Time to Ramp Things Up

On Thursday evenings I run a RingingRoom virtual #bellringing session with a small group made up of family and friends. We’ve been doing this since about May, in leiu of actual bellringing in a tower on real bells.

Over the months we’ve been building up our repertoire of methods having started off ringing various Minor methods like Double Oxford, Buxton and Pinehurst before moving on to Surprise Minor methods, Cambridge, Primrose, Ipswich and Bourne.

For some of the group, including myself, it’s the first time that we’ve rung some of these methods so it has been a massive achievement for the group.

Some weeks are better than others. Sometimes the technology is a bit flaky and let’s the rhythm down and sometimes one or more of us isn’t quite on top form. The point is that we stick with it. Each week we have a core 8 or 9 people, so each touch requires one or more person to sit out. But that’s just what it would be like in a real tower anyway. We spend about an hour or so ringing and I use a simple matrix (pictured) to try to make sure that everyone gets a fair go, and gets to try the method from every bell.

Now we’re more proficient at ringing some Surprise Minor methods, I asked everyone how they wanted to proceed. The options were to either a) stick with Surprise Minor and work our way through some of those methods, b) to move on to ringing Major methods, starting with something basic to help us get into an 8 bell rhythm, or c) to go for a combination of both, to add some variety, but that might mean sometimes learning 2 methods at the same time for some people. I want everyone to feel that they get something out of it, enjoy it, but not to feel pressured too much that they spend all week stressing over it.

The resounding result was to try a combination of both. We then agreed that the 2 methods should be “methods of the month” so we spend every week in the month consolidating those 2 methods before moving on. So for November our methods of the month will be Norwich Surprise Minor and Little Bob Major. Hopefully we’ll be able to give everyone good go at both of those throughout the evenings.

And after an intensive ringing session, we all head down the virtual pub for a good natter to catch up with what everyone’s been up to. Just like a real ringing session but without leaving the comfort of home.

Thank goodness for the advent of RingingRoom and Zoom.


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