New ringers class · 2012Apr29Su

Twenty-fourth class for new ringer Barbara.  Focus was on lowering.  She raised and lowered the 2 several times, raising to just beyond the first coil and lowering again for extra practice on taking a coil.  She also worked on setting the bell at each stroke.

Her work on her stance and keeping the tail on her side of the sally has taken care of both those issues.

Barbara will come to next Tuesday’s practice to work on ringing in rounds.

Next class for Barbara and presumably Eoin is We 2 May.  Next class for Carroll and Nancy is Tu 1 May.

New ringers class · 2012Apr25We

Twenty-third class for new ringer Barbara, and twenty-second for new ringer Eoin.  Note that due to their schedule nearly all these learners’ classes have been half-an-hour each, so they are roughly at the eleven-hour level.  Today the focus was on lowering.  Each ringer raised and lowered at least twice.  They will work on smoothly crawling up and down the tail, and on taking coils, at home with the practice rope.

They also worked on a couple of points brought up by the visiting instructors:

  • Right foot half-a-foot ahead of left foot.
  • Stand close enough to the rope (it makes control easier).
  • At the catch, the tail goes on the ringer’s side of the sally.

Next class for Barbara and Eoin is Su 29 Apr.  Next class for Carroll and Nancy is Fr 27 Apr.

Practice · 2012Apr24Tu

Four ringers:  Judy, Ken, Pamela, Thomas.  Rang on 1234 (F-E-D-C).

  • Plain Hunt on Four.  We permuted the ringers around the bells to push them to see the pattern generally, rather than just for their favorite bell, and we spent the entire practice working on it.  Points to note for future continued improvement:
    • You have to work to place your blows accurately, especially with only four bells.
    • When hunting in, you’ll probably need to move up the tail;  then back down the tail to the rounds position to ring the second blow at rounds speed;  then further down to hold up for hunting-out speed.
    • It works much better to think a stroke ahead (that doesn’t mean it comes naturally, just that it works much better):  before slowing down, it’s essential to pull the preceding stroke with extra oomph (because you can’t push a rope up), and before speeding up, pull the preceding stroke with less oomph so you don’t have to check heavily.
    • You can’t ring accurately by just counting your place in the compass (though you do need to count your place).  You have to combine counting with either looking at the ringer you are following, or expert listening.  Looking has the additional advantage that it helps the ringers around you.
    • Learn to look in the coursing order, which for Plain Hunt on Four is 2-4-3-1.  You don’t have to be thinking “thirds over the treble, seconds over the 2, …” but it is really helpful to look at the treble, look at the 2, … , and the visual pattern is quite simple.
  • Rang down in peal.

After practice the ringers adjourned to a pub.

New ringers class · 2012Apr24Tu

Twenty-fourth class for new ringer Carroll.  She needs to progress a bit faster if possible;  it’s time for both these new ringers to graduate.  Today’s focus was on cleaning up items noted by the visiting ringers.  Carroll made progress on getting all ten fingers around the sally, rather than leaving her left ring and little fingers around the tail only for a feeling of security.

Seventeenth class for new ringer Nancy.  She raised the 6 and did well.  One of the items noted by the visitors was foot placement;  Nancy tried keeping her right foot forward.  The focus was primarily on follow-through, especially after the handstroke.  She got it exactly right roughly a dozen times during the hour, but the rest of the time did not follow through and/or did not get her right hand atop her left for a clean pickup.

Next class for Carroll and Nancy is tentatively Fr 27 Apr.  Next class for Barbara and Eoin is We 26 Apr.

First eyebolt for rain awning

The first eyebolt and its rope loop.

The southeast corner above the ledge, with the new eyebolt, rope loop, and cleat for securing the loop at a specific height. We may have to shift the light to keep it from melting the rope. The two upper cleats are for a safety rope while working.

The first eyebolt to support the planned rain awning was installed today.  The yellow 20′ ladder was taken up to the bell chamber, braced against the hatch rim and leaned over the 5, then extended out to reach the upper southeast corner below the rusted galvanized gutter.  When extended all the way to the upper corner, it cleared the bell and was supported against the wall.  A hole was drilled for an anchor just under the rusted gutter, 64″ above the ledge, and a stainless-steel eyebolt was anchored into the wall.

New ringers Carroll and Nancy held the ladder and helped;  this would not have been possible or safe for one person.  Everyone wore dust masks against the cloud of concrete dust from the drilling, and the dust under the hole was vacuumed up afterwards.

Now that we know how to do it, we can place an eyebolt in each of the remaining corners, then make and rig the awning.  The current plan is to run rope loops through each eyebolt, attach each corner of the awning to one of the rope loops, and loft the awning by pulling the four rope loops around.

Update:  A nylon cleat was mounted just above the ledge the next day for securing the new eyebolt’s rope loop.

Service ringing · 2012Apr22Su

Twelve ringers for at least part of the ringing:  visitors Alex, Bill, Carolyn, Quilla, Rob, and Ross and Miami ringers Judy, Kemp, Marguerite, Pamela, and Thomas, plus visitor Brian from England who happened to be in Miami today.  Service ringing usually comprises less than half an hour of ringing, but in honor of the visitors and of Earth Day we rang a full hour before the 10am service, an hour beginning at 11:15 after that service and before the last service at 12:15pm, and two hours starting at 1:30pm after the last service.

During the last service, the ringers lunched in the parish hall on food prepared by Barbara.

The post-service ringing transitioned into a practice session with visitors helping local ringers, ranging from one-on-one coaching of new ringers to several courses of Kent Treble Bob for a few of the more senior Miami ringers, a method far more lofty than the Miami band can ring unassisted.  Barbara and Eoin joined us for that session, and potential ringers Liam and Carmen listened (Liam, 6, fell asleep to the sound of the bells).

Afterwards everyone scattered, some taking the remaining visitors to the airport for their flights or to the beach for a well-earned time in the sun.