Category Archives: Guild

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200 Club Summer Draw Results

The Summer draw of the 200 Club took place this afternoon at Freshwater immediately after the Guild AGM. A total of £89 had accumulated since the last draw in March, giving £43 to go to the Training & Development Fund and £46 to be split for prizes. These were drawn as follows:

Prize Prize Accumulation £46.00 Winning Numbers Winners
First 50% £23.00 18 Tony Smith
Second 20% £9.20 6 Pete Jordan
Third 10% £4.60 11 David M. Hughes
Fourth 10% £4.60 9 Margaret Winterbourne
Fifth 5% £2.30 25 Nikki Brown
Sixth 5% £2.30 34 Margaret Downer

The next draw will take place on Saturday 16th November 2019 at the Guild Executive Committee meeting in Southampton. Money received between now and the meeting will go into that draw. More members means more winnings and more money for the Training and Development Fund! Please send me your forms, which may be found on the Guild website under ‘200 Club‘.

Robin Milford

CCCBR Annual Meeting 2019 – Booking now OPEN!

I am pleased to announce that the outline programme of events and the online booking form for this years’ Central Council meeting from 6-8th September 2019 based at Goldsmiths College, London is now available on the Central Council’s website: https://cccbr.org.uk/about/annual-meetings/2019-meeting/

The programme is open to all ringers and I hope you will find a great deal to interest you, whether it is the social evening on Friday 6th September, the chance to come and discuss the Council’s work on Saturday 7th September, the mini roadshow, exhibition and speaker events taking place on Sunday 8th September, or the opportunity to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and ring at some iconic London churches.

Over the coming months we will be sharing more information about the speakers, exhibitors and opportunities available at the mini roadshow.

To register, simply use the link or QR code.

If you plan to come for more than one day, you can also find details of nearby accommodation.  We look forward to welcoming you to Goldsmiths and hope that you find it an informative and inspiring weekend.

David Kirkcaldy
Deputy President, Central Council
Chair of the London 2019 Organising Committee

ART Module 2F courses in W&P – Sept/Nov 2019

Taking your ringers from rounds to plain hunt in easily manageable steps

ART Module 2

Many of those who responded to the recent Guild Education Committee survey talked about the difficulties of helping their ringers progress from ringing rounds through to ringing the treble to methods. This is one of the most challenging stages as the new ringer is ‘multi-tasking’ trying to acquire a number of new skills, all at the same time – listening and accurate striking, counting their place, varying the speed of the bell (the three speeds of ringing), ringing with an open handstroke lead, and acquiring ropesight. This is not easy, especially if you only have a limited number of experienced ringers in your band.

To help, we are offering a choice of two separate one day courses in the W&P area this autumn. These introduce teachers and tower captains to a range of exercises to try with an inexperienced band. The exercises are designed to develop each individual skill and ensure a smooth transition into ringing methods

  • Sat 28th September 2019    Bournemouth, St Peter
  • Sat 2nd November 2019       New Alresford, St John

The September course will be delivered by David Smith who writes the Education Column in the Ringing World, and Roger Booth. The courses will use material developed by the Association of Ringing Teachers (Course code M2F). You do not need to have attended a previous ART module to attend. The ART modules can be taken in any order. The modules are designed to help teachers deliver the Learning the Ropes scheme.

Joining the course

There is no compulsion to attend this course – there are many experienced teachers out there, and all are free to continue to teach. However even the most experienced teachers have found the course valuable in terms of introducing themselves to new ideas, and sharing their experience with others, especially if they learnt a long time ago! Much of the Learning the Ropes material is freely available to all, but to give your pupils access to the on-line content, issue (free) progress certificates, receive discounts on publications and for access to on-line teacher support material etc., you need to have attended one of the modules to learn about delivering the scheme.

After the course we will group teachers together in local groups or ‘hubs’ for mutual support and set up a series of ‘foundation skills’ practices where attendees can practice teaching using the exercises introduced. To find out more visit: http://ringingteachers.org/about/art-training-scheme

To book a place, visit: https://smartringer.org/public/daycourses/

Members of the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild may reclaim ART course fees up to £20 from the Guild’s Training and Development Fund (subject to availability of funds).  Applications should be made to the Guild Treasurer via the Guild’s website, https://wpbells.org/

Education Committee Header

Download a copy of this flyer here

Election of Guild Officers – YOUR GUILD NEEDS YOU!

Dear all

The election of Guild officers takes place on 15th June at the AGM in the I.O.W.
We have received nominations for some of the posts but we urgently need you to consider whether you would be able to, or know someone who would be willing to be nominated for the following posts:
  • Hon. Gen. Treasurer
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Central Council Representative (s)
For information, the Hon. Gen. Treasurer will also be a trustee of the Bell Restoration Fund which has meetings just prior to the Exec Meetings.  The Guild cannot continue to function without a Treasurer so it is vital that we have nominations for this post.
Please give this some urgent thought.  If you are interested or want to nominate someone for any of these posts then please let me know by email ASAP.  You do not have to be at the AGM to do this.
Please note that it is also still possible to nominate someone or be nominated yourself for ANY of the Guild Officer posts.
Many thanks
Heather Frazer
Hon. Gen. Secretary
W & P Guild of Church Bellringers
01256 465554

2019 Guild Sweatshirts and Polo Shirts

A huge thank-you to everybody who bought new sweatshirts and polo shirts bearing the Guild logo earlier this year; in all, there were nearly 70 items and, even keeping to 2016 prices, this resulted in an unexpected surplus going into Guild funds.

What a wonderful advertisement this is for our Guild, and nowhere was this more apparent than at Winchester Cathedral on 19th May. With those attending the WW1 Evensong, and those who helped outside all day on the Charmborough Ring, it was fantastic to see so many Guild logos as well as District and individual Tower logos on display, proclaiming our pride in our art.

One of our Guild ringers inadvertently ordered himself a Guild sweatshirt instead of the polo shirt he really wanted. Does anybody have a new polo shirt, XL, preferably Royal Blue, which they would be prepared to swap for a sweatshirt, XL, also Royal Blue? Or do you have one which, having ordered it, you now find you don’t need? If so, please get in touch with me.

Contact Christine Knights-Whittome

Record of Ringing in Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918 – The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers

Here is a link to download a PDF of the Record of Ringing in Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918 – The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, bound copies of which were presented to our two Cathedrals in special services.

Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday 12th May 2019

Winchester Cathedral on Sunday 19th May 2019

 

WW1 Service at Winchester Cathedral – Sunday 19th May

19th May – Winchester Cathedral: Listen out for a mention on Radio Solent Sunday at 7:20am! 

