President : The Rt. Rev. Bishop of Chichester
Charity No 268588

Taking forward CCCBR reform (message from CCCBR President)

Saturday 1 July 2017, 06:37

Many people will be aware that the proposed CRAG reforms were welcomed by the Central Council at their meeting in Edinburgh last month. Now they are looking for a wide range of people - but all passionate about ringing - to help take reform of the way ringing is organised nationally forward.

Read more on the CCCBR website https://cccbr.org.uk/about/reform/ if you would like to get involved (deadline for applications 14 July).

David Kirkcaldy elected Vice President of CCCBR

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 20:23

At the Annual Meeting of the CCCBR on Monday 29th May 2017 held in historic Edinburgh and hosted by the Scottish Association, David Kirkcaldy won in a contested election for Vice-President on a strongly pro-reform ticket. His proposal by Tim Hine included the following:

"David learnt to ring in Sussex and was a District Ringing Master at the age of 16. He has been very involved in his Association: as District Secretary, as Secretary of the Sussex Bell Restoration Fund and as Master.

He is currently tower captain at Steyning where over five years he has trained a new band virtually from scratch. He is keen to encourage ringers to progress, not just those from his own tower. He has been a tutor on a wide range of ringing courses. He has arranged and led Belfry Maintenance Courses in Sussex regularly. David has researched and written a history of the Sussex County Association published in 2012. He became a representative on the CCCBR in 2007 and the following year was elected to its Towers & Belfries Committee and is currently its chairman. In 2014 he also became an elected member of the Administrative Committee. David trained and qualified as a teacher but joined Sussex Police in 1978, where he served for 30 years until he retired. This means that he is the fortunate position to be able to devote time to the role of vice-president and he is happy to work hard on behalf of the ringing community.
This is especially important at this time of change; there is much work to be carried out in ensuring that ringing has a healthy future. David thinks that these are exciting but challenging times with the pressure from within the Council and outside.

If elected he is keen to work in collaboration with other parties outside the CCCBR to deliver what is needed for grass roots ringers. David’s own local Association has recently been changing itself. He recognises that we must reach out to all ringers. He also understands that ringing is evolving in many ways and everyone has a set amount of time they can commit to it. It is important to have realistic expectations about this.

David has gained much enjoyment from ringing and is keen that others have a similar experience."

Ringing World editorial after the meeting:
"The Central Council Meeting in Edinburgh will surely go down in ringing history as a watershed: the moment when it courageously seized the day and made a determined commitment to modernise. All of the CRAG motions were passed by a substantial majority and the widely anticipated attempts to delay implementation were firmly rejected. There will be a great deal of work involved in making the plans work during the year ahead and much of this will fall to the Council officers, led by the newly elected President, Christopher O’Mahony, and Vice President David Kirkcaldy. We wish them well in carrying out the Council’s mandate for change and hope that those with the necessary skills to assist will respond enthusiastically when called upon. We congratulate members of the CRAG team on their diligent work and in particular Chairman Phil Barnes, who has been a powerful and persuasive advocate for reform. No doubt Phil and some of his colleagues will continue to play a part in transforming the Central Council into the central ringing organisation that the Exercise needs and deserves."

Ring out the old, ring in the new

Sunday 18 June 2017, 14:18

It may be that some future commentator will reflect on the CCCBR proceedings in Edinburgh over the May bank holiday weekend, and refer to them as “a seminal moment” in ringing history. In the meantime there will no doubt be lots of commentary and analysis in The Ringing World and other fora, discussing the events and their ramifications for ringing.

At its meeting in Portsmouth in 2016, the Central Council voted to establish an arms-length review of its structure and activities, and to report back to the 2017 meeting with recommendations. Members of the Council Review and Action Group (CRAG) have been diligent and conscientious in their task, bringing to the meeting a straight-talking analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, along with a proposed timetable for reform.

Some have expressed concern that CRAG’s consultation was not sufficiently broad, and stakeholders have not had sufficient time to respond or deliberate. The counter argument is that CRAG has used all possible communication channels throughout the consultation, and has stuck to the timelines agreed in Portsmouth.

Around 170 members of Council were present at the AGM in Edinburgh, and the motions to adopt CRAG’s proposals were passed by a large majority, followed by spontaneous applause (a somewhat rare event at Council meetings!) The assembled change ringers became change agents, and the appetite for reform and renewal has never been stronger.

