First Wednesday practice · 2012Aug22We

Nine ringers:  Anne, Barbara, Eoin, Jim, Judy, Ken, Marguerite, Nancy, Thomas.  Carroll, back from her summer, attended but did not ring.  Future ringer Liam quietly entertained himself during the practice.  This was our first practice on the new Wednesday schedule, after having had practice on Tuesday nights for many years, and it was a pleasure to see that the new day allows more ringers to attend.

The front six (123456) were raised at Early Practice, then Eoin and Barbara raised the 7 and 8 when they arrived.  This was Barbara’s first time raising the 8 unassisted.  We had been ringing Rounds and Call Changes at Early Practice, and this segued into the regular practice, adding ringers as they arrived.

  • Rounds and Call Changes on Five.
  • Rounds and Call Change on Six.  For the latter part of this, Eoin and Barbara were raising the 7 and 8, making it difficult to hear the bells strike, but in fact the striking was better during this time when we were ringing by eye.  We don’t know what this means but presumably we can learn from it to improve our striking in the future.
  • Rounds on Eight, with various permutations of the nine ringers present.  The striking was often not good, unfortunately, and the frequent clashes made it difficult to hear what was going on, particularly when the heavy bells clashed.  We rang a handful of strokes in perfect rounds, but never twice in a row.  There were long stretches during which the light four were accurately struck, and then during which the heavy four were accurately struck—kudos to those groups of ringers—but these stretches did not overlap.
  • Rounds on Six on the heavy six (345678), with the five senior ringers throughout and rotating in each junior ringer on the 6.
  • Plain Hunt on Five with tenor behind, on the heavy six, rotating in junior ringers to tenor.  The working bells could make it through a single lead but accumulated errors knocked the band to bits in the next lead.  In general the working bells were spreading out, incorrectly, with the bells coming down to the front doing so too slowly, and the bells going out to the back crashing beyond 5ths place into the tenor.  Some if not all of the senior ringers have this issue on the lighter bells, too, but the heavier bells are more demanding in the sense of requiring the ringer to plan ahead, pull for the next blow, and move up and down the tail, and in this area the band is weak.  Eventually this overlapped too many bells not on the same stroke, and the band fell apart.
  • Rang down in grand cacophony.

After practice the band held a tower meeting to discuss plans for moving forward.