Service starts at 3.30pm

Winchester Cathedral band has offered a warm welcome to ringers who wish to join them prior to the service: It is important that you let us know if you wish to ring at the cathedral by contacting wphonsec@gmail.com

Ringing 2.15 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Access will be via the south-west turret staircase and through the nave roof.  The entrance door is located inside the cathedral at the back of the nave, below the great west window. There is a long narrow spiral staircase to climb; volunteers  will be available to assist and to control the flow of traffic. Please be patient;  there will be members of the public visiting the cathedral.  If you’d like to ring, it’s suggested you arrive at that specific entrance door at the back of the nave no later than 2.45 p.m.   to avoid disappointment. The door will be locked soon after. wpbells.org/winchester-cathedral/

Winchester Cathedral ringing chamber is also the location of the Guild’s Memorial to our ringers who died in both World Wars.

The Chamborough Ring will be found outside of the Cathedral and will be available to ringers and non-ringers throughout the afternoon (except during the service)  www.charmborough.org/

A digital archive of all records will be available to download here after the service.

Any further ringing performances for this project, up until the end of 2019, can be be included in the digital form of the archive if recorded on BellBoard or submitted direct to ww1bells@aol.com.

Guild Inter-Tower Striking Competition Report 2019

The Guild 6-Bell Inter-Tower competition was held this year on 18th May at Wickham with 4 tower teams and a scratch band hotly contesting the trophy.

Congratulations to Portsmouth Cathedral on winning the competition which was judged by Martin Rice from Newbury and Mark Robins from Hungerford.

The weather was kind to us, overcast but dry, and the setting idyllic for a pleasant morning sitting in the churchyard listening to some fine ringing.

My thanks go to the local band and clergy for the use of the bells, The Portsmouth District committee for their assistance with organisation, the Judges and to Lynne Jordan for providing much needed refreshments.

The results were:

Place

Tower

Faults

Ringing

Peal speed

Ringing order
FIRST Portsmouth Cathedral

8

Grandsire Doubles 2.40 3rd
SECOND Basingstoke (St Michael)

25

Plain Bob Doubles 2.48 1st
THIRD Bishopstoke

32

Grandsire Doubles 2.41 4th
FOURTH Hawkley & Bramshott

41

Call Changes 2nd
NO POSITION Scratch band

30

Cambridge Minor 2.53 5th

Unfortunately the 8-bell competition was cancelled due to insufficient team entries.

Pete Jordan

Striking Competition Convener

W&P Guild Vice Master

Guild Inter-Tower 6-bell Striking Competition Winnner's - Portsmouth Cathedral - 18-05-2019
David Mattingley receiving the trophy for Portsmouth Cathedral from judges Mark Robins (Hungerford) and Martin Rice (Newbury) with Pete Jordan (Striking Competition Convener)

Guild AGM Papers – Sat 15th June – IoW

Update – 4th June

Subject: AGM 15th June- venue for Striking competition results, BRF meeting and lunch

Hi all

For those who are intending to be at the Freshwater Village Hall on the 15th June for the striking competition results, lunch or BRF meeting prior to the AGM, please note that the venue is in Victoria Road, PO40 9PP. It is not at the Memorial Hall in Avenue Road.

Don’t forget to let Mary Tester know if you want lunch.

Thanks

Heather


Anyone intending to travel along the M27 on their way to the Guild AGM on the Isle of Wight should note that the M27 will be closed between J9 and J11 from 9pm Friday 14th to 9pm Saturday 15th June.

Here is a link to download all the papers you need in one single PDF file for the Guild AGM being held on Saturday 15th June at Freshwater on Isle of Wight.

Link to the Guild AGM 2019 Papers

Please remember to consider nominations for your Guild Officers – see this link for more details.

Guild AGM Poster - Freshwater IOW 15.6.19

 

Press Release: WW1 Centenary Commemoration Service Days at Portsmouth and Winchester 12th and 19th May

This Press Release below has been issued to  Winchester Diocese and Cathedral promoting church/ringers/community working together and a young ringer very much involved.

Here is Leigh, Ringing Remembers Ringer, proudly showing her Ringing Remembers certificate. Leigh gave a presentation to her school and the text is displayed here.

Leigh - Ringing Remembers.JPG

Ringing Remembers: Leigh’s learning to ring story.

In February 2017 at Brighstone we had two bells cast at Whitechapel foundry in London. They were cast on the penultimate day of casting before the foundry closed after being in continuous business since 1570. The new treble was funded by the Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Church Bells and the new number 2 by local ringers and friends. Leigh was there on the 4th April when the bells arrived. Leigh’s dad helped with the augmentation of the bells. We were able to ring all eight bells on 24th April. Leigh has been learning to ring the church bells at St Mary’s church since August 2017. Sadly, 1,400 bell ringers died during World War 1. To honour there memory, the campaign Ringing Remembers set out to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers to be able to ring on Remembrance Sunday. Leigh signed up and rang four times during Remembrance Sunday. She rang twice for the service and twice in the evening to coincide with the beacons that were being lit nationally. Leigh mostly rings the number 2 bell, but she has rung the 1 and 4. She rings rounds and call changes during Friday evening practice and for the Sunday morning service. Leigh is currently the youngest ringer on the island. At the moment she can confidently ring either the handstroke or the backstroke with help from Beccy her instructor. Leigh’s next step will be to ring both stokes gaining complete control of the bell. If anyone fancy giving ringing a go, speak to Beccy Noyes who is tower captain at Brighstone. Practice night 19:00 to 20:00 on Tuesdays. “I really, really love ringing.”
Leigh.


Winchester and Portsmouth Anglican Cathedrals will be hosting special services to give thanks for all people lost in World War One and to acknowledge the role of bell ringers during that conflict and in all our communities.

On 12th May at 6 p.m. in Portsmouth and on 19th May at 3.30 p.m. in Winchester, local dignitaries will be joining bell ringers and cathedral congregations as part of the commemorations of the Centenary of the end of The Great War. As a mark of respect for all those who made the supreme sacrifice for us, members of  The Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers will present each cathedral with an archive; the volumes detail the Guild’s ringing performances, rung since 1914, in honour and memory of the men and women who died in World War One.

Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth says ‘The ringing of church bells across the U.K. remained restricted throughout World War One. How wonderful that we are free to play our part in honouring all those that died as a result of the dreadful conflict.’ He recognises the special performances in the printed volume as ‘recording over a century of bell ringing from the tolling of a single bell to the most complicated of peals, from tiny village churches to Cathedrals.’

