Chair's Chat June/July 2021
I’ll start with an apology. This should have been the June newsletter,
and Valerie sent it to me towards the end of June, but then the end
of term happened! For anyone who is or knows any teachers at the
moment, you will know exactly what this means! Needless to say, I now
have brain space to actually do things again now – hence the
newsletter becoming a June/July edition.
As you will see, there are not many pages in this newsletter, as we
have received no articles or photos from anyone! I’m hoping that
some of you are managing to get back to ringing – there are plenty of
photos of teams across the country getting together in small groups in
gardens (weather permitting!) to ring again.
I also know that some of you have been attending some of the
National Virtual events – maybe you could give us a short write up
from something you have been doing online?
My school team has been back up and running since just before Easter
– although with some restrictions due to the “bubble” system which
schools have had to work with this year. They were able to learn and
record a short arrangement of Cader Idris, a Welsh folk song, for our
summer showcase recording. It was always touch and go as to whether
we would be up to performance standard, but when it came to their
recording time, they managed to pull off their best performance of
The Wandle Ringers have also started back rehearsing. We started
with a meeting to discuss whether we wanted to and the health and
safety measures we would need to go through each time, but
unanimously agreed that we would like to re-start and go through the
summer with whoever is available each week.
We thought it might be useful to share how we are able to rehearse,
with social distancing and not sharing anything so the others kindly
agreed to me taking some photos at our last rehearsal.
You can see that we are using the big hall at Sanderstead so that we
have plenty of space. The bell cases and other equipment is all placed
in the middle, and we wear masks and gloves while moving around the
hall. We only touch our own bells and we each have a 3ft foam and a
riser (some ringers bring their own, so we have enough).
Once we have everything, we can then take our masks off if we want
As we have some duplicated bells in the middle 2 octaves, we have 4
rows of tables, so the bass bells are behind the tenors, but with a 2m
gap between the tables. The tables and chairs are all set up by the
caretaker, who then cleans everything down when setting up for the
All the windows and doors (except the fire doors!) are open and we all
sign in. And – yes – those are chocolates on the tables – Wandle does
not function without at least one chocolate break per rehearsal!
And you can play spot the empty space where all my bells are!
Libby asked me to share the following (which is echoed by the entire
"It was lovely to return to rehearsals after a gap of 15 months. Everything
ran smoothly because of all the preparations Sandra and Martin had
made. Collating the music so that we all had our own copies, spacing us
out to comply with Covid rules, and sorting out the bells must have been a
logistical nightmare. The end result was a thoroughly enjoyable evening
where we could make music together."
Here's hoping lots more teams are starting back now or in September.
Please do send us your ‘first rehearsal’ photos – it would be fantastic
to put a large photo spread into the next newsletter.
Yours, Helen HELENLSECKER@GMAIL.COM