Membership fell slightly from the previous year, with 117 members comprising 112 Full, 3 Honorary and 2 Junior members. District heat of The Crawford Cup was held at Coddington on Sat 17th March. Balderton, Southwell, Winthorpe and Coddington all competed. Balderton won the heat and went through to the Final at Everton in May where Attenborough were declared the winning team.
At the Annual District Meeting in January 2018, it was decided to move away from formal agendas and minuting (other than for the ADM), the rationale being that an inordinate amount of unnecessary work was being created for very little benefit. With meeting attendance numbers in decline the burden of the task had become disproportionate. Significant events would be recorded in a District Book and produced at Annual District Meetings held in the January.
Emphasis was also given to more collaboration between neighbouring Districts and in May a joint event was held at Cuckney hosted by the Mansfield District. Sadly only four of our members attended the evening ringing however with a total of 14 present some enjoyable ringing was achieved.
In June, Newark District hosted ringing at Staunton and Balderton together with the Bingham District. Tea was provided but even so turnout was minimal. Clearly having tried something new the format was not attractive enough to motivate members to participate.
District Ringing was advertised to take place at South Scarle (5) on Sat 21 July and five members attended.
Bingham District reciprocated in September by arranging four towers throughout the day fitting in strategic pit stops at The Crusty Cob, The Lord Nelson and Newfield Dairy Ice Cream Parlour. Clarborough, Tuxford, Sutton on Trent and Norwell incidentally were the towers.
Half-Year Guild Meeting was on 17th November and hosted by Bingham District having been put back one week due to Remembrance Day ringing. This clashed with Newark District calendar date but members were encouraged to visit Langar, Cropwell Bishop, Cotgrave and Colston Bassett with a Beetle Drive in the evening. Disappointingly only five of our District members attended. 112 members didn’t!
The eliminator round of the National 12-Bell Contest was held at Southwell Minster on the 24th March. Organised by the local band, teams from Wimborne, Norwich, Melbourne, Oxford, Bristol and Guildford visited over the preceding weeks to practice prior to the eliminator on the 24th. The event was a huge success with top quality ringing of the 12 bells being heard throughout the day. It is hoped that Southwell will be chosen to host the Finals in a couple of years time.
Ladies Ringing is still well-attended with an average of 15-17 coming to meeting from throughout the Guild. Methods ranged from Call-Changes to Cambridge Minor.
Four 12 Bell Practices for the whole Guild membership were held at Southwell throughout 2018 with good attendance.
Armistice Ringing : All 23 towers, 5 bells and upwards, rang for the Armistice on Sunday 11th November, 2018. 119 people took part at differing times of the day. 9 new 'Ringing Remembers Recruits' were trained at the Balderton, Elston, South Scale, Southwell and Sutton On Trent. Two successful Quarter Peals were rung, one at Balderton the other at Southwell. Both were Grandsire Doubles but significantly the one rung at Balderton included family members from four generations. Well done Tyler Dodd (aged 11) Emma Dodd, John Dodd and Beryl Reed.
Thanks to Elizabeth Harrison for doing much of the organising, collating and all the reporting. District Outings : Coddington's outing on 8th September was a coach trip to Shropshire visiting the following five towers; Calverhall, Meole Brace, Upton Magna,Shawbury and Stanton-upon-Hine Heath. Lunch in Shrewsbury.
Tower News: South Scarle have completed their St Helena's tower works and now have a beautifully crafted Ringing Floor which is solely for the use of the Bell-Ringers. One of the objectives driving its installation is to use the floor to support more outings, events and recruitment drives at St Helena's. Hawton's four bells are now at John Taylor's Foundry and the old bell frames have been removed and the new frame is prepared and awaiting fitting.
Coddington Events: Quiz Nights: Again, well supported and always good night out! The February one raised £355 donated to Kelham tower works . The November one raised £220, ideas for where this money will be used include new bell ropes for Barnby, new muffles for Coddington.
Ringing and coffee afternoon 22nd September raised £128 - £64 was given to Coddington Church and the other £64 was used towards the Nov quiz food and hall hire.
One year to the day after having their first pull of a rope at Coddington Open Ringing afternoon Jess Parkhouse and her dad Theo Parkhouse rang their first quarter on 23/9/2018 at All Saints Coddington. Well done!
On Tues 12 June 2018, Derek Tysoe rang his 1000th peal by ringing the 7th to a peal of Amber Surprise Major at Burley, Leeds.
Derek has previously held the positions of District Secretary, District Ringing Master, and District Chairman and is currently an active member of Barnby in the Willows tower. This achievement makes Derek the first member of the Newark district to ring 1000 peals. Congratulations Derek.
Bell ringing is a voluntary pastime, we pay a subscription to belong to the Diocesan Guild that grants us the right to be a part of those activities but it is still voluntary and no one can dictate when or how often we choose to partake bell ringing. The more members who actively participate does mean that the load is shared. My comments about low attendances at some events are not meant to be seen as me complaining, but I do wish to draw attention in my report to the facts.
It may appear that I am grumbling about attendance throughout 2018, please be assured I’m not. Should this report duly reflects the facts? I believe it should.
Finally, thanks to everyone who has helped the District in any way during 2018, to the incumbents and Tower Captains for the use of the bells and especially to those who have organised and attended meetings, outings, events and training days.