Into this milieu I have been elected as President and, although it’s not surprising to feel somewhat apprehensive about the task ahead, I feel privileged to be in a position to help carry forward this agenda. All stakeholders, through their representatives on Council, have given us a clear and bold mandate. The work cannot be done entirely by the Officers, and the CRAG recommendations encourage much wider participation in Council’s activities than in the past. I trust that those with the relevant skills, experience and enthusiasm will step up to the challenge!

I would like to give tribute to those who stepped down from office at the Council meeting. Chris Mew has worked tirelessly as President on behalf of all ringers, and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for all he has done (and continues to do) to support ringing. Kate Flavell, as former President and more recently as Public Relations Officer, has similarly been an unstinting advocate for ringing and ringers, leading the PR team (which she will continue to do) to raise our positive public profile. Andrew Taylor steps down as Treasurer, having kept a steady hand on Council’s finances over these past three years.

Ringing faces many challenges – recruitment and retention, leadership, clergy relations, potential church closures, communications, compliance, financial viability and more. We come away from Edinburgh energised and ready to take on these challenges, embarking on a journey with our fellow ringers everywhere, to revitalise our wonderful art, and leave a positive legacy for those who follow.

Christopher O’Mahony
President
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

(Article re-published from CC website: https://cccbr.org.uk/2017/05/31/new-president-christopher-omahoney-rings-out-old-and-rings-in-new/)

David Kirkcaldy and Christopher O'Mahoney (Newly-elected officers David Kirkcaldy, Vice President, and Christopher O'Mahony, the first Australian-born CCCBR President (photo from Ringing World 2nd June 2017 No. 5536)

BBC Music Day - 15 June 2017

Monday 12 June 2017, 17:47

BBC Music Day is returning for its third year on Thursday 15 June 2017, celebrating music’s ability to unite communities across generations. This year bell-ringers have been asked to play an even bigger role, ringing hand bells and in towers around the globe at 1900 local time see information here, including how to participate. Last year over 200 bell-ringing groups signed up across the UK.

This year’s attempt aims to include bell-ringers from as far afield as Australia and Zimbabwe to create a very special bell-ringing moment.

Further details can be found here with the BBC, including a list of the 158 towers (as of 5:30pm Monday 12th June) already registered with the BBC

There is an event on BellBoard to link your performances to with information about the event: http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/event.php?id=6361.

Email the BBC Music Day team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are taking part as soon as possible to let them know and don’t forget to copy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as the local press will be interested to know who is taking part and it’s great to share our success!

Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/d83e7175-75b5-4bf2-bb34-6ee5b4e4ca05, including Shaun Keaveny having a ding dong. The 6 Music Breakfast presenter gets the chance to try his hand at bell ringing in the tower of a church in London.

Hundreds of other bell ringers around the world, from Sydney to Zimbabwe to the UK, will also be ringing in support of BBC Music Day in a global bell ringing event.

CRAG proposals pass at Central Council Meeting

Wednesday 31 May 2017, 07:42

EDINBURGH, 29th May 2017 (links to recorded stream below)
One year ago, in Portsmouth, the Central Council considered a motion calling for the establishment of a group that would review all activities of the Council, and make recommendations for modernization. That motion was passed with overwhelming support, indicating a Council eager for change.

Today, in Edinburgh, that group – the Council Reform Action Group (CRAG) – presented its three motions for reform. Taken as a group, they prepare the Council for future change (in 2018). There were three motions. The first proposed that the Council receive the report. This is a relatively mild proposal, indicating that the council will receive the report, but does not, in itself, make any commitment to any future actions. The meat of the proposals was in the two following motions (B and C).

Motion B was the more substantial, and effectively set up a shadow operation for one year, where the existing Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary) – who are also the trustees of the legal Charity, would be joined by a group of 4 other people, to work towards developing the rule changes that would be put to the Council in 2018, and which would effectively transform the council into a more responsive body, with (hopefully) enhanced relevance to the average ringer.

This new Executive (comprising 5 trustees and 4 non-trustee executives) would be able to use the officers/trustees to implement the actions that they decide on, thus ensuring continuity between the present and possible future organizations.

Phil Barnes likened the process to taking a journey without having to commit to a destination. If we like the way things are going in May 2018, then we can continue the journey – perhaps with some modifications – and if we don’t like the way things are going, we can still turn back.

