District secretary's reports 2011 - 2015
There have been nine 'ordinary' meetings this year, with an average attendance of just over 15. This includes at least one, and sometimes two, ringers from Ely District who come to join us on a regular basis. When you consider that I regularly send out at least fifty reminders to towers and to individuals, this is disappointing. Are the tower correspondents passing on the information?
The outing in June was better supported, but still only 19 people attended, including three learners who enjoyed it so much that they now come regularly to District monthly meetings. It was a well-organised outing which started at Cromer, taking in Wells next the Sea, Sculthorpe and East Rudham and the weather favoured us as well. It was most enjoyable and thanks to Prue Lester for doing the hard work of organising the towers.
The District Striking competition at Denver in September was again a disappointing turnout, after the high attendance of the previous year, with only three towers entering. March were worthy winners of the method section, narrowly beating Shouldham, and Methwold retained the novices' crown. Anne's scratch band from several towers took part at short notice and will have gained from the experience. I hope this year's competition will have more support. Many thanks to Alan and Marj Winter, who judged with humour and understanding.
The ringers' carol service in December took place at Upwell and was most enjoyable. We were made very welcome by the vicar, a former ringer, and Julia had arranged excellent refreshments for us. The organist even complimented the ringers on the quality of the singing!
A successful course on tower maintenance and rope splicing was held at Watlington in the autumn and following from that there are further ringing courses planned. If you want to do something, say so and help will probably be available. I've tried to bring the benefits of the Stretham ringing centre to your notice and I hope some people will make use of it, as I have.
Once again, I’ve tried to use email to keep in touch with members and their towers. I know that sending the tower captain a reminder of meetings, or a copy of the annual programme, does not guarantee that every member of the band receives the information, so please let me have your email address for regular updates if you want to know what is going on. The programme for 2016 is interesting, with a range of towers, so please try to support it. Practice nights and times are listed on the EDA website, so it’s important that you keep your details up to date. Some towers ring in the afternoon during the winter months, so it's quite important to know this. You can kill two birds with one stone by emailing me and I’ll pass the details on to the webmaster. If you can't ring something at your tower, try joining another tower for their practice. One more ringer may well make all the difference for them and it may invigorate your own practice!
Annual Reports: In spite of several requests, few people have responded to my request for up-to-date information re the Annual Report and whether your tower wants a printed copy. I still have some that were not collected this year. There is an online copy available, so if you would rather have that, please let me know.
This report is slightly less optimistic than last year's, but I hope 2016 brings a vigorous Wisbech District to engage with the opportunities to improve our ringing and encourage others to join us and take up the hobby we all enjoy. If we don't use it, we'll lose it.
I’d like to thank those who have helped me during my first year as District Secretary, particularly the previous Secretary and the Ringing Master. I’ve enjoyed It immensely and met a great many ringers.
Support for the monthly meetings has remained steady and is slightly up on last year, bolstered by friends from outside the district who come to ring with us.
Two highlights of the year were the annual outing, ably organised by Prue Lester, and the District Striking Competition with nearly fifty ringers in seven teams. The winners of the striking competition were Shouldham in the method section and Methwold in the novices, but all the teams made a tremendous contribution to the success of the event. It was good to see so many ringers: the other teams were March, Upwell and a band which included Watlington and Walsoken. Some changes to the rules were agreed as a result of our experience this year and I’ve already heard of another team which is planning to enter for the first time in many years. Not every tower can produce six ringers, so it’s an excellent opportunity to work with other towers.
We also had a successful Ringers’ carol service at Shouldham , taken by the Rural Dean of Fincham and Feltwell, the Revd. Barbara Burton. Refreshments provided by Shouldham church, the President’s tower, were gratefully received after an afternoon of ringing. Excellent Christmas cake!!
This year I’ve tried to use email to keep in touch with members and their towers. I have mostly tower captains and incumbents on my list, but also individuals, especially in the east of the district. I’m not naïve enough to think that sending the tower captain a reminder of meetings, or a copy of the annual programme, will automatically reach every member of the band, so please let me have your email address for regular updates if you want to know what is going on.
The programme for 2015 is interesting, with a range of towers, so please try to support it. Ringing in this district isn’t easy, as opportunities are limited and far apart, but if we support each other and visit other towers to practise what we can’t do at home, we can hope for improvement. Practice nights are listed on the EDA website, so it’s important that you keep your details up to date. You can kill two birds with one stone by emailing me and I’ll pass the details on to the webmaster.
We started the year with the Annual District Meeting in January at Downham Market. Thanks to all who helped with the teas. 22 members attended and 1 new member was signed up.
During the year our monthly meetings took us around the district with ringing at different towers.
The summer outing, organised by Prue Lester. Took us around the Spalding area.
Hockwold was the host tower for the district striking competition, teams from Methwold, Shouldham & Wisbech took part. Methwold won the novice section & Shouldham won the methods.
The last event for the year was the carol service at Downham Market, after a change of venue. 16 members turned up to ring and enjoyed tea & cake after the service, thanks to Pam, Andrew & Edward.
Thanks to everyone for their hospitality, loan of bells to ring and patience in teaching those who need help.
This is my last report as secretary, thanks to all who have supported me over the last 5 years and good luck to the new secretary.
A better year for Wisbech District with ringers getting involved in monthly meetings.
Six towers rang for the Queen’s diamond jubilee; Clenchwarton on 5th June a peal of spliced doubles; Denver on 5th June a quarter peal; Terrington St Clement on 3rd June; Upwell on 30th May a quarter peal of bob doubles; Wisbech St Mary on 4th June a quarter peal of Reverse Canterbury; Watlington on 4th June called changes.
16 members went on the outing in June to west Norfolk. Let us hope 2013 will continue with the rise in interest.
We started the year with our Annual District meeting at Downham Market, 29 members attended, thank you Downham for the use of your bells and the tea.
Monthly meeting attendances varied from nine to twenty-four. The district striking competition was poorly supported with only two towers putting up a team for each level plus a scratch team. The time of the competition was altered to suit all but the towers which requested the change were not there. The outing was cancelled due to lack of support and only nine members attended the Carol Service.
A disappointing year in terms of support and enthusiasm from members, lets hope 2012 will see some improvement.