A Grand Day Out – ODG Youth Practice – Longcot 25th April 2021

A report from Jenny Page

‘Well afternoon if we are going to split hairs’, but it was definitely the sentiment in my car load of young ringers heading to Longcot for the first ODG young ringers practice since February 2020. As one of them said it was very exciting to be able to go somewhere, other than your home tower, to ring.

The return to ringing for young ringers, defined as 18 and under is aligned to the guidance for out of school youth activities. This allows young ringers to meet with all the relevant risk assessments being done.

L-R Colin Newman, Cory, Daniel, Benjamin, Molly, Gabriel, Sara holding the Longcot Mascot Sleepy, Sophie, Jennifer, Joe and Daniel

We were welcomed by the incumbent who was thrilled to have all eight bells ringing again, Tony Crabtree who had organised the tower for us and local ringers who were putting up Tony’s mini-ring. Young ringers are currently only allowed to spend an hour in the ringing chamber, the mini-ring proved a popular alternative ringing activity.

Longcot mini ring
Treble Sara, 2 Jennifer, 3 Daniel, 4 Sophie, 5 Joe, 6 Benjamin

Longcot was an excellent venue, a ground floor ring with access directly from the church yard and bells of a suitable weight for young ringers. A beautiful sunny day with, if anything, slightly too much wind at times. We  had access to the Methodist hall who allowed us to use their toilets and kitchen. It really would not have been a young ringers practice without cake for which we have Daphne Pollard to thank.

For some of the ringers this was the first time they had rung a bell for over a year, for others the first time they had rung on eight. As ever the focus from Colin Newman was on good striking rather than complexity of methods. Listening from outside it was great to hear the bells ring slower and slower almost from balance to balance and then quicker and quicker an excellent exercise in bell control.

Thank you to all involved in organising the practice. I am looking forward to the next one, keeping to tradition it will be the 4th Sunday in May.