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'Ringers of the Year' finally awarded

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Nov, 2020 11:29 PM

The much-delayed presentations of the Salisbury Guild Ringer of the Year Awards for 2019 were made on 3rd November 2020.

'Ringers of the Year' finally awarded

Julia Russell, second left

Guild Master Robert Wellen explains:

"The winners were announced earlier this year and it had been hoped that presentations might have been possible at resumed branch meetings, but alas that has not been possible.

"The winner of the Adult Award was Julia Russell, the tower captain at West Lavington, in the Devizes Branch and the winner of the Junior Award was Ben, who rings at Heddington, in the Calne Branch.

"The Guild President (Judith Williamson), the Guild Master (Robert Wellen) and the Guild Education Officer (David Hacker) visited a ‘well ventilated’ Heddington churchyard to make the presentations, outside and ‘socially distanced’ – it could only happen this year.

'Ringers of the Year' finally awarded- Jeroen accepts for Ben


"We had planned to do this on the following Saturday with Ben present, but the impending second lockdown put paid to that, so unfortunately Ben was not present as it was a school day. His Award was accepted on his behalf by Jeroen, ‘the proud Dad’ and also a ringer at Heddington, and passed on to a delighted Ben that evening.

'Ringers of the Year' finally awarded- Jeroen and Ben

"Well done Julia and Ben!"

Julia learnt to ring at West Lavington in 2009, regularly attending practices, meetings and outings. She became Branch Publicity Officer in 2012 and held the post until 2018, becoming Tower Captain at her home tower of West Lavington in March 2016 and Branch Training Officer in 2017. She has been assessed and accredited as a Module 1 teacher by teaching learners in her home tower.

Robert says:

"Julia rang her first peal in 2019 in her home tower and her determination to progress has seen her attending a number of residential courses to advance her ringing. Every branch needs a good administrator and Julia fits the bill perfectly. Since 2018 she has been Secretary of the Devizes Branch and is also Secretary of the Edington Ringing Centre Committee."

Ben started on his ringing journey at Heddington on 26th July 2017, shortly after his 11th birthday, and a year later was calling changes as part of the local band. One of Ben’s aims was to ring for the Centenary of the Armistice, but he broke his wrist a couple of weeks before the event and his arm was in plaster. Nevertheless, Ben rang for the occasion, with help, still in plaster.

Robert says:

"Ben was a great contributor to the band’s recent achievements as his enthusiasm is infectious. Ben also completed the Bronze '50 things' award during 2019. Ben has become a regular attendee at the Devizes/ Calne Branch young ringers practices and has joined events with other young ringers in the Guild.

"When the Tower Captain at Heddington is absent Ben is always keen to run the practices, which he does eagerly and with confidence. Ben is full of energy and has shown great keenness to progress with his ringing, he is an excellent team member and has shown good skills in leadership which makes him an example to other ringers, both young and not so young. He is keen to compete in the RWNYC and would most certainly have been at York this summer."

Picture 1 – Presentation to Julia, Adult Award Winner. Left to right: Guild Master Robert Wellen, Julia Russell, Guild President Judith Williamson, , Guild Education Officer David Hacker.
Picture 2 – Presentation of Junior Award to Ben: Guild President Judith Williamson with Jeroen, accepting on behalf of Ben.
Picture 3 – Ben receives his Award in person in the Heddington ringing chamber from his Dad Jeroen.

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