Address: 24 Rushfield Road, Liss, Hants. GU33 7LW
Mobile: 07714 325059
- All About Rachael Barber – new Guild Master
I learnt to ring together with my Dad when I was 13. My home Tower was a steady 19cwt ring of 8 bells in the Guildford Diocesan Guild, and despite it not being the most ‘trendy’ activity amongst school kids in the 1980’s, I loved ringing! It was a great thing to do with a parent, we would drive to Practices testing each other’s knowledge of the circle of work of Plain Bob Doubles and it was all great fun! Eventually my Mum started ringing too…she figured if she was going to wait in the car for me to ring on Sunday mornings, she might as well join us, and so ringing became very much a family activity. Whilst at University in Norwich, I rang with the local band at St Giles on the Hill. The ringers here made me very welcome, despite being slightly unconventional for a bellringer in black ‘gothic’ attire at that time! I would give the elderly ex-Tower Captain a lift to ringing on Sunday mornings, and he’d tell me tales about ringing as a lad, and the rivalry between ringers at St Giles and Mancroft. In 1993, I returned home and joined my parents ringing at a Tower just over the border in the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild, who needed help to establish a new band of ringers…….and this is where I got my first opportunity to teach. We taught quite a few ringers at this Tower, and always the sessions were filled with laughter and a sense of teamwork as we worked towards building the band and fundraising to restore the bells. As we were drawn into the wider ringing of the Alton & Petersfield District, I had the opportunity to help teach three youngsters to ring at Selborne. And this became my home Tower, and has remained so for the last 25 years. Teaching is the one thing I love most about bellringing, and it was great to become a regular Tutor on the W&P Education Days and then on the Crowthorne and Bradfield Ringing Courses. And perhaps linked to this, is the other most important thing to me about bellringing – the people! I’m fortunate to have a delightfully kind and friendly band at my home Tower, and to me it doesn’t matter what we ring, but that we’re ringing together. Ringing is a bridge between young and old, between people with different backgrounds and experiences. There’s more to being a member of a band than just ringing, I’m a great believer in finding space for every ringer whatever their skill level, and making Towers welcoming places that people want to return to each week. I’m not a prolific Peal ringer, only 35 to date, but personally quietly pleased with my Peal of 8-Spliced “all the work”! I’m a Tower Captain, Steeple Keeper, District Communications Officer, and have previously acted as District Ringing Master and Newsletter Editor. I’m happy to get up in the belfry to “hands-on” help with bell restoration work, and not bad at splicing ropes! I’m a Research Biologist by trade, working in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Ringing is such a diverse activity, and whatever your passion within the Exercise, I look forward to sharing the next three years with you all as Guild Master.