2017 - Carmen Wright, Eastern District
PRESENTATION OF THE DOROTHY L SAYERS YOUNG LADIES GUILD RINGER AWARD 2017
Helen Webb writes:
On Friday 15th September, about 20 members of the Eastern district of the Ladies Guild, and six members of the Dorothy L Sayers Society converged on the church of St Mary Magdalene, Thornham Magna, in Suffolk. We were there to attend the presentation of the Dorothy L Sayers Society Young Ladies Guild Ringer Award 2017 to the winner, Carmen Wright. When I arrived, the bells were being raised in the tower, and canapes were being served in the nave of the church. Prior to the arrival of the members of the DLS Society, when wine was served and more canapes appeared, everyone had an opportunity to have a ring on the bells.
The presentation began with an introduction and welcome by Val Counter, Vice President of the Eastern district. Sylvie Fawcett, who rings at Thornham Magna, gave a short talk about the village, church, and bells of Thornham Magna: the oldest of the ring of six bells date from the 1490s; and an interesting feature of the church is the window at the west end on the south side of the nave, which was designed by Burne Jones and made by Morris & Co. This was followed by a brief introduction by Seona Ford, Chair of the DLS Society, to life and work of Dorothy L Sayers, and the purpose and activities of the Dorothy L Sayers Society. The Society also gives awards for music, design, and theatre, which represent some of the other interests of Dorothy L Sayers.
Betty Baines spoke about the Eastern District of the Ladies Guild: this is the largest district in the Guild both geographically and in terms of the membership. Betty also talked about the purpose of the Ladies Guild as a learning organisation in which members can progress in a supportive and encouraging environment. A touch of Grandsire Doubles, with Carmen in the band, was then rung, before three members of the Dorothy L Sayers Society delivered a reading from the Nine Tailors. The award was then presented to Carmen by Seona Ford. After Carmen said her "thank yous", her mother, Zoe, was presented with a bouquet of flowers from the Eastern district; Val explained that this was to acknowledge the support that Zoe, who started learning to ring at the same time, has given to Carmen.
A very short speech of thanks from me closed the formal part of the evening. After the group photograph was taken with several cameras, we took the opportunity to mingle and chat while we quite happily did justice to the comestibles provided by the members of the district.
Carmen Wright by Betty Baines, Ringing Master Eastern District
Carmen started ringing in June 2013 at the age of 9, with the aid of several boxes. She accompanied her mother Zoe to the Thornham Magna practices, where they both learned together, taught by Sylvie Fawcett. They were both enrolled in the “Learning the Ropes” progressive learning scheme and Carmen rapidly advanced from level 1, ringing rounds in February 2015, trebling to her first quarter peal in April 2016 for level 3, ringing her first quarter inside to Plain Bob Doubles in January 2017 for level 4, and in two weeks time she will be attempting to ring her first quarter inside to Plain Bob Minor for level 5, which will complete the final stage. In between times, she has rung several quarter peals of doubles, inside, in various methods and has become something of a perfectionist, getting very cross with herself if she makes a mistake. Carmen has a tremendous talent for the art of bell ringing. She is not put off by ringing at new towers and has a special ability to be able to look at the line of a method and go ahead and ring it. Both Carmen and Zoe are valued members of the Ladies Guild and we hope they will continue to enjoy the challenge of learning more advanced methods and visiting lots more towers within our district and hopefully further afield.