Service ringing · 2013Jun16Su

Nine ringers:  Anne, Carroll, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas, and visitors Lynn and Martin from Bedford in the UK.  We raised all eight, though unfortunately with a late start, after all the Early Service congregation had left, due to lack of ringers.  Learner-on-hold Amy visited with her young son to listen to part of the ringing;  we look forward to her return to ringing class and eventually to her joining the band.

  • Anne, Lynn, Martin, and Thomas raised the front four in peal.  A good bit of the raise was in rounds, and all of it was close to rounds.
  • Anne, Carroll, Lynn, and Thomas (not entirely sure about who) then raised the back four in peal.  Again, it was pretty good.
  • Plain Hunt on Five with tenor behind, on the front six.  Anne, Lynn, Marguerite, Martin, and Thomas hunted with Carroll tenoring.  Enough ringers were in their places to keep the structure of the pattern running, and by the end of this segment of the service ringing the proper sequence of the rows was audible.
  • Plain Hunt on Five with two covers, on the front seven, adding Jody on the 7.  Often ringing on seven bells has a kind of limping sound, but this went quite smoothly, a credit to our covers and to visitor Lynn who was trebling on the 1.  The Plain Hunt sequence was clearly audible with only a few strokes out of place.  After this Carroll sat out, having rung a heavy bell since arriving, and one of the newly arrived ringers stood in.
  • Plain Hunt on Six with two covers, as more ringers arrived and we had enough for all eight bells.  We reallocated ringers to bells, with I believe Anne, Jody (t), Judy, Lynn, Marguerite, and Thomas hunting, and Martin and Jim covering.  Again, we had enough ringers striking in their proper places to keep the structure of the pattern going continuously, except when a ringer gave up and simply stopped.  The lagging members of the band improved enough over the fifteen minutes or so that we made the last leads of this our service touch.
  • Rang down all eight in peal.  We segued into this without pause from Rounds after our last lead of Plain Hunt on Six, except for Marguerite who kindly set her bell long enough to take out her knot before lowering in peal with the band so the rope would not be damaged.  We aren’t able to keep all the bells in rounds all the way down yet, but again enough ringers were striking in their places for the structure of the lowering in peal to be clearly audible all the way down, albeit with a few stray bells striking out of place.  Ringing down in peal makes a splendid finish to a session of ringing and calls the worshippers to their places with a flourish.

Early Practice / Practice · 2013May01We

Early Practice · Four ringers:  Bobbie, Carroll, Lynn, Thomas.  We were briefly visited by Scott, a ringer from London, who raised a few bells and rang them for a bit.

  • Carroll and Lynn raised bells and practiced their strokes.
  • Bobbie has combined both strokes and can ring both strokes together without limit.  Now she is working to smooth off all the rough edges that are getting in her way.  Tonight she focused particularly on relaxing her left hand so that the tail is across her side of the sally during the handstroke, and on keeping the line through her hands vertical at the top of her backstroke.

Practice · Six ringers:  Anne, Bobbie, Carroll, Judy, Lynn, Thomas.  By this time we had raised all eight.  In preparation for ringing for Jim’s installation as a canon of the cathedral, for which we expect at least eight ringers for pre-service and for post-service ringing, we rang the back six (345678) to give everyone practice handling the heavier bells.  In particular the newer ringers need to polish up their technique because when we have all eight bells going, the newer ringers are more likely to be nearer the back.  We rang Rounds and Rotate for almost the entire practice.  Everyone rang each bell of the back six for five to ten minutes.  I’m afraid our striking was fairly pitiful at first, and though we were trying to ring rounds most of the rows were some other sequence with plenty of crashes  We improved quickly, though, and by the end of practice we were ringing dozens of strokes in a row in rounds, and occasionally the striking was quite good.

Anne noted that we also need to practice ringing for longer stretches, up to say 20 minutes without stopping.  We’ll try to get some of that in too before May12Su.

We rang the bells down together but each at his/her own pace.  It was a good practice.

Peal · 2013Apr14Su

The visitors rang a second successful peal this afternoon.  Sue, Duncan, Jenny, Mark, Rob, Cecily, Tim, and Alex rang 5056 changes of Rutland Surprise Major (see Campanophile).  They pulled off at 1:30pm and came back into rounds at 4:29pm.  The peal was dedicated to the memory of Jay W Lotspeich, longtime benefactor of the Cathedral and Bell Tower.  Many of the Miami ringers listened to all or part of the peal from the courtyard and from Bobbie’s balcony overlooking the Cathedral.  We were honored that Jay’s widow, two daughters, and two of his grandchildren were also present.

Learner and soon-to-be new ringer Bobbie and her husband generously hosted the Miami ringers and visitors for a peal-listening and post-peal reception in their apartment overlooking the Cathedral 39 stories below.

Service ringing with the visitors · 2013Apr14Su

With so much going on this weekend this account probably has gaps and inaccuracies.  As best I recall, Miami ringers Anne, Bobbie, Carroll, Judy, Marguerite, Nancy, (Rob), and Thomas joined visitors Alex, Cecily, Duncan, Jenny, newly arrived Mark and his wife and two daughters whose names I cannot recall but all of whom rang, Sue, and Tim.  Thomas took Tim up to see the bells, clear the water from the awning (about a gallon), and tighten the five wheel nuts that worked loose yesterday.