Key points are that:

  • Any ringer will be able to enter their name to be an officer of the organization (this is already the case: Rule 12.ii states:
    "The President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Assistant Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, and Public Relations Officer shall be ex-officio members of the Council if not already Life or Representative Members."
  • Any ringer may put their name forward for appointment to a Work Group.
  • The Council will begin to use a planning and objectives process to make certain that all efforts are coordinated, and contribute to the plan.

Rather surprisingly, most of these changes (indeed, all of the changes that are being proposed for 2017/2018) do not require any rule changes. This is what will allow the Council to operate on two pretty-well parallel tracks for this year.

There were some dissenters with details of the motions, but even they declared themselves supportive of the aims of the reforms.

Much more, of course, remains to be worked out in the weeks and months ahead. In particular, the importance of ongoing consultation and feedback from those ringers who are not members of the Council, was stressed.

So, for now, the work of the CRAG is finished, and it is now up to the leaders of the Council, together with the extra members of the executive, to do the work (or to form groups to get it done), ready for 2018.

Lancashire sounds like it is going to be an exciting time – and it will be open to anyone who wants to attend.

Live stream of the Central Council 2017 meeting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BdsaqtFGTw
Approximate timings in the 8h 13m 03s long video below. For the agenda items, see CCCBR papers published as a supplement to the RW (28th April) or else available here.
19m: (19 minutes in) Prayers
30m: Item 2 Membership
50m: Item 9 Accounts
1h16m: Item 13 Change Ringing for the Future, including some discussion re York
1h32m: Item 14 Motions as follows:
1h32: Motion A GRAG including full intro by Phillip Barnes
1h57m: Motion B CRAG Proposer (Phillip Barnes) and seconder
2h25m: Start of debate
2h27m: Introduction of amendment 1 accepted
2h30m: Introduction of amendment 2...
2h52m: voting on amendment 2, rejected.
3h02m: Vote on Motion B
3h03m: Motion C
3h20m: Vote on Motion C.
Lunch.
4h33m: RW AGM
5h49m: Motion D Affiliation Fee
5h52m: Motion E
5h59m: Motion F,G
6h36m: Voting on G
6h37m: Item 15 Committee Reports.
7h44m: Item 16 Carter ringing machine, rolls of honour, Dove database etc. to end.

Many thanks to the ICT team - multiple cameras, clear sound, smooth reliable connection. Edited videos of the four streamed events will be available soon: i.e. (CRAG update meeting, Open meeting with Sir Tony Baldry as the guest speaker, Central Council AGM, Ringing World AGM).

Heritage Open Days 2017

Wednesday 24 May 2017, 18:47

Heritage Open Days 2017 is 7-10 September this year. Last year many of our towers opened their doors for Open Days over the weekend, in conjunction with the church so if you can do so again it’s a great opportunity to show people what we do hidden away in the tower. Here is the link to get involved.

HODs have retained the bell theme and logo and you can record that there is a ringing event if you are doing that this year. Many towers found last year that this was a great opportunity to raise the profile of ringing within their area and some even recruited new ringers!

All the things you need for registration are in the Organiser Area. You can access this through the website with your login. Your username will be your email address, and if you've forgotten your password there’s a link to reset it on the login page.

  • Deadlines: 1 May – full promotional support / 1 August – final deadline for events requiring HODs insurance. Remember the sooner you register your event the more support Heritage Open Days can offer you - particularly for press coverage. The event directory will go live on the website in mid-July.
  • Taken part before? Then you can just update and re-submit the details of your previous entry. You'll find them in the Archive section of My Events in the Organiser Area. 
  • Registration tips: For an overview of the process see our registration tips with a handy flowchart for reference.

Take action! Login to the Organiser area now to register search the database and get chatting! Find out more about the forum with the Beginner's guide.

Don't forget you can search the wider database for inspiration in the HODs Community section of the Organiser area. And there's a discussion forum where you can discuss issues big and small, and share tips directly with others getting involved.

Master's Mutterings Spring 2017

Saturday 8 April 2017, 10:00

Well, the individual Annual District Meetings have come and gone, and not without some problems, mainly concerned with not enough people volunteering to be on a committee, and therefore help to run their District, or even the Association itself. However, saying that, we now do have four district committees, albeit with too few members for a couple of the districts.

