ART helps novice ringers to create new band

An interview with Tim Sunter

In this inspiring show, podcast host Cathy Booth meets Tim Sunter and hears about his amazing seven-year ringing journey from learner to teacher and Association of Ringing Teachers committee member.

Who could have imagined that a thought-proving tweet in the middle of a field could have such a domino effect, propelling Tim on a path to both individual fulfilment and a new way to reach out to his local community. But such is the power of bell ringing.

Tim shares the deep satisfaction that ringing can bring, both from the sense of achievement of learning to ring and bringing a tower back to life, to introducing local schoolchildren to the joy of bells and encouraging the local community to celebrate its heritage.

Tim’s enthusiasm is clearly infectious and no doubt this podcast will set off yet another exciting chain of events and ringing adventures for him, and possibly for you.

About Tim Sunter

Jen and Tim Sunter after receiving their LtR Level 2 certificates taken at Handsworth Tower

Tim has spent most of his career in education as a secondary and Further Education maths lecturer. He spent 21 years as an elected councillor on Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, including five as leader. Tim has served on the governing bodies of several colleges, Dudley Training and Enterprise Council and the Black Country Learning and Skills Council. He has a masters degree in Education Management and Leadership and has been a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham.

Graduates of BSoBR after ringing their first quarter together in 2019 – just before lockdown

In 2014 Tim responded to a tweet commenting on the lack of ringing at his local tower, St Michael’s and All Angels, Brierley Hill and signed up to the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing. He graduated with his Learning the Ropes level 5 certificate in 2017 – shortly after achieving, with his wife Jenny, the goal of restarting ringing at Brierley Hill. Tim went on to complete his Module 1 and Module 2 training and is now working hard on developing the local band. He is also on the ART management committee.

Top 5 takeaways

  • Check out the wide range of online ringing courses at
  • Why not get involved in Heritage Open Days to both recruit new ringers and engage with the wider community
  • Thinking of ways to get your local schoolchildren interested in ringing? Dust off your set of handbells and get in touch with your local school and suggest they make music with them
  • Why stop at learning to ring? Why not learn to teach bell ringing and share your hobby with others
  • Close to Birmingham? Take a look at what’s on offer at the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing


Click here for a transcript of this episode.

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