Annual Report - April 2017

Ringing in the tower continues to thrive with numbers of ringers increasing and the standard of ringing improving. In 2016, the bells were rung for every Sunday morning service; practices were held on 50 Fridays – the only omissions being Good Friday and the evening of the Stuart Singers’ concert – with attendance being over 70% on Sundays and over 60% on Fridays. There were 19 other ringing occasions (learner training sessions, weddings, outings, ¼ peals and a funeral).
We rang for the Colesbourne Snowdrop Festival in February (in pouring rain and decidedly chilly surroundings); four of us attended the March training day as tutees with Tony helping teach on one of the courses. In April we enjoyed an outing to 6 towers in east Glos., and then in June we took part in the branch striking competition and succeeded in coming 3rd out of 9 teams, ringing Call Changes with a completely local band. We held our Friday practice on July 15th at Arlingham, having a tasty meal at the Red Lion afterwards and we hosted the branch quarterly meeting in September; the tea was particularly well received and over 20 ringers were ringing in tower afterwards.
There have been 8 weddings and 1 funeral (a quarter peal, half-muffled) to ring for. Six of us have engaged in ringing a variety of quarter peals including, Naoko ringing her first quarter inside and, on November 20th, we rang a quarter of Bob Doubles with Mick ringing for the first time inside and Sally ringing in her first quarter (on the tenor); this was the first doubles method quarter peal rung by a ‘home’ band in many years and certainly this century. It is hoped to continue to ring regular quarter peals for choral evensong on the 3rd Sunday of each month. The quarter peals are all recorded online, on Bell Board. Through ringing regularly at other towers, a few of us have managed to ring some Minor and Surprise methods which we currently do not have the capacity to ring in our own tower; Tony has gone beyond this, ringing regularly on 8+ bells (a total of 44 quarter peals!)
We have had four visiting bands over the course of the year - in April, May (a ¼ peal), July and October - as well as several individual visitors from all over the country at practices. The annual inspection by Taylors took place at the end of November.
We are very pleased to have welcomed a number of new learners – Richard in February, Huw, Charlie and George in October, who are making good progress with their bell handling, and Yvonne who started, had to stop for a while, and is now continuing again. Deborah Curram started but has found that, with her new role as Curate, she does not have time to commit to learning.
Tony has led the ringing magnificently over the year, leading to great improvements in the standard of ringing (and to the tower being nominated as the branch Tower of the Year for the second year running) while Paul has kept the bells ringing safely in his role as Steeple Keeper; he has replaced a couple of stays as well as made adjustments to the camera set-up (for weddings) and adjusted ropes as necessary. The new motorcycle tyre muffles made by Paul for the treble, no 2, no 3 and no 4 bells have been a great help in the teaching of learners.

Angie Ayling