Young Ringers' Event Sept 2013


Organiser Barbara Le Gallez at Rampton
Encouraged by the level of response to the first Young Ringers’ Event in June this year, Barbara Le Gallez and her team of helpers from across the Ely Diocese held a second event on Saturday 21 September at Rampton, All Saints (6, 4-2-23 ) and the Millcroft Campanile at Willingham (10, 15lbs 6oz). The afternoon was attended by 15 young ringers of all abilities from age 6 to 19 under the watchful eye of the event’s overall ringing master, Alan Winter.

Ringing at Rampton
The attendees were divided into several groups so that all could have equal opportunity to try the various ringing activities on offer. One mixed ability group began ringing rounds, call changes and plain hunt on the relatively light six at Rampton All Saints under the guidance of 16 year-old ringing master Billy Brooke, ably assisted by June Mackay and Marina Warner. The more experienced young ringers ended their session with a very creditable touch.

Meanwhile, a second group travelled the short distance to the Millcroft Campanile at Willingham, made available for the event by Adrian and Angela Peacock. Selected as a venue at the popular request of the young ringers, the ring of ten Richard Bowditch bells are housed in the converted and now splendidly appointed octagonal brick-built base of a 19th century smock mill. Tutor-in-charge Phil Bailey and helpers Peter and Sarah Hinton, Marion and Edie Robinson, Andy Marshall, Dave Richards, Roderick Johnstone, Jackie Latham and Geoff Grayton organised several busy sessions for different groups appropriate to their abilities. For some it was their first time on a ‘mini-ring’ but they quickly adapted to the technique demanded and rang rounds and some call changes with confidence. For others familiar with the Campanile, touches were rung – and some of the youngest attendees even demonstrated their prowess by ringing two in hand!

Outside the Millcroft Campanile

Ringing at the Millcroft Campanile
Back at Rampton Village Hall ‘headquarters’, Marj Winter and David Pipe instructed the third and successive returning groups on handbells, several young ringers taking their first successful change ringing steps. Others tried their hands at rope splicing under the expert eye of Anne Judd, and a laptop running Abel challenged some of the younger ringers to pick out their places in various methods.

As the afternoon’s activities came to a close, all the groups converged at Rampton Village Hall for tea and cakes, dispensed by Janet Garnett, and the presentation of certificates. Barbara Le Gallez and her team of helpers were very pleased with the day’s events and the progress shown by many of the young ringers. “It was also nice to see the more confident young ringers helping the weaker participants, inculcating good habits for the future.” said Barbara. “They all seem to have enjoyed the afternoon and their feedback has been very positive.”

Young ringer Chris Franks from Fordham summed up the day saying, “I enjoyed the Young Ringers’ Event because it gave me a chance to meet other bell-ringers who are around the same age as me. Also it was brilliant that I could go to a different church and ring there as their bells were different to the ones I have been learning on.” Barbara Le Gallez concluded: “I think we may now have the basis for training up a team to compete in a future Ringing World National Youth Contest.”

The group of pupils, teachers and helpers

Report by Peter Binns. For more information contact Peter on or call 01353 649428.