Learning The Ropes: Contribution Award

Winner: Darren Swancott

Darren started learning to ring in December 2017. He was a keen ringer from the outset, learning at both Broseley and Coalbrookdale and visiting other practices within the first few weeks.

Darren provides a great deal of support to ringers both at his own tower and within the local ringing community.

Over lockdown Darren spend hours painting the frame, wheels, clappers and headstocks at Broseley. He then helped set up maintenance checks to ensure they are kept in as good condition as possible. Due to his efforts he was given the position of Steeple Keeper at Broseley and was also a runner up for the Wesley Awards.

Darren was also appointed Bell Advisor for the Shropshire Association in 2021.

Darren has worked hard to improve the ringing room at Broseley, painting some of the woodwork, and installing a new table, corner cabinet and noticeboard. This resulted in Broseley being awarded the Hereford Guild’s George Cousins Cup for most improved ringing room.

Darren expressed an interest in teaching during lockdown, so when our two Ringing Room recruits were able to join us in the tower Darren and I taught a learner each in parallel so that he could follow my example. Broseley has had an influx of learners since the Covid pandemic and I have been very grateful to have a second teacher available to assist me.

Darren is in the process of building up a new band at nearby Dawley. As a result of his efforts the bells are now being rung weekly for Sunday services. This year the bells were rung for the carol service by a full band of Dawley ringers for the first time in many years.

Darren is keen to develop his teaching skills further. He attended a Module 2C day course on 19 November 2022 and is now working towards becoming an ART accredited teacher.

The Broseley ringers are currently fundraising to rehang and augment our bells and Darren has been heavily involved with this. He has written letters to local businesses to ask for donations, dressed as Mrs Slocombe and as a pea pod for fancy-dress pub crawls, taken part in tabletop sales and held an information stall on our project at a local history society open day. He has even signed up to take part in Ironbridge Half Marathon in March to raise extra funds for our bells.

Darren is also secretary for the Bridgnorth District of the Hereford Guild, ensuring our District continues to be one of the most active in the Guild.

Sponsored by the Ancient Society of College Youths

Winner: Darren Swancott

Runners Up: Wendy Archibald, Tilly Cooper, Katie Havenhand and Cathy Neyland

Nominated by: Ginette Pardoe