The ART Awards for Youth Groups have been generously funded by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust which has transferred its funds to ART as the appropriate educational body to develop these awards.

The trust was the idea of John Nunn, a ringer at Sarah’s home tower of Hallow, Worcs, where Sarah had learnt to ring in 1982 at the age of fourteen. She also rang her first quarter peal there, Bob Doubles inside, on her 15th birthday. Sarah also rang regularly at All Saints, Worcester, where her father, David, was Ringing Master and she rang her first peal there, Grandsire Caters, in June 1986. By that time Sarah was also ringing Surprise Major. In 1985 Sarah joined the Society of Roving Ringers and participated in their cycling and ringing tour of the Cotswolds. In August 1986 she was touring with them again, this time in Suffolk, where she met her untimely death in a road traffic accident two months before her eighteenth birthday. She had rung thirty quarter peals, the one peal and visited two hundred and thirty towers.

The trust was established in Sarah’s memory with the object of providing grants for bell ringers from the Western Branch of the Worcestershire & Districts Change Ringing Association attending residential bell ringing courses as students, and in the thirty years of the trust’s existence some twenty-four bell ringers have benefited in this way, mostly through attendance at the annual Hereford Ringing Course. However, with a falling-off in demand for such grants the trustees decided that they would like to see the trust wound up and its funds transferred to another charity that would use them for the furtherance of ringing training and, in particular, in a way that would benefit young ringers.

The trustees are happy that following consultation with the Association of Ringing Teachers, that body will use the funds to provide an annual award to be known either as the “Sarah Beacham Youth Award” or the “Sarah Beacham School Group Award”. The trustees are also content with the knowledge that the funds they are providing will, in all probability, ultimately be exhausted and the award and the name associated with it may eventually terminate.

David Beacham