Report of activities during 2016
Forty-eight Saturday morning practices were held during the year. The four closures were on 18th June for the Dover ringers’ outing, 1st October for the Confederation of Cinque Ports Speaker’s Day service, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Attendances ranged from nine on 23rd and 30th July to twenty-six on 12th November with an average of about fifteen, one more than last year. The overall total was 711, twelve more than last year’s all time high of 699, but only nineteen towers were represented which was nine down on last year.
The local mid-week Treble Bob Minor group continued to use the Centre’s facilities on occasions. We opened to the public on one of the Heritage Open Days as usual but visitor numbers were down again for the third year running. We welcomed 34 non-ringing visitors to our Saturday practices, 17 from overseas. Facebook group membership has grown by 6 to 33, and a regular following of the old page has been building up steadily.
Practices always begin with exercises to improve bell control, raising and lowering, and addressing handling faults. There was also a demand for teaching new recruits from local towers where no tuition is available. This stretched our resources and we would have prefered to be training new teachers. Two young recruits for Dover were taught to handle the newly-acquired Saxilby dumb bell; one has now transferred on to a tower bell and his younger brother is in the process of doing so.
Methods we use regularly include Bastow, Cloister, Penultimate, and Ashford Little Bob. There is invariably a demand for Plain Bob Doubles and Grandsire, but more recently for Bob Minor.