Master's March 2014 Musings

How different the meeting was that I attended today at St Clement’s Church Hastings to the one in 1962! In 1962 the bells were the old steel bells which were completely out of tune owing to the rusting of the metal. Also it was a walk around the ringing area to catch the sally. Today the ringing was in the new and rather splendid gallery on much more tuneful bells and the sallies came straight down!

Before I go any further I must apologise for the appearance of last month’s Musings. I have no idea what happened and whatever I did I could not alter it. Having spent a long time trying, even when I couldn’t sleep at 2 a.m., the computer was determined to foil any attempt to put it right. Someone told me that they didn’t “like being shouted at”. Apologies if anyone else felt the same. I hope all will be well this month.

A very busy Education meeting took place right at the end of February and you will be hearing more about this in the near future. Do try to attend the Seminar on 20 June aimed at those who teach and run ringing or would like to know more.

I have managed some walking this month. A pleasant, but slightly soggy morning up on Seaford Head, with Mary, lookering! And yesterday evening my first walk since September with the Nordic Pole Walking group. I have sympathy with the leader of the group as I am finding it difficult to get the style correct. He must feel like me when I am trying to help a ringer to perfect their handling.

Alan and I spent a lovely weekend in Herefordshire. We arranged to meet Shirley Slade who sends her best wishes to those who knew her. Some of you will remember Chris and Shirley when they were at Hailsham. We also took the opportunity to visit the book binders in Worcester who have bound a number of volumes in the Association library. It is always good to put a face to a voice. It is a very small concern run by a couple and we spent about an hour discussing various crafts and also some of the work that they do for the ringing fraternity in general.

In the middle of the month a Friday morning practice was arranged at Seaford for some of their ringers to progress. Instead of going to the pub eight of us donned our walking boots and walked up to Bishopstone where we sat in the church lych gate and ate our lunch before completing the circle through Tidemills and back to Seaford. Although the beautiful scenery was masked by fog, we had a most enjoyable time. The following day a very successful ringing up and down day was held at Southover in the morning for a one to one session and then most of the students and helpers went onto Barcombe for ringing up and down in peal. Ringing a bell up and down appears to be an activity that is neglected in many towers. There may be many reasons for this but I feel that it is most important that learners are taught how to do this very near the beginning of learning to ring. There were one or two who had been ringing for more than a year who did not appear to have the opportunity. Tower Captains please do ensure that all of your ringers can ring up and down.

At St Mary’s Hailsham (now known as HPC for some strange reason) a Pamper evening was held for the ladies of the parish. We were able to have a foot spa, nails painted, neck massage, watch a cookery demonstration or test some of the lotions and potions on offer. We then had a talk about Identity with a Christian theme. This proved to be a very pleasant evening with lots of nibbles and wine.

Towards the end of the month I went to Winchester to the Central Council “Have your Say” day. It would appear that there are quite a lot of initiatives on the go in a good number of Associations to bring them into the twenty first century so we are not alone. David Kirkcaldy spoke, in a very positive manner, about Sussex.

Our younger granddaughter was six so we travelled from Winchester to Bracknell to celebrate her birthday the following day. It was really lovely to have our three grandchildren and one great granddaughter all together.

Back to ringing matters. I met with Marisa to sort out the agenda for the Annual General Meeting at Uckfield in May and then we travelled to Horsham for the Finance meeting which I felt was very productive. Sue Gadd, our treasurer elect was able to attend to see what she is letting herself in for!

An afternoon session at Hailsham of Bob Minor for two ringers was most productive. These small groups are certainly the way forward and I am sure that with the hubs these sessions will be much easier to arrange as we get to know the needs of individual members in our areas.

Happy ringing.

Christine Baldock

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