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All Saints has always been a teaching tower – we’ve taught about 70 new ringers in the last 40 years – but most of our teachers are long established, so it’s quite an event when we develop a new home-grown ringing teacher.
Jane Mellor has been ringing for 40 years. Her father taught her at All Saints Allesley Coventry, and ringing is in the blood. All her family rang and she is descended from a prominent early 19th century Coventry ringer. She also met her husband through ringing at Leeds University. But until recently she had never taught ringing. She was inspired to consider it by Pip Penney, who like Jane is a physiotherapist, and who founded the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).
Jane knew she would be able to teach ringing since her professional training enabled her to see movement patterns and the changes in the them when people fail to handle a bell correctly. She heard that a friend (another ex-Leeds University ringer) was following the ART teaching scheme and this encouraged her to attend a local course.
Practical teaching experience is a key part of the ART scheme and after a few chance conversations and enquiries Jane found several members of the congregation interested in being taught to ring. This gave her plenty of real experience while she worked towards certification, which she achieved in March. Some of her initial group of pupils are now ringing regularly and have passed Level 2 of the ‘Learning the Ropes’ scheme.
Jane now runs the first half of the weekly practice, which is devoted to developing the skills of our recent recruits, with the Ringing Master running the second half which is mainly devoted to developing the more experienced ringers.
Anyone interested to see ringing in action, and how we train ringers, is welcome to visit us in the tower. For more information, see the website: allsaintswokinghambells.org.uk/.
John Harrison (April 2017)
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