The Education Committee completed an action-packed year during 2015 with seven different courses. An evening on St. Clement’s Minor at Bishopstoke in February was followed by a full day on Plain Hunt and Hunting to Doubles Methods at St. Mary Bourne in March. Holy Week later in March saw a packed evening of Handbell Ringing at the newly-refurbished Winchester Learning Centre, followed by an afternoon of Basic Raising and Lowering at Bishopstoke in April. Surprise Minor started the autumn programme at Milford-on-Sea in October, with an evening on Double Court and Double Oxford at Bishopstoke later that month. The year concluded with the ever-popular Listening Skills Course at Lockerley in November, a diverse and lively day encompassing a number of different ringing activities and skills. It is very encouraging to the Education Committee to see students returning for different courses as their increasing experience and enthusiasm fuels their thirst for knowledge.

2016 will be just as busy, with seven courses already confirmed, starting on 20 February with the Introduction to Ringing on Higher Numbers which had to be postponed from 2015. We return to St. Mary Bourne on 19th March for Plain Hunt and Trebling to Doubles Methods, which we feel is such an important basis for so many other things. During Holy Week (on 22 March) there will be an evening at Bishopstoke to learn about simulators, what they can do and how they can be used to advantage, including some hands-on participation.

On 16 April we are offering a day at Kingsclere on Calling, partly for those who have never had the opportunity to call basic changes, and partly for those who want to progress to calling plain courses and simple touches of doubles methods. May 6 brings something very different: an evening at South Stoneham on the Hartley Twelve mini-ring which we believe may prove to be quite a challenge albeit great fun! The autumn programme starts on 15 October with Plain Bob Doubles and Minor at Hawkley, followed by Double Norwich at Bishop’s Waltham on 19 November.

Plans, as yet unconfirmed, are also being made for another Belfry Maintenance Course, and another evening on Basic Raising and Lowering - hopefully to be followed by Raising and Lowering in Peal in early 2017.

In addition, as the year progresses we hope to offer additional evenings or half-days on other subjects.

We do our best to offer as wide a programme as possible, but we welcome suggestions from ringers if there is something of particular interest.

Details are always given well in advance through the District Secretaries and are also published on the new Guild website.

ITTS, whilst not run by the Education Committee itself, comes under the general Education Committee the “umbrella” and plans have been made to run a Module 1 Day on Saturday 25 June, hopefully with a Module 2 Day at a later date to meet the need in 2016. The Education Committee considers it is absolutely essential to offer ringers the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of teaching throughout the Guild.

Financially the Education Committee is still in a very stable position, albeit our funds (as shown below) are slightly lower than last year. We are extremely grateful to the Guild for a grant of £500.00 towards the fees of Guild members wishing to join an ITTS or equivalent course; this, however, is totally separate from the Education Committee’s income and expenditure on courses run during the year which are detailed above. We strive to keep our costs down, but realistically we must pay our way.

This year we were greatly saddened by the death of Simon Lipscombe who joined the Education Committee at the Guild AGM in 2015, and whose ideas and enthusiasm will be missed by us all.

As always, we are enormously indebted to our dedicated and invaluable band of tutors and helpers at all levels without whom we simply could not offer courses at all, and for the generosity of towers who welcome us on Education Days. Thank you all very much!

Education Committee Accounts at 31/12/15
Balance b/f702.77Stationery, copying, telephone and postage4.64
Course fees 2015522.00Refreshments135.38
Course fees - advance for 201660.00Hire of Halls - balance for 2015164.00
Donations15.56Hire of Halls - payments for 201680.00
Security payments for 2016100.00
Tower Donations246.00
Balance c/f515.13


Christine Knights-Whittome