Extra Practice · 2012Oct27Sa

Five ringers:  Anne, Jody, Nancy, Pamela, Thomas.  Anne, Nancy, and Thomas raised all eight.  We rang on the middle four, then the heavy five, then the light five, standing and rotating one bell to the right every five to ten minutes.  The band benefits from extended practices like this two-hour session.

The air conditioning was not working, apparently because the circuit for the thermostat had been disconnected temporarily for the ongoing electrical work.  Fortunately it was a beautiful cool day with strong winds, and the tower windows open.

  • Rounds and Call Changes on the middle four (3456).
  • Rounds and Call Changes on the heavy five (45678).  We talked about how to move cleanly from one place to another.  Each call is made at a handstroke, giving the ringers time to adjust the backstroke in order to place the next handstroke properly:
    • To move out a place toward the back, give the backstroke a little extra oomph so the bell swings a little higher and the handstroke is delayed a little.
    • To move in a place toward the front, give the backstroke a gentler pull so the bell swings a little lower and the handstroke occurs a little sooner.

    It works for any weight of bell but is particularly important for the heavier bells, which are too massive to be manhandled like the light bells, and are going to ring at the moment your previous pull set them up for, no matter what you do later.

  • Rounds and Call Changes on the light five (12345).  Jody called a few changes.  Each call is shouted out during the handstroke pause, so the ringers can hear it clearly;  this is also when the bell in leads starts its pull.  Each call has to be called or even shouted out clearly, as otherwise, with all the echoes and reverberations, the ringers may not all hear and understand it.
  • Rang down in grand cacophony.

A strip of wood ply from the 7’s rope guide upstairs in the intermediate chamber, water-loosened in the days when the band left the bells mouth-up routinely and they filled with water then dumped it when the bells were pulled off, came down while Anne was ringing.  After the practice Thomas went up to the intermediate chamber and pulled out several loose pieces.  Two more long strips remain flapping but can’t be pulled out because they are too firmly connected, down out of reach in the box.

Both Pamela and Thomas noticed something odd about the feel of the treble during the practice.  After the bells were lowered Thomas went up to the bell chamber and checked it carefully without finding anything.  We’ll keep an eye on the treble.


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