Viv Nobbs Reports from the ART Conference

Around 115 tower bell ringers from across the U.K. descended on our Guild at Old Basing recently to enjoy two days of The Association of Ringing Teachers Annual Conference weekend. It was SO much more than a business meeting!

This registered charity’s mission is simple..
“To improve the learning experience of new ringers”. 

ART,  as it is known, offers training, support and motivation to teachers alongside a structured learning programme for new ringers.

The association was celebrating its fifth birthday and there was plenty of reasons to be cheerful including the news that A.R.T. tutors coached more than 600 new ringers, getting them well underway with their ringing training in 2016.

There was much on offer over the weekend

  • wonderful food (!)
  • ringing on a simulator
  • improving personal ringing abilities – on tower bells and with handbells
  • reviewing new publications
  • enjoying seeing training DVDs e.g. Raising and Lowering
  • learning more about teaching in groups
  • hearing about University Associations
  • exchanging ideas with other members from different locations across the country
  • hearing from guest speaker, Mark Regan, how Worcester Cathedral Bell Ringers feature in Cathedral and local community life
  • being challenged by another guest speaker, Elva Ainsworth, asking us to reflect on our traditional bell ringing culture and whether or not we need to work on changing it to help sustain a healthy future for ringing.

One of the highlights of the programme was The Sarah Beacham Awards ceremony consisting of nine categories.. Our “W. and P. members were delighted to see two Guild entries – St. Michael’s, Swanmore, Ryde received specific recognition from the Judges for teaching very young new ringers and Elizabeth College, Guernsey won the School Group Award – Duncan Loweth, coach, received the award on behalf of his team.

It was very pleasing to note the great amount of interest in the method handbell training on Sunday, very ably presented by our own Duncan Loweth and  Helen McGregor from the Channel Islands. We were reminded of the benefit to our tower ringing if we ring handbells as well.

Rumour has it that several ladies from the Andover District enjoyed the handbell training so much that they are seeking to set up a new group in their area. Yay!!  

At the start of the event, A.R.T. Chairman, Graham Nabb said he hoped that all who attended enjoyed themselves, exchanged ideas and had fun. He was not disappointed!

Our Guild’s volunteers worked so very hard indeed and have received much praise for their organisational and catering skills…reported back here then …
” huge thanks for all your help over the weekend, everyone was delighted with the hospitality that your local team so kindly provided for everyone…. and they positively raved about the food, you’ve set the bar quite high for ringers’ teas from now on!”

So, well done and many thanks indeed, Deb Baker and her team!

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