Bishop Tim of Winchester reflects ‘The statistics are abhorrent: more than nine million fighting men, out of 65 million from 30 countries, died in  World War One. It was devastating and hard to escape its impact. On 11th November 1918 peals of bells once more rang freely, breaking the near silence that had been brought about by the four years of war. Today, almost everyone of us, whatever our ethnic, national or religious roots, is aware that we have inherited a world deeply shaped by The Great War.’

On Armistice Day 1918 records from Portsmouth describe the outpouring of relief that four years war had ended…’The bells of St Thomas and St Mary were much in evidence.’  The ringers who were working in the Royal Dockyard had been allowed to leave work early to ring the bells ‘ simultaneously with a service in the front of the town hall and with hooters blowing’.

100 years on to the day, Portsmouth heard the cathedral’s half-muffled bells ring out 7000 ‘changes’ over four-and-a-half hours, remembering and honouring the 7000 residents of Portsmouth who had lost their lives in World War One.

In Winchester Cathedral the, then, Winchester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers’ own war memorial is to be found; an oak tablet recording the names of the fallen. A significant tribute to the Guild’s members lost in The Great War are two bells, cast especially, and installed in the tower in 1921.

Over 1,400 bell ringers died as a result of World War One – more than 60 were ringers from The Winchester and Portsmouth Guild area. ‘Ringing Remembers’ was a worldwide recruitment campaign to symbolically replace those 1,400 bell ringers. There were many new  ringers of all ages recruited from the two Dioceses in 2018. Leigh Ruszczyk, aged 5, from Brighstone, Isle of Wight was one of the 2,804 new ringers who rang bells on  Remembrance Day 2018.

In Winchester Cathedral grounds during the afternoon of 19th May there will be the Chamborough Mobile Belfry. Passers-by will be invited to have a go on the delightful, tiny bells….there will be plenty of help on hand for visitors wanting their first attempt at tower bell ringing.

WP service flyer - Portsmouth

Viv Nobbs

Striking Competitions – Reminder

Just a reminder that CLOSING DATE for the Guild 6 and 8 bell INTER TOWER competitions is SATURDAY 11th MAY

So far we only have 2 entries for the 6 bell and NONE for the 8 bell so now is your opportunity to enter your tower whilst there might not be too much opposition perhaps? Don’t forget, call changes is all you need to ring if you are not confident to ring Changes.

The CLOSING DATE for the Guild INTER DISTRICT 8 bell competition is a couple of weeks later on the 25th MAY.  Please can districts confirm to me if they definitely know they are NOT able to field a band if they have not already done so. Its not too late with perhaps a little persuasion to find 8 ringers within a district to ring call changes as a minimum.

Rules and details are on the guild website. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks

Pete Jordan
Striking competition convener.
Vice Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

 

New CCCBR website – Feedback requested

Ahead of launching the new Central Council website we want to take the opportunity to get feedback to make sure we are headed in the right direction.

The current website is the result of hard work from lots of volunteers over a number of years and has hundreds of pages of content. Some of these need updating to reflect latest structures or guidance, and some need to be archived/deleted. Rather than try to update the existing pages we felt it easier to start from scratch. However, we didn’t want to throw away any of that hard work that is still needed so used analytics from the website to make sure we recreated the pages that are most visited.

We recognise that we may have missed some useful and important material when creating this new site, so will keep the current site running in parallel for a period of time allowing you to access the existing content. During this time we will monitor what is being accessed and migrate it to the new site, where appropriate.

This is where you come in… Ahead of the launch, we would value your feedback on the new website:

  • can you navigate it easily?
  • can you find the information you need most?
  • general thoughts and observations.

The launch date is set for 1stJune and whilst we are aiming to squeeze as much as we can in this first release, some updates may have to wait for future releases.

Visit: https://newdev.cccbr.org.uk and let us know what you think by emailing here.

Louise Nightingale

Communications and Marketing Workgroup Lead

Ringing for Notre-Dame – Thursday 18th April 2019

Following the devastating fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris  on 15th April, the Archbishops of Canterbury & York and Prime Minister Teresa May asked for bells at churches and cathedrals across the UK to ring out in solidarity when possible on Thursday 18th April (Maundy Thursday).

The following performances were rung in W&P Guild towers on Thursday 18th April 2019 in solidarity with the people of France, following the fire at Notre-Dame. All are recorded on BellBoard.

If your’s is missing, please let me know here and I will add it to the list.

Alderney, St. Anne Diminishing Rounds
Basingstoke (St Michael), Hampshire Call Changes and Tolling The Tenor
Bentley (St Mary), Hampshire Rounds and Call Changes
Binsted (Holy Cross), Hampshire Call Changes
Bishops Waltham (St Peter), Hampshire Rounds
Blackmoor (St Matthew), Hampshire Tolling
Bournemouth (Sacred Heart), Dorset Call Changes
Bournemouth (Sacred Heart), Dorset Rounds
Bournemouth (St Peter), Dorset Tolling
Brading (St Mary the Virgin), Isle of Wight Tolling
Bramshott (St Mary the Virgin), Hampshire Tolling
Breamore (St Mary), Hampshire Call Changes and Tolling Of The Tenor At 7pm
Brighstone (St Mary the Virgin), Isle of Wight Call Changes and A Touch Of Grandsire Triples
Broughton (St Mary), Hampshire Tolling
Brown Candover (St Peter), Hampshire Tolling
Buriton (St Mary the Virgin), Hampshire Tolling
Christchurch (Priory Church of the Holy Trinity), Dorset Tolling
Crondall (All Saints), Hampshire Half Muffled Call Changes
East Meon (All Saints), Hampshire Tolling
East Tytherley (St Peter), Hampshire Tolling
Eling (St Mary), Hampshire Tolling
Ellisfield (St Martin), Hampshire Tolling
Eversley (St Mary), Hampshire Tolling
Fawley (All Saints), Hampshire Tolling
Fordingbridge (St Mary), Hampshire Plain Hunt, Call Changes and Plain Bob Doubles
Goodworth Clatford (St Peter), Hampshire Tolling
Hawley (Holy Trinity), Hampshire Tolling
Hursley (All Saints), Hampshire 1260 Grandsire Triples
Jersey (St John in the Oaks), Jersey 1260 Plain Bob Minor
Jersey (St John in the Oaks), Jersey Tolling
Jersey (St Mark the Evangelist), Jersey Tolling
Kingsclere (St Mary), Hampshire Rounds
Lockerley (St John the Evangelist), Hampshire Tolling
New Alresford (St John the Baptist), Hampshire 1260 Doubles (2m, 1p)
Northington (St John the Evangelist), Hampshire Tolling
Odiham (All Saints), Hampshire Tolling, Rounds and Call Changes
Overton (St Mary), Hampshire Seven Minutes Tolling In Support Of Notre Dame De Paris
Portsmouth (Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury), Hampshire Tolling
Preston Candover (St Mary the Virgin), Hampshire Tolling
Preston Candover (St Mary the Virgin), Hampshire Tolling
Purbrook (St John the Baptist), Hampshire Tolling
Ringwood (St Peter and St Paul), Hampshire Tolling
Romsey (Abbey Church of St Mary and St Ethelflaeda), Hampshire Tolling
Shanklin (St Saviour on the Cliff), Isle of Wight Tolling
Sherfield on Loddon (St Leonard), Hampshire Tolling Tenor
Silchester (St Mary), Hampshire Tolling
St Mary Bourne (St Peter), Hampshire 1260 April Day Doubles
Steep (All Saints), Hampshire Tolling
Stockbridge (St Peter), Hampshire Tolling
Tangley (St Thomas), Hampshire Tolling
Titchfield (St Peter), Hampshire 300 Doubles and Minor
Twyford (St Mary), Hampshire Tolling
Vale, Guernsey Call Changes
Winchester (Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, St Peter, St Paul and St Swithun), Hampshire Call Changes

