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As in all other corners of life, we are not immune to the effects of supply and demand. The demand is simple. It is our responsibility to ring the bells regularly for services, to as high a standard as possible. The supply, in an area of volatile population, is subject to fluctuations.
A decade ago, the happy coincidence of several experienced ringers coming to All Saints in a short time provided a firm core on which to build. The following years saw an increasingly active band with rising standards and new ringers trained. Now, in an equally short space of time, many of our number have left leaving us very thin on the ground. The supply is reduced, but the demand remains.
The most obvious way to acquire ringers is to train new ones. In all healthy bands this should be a regular process, and indeed, we currently have ringers in training. But training ringers is a long process and it is impossible to increase the supply over night.
There is another source of ringers, larger than you may imagine. Ringing is one of those activities which many people take up at some time and then for various reasons stop. There are probably more ex ringers walking around the land than there are ex most other things. It is hard to be exact, but as well as the 40,000 practising ringers today, there could be as many again, or more, trained ringers currently inactive.
Do you know one? If you do, we’d be interested to know. There must be many in a place like Wokingham. Perhaps you rang once yourself. Does the reason you gave up still apply? Do you need a stimulus to help you to take up the habit again? We would be happy to try to provide it. Why not come along one Monday evening and see whether the cobwebs will blow away, or give me a call on 785520.
John Harrison (Sep 1989)
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