The festivities are finally over and the clamour and pressure for all of us for our time to attend various towers for Advent, Christmas and New Year ringing is over for another year. Now would be a good time to reflect how we, as ringers, actually view our place in our little part of the ringing world.

Have a good look and ponder at what you actually do. Do you visit another tower to help or go to learn how they work and gain further experience? Or are you just a ‘my tower practice night and Sunday ringer at my tower’ sort of person? Or ‘they don’t ring what I’d like to ring’ ringer?

Whatever experience any of us have as a ringer can be helpful to other towers and will help you in your ringing experience.

Time is, of course, the problem for many of us. However, if you make your mind up to make at least just one extra trip per month to another tower and force yourself out of your comfort zone you will be helping other teams and gain more friends within our tight community.

Some of us are not getting any younger and it is nearly time for some of us to step aside and let younger ringers take over our responsibilities. We need everyone to ‘pull together’ (pun intended) and give more thought to the future of ringing, wherever we are based.

There are a lot of ringers, particularly on the Island and I would think in the Guild in general, who are now getting on in years and feel that they have carried the responsibilities for long enough and would like to relinquish some of those responsibilities to younger ringers so that ringing may carry on after we are no longer able to take part. We still enjoy our ringing but would like more time to ‘ring’ not ‘organise’!

We also need to encourage younger ringers to join our ranks, not an easy task I know, and still difficult to get the word ‘out there’ and to get our enthusiasm for this ancient art more widely known, and not just when national celebrations bring us to the fore, as they will again in May and November this year.

So I ask, as the new year begins, think about what you might actually be able to achieve with just a bit more thought and organising of your time.

Happy New Year all…

Lexi Skeldon, Tower Captain at St Michael’s Church, Swanmore (Ryde), posted the following on Facebook and I thought it might be worth repeating here.

Over to Lexi:

Now it is the new year we now have 6 BELLS at Swanmore (Ryde)!! 🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔.

We have Jake and Kiera who are ready to move on to Grandsire Doubles tennoring behind!! But because we rarely ever get help they can’t! 😭😭

Because, “new year new me”. How about you make it a new year thing to come and help the lovely Swanmore ringers progress 💪 especially as ringers all over the island keep saying “wouldn’t it be nice for young people to ring”? EXCEPT NO ONE BOTHERS TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!

Every ringer or tower on the island is after all ONE BIG TEAM!! so why not help each other?

We also have Sarah, who is on call changes, and Phoebe, Lily and Edward who are just coming onto call changes and we need people to help them!

Our tower is a tower specifically for young ringers so why not come and help them progress! Even if you’re only on call changes yourself! It will still help!!

Our practice night is EVERY TUESDAY 6.30 TILL 7.30, so its only an hour of your time! And why wouldn’t you want to spend that hour with my lovely Swanmore Munchkins?

Hope to see a full tower on Tueday!!

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