Read more…"/> Words from the Chair – January – Kent County Association of Change Ringers

It is that time in January where one wonders whether it is still appropriate to wish others a Happy New Year but I will do so as the year is still young.

I must begin with congratulating Dickon Love of Bromley on being awarded the MBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours for his services to bell ringing in Kent and London. As well as being an active member of the Bromley band, Dickon also is responsible for the installation of the current rings of bells at St Magnus the Martyr, St James Garlickhythe and St Dunstan in the West, all of which are in London.

Dickon is also a Dove Steward, helping to maintain and develop the Dove’s Guide website which lists details of all the towers in the world that have bells hung for change ringing or are of interest ( In addition to this, he also curates two websites, and, which both contain very detailed information about bells in those respective areas. If you haven’t ever visited the Kent site, please do – it contains a wealth of information about the nells in Kent and not just those hung for full-circle ringing and is invaluable for answering the question, “Does that church have bells?”

I recently saw a piece about the Government getting ready to sign the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Tangible Cultural Heritage. Bell ringing certainly seems to fit the definition of cultural heritage – it is a system of  ringing bells that evolved in and is almost unique to England; it forms part of our cultural soundscape – last year, ringing received much publicity for the coronation; change ringing is a form that evolved in the 16th century and, whilst there are methods rung now which would have been inconceivable then, the basic structure of methods have not changed and nor has the technique for ringing bells. Whilst adding ringing to the list may not have any significant impact, it will perhaps help us to develop more ways in which to continue and publicise the tradition as the number of ringers dwindles. Should you wish to find out more, there are links to two Zoom meetings organised by the Central Council here:

In my last Words, I mentioned the ART M1 training hubs which Sue Bassett has started. I was able to visit one session this month and saw for myself how useful they are. I commented on the value of a longer, uninterrupted teaching time and this was visible in the session that I attended.  However, I also saw how valuable these sessions are for the teachers too.


As a teacher by profession, I recognise the importance of sharing good practice. I also know of some of the difficulties encountered in being able to do this – it means time out of the classroom being able ot observe other colleagues and also talking to colleagues from other schools to discuss ideas and elements of teaching practice. However it is always beneficial when there is the opportunity to work with other teachers and to compare approaches. It enables each teacher to reflect on their own practice and consequently provides insight on how they may improve.

As ringing teachers, we work in isolation within our own towers and do not always get that helpful insight from others. I think that this is one huge advantage of the training hubs. They are not just for the trainees but also an excellent opportunity for trainers to develop their own teaching. If you have already attained M1 accreditation, are in the probes of doing so or even just thinking about it, why not contact Sue to ask if you could get involved?


Thank you to all of you who have renewed your membership. Although there have been a few problems with using the new online system, most people that I have spoken to have said that it has been very easy to do. Just a reminder to those who have not yet renewed, your membership is now overdue so please do get online and renew quickly.

The closing date for information to go into the 2024 Handbook is 11th February, which includes tower details. If you are a tower secretary or tower captain, it may be worth just checking the information in the 2023 Handbook. Whilst the membership information will come from the membership database, are the contact details correct for your tower correspondent?

Finally, the Association AGM is due to be held at Rainham on Monday 1st April. The Rochester District Committee are busy finalising plans for the day and these will be announced shortly, however the service will be at 12.00. Please either bring your own lunch to eat in the church (or churchyard if the weather is kind) or you may wish to make use of one of the nearby pubs. The meeting will begin at 2.00 in St Margaret’s Church and teas, coffees and light refreshments will be available. There will be ringing routes into Rainham before the service and away from Rainham after the meeting. We will be looking for a new Hon. Gerneral Secretary as Sue Bessett is wishing to stand down this year. Sue had hoped to stand down in 2023 but kindly agreed to do one extra year as there was nobody forthcoming at the 2023 AGM so we do need a volunteer to replace Sue.


Neil Jones

KCACR Chairman

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