The newsletter for ringers using

Association of Ringing Teachers / Learning the Ropes – www.learningtheropes.org

Number 9October 2018



Editor:

Ruth Suggett

towertalk@learningtheropes.org

One of the new bells at Ypres

One of the biggest dates for ringers is fast approaching – 11 November, when we remember all those who gave their lives in past conflicts, and particularly in the first world war, on the 100th anniversary of its Armistice. So many new ringers have joined our community thanks to the Ringing Remembers campaign and we hope you will all feel your efforts to prepare for this will be rewarding. With so many new ringers joining us this year, we are including some stories about some of the different milestones they have passed as they progress through Learning the Ropes.

Vicki Chapman, the Central Council Liaison for Ringing Remembers, said "The campaign is going really well and we're really pleased with the numbers. We encourage all learners to make sure that they’ve registered and updated their profiles to ensure we know where they’re ringing by 12 October. We'll be starting to send badges out, in batches, after that date. Anyone who registers after then might not get their badge in time."

You might notice that we have slightly changed the format of Tower Talk to remove the side column. If you enjoy reading it, please download it, print it and share it with your ringing friends!

The Best First of Many Firsts

By Janet Bond (Maids Moreton/Buckingham)

Having achieved a “first” in the usual stuff such as: first on the treble to plain course of Plain Bob Doubles and Grandsire, first time covering to a Doubles method, first time ringing at a wedding, first time ringing on holiday (Isle of Wight) and abroad (Miami); I was looking forward – a long way forward – to my first quarter peal. With some trepidation. Only 45 minutes, they said … . Rhythm, apparently. You’re ready, they said.

Janet Bond doing two of her favourite emojis, with her home tower of St Edmund’s, Maids Moreton, in the background.

Hmm. Fingers in ears and “Laa Laa Laa” said I.

Meanwhile … I was doing all the ringing I could to increase my practice time, and try to get better and move ahead.

I heard about a new “Midweek Ringing Group” which was being set up in my branch (North Bucks Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild) and, being a lucky girl who can pick and choose her working days, I decided to attend the first meeting of this group. I liked the idea of meeting people from different towers, with different skills, and also to be able to ring different bells. All good for the soul and for experience.

So, I arrived at St Andrew’s Church, Great Linford, Milton Keynes; a lovely place (aren’t they all?) with a 16cwt ring of six. This is a ground floor ring, with a nice facility for tea and coffee, plus a charmingly-1960’s-style toilet. Important!

Anyway, we all chatted and introduced ourselves – I had met only one of the ringers before; Gary, the Secretary of the branch, who already knew me because I had changed my name twice since joining the ODG less than a year ago … long story. (Happy ending though!)

It seemed that there were only six of us, so we rang a couple of things until more folks arrived. Everyone was kind enough to include me and ring to my level. But nobody else arrived … .

Then the immortal words …

Well, there’s only six of us, and we have time … . Shall we just ring a quarter?”

JUST. RING. A. QUARTER.

My heart-rate shot up, but I tried to be calm and told them that actually, yes, I’d love to, but this would be my FIRST QUARTER! If they would be happy, I would certainly be happy!

So, yes, that’s what happened. I rang the treble to Plain Bob Doubles and got my first QP and BLISTERS! Sweated like the proverbial, shook like a leaf afterwards, and said “Oh My God” a lot. It took a good 24 hours to come down from that particular high. I was beyond thrilled!

It was on BellBoard later the same day (14/6/18) and … in the Ringing World on July 27th! The Ringing World! ME! (**faints**)

We all learn at different rates and that’s as it should be. I started learning to ring in February 2016. I dare say younger or quicker folk rang their first quarter much earlier in their learning career, and maybe other people a bit later. Who cares? It’s totally personal and on an individual scale that we all achieve our own particular goals.

I am totally loving this ringing thing. Can’t wait for my next First.

Footnote – thank you again to the band who helped me to achieve this First QP.

By bell –

2. Anne McIntyre

3. Liz Wagstaff

4. Gary Reading

5. Barry Eglesfield (C)

6. Nick Read

50 Ringing Things ‘Hall of Fame’

By The Editorial Team

Here are the details of the certificate achievers since we last published the names. Congratulations to all of them!

