The Guild Education Committee is putting on a course to help people progress beyond Plain Bob. We will use a series of intermediate methods to teach you essential method ringing skills, which will make learning more advanced methods much easier, and also help you keep right in them and ring them well!
The doubles group(s) will explore methods such as Reverse Canterbury, before moving on to St Simon’s and St Martin’s. We will also explore the world of ‘variations’, where different calls are used in a base method to add variety and interest to your doubles ringing.
The minor group(s) will explore Little Bob, St Clement’s, Single Oxford and Double Oxford. We will also show how these methods can easily be spliced together with Plain Bob.
The minimum requirements are that you can ring touches of Plain Bob inside confidently.
These methods are all on the Ringing World 2020 Blue Pathway. This is a challenge for ringers and bands to extend their method ringing repertoire. Anyone can log on to Bellboard and subscribe to a pathway.
We may not be able to teach you to ring all of the methods in your group in one day, but you will get a good start. Afterwards we intend to follow up students in each District with further opportunities to practice these methods and perhaps score quarter peals in them.
Please apply in good time to secure your place. There is an electronic version of the application form at https://forms.gle/GuSEQngXcNNbEJco8
Closing date for receipt of applications: Friday 3rd April.
We were delighted to host this event in our bijou conference centre/kitchenette located in the cellars underneath the main body of the church. We were warmly welcomed by our brave module leaders, David Smith and Roger Booth, with our informative and exhaustive personalised pink module packs, containing course books and other vital information.
The initial theory session spoken along with visual cues for us, and easy to absorb bullet powerpoint notes on the projector screen, was informative, and guided us well in understanding the various learning processes we encounter teaching ringing.
These sessions were followed up with some instruction behind the forthcoming practical sessions. There was a very useful discussion in building a ringing band. We had plenty of practical hands on sessions in small groups, led by our module
tutors, who gave us the conﬁdence to try out new techniques, such as calmly handing/taking the rope over to somebody safely, circle-clapping exercises in order to help hearing one’s own bell and counting one’s place, to the very effective Kaleidoscope technique of ringing, where up to three different groups can each practice a different exercise or handling skill simultaneously, from starting in rounds, one pair dodging, one pair place-making, and another pair making long places – and how this can be varied inﬁnitely with ease to suit the band you have that day. It was very helpful also to focus on how to organise practices with lesson plans, games with ﬂuffy dice to instruct handling skills, and domino style cards to get the brain thinking in the Kaleidoscope manner of ringing.
Lunch was a little on the short side, delicious supplied by our own in-house ringing team, but we did have so much to cram in, especially practical, throughout the day. The round-up session at the end of the day was a useful time for discussion and questions, and instructions on how to move forward using SmART ringer, and accreditation details. There was a useful little shop with ART merchandise and useful ideas/tools for learners across all ages.
The ART people clearly listen to their members and feedback, as they appear to constantly hone, personalise and ﬁne-tune the courses to suit each speciﬁc course and group. What they have put together really is marvellous, dedicated, and in depth series of modules, pulling in and centralising many teaching ideas, ‘hacks’ and solutions to teaching issues, from right across the board. Take a good pencil and notepad!
Peter Murdock-Saint, Tower Captain St. Peter’s Bournemouth.
Many of you have asked when we will be running another Belfry Maintenance course – here is your answer! The Education Committee’s final course of this year, which will run alongside the Plain Hunt course on Saturday 23 November, will be Belfry Maintenance, also based at Hawkley.
The tutor will be Roger Barber who has a wealth of experience and has run this course for us before, and whilst it will be based at Hawkley, Roger will take students to two different towers during the day for a closer look at different types of fittings (and much more), giving students the chance to ask questions about these and their own towers. It will cover many aspects, showing the basic things which need to be checked, ropes, stays, bolts, and much more. If you are a steeple keeper who, perhaps, has been thrown in at the deep end because nobody else will do it (!), or if you just help out occasionally, you may find this a helpful day.
I have attached below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) but if there are any queries I’ll do my best to help, as, of course, will Roger.