Remember, we are all partaking of a hobby, which I hope the majority of us enjoy, but we do need some form of structure, and it really would be nice to see more varied people involved, rather than the same faces the whole time. Even if you are a new member, you must have some ideas about what could be done, and your input would be most welcome. It was good to see a couple of the Young Ringers willing to help out with the South’s committee, and even prepared to put together the newsletter.

Talking of Sussex Young Ringers, I have just heard that they have once again triumphed in the South East Youth Competition. Many thanks to Anne Franklin and Sandra Alford for helping to organise practices and the teams. The contest was held at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, and this year, Sussex managed to enter 2 teams, so it was only right that they came first and second. Well done to all our young ringers, even if you were not in one of the teams this year, you may be there next year.

The next big item on our agenda is the Annual Meeting for the whole Association. This is to be at Billingshurst. Open ringing starts at 10-30, followed by a service, in which I hope you will all attend, even if you are not Church of England. Your hobby is to ring church bells, the least you could do, would be to attend a service especially when it is an Association service.

Talking about the AGM, during the past year when Sandra Alford has done an absolutely marvellous job as association secretary, even though she had not even been on the General Committee beforehand; has decided that for personal reasons, she is unable to continue as secretary beyond the AGM. I thank her most sincerely for all she has accomplished, and now we must look for a new secretary. Please do consider yourself for this role within OUR Association, or ask someone who you think would be good, and let either Sandra ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or myself ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) know. This role could quite easily be split into 2 parts, thereby reducing the commitment.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the AGM on 13th May.

Graham Hills

Master's Winter Mutterings

Monday 9 January 2017, 19:11

The New Year has started, and I wonder how many of us have made New Year Resolutions. This seems to be a tradition that has slowly died, and this year I don't know of anyone who has made a resolution, probably because it used to one of those things we did, but after a very short while it slipped by the wayside.

Perhaps a good New Year's Resolution that I hope would last, would be to try and improve your ringing skills and ability. Unfortunately this cannot always be done within your own tower. I remember that not long after I started ringing, my "home tower" was almost a "call change" tower, with Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles thrown in occasionally. I started going out to other towers, and persuaded one or two others to come with me, and we were then able to take our new found abilities back to our home tower. This also showed other towers that we were trying to get on, and so other ringers started coming to us as well. Remember, it is a two way thing, if you want to get on, you cannot always expect help to come to you; you have to be prepared to get out and help yourself.

However, saying that, I know that time is very precious these days, and a lot of ringers cannot afford additional time for more ringing. This is especially so when your spouse is not a ringer. I am lucky in that respect, as obviously both Moya and I are ringers, but even that sometimes has its drawbacks, as we end up finding ourselves out ringing most nights of the week, and usually Saturdays as well.

May I take this opportunity to thank the many people who rang quarter peals and peals of "Julie Mc Donnell" in any format, and helped to raise many thousands of pounds for "Strike Back Against Blood Cancer". Of course, I also congratulate Julie McDonnell herself for her own fantastic personal achievements.

By the time you read this, those of you listed for e-mail correspondence should have received a poster from OUR Association listing the vacant posts around the County. Do please give thought to how you would be able to help and put your name forward at your respective Annual District Meeting. Please contact your District Secretary; Sandra Alford, the Association’s General Secretary ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); or myself for more information.
Happy New Year to you all, and KEEP ringing.

Graham Hills, January 2017

Master's Autumn Mutterings

Saturday 12 November 2016, 00:00

Firstly, as no doubt the majority of you will already know, our Sussex Young Ringers came equal second in the Ringing World National Youth Contest held in London early July. There were 24 teams entered this year including our two from Sussex; the method band ringing Grandsire Triples – Sussex Young Ringers, and the call change band – Young Sussex Ringers. Many, many thanks to all those who took part, and to Anne Franklin and Sandra Alford for keeping the teams together whilst visiting many other open towers in London, and for organising the practices beforehand. Thanks also go to the supporters, who appeared to be the picnic carriers.

The second striking contest was for the Essex Trophy. This is a 10 bell contest which this year was held at the lovely village of Writtle in Essex. Once again, many thanks to all those who took part, and especially to Jeremy Alford who organised the team and the practice sessions. The test piece was Grandsire Caters, but next year the test piece will be Superlative Royal No 2.

