We taught lions, tigers, wolves, bees…and a policeman!

Policeman Children learning

Taking the Charmborough Ring to the Bermondsey Street Festival on Saturday was always going to be an interesting experience. The ring captured the imagination of the public, especially the younger members of the local community. Over the space of four hours a steady stream of people came forward. We were able to give each of them a few backstrokes and then they were able to ring the backstrokes in rounds, with experienced ringers ringing the other bells. One young person described the experience as ‘awesome’ and from the smiles on faces, many of whom had visited the face painting stand earlier, many others felt the same too!

Our colourful ‘I rang the bells today’ stickers with the Learning the Ropes logo also proved very popular, and we know that we must have given at least 52 people a go during the course of the afternoon.

We also made some useful contacts in the local community, including the events manager from Southwark Council, who would like us to come to other events next year, and a person from the Riverside Parents Association.

Twelve people have said that they would like to find out more and left their e-mail addresses, and we will be following this up by making contact with them again over the next few days. They have been invited along to Tuesday’s practice for a taster lesson on the dumb-bell and if they are interested the plan is to arrange a course of six intensive ‘one to one’ lessons for each of them over the next fortnight. By the end they should be able to handle a bell on their own, and then join in with the main practice.

If we have a lot of young ringers, we may also arrange some sessions earlier on Tuesday evenings, before the main practice, and incorporate handbells and belleplates to help retain their interest.I rang the bells today square