During the past six and a half years we have had approximately 60 trainees come to us, less than half of this number required teaching from scratch the remainder came to get help in improving their bell handling, to gain confidence and to learn methods up to and including Cambridge Surprise Minor! In order for us to achieve these targets a band of dedicated trainers is required. For teaching methods we require a minimum of 6 experienced trainers – 5 to ring and one to stand with the trainee. Fortunately I have a pool of a dozen ringers who are prepared to help and cover for absences, etc. The hard core of trainers that have been with me from the start include David and Pat Teall, Paul Read and Chris Burgess, Paul is often unable to make Saturday mornings so we supplement this core with Alex Dyer, Stuart Weston, Elaine Wilkinson, Mac Bell, Geoff Davis, James Thorpe and, a recent addition, Nick Elks.
When we first started the tower produced a good supply of replacement stays and we did break a few – no more than half a dozen and we do replace them ourselves. To pay the tower for the breakages and general wear and tear of the bells and equipment plus heating and lighting, we collect a 50p levy from all attendees each week, this is paid direct to the tower. We may require a major up-date of sensor and computer equipment in the future and would require funds to pay for this.
On Saturday, 26th January, we held a ‘Train the Trainers’ coarse run by a Sue Fallah from Lincolnshire with three trainee mentors and six trainee teachers. Unfortunately Stuart Weston - one of the trainee mentors - was stricken with flu and was unable to attend.
I submit an annual report to the Central Council (who provided initial funding when the centre was established). In recognition of its continued success the ringing centre has received a certificate of recognition from the Central Council which has been framed and mounted in the ringing chamber.