For: The Education Committee
Please find below the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for a Guild Education Day, taking place on Saturday 23 November, based at Hawkley, which will cover Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods. This is the very important building block on which future ringing is based, and can be an invaluable step to getting ringers started in the right direction.
Have a word with your Tower Captain and see if this is something which will help you. Talk it through with your friends – perhaps it will help them too. This is a day for learning in a relaxed atmosphere alongside others at the same stage, working at your own level, with plenty of experienced help. The closing date for the receipt of applications is a week earlier than usual so you need to get them in early.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
The Guild Education Committee is running another of its very popular Listening Skills courses, on Saturday 12 October, based at Lockerley. This is a day for ringers at all levels and covers all sorts of things you may not have tried before in order to help you listen to the bells – or, more precisely, to interpret what you are hearing. It is a non-competitive day where you can have fun with ringers from across the Guild, learning quite a lot in the process, involving listening exercises, hand-bells, ringing exercises, and much more; you do not need to be an expert. And we also include a hot lunch!
A poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) are available on the links below, so please talk about it amongst your friends and send in your applications.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
September seems a long way ahead ….. but with families about to go away for the school summer holidays, and some towers not holding practices during August, we want to catch everybody early. Attached are details of our Education Morning on Raising and Lowering in Peal, to be held at Bishopstoke on Saturday 14th September, 9.30 am to 12.00 noon. This is NOT basic raising and lowering, but is specifically for those ringers who are already confident and competent in the basics, but need help to keep in place when raising and lowering in peal.
As always – any queries, let me know.
On behalf of: The Guild Education Committee
Link to poster to download to display in your tower please.
Taking your ringers from rounds to plain hunt in easily manageable steps
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/
Download a copy of this flyer here
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
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
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 retention (6 votes)
More encouragement of groups of churches to have a combined band to aid teaching etc.
Make learners feel welcome at special events – like the annual Winchester Cathedral district practices
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
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
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
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
What teaching centres have we (W & P) got locally? Publicise them!
Newcomers – target with invite to ring (welcome pack)
Initiate projects that are sustainable over the long term with ideas from good practice
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.
On behalf of the Guild Education Committee
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
And now for something different!
As is our usual practice, the Education Committee is offering a special evening during Holy Week – Wednesday 17 April – when traditionally many of our towers are silent. This year we are inviting you to something new – have a look at the attached poster (both Word and pdf versions). It is very important to us to find out what is going on in the towers across our Guild, and to hear what you, the individual ringers, would like us to provide in the future – in particular we hope that lots of our newer and younger ringers will come along, to tell us what they want.
The evening is being spearheaded by Roger Booth at The Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral, and we very much hope that lots of you will come – in particular some of our newer and younger ringers who may well have plenty of new ideas.
We look forward to seeing you all on 17th April, and hope that you will bring with you any ringing friends who would like to join in.
As always – any queries, let me know.
On behalf of: The Education Committee
Just to let everybody know that, whilst the closing date for the receipt of applications is still three weeks away, we now have only ONE place left on the Doubles course. Interest has been very high indeed.
So, if you are still “thinking about it” ……. remember that places are filled on a “first-come-first-served” basis and you need to get your application in very quickly. It might be a race to the finish!! Once this place has been filled then, of course, we will start a waiting list.
The Education Committee is running an Education Day on Saturday 6th April covering Grandsire Doubles and Triples, based at Goodworth Clatford. Just in case they have been mislaid, I attach further copies of the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions).
Applications have come in thick and fast, and whilst there are a few places left, if you have been “…. thinking about it ….” you need to get your skates on and send in your application form sooner rather than later. Old hands will know that these are dealt with on a “first come first served” basis, so leaving it until the closing date might result in disappointment. Talk about it with your friends and maybe ask your Tower Captain’s advice.
As always – any queries, give me a call, or email me and I will do my best to help.
For: The Education Committee
With places filling up for the Cambridge Surprise Major course in March, the Education Committee is turning its attention to those whose current experience doesn’t stretch to that. We are holding another full-day course on Grandsire Doubles and Triples, on Saturday 6 April, based at Goodworth Clatford. There may be lots of new ringers who started early on in the Ringing Remembers campaign who may now be ready to think about Grandsire Doubles, and hopefully it will also appeal to “returning ringers” who need to brush up on past skills. If in doubt, talk to your tower captain.
