Update 4th June 2020

 

Dear Members,
 
A couple of people have been in touch asking when can we please return to ringing. And yes, it is hard not to be impatient as we continue to miss out on our Exercise and the companionship of our ringing friends.
 
However, the Central Council say that their guidance of 11th May still stands, there is no sign of ringing yet and we will have to contain our impatience. 
 
It is important to remember that every time we ring it is an extremely public performance. With everyone doing their best to comply with social distancing, it would do our reputation irreparable harm if people out in the street knew that a group of ringers were up in the tower close together, as we have to be when we ring.
 
However, it is also important that tower maintenance isn't neglected. I strongly recommend that tower captains read the CC guidelines on tower maintenance, and I've added a summary of them to this Website page.
 
As we continue to wait, let us pray that the Lord God who has been with our forebears throughout the ages, including at times of great uncertainty and danger, will give us patience and wisdom now too.
 
Julia Lysaght  
IACR President 
4th June 2020
 
 

The following is an abridged version of the current Central Council tower maintenance guidelines:

When we ring again – preliminary preparations

The time is going to come when we will be able to ring bells again. There is no sign of it yet, and the Central Council guidance of 11th May still stands. However, is it worth considering what checks we might do before even ringing a single bell.

What to do as we prepare to ring again

First, it must be remembered that the majority of bells are the property of the church, so the Tower Captain should confirm with the incumbent that they agree to ringing recommencing.

In addition, in most areas people in the vicinity of the tower have become accustomed to the unusual quiet – the bells have not been rung, many church chiming clocks have stopped, and traffic, aircraft, building and industry noises have all reduced markedly. This is a good opportunity to alert neighbours through the local media.  

We strongly advise that the conditions in every tower be checked. This includes those towers where there are few or no ringers, since for these towers the correspondent may just be a key-holder and may not be aware that checks should be undertaken or what to look for. We need to avoid the risk that they could let ringers into a tower many weeks or months after we start to ring again, without any checks being done.

Why are we advising that these checks are done, when no one will have been in the church or tower? Even though this should have been the case, no one will have been aware of what may have occurred – for example:

  1. The louvres and bird netting may have been dislodged so that birds have entered the tower and built up what can become very large piles of twigs! (see The Ringing World, issue 5631, March 2019)
  2. Somebody may have entered the tower for some reason, legitimate or otherwise, and left something or removed something such that the conditions in the tower are no longer safe.
  3. Something may have broken or become dislodged during the period since the tower was last visited and could now be in a dangerous state.
  4. If the bells were left mouth up, then something may have fallen into a bell, for example rainwater. (IMPORTANT – checks in the bell chamber with bells up will only be feasible in towers where it is safe to move around without any risk of injury while the bells are up.)

 

Update 10th April 2020

First, let me wish all our members good health and safety during the Covid-19 emergency.

Amid the disruption to our lives caused by this virus, people may have been wondering what will happen about the district and association competitions and AGMs that usually take place at this time of year but had to be postponed. We very much hope it is just that - postponed, not cancelled.

Consultation with district and association officers has come up with a suggestion to hold the Association AGM and Murphy Cup on Saturday 21st November, that being the third Saturday of the month. A venue will be fixed by the Ringing Master in due course. If the Covid-19 virus runs a similar course to most viruses, it could be possible to resume normal activities by the summer, in which case a November date would give the three districts plenty of time in which to choose dates for their own AGMs and striking competitions. In a worst-case scenario we could abandon everything for 2020, but I hope it won't come to that.

Meanwhile, stay safe, maybe do a bit of ringing homework during the lockdown, and look forward to better times.

Julia Lysaght

President, IACR

6th April 2020

 

Update from the IACR President

The Ringing World has published the following Central Council message on Bellboard:

The UK government has advised against all unnecessary social contact with immediate effect. The Prime Minister advised in a press conference of 16th March that now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

The Central Council has released a statement in response to the UK government. They advise that If you haven't already decided to cancel ringing activities, it seems that now is the time to do so. The Ringing World agrees with this statement. It is hard to interpret the government's guidance in any way other than that all planned ringing activities in the UK should now cease.

In my opinion it would make sense for towers in the Irish Republic to adopt a similar stance.

Julia Lysaght

Thursday 19th March 2020

 
 
A message from the IACR President
 
Dear fellow members,
 
These are difficult times, with Coronavirus affecting every aspect of our lives, and of course this includes ringing. Some towers have already announced that there will be no ringing until further notice, and church authorities are cancelling or curtailing many services.  In these circumstances I feel that our parishioners will understand if we do not call the faithful to worship as we would normally do. Let us all use our common sense, and pray that we stay well and that the epidemic will soon be over
 
Julia Lysaght
IACR President 
Sunday 15th March 2020
 

As the COVID-19 situation changes daily, many ringing events may be called off. Please check with the tower concerned before travelling.

District secretaries and Tower Secretaires are asked to let Peter McBride or Andrew White know of any cancellations.