I am pleased to report that this Newsletter has had a number of contributors this time (12) and I thank each one of them for contributing. However, I would like more from the eastern-southern parts of the area, as I mentioned in the last issue.
The report from the Old Minute Book for this time in 1914 makes fascinating reading. The report about payments being offered to the Secretary to stay in office and the employment of a paid instructor are quite remarkable to us in this age, where such positions are given for free except for reasonable expenses (sometimes agreed under duress and then scrutinised). What a difference in cultures! Perhaps it is us, in this age, that needs to look again at the way we do things. Ringing is cheap: no capital outlay, no running costs in many cases and you can learn to ring for nothing. What an utter bargain. One of my ringers returned to ringing after 50 years absence and is amazed to find this situation exists. She likens it to membership of various clubs and similar organisations that exist to provide leisure activities. I intend asking her to provide an article about this. I am not suggesting we provide ringing at these levels of costs (many hundreds of pounds is some instances), but it does make you wonder about the comparison. Perhaps we just need to be aware what a wonderful (and wonderfully cheap) pastime this ringing business is.
OK, if we are continue with this wonderful pastime, then new ringers are needed to allow it to continue. In this respect I encourage you to read the three items on teaching ringers in this issue: the advert from the Harry Windsor Ringing Centre in Kineton, Chris Righton's comments on p.5 when speaking at the Guild's Annual Dinner and Claire Penny's article about ITTS. Some people are trying to do something about it. 'Ah!' others might say, 'We don't need them fancy types to show us how to get people ringing. We done it before and they rings OK.' That may be so in a few cases, but some people's technique is downright dangerous and a proper tutoring would have been advantageous to all, especially to the ringers beside them!
The Mid-Week ringing tours continue in apparently excellent health — and the 300th of these tours approaches. The new format of reporting — a different reporter for each tour — makes for interesting reading. Thank you Isobel for your management of this.
I understand the Saturday practice at Shipston-on-Stour was well attended. This tower has been off the radar for a number of years, so it is good to see it back again. Shipston tower was a leading light in the Old Guild, with its ringers getting some high marks in the striking competitions then (see the Archives)
Lastly, don't forget ST GEORGE'S DAY!
Chris Povey, (Caretaker) Editor
(The views expressed in this Newsletter are not necessarily the views of the Four Shires Guild or its Committee. The Guild endorses no products or manufacturers advertised within the Newsletter — but would not allow such advertisements where the goods or services are knowingly questionable.)