Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Why doesn’t Connecticut have a chapter?

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    • #10864
      Robert Watrous
      Participant

      Hi, I have a collection of sterling silver bells by Watrous Manufacturing Co., one of the founders of International Silver. I also collect the bell toys of East Hampton Ct. I was wondering why Connecticut does not have a chapter of the ABA. Of all the places, I would have thought Connecticut would have not just a chapter, but have a lively one. With all the history from just East Hampton Connecticut alone, one would think there would be lots of local interest in bells. There’s also the New Departure bells made in Bristol Ct., and countless sterling silver bells made in the Wallingford area by International Silver, just to name some of the bell making that has occured in that little state. I’m asking in part because this is the year of 200 years of bell manufacturing in East Hampton Ct. I’ve asked what special events are planned in East Hampton to commemorate the event. No special events are planned. Why is their history being ignored there? Can anyone explain the people of Connecticut to me? Life is good, Bob Watrous

    • #13777
      hjlong
      Member

      Bob,
      Most Chapters need a nucleus of about a dozen committed members to be viable. Because of the small size of the New England States and close proximity, ABA members have formed the New England Chapter. If you can get a number of CT Yankees together to form a CT Chapter, it only takes an invitation, a meeting location, and great chemistry to get a chapter going. You could be the founder of such a chapter. Some chapters meet in private homes and keep their size small and others meet in Restaurants or clubs over a meal with no limit to the size. Some chapters join together once a year for a regional meeting. Whatever works for a chapter is whatever works. Many members belong to more than one chapter to enjoy the commraderie of more than one group of bell enthusiasts.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13778
      Robert Watrous
      Participant

      Hi, I’m from New Jersey, so I would not be the one to set up anything in Connecticut. Being from northern New Jersey, it’s about three hours drive from here to the middle of Connecticut, a long way to go for a meeting. There isn’t the big bell making history here in New Jersey and I just haven’t bumped into any fellow bell enthusiasts here. I can understand the logic behind a regional approach, but only to a point. I’ll agree Connecticut is a small state, but that would seem like an advantage to setting up a local chapter, considering the population density, and proximity of potential members due to all the bells manufactured locally. While a regional approach would seem to make sense, once the meeting is over an hour or two away it’s hard to imagine lots of people driving that far for a regular meeting. It’s a long way from halfway up the Maine Coast down to Connecticut (or up to if you’re sailing). What’s other people’ idea of the distance threshold? It may be shrinking with the cost of gas rising. I’m still surprised there isn’t a 12 person nucleus of interested people in the East Hampton area alone, but then again I’ve met more people studying the history of East Hampton’e bell industry that were from States far flung from Connecticut, (Jeff Bell being from Texas taking the cake for distance) than I have found people in East Hampton interested in the bells of East Hampton. Are there a lot of Connecticut located bell enthusiasts I just haven’t met? Life is good, Bob

    • #13779
      Robert Watrous
      Participant

      By the way, I’d be willing to go up as far as Connecticut for a meeting once in a while to present or if I knew there was a presentation on a topic I was interested in. As much as I might like to, I just couldn’t make a habit of it.

      Life is good,
      Bob

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