‘Oh that’s not for me – I’m not good enough!’ Have you heard this from ringers in your tower? Or maybe you’ve even thought it yourself?
The Tonbridge District team have been working hard to dispel this myth – everyone including you, is welcome! Across the course of the year there are general practices, practices focussed on particular methods, striking competitions and plenty of opportunities to enjoy food with friends – outings, the Trivia evening and the Christmas carol service.
The next event for Tonbridge District ringers is a ten bell practice, slightly outside the district, at Staplehurst on 16 March at 10am. There isn’t a ten bell tower in the Tonbridge District, so many thanks to our hosts in the Maidstone District! Richard Barclay, the Tonbridge District Deputy Ringing Master, invites anyone who would like to widen their bell experience: ‘ringing on higher numbers is a great opportunity and will help improve your confidence to take back to your local tower.’
2019 has already seen two opportunities to ring with friends from around the area –the Quarterly District Meeting at Tonbridge in January and in February, we were welcomed at Leigh for a District Practice. With two very different sets of bells to contend with, it would not be surprising if nerves prevailed.
John Prior, a recent recruit to ringing, can empathise with this feeling: ‘my teachers recently suggested trying the Tonbridge and Leigh events, which I did. At first the idea was a little daunting but I cannot express how glad I am that I attended. Everyone was so welcoming and couldn’t have been more supportive if they tried. The whole experience was fully worthwhile – it has progressed my ringing and has given me a much clearer picture of what the world of ringing has to offer’.
Ringing in the Tonbridge District is very much part of the bigger picture of ringing in Kent. On 22nd April (Easter Monday), ringers from across the county will come together at Chilham, near Canterbury, for the AGM of the Kent County Association of Change Ringers (KCACR). Thomas Becket is believed to be buried in the churchyard of this quaint church, and there is plenty more history to discover around the building and village.
If you would like to order a 2019-20 KCACR handbook to pick up at the AGM please fill out this form. You can also keep up to date with local events by joining the District’s mailing list (please email the District Secretary to do this) and Facebook group.