Ringing career so far

I was taught to ring by a woman in a fairly well balanced tower. The male tower captain encouraged others to conduct, I was able to ring every bell in the tower (as a young teenager) and encouraged to learn new methods, etc. I even went to the pub after practice and thoroughly enjoyed being treated ‘like an adult’ (in a responsible way).

I stopped ringing for about fifteen years (didn’t find a place at University) and then started again in middle age (young in bellringing terms!). This time in a tower with a female tower captain and a good balanced band but two men who did a lot of the conducting. Nevertheless I have learnt conducting with encouragement to join courses and then practice in the tower.

I still regularly ring the heavier bells. I get the occasional comment that it is impressive when I ring a back bell, often from older women, but have never felt excluded from any ringing.

The area where I still see the gender bias is in organisation. I quickly became an assistant district secretary because it was spotted that I helped with refreshments, tidying up, etc at events and was willing to help organise things. It is still women who do 80% of the teas and coffees, organise the raffle, contribute to ringing teas, deliver newsletters, etc. Having said that we have a female president and a female district ringing master so there are visible role models for new ringers within the Association.