When "A Ringer's Guide to Learning the Ropes" was launched in January this year, none of us would have predicted that we'd have sold our 1000th copy in September. The Merchandising Team tell us we've now sold 1100 copies and the bundle with "A Teacher's Guide to Learning the Ropes" is proving very popular.
The bell ringers at St Peter's, Ashburnham are a new band in Sussex, formed in 2014. Five of the current band of eleven ringers, including the Tower Captain - Matthew Jones, started ringing at that time under the tutelage of experienced ringer - Alan Collings. With help from the SCACR Ringing Centre at Hailsham and ongoing support from a few ringers from other towers the band continues to thrive and to focus on training new ringers themselves. With other new people joining the band with no prior ringing experience, it now comprises 11 ringers. Three of these are recent new recruits, currently learning bell handling and foundation skills.
Matthew, who leads the teaching of new ringers, along with his father, Martin Jones, is keen to use the best possible teaching methods to develop the band. "I'm always looking for new ways to communicate the concepts and skills found in bell ringing" says Matthew, who runs two weekly practices at the tower. One of the practices is run using a simulator which allows learners to ring with life-like virtual bell ringers projected on a big screen. “The simulator is one example of this.” explains Martin. “It gives us access to a more advanced ‘virtual band’ and even access to more bells, than we physically have in the tower. The only trouble is, they’re never wrong!” jokes Martin.
It was their search for new and improved training materials and methods that brought Matthew and Martin to the ART website and the online shop "We've found the latest teaching materials supplied by ART to be of high quality and very useful for teacher and students alike.” comments Matthew, “We’ve recently ordered the Raising and Lowering DVD, as well as copies of the recently released ‘Teachers Guide ’ and the ‘Ringers Guide to Learning the Ropes’ and they’ve all proved very useful. The online shop makes it easy to order training materials, something I’m grateful for as time is always short. We were surprised and pleased to have placed the 1000th order and to receive a special copy of 'A Ringer's Guide to Learning the Ropes' signed by Pip Penny. This special edition will be added to our Tower Library for the benefit of many ringers to come!”
Tower Captain, Ashburnham, Sussex