Well, it’s happened.
Despite meticulous planning, lots of discussion, and some kind words from my friends, I found myself unaccountably nervous on May 7th as I contemplated the morning ahead.
In retrospect, perhaps agreeing to ring handbells in public was quite ambitious immediately prior to my election as Master of the Association, but there was something really special about ringing Royal with 3 past masters (David Sparling, Paul Cammiade and Brian Meads), one current master (John Harpole), and one master in waiting (me). We now have enough master and past masters to ring a 6 bell peal, but this is likely to be on tower bells, so watch this space.
There’s an unexpected advantage to the usual process in the election of master, when there is more than one candidate. In that circumstance, the candidates are asked to leave the room until nominations are complete. The unintended consequence is that they then don’t have to sit and squirm as more and more nice things are said about them. Carol Taylor was sitting next to me – I’m sure she was quite warm from all my blushes.
I really enjoyed all the afternoon ringing. Despite all my years ringing, I’ve never done a tower grabbing outing, so that was another new experience to add to the list. Plus I got to meet a whole lot of new ringers that I didn’t know before. Thank you to June and Andrew and all in the SW district for letting us into the towers and for providing the tea. I think those that attended really enjoyed themselves (lots of tenor grabbing going on from Josh Ashley and Michael Auker!).