I could not write this blog until two of the most important annual events had taken place. No, not the Central Council meeting in Portsmouth in May, well reported elsewhere but the two competitions: the National 12-bell final in Aston on 25th June followed by the Ringing World National Youth Competition in London on 2nd July.
Apart from being a demonstration of excellence in 12-bell ringing, the Aston gathering was as always a wonderful social occasion. Birmingham won the trophy again and there was a tribute to Henry Johnson with a short service and flowers placed at his grave during the afternoon.
The following Saturday saw a record 24 teams enter the RWNYC with Bedfordshire again winning the Whitechapel Trophy. Going around with my own Coventry team it was great to see myriads of young ringers enjoying the novelty of a day in the capital and ringing on such prestigious bells as St Martin’s and the “Queen’s bells” at Garlickhythe. Well done Linda Garton and all who took part in the organisation and the leaders who brought teams from as far afield as Scotland and the South Coast.
Prior to this and following the CC meeting my Guild embarked successfully on a project to ring 90 quarters in 90 towers for the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. Lots of ringing and quite a few “firsts”.
In June, I was also privileged to be invited to attend a reception in the Speaker’s House in the House of Commons again for the 90th birthday celebrations. I met many well-known faces including George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Quite an experience. Another interesting event on 27th June was the dedication of a refurbished single bell at St Mary Abchurch in the City of London. The historic bell had the full baptism service with incense and anointing, led by the Archdeacon of London.
Whilst many of you will be looking forward to summer holidays, the admin work of ringing continues in the background. I would urge you to do two things, firstly take advantage of the school holidays to get your young ringers on outings and to other local towers. Secondly, if you have not already done so, start arranging to have your tower open for the Heritage Open Days in the period 8th -11th September with ringing specially requested for 6pm on Thursday 8th. Good publicity if the moment is seized: don’t forget to register that you have an event.
Happy holidays and good ringing,
Chris Mew, July 2016
Comments or questions from Council members or others are welcome: