by Ron Warford (2000, CC)
Anyone arranging a ringers’ outing these days has to be very careful that when they first mention it up the tower, everyone understands it’s the sort of outing where you go and ring at other towers! Ron Warford’s recent publication ‘Organising an Outing’ is an excellent guide for anyone intending to organise such a trip and I’m not just saying that because he reminds would-be organisers that afternoon tea breaks are a good idea.
The book takes you step by step through all the procedures you need to complete from the moment you’ve volunteered (or been volunteered) to organise the outing, up until the day itself. For the first time organiser this would be an extremely useful book, but it would also provide a good check list for more experienced organisers. It contains comprehensive details of the things you nee to plan arrange and take with you, as well as sugggestions when to do each of these. It covers choosing towers, routes and transport, the actual etiquette of writing to towers, checking the details nearer the time and includes some sample letters for writing to tower correspondents, a very useful starting point for novice outing organisers.
The book contains helpful tips about how to avoid problems on the day, with suggestions about what to do to prevent lockouts, late arrivals and the myriad of other problems that can occur on an outing. There is advice about sharing out the Ringing Master’s job and discouraging grabbers who ring once and then disappear. Practical suggestions about how to find gastronomic gems for eating, how to work out appropriate times to allow between towers and leaving tower donations are given too.
The book is also useful in advising organisers of preventative measures, such as which phone numbers, etc, to take with you on the day. This may sound obvious to those old hands, but be honest – did you remember everything the first time you arranged an outing? These are all practical tips – the sort of thing most of us have only worked out having made the errors!
Ther is also a chapter on how to organise ringing holidays, including cycling, walking and canal boat trips. Again, clear step by step suggestions are given about how to find and book accommodation, which type is most suitable for different ages and numbers of ringers, what sort of distances to cover and how many towers to visit per day. There’s even advice about taking emergency chocolate!
In summary it is an extremely practical guide which, if you follow it, should ensure happy outings. It’s clear and comprehensive – Ron could become to outing organisation what Mrs Beeton was to cooking. At £1.50 it represents very good value. In fact I’ve thought of a cunning wheeze already: buy a copy and give it to someone in your tower who always claims that “well I’d do it, but I wouldn’t know where to start”. With Ron Warford’s guide, there’s no excuse!
Published in The Ringing World January 21, 2000