Performances not listed on BellBoard:

King’ Somborne (St. Peter & St. Paul), Hampshire tolled at 7pm

A small band rang diminishing rounds, then tolled the tenor on 18th April at Chawton (St Nicholas), then did the same at Bentworth (St Mary), to show solidarity for Notre Dame.

Ringing also took place at the following Isle of Wight towers (excludes the ones already listed above).
Arreton St. George
Carisbrooke, St. Mary
Gurnard, All Saints
Lake, Good Shepherd  – chimed a bell
Newport, The Minster
Ryde, All Saints – tolling
Shorwell, St. Peter
Whitwell, St Mary & St Rhadegunde – rang rounds and tolled.

The bells at All Saint’s Hannington were rung for 7 minutes at 7.00pm on Thursday 18th of April as a mark of solidarity with Notre Dame as requested.
Due to lack of ringer availability we limited ringing to rounds on 5 bells.

Selborne, St Mary – tolling at 7.00pm for 7 minutes.

Hawkley, St. Peter & St. Paul – tolling at 7.00pm for 7 minutes.

Westley Award for Belfry Maintenance

westley-awardFrom: Mary Bone – CCCBR

Dear All

Please see the message below from Alison Hodge (Stewardship & Management workgroup
lead) and attachment for details of a new award for belfry maintenance:


All ringers, including new ringers such as those recruited through the Ringing Remembers campaign, depend on the bells and towers that they ring being in usable condition. Good bells usually mean that it is easier to develop ringers’ skills and, in particular, help retain new recruits. So are you or one of your band getting involved in belfry maintenance? If so, then a new award for people involved in maintenance of tower bells is for you!

The Stewardship & Management Workgroup of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is launching an award for people who have recently become involved in belfry maintenance, are developing their own skills and those of others.

The first award will be made at the September 2019 CCCBR annual conference to be held in London. The winner will receive £100 and a certificate.

Full details and an application form are attached and will also be
found on the CCCBR website:

https://cccbr.org.uk/workgroups/stewardship-management/westley-award/

The closing date for nominations is noon on 28th June 2019.


Neil Garrard – Funeral and Thanksgiving Service – Friday 3rd May – Wimborne

Neil’s funeral will take place in Wimborne Minster (BH21 1HT) on Friday 3rd May at 2pm and you are warmly invited to attend in order to celebrate Neil’s life.

The bells will be rung “open” before the service by the local band and there will be the opportunity for anyone who wishes to do so to ring afterwards.

Please do not feel that you have to wear black.

Family flowers only.

Donations in memory of Neil for the MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) may be made online at www.oharafunerals.co.uk or sent to Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd, 38 Rowlands Hill, Wimborne, BH21 1AW. There will also be a donation box at the service.

Everyone is invited to join the family for refreshments following the service at Millstream Bistro at Walford Mill Crafts, BH21 1NL. Please do come!

Walford Mill is an easy half mile walk from the Minster. There are many pay and display car parks in Wimborne, including one behind the Minster (“King Street”) and one behind Walford Mill Crafts (“Walford Mill”).

Please use this link for a map of the town, showing the Minster, Walford Mill Crafts and the car parks. The Minster is letter “H” and Walford Mill Crafts is letter “A”:

http://www.wimborne.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Parkingmap2018.pdf

It would be helpful, but not essential, for us to have some idea of numbers.

If you would like to join us for refreshments please let Flick Warwick know – please email us here.

Similarly if you are a bellringer who would like to ring after the service, please let Flick know.

Thank you.

Hilary Child

Feedback from ‘Have your Say’ Event – 17th April 2019

There was a good turnout to the ‘Have your Say’ event on 17th April in the Undercroft. There were two brainstorming sessions and everyone was invited to put their ideas and thoughts on post-it notes, which were then stuck on the wall and sorted under headings. A lot of useful ideas and feedback were obtained and everyone really did get their say. The results of this session and the survey will be discussed by the Education Committee to help develop their future programme, and we hope by Districts too.

Results of post-it note brainstorming exercises

Attendees were each given three post-it notes each and asked to put down three issues/ideas for the Guild to address. These were then put up on the wall and grouped together under different headings. Attendees were then asked to vote on which three headings they considered the most important by placing a green sticky spot against the heading.

1. What does the Guild need to address?

Communication and engagement (12 votes)

Guild to communicate directly to members, not through tower captain

Look at towers that have young ringers and training to see what works

Increase involvement of ‘ordinary’ ringers

Help more members feel engaged

Better teaching – not just technically but in the right social environment

Get parents, children, schools involved

Involve parents – kids should go to the pub

Community spirit – is good to have that feeling of belonging and having friends

Communication

Help to progress (12 votes)

Additional learners practices (call changes, plain hunt)

Establish learning groups to get learners together and aid retention

Identify the needs for each tower

Establish ‘professional’ ringing courses

Organise scheme of education and training

More teachers, tower by tower, district by district

Districts to help more teaching

Clear learning pathway and better visual aids

Education and teaching aids

Use more technology to develop self-learning

Help ringers from smaller bands to feel welcome at practices at towers with larger/more experienced bands

Establish pathways for those progressing – encourage

Improve awareness of ringing learning resources

Get out more – experienced + learners

Help in own tower from one or two experienced ringers

Help in towers from experienced ringers to enable band to progress

Teach good handling (12 votes)

Teaching teachers/list of teachers (bell handling)

Hold regular masterclasses to correct/refine learners bell control skills

Teaching good handling

Improve teaching

Recruitment (8 votes)

Improve resources on website for non-ringers and raise profile – links from local information sites, libraries, adult education etc.

