A year which showed such promise, until the Coronavirus and “lockdown” prevailed, throwing all plans for ringing and contests out of the window! We were able to hold Young and MINI-Ringer tower bell sessions in January and February. Young ringers also got off to a good start on the quarter peal front, with a tally of 63. Thanks are due to so many ringers around the Association who make this possible. Several youngsters were able to ring at their own towers when government restrictions allowed. We were able to meet in September at a “socially-distanced” picnic to wish Isabel and Lucy well as they “graduated” to the over 18’s age group.
A year when handbell ringing came into its own, mostly in the great outdoors, and resulted in young ringers from Kent starring in the Ringing World’s “What’s Hot on Bellboard?” features most weeks over the summer: Amber Cusick made great strides under the tutelage of Tom Hinks and rang 6 Handbell quarter peals and 16 peals between June and October. Callum Clark and Lucy Harvey also made great progress under the instruction of Daniel Jarvis, ringing successful quarter peals and peals in a very short space of time. Once the government “guidance” was more relaxed in September and October we were able to have some real-life small group handbell tuition in Bredgar church and a family home, as well as “on-line” sessions with Tom Hinks.
A year when some young ringers transferred to ringing in the wonderful platform of Ringing Room with “Zoom” or other internet “platforms” for communication. So much of any successful practice relied on the stability of home or local internet connections; “you need to unmute” was probably the phrase most used. Young Ringers again helped at sessions for MINI-Ringers.
A plethora of links to interesting talks, competitions, YouTube videos and more were posted on the Facebook pages to keep our young ringers engaged: a limerick competition yielded some interesting entries! Some of the youngsters participated in national consultations about the future of ringing.
We send our deepest condolences to those families who have seen the death of a parent during 2020; the quarter peal planned for Lindsay Corette in March was thwarted at the last minute by government guidance. The Larter family rang in memory of Emma Cundiff and Tom Barlow was witness to a special quarter peal rung by Daniel, Barnaby and Adam. Tom was such a huge supporter of, and friend to, the Kent Young Ringers.