Association & Guild History

The Association was formed in 1897 by a union of the two Middlesex societies that existed at the time.

In 1874, a meeting had been held at Isleworth to form the West Middlesex Bell Ringers’ Association, with members from Isleworth, Richmond, Chiswick, Fulham, Heston, and West Hillingdon. At that time the only other such society was the East Derbyshire Association, which had been formed in 1870. Ringers from Hillingdon, Ealing, Acton, Brentford, Slough, and Windsor soon joined the   West Middlesex, but by 1894 the Association had all but ceased to exist. With meetings at Isleworth and Ealing, it was reformed as the South & West Middlesex Guild.

In 1888, at a meeting held at Finchley, the North Middlesex Association was formed with members from Finchley, Edmonton and Hendon. The following year the word ‘North’ was dropped from the title, and with members from Barnet, Hadley and Tottenham also, it soon became very active.

In 1896, members of the Middlesex Association approached the South & West Middlesex Guild, with a view to forming one society for the whole County of Middlesex (1889). The idea was greeted with enthusiasm, and on Whit Monday at Ealing in 1897, the new Association was formed, with the Bishop of London heading the list of patrons, and the two societies retaining their identities as Districts.

In 1903, at the Association AGM held at Fulham Palace, with the sanction of the Bishop of London, the words ‘and London Diocesan Guild’ were added to the title. In 1984 it was decided to have three Districts, in order to better serve the membership.

In 1997, at Whitsuntide in Ealing, the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Charters, our current patron, led the Association in celebrating its first centenary.

(from a Ringing World article by Frank Blagrove)