For the 9:00-10:00 service ringing, we raised the front six in peal and the 7 and 8 separately, then rang the same assortment of Rounds, Call Changes, Plain Hunt, and Plain Bob that we had rung the night before, with local ringers rotating in to give everyone a chance to ring in a steady band.  We left the bells set at back for the next session of service ringing.

For the 11:15-12:15 service ringing we rang more or less as before, with somewhat fewer of the local ringers.  The visitors finished up with a touch of Rutland Surprise Major in preparation for the afternoon’s peal.  We again left the bells set at back.

The Miami band hosted the visitors for a lunch of food from Pollo Tropical in the parish hall.

Practice with visitors · 2013Apr13Sa

With all the activities in a short space it’s difficult to recall exactly what we did during this practice.  As best I recall, Miami ringers Anne, Carroll, Jody, Ken, Marguerite, Nancy, (Rob), and Thomas joined the remaining visitors Alex, Cecily, Duncan, Jenny, (Rob), Sue and Tim.  The bells were still up, set at back with the ropes up toward the ceiling for safety.  We rang Rounds, Call Changes, Plain Hunt, and Plain Bob (Triples, seven moving bells), with local ringers rotated in a few at a time so everyone was surrounded by steady ringing, and then rang down in peal.

Picnic for visitors

The Miami band hosted the visitors at a picnic at Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne.

The heavens opened and the rain flooded down as the peal ringers finished, flooding the courtyard to a depth of four or five inches for twenty minutes or so.  When the waters receded, the ringers were driven over to Key Biscayne by Ken, Rob, and Thomas, with a stop to drop Derek off at the airport for his flight back home.  Other Miami ringers had set up a spread of food at the shelter at the park, with Nancy organizing it all and Marguerite assisting.  The visitors strolled, swam, and enjoyed the newly clear skies.

Peal · 2013Apr13Sa

Eight of our visitors (Jenny, Sue, Derek, Rob, Cecily, Alex, Tim, and Duncan) rang a peal of 5,024 changes of Spliced Surprise Major (see Campanophile).  They began ringing at 10:09am and came back into rounds at 1:21pm.
  • “Major” meaning eight moving bells
  • “Spliced” meaning they rang segments of five different methods (Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridge, Superlative, and Rutland), shifting from one to another when the conductor called for it.

The peal was commissioned in celebration of the wedding of James Thomas Langfitt and Veronica Nur Valdes, which took place on Friday, 11 January 2013.

Several of the Miami ringers listened from outside the tower.

Practice with visitors · 2013Apr12Fr

Visitors Cecily, Jenny, and Sue with Miami ringer Judy ringing rounds.  Alex is spotting Bobbie out of sight to the right;  Marguerite is on the left observing from the bench.

Visitors Cecily (tenor), Jenny (treble), and Sue (2) with Miami ringer Judy (3) ringing rounds. Alex is spotting Bobbie (4) out of sight to the right; Marguerite is on the left observing from the bench.

Miami ringers: Anne, Bobbie, Carroll, Judy, Ken, Lynn, Marguerite, Nancy, (Rob), Thomas.  Visitors:  Alex, Cecily, Derek, Duncan, Jenny, (Rob), Sue, Tim.  We raised the front six 123456 in peal, and then 7 and 8.  Alex ran the practice.

  • Rounds and (if the rounds were reliable) Call Changes on eight, rotating in Miami ringers first one at a time, then up to I believe five at a time.  Learner Bobbie rang with Alex spotting her.
  • Plain Hunt on Seven with tenor behind, with Miami ringers rotated in first one at a time then up to I believe four at a time, with a visitor standing behind each one.  I believe all the Miami ringers Plain Hunted except perhaps Bobbie, even those who didn’t think they could.  With so many steady ringers, and so many advanced ringers to stand behind, the band plowed along and kept together even while several ringers went astray.
  • The visitors rang a touch of the Spliced Surprise methods they will use for tomorrow’s peal attempt.  I heard Yorkshire, Cambridge, Superlative, Rutland, and one other method called, and an occasional “Bob”.
  • The visitors rang the back six down in peal, then the treble and 2.

Most of the band went out to dinner at Wynwood Walls afterwards.

April Ringing Weekend planned

Washington National Cathedral belltowerA group of ringers from Washington, DC and New York plan a Miami ringing weekend for Apr12Fr-Apr14Su.

  • We will schedule practice and coaching sessions at which the visitors will help the local ringers improve and advance.
  • The visitors will reinforce the local band for several sessions of service ringing.
  • Two peal attempts of Surprise Major are planned, one Sa morning and the other Su afternoon.

As for last year’s Ringing Weekend, the local band will provide airport transportation, housing, and some meals.  We look forward to (as one visitor expresses it) as much ringing as we can stand.

Early Practice / Practice · 2013Jan02We

First ringing of the new year for the Miami tower.

Early Practice · Four ringers:  Carroll, Judy, Thomas, and visitor James Sanderson whose home tower is York Minster in the UK.  We took James up to see the bells, raised all eight since nine ringers had said they would be present, and rang.

  • Rounds on the front four (1234), standing and rotating one bell to the right every so often.
  • Long Places.
  • Plain Hunt on Three with tenor behind.

Practice · Six ringers:  Carroll, Jody, Judy, Ken, Thomas, and visitor James Sanderson.