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Thank you to all who took the time and effort to respond to the Guild Review Questionnaire that was sent out at the end of 2012. A total of 80 members (12.3% of the membership) took part as individuals or in groups. All the comments received have been analysed and a summary made to enable the Working Groups to assimilate the data and use it in their ongoing review. A copy of the Analysis is shown below.

Many of the answers given were very extensive and covered many aspects of the question. Also the open nature of the questions led to a wide variety of terminology and description being used. In the Summary the answers have been classified and grouped by similarity and those shown as being typical of the range.

Alan Payne
9 April 2013

The total number of questionnaires returned was 68 (including some letters and other documents sent in lieu)

The total number of people who responded was 80 (includes 12 who were part of group)

This represents 12.31% of the membership (Membership was 650 persons for 2012 {575 adult, 60 junior, 15 honorary})

A total of 1059 answers / points were made
Note. Some answers fitted more than one classification e.g. in B1 many combined the reasons ID 1 & 2 and were "scored" in both. Some comments made on additional sheets attached and in 'F' were allocated to specific classified answers.

Each question has 5 classified answers and an 'Other'. Classified answers are groups / combinations of actual comments.

A1  If you are keen to develop your ringing skills, what support do you feel would be helpful to you?
12140Advanced / focused practices; On higher numbers/methods/ striking/quarter peal/conducting. Structured training courses
31733Regular visits of experienced ringers to help at practices / in different towers / with some theory
4612Ringing centres with good teachers available to all for all levels of ability. Electronic aids. Ringing apps for i-phone etc.
524Have a tower maintenance facility/ audit system
624Other Lack of available time

A2  If you are already, or would be willing to become more involved in aspects of ringing teaching,what support do you feel would be helpful to you?
41843ITTS 1 & 2, ART or similar: Course is good for giving confidence and direction/ Electronic teaching aids.
2921Participate in structured training courses. Tune training to individuals needs / abilities.
6614Other Lack of available time
3410Support from experienced ringers sympathetic to our abilities and needs. Coordination/availability of experienced helpers
537Local encouragement and supply of learners
125More experienced ringers willing to help, especially with learner bands on rounds/call changes/p.bob. ITTS without the mentoring and follow up.

A3  How could support be provided at tower, branch or guild level, or through informal groups of ringers working together?
12553Set up Guild / Branch Ringing Centres/ Courses/Practices/ Workshops (Targeted). On line help centre. Tower Mentors
21634Experienced ringers prepared to go out and help learner bands. More quarter peal groups and more inclusive.
449Create a willingness to accept help in towers where local teaching is poor. Motivate all "teachers" to learn how to teach.
312Require modern technology, simulators. Use simulator more
512Existing OK
6 0Other

B1  What is it that you enjoy about ringing and that keeps you actively involved?
24246The social side. Physical and mental exercise. Team working
13336Challenge of learning/ ringing new methods/quarter peals. Good striking/performance of band. Ring at different towers.
31415Service to the church. Helping other ringers
411Ringing peals
511Being part of a tradition
6 0Other

B2  How and at what age were you initially recruited into ringing?
32433Age 13 to 19 - Local recruiting campaign. To get Scout / Guide / D of E badge. Youth group
51622Age 50 & above - Invited by existing ringer. Returned on retirement after long absence. For the Millenium
21521Age 9 to 12 - With a friend. Family were ringers. Church family. School band. Follow on from Choir
41419Age 20 to 49 - Took son / daughter and stayed
134Family members already rung
6 0Other

B3  What recruitment / public awareness raising activities have you been directly in during the last two years? What did you learn that could be helpful in planning future activities?
23452Open tower days, Childrens services, Word of mouth, Village magazines. Should be some follow up. Make it "valuable".
1914School clubs / presentations /make it fun / use young teachers.
4812Local radio / press for special occasions. Good publicity and personal contacts essential
523Many retirees are looking for new hobby. Assign a mentor / buddy to help with retention

C1  What do you think of existing local arrangements in relating to ringing standards?
11831We do our best. Resented implication of question that "we are not good enough". How do we know if standard is low. Standard is not discussed / set.
41424Standard in my local area is poor / falling. Standards not being set or valued. Some ringers not interested in improving. Ringing up & down in peal not practiced.
31221Standard of striking is low; too much push on ringing fancy methods. Lower expectation when learning new method.
2916Should encourage ringers who want to progress to go out to other towers. Need more experienced ringers to help. Aiming high is commendable.
547Good standard important for service ringing and weddings

C2  What additional activities/structures/changes do you consider vital if ringing standards, particular striking, are set to improve?
22137Good leader who can....demonstrate / explain specific points calmly, encourage improvement, set improving standards.
11628Mutual support and practice. Structured practices. Ensure Sunday ringing produces best possible striking ( not a practice)
41119Unofficial striking competitions on practice night / with neighbouring towers. Re structure striking competitions
3712Dedicated striking practices . Use tape recorders/ electronic aids.
524Bad striking come from bad handling / bell control
6 0Other

C3  How do you, an ordinary member, feel about what should constitute a'good standard'. What would you deem to be a positive means of encouragement and/or support in relation to both striking and method advancement?
11855Be positive with constructive criticism / good feed back. Encourage 100% effort and importance. Take into account 'go' of bells and teams experience
21752Good beat. Even spaced striking. No gaps or clips. Needs simple calm explanation / demonstration. Should give pleasure to those listening.
31030Structured teaching / learning time, opportunity to ring with experienced ringers, experienced "minders", give feedback and encouragement
4412Most know when they hear it but need good examples set / demonstrated. Ask the public! What is good?
513Workshops with printed literature.
613Other (Youngsters; Treats ! Badges for making defined progress)

