Following the success of First Peal 2015 which took the world of ringing by storm last year our Guild Master Viv Nobbs proposed holding a Guild Firsts Fortnight which ran from March 1st to March 15th 2016. The idea was to build on the successful concept of encouraging more people to take a step forward in their ringing but also to recognise and celebrate that a personal milestone in ringing is an important event whatever the achievement. With ringing being a team activity, just as First Peal 2015 added many new peal ringers to the peal ringing community, encouraging local ringers through Firsts Fortnight helps local bands build their skill levels and possibly achieve things that were not possible previously.
It seems that W&P ringers embraced Firsts Fortnight at every level from taking the next step in the learning process, ringing a different bell, trying a different method etc through to first quarter peals, first quarters in method and firsts in conducting. Traditionally ringers have marked first achievements such as first quarters and peals but we should recognise that for many ringers the road leading to such achievements may be long and sometimes discouraging and indeed some either do not aspire to these levels or perhaps have little opportunity to do so locally. So something that celebrates these stages and encourages people to try to take their ringing to the next stage cannot do otherwise than benefit ringing in the area generally. Looking at the list of achievements it certainly seems to have achieved the objective set for us by Viv and many bands seem to have been really inspired to try some new things.
Hopefully everyone will have seen the regular updates on the website but a few highlights include the Isle of Wight young ringers outing to Alderney, some of the Alton ringers ringing firsts in the USA and another ringer from Bramshott ringing in Canada for the first time! An all ladies band rang for a service for the first time at Winchester College and an all ladies band helped one of their number plain hunt for the first time at Ringwood. Many people had a go at ringing something different and hopefully realised that it’s easier than they thought. Lots of people got the chance to do some conducting from call changes to spliced surprise Royal and people took the opportunity to ring touches and quarters in different methods.
The following people rang their first quarters.
Isla Ingram, plain Bob doubles at Awbridge
Will Holmes, plain Bob doubles at Eling
Lisa Ashforth, plain Bob doubles at Wickam
And Oliver Challoner,Pip Dillistone and Graham Nobbs all rang their first quarter in hand.