2015 has been an eventful year for Ken Deller, one of the Meridian Ringers based at St. Alfege, Greenwich. In May, Ken and his wife Barbara celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and we rang a quarter peal to celebrate this [see page 534, issue no: 5430].

Friday 9th October marked Ken’s 80th birthday and we rang a quarter peal of 1280 Plain Bob Doubles to celebrate the occasion. Just a few days earlier Ken and Barbara had been in Nice during the terrible floods and were delayed on their return journey but fortunately they arrived back in good time for the quarter peal.  Afterwards, we adjourned to The Kings Arms, Greenwich where Ken had arranged for a nice pub lunch and drinks.

The Parish Church of St. Alfege, Greenwich

               On Friday 9th October 2015

 A Quarter Peal of 1280 Plain BoB Doubles

8,6, Tenor cover                In 46 minutes                       

 (Tenor 23 ½ cwt in D)

  Treble        Hazel Bing

    2              Shelagh Norman

    3              Brenda Coode

    4              Eddie Coode

    5             Graham Long (conductor)

    6              Ken Deller

    8             Jim Odell

Tenor         Alan Munden

       [50th quarter together 5 & 8]

To celebrate Ken Deller’s 80th birthday. Also, to mark the 87th birthday of Freda Cannon

[Tower Captain Emeritus at Greenwich].  Jan Odell joined in afterwards to ring a touch of 80 Plain Bob Doubles.  Michael Robinson wishes to be associated with this quarter.Add your main content here - text, photos, videos, addons, whatever you want!


Seventy years of age, 58 years as a ringer and 52 of those as a tower captain merits some special ringing and a special dinner.

So that is exactly what happened when David Camm, the tower captain of Youlgreave, and previously Eastwood and Heanor – all in Derbyshire, visited London on 20th November, 2010 soon after his 70th birthday. 

Two of the many ringers whom David has taught to ring, Robert Marchbank and Dan Cocker, joined the Meridian Ringers of Greenwich (with whom Dan rings) to ring a celebratory quarter peal with David. 

A grand occasion required a grand ring of bells in a grand tower.  Thanks to Dr Michael Sprackling, the famous bells of St Clement Danes were made available.  The band rang a well-struck quarter of Grandsire and Plain Bob conducted by Bill Lanyon followed by some general ringing, including "rollercoaster" call changes, conducted by Graham Long on all ten bells.

And then for the après-ringing, which the Meridian Ringers take almost as seriously as the Exercise itself. 

Just like in a game of Monopoly, the band travelled along the Strand, across Trafalgar Square and into Pall Mall and arrived at the Army & Navy Club for dinner.  There the band and other halves, including David's wife Christine, enjoyed claret and canapés in an elegant British Army-themed room as an oil-on-canvas Duke of Wellington looked on with aloof curiosity.  The evening continued in the adjoining Royal Navy-themed room with dinner observed from the wall by Lord Nelson, portrayed to show equally aloof amusement at the proceedings beneath him.

As the ringing started with the treble and ended with the tenor, so with dinner.  Treble ringer Vicky Duguid started off the dinner with an impressive grace – bespoke for the occasion – and tenor ringer and servant of the Crown, Alan Munden ended dinner by proposing with great distinction the toast to the Queen, who is the patron of the club. 

The drink for the Loyal Toast was port and the tradition of passing the port was observed.  Some ringers soon drained their glasses, but knew that asking the direct question "Could you pass the port, please?" is an etiquette faux pas and instead followed the conventional roundabout dialogue:

– "Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?"

– "No"

– "He's a very fine chap, but he never passes the port."

At this point the port-hogger usually takes the hint.  As the decanters slowed on their rounds, the band travelled in their imagination around a number of diocesan and suffragan sees until there came the question "Do you know the Bishop of Selby?" and the answer "Yes, he's my uncle." The dumb-founded questioner  was left with an empty glass for some time.

Whilst the band can do centuries-old century traditions, it is at heart a progressive band.  This became clear when the ladies allowed the gentlemen to join them in the sumptuous comfort of the ladies' drawing room to finish off the port – with no military historical heroes around on the walls to disapprove.


Quarter peal details

Westminster, London

St Clement Danes

Saturday, 20 November 2010 in 47m (21-1-23)

1260 Doubles

(Grandsire and Plain Bob, with 7, 6, 8 cover)

1   Vicky Duguid 
2   David W Camm 
3   Robert J Marchbank 
4   Jeremy Gilliland 
5   Bill Lanyon (C) 
6   Daniel R Cocker 
7   Graham Long 
8   Alan Munden

Rung by the Meridian Ringers and guests as a birthday compliment to David W Camm (who taught the ringers of the 3 and the 6 to ring).