I have attached the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions). Places are filled on a “first come first served” basis so check your diaries now, as leaving everything until the closing date is not a good idea!
If you, or anybody else in your tower is interested, I am more than happy to answer any questions – email: Christine or ‘phone 01962 886939.
For: the Guild Education Committee
Places are filling up for the Education Committee’s day on Cambridge Surprise Major, 9th March based at Milford-on-Sea. If any of you are thinking about this, could I just remind you that the closing date for application is creeping up and you need to get your form and payment to me sooner rather than later. Closing date is Tuesday 21st February.
I am attaching the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) again in case the originals got accidentally recycled with the Christmas wrappings!
Any queries – do please get in touch.
The Guild Education Committee
A Happy New Year to all our ringers! We hope all your towers enjoyed a good Christmas and – like the Guild Education Committee – are looking forward to plenty of ringing in 2019.
To this end, we are attaching the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for the first of our Education Days. This will be on Saturday 9th March when we will be covering Cambridge Surprise Major, based at Milford-on-Sea.
With lots of very welcome new ringers within our towers following Ringing Remembers, we will be covering some of the basic subjects as the coming year unfolds, but, first off, we hope Cambridge Surprise Major will appeal to the slightly more experienced ringers who are looking for a challenge. If you think this is something you would enjoy, or if there are others within your tower who would like to join in, do please get in touch.
As always if you have any queries do please email me or phone 01962 886939 and I’ll do my best to help, or I’ll “find a man who can”!
On behalf of: The Education Committee
The Education Committee delivered a brilliant learning experience by organising a fantastic Plain Hunt and Trebling to doubles methods course on Saturday.
The day began by meeting at Oakley St. Leonards Centre, near Basingstoke, for coffee and an introductory tutorial presentation delivered by Sallie Ingram. The 15 learners were split into three groups (I was in the blue group) with each group having its own itinerary of two churches to visit, one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a lunch at a specified pub in between. Before we left for the first church we had to select our lunch choice from our allotted pub menu. This would be phoned through to the pub so that the day was as time efficient as possible.
Our Blue group of 5 learners and a few helpers then carshared and got to our first church at Sherborne St. John, meeting up with the rest of our cohort of helpers. I forgot to count but I think there was 5 learners and 7 or 8 helpers. Plenty. All experienced. All kind. Our lead(er) tutor was Mike Winterbourne who made sure that everybody got their fair share of learning, focused us on details of techniques and, of course, putting theory into practice.
In every learning environment, confidence has to be managed well. Mike and all the helpers were endlessly helpful and respectful of the challenges us learners faced and happily rang Plain Hunt all day with a purpose.
Our group had lunch at The Vine, Hannington on a long table reserved for us in their conservatory, the odd pint being had to offset the heat of the sun room and take advantage of the car sharing!
With lunch and a few unplanned puddings eaten, we moved to the afternoon’s tower of ringing, Wolverton.
Us five learners carried on learning to hunt inside, trying different bells in different places. My highlight was ringing on bell 4, and pulling of in tittums, me being in second place. Never done that before! And then hunting a bit and ending, surprisingly, back in the same place I started!
I had an impromptu introduction to the mysterious world of Geocaching by one of our coaches, Paul, which was really interesting, before racing back to Oakley for a debrief of tea and cake to round off a brilliant day of ringing and learning.
Thanks to all involved in a terrific education day. Looking around at what other guilds do around the country, it seems that here in our patch of bellringing we’re really lucky that we have such a large collection of willing helpers, both front of stage and backstage.
Wolverton Church has two large circular windows which let in a decent amount of natural and directional light. I was too busy with my ringing to capitalise on this so I passed my camera to Isla Ingram, Andy and Sallie’s 12 year old daughter to make a photo record of the session as she was having a break from ringing. I set the camera to Shutter Priority 80th/sec, gave her a brief driving lesson on some of the buttons and off she went. She did a super job.
