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The ringers, like many groups, often elect the same people to carry on doing the same jobs, so it was good at the AGM to fill the post of Steeple Keeper, which had been vacant for a year. You might be puzzled that we have such a person when we don’t have a steeple, but that is the accepted term for the person who looks after the bell installation and other equipment used by the ringers – even in a tower with no steeple.
We elected Kristin Fitch as this role. She is our most recent recruit, who first touched a rope a little over a year and a half ago, began ringing for services twelve months ago and rang her first quarter peal in December. She will have much to learn in her new role and her ‘apprenticeship’ will be guided by experienced members of the band.
Steve Smith stood down as Deputy Foreman after serving for four years and was replaced by Jon Tutcher.
The meeting discussed at some length the problems caused by the delay installing the glass screen between the ringing room and nave (the second part of the project that refurbished the bells some years ago). It is needed partly to control the excessive heat when ringing for services (it’s a lot hotter 15 feet up than at pew level) and partly because music in church and ringing don’t mix. The latter has become more serious with the greater number and volume of rehearsals in church during ringing time before services (which is why we haven’t been able to ring for them all in recent months).
The Rector, who was chairing the meeting, assured us that our efforts to move the project forward would be fully supported, so we are hopeful that we will be able to resume normal ringing for services in due course, as well as ringing in greater comfort.
We also discussed plans for future activities to develop the band, ideally including more young recruits.
For information about ringing at All Saints, visit the tower website at: allsaintswokinghambells.org.uk
John Harrison (February 2014)
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