This year we were very pleased to have welcomed eight new members to the District, taking total membership to 171, overall a small increase from the previous year.
Regular ringing in towers across the District has managed to remain fairly consistent, after an increase the previous year. All towers have been ringing on a regular or semi-regular basis except Lenton, who still have structural issues in the church. Hopefully they will be ringing again in 2018.
After last year’s hectic schedule, fewer events were held overall and had the desired effect with each individual event being better attended. The committee continued to welcome ringers’ opinions and advice to which sort on events the district should provide and would particularly like to encourage people who do not typically attend district events to give them a go in 2018.
There were 16 District events held, with an average attendance of 21 and peak attendance at over 30. The events organised over the year were of many different forms, with the aim of catering for different ringers. This included six midweek meetings and one workshop. These alternative events had an average attendance of 15. The best attended events were the Crawford Cup heat and half-day outings.
Ringing has ranged from rounds and call changes to Surprise Royal and Spliced Major. It is hoped that everyone has rung something they like when attending meetings and it has been heartening to see so much support provided each time we have met. There also seems to be an increase in the number of towers participating in District events.
The Crawford Cup heat, at Trowell attracted nine teams from five towers. All Saints’ Nottingham won the heat and went on to take second in the final, behind Beeston A who retained their title for the sixth year. Beeston B rounded out a closely fought 1-2-3 in the final for the district!
Across the district, 153 quarter peals (including handbell quarters) have been rung, many for services. These have helped to stretch and improve ringing across the District. This is a good increase from last year, predominantly lead by an increase in handbell quarter peals. There have been firsts and milestones for many members: particular congratulations go to Lucy Baird-Murray, Sue Baxter, Christine Bradshaw, Emma Cracknell, Richard Henley and Paul Wyscoki for ringing their first quarter peal. The monthly Saturday afternoon attempts at Basford, of which six were successful this year, are still allowing the opportunity for ringers to ring something they cannot normally do in their own tower.
The district has continued to teach some new ringers using the learning the ropes scheme. Notable achievements this year are Bronwyn Smith from Bramcote completing level 5, and Zoe Rose-Higgins from Arnold being accredited as a new teacher herself, three years after starting to ring.
Thanks must go to a number of people that made all the events happen: to all the churches and clergy for their support; to the members of the Committee for their organisation; to the members and ringers from further afield for making the events worthwhile; and to all those engaged in assisting with teaching and the development of ringers within the District’s towers. Our current District Secretary, Tim Poole, steps down this year and we thank him for his work as secretary over the last few years and wish his successor well.