Whoops! I have just realised that it is time to muse about happenings in July. Time does fly when you are enjoying yourself!
The Northern Division meeting at Lower Beeding was very well attended with a good range of methods. During the afternoon I had a lesson at Hailsham Ringing Centre for two new possible ringers. One of them was a young lad who signed up at South of England show. He showed real promise and seemed very happy when he left. I have since been unable to contact him having left messages on his parents’ phone so, sadly, at the moment I do not have high hopes of him returning. The other person is getting on slowly but lacks confidence so time is spent reassuring her. However, she is still coming! I am sure that some of you have who teach have come across a similar situation. I would encourage you to stick with the slower learner who often proves to become quite proficient and a valuable member of the band.
At the beginning of August each year, St. Mary’s Hailsham arrange a “Holiday at Home” for the older members of the congregation. It lasts for three whole days and elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea are provided. They are entertained, able to use the Wii, play scrabble, make cards, do puzzles or just sit and read the newspaper. Quizzes are also on the menu. I was asked to ensure that there were enough cakes and desserts available and to help on the catering side. I feel that it is important that ringers take part in some other activity at church as well as ringing from time to time. It raises our profile and there is an opportunity to talk to about our Art.
The Western Division meeting on the second Saturday was at Yapton and Lyminster, The band at Yapton was keen for the Association to visit them. Again, it was well attended and the local ringers were keen to join in with the ringing and to learn more about the Association and ringing in general. A typical ringers’ tea was on offer all afternoon. The tower at Lyminster (where I rung my first quarter peal of London Minor many years ago) was full and ringing ranged from rounds to Surprise Minor.
The following week our two small grandchildren stayed with Alan and myself without Mum and Dad so ringing was off whilst they stayed with us. A lovely but exhausting week. On the last afternoon, our oldest granddaughter offered to take her small cousins to Eastbourne Airborne. Needless to say I put my feet up after I had packed their bags ready to meet Mum at Pease Pottage the following morning.
The annual Eastern/Southern division walk and ring in August was fairly well attended. Hartfield bells, which are now rung from upstairs, was the starting point. The day was dull but this did not deter the walkers. After our visit to Hartfield the group then walked the mile and a half to the lovely bells at Withyham. Just before it was time to leave to return to our cars, it began to rain and there was discussion about whether the long or shorter walk back should be attempted. Fortunately, the rain stopped and seven of the more intrepid walkers took the longer four and a half miles back while the rest of the group retraced their steps – some of the way! – and eventually all found their cars.
Wickham Whatsits, arranged by John Norris, was a lovely day with a good number of young ringers from the age of seven upwards. While they were not ringing some theory sessions had been arranged. A treasure hunt enjoyed both adults and children preceded a picnic lunch in the garden. It is very rewarding to know that the Association has a good number of young ringers progressing. I know that some of them will go off to University or to work away but we should be encouraged knowing that they may ring elsewhere and some even come back to their home tower eventually.
At the end of the month, the funeral of Lynda Beckingham, ringer at Ripe, took place. The bells were rung half muffled prior to the service. A fitting musical Thanksgiving Service followed. Lynda had borne her illness with fortitude and was always positive. No doubt, an obituary will appear in the next edition of Soundbow.
How many of your towers have an accessible First Aid Box and is it kept up to date? Some of you may know that a number of the contents are dated. I can hear you now saying “Not Health and Safety again”. It is also a good idea to keep an Accident book just in case there is any comeback. Hopefully though there will be no entries!