Here is the February online update with some dates for your diaries and other information.
District ringing meetings
The next district meeting is on Saturday 3rd March, ringing at Soham (10, 21 cwt) from 2 - 3.30 pm and at Isleham (6, 18 cwt) from 3.30 - 5 pm. Then tea in the Parish Centre at Isleham, followed by a District Committee meeting. So if there is any matter which you would like the committee to discuss, please contact me or any committee member.
The following district meeting is our outing to Hertfordshire on Saturday 6th April. We will be travelling by car so why not share transport with other ringers in your tower or nearby. I can attempt to coordinate lifts if required, so please let me know it you will need a lift.
Details of the ringing meetings later in the year are available here.
Ely DA AGM
The AGM of the Ely Diocesan Association will be held on Monday 6th May, which is the early May bank holiday. The meeting is hosted by the Cambridge district and will be based at Ickleton (striking competition, service, lunch and meeting), with general ringing also at other local towers. Details of all times, and of arrangements for booking lunch, will be available nearer the time.
There will be an 8-bell quarter peal attempt on 16th February 2013 at Burwell, starting at 2 pm. Roderick has set up a Doodle poll on http://doodle.com/xc6bd439eqax4eca where you can indicate if you are available. For any other information or suggestions, please contact Roderick on rmj_at_ast.cam.ac.uk.
Alan Winter, who is Vice-Chairman of the Ely DA, arranges 10-bell practices for the Ely DA as a whole. Anyone who would like to ring on 10 bells is welcome. There is a regular arrangement of a practice at St Neots on the first Friday in the month; this is confirmed by email about a week in advance. Alan would also like to arrange 10-bell ringing at Soham and Wisbech. If you are not already on Alan's mailing list, and you would like to be informed about these practices, please contact Alan on vicechair_at_elyda.org.
Tower open day - 29th June
We are holding a tower open day at St Mary's, Ely on 29th June from 10.30 am - 2.30 pm. The objective of this event is to raise wider awareness of the cultural and historical significance of church bell ringing amongst people of all ages living in towns and villages within the Ely District area. We seek to stimulate interest in ringing and motivate people to begin learning at their local towers.
The event will be well advertised in advance by means of press relations activity to generate coverage in local and regional newspapers, parish council newsletters and local radio. Posters will also be displayed in shops and parish council noticeboards in Ely and as many other towns and villages in the district as possible. On the day itself, the Ely Town Crier will announce the event around the City.
Outside St Mary's there will be various exhibits including the Association's Mobile Bell, the newly-designed and refurbished Association Display Boards, and, subject to confirmation, a mini-ring - all looked after by local ringers to explain and invite people to 'have a go' where appropriate. There will be periodic demonstrations by local ringers on the mini-ring, alternating with the ringing of the tower bells. Recruitment leaflets will also be handed out to passers by.
The aim will be to attract people up the tower to see the bells and into the ringing chamber where more ringers will be on hand to let them try backstrokes under supervision. People showing interest and aptitude will be encouraged to start learning to ring at their most convenient church. Details of District towers welcoming new learners will be available and offers to put people in touch with relevant tower captains will be made, capturing prospective learners' contact details accordingly. Refreshments will be available in the St Mary's church room.
The organisers will be very grateful for volunteers wishing to lend a hand on the day, either helping with ringing demonstrations, 'working the crowd', or organising refreshments. Please contact Phil Bailey in the first instance on 07968 788425 or email billythebellringer_at_yahoo.co.uk. If you could display a poster in your village or advertise the event in any other way, please contact Peter Binns on 01353 649428 or e-mail pro_at_ely.org.
Letter from Public Relations Officer on generating media coverage
Peter Binns, as Public Relations Officer of the Ely DA, has written a letter on opportunities to increase awareness of ringing by generating media coverage. I have sent a copy of this letter by email to each tower where I have an email address. If you would like another copy, either by email or on paper, please let me know. The letter is also available here.
Ely DA - annual subscriptions for 2013
Annual subscriptions to the Ely DA for 2013 are now due. As agreed at the Ely DA AGM in May 2010, subscriptions for 2013 are £10 for adults and £5 for juniors with 25% of the subscriptions paid into the Bell Restoration Fund. A Junior Member is defined as someone who is under 18 and in full-time education. Senior Members, that is those who have reached the age of 70 and have been members of the Association for the previous ten years consecutively, are not under further obligation to pay an annual subscription. The age of exemption from paying a subscription was raised from 60 to 70 at the Ely DA AGM in 2009. Anyone who was already exempt in January 2009 remains exempt in 2013 and later years, even if they are under the new age of exemption.
Rosemary Palmer is Membership Secretary for the Ely District, so please send your subscription to her (if you have not already paid it), either individually or via your tower secretary. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque out to 'Ely Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers'. Rosemary's address is 78 Mill Lane, Fordham, Cambs CB7 5NQ.
Updates to tower information
There are some recent changes to tower secretaries and ringing times.
At Haddenham, there is now a practice on the first Friday of the month (19.30 - 21.00).
There is a change of tower secretary at Histon, the tower secretary is now Helen Atkins.
The practice time for Landbeach has changed, it is now Friday from 18.30 - 20.30.
At Soham, the tower secretary's telephone number has changed; it is now 01353 721920.
There is a change of tower secretary at Stretham, the tower secretary is now Ruth Bramley.
Full details are included in the tower information pages accessed from here.
Please have a look at the website, and send any general comments or suggestions to me as District Secretary. We welcome photos, news items and articles for publication on the website - please send those to Sue Marsden (chatringe_at_gmail.com) as she has transferred from Striking Features editor to website editor.
As always, please pass on any details in this email to Ely District members who do not receive it themselves.
Ely District Secretary
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