Mid Devon Branch Tower Talk- lockdown edition May 2020


Zoom meetings
Those of us who thought that zoom was what fast cars or jet planes did have had a steep learning curve!! I am sure you are aware that ZOOM is a way of meeting remotely via your computer or phone. Obviously, over the last few weeks meeting remotely has grown dramatically in importance.

At an early stage, the Guild realised the importance of keeping in touch with members during this period when we cannot meet in the normal way. Zoom has various levels of usage and to use it for any length of time requires a paid subscription. The Guild has taken out one of these and is able to "host" meetings of members.

Virtual Pub sessions
The Guild hosts a session each Monday evening – You should have had an invitation via our mid Devon List. So far these have included Pub quizzes and a talk on Italian ringing. They are a good way of keeping in touch – do consider trying one. There have been other themed meetings including training for methods on the "Yellow Pathway". Pathways were set up by the Ringing World as a suggestion of ways that ringers can plan their progress during this year – quite difficult at present!!!

Mid-Devon Branch Zoom meetings
Zoom Pub Quiz 9th April
Our first branch quiz was hosted by our secretary, Nigel Birt. Five rounds of questions had us scratching our heads a little! These rounds included ones on General Knowledge, a ringing round and one when we had to take an imaginary journey round our branch and work out how far we would need to travel.

There was much hilarity and no pressure to tell the others how well (or badly!!) we had done in each round. Thankyou to Nigel and Debbie for hosting us and coming up with some great questions.

Zoom Pub Quiz 23rd April
After our first quiz Nigel asked if someone else would offer to host the next one and the Mansley household offered to have a go. Again, five rounds were on offer but the total number of points available should have been 84!!

Question master duties were shared between Martin and Wenna. We should have been doing alternate rounds but Martin discovered that it is far harder to run a quiz than to organise a ringing practice and Wenna had to take over for the final round when he gave away the answer to the first question!! Rounds included guessing the colour missing from book titles, "fours" – for example, "give the names of the four Beatles" and Guess the country when given its national flower. We must apologise profusely to Andrew. Sadly his attempt to score at least one point by giving the answer "Graham" to almost every question failed completely as it was not the answer to any of them!
From that we are sure you can tell that it was again very light-hearted and another pleasant evening.

WhatsApp groups
This crisis has seen a massive rise in groups using WhatsApp to keep in touch. The ability to pass on photographs and other information really helps us to communicate easily.

Teignmouth Group
Thanks to Julia Brett for –
The Teignmouth Band of Ringers keep in touch daily, if not hourly via WhatsApp. We send lots of funny memes to keep our spirits up. We also telephone each other. The band does a lot to support key workers and those working at home within our band. This is much appreciated!
A photo at https://photos.app.goo.gl/iqXYL1rqG1fBh2Em8 

St Marychurch Group

One of the by-products of this crisis is the way we have learned so much about the other interests and skills of our ringers, outside our ringing activities. The St Marychurch group has had many examples of this – Wendy has shown examples of her craft work from lace making and painting to very elaborate quilts. We have seen a very complicated jigsaw done by Cath and her mum and shared several recipes including Parkin (Hilary) and Porridge Bread (Janet). Not to be out done the men have also been busy and Mike has been cultivating a wide variety of vegetables for the Tompsett household to look forward to later in the year and Martin has been producing a variety of woodwork in his workshop. Just a few examples of our daily chats.

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Bob Crowley's CD / Download
You should have seen Bob's recent posting about the CD he has produced in memory of his wife, Julie. It is being sold to support the Alzheimer society, so a very worthy cause. More details on his website http://carecomfortcompassion.org 

Handbell progress
We are delighted to see that Nigel and Debbie Birt continue to push the boundaries of their handbell ringing and have rung a quarter peal in three methods (Plain, Reverse and Double Bob) and have now completed the Canterbury group. We look forward to more reports very soon.
We are sure there is much more than this going on – please send us a report of your activities for the next edition.

Future events

Branch Zoom Meeting Thursday 7th May 8.05 pm (After the NHS applause)
Our next meeting will take the form of a presentation about the recent work done at Kingskerswell. John Rees was project manager of this great team effort so it will be fascinating to hear the "inside story" of this, the newest ring of 8 in Devon.

Whilst we cannot meet to actually ring these meetings are an important way of keeping in touch. Please join us if you possibly can. Sadly, Zoom had rather a bad "press" early on in the crisis, but it is now safe and trusted by a wide range of organisations including our government. If you are unsure how to get started please ask. Our secretary, Chairman and Ringing Master are using it regularly and we will willing give advice, if required.