Attendances in 2015 ranged between eight and twenty-two, the average weekly attendance over the forty-nine practices being fourteen. Five of the six Districts and twenty-eight towers were represented, including two from outside Kent. Methods rung included Ashford Little Bob, Bastow Minimus and Minor, and Cloister. Part of our remit is Public Relations and we welcomed a total seventy-nine non-ringing visitors during the year, including forty-one on a Heritage Day and many from overseas.
There’s a common misapprehension that we still cater only for beginners but in fact they are now in the minority. Once they have sufficient bell control we regard them as learners rather than beginners and introduce them to simple methods. By breaking things down into small steps, each with a high chance of success, plain courses are mastered quite quickly. However, we are also trying to cultivate ropesight but we don’t always have a band capable of touches.
So, when we appeal for more support, we are not asking towers to refer beginners to us. There is a desperate need for the learners to have around them some steady ringers who will not fall apart after a bob is called. Let us hope that in 2016 more help does become available and the method ringing for learners really takes off.