Service ringing · Easter 2013Mar31Su

Ten ringers:  Anne, Carroll, Eoin, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Nancy, Rob, Thomas.  We raised all eight bells.  Nancy’s son visited to observe, and I believe Amy and her son came partway up the spiral stairs to observe for a bit.

This was the first ringing session since the galvanized gutter and its wooden supports were taken down, and the bells sound better now.  The difference in the sound is amazing:  clearer, brighter, more defined.

  • Rounds and Call Changes on six, then on eight, called up by Rob from the treble.  He double-called many of the changes to be sure that all the ringers involved knew what to do.  We placed strong ringers on the tenor, treble, and the first bell of the back half (the 5 when ringing on all eight) to carry the band through any rough spots;  the 5 anchors the back four (5678) and a well-placed blow in 5ths helps keep the back bells steady.  Rob called the changes in a pattern that kept strong ringers in two of those three places (leads, 5ths, 8ths) most of the time.
  • We ended the last group of Call Changes by ringing down in peal.

Everyone gave their best effort and the band struck better and sounded better than I have ever heard them—well done, all!

Rusty galvanized gutter is no more!

Jim reports that the workmen removed the rusty galvanized gutter above the bells in the ringing chamber today (2013Mar27We).  The gutter had long since stopped keeping water off the bells, and instead had been shedding rust flakes and chunks of rusty metal onto the bells and (more recently) into the rain awning.  Photos of the extensive scaffolding they set up above the bells are below.  The scaffolding will be taken down by Saturday night so the bells are ready for Easter service ringing.

Once the scaffolding is down we’ll put the rain awning back up to keep the bells dry.

This job was too big for the ringers to handle safely themselves.  We thank the generous anonymous donor who made this possible.

Service ringing · Palm Sunday 2013Mar24Su

Eight ringers:  Barbara, Eoin, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Rob, Thomas.  We raised all eight.

We had five observers:  Barbara’s younger son Liam, Bobbie and her sister-in-law, and Amy and her son.

  • Rounds and Rotate on Seven, then Eight.
  • For our service touch we rearranged into a good allocation of ringers to bells (strong ringers on the treble and tenor to keep the band stable, a strong ringer on the 5 to help the back four stay even, a ringer with a good ear on the 2 to help set the pace, and the weakest ringers separated) and rang Rounds on Eight beginning about 9:40.  After the rounds had settled fairly well Rob called a few changes on the back four, and we rang down in peal.

Equinoctial Tower Cleanup · 2013Mar23Sa

bell-checklistSix ringers and an RSO (ringer’s significant other) pitched in:  Bobbie, Carroll, Eoin, Judy, Nancy, Nancy’s husband Joe, Thomas.  We began at 9:00am and continued until noon, with people arriving and leaving as their schedules required.  At least these things were done:

  • Ringing chamber:
    • Everything dusted
    • Ladder steps up to the intermediate chamber vacuumed and wiped;  ladder rail wiped
    • Spiral stairs down to the entrance level vacuumed and mopped;  rail wiped
    • Everything moved and the floor vacuumed
    • The floor padding lifted around the edges and vacuumed under
    • Floor mopped
    • The corner pew dusted and polished
    • Windows washed
    • Curtains taken down, dusted and shaken, and put back up clipped together so the sun won’t get through gaps
  • Bell chamber:
    • The ledge above the bells vacuumed
    • The floor swept, including under each frame element
    • The gutter swept
    • The drain screens checked
    • The bells wiped down
    • All bolts and nuts checked (this should be done quarterly)
      • One wheel nut on the treble was found to be loose and was tightened
      • The treble’s staple bolt nuts were loose;  we realigned the clapper, which was loose and rotating, and tightened the staple bolt nut and lock nut
    • All stays checked (this and the wheel nuts should be checked monthly)
    • We found the various parts of the work light that the workmen had broken and were able to reassemble it and get it working again
  • Intermediate chamber:
    • Swept
  • Stairs outside:
    • Fishtail palm inflorescences pruned off, and also all the dead branches
    • Stairs swept
    • Rail wiped

Thank you to everyone who helped!