Any tower somewhere in Sussex could at any time require financial assistance from our Bell Restoration Fund. The fund is always in need of more cash, even though it may look as if we are OK at the moment. A typical low cost project could cost about £8,000, but this could easily run into the £20,000’s if the bells have to be removed. I am therefore asking all towers and Districts to do their bit and help to raise funds. Just recently, the ringers at Thakeham raised over £1,100 for the BRF by holding an evening with the Brighton Welsh Male Voice Choir. This was a very good evening, but the marvellous part was that they managed to get sponsorship for absolutely everything; so all monies raised went to the BRF. There’s a challenge – see what you can do. You never know when your tower may need assistance !!!

Another good fund raiser was when the KIPHRA hand bell ringers entertained us at Grafham. Another good evening, and this time, the cash raised went towards work required at Grafham.

Towards the end of June, I ran a Ropesight and Plain Hunting Course at Kirdford. The course had a full complement of Students, in fact I unfortunately had to say NO to a couple of people; so at the next Training meeting we shall be discussing having a similar course. Since then, Christine Baldock has run a Kaleidoscope course at Hailsham, and there is a call change course at Seaford in a couple of weeks. The final course this year will be a Bob Doubles course at Lower Beeding in December. If you would like to go, contact Steph, the Northern District Secretary.

Graham Hills

Master's Summer Mutterings

Saturday 13 August 2016, 07:44

The second Saturday in May, saw the Association’s AGM at Ardingly. A slightly different format this year, in that the open ringing was in the morning, followed by the service, a ploughman's lunch in the old school, and then the AGM. Many thanks go to Steph and Richard Pendlebury and to the Ardingly ringers who helped organise this event. However, I think that a lot of those present, including myself, were disappointed at the poor turnout. Out of an Association of over 1300 members, only 42 came to the AGM. I think this low figure is terrible. If you care about YOUR Association, come and JOIN a Team, or at least let those on a Team know your ideas about what is needed etc. Sandra or I would welcome hearing from you.

Marisa Hayes stood down from being the Secretary, and many thanks to Sandra Alford who has stepped forward, with assistance from my wife, Moya. Jack Burton from Westbourne has replaced Mike Wake as one of the Trustees, and there are some changes in the representatives from the individual Districts. At the ADMs, there had been only 2 nominations for Central Council Reps starting from May 2017; these being David Kirkcaldy for the West and Roy Cox for the East. Due to the number of members in our Association, we are entitled to 5 Reps., and there were no new nominations at the AGM. I shall therefore be raising this matter at the next General Committee Meeting in November.

Everything seemed to happen in May. This was also the month when Sussex was invited to ring in the Tewkesbury Shield striking competition. 7 teams entered and the Sussex team organised for me by Stephen Beckingham came 6 th. Many thanks to all those who took part and represented Sussex.

Following on from the Young Ringers success at Epsom, Anne Franklin and Sandra Alford organised 2 teams of young ringers to enter the Ringing World National Youth Striking Contest, which was in London on 2 nd July. This year 24 teams entered, so there were 3 separate heats. Both of our teams rang at the heat at Pimlico, with our method team, “Sussex Young Ringers” being one of the 2 teams to go through to the final. Standing outside listening, Moya and I believe that our 2 nd team, the "Young Sussex Ringers" came 3 rd with their Call Changes. In the final at St. Olave’s in Hart Street, our team came equal second to Bedfordshire – exactly the same result as last year. Well done to both teams. You did Sussex proud, and thank you to everyone for taking part. Also thank you to Anne and Sandra for their hard work, and to all parents and friends who accompanied the teams.

Earlier this month, at the Communications and Events Team meeting, Alison Everett agreed to be the Team Leader. Her generic e-mail address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Also during the meeting, we discussed holding a ceilidh as an Association event. Watch out for more details.

On 22 nd June, Moya and I went to the Redoubt Fortress at Eastbourne to join a gathering of Royal Sussex Regiment Veterans, the Mayor and some Councillors from Eastbourne, the Mayor of Richebourg, again with several dignitaries and several cyclists, from the Richebourg Cycling Club who had cycled all the way to Eastbourne, and by now, they will have cycled all the way back home. There were also some ringers from the Surrey and Middlesex Associations.

Peter Whisker, a ringer from Surrey, had a small piece of a church bell that his Grandfather, had brought home as a souvenir from the town of Richebourg. Peter presented the piece of bell to the Mayor of Richebourg watched by us all, along with Gary Baines from "The Royal Sussex Living History Group", who requested as many church bells as possible throughout Sussex to be rung for  at least 15 minutes at 5pm on Thursday 30 th June.

