On Saturday 18th March most of the younger ringers in the East Dorset Branch gathered together to ring at two local towers. Matt Pike has been teaching Max, Alfie, Spike and Tenzing at Swanage and Susan Smith has been teaching Isaac, Jacob and Tristan at Tollard Royal. As these two towers are at opposite ends of the Branch, we chose to meet somewhere in the middle and to ring at Oakdale (6) and Wimborne (on the front 8, using the simulator). The younger boys were joined by David and Georgina (Wimborne St Giles & Cranborne) and Katie and Ellana (Wimborne). All the young ringers managed both sets of bells really well and for some it was their first experience of ringing away from their home tower. They rang mostly Rounds and Call Changes, but also some Plain Hunt. Refreshments were enjoyed at Wimborne and there was also the opportunity to go up and see the bells.
Then in the Easter holidays 6 of our younger ringers (4 from Swanage and 2 from Wimborne) enjoyed an afternoon of ringing on Brownsea Island (8) and Hampreston (6). This outing was a whole-Guild event organised by the Guild Master, Robert Wellen, and there were 16 young ringers in total. Everyone (apart from a couple of the adults!) handled the light bells very well, the weather was beautiful and lots of ice-creams and portions of fish & chips were enjoyed. We are looking forward to the next Guild Young Ringers’ event in August, in the Purbecks.
We have also had 2 training sessions (one in June and one in July) for the young ringers who are learning to ring the Treble and inside to Doubles methods. These were held at Wimborne, again using the simulator, and good progress was made by everyone.
On Saturday 10th June our younger ringers’ band was delighted to win the East Dorset Branch 6-bell Novice Striking Competition at Canford Magna. The average age of the team was 15, with the youngest member being only 10 years old. This was the first time that 4 of the band had entered a competition, so special congratulations to Alfie and Spike (Swanage), Ellana (Wimborne) and Lydia (Brownsea Island). Thanks to Katie (Wimborne) and Freddie (Bryanston & Blandford) for supporting the less experienced ringers and to Jack Pease (Assistant Branch Ringing Master) for sitting in with the team for safety. We are hoping to enter a young ringers’ team into the Guild Novice Competition in September.
As ever, we are very grateful to those members of the Branch who have helped out with the young ringers’ events so far this year.
Hilary Child (East Dorset Branch Young Ringers’ Co-ordinator)