Vale of the White Horse Branch
Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

About Us

The Vale of the White Horse Branch is part of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, which represents the interests of ringers and ringing in the Diocese of Oxford. It is the smallest of the 15 branches of the ODG, with 12 ringable towers bounded by the Vale of the White Horse, and is positioned about midway between Swindon and Oxford.

The geographical area is triangular in shape, and is naturally bounded by the River Thames to the north, the White Horse Hill to the East and the Oxfordshire border to the South West. The White Horse Hill dominates the area with the well known iron age White Horse being visible from most of the Branch.

Within the branch there is plenty of teaching activity with learners of all ages in most, if not all, active towers. There's also a completely new band being taught at Coleshill, with the hope that they will eventually be self sufficient.

Over the last two years there has been sufficient expertise to raise a branch band to enter the Guild 10 bell striking competition, which is contested between the 15 branches. On both occasions we came a creditable 3rd, which is even more commendable given that some branches were not able to raise a band. We also have only about 50 members to call upon, compared to some other branches that have almost 300.

A further area of interest for the branch is in bell restoration. In recent years there has been an augmentation and restoration at Shrivenham, a new ring of bells at Longcot and a restoration at Buscot. Work is currently underway at Ashbury to make the bells easier to ring.

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Site last updated : 07/01/2024