Lesley Belcher takes over the reins at ART

At the Annual General Meeting today, Lesley Belcher succeeded Graham Nabb as the Chair of the Association of Ringing Teachers.

The ART constitution requires Management Committee Members to serve no longer than a maximum term of ten years, in order that fresh people with new ideas come in, ensuring that ART continues to be an energetic, creative and imaginative organisation.

Graham has been closely involved with ART, even before it was formally established in March 2012. Taking over as Chair from Pip Penney in 2016, Graham has seen the Association continue to flourish, with more day courses than ever being delivered last year, as well as exponential growth in the use of Learning the Ropes. He has been instrumental in developing new products and workshops.

ART also thrives because it has a growing and large number of volunteers, each playing their own small part. Although he has stepped down as Chair, we are sure that Graham will continue to play a significant part in the further development of ART, not only as an active Tutor, but also offering advice and support to the next generation of Committee members and Officers.

… All I can say is that without Graham and his professional approach ART would not be where it is today. The two of us working together were by far stronger than either of us working separately. In the early days we had lots of arguments [good hearted ones] because I wanted to approach things from winning over "hearts and minds" After one committee meeting Les Boyce said to me "Well you two didn't actually come to blows then!" Pip Penney
Graham, thanks for all you have done. It has been great taking ART, from its beginnings to the organisation it is today. Some things we agreed on, others we argued about (politely.) I have enjoyed deciphering some of your emails as I expect you have mine. With everyone’s help we have built a thriving Association which is meeting the needs of the grass roots ringers, teachers and learners, and that is what matters. Frank Seabright

Speaking at today’s AGM Lesley explained that although Graham was a hard act to follow, she will focus on steering ART through the next stage of its development. There are still hearts and minds to be won over, but there is a lot of enthusiasm at grass roots level. By tapping into this and working in partnership with other ringing societies and organisations, ART will play its part in securing a very bright future for the exercise.

At a local level, the numbers of ART Members is steadily increasing. We are seeing the formation of informal networks; running group teaching sessions and experimenting with other exciting initiatives. It is so pleasing to see a growing number of Hubs with non-ART teachers and ART Members working alongside each other. A great way to share good practice between teachers, which also enables many more people to see what ART is really about.

Finally, we recognise that ART is not perfect – it never will be – but we will continuously strive to learn lessons from our experiences and improve. Our mission is to improve the learning experience of all ringers – Graham and Pip have worked hard to deliver this, but we still have a long way to go!

» Find out more about the ART Management Committee