QUB with a BA Hons degree. Where did those years go?!
06/08/15 Yesterday a quarter peal of PB Triples was rung here.Congratulations were offered to Jonathan Houston, newly graduated from QUB and to Alistair Janeson for having rung in this tower for 60yrs. The ringers were Jonathan H, Maud Lindsay,Gaurang Patel,Jean Jeffery,Simon Walker (c),Eric Thompson plus Bridget & Michael White; very welcome visitors from Cambridgeshire.
15/08/15 14 ringers, young and old(er), gathered at noon to ring call changes for 15mins to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.
20/08/15 In keeping with the sentiments of the latest entry in the 'history revisited page it is to be recorded that a party of 11 ringers moved their Wed evg practice down country to Rostrevor for a night. A beautiful night it was too, surmounted by the welcome & hospitality of Ken and Sheila Roberts. Our newer members enjoyed the experience of handling 'different' bells and, by the end of the session, that wonderful thing happened. People came in off the street to watch the ringers in action. Bells do advertise themselves .A bit more effort might be called for to present and deliver the product !
27/08/15 The landscape of bellringing has changed. It is with sorrow that we have to record the death last night of Charlie Reede of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Twice within the past year we had the honour of his company in this tower. It seems incredible to look back into the 20th century and consider the influence he had on bellringing in Dublin and the rest of the land. A man of standards; he never let them waver.
09/09/15 We fired the bells tonight to mark the occasion of HM The Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.
13/09/15 Yesterday a quarter peal of 1260 Stedman & PB Doubles was rung here by Alistair Jameson, Jonathan Houston, Daryl Jameson, Gaurang Patel, Simon Walker (c) and Gary Patterson in memory of Charlie Reede of St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin.
27/09/15 Harvest Thanksgiving services today and all ten bells rung for both services. Newer members coming to the fore; gaining experience and 'holding the line'
04/10/15 Our RM took part yesterday in a peal of 5040 PB Triples at St.Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; rung as a thanksgiving for the life and work of Charles J Reede, mentor and friend.
10/10/15 .. and how is the Dublin landscape changing? Now we record with sorrow the passing of Leslie Taylor of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin; a dedicated ringer whose companionship will be sadly missed by his family and ringing colleagues. Another life long servant gone to his rest.
18/10/15 Better days. Twelve ringers for morning service and performance improving and eight at noon for a (robed) service for the Order of Lazarus.
25/10/15 Autumn Ringing Festival weekend and it was a pleasure shared by eight of our band to go to Dublin & Drogheda yesterday to both ring and share the company of some 50 plus fellow aficionadoes from N,S.E & W at a dinner in the Monaterboice Inn. The stalwarts of the IACR are an everlasting, encouraging,presence in our church
04/11/15 Following an educational trip to the USA the RM has reported that, although he didn't get to ring, he heard the 12 bells chimimg at Trinity Church, New York; saw the 12 bells of Washington Cathedral and stayed 'round the corner' from the 10 bells of the Old Post Office tower. His trip was topped off by seeing the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. He didn't get to take too many liberties but at least he came back without blisters or a broken stay in hiscase. Another day maybe ?!
07/11/15 Just over a couple of years ago, Catherine Beatty reached a level of ringing not every ringer might reach. Today she rang the treble in her first quarter peal.; PB Doubles rung here in Hillsborough, 'For Remembrance'. She was joined by Daryl Jameson, Philip Talbot, Gaurang Patel, Mike Pomeroy(c) and Jonathan Houston.
22/11/15 Yesterday morning a peal of Bristol Surprise Royal was rung here by the Ancient Society of College Youths.
10/12/15 District Practice held here last Sat on a day of atrocious weather. Thankfully some 24/25 turned up including several from Dublin. Much varied and enjoyable ringing. Refreshments afterwards were 'cosy & warm' with a good range of foodstuff augmented by a good bowl of soup! 10 bells ringing on Sun morning and 15 bodies at practice on Wed night with a couple of new faces who had come 'to try ringing'. Fingers crossed? Much activity on the ten bells with all the new young ringers developing well. The RM is believed to be pleased.
20/12/15 Annual Carol service tonight with 11 ringers for the ten bells and the Hilltown Bell was rung after the service to lend a bit of atmosphere.
