Ely DA

Welcome to the main website for the Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers

Bell ringing is a team activity that stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit ... it also makes a glorious sound!

This website is primarily intended to keep local ringers informed of news and ringing events. We hope other ringers will find the details of towers, practice nights and the ringing calendar useful.

The association is composed of four districts, each with their own website.

Interactive map of towers is here.

* New News *

New Safeguarding Training document here and see below. AGM 21st May poster here, agenda below.


  • Ringing courses and more at the Stretham REC

  • Teaching and Learning Documents here

  • Walsoken Teaching Hub here.

Association garments from Expertees of Huntingdon, including special logos for the125th anniversary.

Dates for the Association (larger calendar here)

Here are all the dates for the Association, Districts and Stretham REC shown as a Google Calendar.

Ely DA AGM, Wisbech District, Saturday 21st May

The Agenda is here, and the draft minutes of the 2021 AGM are here.

At the AGM, Bob Cox was elected as Chairman of the Ely DA. His contact details are here.

New Safeguarding Training document issued April 2022

Shirley Warbrick, as Safeguarding Officer for the Ely DA, with the help of Martin Kitson and Phillip George, has provided a new document about recent changes to the Church of England’s arrangements for Safeguarding training and how this affects Tower Captains and others involved in the management of ringing. The new document, Safeguarding Training, dated April 2022, is available here, and also from the Safeguarding page.

Martin's Final Chat, April 2022

You may well have heard that I have resigned as your Chairman and so this is the last of my little “Chats”. I don’t want to go into the reason for my resignation now, but I’d just like to say how grateful I am for your support over the past four years, and now I’d like to look forward.

In August 2020, when the first lockdown restrictions had been lifted slightly, we travelled to the coast near Harlech, and on our first afternoon there, I sat in the garden of our bungalow looking out on to the Lleyn Peninsula, watching the sea birds and waders making the best use of the tide being out. I was struck by how different things could have been., had the virus been that much more virulent. The birds would be there, doing what they do, but there’d be no people, no you and me, to see them. The human race, and all its works, blasted by a great wind from the east, leaving behind no recollection of the past, and no hope for a future that might have been. Humankind’s final obituary.

(Continued here)


More chats here.

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Ely DA

Mugs, badges, keyrings and garments are now available with a special logo celebrating 125 years of the Ely DA.

Mugs £7 each, available from 25th March. Enamel keyrings and badges, £4 each will be available from mid-April, also porcelain mugs at £10 each.

Printed t-shirts and embroidered polo shirts, sweatshirts and fleeces are available now, to order from Expertees (now P&M Custom Clothing) at our webshop here.

All enquiries to Janet Garnett on elyweb_at_elyda.org.uk. Mugs, keyrings and badges will be available at district meetings and at the AGM, and I will be happy to make arrangements for collection or delivery. Postage can be arranged if required, at extra cost.

Ely DA Training Day, Saturday 2nd October

Details of the six workshops, and how to book, are available here. We have used Eventbrite, a free service, to collect reservations for each of the six workshops.

If anyone would like to come along to a workshop to help (apart from the Tower maintenance session) please contact Dee directly by e mail rato_at_elyda.org.uk

Any questions please contact Dee at rato_at_elyda.org.uk. Dee can also provide a print-friendly version of the workshop details if you would like a poster for your tower noticeboard,

Alan Barber

Sue Marsden writes:

I'm sorry to have to announce the death of Alan M Barber today, 12th July. Alan was a member of the Ely District from the early 1960s until the late 1970s, but always maintained his connection with the Ely District and Association. He was a first class conductor and composer, and was Ely Peal Secretary for a number of years. He moved to the North East a while back. He will be very much missed, and I was honoured to count him as a friend. May he rest in peace.

The Ely DA Superlist is here!

You asked for a diocesan-wide mailing list for the Ely DA, and we have set one up. Welcome to <elyda-superlist@groups.io>. The list will mirror information from the ElyDA which is currently (and will continue to be) sent out via district mailing lists, Facebook groups and websites. However, the list has potential to be much more useful than this - it depends entirely on what use you make of it. You can have discussions amongst yourselves about Pickled Egg methods or Young Ringers or anything else you like.

Anyone who signs up can post to the list, and posts will be unmoderated (except for one initial post). Hashtags are used to enable individual list members to configure their own delivery of emails - you can mute certain topics, or receive notifications only of specific topics.

If you already have a groups.io login then it is simply a question of going to https://groups.io/g/elyda-superlist/ and clicking the "join this group" button at the bottom of the page.

If you do not have an account then you must first click on "Sign Up" at the top right. Enter your email address and a password for this account. (It's also possible to use a Facebook or Google account). You will get an email asking you to confirm that your email address is valid and that it really was you who asked to create the account. Once you have the account you can log in and join the group -- see the earlier paragraph.

A few hashtags for the list have been pre-populated in a dropdown (for admin, individual districts, handbells, practices, etc) - please use these first, and only set up your own hashtags if your topic is missing. Have fun!

JoAnne Rutter, May 2021

Ely DA Subscriptions in 2021

Ely DA membership subscriptions for 2021 would normally be due at the beginning of the year. However, the Ely DA General Committee unanimously agreed the following resolution at its meeting in December 2020: ‘That the collection of 2021 subscriptions be deferred until after the 2021 AGM, and that the General Committee would recommend to that AGM that the subscription be set at £0 for this one year only’.

Donations in lieu of a subscription are, of course, welcome and encouraged.

If you donate to the Bell Restoration Fund (which is a charity) then the donation can be gift-aided. A gift aid form is available on the BRF page here; the gift aid form can be completed online. You can make a donation to the General Account via BACS, please contact any District Secretary or Nicholas Small as Treasurer (treasurer_at_elyda.org.uk ) for account details. If you intend to make a donation to the BRF in lieu of a subscription, then please make the donation initially to the General Account, informing the Treasurer of your intentions. Then, in case the General Committee’s resolution is not passed at the AGM, the donation can be re-purposed as a subscription.

Lockdown Bellringing Activities

Dee Smith, as RATO for the Association, has provided a summary of suggested activities. The current list, dated 23/04/20, is here, and Dee will provide updates as new events arise. Contents of the summary: Cambridge District Webinars; Drop-in and Help sessions on Saturday mornings; Ringing Room.

More photos and reports

More photos and general reports of interest to the Association are here. See also Learning and Teaching, including Training events.

Advertise your tower open day with the Ely DA banner

If you are organising an open day at your tower or having a presence at local fetes or other events, the Association Mobile Demonstration Bell, Display Stand, Hand-out Leaflets and Advertising Banner are excellent ways of attracting attention and making people more aware of ringing and its benefits.

The mobile demonstration bell, display stands and banner are available to borrow. More information here.