I’ve been ringing for some 55 years – but this one is new to me.
Suddenly finding myself as a tower captain with no band, a recruiting drive seemed to be called for so yesterday, we held an Open Day. It was advertised with leaflets around the parish, in shops and community boards and the like.
I had no idea how many – or even if any – people would arrive and it was great to see a small crowd outside the door – 11 potential ringers! Three ringing friends and an odd (and he was odd!) tower grabber made up a good demonstration team. We took them to see the bells and two of us gave them all a go at backstroke.
A few (probably, knowing me, it was too many) words about commitment and the forming of a band followed – and one or two bodies faded gently out of the door. For signing-up time I had a simple name-and-address contact sheet and the ART Permission to Ring form for minors. I came home with seven forms. There are a couple of others who I know are joining us – and then, last night, I got a mail from one of my new ones; “can I bring a friend?” That’s suddenly an instant band of ten! This morning, I’ve ordered a pack of log books and we start training on Thursday.
So here we are. There is certainly a vertical rock face in front of me. I pray that I’m at the bottom and will be climbing up – but with this sort of challenge, I may just be at the top, about to plummet. I have good support from my ART tutor and my mentor as well as backup from several members of the Western Branch. I have towers I can visit which will welcome us and there’s a pub just by the church gates.
One consequence is down to the fact that it’s a 20 minute walk to church. I’m not going to have that sort of time. Today, I go out and buy a moped!
Up or down? I need to be positive: What can possibly go wrong?