News Flash –
The Guild has a new Public Relation Officer, Jo Tomlison.
By way of introduction she has completed Hayley’s An Clogh interview questions……………
Can you give us your full Name, Current tower(s) you ring at, any current position(s) held.
Jo Tomlinson. I ring at St Stephens by Saltash, and for occasions at St Nicholas, Saltash, and St Mary’s Botus Flemming as they have no full-time bands.
Where and when did you learn to ring, who taught you how to handle?
I learnt to ring in 2002 – 2003 at St Nicholas, Saltash. I’d returned to Saltash to live and was encouraged by my Dad who’d been ringing for some time. I was welcomed by the amazing band who have now very sadly passed away. The late Phil Rundle, John White and Mike Beer taught me and I rang right up until my first little boy was born. I then returned to it when my children were of school age.
Where have you previously rung & have you held any positions of responsibility (e.g. Tower Captain/Steeple Keeper/Secretary)
I’ve not held any official positions of responsibility, although I would say that I probably hold the ring as social and comms person at St Stephens at the moment.
What do you love about ringing?
I love the fact that ringing can be so diverse. A tower can have a group of people from any walk of life and any belief, who come together for a collective purpose. I’ve always found the sound of bells reassuring/comforting. There is something about hearing traditional bells among all the modern hustle and bustle of life that creates a beautiful contrast. Indeed ringing can be very mindful. There’s nothing like escaping to the tower for an hour to take away the stresses of a day at work.
Please name some ringer(s) that have been an inspiration to you or have taught you something. Who were they & what was so inspirational?
Some people have such talent and an enthusiasm for ringing that you can’t help but be inspired and want to learn from them. In addition to the lovely people who first welcomed me to St Nicholas, other influencers in my ringing life have been the late Heather Tucker and Henry Sharp for introducing me to St Stephens tower many years ago, Arland Burn for letting me join the St Stephens band post pandemic and Jerry Burnham for sharing all his vast experience and helping to move our band on no end. Of course the endless enthusiasm and support that Kevan and Owen Borlase so generously offer to everyone in the ringing community has absolutely invaluable in motivation to keep improving.
Have you ever taught anyone to ring? If so, how many people and what did you learn whilst doing so?
No, but I do try hard to be part of the reason people want to ring at our tower and in our district.
Tell us something that other ringers won’t necessarily know about you…
I work full time for the NHS in Cornwall and live in Saltash with my husband, 2 teenage lads and 3 dogs.
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you whilst being involved in ringing?
The year was 1996, I was 22 and living in Taunton. At the time I worked near Glastonbury, so my commute to work took me on a 30-minute drive across the Somerset levels. My parents lived in Cornwall and my Dad had taken up ringing a few years before.
One Saturday lunchtime I was driving to work through East Lyng, a village on the A361, when I heard the bells ringing at St Bartholomew’s church. I slowed the car down and wound down the window to have a listen. As I passed the church, I noticed a man on the side of the road waiting to cross, and he looked very familiar. It was my Dad! He was one of the visiting ringers and was popping over to the local shop to get some refreshments for the band. He had no idea that I’d be passing on my way to work and I certainly didn’t know that he’d be on a ringing trip 100 miles from home. Not exactly the funniest thing to happen but certainly the most memorable. I obviously stopped the car in excitement, we had a quick hug and a catch up and I reported in late for work that day. Now, nearly 30 years later we both ring together regularly.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in ringing?
Well, I rang on the day of the late Queen’s funeral and the King’s coronation. Something to tell the grandchildren.
What do you find difficult about ringing?
Calling changes and ringing at the same time. This lady doesn’t multi-task very well.
What can you do for the TDGR and what could it be doing for you?
I’d love to help to bring the pure joy of ringing to more people across Cornwall and make it accessible to those who might not have previously considered it. I have two teenage children who, more so since the pandemic, communicate in a digital world which is very different to the one I grew up with. There is a space in the digital and social media world for ringing but that absolutely doesn’t mean that we can’t mix this with traditional methods. We can do both to engage with current, lapsed and new ringers.
Do you have any current or future ringing goals or aims? – please describe them, big or small.
To do my part to make ringing as enjoyable for others as it is for me.