Become more efficient at passing details of those at Guild level on two towers who can teach them

Commitment, teaching fundamentals, recruit families

Recruitment old and young, could argue a case for either strategy

Improve recruitment and retention

More innovative recruitment

Improve recruitment

Improve retention (6 votes)

More encouragement of groups of churches to have a combined band to aid teaching etc.

Improve retention

Make learners feel welcome at special events – like the annual Winchester Cathedral district practices

Retention

Improve retention

Improve retention

Image (6 votes)

Bellringing needs a better image

Improve the recruitment pitch/take down barriers (church membership)

Change the culture – more inclusive and ethnically diverse

Improve relations with the neighbours – i.e. Less public noise

Young ringers (4 votes)

Develop young leaders

Youth practices

Environment (1 vote)

Improve comfort of ringing rooms

Improve state of ringing rooms

Improve ringing environment (ringing room)

2. How can the Guild address these issues?

(We didn’t have time to vote on these)

Encourage group teaching at a local level

Collaboration with local towers for ‘targeted’ practices

Local tower collaboration more regular and focused on ringing level

Focus on creating hubs with large numbers of teachers and teaching sessions

Group churches/teachers together so tasks and learning can be spread out

Collaboration between local towers

Encourage more ringers to be involved with local initiatives (e.g. Group/tower networks)

Benefice based teaching and learning

Get good ringers, not just tower captains involved

Group training (several towers) sounds good

Benefice practice

Education committee being able to supply 2 to 4 teachers for group tower sessions

Holiday courses for school-age ringers (intensive training)

One of my Ringing Remembers recruits said that if they got a few learners together for a class to let them know.

Training by Districts

More district learning courses

More courses may be at district level

Very, very simple stuff (rounds and call changes or plain hunt)

Favour (centralised, if need be) training sessions for Learners Only,

Encourage/reinforce good bell handling teaching skills

More ‘improvers’ sessions of the Alton/Holybourne type – LOCALLY BASED

Invite learners to special sessions (not too few, keep within districts)

Establish trainers and location for REGULAR masterclasses, especially in BELL CONTROL

Handling masterclasses and listening skills

Targeted practices for each level

Newer ringers can feel quite intimidated by the ‘experts’

More systematic ongoing practice provided and District level for learners completing one day courses

Two day courses (not just a one-off training day, but follow up each pupil afterwards)

A slide at the end of the course notes, suggesting the learners ask to ring the method at their local practices/district practices or organise people to ring a quarter or practice with them

Districts to provide extra instructor support for practices run by local groups of towers at a particular level

Guild education committee (group of experts) visit tower practice nights.

Support and develop tower captains

Encourage tower captains – surveys and questions on what support they need to improve their teaching

Create system for teachers to get together and share best practice and encourage each other

Annual meetings for towers – to many towers with un-elected TC’s or TC’s been in role for too long

Leadership courses

Tower captain/ringing Master courses

Too many teachers demanding learners to ring on Sundays (once progressed)

Develop more teachers

Teach more teachers

Teach to teach courses

Run courses explaining ‘other pathways’ encourage people to take an interest in maintenance, history etc.

Teaching to conduct courses

More and better use of technology

Show/teach how computer programs and phone apps can be used for self-help away from tower. Also books available as well

Look at practicability of fitting and using dumbbell for teaching bell handling

One tower with simulator in the area that is available to use the practice

Dumbbell

What teaching centres have we (W & P) got locally? Publicise them!

General

Newcomers – target with invite to ring (welcome pack)

Initiate projects that are sustainable over the long term with ideas from good practice

 

 

 

Request for Bells to toll for Notre Dame Cathedral

Please spread the word and encourage appropriate engagement with clergy for permission to ‘toll’ bearing in mind any services in place.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are asking cathedrals and churches across England to toll their bells for 7 minutes at 7pm on Thursday 18th April.

https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/news/latest-news/archbishops-ask-cathedrals-and-churches-toll-bells-notre-dame

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-offers-solidarity-and-support-after-notre-dame-fire

If you can, please try and gather some ringers to ring at any time on Thursday in any way you see fit (open, half-muffled etc.) and add your performance to the BellBoard event that has been created to record the ringing: https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/event.php?id=10669.  These performances will then be published together in an upcoming edition of The Ringing World.

 

 

Popeye to the rescue?! – Sunday 19th May – Winchester Cathedral

Thank you to the volunteers who have offered to help erect and dismantle the Chamborough Ring at Winchester Cathedral on 19th May.   We still need another two or three  ‘able bodied and fairly strong adults’ to complete the team.

http://www.charmborough.org/

Should be a good ‘work out’ and fun… further details, including times, available on request!

Viv
wpbells.org/contact-viv-nobbs/
Tel: 01983 530920

Great War Memorial Booklet – Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers

Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers
Great War Memorial Booklet
Compiled by Robert Wellen

56 pages | Illustrated | £5.00
Publication Date: 1 May 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78972-194-2

This Booklet has been produced after five years of commemorations across the Guild marking the centenary of the Great War. It is fully illustrated throughout.
An original artwork created for the Guild by Westbury artist Helen Chester (www. helenchesterarts.co.uk), great granddaughter of Private Fred Kerley (killed 1914), pictured above, depicts the 89 known ringers from the Diocese who were killed in the war, against a backdrop of our cathedral and some of the churches where they rang. The front 15 ringers are actual likenesses, drawn from contemporary photographs. This picture is shown on the front cover of the Booklet.

Contents include: Guild Memorial and Cathedral Commemorations, Ringers from the Diocese who Died (biographical details and details of ringing commemorations), Towers and Branches, The „Ypres Bells‟, Other Commemorative Ringing and Events, Armistice Centenary and Post war. The Booklet also contains wartime extracts from Guild Reports and The Ringing World.
“For the first time, in this publication, you will have in one place information that previously stood separately. The impact of the whole is all the more moving. Guild members and those from beyond will value and appreciate this Booklet both now and in years to come”. Robert Wellen, Guild Master and compiler of the Booklet.
“Lest we forget, this history reminds us of real people and costly lives–people from our communities, our predecessors committed to ringing bells in towers where we now stand. It is good to know them by name and to recognise their significance for us today”. An extract from a Foreword to the Booklet by +Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Patron of the Guild

Booklet Flyer Photo 1The pre-war (1912-13) Edington football team which has four of the ringers in it. From the left: back row (first) Leonard Drewett, (fourth) John Frederick Pike Lawes; middle row (fifth) William John Wheeler (3) and front row (second) Reginald Charles Rogers.
Picture: Central Council Rolls of Honour

Booklet Flyer Photo 2Cathedral Memorial Screen: “The work to the screen, designed by H.S. Rogers, FSA., FRIBA., and executed by R. Mowbray & Co Ltd, London and Oxford, was completed by the time of the 1931 Annual Meeting in Sherborne”. (contemporary picture provided by Neil Skelton).