C4  As an ordinary member, have you experienced any limitations or barriers to your own advancement or progress towards a higher standard?
41530Lack of good ringers/ opportunity. Frustration at lack of progress
3612Lack of ringers / help in our tower. Needed more theory / explanation.
2510Some personal / physical limitations/ embarrassed to try with 'better' ringers/ starting in my late 50's. Time & travel costs
548Experienced ringers giving negative criticism. Grumpy old men who shout. Not always welcome at other towers.
6 0Other

C5  If you consider yourself an experienced ringer, how frequently would you consider helping others to progress?
23369Once per week.
3817Two or three times per week
136As often as possible
424Four or five times per week

D1  How do you perceive the Branch? Useful?If so, in what way?
23762Useful, its there for support. More useful than Guild. Helps to get ring at different towers / with more experience ringers Helps cohesion and fight factions/ cliques.
11423Not useful because; No benefits. Too much politics. Lack of awareness. Poor communication. Poorly led
5610Good for social activity
323Officers in post too long. Do we need Branch Presidents (let Ringing Master do role).
412Seems to survive with a few dedicated individuals
6 0Other

D2  How do you perceive the Guild? Useful? If so, in what way?
22749Useful; As support. Geographical area too large. Should provide specialist knowledge and training. Better communication required.Too bureaucratic. Help Branches become strong then Guild will be strong.
12444Not useful; outdated / too few guild events / bad organisation / see little of what they do
524Branch is more important to me.
312Officers in post too long
412Should have only 4 areas with appointed leaders who appoint local committee
6 0Other

D3  Have you had any problems in dealing with the Guild or Branch?
1713Yes: Guild & Branch politics, officers too cliquey & not 'professional' in carrying out duties. BRF application confusing.
324Web based communication has lost non computer literate ringers. Branch web-site not working
424General apathy.Guild becoming too detached
512Nominated officers should declare their aims to help judgement on voting

D4  Should the Guild have a Bell Restoration Fund? What should it be used for?
14177Yes; keep it as it is.
2815Yes but.. widen to cover teaching aids & equipment. It appears insignificant to likely cost of most work/not for simulators
324No because: Towers can raise money themselves. Should be concentrated in Branches
412Only if other sources not available
512Why do we need both Branch and Guild BRF

D5  What would you like the Guild to do for you?
22958Provide; Ringing Centres / Courses for all levels / Daytime practices/ More communication. Opportunity to ring on higher numbers Help centre / Stock pre stretched rope
3918Continue as is. Keep in contact with retired ringers. Reorganise diary to avoid AGM,s in Jan. bad weather
1612More Guild events, socials. Make Guild events more fun especially for youngsters. Keep going ! Be more visible!
536Help to get recruits
424Nothing because...Guild level of bureaucracy not required

E1  Do you see your reasons for ringing to empathise with the Aims and Objectives of the Guild?
22552Yes as is. Great care should be taken if rules are changed. Too much politics
11327Yes, but ...They feel outdated/ No mention of standard or quality of ringing/ Hobby and health benefits are important/ not 1bi.
3613No because: Too removed. Not relevant. Guild should support members, not other way round.
548Don't know

E2  Does the present designated allocation of the subscription income ( Rule 6b) properly meet the need and activities of the Guild and Branches?
21743Yes as is.
6820Don't know, not aware of what it does !
1513Yes, but Would not like any increase in sub/ No mention of including insurance
5513Expenditure should be reviewed to meet new objectives
3410No because: No concession for pensioner or disadvantaged / need more spent on training and attracting youngsters
413Branches should have more autonomy

F  Anything else you would like to add?
135Need secret ballots for elections to get true representation. Advertise job descriptions for committee posts and have candidate hustings.
225Need to create value of belonging and 'ownership'. Encourage teamwork membership & pride
104Recruit ringers from all ages not just young. Invite lapsed ringers to return. Highlight health benefits for older ringers
164Concerned about lack of youngsters and retention
194Have a tower maintenance facility/ audit system
214Good local tower leadership is critical. Train ringing masters and tower captains on providing welcoming and constructive ringing.
123Disappointed that the Report and Questions do not make reference to duty of established ringers or primary purpose
12Fees should be paid by 1st April and to qualify for voting at AGM
52Should be time limit on tenure of officers (3/ 5 years ?)
72Recruitment is a problem especially of youngster (take Wombel into schools)
82To much political stuff. Too cliquey
142Learn from other branches / guilds and share best practices
182Register Guild as a Charity & collect fees centrally
252Advertise mental and physical health benefits rather than monks ringing badly with a Mars Bar. More Publicity
312Problems of large geographical area and boundaries ( north / south split !)
322Guild rules are ambiguous, need to be more involved and direct
332Officers should visit every tower and assess what help is needed
21Need a wider range of officers ( too cliquey)
31ITTS is good but OTT and many frightened by 'Qualifications / Assessments', need to attract bad teachers onto course
41Striking Competition not popular, needs new format
61Need to get balance right in reorganisation as Guild and Branch have no jurisdiction over any tower or ringer.
91Would like to take part in striking comp. but not asked. Allow Branches to enter more than teams so more ringers involved
111Combined social and ringing activities are attractive
151Training should be all embracing not just focus on rope sight and methods
171Need centre(s) of excellence to help with problem of large geographical area and lots of small village communities
201Need to be trained in good handling / bell control to achieve good striking
231Training Programme is needed to deliver 25 ringers each year to bob minor standard
241Be careful that drive for "good ringing" does not turn some ringers away
261Need better communication
271More information required on website
281Increase fees to meet new objectives
291"Rabbits" competitions should be used more
301Did not like tone of some questions. Prefer a far friendly approach