Annual Report - April 2014

2013 was a successful year for Minchinhampton Tower in many ways.
We opened up the tower during the Country Fayre and had a lot of visitors who were keen to see the bells, plus some others who wanted to try ringing. This has hopefully publicised our existence more widely and we can only hope that it will lead in the long run to some new ringers being interested in joining us.
We were pleased to welcome Naoko and Graham Ponter to ringing in mid 2013 and, after their unavoidable absence, we look forward to them returning to continue their learning; Mandy Brooking joined us in the new year. We tend to have at least 6 ringers every Sunday and 6-8 on practice nights.
We have all progressed in our ringing by attending branch ringing sessions (e.g. at Chalford), sharing practices with Woodchester ringers, visiting other towers (individually and on our tower outing) and by attending training days. There are continuing opportunities for all of these and we always find it very rewarding when we do make the effort to go and ring elsewhere – people are inevitably extremely welcoming and accommodating, being prepared to ring at the level of the visitor(s) even if that means alternating their ringing of more complicated methods with simpler ones. Through attending training days and also ringing with others from neighbouring towers, we have been able (between us) to master more advanced methods and even quarter peals of these.
Our priority first and foremost is to ring the bells for the purpose that they were put in the tower – to call people to worship – and we do that week in, week out with increasing accuracy and dexterity; the fact that we are also able to use the bells for our own enjoyment, through practising as a hobby, is a bonus and one that we are all grateful for. We are, as ever, very keen for new ringers to come and learn with us or lapsed ringers to consider restarting so as to keep this ancient art going.
Angie Ayling (Captain)