Another Guild year is drawing to a close and once more it is time for me to report on, “the state of ringing within the diocese” (rule 6c). The rule does not provide an equation for making such an assessment and so I if I consider all that has been happening around the Guild I may find the answer.
An awful lot has been happening and this would not have been possible without you being committed and cohesive bands of ringers. For example, whenever work is needed on towers or installations bands are kept out of their ringing chambers for a time however they remain intact and pick up where they left off once work is completed. Relatively minor works at Lanreath and Mullion ensured that those installations remain “ringable” and the major works at St. Veep and St. Winnow have restored an important 6 to the Guild and have given us a brand new 10. Meanwhile ringers at Lelant and Zennor have flagged up problems with their installations and have set about fund raising. That is what we all do whenever necessary. We all take a deep breath and take responsibility for working along side our congregations to get our bells ringing again. What is not to be admired in that that entails?
From our towers, bands of ringers have taken part in BBC Music Day (the youngsters turned it into quite an event with the mini ring over at Lerryn) and the Guild Quarter Peal week. I suggest this needs renaming Guild Ringing Performance week so well did it showcase both call changes and method ringing. Our ringers have celebrated the 250th. anniversary of the installation of the first 4 bells at Crantock, the New Year and their ringing by reporting various tower outings. In other towers the wish to learn and improve is nurtured through deanery and district practices, an ART course and league competitions. One further achievement warranting a mention is the 1/4 of surprise maximus at the cathedral because it gathered ringers out of their usual towers to achieve this first by an all resident team.
Our ringers have also gathered to ring for those who fell in WW1. It is what we do; we pay tribute to those who have been called to a higher service whenever that happens and whatever the cause. We ring for them and we remember each one of them.
Our Guild may be made up of individual members but our strengths and identities are in groups usually by tower, deanery or district. This is where you meet and exchange news, ideas and make plans. Whilst there is a lot of excellent work and activity going on we all know of towers where ringers and ringing are decreasing. Each of us has the ability to recruit and if we are to ensure that the state of ringing in this Guild remains healthy and happy each of us must act on that ability. It’s not easy but if we need a reason or excuse then let it be Armistice 100
Thank you so much for the warm welcomes when I attend your practice nights. Each event has been completely different which is quite something given that we are all doing the same thing. Of course the differences are in each of you and thank goodness for you. I have had coffee; cake; appallingly funny jokes which I never can remember; heard thoughtful perspectives on a host of ringing matters and seen a neat trick with a length of stainless steel to mention but a few experiences. My lasting impressions are of happy towers taking their ringing seriously.
Part of those experiences have been seeing how much time ringers give so generously to the Exercise and to their towers. I shall have the pleasure of giving out long service awards at the AGM and will thank Phil Tremain for all that he has given to this Guild as he stands down after 33 years as PRO.
There have been various ringing events during the year namely the AGM held at Bradoc during which we all “played” with the tone chimes and had a “go” on the mini ring; the Quarter Peal week in which 22 performances were rung, 3 up on the previous year; the District AGMs; an Eastern District outing; a Western District tower outing to St. Mary’s IOS; the dedication of the new trebles at Gorran and the Carol Service at St. Erme. This is not to forget the Bradoc mini ring making it’s debut at the Royal Cornwall show where it drew crowds and the ring and ramble which took us to Caerhayes and Gorran. Other events are the regular improver’s practises, surprise practises and it must be right to mention Old Codgers because it contains a large TDGR element some of whom went to ring at Imber on Salisbury Plain. The thing is that I will have missed some of the events so that there have been more ringers enjoying even more ringing around the Guild and the social aspects which go with it.
This year has not been without its moments of sorrow and amongst those who passed to higher service we remember Trevor Glidden, Kosh Tucker, Jim Yates, Denis Stephens and Andrew Reeves.
As we move into another Guild year I invite each of you to join in the various events; to encourage and keep in touch with each other, to keep your Deanery Stewards and District Reps. or officers informed of events in your towers which you might like to add to the online diary and to enjoy your ringing.