Service ringing · 2012Sep30Su


Five ringers:  Barbara, Jim, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.  We raised 1234 then 5, starting at about 9:15.

  • With two bells, rang rounds to a six-bell-speed count (1234561234567), first on 12 and then on 14 for a more appealing sound.
  • When the third and then fourth ringers arrived, we transitioned to Call Changes (up) on 123 and then 1234 bells.
  • Jim arrived after some 40 minutes spent getting the sanctuary A/C going and raised the 5, after which we rang Call Changes on 12345.
  • Rang down in grand cacophony.

Bell ringing on “Jeopardy”


Sep20Th’s broadcast of “Jeopardy” included a category of bell-ringing questions.  The “Daily Double” was:

Clue:  “The Washington Ringing Society does its thing on the bells of this cathedral every Sunday.”

Answer:  “What is Washington National Cathedral?”

The contestant incorrectly answered “What is the Franklin Cathedral”.

An flv video is available here.

Service ringing · 2012Sep23Su

Six ringers braved the triathlon road closures:  Anne, Barbara, Eoin, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.  Liam sat quietly while we rang.  Due to the traffic delays ringers arrived at intervals one by one, and Barbara, Eoin, and Liam finally parked at a distance and walked.  We raised 123456.

  • Call Changes on two bells, then three, then four.
  • Rounds on five, then six.  We had planned to call changes but there were enough spontaneous, involuntary changes to keep everything interesting.
  • We concluded the last set of rounds on six, about ten minutes worth, by transitioning to ringing down in grand cacophony.

Heads up: Triathlon on Bayshore Drive Sep23Su

There is a triathlon that will probably interfere with access to the Cathedral during service ringing.  The running segment of the course is along Bayshore Drive.

The race is scheduled to start at 7am, and based on usual triathlon times people will be running on Bayshore Drive from about 8:30am to 10:30am.

It appears that the only unaffected access to the tower will be along the Venetian Causeway.  The Julia Tuttle causeway will be obstructed from about 7:30 to 9:30, and the MacArthur Causeway from about 8:30am to 10:30am.

All-day new ringers class · 2012Sep22Sa

Second all-day class for Lynn.  Thomas taught the class 10:00am-4:45pm.  By the end of the class Lynn was ringing backstrokes with occasional handstrokes.

  • We started from the beginning, with pull-offs, backstrokes only, and handstrokes only.
  • Much of the class focused on handstrokes:  straight pull, quick followthrough, relaxed, elbows flexed.  The motion is virtually identical with the backstroke motion, except for adding the catch, release, and pickup.
  • Pulling the bell off the stay, up close to the balance, then back down onto the stay, very slowly;  on the 6, 4, and 2.
  • Lynn pulled all backstrokes, adding occasional handstrokes and gradually working up to roughly every third handstroke.

Next class for Lynn will be during the week of Oct01Mo.

New ringers class · 2012Sep21Fr


Fourth class this time round for Carroll.  We’re focusing on getting oomph into her backstrokes so she has it available when she needs it.  She struggles to get the bell ringing back up when it rings down, as bells tend to do.  This could well be why she was unable to sustain both strokes together last spring;  whenever she caught the sally too high and thus kept the bell from swinging up, she was often unable to get the bell ringing back up before inadvertently catching the sally too high again and bringing the bell down further.

  • Started from the beginning as usual:  pull-offs only, then backstrokes only, then handstrokes only.
  • Raising to develop ringing muscles seemed to help last time, so we’ll continue and increase that.  Today Carroll raised the 4 all the way up, and the 6 until the wrist flick then back down.
  • She is working on staying ahead of the bell all the way through her backstroke (so she can do work on the bell throughout), and on increasing the strength of her ringing muscles so she can accelerate enough at the bottom of each stroke.  She is also working on the wring-out : rotate forearms : shoulders back and down : shoulder blades together succession, in order to bring more muscles into play (and keep a vertical pull while doing so).
  • Unlike most learners, Carroll can put substantial oomph into her handstrokes, we learned today.  It isn’t a substitute for a strong backstroke, but it certainly will help.

Next class is Oct03We.

Practice · 2012Sep19We


Six ringers stayed on for practice after ringing for the Lotspeich memorial service:  Anne, Barbara, Jody, Ken, Rob, Thomas.

  • Rounds on the heavy six (345678).
  • The 36 call changes on the light five (12345).
  • Five ringers rang down all eight at their own pace.  The last three bells rung down were 157 which made an appealing combination (F-B♭-G).

Lotspeich memorial service ringing · 2012Sep19We

Eight ringers:  Anne, Barbara, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Rob, Thomas.  Ken arrived and parked his van just as we pulled off, and hearing eight bells ringing, stood outside and listened.

We rang rounds on eight for 15 minutes, then stood one by one (first the treble, then a few pulls later the 2, then the 3, and so on until only the tenor was left and it rang alone a few pulls before standing).

The striking was pretty good for eight bells.  It was the longest Anne or Barbara had rung continuously.

New ringers class · 2012Sep17Mo


Third class this time around for Carroll.

  • Pulling off.
  • Backstrokes alone.
  • Setting at back, and pulling off at back.
  • Handstroke intro with the bell half-raised:  first clapping on the sally, then pinching and releasing with thumb and forefinger, then grasping with both hands, then pulling, as the bell is progressively rung higher and higher by the instructor.
  • Handstrokes alone;  handstrokes when the bell has rung down a bit.
  • Backstrokes when the bell has rung down a bit.  This wasn’t successful, so Carroll worked on the first part of raising as an exercise for the ringing muscles, that is, raising until the ringer is flipping the wrists.  After two rounds of this, Carroll was too tired to keep good form, so class was adjourned.

Next class for Carroll is Sep21Fr.