Three of the 89 known ringers from the Diocese of Salisbury to have been killed in the war:
Left: Private Harold Butcher: Trowbridge. Died 04/06/1917, aged 27.
Picture: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Butcher-2532

Middle: Lance Corporal William John Wheeler: Edington. Died 23/03/1918, aged 26.
Picture: Reproduced by permission Edington Priory Church.

Right: Gunner William Henry Hardiman: Bridport. Died 07/11/1917, aged 29. Picture: William Hardiman with his wife Emma, and sons Bertram and Leonard (recently discovered picture now hanging in Bridport ringing chamber). Central Council Rolls of Honour.

Principal Contact: Robert Wellen
E-mail: Guild Master – SDGR
Telephone: 01747 825131
Mobile: 07817 633584

HOW TO PRE-ORDER BEFORE 1 MAY 2019 OR ORDER AFTER USING THE WEBSITE: https://sdgr.org.uk/great-war-memorial-booklet/
For UK postal delivery, please complete the form below and click the submit button. We have used a form generated by Google to ensure security of your information. For international orders please email us at Guild Master – SDGR so we can advise you of shipping cost before you order.

HOW TO PAY
Please pay by Bank Transfer (Internet Banking or BACS)
Information added
PLEASE PUT YOUR ‘NAME/GWMB’ AS REFERENCE ON THE PAYMENT
The price is £5.00 a copy plus £1.50 contribution to p&p per copy. For example: 1 copy = £6.50, 2 copies = £13.00, 3 copies = £19.50 etc.

OTHER WAYS TO PRE-ORDER, ORDER OR PURCHASE
1. Send a cheque (payable to the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers) for the appropriate amount (as indicated above) along with your name, postal address and postcode and a contact telephone number or e-mail to Robert Wellen, 67 The Meadows, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4SP.
2. After 1 May, purchase a copy from a Guild Officer at Guild events and Branch Business Meetings.

Notes:
All of any surplus made on the sale of this Booklet will be divided evenly between the Llewellyn Edwards Bell Restoration Fund (LEBRF) (Registered Charity No. 270529) and The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) (Registered Charity No. 1171947) (https://www.cwgc.org/support-us).

GDPR: all the information you provide will be stored securely and only used for the purpose of dispatching this Booklet. It will not be shared with any other person or body and will not be stored after the Booklet has been dispatched.

Download this article as a PDF here

WW1 Centenary Commemoration Services 12th and 19th May

We are having display boards in both Winchester and Portsmouth Cathedrals leading up to the services and we will use the opportunity not only to show details of our Guild’s project but also to promote ringing.

Please let us have any ‘stories’ from your own tower that you feel would make an interesting and inspiring contribution, for example Ringing Remembers ringers feedback.  ‘Snippets’ are fine! Photos to support with details would be great! 

Any material submitted might be used in the Cathedrals’ service sheets in May and in the Public Relations area such as Guild, Diocesan and Cathedral newletters and websites and community / national media.

Please send to me here ideally by 17th April.

Thank you.

Viv Nobbs
Public Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 530920

Guild Education – Basic Raising and Lowering – Bishopstoke – Fri 17th May – 7-9pm.

Details should by now have reached you via your Tower Secretary, but the Education Committee is running another of its very popular evenings on Basic Raising and Lowering.    This will take place at Bishopstoke on Friday 17 May 2019, from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm.    This is a course where places usually get filled up very quickly, so if you or other members of your tower – or friends in another tower – are interested it might be an idea to apply sooner rather than later.    I have attached the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions).

And don’t forget the Education Committee’s evening at The Undercroft at Winchester Cathedral, Wednesday 17 April, when we hope to see lots of you to HAVE YOUR SAY.     It is important that ringers of all age groups should let us know what kind of training is taking place in their towers, and what kind of courses they would like to see the Education Committee offer in the future.   In other words – where are the gaps?    What can we do to help?    This is open to everybody, any age, beginners with new ideas, experienced ringers with tried-and-trusted ideas – we’d like to see you all.   If you haven’t done so already, please let me know if you are coming so we have an idea of numbers.

Christine Knights-Whittome

On behalf of the Guild Education Committee

Application Form – Basic Raising and Lowering – Word

Application form – Basic Raising and Lowering – PDF

Basic Raising and Lowering Poster – Word

Basic Raising and Lowering Poster – PDF

Guild Officer Elections 2019 to be held on 15th June at the Guild AGM on I.O.W.

Nominations are invited for the following posts to be elected on, and to serve for 3 years from, Saturday 15th June 2019 to the 2022 Guild A.G.M:

  • Master
  • Vice-Master
  • Hon. General Secretary
  • Hon. General Treasurer
  • Hon. Librarian and Archivist
  • Hon. Peal Recorder
  • Hon. Report Editor
  • Minutes Secretary
  • Child Protection Officer
  • Independent Examiner
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Two Bell Restoration Fund Trustees (1 from each Diocese)

and

5 Central Council Representatives – to be elected on Saturday 15th June 2019 and to serve for 3 years commencing September 2020.

It is likely that nominations will be made from the floor of the meeting on 15th June but they can also be made in advance of the meeting. Each candidate is required to provide a formal Proposer and Seconder.  These two members could be present at the A.G.M. or, if either or both are unable to attend the meeting, they can contact me with their nominations.  If they are not going to be present at the AGM, please make sure I receive the details of candidate, proposer and seconder by the evening of Friday 14th June.  There is no need for advance notice if the proposer and seconder will be at the meeting.

Many thanks

Heather Frazer

Hon. Gen. Secretary

Email link

01256 465554

Guild Striking Competitions – Reminder

Hello Everyone.

Just a quick reminder that there is now around 5 weeks to get your entries in for the Guild Inter Tower Striking Competitions on the 18th Mayclosing date is the 11th May. If your tower has not taken part in these competitions before please can I urge you to make this year different and enter a band? You can ring Rounds and Call changes if you don’t feel confident to ring methods and it would be great to see your team on the day.

The competitions are at Shedfield (8 bell) and Wickham (6 bell). The rules etc are on the W&P website.