As bellringers, we spend an enormous amount of our leisure time in a pursuit that rarely gets represented in documentary form through photography. Peal boards and Bellboard are all well and good but hardly represent the everyday physical and emotional effort that we put into the art nor the pleasure we get out of it. How can we share this easily to non-ringers? Will our families be able to flick or click through albums and reminisce over images of us, vibrant and engaged in our hobby of choice? Pictures are worth thousands of words. To make those pictures you need light. Flash is too obtrusive and most ringing chambers are too dimly lit even for modern smartphones to capture images worth sharing. Hence the lack of photos. If you’re wondering what to get your ringing chamber for Christmas, how about a nice large window? Or maybe just some nice big lightbulbs?
Thanks to those windows and thanks to Isla’s photography we have some great photos that show the work of the Education Committee and all the helpers, and I’ve got photos of those who have taught me to ring. I’ll be looking at those pictures in years to come, always able to put the face to the name.
Photography by Isla Ingram
Places filling up – closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 9th November
The last full-day course of 2018, will be Surprise Minor to be held on Saturday 24 November, based at Shedfield. You will see that students will have a choice of Cambridge or London.
We hope this will appeal to lots of you who, perhaps, don’t always get the opportunity to try these methods in your own tower, and you may well have friends in other towers to whom this would appeal.
I have attached copies of the Poster giving full details, plus the application form (both Word and pdf versions – see links below) and these have already gone to your District Secretaries for onward transmission to your tower secretaries. As always – any questions, please email me, or call 01962 886939.
For: The Education Committee
The Education Committee’s first course for this Autumn is Plain Hunting and Trebling to Doubles Methods, which will take place on Saturday 13 October 2018, based at Church Oakley.
A poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) are below. As always – any queries, please let me know.
With Easter now behind us, the Education Committee is concentrating on its next Education Day, which will be Introduction to Treble Bob, taking place on Saturday 28th April, based at Sherfield English. Interest has been enormous, so much so that we have extended the number of students we can accommodate …… but there are now only a few places left. Click for full details
The closing date for applications is 13th April, and applications are dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis. In case they have been mislaid, attached are the poster giving full details and the application form (both Word and pdf versions).
As always – any queries, please let me know; email, or 01962 886939.
On behalf of: The Guild Education Committee
Ken Yalden, from the International Guild of Knot Tyers (IGKT) Solent Branch lead an evening teaching church bell rope splicing, to 22 ringers from the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocese, in the beautiful Undercroft building at Winchester Cathedral.
Supported by 8 knotters from IGKT ringers learnt how to tie clove hitches, constrictor knots and how to shortsplice.
As whenever you are enjoying yourselves time ran out quickly and the event looks set to be repeated some time soon.
Sustenance, provided by Christine.Knights-Whittome, of the The Guild Education Committee, in the form of cake and coffee kept the evening efforts flowing along nicely.
**UPDATE 3rd May “ The last place went very quickly and we now have a waiting list.” **
With our Rope Splicing event taking place this evening, and the Introduction to Treble Bob course on 28th April almost full – please find attached the details of the Education Committee’s next event, which will be Raising and Lowering in Peal, to take place on Saturday morning 12th May, at Bishopstoke.
A huge number of ringers have attended our Basic Raising and Lowering courses in recent years, and this is designed for those who have some experience and practice at the basics and who now want to progress to learning to keep in place when raising and lowering in peal. We also hope to include some help for those who want to learn to lead up and down.
The poster and application form are below (both Word and pdf versions) and if this is of interest to you, or to any other ringers in your tower, I look forward to hearing from you. As always, please let me know if there are any queries.
For: The Guild Education Committee
Just to bring you up to date with Education Committee events:
Plain Bob Doubles & Minor – Saturday 17 March This course is completely full, with a waiting list for cancellations. HOWEVER, additional helpers are always very welcome! If you could spare an hour or two, please contact Sallie Ingram who will be very happy to hear from you. The course is based at St. Mary Bourne, near Andover.
Rope Splicing Evening – Tuesday 27 March This evening event is also completely full. If there are still ringers who are interested perhaps they would contact me as I have a waiting list for cancellations. It is also something which perhaps we might consider running again at a later date and it would be helpful to know who else might be interested.
Introduction to Treble Bob – Saturday 28 April A number of applications have been received but there are still some places available.
