The first quarter of Cornerstone

On March 13th, 1992, in the presence of the Queen, a panoply of church leaders dedicated the Church of Christ the Cornerstone in Central Milton Keynes, the first ecumenical city centre church in Britain.  At the same time, at St Mary’s, Shenley, a band of ringers started to ring a quarter-peal in a new variation they named Cornerstone Doubles [Plain Bob with a Wallflower Single and a Grandsire Extreme] in honour of the new church. Unfortunately, a rope broke, and the quarter was unsuccessful – however, the band wrote to the Ringing World, and claimed the naming rights for the variation, which was therefore included in the on-line list of Doubles variations:

This year, looking for another variation entirely, I came across it, and Doug Hird, the Branch archivist, was able to fill me in on the details.  I decided that it would be wonderful if, 27 years later, the branch could achieve the first quarter in the variation, especially as I needed some variety in my attempts to ring, as mayor, a quarter in every tower in Milton Keynes Council’s area.

A band made up of ringers from Woughton-on-the-Green, Bradwell and Bletchley, ringing at Lavendon, were ably steered by Simon Head through the pitfalls of unfamiliar calls (I think we knew the base method well enough), and achieved the first quarter in the variation, appropriately enough on the 27th anniversary of the first attempt, and of the dedication of Cornerstone.  The details are here:

Doug is not sure of the make-up of that first band, who named the variation – they might want to stand up and take a bow.

Martin Petchey