Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and managed to fit in plenty of ringing, in between the helpings of food, drink and festivities.
2018 was a great year for our association with several successes and I hope going forwards that 2019 will be even better. We have plenty to build on following on from the great success of the Ringing Remembers recruitment campaign, a welcome boost to the number of ringers in Sussex.
Yesterday (10th January) I was reminded of one of the successes of 2018, when our young ringers appeared on Blue Peter. Presenter Lindsey Russell took up a special challenge to learn the art of change ringing and take part in the Ringing World National Youth Contest. After a practice session at St Magnus, she rang at Garlickhythe where the judges had to guess which team she was ringing in; they correctly deduced that she was ringing in team B. As we all know our young ringers then went on to win the contest! If you haven’t seen this episode already it is available on BBC iPlayer.
Looking ahead February sees the Annual District Meetings take place, this is your chance to become involved with the running of the association, both at District and Association level. It’s also a great chance to meet other ringers and help decide how your district is run. Please try and support these meetings if you can (copious amounts of homemade cake will be available, surely that’s an incentive to attend?). If you’re unsure of where your District is holding its ADM, full details are available on the calendar or via your District Secretary.
If ringing on higher numbers is one of your challenges for 2019 then you’ll be pleased to know that the Northern District have agreed to hold a monthly 12 bell practice at East Grinstead on the fourth Monday of the month (first practice 28th January 19:30 – 21:00). This is a great chance to start ringing regularly on 12 bells and is open to anyone who is already able to ring rounds and call changes competently on 8 or 10 bells. Experienced 12-bell ringers please do come along and help support those who would like to progress (I’ll buy you a pint in the pub afterwards!).
Don’t worry if you’re not quite up to ringing on 12 bells just yet, there is a full-on programme of events and practices lined up for the coming year (details of a two-day ringing course will be posted once they have been confirmed). Hopefully there will be something to help enhance your own ringing, as well as giving you the ability to visit new towers and make new friends.
I look forward to ringing with as many of you as possible this year.