Also for District bands please remember that the closing date for the Guild Inter District 8 bell competition on AGM day is at Brighstone, IOW on the 15th June. Due to travel arrangements the CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES IS 25th MAY.

Thanks

Vice Master  – Winchester & Portsmouth Guild of Church Bell Ringers.

Guild Education Survey Results and Feedback

Introduction

The Guild Education Committee decided  to hold an open event ‘Have your say’ during Holy Week in the Undercroft of Winchester Cathedral to consult with members, and all those with an interest in education, to develop a strategy for the delivery of training by the Guild Education Committee into the 2020’s, and how this dovetails with the training provided at District and tower level.

We particularly wanted to find out how we can help local bands, how we can recruit and retain more young ringers, and how we can best support individuals who wish to make progress with their ringing. This could also feed into the updating of the Guild’s three year action plan. To help with this we circulated a link to an on-line survey form to which almost two thirds of the church towers with ringable bells in the Guild responded.

Survey Headlines

  • Service ringing: One of the objects of the Guild is to encourage ringing for Divine Service. Of the ringable towers that had a morning service 12% had no local band, 38% did not ring all their bells and just 50% were able to ring all the bells. Almost a quarter (25%) of the available bells were not rung.
  • Recruitment: Is a big issue for many towers. On a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 is very difficult and 10 is easy, there was an average response of 2.6.
  • Foundation skills: Another object is the cultivation of change ringing. A third (33%) of the ringers are at the foundation skills stage and either learning to handle, ring rounds and call changes, or plain hunt. A third of the towers that have a local band (35%) rang no more than one doubles method on practice night (e.g. Plain Bob or Grandsire Doubles), and often less. Over two thirds (69%) rang nothing more than plain doubles.
  • Assistance with teaching: It is surprising that many of the comments received related to the need for assistance at the more elementary levels, even though rule 18 is that Districts are requested to compile a list of instructors who are willing to assist towers. Rule 16 is that the first charge on District funds (after administration) shall be for instruction (whenever possible) in change ringing. In answer to the question about assistance, only 26% of towers did not require any assistance from the Guild.
  • Demographics: In terms of age, 58% of ringers and 66% of tower captains are over 60. 7% of ringers are aged under 20. Twenty years ago, in the Guild report for 1999, the percentage of Over 60 and Life members was around a third of this (20%). It seems that there has been a corresponding decrease in the number of Full members as the baby boom generation who learnt as teenagers in the 1960’s and 1970’s are now aged over 60. Around 25% of ringers are “less active” and come less than 50% of the time.
  • Leadership skills: The baby boomers form the backbone of our existing tower captains and teachers and there will be a need replace these tower captains when they retire, However, currently 7% of ringers are aged under 20 and 8% aged 20 – 40. Therefore there will not be the same bulge coming through.
  • ‘Active’ ringers: It is widely reckoned that there are about 40,000 ringers worldwide and about 32,000 of these are members of territorial societies such as the W&P. What surprised us is that when we compared the reported number of ringers in local bands, this was about 8% less than the number of Guild members listed against those towers. We had expected this to be the other way round. In addition, when asked how many of the local band could be relied on to attend at least 50% of the time, there was a further 25% reduction. Based on this the Guild has around 950 active ringers and if the same elsewhere, there are about 32,000 ringers of whom 24,000 are ‘active’.
  • Surprise ringing: Another unexpected result was that the number of ringers who could ring more than one Surprise method was 22%. A further 7.5% were learning to ring their first surprise method. In ‘Room at the Top’ in 2002 Simon Linford estimated that only 10% of ringers could ring surprise. It therefore seems that there is a large pool of accomplished ringers, who may be able to help with training the next generation.

Feedback from tower correspondents:

  • Small village, we’ve tried recruiting from the congregation/leaflet drops/general appeals/open days, scouts and guides, nothing seems to bring them in!  Tried over many years, but now feeling too old to put the effort in again, and there are only 2 of us left.  Most helpful would be an area ringing school where, if we could drum up interest, recruits could go for initial tuition before joining our tower.  But we need to find a core of perhaps 10 prepared to learn, then 4 or so might stick at it, and that would be a good start.  Just teaching the odd single individual is of no use now!
  • 1 or 2 good ringers visiting even only once a month would make a huge difference.
  • In the past, there has been too much emphasis on difficult method ringing, peals and quarter peals, with no or little support for learner bands, such as ours. As far as anyone knew, we didn’t exist, and we had given up our Guild membership, due to lack of interest by the Guild.
  • It is nearly impossible for one competent ringer to stand behind six learners to try to teach them change ringing. But we have succeeded, in getting as far as Plain bob doubles with our own efforts. Without such ringers like ours, and people like me, prepared to spend hours teaching the basics, without resorting to complex methods, then bell ringing will die out.
  • Training: are we doing it at the right level?  I can’t see how anyone can learn anything much in a day unless they almost knew it already and the day course reinforced it.  Would a series of sessions, probably organised at District level, be more effective?  I would be interested in hearing the experiences of the Portsmouth District that used to have their “hit squad” approach, and if that was worthwhile.
  • I feel that we may be able to recruit, but with nobody willing to teach, recruitment would be a waste of time. It would be great if there were a group of roving teachers or a place to go for lessons. And pay expenses etc. For those teaching.
  • More help on how to get ropesight and listening skills – not for our tower but as a general overall training for all.
  • I would never turn down any help/advice with gaining new recruits. Of my 4 new recruits in 2018, the 3 over 50 all gave up. The 11 year old, after 3 months, is ringing plain hunt triples. Pre teens and teenagers should be our target group for recruitment.
  • I have answered the question about retention because it was a required field but the real answer is “not known” because there were no new ringers to retain.
  • Courses to teach ringing, introduction to ringing course, bell handling etc. so we could move forward if we had recruits.
  • We have tried to recruit e.g. at the end of 2018 we took part in a village event where about 6 people indicated interest. However, despite being followed up, it is not the right time for any of them!
  • I believe what would be of benefit, bearing in mind we have ringers who are deaf etc. etc. is a visitor with tact, diplomacy and encouraging manner to visit our tower to help us ring up and down better together as a band.
  • I would welcome the opportunity to learn how to teach, support others handle a bell, coordinate a taster course to encourage ringers etc. To deliver any bell handling with interested people we would need support from someone competent.
  • None of the ringers actually live in the village & we only practice once a fortnight, alternating with another tower. There is very little service ringing because we are all committed to other towers although we usually manage weddings & the carol service.
  • We would like support with recruiting new and younger members as the average age of the ringers who ring at our tower is quite high.
  • Localised courses for Basic Doubles Methods (Plain Hunt, Grandsire & Plain Bob).
  • Qu 6: leadership roles – yes others could run practices; but they would not want to teach or to train to teach. Comments: our ringers cannot progress because we do not have enough competent ringers to support them. We are currently stuck at call changes!”
  • The age of the band is a concern and assistance with recruitment would be welcome.
  • D of E scheme provides most learners, but they don’t stay after 3 months.
  • We would like to thank all those involved in the Guild who have given us all those recruits during the ‘Ringing Remembers recruitment drive, as an indirect result we have acquired a further three recruits. The seven remaining recruits are making good progress and are very enthusiastic.