Graham Hills

Master's Spring Mutterings

Sunday 24 April 2016, 14:00

Well, spring is definitely here, and in fact looking at the way some of the spring flowers are dying off, it looks as though spring is virtually over. Talking of spring, the wedding season is upon us, although at Goring, we have fewer weddings booked than this time last year. I now collect the bells fee for weddings direct from either the bride or groom, and I know that many other churches operate in this way.

So far this system has worked well, but strangely enough, because I end up talking to one of those getting married, it seems to make the whole thing more personal, and I feel very guilty if the ringing is not to a reasonable standard. Let's face it; the general public won’t know the difference between 3 leads of Bristol, 360 of Bob Minor, or just Grandsire Doubles. What they can tell is whether the bells are clashing or not, and I believe that in many instances, it would be far better to ring well struck rounds and call changes, than to make a hash of a method.

I expect many of you have noticed on Facebook that our Young Ringers took part in a South East Region Striking Contest at Epsom on 2nd April and they came first with a score of 76%. Well done to the whole team. The other teams that took part came from Essex, Guildford, Herts, Kent, and Winchester & Portsmouth.

Now, you could not have missed noticing that there was something big going on in Horsham on April 9th. Of course it was the Festival of Bells to mark the 250th anniversary of the first peal being rung by an all Sussex band. A big thank you goes to the whole of the organising committee, spearheaded by Mike Cattell. I believe that over 120 people took part in helping to run the event.

There were many different displays of ringing, and I was present to guide the Mayor and the official party round. We met at the Bandstand, where George Francis's (a.k.a. Bell Meadow) mini ring was set up, and had already attracted plenty of volunteers to have a go. When it was time to move on to see the KIPHRA handbell ringers, the mayor and the councillors were ready to move, but it was proving to be nearly impossible to prise Jeremy Quinn the MP away from ringing.

Time to then move on to the rope making exhibition’ before walking down The Causeway to St. Mary's Church to see the bells being rung. Again, the MP showed a great deal of interest, and even threatened to go back up in the summer, when Parliament was in recess. Others in the party were not up for the stairs, so Moya took them back to the Barn for coffee, where we all met up later, and the Mayor then remarked how heavy the SCACR chain was compared to hers. I did point out that although hers was gold plated, mine was solid silver.

The day continued by walking continuous loops from the church to the mini ring, to the rope making, to the handbell ringers (who were walking around Horsham, then stopping in the street, for a course of Plain Bob, or some other method ), then back to the church.

During one of these walkabouts, I was only accosted once by a lady who wanted to know what I was going to do about the parking situation in Horsham. It was only when I pointed out that my chain had churches on, that she realised that I wasn’t the mayor.

The day finished with a well attended and enjoyable quiz in the Barn, complete with a fish and chips supper. A great event.

Master's Winter mutterings

Wednesday 13 January 2016, 22:42

As soon as I read the last issue of Soundbow, I realised that I had made an omission in my mutterings.  I’m afraid that I had totally forgotten to thank the team who travelled to Guildford to represent our Association in the Essex Trophy striking competition  A total of 6 teams entered, and Essex won, so in 2016, the competition will be taking place in Essex.  Many thanks to those who gave their time to ring, and watch out as Stephen will be looking out for ringers for this year’s event.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and are currently enjoying a Happy New Year with plenty of ringing.  I expect many of you rang in the New Year, and I hope local people heard you above the noise of all the fireworks being set off.  For us, it was one of the few occasions that both our sons and their families descended on us, and we made the most of it.  It is very rare these days that we can all get together.

The first Saturday in February will see the start of the ADMs, the first being in the Northern District, followed in turn by the West, South and then the East.  It is at these meetings that committee members for your District are elected, and please do remember that all positions are up for grabs, and must be proposed and elected at these meetings.  Also, you get the opportunity to nominate people for positions on the General Committee, even I have to be nominated for re-election.  Please do not forget that if you wish to nominate a person for something, you must obtain their permission first.

Marisa has indicated that she no longer wishes to be Association Secretary, so this is the main post that we need to fill, as fairly obviously, the Association cannot function properly without a secretary.  Richard from Horsham has taken over as Webmaster, and if someone else can take on the task of running the Membership Database, then the Secretary’s workload will be vastly reduced.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at your respective ADM but in the meantime – Happy Ringing.

Graham Hills