Like many Towers we found ourselves lacking ringers once the lockdown restrictions were eased.
Fortunately, with a multitude of ‘firsts’ to celebrate within our parish we were able to use Christ Church’s Welcome Weekend to our advantage.
Ann and Amanda worked together on the words to be used for a ‘call to arms’ (ok – ropes) via all the Parish publicity. This was then linked to our coup d’etat, Amanda’s grasp of social media. Using this she was able to put our request out around the area – the huge benefit being we then reached an audience who were perhaps not church goers. The message was simple – we need ringers, it’s a fun activity for the brain and body, come and have a go!
Whilst we organised the use of District information boards, the borrowing of Molesey’s banner and set up schedules covering Covid restrictions, hours and numbers etc, Amanda responded quickly to any requests for further information we were receiving from Facebook. Speed of response being a vital ingredient of any social media.
On the weekend itself, we were amazed at the numbers wanting to not only visit the ringing tower but those wanting to have a ‘proper go’. With Amanda working on the meet and greet side of things at ground level and Ann & the team in the tower, we worked solidly for two afternoons – thank goodness for the lashings of tea and cake from the church!!
Throughout the demonstrations of ringing, we gave visitors the chance to chime the bells (if they so wished), making it a fun half hour. For those who wanted to come back, we took their contact details and got back to them within a couple of days and set up an initial session as part of the usual Wednesday night practice.
However it became apparent that not only was the tower too small to cope with our usual ringers alongside the new ones but the car park couldn’t cope either! An early learners ringing session has been started and we delighted to report our 6 new ringers are doing brilliantly, and we are hoping some of them might join us for Christmas!