I would be very grateful if you would please pass these details to the towers within your District. As always – any queries, let me know.
Many thanks – Christine
Friday the 23rd of February saw another fantastic education course in basic raising and lowering held at St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke.
This popular course gave ten people the chance to learn, practice or refine the basics of raising and lowering a bell under the tutelage of experienced ringers who gave up their Friday evening to support their learning.
The Education committee and the learners would like to thank the following people for their time, patience and effort; Course Leader Andy Ingram, with Andy Sparling, Steve Hough, David Mattingley, Oliver Challoner and John Croft.
Tea, coffee and cake (made by Christine Knights-Whittome) was served at halftime where the learners and the tutors spent some time getting to know each other and talking through various issues that they might be experiencing through their learning journey.
Also in the body of the church there was an opportunity to browse and purchase from the stand of books that is regularly presented at the education courses by Judy who is the Learning Resource Officer.
I would like to thank Andy Ingram for calling the house to order when I arrived in order to ask consent to film and photograph for the Guild social media and website, my thanks to all consentees, (if that’s a word) and for Christine for letting me eat more than my fair share of cake whilst handing back my course fee cheque as I was on the short list for the course and no one dropped out!
Gary Marsh, Wonston, Winchester District
Link to short video here
** A note from the Communications Team**
Thanks Gary for taking the trouble to write this and for the photos! I’m sure our fellow ringers will be very interested to read and see what goes on at these events.
We really appreciate hearing the inside story of your Towers and those that you visit. Whether unusual or ‘business as usual’, running repairs or post-practice pints, we’re joined by the shared experience of bellringing and this website and our Guild Facebook group are here to share those stories. As Andy and Gary did in the report above, just ask that it’s ok for you to take photos.
If you haven’t yet joined the Facebook group click here or email your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance.
The W&P Comms Team
Please find attached the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for the Education Committee’s full-day course “Introduction to Treble Bob”. This is based at Sherfield English and will take place on Saturday 28th April 2018.
This is for all those who want to learn to treble bob, and for those who want to progress further and ring these methods inside.
It seems a long way ahead but we are finding at the moment that places on courses are filling up quite quickly and, as always, there is a limit on the number of students we are able to take.
As always – any questions, give me a call – either email or ‘phone 01962 886939.
Closing date for Applications is Friday 13th April.
On behalf of: The Guild Education Committee
Just a reminder about the Education Committee’s training events in the early part of 2018.
Basic Raising and Lowering, 23 February This is now full, but anybody still interested is very welcome to join the waiting list for cancellations; we hope to be able to repeat this later in the year for those who miss out in February.
Plain Bob Doubles and Plain Bob Minor – 17 March, based at St. Mary Bourne. The closing date for the receipt of applications is about three weeks away. So far this has proved to be very popular and there are only a few places left. If this is something which you think you’d like to do, or if you have friends in your tower who might be interested, could I urge you to send in your applications a.s.a.p. These are dealt with on a “first come first served” basis, so waiting until the closing date might prove to be disappointing. If you are in any doubt, or have any queries, do please get in touch (email, or tel: 01962 886939) and I will do my best to help. I attach further copies (both Word and pdf) of the poster and application form in case you have mislaid the originals.
An Introduction to Rope Splicing – 27 March, in The Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral. There has been a very good response to this evening event, and whilst it is FREE, I do need to know in advance who is coming as we need to know how many people we are trying to fit in because it is very much a “hands on” evening. So, if you haven’t already been in touch, please give me a call or an email. Full details are on the poster – attached.
Very shortly I will be sending out details for the Introduction to Treble Bob day on 28 April – watch this space!
If you have queries about any of the above – I’m always happy to help.
This evening event is completely full. If there are still ringers who are interested perhaps they would contact me as I have a waiting list for cancellations. It is also something which perhaps we might consider running again at a later date and it would be helpful to know who else might be interested.
And now for something completely different!
Traditionally many towers remain silent during Holy Week so on Tuesday 27th March, the Guild Education Committee is offering an evening covering “An Introduction to Rope Splicing”. This will be in The Undercroft at Winchester Cathedral, from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm.
