Clare McArdle describes the development of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing, whilst Frank Seabright explains how its founding principles were applied in the Ledbury Branch of the Herefordshire Guild.
In 2013 Clare came up with the crazy idea of a bell ringing school to centralise training in Birmingham and spread the load and responsibility of teaching. Having presented the idea, she was surprised, but extremely grateful, that it was immediately supported by key figures in the St Martin's Guild and thus the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing was born.
Eight years after the District of Ledbury decided to centralise ringing teaching, it had begun to reverse its downward trend and felt if was slowly on the
way up. Its bands were slightly bigger, it had created a band in a
silent tower, generally the level of ringing had been raised and most of
the time the striking was better. Many more ringers were visiting other
towers to get more practice on different bells.
It was time for a further push. They thought about a “Birmingham Approach”
but did not have the helper resources to mount that on a regular
basis, so an adaptation of that approach was tried in the form of a
monthly District Practice Week. This is the “Ledbury Approach.”
Lesley Belcher, ART Chair
Simon Linford, President CCCBR