Sep 2018

Noah John McDermott

Bronze


Apr 2018

Daniel Francis

Bronze

Aug 2018

Annie Cunningham

Silver


Mar 2018

Vicki Rowse

Silver

Aug 2018

Janet Bond

Bronze


Mar 2018

Barry Garrett

Gold Plus

Aug 2018

Catherine Neyland

Silver


Feb 2018

Fukine Minai

Bronze

Aug 2018

Adam Turner

Silver


Feb 2018

Elaine Scott

Bronze

Aug 2018

Sally Nicols

Silver


Feb 2018

Vicki Rowse

Bronze

Jul 2018

Viv Endecott

Silver


Feb 2018

Barry Garrett

Bronze

Jul 2018

Mandie Bell

Bronze


Feb 2018

Eliza Hull

Bronze

Jul 2018

John Close

Bronze


Feb 2018

Jay Downes

Bronze

Jun 2018

Monica Hollows

Bronze


Jan 2018

Vicki Rowse

Bronze

Jun 2018

Bogumila Myers

Silver


Jan 2018

Roger Booth

Silver

Jun 2018

Jenny Halliday

Gold


Jan 2018

Sally Nicols

Bronze

Jun 2018

Gillian Hosking

Silver


Jan 2018

Robert Nicols

Bronze

May 2018

Alison Foster

Bronze


Jan 2018

William Tudway

Silver

May 2018

Annie Cunningham

Bronze


Dec 2017

Piers Myers

Bronze

Apr 2018

Kathy McCarthy

Silver


Dec 2017

Lucy Gwynne

Silver

Apr 2018

Alex Bell

Bronze





The full list is available to view on the SmART Ringer web site at smartringer.org/fiftythingscert.

In future we will publish the last quarter’s data alongside the numbers of LtR Level passes.

If you like goals and challenges, this scheme aims to show you that ringing is both interesting and fun. The challenges encourage ringers of all ages to experience the wide range of ringing-related activities available. To get started with the challenges you will need to buy your logbook from the online ART shop at www.ringingteachers.org/resource-centre/shop and then register online using the special code in the book. If 50 Things are completed within 100 weeks of registration, a Gold Plus certificate can be claimed.

Recent Successes

By The Editorial Team

In the third quarter of 2018, 294 certificates were awarded to ringers at the various stages of Learning the Ropes (LtR) as below (last year’s numbers shown for comparison):

Level 1 – Bell Handling

167

(123)

Level 2 – Foundation Ringing Skills

83

(58)

Level 3 – Introduction to Change Ringing

21

(18)

Level 4 – Novice Change Ringer

13

(8)

Level 5 – Change Ringer

10

(5)

If you’d like to see more of these and other similar statistics, they can all be found on the SmART Ringer website at smartringer.org/public/records/.

This quarter has seen record breaking numbers of people achieving at all levels:

The 2,0000th Level 1 certificate was awarded to Bob Rae of St Marie’s RC Cathedral, Sheffield;

The 1,000th Level 2 certificate went to Tricia Mitchell of Leominster Priory;

The 350th Level 3 certificate was awarded to Vicki Hipwell of Goldhanger, Essex;

The 200th Level 4 certificate went to Clare Gebel, also of Goldhanger; and

The 200th Level 5 certificate was awarded to Ellie Seddon of Kidlington, Buckinghamshire.

50/50 Club Draw News

By Gill Hughes (50/50 Club Administrator)

Chris de Cordova, who rings at Whitehaven, Cumbria, has been the 50/50 Club Administrator since its start. She has now stepped down and the rôle has been taken over by Gill Hughes from Belper, Derbyshire.

The Third Quarter Draw took place on Saturday 22 September at Melbourne, Derbyshire, while ringers were assembling for the new Robert B Smith Trophy competition for aspiring 12-bell teams.

The draw was made by Janet Horton, a teacher at the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing and a member of the Birmingham Cathedral team:

The 1st prize of £68 was won by Steven Tibbetts (No. 111).

Two other prizes of £34 each were won by Tim Forsey (No. 30) and Evelyn Loweth (No. 132).

Information about how to join can be found at www.learningtheropes.org/5050club.

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch …

By Mary Jones, South Walsham, Norfolk

Four months in from first meeting a bell rope and I am invited to my first bell ringing competition by the South Walsham band in Norfolk. Obviously, no one is expecting me to compete – that’s way above my pay grade, so I readily agree, eagerly anticipating the picnic lunch the ‘opposition’ were providing. We set off, eight ringers in two cars (six to ring, one to conduct, one (that’s me) to cheer from the sidelines).

The South Walsham band with Mary in the middle – not holding a rope!

Arriving at an unfamiliar tower in Suffolk, I am happy to have a play on some new bells, trying hard not to bump the stay or do any damage. Then it comes to the organisation of the competition. The two captains discuss terms, flip coins, write down order of play, and then my captain casually mentions “of course, we will need some rounds for Mary …”. Suddenly my jolly trip morphs in to something more scary. Are they seriously expecting me to compete? I only learnt to stand a bell a few weeks ago. But, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so compete I must. I prepare for public humiliation.

The competition commences. I try to remain calm. How bad can it be? Eventually, with thumping heart, a dry mouth and shaking hands I take the number 3 bell. A teacher to the left of me, an apprentice teacher to the right of me and a 6 foot tall security blanket alongside, ready to salvage any disaster. I am so far out of my comfort zone that it is off the scale. “Look to” and off we go. And it is OK. Not brilliant rounds, but OK. I even manage to stop at the same time as everyone else. A feeling of euphoria drifts over me.