Tom has delivered a series of online presentations, initially to the Lewisham District of the KCACR and then the whole KCACR and the MCALDG. These were recorded and uploaded to YouTube for national and international viewing. The sessions covered a wide range of topics including listening skills, how methods work, conducting skills, arranging outings and judging striking contests as well as an introduction to the Ringing Room platform and an introduction to ringing handbells.
Tom started these presentations in April when ringing was curtailed in lockdown. Initially the presentations were weekly and then monthly when some of us were able to take up some ringing again, then a few more as tower bell ringing ceased. Tom has delivered all the presentations on his own and has given links to the various forums he has researched. He enlisted a number of helpers for a practical handbell session where we were able to split into breakout groups to ring.
Ringers of all ages from 9 to 80+ years have been invited and encouraged to attend. I know that several of Kent’s Young and “MINI-” Ringers have attended various sessions including the practical handbell ringing session where they were able to practise in Ringing Room and Zoom breakout rooms.
He has made a big effort to keep our interest in a wide range of ringing activities during lockdown; he has spent a considerable amount of time preparing, and delivering, professional presentations, and making them appeal to a wide audience. He has made a large contribution to retaining the interest ringers locally and farther afield, keeping us in touch witha high standard of ringing which will stand us in good stead for returning to our towers. He has made the presentations available to anyone via YouTube and has emailed links to his various research forums following the presentations.
Tom has also made a big contribution to handbell ringing during lockdown; as well as ringing with his own “peer group” he has been mentoring and encouraging younger ringers in Kent. He has enabled their ringing of quarter peals and peals in a number of fields and assorted other outside locations. Amber, particularly went from ringing a peal of Plain Bot Minor on June 19th to peals of spliced Royal and Kent TB Major in October (see BellBoard for details of 20 peals and quarter peals). His encouragement was a contributory factor in young ringers going on to tutor other novice handbell ringers and enable further quarter peal and peal ringing, thus furthering their own ringing knowledge and interest.
A number of us have been given the opportunity to discover new knowledge in a variety of ringing matters and activities which we will be able to put to good use once back to ringing. People who had never thought about arranging an outing or judging a striking contest have been given the wherewithal to do so and can easily find the YouTube presentations to reinforce their knowledge. Many of us have made good progress in ringing handbells in Ringing Room and some (particularly young ringers) have had the opportunity to make substantial progression ringing actual handbells! We applaud their progress and Tom’s encouragement in this.