Kilmood Church, Killinchy, Newtownards, Northern Ireland
For Don McLean over in Ireland, one of the joys of bell ringing is teaching others and delighting in their achievements. In this charming episode, Cathy Booth, podcast host, shines a light on Don’s motivation and his own considerable achievements, including masterminding the training of 17 new recruits at St Mary’s Kilmood on ‘The Peace Bells’.
Don is passionate about teaching and, as Cathy discovers, he has spent a great deal of time out and about supporting bell ringing teachers across Ireland. As Cathy and Don chat, we get a fantastic overview of the structure and culture of bell ringing over Ireland’s 37 towers.
And what does Don do when he is not teaching others to ring, organising training sessions, or working hard to get cancer patients the priority treatment they need? Well, he sits down in his garage with the doors open and the mini-ring in action, hoping to lure in new recruits. What about the neighbours? Well of course they would be most welcome to take a seat and join in!
The neighbours are not the only ones to be invited in. Just like towers around the world, Irish ringers would welcome you with open arms and gladly give you a rope. COVID can’t be over soon enough so that Don can get on with his latest ambitious training initiative and we can all book our ringing tour over to Ireland. Get your name down on the waiting list at Kilmood now!
Top 5 Takeaways
- Find out more about ringing in Ireland at http://bellringingireland.org
- Sometimes seeing is believing – a mini-ring is a great recruitment tool
- As well as a stream of new recruits you need to have the teachers in place – need support, then visit bellringing.org.
- When it’s time to look for new recruits, why not reach out to your church community? There may be someone secretly wanting to have a go
- Intensive training is a good way of keeping learners interested as they can quickly see the progress they are making
Special credit in this episode goes to Vaughan Jones for the violin music. For more details see Vaughan Jones from Manor House Music.
Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART). To find out more about learning to ring, learning to teach or other resources to support your ringing go to bellringing.org.