Chairman's Chatter - February 2023

2022 was the year in which ringing really got its act together after Covid. ART has played its part, and we, too, have seen a steady return to operational normality. During 2022:

  • ART ran 59 day courses for 525 delegates
  • 905 new ringers were registered on the Learning the Ropes scheme
  • 59 teachers were accredited
  • ART made a surplus of £484

This is the record for the number of day courses run in a year, and thanks must go to the Course Organises, ART Tutors, David Sparling as Tutor Coordinator, and the ART Admin team for making this happen. In parallel, we’ve seen the number of LtR registrations increase month by month, accelerated at the end of the year by the Ring for the King appeal. This is continuing into 2023, and so far this year over 200 new ringers have been added to the scheme. Teacher accreditations have taken longer to recover, and last year the total was about a third of that seen before the pandamic. This is something the ART Management Team will be monitoring and looking to increase during this year.

The 2023 ART Conference

A final reminder to those wishing to attend the conference to book soon. On the Saturday, places are only available for the presentations and one of the facilitated workshops. There are still some places left on Sunday’s in-tower and facilitated workshops, but many of these are now also close to full.

The conference is being held on 11/12 March and is centred on Bournville Gardens in Birmingham. In contrast to previous years, it has a strong practical element (teachers in towers, ringing bells) spanning both the Saturday and the Sunday. More details of the conference sessions can be found here:

For those who’ve already booked, don’t forget that you can get a discount at the ART shop when you pre-order for your tower or hub of:

  • 20% off individual ART publications
  • 33% off DVDs and badges

To take advantage of this offer, you need to have ordered and paid by 28 February 2023 and need to collect your order from the ART shop at the conference. You will receive the discount codes by email.

» Book your conference place

ART AGM and ART Awards Ceremony

Both the ART AGM and the ART Awards Ceremony will be hold on Saturday 11 March at the conference venue – Bournville Gardens,49 Bristol Road South, Birmingham B31 2FR. The AGM is open to ART Members and the Awards Ceremony to the public. If you want to attend either of these events, we ask that you book beforehand on the Events website. Even though both are free, we need to know numbers in order to organise catering and seating.

Teaching Forum – Making the most of Ring for the King

The Ring for the King appeal to recruit more bellringers in time for the Coronation has led to an upsurge in learn to ring enquiries and bell handling training. If anything, this upsurge in interest has accelerated in January. Recruits and teachers are now beginning to ask: how do we prepare for the coronation?

In response to this we are hosting a second Ring for the King Teaching Forum on Sunday 5 March at 19.30. ART Tutor, Lesley Boyle, will be talking about how to get the best from your Ring for the King recruits on the day of the coronation. How to prepare and what to ring. The forum will start with a 20-minute presentation, followed by discussions in small, themed break-out rooms.

» Register for the Ring for the King teaching forum

Change of Chair

I will be stepping down from the ART Management Committee at the AGM, with Andrew Slade taking over the role of ART Chairman carrying out those duties, as well as being an ART Trustee.

Andrew brings with him a wealth of experience in strategy, education, standards and leadership, all of which will be put to good use steering ART through the next stage of its development. Please join me in welcoming Andrew to his new position as Chairman-elect within ART. I know that I am passing over the reins to a safe pair of hands.

» Find out more about Andrew

On a personal note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who I've had the pleasure of working with over the last four years, making that time both enjoyable and rewarding. Right at the beginning of my tenure, I was asked: What do you think is ART’s biggest strength? My reply is as relevant today as it was then: “That’ simple – it’s the teachers who have attended one of our courses and the ringers they have taught.” Long may that continue.


Lesley Belcher
ART Chair