Survey statistics

Survey Statistics 1                      

Guild Education Survey Pie Chart

Survey Statistics 2

Survey Statistics 3

Guild reports

We also looked through Guild annual reports over the past 20 years to see how the profile of membership has changed. There was a substantial increase between 1998 and 2000 because of the ‘Ring in the Millennium’ campaign. However ‘Ringing Remembers’ seems not to have had an impact on the same scale. The two coordinators have commented that of the people expressing interest in learning only about half turned up to the first lesson, and about 50% of them have given up learning since. It would be interesting to find out more, by contacting them direct to carry out a further survey.

Junior membership before 2001 was for people aged under 16. Therefore the number of ‘student’ members is not directly comparable.

Probationary membership was introduced in 2000 and enables new ringers to benefit from Guild insurance. We have looked at the progression of Probationary members in five Districts and of those who were Probationary members in 2015, 49% ceased membership in 2016 and a further 12% in 2017. Only 34% became Full members, with 4% remaining Probationary.

From responses to the survey, we estimate that around 175 people started learning to ring at Guild towers in 2018. This compares with 150 Probationary members in 2018. This represents over 10% of the Guild membership, and a key segment for us to ensure are well catered for. It would be interesting to survey this group direct to find out more about their opinions.

Survey methodology.

The survey questions were based on a similar survey undertaken in Kent about 18 months ago, and a previous survey undertaken in the North Bucks Branch of the Oxford DG. Tower correspondents were asked questions about their Sunday and practice ringing during a typical week in March 2019. Initially District Secretaries were invited to ‘cascade’ an e-mail to correspondents, or opt for this to be sent out centrally by the committee. Approximately half the initial e-mails were sent out each way at the beginning of March.

Following this, those Districts who had opted to cascade were sent a list of non-responders, in order to send out a reminder. The other correspondents were sent an e-mail via ‘Survey Monkey’, a free online GDPR compliant service which enables the sender to see which e-mails have bounced and which have not been opened. Where no-e-mail address was published in the Guild Annual Report, e-mails were sent out using the contact page on the Guild website. There was also publicity on Win-Port and the Guild Facebook group.

A third reminder was sent out to all non-responders during the third week of March, either by Survey Monkey or the contact page. Hard copies of the survey form, and a stamped addressed envelope, were sent to six towers where there was no electronic means of making contact.

We did not expect all towers to respond, and a 65% response rate is very good, far better than some of us feared. However a number of correspondents complained about not receiving the initial e-mail, and from Survey Monkey we can see that a significant number did not even open our e-mails. This raises questions about the ability of the current systems to ensure that communications from the Guild find their way down to individual members.

Conclusions & recommendations

  • Many towers expressed frustration with recruiting and retaining ringers. Many wanted more help with teaching. This is one of the primary objects of the Guild.
  • With over 58% of ringers and 66% of tower captains aged over 60, many will retire as active ringers over the next decade or two. Succession planning is a key issue.
  • On the current trajectory, there is a danger that many more towers will become silent over the next 10 – 20 years. 10% of towers with a local band did not hold a practice.
  • The scale of support required by local bands is extensive. It is difficult for the Guild and Districts to have a significant impact on this with existing practices, meetings and training events.
  • Ringing Remembers seems not to have had the same impact on Guild membership as Ringing in the Millennium.
  • The Guild currently invests a limited amount in recruitment and training. (The Guild has a Bell Restoration Fund an unrestricted balance of £82,835 and a Training and Development Fund of £898 – as at 31.12.2017)
  • Communication is an issue. The usual channels may not be finding their way down to ringers at tower level. In addition, although the Guild has 1,472 members, there are only 211 subscribers to Win-Port and 282 to the Guild Facebook group.
  • A third of Guild members are at ‘foundation skills’ stage, either learning to handle, ring rounds and call-changes and learning to plain hunt.
  • Another third are either learning to ring their first method inside or learning other doubles methods inside.
  • Another third are learning to or can ring surprise.
  • Opportunities exist to progress past doubles methods, with around 30% of towers with a band reporting that they ring surprise minor or beyond on a typical practice night.

Possible future strategy (for discussion)

  • We need to encourage towers to help themselves, with like-minded towers voluntarily grouping together at a local level to help each other. This already happens on a small scale, but needs to happen on a much wider scale.
  • The Education Committee to provide the teachers/tower captains in these local groupings with the training, tools and support to run effective practices at foundation skills level (handling, call changes & plain hunt).
  • To maintain interest, help with progression and maximise retention, there is also a need for regular practices and training sessions focussed at the intermediate levels either locally or in each District.
  • To overcome the ‘helper shortage’, people who have successfully completed each stage to be encouraged to help with the preceding stage. Also to learn how to conduct simple touches, and help with organisation. These people often better understand what it is like to learn.
  • To help with future succession, set up a ‘young leaders’ programme for 14 – 21 year olds, to introduce them to teaching, conducting and other leadership skills.
  • The Education committee, PR Officer and Communications committee to work together to develop new material and make available additional financial resources to help local bands with recruitment, training and retention.
  • To maximise retention, adequate tuition and follow up should be in place before recruiting new ringers. Tuition also needs to meet modern expectations, with dedicated lessons, rather than a few minutes between touches on practice night.
  • There is a debate to be had about the benefits of recruiting older vs. younger people. However if there is to be a balance there is a need to recruit many more younger ringers, not only those in the under 20 age group, but also the 20 – 40 age group. Parents could be encouraged to learn alongside their children.
  • There are other questions that we would like to have asked in our survey, but these can only be answered by individual ringers and by tower captains. For example we would like to find out more about our Probationary members and the experiences of the Ringing Remembers recruits. A central membership database, with the option to opt-in/out of different types of communication would both facilitate this and help with communication generally.
  • Districts can help with the establishment of local support structures and on-going assistance. For example by holding regular ‘foundation skills’ and intermediate level practices, and setting up their own District young ringers groups. Foundation skills practices held elsewhere prove very popular and are often oversubscribed.

A PDF of this report is available to download here.