Dorset County Association of Church Bellringers


Current News

November 2018

Practice nights have restarted at Hilton on Fridays from 7 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. ALL WELCOME. One of the new ringers Mary explains how the revival of ringing in this tower has come about….

As the centenary of the end of the ‘war to end all wars’ approached, it felt important to remember more than just names. There are 3 commonwealth war graves in the All Saints Churchyard. One is the grave of Frederick Samways who was 19 when he died serving with the Wiltshire Regiment in France on April 12th 1918 when he was reported missing.  He had been taken prisoner, was held at Dülmen Prisoner of War Camp until the end of the war, when he returned to England. I discovered that Frederick was a bell ringer along with another Hilton casualty, William Drake.

William Drake was a garden worker, born in Hilton. He joined the Dorsetshire Regiment at the start of the war and was with them during the disastrous campaign in Gallipoli in 1915, reported missing presumed dead on the 21st August 1915. He was 24. In a letter from his sister Minnie, returned unopened, she tells ‘Willie’ of an open-air service that was held at Milton Abbey were those serving had their names read out. Who knows if there were bell ringers to ring on that day.

It was this research that prompted a group of seven of us to take up bell ringing. Our primary objective at the outset was to make sure that the bells of All Saints rang on the November 11th 2018 in honour of Frederick Samways and William Drake. We have six complete beginners ranging from 16 to a little older (!), as well as two experienced ringers who are taking it up again with the help of local ART Ringing Teachers. Beyond the joy of the sound of the bells ringing regularly we have discovered the social side, with coffee and cakes at every practice. We have visited other towers and made new friends. After ringing on the 11th November a couple of us were enjoying a pub lunch in the nearby village of Martinstown, when someone greeted us, “You’re one of us” recognising the Ringing Remembers Badge we were proudly wearing. I guess we are now. 

September 2018

Congratulations this month to ringers Lesley Salvetti, Harry Berry and Robin Mears who all successfully passed their Association of ringing Teachers module one training, and are now officially recognised under the Learning the Ropes scheme to teacher learners how to ring. Assessor Alan Bentley passed them all without hesitation and commended them for their excellent work in recruiting and teaching new ringers in Dorset.

August 2018


Members of the DCA were present at the Great Dorset Steam Fair to advertise 'The Art of Bell ringing' and 'Ringing Remembers' to members of the public. Apart from one wet day when the tent was in danger of being blown away and visitors were few and far between, the weather was quite warm. 

It had originally been intended to use the Saxilby simulator for live demonstrations but unfortunately at the last moment a suitable location within a marquee could not be found.  The beer tent was offered but after a moment’s thought the offer was politely declined!

People from as far away as Switzerland stopped to talk and one of the most interesting visitors was a ringer from St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney who talked in great detail on how to make as many changes as possible to the sequence and timing when one has only 3 bells to ring!

Finally at the end of the fair, at least 6 potential new 'recruits' had shown interest in signing up to be one of the 1400 new ringers for the 'Ringing Remembers' campaign. 

24th June 2018

The DCA along with the Stallpits Mini Ring had a stall at the Kingston Maurward Agricultural College Summer Open Day. The aim of the mini ring was to recruit ringers as part of the ringing remembers campaign, also to raise awareness of bell ringing. The general public were allowed to have a go on the mini ring with the help of experienced ringers. At the end of the day DCA members rang a Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Doubles.

Many thanks to Tony Crabtree for the use and set up of the mini ring. 

Below is a photo of the Quarter Peal band with other DCA members with the Stallpits Mini Ring at Kingston Maurward.  

June 2018

Continued success and progress for DCA recruitment as Andy Smith and Matthew Bakewell pass their Module 1 teaching course. Well done to them both. Also the start of Kaleidoscope ringing in several towers (using long places, short places and dodging before getting into Plain Hunt and Method Ringing is beginning to become popular in terms of developing skills to produce ringing improvement). On Sunday 24th June from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. DCA ringers are promoting ringing throughout Dorset at Kingston Maurward Open Day on a mini-ring with the chance for people to have a go and sign up to bell ringing.

March 2018

Further congratulations go to Janet Collins and Michael Dillistone who in this month successfully completed and passed their Association of Ringing Teachers Module 1 training. The DCA are now building a substantial group of ringers who are fully trained up to teach learners and would be happy to support any towers within the DCA looking for support with recruiting and teaching beginners. SmART Ringer or Learning the Ropes  will give you further information on this training programme. Members of DCA wishing to get involved with this recruitment and training programme can also contact the DCA through  [email protected]

February 2018

Congratulations to  Richard Ellis, Howard Bowering and Jane Pridmore who completed their training and all became qualified ART teachers in February 2018.

2nd - 4th June 2017

Quarter peals of ‘Julie McDonnell’ methods were rung in Dorset in aid of Strike Back Against Blood Cancer as part of the Abbeys and Minster challenge

 Strike Back Against Blood Cancer is a campaign led by Julie McDonnell a bell ringer and cancer sufferer.  So far this has raised over £7Million through bell ringing events worldwide.

 We are delighted that Julie herself rang with us over the weekend


For further information and if wish to donate please see:-

 Dorset Towers that attempted quarter peals on this weekend were:-

 2 June

 7.30pm Beaminster

 3 June

 9am Yetminster and Milton Abbey

 11am Sherborne Abbey and Iwerne Minster

 2.30pm Sturminster Newton and Sturminster Marshall

 4.30pm Lytchett Minster

5pm Charminster

 4 June

 5.15pm Wimborne Minster


Overall 7 out of the 10 quarter peals were successful on this day. Everyone had a very enjoyable day and lots of money was raised towards SBABC.



The 2017 DCA outing took us to the Dartmouth area of Devon on a very hot sunny day, we rang at towers in and around the Dartmouth area. We all had a good day and look forward to the 2018 outing.


On the 2nd of July 2016 the DCA went on its annual outing. This time we ventured into Somerset. We rang at 6 towers: Burnham on Sea (8), Highbridge (8), Shapwick (6), Ashcott (6), Walton (5), Pylle (6). Then we all sat down to a fish and chip supper. Everybody had an enjoyable day. 


On the 4th of July 2015 the DCA went on its annual outing. The location of the outing this year was East Hampshire and Surrey.

We rang at 6 towers: Chawton (6), Alton St.Lawrence (8), Alton All Saints (6), Holybourne (8), Frensham (8) and Bentley (6).

Everybody  thoroughly  enjoyed the day and the sun shone all day. We all look forward to next years outing.


The Dorset County Association rings peals and quarter peals on a regular basis.

To see DCA records take a look at Bell Board: and search for the Dorset County Association

To look at peal records visit: