New ringers class · 2013Feb28Th

June · Since she is unable to come to the all-afternoon class on Saturday, we scheduled an evening session.

  • Backstrokes alone · She has a good clean backstroke motion.
  • Handstrokes alone · Like every learner, she has a harder time with handstrokes.
    • Keep both hands together all the time.
    • Bring the hands up in one smooth motion.
    • Quick pickup of the rope after the release.

    She progressed to the point of ringing long sequences of handstrokes, with Thomas handling the backstrokes and an occasional handstroke.

  • Both strokes together · She reached the level at which it made sense to try combining the strokes.  She rang all the backstrokes and occasional handstrokes.  Like most learners, her handstroke form went out the window, but she was able to bring them back under control and rang several quite good handstrokes while ringing all backstrokes.
    • Don’t throw out:  soft elbows, keep the hands moving in a vertical line.
    • Relax the grip on the rope, especially the left hand.

Next class for June will be some evening(s) next week. Next class for Bobbie will be Mar02Sa.

Early Practice / Practice · 2013Feb27We

This was Lynn’s first practice ringing with the band.

Early Practice · Three ringers:  Lynn, Nancy, Thomas.

  • Lynn raised several bells and worked on setting and ringing motion.
  • Rounds on Three with Lynn in the middle.
  • Counting the compass.  Nancy worked on counting while ringing, with “1” synchronized with the treble’s sound.

We discussed when the bell sounds in relation to the ringer’s motion:

  1. Easiest to distinguish:  The backstroke sounds when the ringer catches the sally.  This occurs because the catch slows the bell but not the clapper, so the clapper catches up with the bell’s leading side and strikes it.
  2. The handstroke sounds when the ringer’s hands have taken up all the slack from the bight of the rope.  The ringer can feel this happen.  Visually, it occurs roughly when the ringer’s hands pass his/her chin, though it will vary a bit depending on the ringer’s motion.

A self-aware ringer can make fine adjustment of exactly when the bell sounds by catching a bit sooner or later (at the same height on the sally, but lower or higher from the floor), or to a lesser extent by raising his/her hands at the beginning of the backstroke less or further.  Only a small adjustment is possible, but it has the great advantage of taking effect immediately, in contrast to everything else a ringer does to affect the striking which is completed about a half-second before the striking occurs.  Thomas demonstrated.

Practice · Five ringers:  Judy, Lynn, Marguerite, Nancy, Thomas.  We raised the front six (123456) in expectation of up to seven ringers, but were disappointed.

  • Rounds on Four (3456), then on Five (23456, then 12345), standing and rotating from time to time but leaving Lynn on the 4.
  • Counting the compass.  Judy worked on counting aloud while leading.
  • Call changes on four bells.  Lynn observed.
  • Ringing down in peal (3456), then ringing down the 1 and 2 individually.

New ringer Lynn graduates

A new RingerLynn is now ready to start ringing rounds with the band.  She rings safely and reliably on her own, as shown by yesterday’s class at which she set her bell twenty-one times running.  She will now attend weekly practices and, soon, service ringing, learning to ring rounds, then tenor behind, lead, follow call changes, and so forth on the way to ringing methods.

Lynn is the sixth new ringer to graduate from the Miami classes over the past eighteen months, following Anne, Barbara, Eoin, Nancy, and Carroll.

Tower cleanup planned

Phil McIver CC-BY-NC Time for the tower’s Spring Cleaning, before the weather gets hot and the rains start.  Only one ringer offered to help for the Guy Fawkes Day cleanup, so it’s been about seven months since the last complete cleanup on Boat Race Saturday (2012Apr07) and we have accumulated much to do.  If we can get four or more ringers it will be a morning’s work.  The day will be chosen based on the availability of ringers to help out.

  • Tighten nuts up in the bell chamber · Especially the stay bolts and wheel bolts, but also all the bolts on bells, mechanisms, and frame.
  • Check the drain screens and replace any damaged or missing · Six to check in the intermediate chamber, eight in the bell chamber.  Damaged or missing screens let birds in and cause no end of mess to clean up.
  • Sweep the bell chamber and intermediate chamber
  • Sea grapes · A new group of sea grape bunches are growing and need to be cut down before they ripen and drop.
  • Concrete dust from the hole cut for the sanctuary A/C intake · Thomas vacuumed and swept immediately after the hole was cut, but must not have gotten all the dust because it’s gradually spreading everywhere downstairs and in the ringing chamber.  The mother lode of dust seems to be under the spiral stairs.


Service ringing · 2013Feb24Su

Eight ringers:  Andrew, Anne, Barbara, Eoin, Jim, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.  Barbara’s younger son Liam sat quietly.  We raised all eight.

  • Rounds on Six, Seven, and Eight as successive ringers arrived, standing and rotating every few minutes.
  • Plain Bob Doubles on 23456, led by Andrew with Judy, Jim, Marguerite, and Thomas.
  • Call Changes with all eight going.  Jim called us through the first few of the 36 Changes but that proved too much for the band to manage, partly due to several ringers challenged by Call Changes and partly due to inaccurate striking that produced too many “uncalled changes”.  The band stood and started again with Thomas calling changes simple and few and returning often to rounds.
  • Rang down in peal.

All-afternoon new learners class · 2013Feb23Sa

Rob and Thomas instructing.

Bobbie · She stayed until about 4pm despite having arrived back in Miami on a red-eye flight.  She worked on ringing both strokes together, ringing the 2, 4, and 6.

June · First class, ringing only the 4.  She worked on pulling off, backstrokes alone, handstrokes alone, and backstrokes with occasional handstrokes.  While working on backstrokes alone she said, more or less, that ringing is really easy when you are relaxed and moving with the bell — how true!

New ringers class · 2013Feb21Th

Carroll and Nancy worked on their ringing on their own during the class.

Lynn · Lynn is very nearly ready to graduate.

  • She set the bell nine times in a row.
  • She raised the 6 and another bell.
  • She lowered the 6 capably.

We talked about the handstroke pause and its effect on everyone’s ringing.  Using six bells as an example, the handstroke-to-backstroke time is 6 beats but the backstroke-to-handstroke time is 7 beats.

  1. The bell needs to rise higher at the handstroke than at the backstroke to make this happen.
  2. The ringer needs to pull the handstroke gently to make sure the backstroke doesn’t rise so high that the ringer can’t bring it back in time.
  3. The ringer needs to pull the backstroke with enough oomph that the handstroke rises high enough to last the extra beat.
  4. Consequently, the ringer is pulling the two strokes differently.  If one stroke strikes early or late, the ringer must correct that stroke only so that the other stroke (which may well have been correctly struck) is not thrown off too.

Since four ringers were present (Carroll, Lynn, Nancy, Thomas) we rang rounds.  This was Lynn’s first time ringing in rounds and she acquitted herself quite creditably.  Lynn will start coming to the Wednesday practices.