If at first you don’t succeed…

Not everything goes to plan first time around. Both #bellringing and #baking have their moments when you have to start over. Baking cakes is fraught with all sorts of danger from ingredients that aren’t quite right, to oven temperatures being a bit erratic, to mixtures coming out too wet or too dry. Icing might not do what you think it should and taste and final aesthetics may not be how you envisaged.

Bellringing often requires a start-stop. Learning new methods is hard work. A lot of homework theory is required before you even try it out on real bells. And of course, at the moment when using real bells isn’t an option for some, the cooperation of technology isn’t always available.

Yesterday I was very lucky to have been invited to participate in a quarter peal attempt on RingingRoom with some very illustrious ringers. That in itself was worrying enough, but if you don’t say yes to these things when they are offered you’ll never get asked again. The method was straight forward, Grandsire Caters, something which if we’d been ringing in the tower would have been second nature.

The trouble virtual #bellringing is that a lot of the visual clues that you would ordinarily get by virtue of the movement of the rope, the rhythm of the ringing and the faces of your fellow ringers, just aren’t there. Therefore ringing something that you are very familiar with gets more complicated.

In the tower, whilst ringing this particular method, I would barely be noticing what place I was in, counting my place would only happen in moments of doubt. However just to make sure, yesterday I counted every single place I was in. That’s not to say that the instruction from my brain to hand to keyboard necessarily struck the bell in exactly the right place, I did my share of clipping.

We had a false start to begin with when a couple of bells swapped position but that was very early on, so we started off again. We’d been ringing for quite a while the second time around and there had been a few technical lag issues and a few bells not quite in the right place but they seemed to get sorted out quickly enough. However, things came to a grinding halt about two courses from the end. Something wasn’t quite right so it had to be stopped.

Disappointing though that was, that’s the longest single piece of virtual #bellringing I’ve done, and only the second time I’ve rung on ten bells in RingingRoom, which does sound very different and your rope sight does require adjustment.

The plan was to have rung a quarter peal to mark the Central Council of Church Bellringers AGM taking place on Saturday and rung by Council members (+1). Not to be deterred, we have rescheduled it for later today to try, try again.


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