26/12/15 Consistency was the keyword. Exactly the same as twelve months ago, 7 bells were rung on Christmas Eve and 8 followed by a 10 on the two morning services.
01/01/16 Good days, and nights, continue. Twelve ringers gathered to ring in the New Year with four doing so for the first time. Nothing like crispy air and shivering hands to encourage a ringer to return; just in case it might be warmer next time! Good for team bonding ?! It has reached that time of year again when we send our best wishes for a healthy, happy, new year to all our friends around the world and anyone else who has taken the time to look in. You're a friend we haven't met yet!
10/01/16 Promising start to the year by winning the Patterson Cup at St Thomas's yesterday
20/01/16 Practice followed the RM introducing two new junior recruits to the scene; 'hands on' plus a trip up to see bells in action.. Alexander Robertson and Charlotte Crawford are welcome to the tower.It was particularly encouraging to see Charlotte brought her mum, Vivienne, with her as she was a regular ringer here over #@# years ago! She 'took to the rope' again with only a few misgivings!
24/01/16 K & S Roberts of Rostrevor paid us a visit yesterday for an introduction to the delights of Plain Hunt & covering. Progress made was excellent and what started as a small party resulted in an attendance of 12 once we had been joined by Nigel Pelow & (president) David Taylor from the South. A most beneficial day for all concerned!
25/01/16 The bells were fired before Evg Prayer yesterday to mark Gary Patterson's fiftieth birthday.
03/02/16 The long awaited tower AGM was held tonight. Apart from the appointment of a new steeple keeper there were no changes. Stability is the key word. The RM commented on the necessity of recruiting new members to provide an adequate pool of ringers to be available for Sunday service ringing; the whole purpose of our mission. Things aren't at all bad but our door is forever open to new recruits and people who have 'lapsed' and would like to 'tiptoe' in and see if they would like to take up ringing again. No arm twisting! Just call up 'without obligation'!
02/04/16 Won the Cunningham Cup at Holywood today.
16/04/16 Ringer's annual dinner last night at Gowdys at the Maze. Thirty in attendance; ringers & spouses; young & old, inexperienced and veterans. A happy band!.
21/04/16 Since last night, Alistair & Daryl have joined the ranks of grandparenthood, with the safe arrival of a baby son for Christopher & Rebecca. Good news for all concerned! We send our congratulations and best wishes to the new mum & dad !!
21/04/16 To celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen, this evening all ten bells were rung for 30 mins of Plain Hunt on Nine, call changes (incl Queens) and firing. (see pic)Fourteen of our ringers took part; a mixture of young & old, male & female and experienced and less experienced... a cross section of bell ringers of the nation.
02/05/16 A quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles was rung here yesterday to celebrate the birth on 20/04/16 of Malachy Eamon O'Neill Jameson, grandson of the ringers of treble and three. 1. Alistair Jameson, 2 Jonathan Houston,3 Daryl Jameson, 4 Gaurang Patel, 5 Simon Walker (c), 6 Stephen Walker.
11/06/16 A session of ringing tonight.... call changes and firing ... to mark the 90th birthday of HM The Queen and the 95th birthday of HRH Prince Philip. The RM, in his other role as a 'Fort Warder' was in attendance while a 21 gun salute was fired in Hillsborough Castle grounds.
20/06/16 Channel 4 TV last night saw Dame Penelope Keith come up against and speak with the Hillsborough Fort Warders in the 'Her Majesty's Service' mini series of programmes devoted to 'things royal' in the UK. The RM commented on the potential for causing harm of his cavalry sabre. It is to be hoped he doesn't introduce it to ringing practice as a pointer.. Splicing arms would put an undue strain on the first aid box.
24/06/16 The Open University Association rang their first quarter peal in Ireland here yesterday on behalf of th'e 'Strike Back Against Blood Cancer' campaign. The 1296 Plain Bob Caters ( In 50mins) was rung in memory of the late Jo Cox MP, murdered in England last week.
01/07/16 'The Somme' Words that would make stones bleed. Yesterday evening Rev Canon Dr JPO Barry joined us for Grandsire Doubles & Call changes and led a prayer of remembrance before we rang a quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles (half muffled)(with 7,6,8 covering. Rung with grateful remembrance of the lives of some local men who died near the Somme and the conductor's gt grandfather who was wounded on the first day of the battle.
