ART Conference 2022

This year’s ART Conference will be held on Saturday 7 May at Erdington Academy, Birmingham. It's being held later in the year than normal in order to minimise the risk of it being cancelled due to a Covid-19 surge. We are delighted to be working with the CCCBR again, and the second day of the conference weekend will be hosted by the Tower Stewardship and Management Workgroup of the CCCBR.

The ART Conference has been cancelled

Saturday 7 May

Please join us for a day of presentations, discussions and sharing. We have organised a host of speakers, who will between them cover a wide range of topics. So many, you'll have to make choices as we will be running a number of parallel sessions to fit everything into one day.

Call Change ringing

We've all watched the videos from Devon on YouTube and been truly impressed. Well here's your chance to learn all about Devon Call Change ringing from Jon Bint who is not only an exponent but is also an ART teacher. In all we have three members of the Devon Association coming to the conference, and they will be running a Devon Call Change Masterclass at Edgbaston on the day. If you want to take part, make sure you book early as the number of places will be limited.

Recognising the benefits of call change ringing as a separate development pathway to method ringing, Clare McArdle will introduce the new Learning the Ropes Advanced Call Change scheme which is being launched at the conference, after being piloted last year.

Devon Call Change ringingJon Bint

Devon Call Change Masterclass – Ian Avery, Jon Bint, Graham Sharland

The LtR Advanced Call Change Scheme Clare McArdle

Teaching ideas

The conference always gives you plenty of opportunities to spruce up your teaching skills. This year we've invited David Smith, of Ringing World Education Column fame, to talk about how to use unusual teaching methods in your practice. We also have Graham Nabb, giving not one but two presentations. One on ringing up and down in peal (however he's feeling a bit nervous about the Devon Call Change ringers being there) and the other on 50 Ringing Things, and how its been used to develop skills and motivate new, and in some cases not so new, ringers.

Julia Cater will be presenting a variation on her Ringing Heavy Bells presentation targeted at anyone (of any weight and frame size) which will also be a fantastic masterclass in observation.

Teaching with unusual methodsDavid Smith

Ringing up and down in peal Graham Nabb

Teaching ANYONE to ring heavy bells Julia Cater

50 Ringing Things – a tool to develop skills and motivate Graham Nabb

What's happening elsewhere

One of the great things about a national event is that you can hear what others are doing and adapt it to your own local band or area – steal with pride, as they say. This year we'll be hearing from the Essex Association and how they are using ART to develop ringing. Matt Lawrence will be talking about the trials and tribulations of developing his local band. Finally, Hayley Young and friends from the Truro Guild will be telling us about what they're up to – the buzz coming from Cornwall is loud.

50 Ringing Things has proven to be a great way of motivating ringers when their rate of progress has slowed down – usually when moving on from foundation skills. Graham Nabb explores this side of 50 Ringing Things and introduces the 50 Ringing Things for the Team challenge which is being launched at the conference.

The Essex wayAndrew Kelso

Activating Cornwall Hayley Young

Building and rebuilding a band… lego blocks and jengaMatt Lawrence and Sonia Field

50 Ringing Things a tool to develop skills and motivate Graham Nabb

Personal impact

Teaching and leadership is about a lot more than deciding what needs to be rung next. We have a series of speakers who will be talking about how to become a better teacher or leader.

Our external speaker this year is Jen Saunders who is an expert on business culture and transformation. She will be asking us to think about resilience and breaking habits. Arthur Reeves has spoken at the conference before, so you'll know how insightful he is. Arthur will be sharing with us current thinking about learning and memory, and how this can help us become better teachers. Remember the Women in Ringing project? Well, Chris Sharp will be asking us what kind of tower captain we are, using the model developed as part of the project, to explore how unconscious bias impacts us all. If you're interested in this, book early, as the number of places will be limited.

For those interested in promoting youth ringing, Colin Newman, who coached the ODG Youth Team to success at the last two RWNYC contests as well as leading the CCCBR Youth Workgroup, will be hosting a sharing session about retaining young ringers.

Building resilience and breaking habitsJen Saunders

How can we be the best teachers for our studentsArthur Reeves

Promoting equality and diversity in the towerChris Sharp

Engaging and retaining Young RingersColin Newman

I hope you will find plenty to stimulate you. The ART Conference will also provide the sorely missed opportunity to chat with like-minded ringers and teachers face-to-face. We've all got used to online meetings, but they can't beat the real thing. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in May.

