Ringing set to recover – an informal blog of the April 2021 Exec Meeting

The success of the Covid vaccination programme means that we can expect limited resumption of ringing at the end of May. The CCCBR and ART have been active in promoting ‘ringing recovery’ with a series of on-line presentations and encouraging the appointment of Ringing Recovery Champions in the various Guilds and Associations around the country, including Nigel Smith in our own Guild. Nigel is keen to receive any news of recovery initiatives in any tower or district, and this will be added to a dedicated page on the Guild’s website.

A major initiative now in the early planning stages is a Guild Tower Open Day for 3rd January 2022. This will be the first Guild Open Day for fifteen years, so quite an event. Please reserve the date in your diaries now! It is intended to cover towers mainly in the Chertsey and Leatherhead Districts. As well as raising money for our BRF, it will help to cover expenses for the National 12-Bell Striking Contest planned for June 2022.

Regarding the Guild’s own striking competitions, it has sadly been necessary to cancel those planned for May and June 2021, but it is hoped to schedule some later in the year when it is expected that things should be easier. The Guild is still intending to enter the Essex Trophy competition scheduled for September, assuming that it goes ahead.

Whilst no new applications for Bell Restoration Fund grants have been received recently, a number of projects are still progressing. This includes a major overhaul at Frensham with work scheduled for early 2022, and development of proposals at Holy Trinity, Old Woking and Egham. A new safety balustrade is being designed for the ringing gallery at Yorktown.

The Safeguarding page on the website has been updated to comply with the revised Diocesan requirements and Tower Captains are being asked to check that they and their members undertake the training necessary to comply with official guidance.

Many towers tolled a bell for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on 17th April. Towers also tolled for the Marie Curie National Day of Reflection on 23rd March to mark the anniversary of the start of the first national lockdown and the lives lost to Covid.