Ringers were J Jeffery, N Pelow, G Patel, P McBride, S Walker (c), N Turkington (1st Q), R MacDonald, J Houston. At 0730 this morning the ten bells were rung (half muffled) at the end of the local service of commemoration for 'the Somme'
15/08/16 The RM took himself to Christ Church,Taney, yesterday for his first peal of 5152 Cambridge Surprise Major, rung for the Irish Assoc in 2hr51. He rang in the company of Philip M Talbot, Julia A Lysaght, Niamh W Hickey, Peter McBride, Peter L R Hayward, Michael J Pomeroy,(c) and Andrew B Mills. Possibly he has laid the bogey for us in that tower!
06/09/16 The bells were fired before Evening Prayer on Sunday to mark the 100th birthday of Mrs Cottney; a lifelong parishioner who transpires to have a grandson ringng in London.
09/10/16 Harvest Festival today with over 400 people present and, despite a variety of absences,the ten bells did ring. A good harvest.
14/10/16 (see pics page) A peal of 5000 Bristol Surprise Royal rung here today by a band of Royal Cumberland Youths, in memory of Serjt G E Piggins; killed in action this date 100yrs ago.
05/11/16 After a break of 8yrs the Iveagh up was competed for today at St Thomas's. Alas, despite their best efforts our team were narrowly defeated by the home team. Also today, a quarter peal of 1344 Plain Bob Major was rung.here in 52 mins to mark the Ruby Wedding anniversary of Julia & Mark Lysaght.
13/11/16 The ten bells were rung half muffled for the Remembrance Day service this morning.
14/11/16 It seems strange sometimes to reflect on the way in which the sound of a church bell can resonate in a person's life and possibly change their future activities. Our vice-capt' -- Alistair -- has received a message from an 'old parishioner' who informed him that his son (Alan Cottney) had, last Saturday, rung his first(inside) qtr peal of PBD at St Dunstans Church, London, as part of the weekend Docklands Quarter Peal weekend. Had 'the sound of a Hillsborough bell' been implanted in Alan's head to surface in a distant place? Who knows? Maybe he will visit one day and develop the idea?
27/11/16 The advance of the young! High School first year pupil, Alexander Robertson, did his first service bell ringing today; both at the Morning service and the Christingle service in the evening, The debut for yet another bell 'musician'?
18/12/16 Fifteen ringers tonight for the Annual Christmas Carol service allowing for 30 mins of call changes and Plain Hunt on 9.. A satisfactory turn out.
31/12/16 A flurry of activity on the eve of the New Year. For the first time in their 61yr existence the tower handbells were used for a 1/4 peal of PBD, in 35mins. The RM, on his first such ring, was joined by JJ and Michael (c) They followed this; joined by Guarang, Alan & Jonathan,with a 45min 1269 doubles session of 360 Erin, 240 each of Stedman, Grandsire, Southrepps & 189 Plain Bob. Both rings were a compliment to Alison, the RM's wife, who is 'celebrating' her 40th birthday on New Year's Day.
01/01/2017.. The start of another.year of 'looking for ringers'. Fortunately the RM's good work resulted in 13 ringers turning out for some crisp ringing at 12mn to ring in the New Year; As well as having 3 nines for Christmas Eve & the 2 Christmas Day services. (17 different people rang for those 3 sessions) A wedding on 29th saw all ten bells being rung. A very.busy, satisfying, week. Greetings for a happy and peaceful year ahead to all reading these notes.!
13/01/17 The bells were rung half muffled yesterday for the funeral of parishioner Martha Hodgen, whose daughter, Jacqui Allen, a former parishioner & now a ringer at Lingfield, comes to ring with us on her family visits. We pass on our condolences to the family on their loss.
25/02/17 'Steady as she goes!' A good Stedman practice last night; with steady courses of Triples & Touches of Doubles.
21/03/17 We pass our condolences to fellow ringer Brian Lockett and the whole family on the death of his mother Sheila last Friday. She had reached the noble age of 98. Service of memorial in Hillsborough on Wed. 22nd
15/04/17 Good attendance figures for Holy Week. 10 each night Mon - Thu then a half muffled 1/4 peal Fri afternoon and an 8 strong session of call changes & triples in the evening..
