Service ringing · 2013Aug18Su (Thomas’s last service ringing in Miami)

Six ringers:  Anne, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.

  • Anne, Marguerite, and Thomas raised 123 in peal, then lowered them in peal.  We were in rounds almost all the time both up and down.  When Jim arrived we raised 1234 in peal, which did not go as smoothly.  To ring up or down in peal:  watch like a hawk to see whether you are creeping up on the bell in front of you, or getting on top of the bell behind you, and make corrections immediately if you are.
  • Plain Hunt on Five with tenor behind.  After a few tries this was quite good.
  • Plain Hunt on Six.  This was not as clean;  it’s much harder with no tenor behind.  However enough of the band was in their places that we stayed together all the way through, every time, even when it wasn’t sounding very good.
  • Call Changes.  Thomas called the band into Queens, then back to Rounds, several times.
  • Without standing, the band rang down in peal.
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Service ringing · 2013Aug04Su

Seven ringers:  Anne, Barbara, Bobbie, Eoin, Jim, Judy, Marguerite.

  • Rounds.
  • Plain Hunt on Four with two covers.  Judy called go and stop.
  • Call Changes, with Jim calling, attempting the 36 Changes.

Service ringing · 2013Jul21Su

Seven ringers:  Anne, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Rob, Thomas.  We raised 1234567.

  • Anne, Rob, and Thomas raised 123 in peal.  We stayed in rounds all the way up, with a handful of near-clashes but none in which the bells were audibly out of sequence.
  • Anne, Marguerite, Rob, and Thomas then raised 4567 in peal.  The sequence was often out of rounds but there were often three of the four bells in sequence.
  • Plain Hunt on Four on the front four.  When the fifth ringer arrived, we rang Plain Hunt on Four with tenor behind.  We kept working until the pattern was clean, then rang many leads in succession.
  • The remaining two ringers arrived in a clump and we rearranged ourselves for Plain Bob on Four with three covers.  Again, we worked until the pattern was fairly clean then rang several plain courses in succession.
  • Plain Hunt on Six with Rob standing behind Anne to offer suggestions if needed.  This was to have been our service touch but for some reason did not jell.  We stood the bells and Anne sat out to bandage her hands.
  • Call Changes on six bells, with Rob calling from the 6.  He called the band into Queens, made a few more calls, then back into rounds so we could ring down in peal.  Jim rang down his bell as quickly as possible rather than in peal, then quickly rang the 7 down in time to chime with the rest.

We need to have a practice in which we ring up and down in peal several times, so that ringers improve at it.

Service ringing · 2013Jul14Su

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

  • Raised the front three in peal (Anne, Marguerite, Thomas), which went quite well, in clear rounds much of the way up.  Of course the light bells are easier to control, but still it’s good to hear the continued improvement.
  • Barbara and Eoin arrived during the first raising, so next we raised the back five in peal.  Fortunately raising in peal always sounds festive and joyous, even if the rounds aren’t there throughout.  We had a few points at which three or more bells were striking together, which is to be avoided.  We persevere and will improve with time.
  • We rang Rounds for the rest of the session, in part because Barbara and Eoin have not been ringing much in recent weeks and a session of just rounds helped them get back in, but also because the band still does not get enough practice on all eight bell.  Realistically, Rounds is the most this band could manage successfully today.  We rang Rounds and Rotate, putting nearly everyone on nearly every bell at some point.  Marguerite requested to skip the 7 and 8 and we ran out of time to rotate all the way around, but most of the band rang six of the bells.
  • For our service touch, Thomas allocated ringers to bells and we rang our best Rounds.  The band kept clearly in rounds throughout, with only a few bells out of place occasionally, and occasionally the striking was clear and even.  It was a creditable performance.
  • Without pause (except Marguerite who stood her bell to take out the knot) we rang down in peal.  We need to work on this.  The tenor in particular came down far too fast, and overall we were far out of rounds much of the way down.  However, we will improve.

Service ringing · 2013Jul07Su

Seven ringers:  Anne, Barbara, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.  We rang on 123456.

Service ringing · 2012Jun30Su

Six ringers:  Anne, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas, plus Andrew.  We raised 123456.

Well rung today, all!  The band’s striking continues to improve and much of the ringing was well struck.

Service ringing · 2013Jun23Su

Five ringers:  Anne, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas.  We raised 12345.

Most of the band arrived late, so Anne and Thomas talked about how to learn to call changes using To Queens and Back as the example, and how to make use of the coursing order to ring Plain Hunt without a tenor behind.  A key point is that while the follow sequence and which bells you lead off of can both be obtained from the coursing circle, the rules for doing so are completely separate and you have to put one on hold while you use the other.

Consider Plain Hunt on Six, for which the coursing circle runs 2-4-6-5-3-1-2-4-6-5-3-1-….  When ringing the 4, one is over the 3 in rounds and then continues 1-2-… once hunting begins.  You can’t follow yourself, so instead you skip yourself (4) in the coursing order and keep going;  this occurs when one is in leads, in which case one substitutes “lead lead” for oneself, and at the back, in which case one simply charges ahead.  Since the 4 starts in (odd bells start out, even bells start in), the first time the 4 skips itself in the coursing circle will be when in leads, and the next time will be at the back.  So the 4, ringing over the 3 in rounds, then will ring over the 1, over the 2, lead, lead, then ring over the 6, 5, 3, 1, 2, skip itself at the back, 6, 5, 3, and then repeat.

One can figure out who one leads off of by examining the coursing circle, but it’s cognitively much more challenging than just following the coursing sequence, so I recommend just looking it up on the chart on the wall.  The rule is that on an even number of bells, for which there will be a bell opposite yours in the coursing circle, you lead off of the bell before it in the coursing circle and then that bell;  on an odd number of bells, for which there will be no bell directly opposite yours in the coursing circle, you lead twice off of the bell that just precedes the empty spot opposite your bell.  This has almost nothing to do with following the coursing order, and if you try to think about which bell is opposite yours in the coursing circle, you’ll probably lose track of your place as you follow around the circle, so don’t try.  It seems to work best to lead by ear, as I usually do, or to await the arrival of ropesight, after which you’ll just know where to look (perhaps by having internalized the pattern of the bells).

  • Anne, Marguerite, and Thomas raised 234 in peal, quite slowly so we could focus on keeping our bells synchronized.  We continue to improve at this;  it is a skill that requires attentive practice.
  • Judy arrived as we finished raising 234.  She raised the treble (1).  Jody arrived a few minutes later and Thomas raised the 5.
  • Plain Hunt on Four with tenor behind, at Anne’s request.  We have been working intensively on Plain Hunt for several weeks now, so it is perhaps our best choice for good service ringing.  We rang rounds as needed until the band’s rhythm settled down evenly, then individual leads, standing for discussion whenever Thomas noticed a problem that appeared at least twice in a row.  Once everyone had worked out all misunderstandings and problems in their hunting, we rang sequences of leads, sometimes several in a row, before calling “That’s All” to go back into rounds for a bit, and sometimes continuing until someone got lost and we had to stop.  We also talked about what to do when someone gets lost:  a good tactic is for each ringer to carry on as best they can until time to lead, then to make sure his/her two blows in leads are accurately placed off the tenor behind.  Often this will be enough to bring the band back together by the end of the lead.  Once we rang 10 to 12 good leads in a row, so many that Thomas lost count.  The band was sounding quite good, and a sequence of several clean leads in succession made an appropriate service touch.
  • We last stood about 9:53am, at which point Marguerite kindly took out her knot so we could ring down in peal without damage to her rope.  We then rang several well-struck leads of Plain Hunt on Four in succession, then rang down in peal.