Empowering Leaders: Insights from Linda Garton on Leading in the World of Bell Ringing


In the world of bell ringing, strong leadership is vital to the success and growth of ringing associations. Linda Garton, a seasoned leader and currently serving as the president of the Bedfordshire Association, shares her journey and insights on leadership in this engrossing podcast interview. From her experiences as the master of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths to her efforts in rejuvenating the Bedfordshire Association, Linda provides valuable lessons for aspiring leaders and enthusiasts alike. Let's dive into Linda's invaluable wisdom in leading in the world of bell ringing.

Inspiration and Learning from Mentors:

One of the most common threads we find in successful leaders is the presence of inspiring mentors who guide and motivate them. For Linda, her inspiration came from watching fellow women ringers like Alison Surry and Stephanie Pattendon. Linda emphasises the importance of having role models who break down glass ceilings and believe in one's potential. By watching and learning from these mentors, Linda gained the confidence to push beyond her self-perceived limitations.

Creating Opportunities for Growth:

Linda's leadership journey has been marked by a strong focus on creating opportunities for growth, both for herself and others. During her tenure as the master of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths, Linda worked towards involving members from all over the country and giving them opportunities they might not find locally. She organised meetings, encouraged participation, and ensured that young ringers had a platform to showcase their talents. Linda's efforts resulted in a vibrant and inclusive community, fostering growth and inspiring future leaders.

Engaging and Motivating Ringers:

One of Linda's key achievements as the president of the Bedfordshire Association is the development of the "First in February" initiative. This groundbreaking program aims to provide a target for ringers to strive towards and achieve their firsts, whether it be ringing a quarter peal, learning a new method, or calling call changes. By engaging experienced ringers and mentors, the initiative ensures that everyone, regardless of their skills, can participate and celebrate their milestones. Linda emphasises the importance of setting targets and creating a supportive environment that fosters enthusiasm and boosts confidence.

Leading with Vision and Adaptability:

As with any successful leader, Linda understands the importance of having a clear vision and adapting to changing circumstances. The lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic brought unique challenges but also provided an opportunity for the Bedfordshire Association to assess and redefine its objectives. Linda led the association through workshops, surveys, and action planning sessions to ensure that it emerged stronger and more resilient. By embracing change and working towards a common goal, a modern and vibrant association was envisioned.


Linda Garton's journey as a leader in the world of bell ringing is an inspiration to all. Her experiences highlight the significance of having mentors, creating opportunities for growth, and engaging and motivating ringers. Linda's leadership in developing the "First in February" initiative demonstrates her commitment to inclusivity and fostering a supportive community. Aspiring leaders can learn from Linda's vision, adaptability, and passion for making a positive impact. By following in Linda's footsteps, bell-ringing associations can thrive and continue to inspire generations of ringers.

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Cathy Booth
Cathy Booth
Podcast Host
Linda Garton
Linda Garton
President of the Bedfordshire Association in 2023