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March 2011 was celebrated by ringers worldwide as the centenary of the foundation of The Ringing World, the ringers’ weekly newspaper. It’s first editor, John Sparkes Goldsmith, was both a prolific ringer and a journalist, as proprietor of the Woking News & Mail. After his death in 1942, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers continued publication, and established it as a company limited by guarantee in 1983.
On March 26th, despite the TUC march, ringers from across the country congregated in London. Over 2000 ringers attended the centenary service in Westminster Abbey, and the reception in Westminster Central Hall, which were the high point of a day of ringing, exhibitions, recitals and city tours across London.
Perhaps the most notable event in terms of the future health of ringing was the first ever National Youth Ringing Contest, which attracted twelve teams – almost 100 teenage ringers – from across the country. We were proud that one of our ringers, Mhairi Miller, was selected to ring in the Oxford Diocesan Guild team, which won the method ringing category.
John Harrison (April 2011)
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