Lesley Belcher, ART Chair

Sunday 8 May

The CCCBR Tower Stewardship and Management Workgroup invites you to a day of presentations, workshops and discussions. There will be plenty of opportunities to share ideas and information, and talk to specialists.

Ropes and splicing

When has your best piece of ringing been brought to a halt by a broken rope? “But that couldn’t be helped”, you say. Well – perhaps it could have been avoided! Come to hear what causes ropes to wear, how you can help prevent breakages and save the cost of new ones.

And is there a heap of broken ropes in your tower? Do you just buy new rather than splicing them when they break? We are offering separate practical workshops in which experts will help you mend a rope – bring your own or practice splicing one provided!

Note that you should attend the seminar “Ropes and how to prevent them wearing” if you wish to join one of the practical rope splicing workshops.

Ropes and how to avoid breaking them Tony Crabtree

Rope splicing workshop Tony Crabtree, Alan & Ken Yalden, Philip Pratt

Fixtures and fittings

Have you ever looked closely at a plain bearing or a ball race? Do you know which is which, how they work and how they affect your ringing? How do you keep the towers where you ring in good order and welcoming for ringers? We will be offering an opportunity to find out a little more about some of the key hardware components “upstairs”, how they operate when you ring and what may go wrong with them. The presentation will be followed by sessions in which you will be able to see some hardware items close to, without having to climb about in the bell chamber.

What does what in the bell chamber David Roskelly

Getting your bearings. A hands-on opportunity to explore parts of a bell installation David Roskelly

Keeping the tower and bells in good conditionTom Ridgman

Bell projects

All you need to know about architects and their activities in relation to bells and towers. Alan Frost's wide ranging seminar will include topics such as what is a quinquennial church inspection? Does that include checks of the condition of the bell installation? Why would an architect be involved in a bell restoration project?

So you are planning to install some more bells? Then come to hear the personal experiences of Nick Wilkins who has helped a tower go from no bells to eight!

Stop those noisy bells now!” “I didn’t hear you say single!” Are your bells disturbing the neighbours, or are you deafened while ringing? Our specialists will talk about managing the level of sound inside a tower and outside, and the steps that you should take to minimise the risk of prosecution under the Environmental Health Legislation.

From no bells to eight in two, not so easy, stages Nick Wilkins

Architects and their roles with ringers and bell towersAlan Frost

Sound control inside and outside your tower Mike Banks

Complaints about noisy bells – Robert Wood

What do others think about our ringing and the tower?

'We enjoy ringing our churches' bells - so how do we work together with our church, to keep the bells ringing out?' Who is who in the church, why do they seem too busy to worry about the bells and bell ringers, how and when may we engage with them and why?

“Liverpool bomb: Suspect seemed a genuine Christian, says church worker” (BBC News 16 November 2021) “Thieves 'urinate over altar' and steal bells from 900-year-old church tower” (ITV News 29 December 2021)

“That wouldn’t happen here” – but could it? How secure is the tower where you ring and how aware are your ringers of the risks? A specialist advisor will offer sensible and proportionate advice about counter terrorism security.

Ringers and bells – how do we work with "The Church"? Jim Crabtree

How secure are the towers and your ringers? Peter McMaster

Alison Hodge, Workgroup Leader

Conference venue

Access to Erdington Academy is via. Kingsbury Road. Sat Nav: B24 8RD.

By car

1.3 miles from Junction 6 of the M6.

By train

Grand Central to Gravelly Hill Train Station followed by an 11 minute walk.

By bus

Number 11 Outer Circle bus route.

Number 67 and X14 from Birmingham City Centre.


Travelodge (Fort Dunlop) – 5 minute drive, 34 minute walk.

Premier Inn (Aston) – 6 minute drive.

OYO (Dovecote Hotel) – 11 minute drive.

Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel – 11 minute drive.

Conference presentations

Presentations from previous ART Conferences.

» 2020 – Hilton, Derbyshire

» 2019 – Worcester, Worcestershire

» 2018 – Royston, Hertfordshire

» 2017 – Old Basing, Hampshire