Bell-ringers' Report

St. John’s Hagley Bellringers 2016 PCC Report

The ringing standard from our 9 ringers continues to improve. On one occasion recently one of us had to stand down has we had too many ringers for a service! So if everyone is available, we can ring for weddings without importing ringers. The aim is to get a pool of 12 ringers. 

We continue to get excellent support from the Worcestershire & District Change Ringing Association (WD&CRA). Without their help from May 2013, ringing at St. John’s would have been spasmodic. Martin Whitaker the Ringing Master from St. Leonard’s at Clent has been a tremendous support. Even encouraging us to enter the recent Striking Competition held at St. John’s. On the day our ringing was not our best and we missed out by 1% being placed last of three. As a band though it was an excellent experience. 

Two of the novices recruited in Jan 2015 unfortunately dropped out by the year end. So now we have 4 novices of whom 2 are still at school. The key to keeping learners is being able to get them handling the bells quickly, so sometimes ad-hoc practice sessions are arranged. We still urgently need new ringers to keep service ringing alive. Most weeks we only have 5 or 6 ringers for services. Eight bells sounds so much better.

The bell chamber has been cleaned out and the bell frame painted. We are grateful to The Friends of St. John's for covering this cost.

The last year’s Taylor's report listed no maintenance issues, although two of the bell clappers require new bushes. The WD&CRA can assist with this task.

Once again I would like it recorded that Lord Cobham, has and is being most understanding. Novice ringers are not the most pleasing to the ear. Due to very difficult access to the bells it is impracticable to tie the clappers of bells for practice. 

The hand bellringing group is going from strength to strength. Most weeks there are 7 ringers at the practice. The bells have recently been renovated and retuned. This was enabled with the support of The Friends of St. John's and the Christmas raffle that raised over £2000. More fund raising is needed to enable the group to purchase another 15 bells, so that there will be a 3 octave chromatic set of 45 bells. More ringers are still required. Those interested should contact Milly Purton. Mike Lashford the musical director of the Halesowen hand bellringers has been a tremendous support on their Wednesday evening practices.

St. John's hand and tower bellringers have joined the Community Association so look out for articles under Group Reports in the Hagley Village News. You can also view their Facebook page at “Hagley BellRingers”.

Richard Scarth

Tower Captain

March 2016