Targeted Session at St Patrick’s, Bampton

St Patrick’s Bampton have a great band of ringers at varying levels of experience.   Although not all felt able to return after COVID for various reasons, over the last 8 months we gained 2 enthusiastic new members to our band who are keen to learn. I had been looking at how best to bring our band onto a more level ringing ‘platform’ in order to expand our repertoire going forward.  Targeted Sessions is something I have had in mind for some time now but I did not have the availability to focus on until this year.
The aim of a Targeted Session is to give dedicated time for a ringer (or ringers) to learn a method of choice.  The ringer(s) study a method in advance of a Session in order to maximise ‘hands on ropes’ time during the Session.  For a Targeted Session to be successful it is essential to have identified a solid band of enthusiastic ringers to help consolidate the learning.
I received an email earlier in the year from Ruth Gilbert, Guild Master and Eastern Branch Ringing Offer, asking Towers within the Guild to let her know what they might need in terms of training for ringers.  I contacted Ruth explaining I had two ringers, Angela and David, ready for a Targeted Session to reinforce Plain Hunting in practice.  Both ringers understood the theory around counting places and ropesight and were ready for a Targeted Session with enough solid ringers around them to put the theory into practice.
I was delighted when Ruth emailed me back straight away   “….this is exactly the sort of request that I was hoping for that we can try to facilitate. …….My experience is that it doesn’t take people long to get going in a method if they have done their homework and have a good band around them. “ 
Our first Targeted 1.5 hour Session was set for 1st June at our home tower of St Patrick’s Bampton.   Ruth arrived on the due date with four enthusiastic ringers (Gillian Powell, Charles Radcliffe, Sue Smith and Sue Thomas), all of whom I had met and rung with before.  They were all very supportive, gave constructive feedback, made Angela and David feel relaxed and most important of all, they made the whole session great fun.  They were happy to give the time needed to consolidate Plain Hunting.  It should be noted that because Angela and David had spent time on the theory prior to the Targeted Session, it enabled them to focus more on putting the theory into practice with a solid band around them.  This was a great first Targeted Session for both and as the session gathered pace you could see their excitement (and ours) as they started to develop through counting places and ropesight.  They made excellent progress and are keen for more Targeted Sessions going forward.
A great success but this type of Targeted Session would not have been possible without the generous time volunteered by Ruth, Gillian, Charles, Sue Smith and Sue Thomas, some of whom travelled quite a distance.  So a huge thank you to them all plus a special extra thank you to Ruth for listening and responding so quickly to my initial request.
Bridget Kelly, Tower Captain, St Patrick’s Bampton