(What we did in 2020 and 2021)
Friends of St Lawrence Chobham Handbell Ringers will know that we, along with many other music groups, had to stop rehearsing together in the spring of 2020. For several months we simply shared news and music by email and phone, but in September 2020 we started to ring together again using the video-conferencing app “Zoom”. This was a difficult process because each of us had a different internet speed, and connected to Zoom using a different device, but it helped to forge a feeling that “We can do this together”.
Through the spring and summer of 2021 we continued to rehearse via Zoom, and here is a photo of us doing so.
Getting back to normal
Then, when the national situation improved in September 2021, we made the decision to rehears together once more, socially distanced, and with the appropriate precautions.
Sadly some of our more long-standing members decided that the two years had changed things so much that they would have to take a break or retire permanently from the team – in particular, Jacqueline, Maureen, Meg, Angela and Den. We will miss them very much and thank them for all they have done for the team over many years.
We were lucky to be able to welcome several new ringers to our team when we started to practice “in real-life” and they are already making themselves very much at home and contributing wonderfully to our music-making.
We hoped that we would be able to ring in Church during the Christmas season and we did – thanks to Sandra Rigby Barrett and Reverend Dan for inviting us to take part in the Advent Service. This was a great opportunity for our new members to ring in public with us for the first time, and they and the whole team did very well. We are currently preparing for the Good Friday evening service in which we will play.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the team members and to our friends and relatives who have sometimes stepped in at short notice when team members are ill or otherwise unable to attend. We are all committed to playing at a very high level once more, and we hope that you might be able to attend our summer concert – planned for July. Watch this space for details.
Tim Willetts | March 2022