On the morning of the second of October, Chris Brown, Richie Rich and myself found ourselves outside Euston Square underground station, to go and entice some potential recruits to the, quite frankly, irresistible ULSCR. I mean who wouldn’t want to join?!
This was the first time we had been allowed to attend the London Freshers’ Fair in 10 years!
We were armed with an unbelievable amount of bellringing leaflets (including the blue Central Council “Learn to Ring” leaflets with UL stickers on the back listing our website, email address, Twitter & Facebook links – along with a new UL leaflet: https://www.ulscr.org.uk/extras/ULSCRLeaflet.pdf, posters, cartoons (https://www.ulscr.org.uk/extras/ULSCR-Cartoon.pdf), UL editions of the Ringing World, and some beautiful photos of UL members. We even took a Kindle with us to play YouTube clips of people ringing.
We decided all of this wasn’t enough, so we went to explore our home tower, St Olaves Hart St, to arm ourselves with other random bits and bobs. We picked up a rope, diagrams, a RW diary, Dove’s guide and snow globe… then decided it was time for a spoons breakfast, where Chris and I discovered Richards love for cooked tomatoes, and hate for mushrooms.
Suitably filled, we decided it was time to face the Universities of London freshers! Myself being one, this was an odd experience…
The stall looked very inviting (in our opinion) as did our faces, which were freshly painted with face paint and glitter.
The freshers entered, and soon the room was filled. At the start, the amount of people we actually managed to stop was small – we had to up our game! Chris decided to block the path of the students so they had no choice but to be talked at about how amazing we (the UL) are. Kate (of the Wallis variety) joined us briefly before having to go and cover a stall for someone, where she did a very good job of sending us more potential recruits.
We knew at some point we would have more people joining us to help, including Jacqui (Brown), so we decided we had to shift more leaflets before they arrived. By the time Jacqui arrived, we had around 24 names on our sheet.
Towards the end of the day, we were all out of leaflets, there weren’t even any left in the bin! We resorted to handing out our posters and writing on scraps of paper, and hoping for the best!
As we were packing up at the end, the event organiser came and gave us all a free drink pass, and then another because he said we were cool. We all agreed and accepted the drinks. When these drinks were done, we headed to the Euston Cider Tap, found some more UL bodies, and discussed the success of our day!
By Jemma Mills
Update: After Freshers’ Fair, we provided London Student Central with contact information, images and a short explanation of the ULSCR and ringing, and they included us in their “try something new” section:
http://www.studentcentral.london/activities/tasters/theuniversityoflondonsocietyofchangeringers. This gives us a much bigger web presence & will provide more opportunity for students to find out about us.
Although we had a lot of names on the list, only a small number converted to actual people turning up on a practice night. On the surface this does look a little disappointing but it was also a huge public relations success and raised awareness that we actually existed and were keen to accept new people. From the freshers’ fair & other sources we had a whopping intake of just under 20 new members, 3 of which learning from scratch and making good progress and all enjoying everything the ULSCR has to offer. (Jacqueline Brown 2016)