Previous tower cleanups:

Early Practice / Practice · 2013Mar20We

Early Practice · Four ringers:  Carroll, Lynn, Nancy, Thomas.  We raised 1234, then the 5 and 6 as other ringers arrived.

Practice · Seven ringers:  Carroll, Judy, Lynn, Marguerite, Nancy, Rob, Thomas.

We were all happy to see Marguerite ringing again.

Rob showed everyone the color possibilities for the new bellropes and got opinions.

New ringers class · 2013Mar19Tu

Bobbie · It’s been a couple of weeks since her last class.  Bobbie is too tense in her wrists and elbows but otherwise is progressing well.  She continues to think everything through, which frustrates her because it takes longer but will serve her well over the long haul.

  • Raised the 4, with help from the Thomas.
  • Backstroke form · She worked on backstrokes alone to help ingrain her good form further, so that it will be there when she is concentrating on both strokes together.
  • Handstroke form · Some problems, as with most learners:  not enough follow-through, wrists and elbows too inflexible, motion not smooth enough.  She tends to “glue” her elbows to her ribs as her arms come down, which makes her throw out during the remainder of the stroke.
  • She rang both strokes together but not for lengthy runs of strokes.
  • We worked on keeping her wrists open to allow her arms to stay flexible.
  • Her motion bringing her hands up, both strokes, is too stiff.  Consequently she loses track of where the bell is and the rope bounces about.

All this is fixable and she is determined.

Next class will be after Easter.

The 6’s rope boss, fallen and replaced in an hour

2013-03-17.6boss_04542013-03-17.6boss_04552013-03-17.6boss_0456The 6’s rope boss fell during service ringing today.  Fortunately Thomas had the hammer drill and concrete bits in the trunk of his car, and boxes of several screw-anchor sizes in the tower supplies, so the problem could be addressed immediately.  Carroll, Nancy, and Thomas stayed on to put the boss back up.

We examined the boss and discussed the situation.  This boss has had to be reinstalled already.  Its mounting holes were not drilled straight or uniformly and the 3⁄16″ anchors, the only standard size that would fit them, do not grip sufficiently.  Thomas had already tried taping them for a tighter fit.  We decided the best course was to carefully redrill the holes with a ¼” bit, deepen them to accommodate the longer ¼” anchors, and remount the boss with the corresponding anchors and screws, which are larger and longer.

  1. The 6 was still up.  For safety, we pulled its rope upstairs into the intermediate chamber and sheepshanked it to keep it off the floor and clean.
  2. We assembled the ladder standoff and mounted it on the ladder.
  3. We carefully redrilled the holes to ¼” diameter and the depth required for ¼” anchors.
  4. We checked that the anchors fitted (they did), aligned the rope boss to the proper rotational orientation (only one of the three choices works), and screwed it in place.
  5. We took the ladder down, disassembled the standoff, and stacked everything away back in the corner.
  6. We lowered the 6’s rope back down into the ringing chamber.  By now it was 11:05am.
  7. When the service let out at 11:15 Thomas rang the 6 down.

Service ringing · 2013Mar17Su

Eight ringers: Anne, Barbara, Carroll, Eoin, Jim, Jody, Nancy, Thomas.  We raised 123456 and were happily surprised by two unexpected ringers, upon which we raised 78 as well.

Kudos to Barbara for leaving home early enough to get to service ringing on time, and to Eoin for displaying determination to get to ringing by taking the bus!

The 6’s rope boss came down on Eoin during the ringing.  Thomas took the rope and set the bell.  After the service ringing Carroll, Nancy, and Thomas stayed on to replace it and lower the 6.

  • Call Changes, with everyone calling a few changes.  Barbara, Carroll, and Nancy called.
  • Rounds on Eight, then on Seven after the 6’s rope boss came down.
  • Rang 12345 down in peal, and 7 and 8 down at their own pace.