Coventry District Secretary’s Report 2017

The members of the district were greatly saddened at the loss of Margaret Pratt towards the beginning of the year. Margaret had made a great contribution to ringing in the Coventry District, spanning over 5 decades. She was a very loyal member of the Sunday service bands where she lived; in the early days at Stoke St Michael’s, then for more than 50 years at Bulkington and additionally at Coventry Cathedral in recent years. However, Margaret’s greatest contribution to ringing was her never ending support and encouragement for Geoff’s ringing exploits and her friendship to all ringers she met. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

We were joined by a few visitors for ringing at Walsgrave and Stoke on the District AGM day in February. Just 14 ringers, representing 8 towers stayed to enjoy a sumptuous tea and the meeting which followed. In the absence of any other nominations all the officers were re-elected en bloc: Chairman and Guild Committee Rep, Chris Worley; District Secretary, Janice Sheasby; Subscription Secretary, Gerald Trevor; Ringing Master, Ray Sheasby; Committee Member, Rodney Swallow. 5 new members were elected to the Guild during the meeting.

The Coventry District entered 3 teams in the 6-bell Striking Competition, which they hosted at Berkswell in March. The home team provided a wonderful tea and also managed to win the Call Change Section.

In May, Leslie Lunn enjoyed the celebration organised by the Berkswell ringers for his achievement in being the oldest Sunday service ringer in the Coventry Guild at the age of 94.

The Lichfield Diocesan Mobile Belfry came to the Kenilworth Show in June. Members of the district gave up many hours to help to erect and dismantle it and also to man it whilst the show was open.

The District Outing in September visited some interesting churches in Northamptonshire. Long Buckby, Spratton and Brixworth all had several 17th century bells and Brixworth is the largest surviving Anglo Saxon Church in the country. Sufficient ringers attended to allow ringing ranging from rounds to surprise major, and everything in between, despite the clash with numerous weddings which required bells.

The Coventry District Quarter Peal Week was scheduled to take place between 11th and 18th November so when we realised that the Queen and Prince Phillip would be celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary 2 days later it was decided to extend it to a Quarter Peal Fortnight, finishing on 26th November. My sincere thanks go to everyone who participated in this very successful venture as an organiser, a conductor or a member of the band. Fifty-four ringers from the Coventry District participated in one or more of the 29 quarters rung. Many ringers achieved a personal milestone ranging from 1st quarter peal to 1st of Superlative Surprise Major. The great thing about these weeks is the vast range of ringing experience and abilities in the participants. It is always good to see new ringers scoring their first quarter peal but they wouldn’t be able to achieve this without the help of many ringers who rang their first quarter more decades ago than they care to remember!

Monthly practices on 6, 8 and 10 bells have continued throughout the year.

Janice Sheasby – Coventry District Secretary