23/04/17 Easter Sunday morning was marked by call changes on the ten bells. Yesterday, the team took off to Londonderry to compete for the Cunningham Cup. The tower in which they first won the Cup so many years ago! Alas,for a few reasons, the field was depleted. The 'young ones' put up a steady, determined effort and, in the absence of ANY opposition, there was nothing else for it but to agree that Hillsborough had won and would retain the Cup. Next stop, Dublin?
20/05/17 'Twas not to be' Cometh the day and too many ringers were unavailable to.face the challenge.at Taney. However! There was activity at the home tower. The 21st birthday celebrations of the Earl of Hillsborough were marked by the sound of the bells in the background while the RM served in his other role as a member of the Hillsborough Old Guard at Hillsborough Castle.
16/06/17 Call changes were rung on the ten bells yesterday to mark BBC Music Day.
16/06/17 This being the season when ringers melt away from their usual habitats to seek relief and pleasure from the usual woes, it is incumbent on me to Appeal Loudly to all of you, if you are visiting Ireland, to consider paying a visit to and ringing in Hillsborough. Your presence will be very much appreciated in more ways than one. Don't think long; just come along!
01/08/17 Last night (31st) fourteen ringers rang the bells, half muffled, for 40 mins to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
16/08/17 From the 'C of I Gazette' comes a news
item to cause a body to pause in their tracks. The Dean of Ossory,
after a service of HC, planted a cherry tree to mark the 30th
anniversary of her ordination as a deacon in the Church of Ireland;
indeed the first woman to be so ordained in the Irish Church. A few
years prior to that 30yrs of service begining, the Very Rev Katharine
Poulton was better known to us as Katharine Noble, chorister &
bellringer, part of a young band of reliable ringers nurtured by the
late Sam Ross. Look around you and consider which of the young faces you
see might feature in an unexpected role or position in the life ahead.
Can you do anything to facilitate their progress? years move on;
especially that last thirty!
24/08/17 'In the next breath' we record that, today, the ten bells were rung half muffled for the funeral of Mrs Bunty Hawkins, whose father was rector here over 60 yrs ago! He it was who got the bells rehung in 1948.
17/10/17 We note the death this weekend of of Mrs Ena Shortt; widow of 'our man' Harry and pass on our sympathy and condolences to all in the family circle
22/11/17 Good news has come with the message that Alistair & Daryl have become grandparents again.Christopher & Rebecca have another young man,Jonah, to look after. Our best wishes to them all!
22/11/17. To mark the 70th wedding anniversary of HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, the ten bells were rung on Monday evg (20th) Plain Hunt Caters in 30 mins plus calls and some firing.
04/12/17 Busy weekend. N District practice held here on Saturday and all ten bells rung yesterday for Morning service and the evening Christingle service.
01/01/18. A busy time for ringers of course. A band of 17 ringers assisted by 2 beginners provided 2 rings of 10, 2 of 8, 2 of 7 and one of 6 from Ch Eve and then an 8 & a 10 for New Years Eve.. Here they were joined by an English ringer, Trevor Lamb. All help appreciated We send our best wishes for the New Year to all in the world, whether ringers or not!
04/01/18 Sewing seeds early this year!? The RM reports that yesterday pupils of Dromore High School took part in a 'well-being' day for staff during which a range of of activities was offered. These included flower-arranging,
football, and cooking but 24 people opted for a taster of bell ringing. They visited our tower, watched a demonstration of call changes being rung,
followed by a quick lesson on tail-end for everybody. Eighteen visitors then
went up to see the tenor bell ringing. They seemed very enthusiastic.Might some more seeds germinate to something good? Please !
20/02/18 A long overdue redecoration (1990) of the ringing room has been done. After rehanging of pictures;, renewal of carpet tiles etc you will not 'know tha place. The RM would suggest that you come along and see for yourself! ringers from St Pauls's Cathedral, London, were here last Sunday but that was too soon.. The tower agm is on March 7th; so come then too.
Ringing Practice is held on Wednesday night... from 2000-2130.
Visitors and new recruits are very welcome!
Sunday Service ringing times can vary... usually 1100-1130 and 1800-1830.
Contact the tower for more exact information