Above, Below and Beyond

It’s only taken 40 years, but I’ve had a #bellringing epiphany.  I am well acquainted with the theory that more complex methods are often made up of parts of the work from two other methods.  C and other people I ring with are expertly able to ring a method just by being told that it’s This above That. What that means is when you are in the change beneath the Treble you do the work of one method, then after you’ve passed the Treble on your way to the back, you do the work of a different method. 

For Christmas, at my request, C bought me the complete set of The Education Column series of articles.  I’ve read the first set and am making my way through Series 2 on Introducing Surprise. Some of it is stuff I already know, and some is proving to be interesting developments.

I was one of those ringers who skipped from Plain Bob straight to Cambridge Surprise without going via all of those lovely methods that help build pieces of work together.  My #bellringing experiences have also meant that the towers I rang at didn’t ring those methods either, so I never needed to learn them.

With the development of Ringing Room, the virtual #bellringing platform created at the very start of the pandemic lockdowns, I’ve been running a practice that has gone back to some of the basics.  We’ve travelled through Kent and Oxford, St Clements, Woodbine, Pinehurst, Buxton, then through to Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Borne, Beverley, Surfleet and others.  Each building on the framework of the last.  More recently we’ve been ringing Sandal, Duke of Norfolk and College Exercise courtesy of the Little Purple Book. 

I was reading through Sheet 10 of Series 2 of the Introducing Surprise article, and it introduced Oswald Delight Minor. It was introducing us to the theory of Above and Below.  Oswald combines two methods that we’ve learned on our journey, Cambridge and Kent. 

I know both of these methods well, so decided to try a new way to learn this new method. I decided not to look at a blue line.  I didn’t even read the rest of the article once it had said Cambridge below and Kent above.  I opened up Abel on my PC and went headlong into having a go at a plain course of it, just reiterating to myself the whole way through “Cambridge below, Kent above”.  It wasn’t absolutely perfect first time, but I actually got through it without any major mistakes, without referring to a blue line. I can see where I’m passing the Treble and switch between the two methods. 

This is the first time in 40 years of #bellringing that I have actually seen Above and Below and rung a method using just that information.

I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I’d take #bellrinigng theory more seriously, but I also think having gone back over those methods I missed out on using Ringing Room has helped me see the bells better, particularly where I’m passing the Treble. 

Thank you to the developers of Ringing Room for creating something that has given so much joy, comfort and learning to so many of us, and to David Smith, extraordinarily nice bloke from Oz, for writing the Education Column, which until now, I’ve pretty much glossed over most of the time. I promise to read them properly from now.


One thought on “Above, Below and Beyond

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s