Ringers Workshop / Taster Day at St. John's Saturday 17th Jan 2015
Thanks to the help of publicity including BBC Hereford & Worcester twenty four novices turned up for a bash. So from about 1 pm for two hours, experienced trainers from across Worcestershire got the novices on the ropes. Plus Andy Grey from the W&DCRA set up a dummy bell (on loan from St Thomas’s Stourbridge) in the nave to show what the mechanism is like, high up in the tower. The dummy bell was coupled to a computer so the bell sounded at the correct time as you sat underneath pulling on the rope. Very simple really.
Unfortunately here at Hagley access to the bells is only possible from the ringing chamber at the top of the spiral stairs then by an extra ladder, through a trap door on to the double height steel frame holding the eight bells.
From 12:30 refreshments where provided by Milly's team for the trainers and novices. Without their help the day would have not been the success it was. As later on the second sitting of refreshments was ready for about sixty after the Ringers Service at 5 pm.
Members of the Northern Branch of the Worcester & District Change Ringers Association started to turn up for a go on our eight bells from 3 pm. They were the real experts and wow didn't it sound great. Some of them have been ringing for over forty years!
One of our ringers Bob Jones joined in on bell 6 in a ring of 8 surrounded by these experts. This certainly sounded different to the normal Sunday service ring. We do try our best and we are getting better, having great fun along the way, as there is so much to learn. We have a new junior ringer Robert Jennings also from the same road as Andy Rutter and myself. So the suggestion is we rename our street to 'Ringers Road'. Robert started in October 2014 and did his first service ring on 18th Jan. It took him less than three months of not very intense training to learn what took me 9 months, but I was in my late fifties! It is remarkable how quickly the young pick up such skills.
The Rev. Richard Newton conducted a shortened evensong service with loads of sung responses and three ringers hymns, with organ played by Harry Grove from Chadsley. The Rev. gave a well thought out address that he had obviously took quite some time to prepare.
Time will tell how many of the 24 will continue to practice. In the first week after the Ringers Workshop / Taster Day 10 people turned up across 5 towers in the area.
Try this dropbox link to pick up a few photos taken through the afternoon. If the link does not work, copy it to your browser.
Thanks to everyone.