We did a thing

When lockdown #1 began back in March, #bellringing, like so many other things was put on hold. Fortunately, some very clever people thought up RingingRoom, an online virtual belfry that enabled groups of people, from anywhere in the world, to join together to practice.

For a while I wasn’t particularly interested in it, thinking it was a bit too techy for me to get the hang of. But as time went on, and there seemed to be no return to the usual rhythm of practice nights, meetings, quarter peals and peals, I decided to have a closer look.

From some time in May, I invited a small group of my siblings (the ones that ring), my hubby, and some friends, to a regular Thursday evening virtual #bellringing session. Each week we’d try to get the hang of ringing using a keyboard instead of a rope, and learn a different set of visual clues.

One of my siblings has always had it in her head that should could never get the hang of ringing Cambridge Surprise Minor. She had, in the dim and distant past, rung it and even scored a quarter peal of it, but it had never stuck and she rarely had the opportunity to try. I therefore made it an early mission of this group to get her to be ringing it without fuss.

We took a circuitous route, using different methods to introduce different parts of the work and build up gradually. In the meantime, she had also put out a request for anyone else to help her, during her own organised sessions, with extra practice during the daytime.

With this additional help, it wasn’t long before she’d got a plain course sorted and was trying touches. Then someone suggested going for a quarter peal attempt. There were a couple of failed attempts, either technology failures, or brain failures. She eventually changed her day time sessions to a Friday so that I could join in too on my day off.

On our Thursday evening sessions, we have moved on from Cambridge to Ipswich, Primrose and now Norwich. From someone who didn’t think she could ring Surprise Minor methods, she’s now got several under her belt.

It so happened that her hubby had the week off work and it was his birthday on Friday so the suggestion was to try for a quarter peal of Cambridge again. With some trepidation 6 of us gathered, from the comfort of our respective homes and started ringing. It was going very well. Only a few clips here and there but nothing o worry about. There was quite a hiccup quite near the end, but we all stuck with it and managed to come out of it in the right order.

After 49 minutes, a very reasonable quarter peal of Cambridge Surprise Minor was scored. As you might imagine she was really chuffed. Everyone was really pleased to have scored it, especially as a birthday compliment to her hubby too.

Another #bellringing milestone ticked.


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