The day began at Scarning, where there was open ringing from 14.30 until 16.00. In spite of fears that many would go straight to Dereham later in the afternoon the majority of the attendees did come first to Scarning to ring. There were around twenty people present, ranging in ability from relative beginners through to some who are as skilled as any in the county. For us Scarning ringers it was good to hear some methods that are not often rung on our bells, including Grandsire, Little Bob and Plain Bob Minor. There was also plenty of opportunity for ringing rounds and call changes and everyone who wanted to, had their turn.
The afternoon ringing was followed by the traditional ringers’ service, at St. Nicholas and an excellent tea at Church House, masterminded by Celia and Tricia.
The AGM followed on after the tea. Official minutes of the meeting will be issued in due course but an unofficial summary is as follows:
Election of officers: Chair Celia Barker Secretary Bridget Yates Subscriptions secretary Chris Simpson Standing committee representatives Celia Barker and Rosemary Ditchman Branch committee Linda Ballard and Tim Farnham Paul Cattermole Fund representative Helen Lewis Great Western editor Tim Farnham
It was noted that three crucial posts, namely Ringing Master, Technical Advisor and Education Officer remained unfilled. There was some disquiet about this and the committee was asked to attempt to find suitable people to take up these important roles.
There was a valuable discussion about the future direction of the Western Branch, and of the NDA generally, ranging from the format of meetings, to the problem of getting ringers involved in those meetings, striking competitions and other activities. It is clear that the Western Branch is struggling to maintain the active enthusiasm of its members and that the problems it faces are apparent at county level and indeed nationwide.
The AGM was followed by evening ringing at St. Nicholas, Dereham.