The working group has completed it's task and submitted a report and recommendations to the Central Council for Church Bellringers.   This website is minimally maintained as an archive and a benchmark to measure future progress.


Assuming what I can and can't ring

Last year (2019), I was on holiday with my two girls and we went to a local practice night.  Along with another (male) visitor who
happened to also turn up, the four of us made up 8.  The local TC was an older man and he made no inquiries to our ability or find any background about us, however it was clear that all four of us were going to be an asset to the band that night.

The TC kept asking the male visitor to ring the tenor and call things.  After about an hour of this, he asked for PB6 and I took the tenor.  The TC said "Are you sure?", and I replied "I think I'll be fine". The tenor was about 11cwt.  He then asked the male visitor to look after it so I said "Why don't I look after this one?".  He looked at me in bewilderment and then looked at the male visitor who said "I think she'll be fine".

The issue here is the assumption that a male ringer is competent and a female one isn't.  My usefulness was not realised and there were unspoken restrictions automatically in place about my (and my daughters') contributions.

It was particularly heartbreaking because there was a local female learner in the tower, 30s probably, who was really keen and clearly had potential.  But he was constantly giving her messages of "don't ring that bell you won't be able to manage it", but not saying that to other locals.  Well of course she won't be able to manage it if she is not given the opportunity!