It has been quite a notable few weeks for our bellringers. You will remember from last month’s report that we entered two bands in the Maidstone District Striking Competitions at Ightham on 14th March, one in the method competition and the other in the called changes competition. We had won both these competitions for the past two years and the good news is that we won both again this year. This is believed to be the first time in the competition’s history that ringers from one church have won both competitions for three consecutive years. The following day Silke invited us to show the trophies to an appreciative congregation during morning service.
In common with most churches we did not ring our bells at all during Holy Week, but they rang out joyously again on Easter Day. The following day, on Easter Monday, we welcomed visiting ringers on their way to the Kent County Association’s AGM at Marden, which this year marked an important milestone for Staplehurst when our own Tower Captain, Daniel Brady, was elected County Chairman. This is the first time a Staplehurst ringer has ever achieved the highest office in Kent ringing and, at 26 years of age, Daniel is probably the youngest ever to chair the Association.
One of Daniel’s aims as chairman is to ensure that there are sufficient younger ringers coming through to replace those whose ringing days are over and, with this in mind, he arranged a special school holiday practice at our tower on the following Thursday. It was encouraging to see the progress of those young people who attended.
On Saturday 11th April we rang for the wedding of Alyson Mahoney and Michael Spicer. Then on the following Saturday, 18th April, our ringers attempted to ring a three hour peal. This was after the copy deadline and a report will appear in the June issue.
On Saturday 2nd May we will have a visiting band attempting a quarter-peal (45 minutes’ continuous ringing) between 11am and 12noon. Then on the following Friday evening, 8th May, we are hoping to attempt another quarter-peal to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE day.
In addition to the above we will of course be ringing for our regular Tuesday practice and the normal Sunday Services during May.