Session will be led by an experienced tutor from the International Guild of Knot Tyers, Solent Branch (IGKT Solent – http://igkt-solent.co.uk ) They are very experienced in demonstrating to groups and clubs and, like the W&P Guild, they aim to promote traditional crafts and keep them alive for today’s generations.
This hands-on evening is FREE, though donations are invited towards expenses.
Links to a poster (both Word and pdf versions) is below,
This is a completely new venture and it will be interesting to see what response we get.
Any queries – let me know.
Many thanks –
Christine K-W, on behalf of the Education Committee
This course is completely full, with a waiting list for cancellations.
I now attach the poster and application form (both Word and pdf versions) for the first of the Education Committee’s full-day courses, which will be PLAIN BOB DOUBLES and MINOR to be held on Saturday 17th March 2018, based at St. Mary Bourne. From, experience, this is a popular subject and places can fill up very quickly.
Is this something you have tried, but found there isn’t time on a busy practice night to have a really good go? Did you do it years ago but haven’t had an opportunity to pick it up recently? Are you stagnating with plain courses and want to progress to touches? Do you have friends in your tower in the same boat? This is your chance! If this sounds like you, why not take the opportunity to book a place and spend a whole day concentrating on one method, at your own particular level, with others doing the same thing who may well be facing the same problems and have the same queries. If you haven’t been before I can promise you lots of help, both verbal and practical, from experienced tutors and very patient helpers.
Any queries – let me know, either by email or by telephoning 01962 886939 – but whatever you do, don’t leave it until the closing date to send in your application as you might find places have already been filled!
For: The Guild Education Committee
This is now full, but anybody still interested is very welcome to join the waiting list for cancellations; we hope to be able to repeat this later in the year for those who miss out in February
The Education Committee hopes you have all had a good Christmas and have switched your computers back on, ready for 2018. Over the past months we have continued working away, planning the courses for 2018, the first of which will be:
BASIC RAISING AND LOWERING on Friday 23rd February, from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm at Bishopstoke.
So often there isn’t enough time to cover this on practice nights, sometimes ringers have had a go but need more guidance, sometimes they just need more confidence; sometimes they’ve had a go, got in a pickle with the coils and just given up! Whatever your experience so far – we’re here to help.
A Poster and an Application form (both in Word and pdf format) are below and if you think this would help you, or if you have friends in your tower whom it might help, you need to send in your applications as quickly as possible. Places are booked on a “first come first served” basis, so please don’t leave it until the closing date and assume it will be o.k.! As always – any queries, please let me know (email, or telephone 01962 886939).
In the meantime, the Education Committee wishes a Happy New Year to you all.
Application Form – Basic Raising & Lowering – pdf
Application Form – Basic Raising & Lowering – word
Poster – Basic R&L – pdf
Poster – Basic R&L – word
On behalf of: The Guild Education Committee
Just a reminder about the Guild Education Committee’s full-day course on Stedman Triples, on Saturday 4th November, based at Milford on Sea. A number or places have been filled but we still have a few places left and the closing date creeps ever closer. If this is of interest to you, or if there are colleagues within your tower whom you think would find this interesting and of value to them, perhaps you would give them a gentle nudge to get their applications in a.s.a.p. A whole day concentrating on just one method may be just what you need!
I have attached the details (both Word and pdf versions) for the Education Committee’s final full-day course for 2017, which will be STEDMAN TRIPLES on Saturday 4th November, based at Milford-on-Sea.
There are a limited number of places available so that we can ensure each student has as much concentrated tuition and back-up as possible. If you think this would appeal to you, or if you have fellow-ringers within your tower whom you think might enjoy this, then do please give it some consideration, pass the details around, and get your applications in; the closing date for the receipt of these is 19th October.
As always – any queries, let me know.
For: The Guild Education Committee
The Education Committee is indebted to its loyal band of experienced helpers, without whom we could not run these Education Days. If you, yourself, feel you could help on 14thOctober – even for part of the day – or might perhaps be able to help with courses in the future, then do please contact Sallie Ingram Joining Sallie’s Master List does not commit you to turning out for every course (!), but only when you are free and want to come.