June · Since she is unable to come to the all-afternoon class on Saturday, we scheduled an evening session.
Next class for June will be some evening(s) next week. Next class for Bobbie will be Mar02Sa.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
After the new learners class, Thomas dragged out everything that had been stuffed under the spiral stairs, and swept and vacuumed the concrete dust from cutting the hole for the new A/C intake over the tower door. The total so far: half a gallon of dust.
Lynn 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.
Lynn · She raised and lowered the 4, 2, 1, 6, and 7 and practiced setting each one, peaking by setting the 2 twenty-one times running.
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.
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!
The Cathedral will be tented and fumigated for termites during the week of 2013Mar11Mo-15Fr. We will be unable to enter the tower during that time.
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.
- The bell needs to rise higher at the handstroke than at the backstroke to make this happen.
- 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.
- The ringer needs to pull the backstroke with enough oomph that the handstroke rises high enough to last the extra beat.
- 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.