Dec 01 2006
And I mean the bell ringing methods. Wednesday evening I headed up to the Forest Church (St Marguerite de la Foret) for their ringing practice. As it turned out only four other people went. Never the less we went ahead with the practice and it turned out to be one of the most productive practices I have attended to date.
We started out by ringing some Stedman singles (with a tenor behind). Previously I had only attempted stedman doubles once with mixed success but (after a couple of mistakes) we managed to bring it round. I also had another go at Stedman doubles and seem to be getting the hang of that, my only trouble being that I forget home many times I’ve made thirds in the slow work.
I was given a blast at a touch of Grandsire doubles, only this time I rang it off the four, previously I have only run it off the third. This went came round without any trouble and so I’ve got a quarter peal of Grandsire doubles on Sunday so I can finally put that one aside and move on to bigger and better things.
Next up I was given a taster of Reverse Canterbury. Apart from the fact that I kept forgetting to make places instead of dodging (as in Plain Bob) I managed to get though, I can’t remember for sure but I think I may have even rung a touch of Reverse Canterbury.
Finally, seeing as how the evening was going so well, we tried to ring All Saints Place and its “Extremes”. Not only did this come round but it also made me realise that I’m starting to understand all the gobbledy-gook that more experienced ringing speak such as “Just ring treble bob everywhere unless you ring over treble in fours in which case you plain hunt. If the treble takes you off the lead make seconds and go back to lead.” (This is - apparently – little bob).
I have always found, and this practice was no exception, that for a learner it is always better to go to a practice where there are fewer ringers , and those that are there are experienced. Not only do you get more ringing time but also when you make mistakes you can go back and try again without feeling pressured to move over and let someone else have a go. The more experience ringers are, however, more limited as to what they get to ring.
On a side note, I noticed just now that someone came to my site after searching for “Do bell ringers get paid?”. I can answer this for ringers in Guernsey, however, I’m not sure if this applies to the rest of the UK or the world at large. In Guernsey the tower gets paid for ringing for Sunday service and other parish church functions (of which there aren’t many). This money generally goes into the tower fund and is used to pay for repairs, our annual tennerfest meal, and subsidising trips to the other islands and the UK. The tower also gets paid for ringing at weddings (or other non-church functions), this is generally about £10-£12 per rope for half an hour, so at the Vale church it would be ~£70 but at the Town church it would be ~£100. With weddings, each ringing at their “home” tower tends to put the money into the tower fund but if they are ringing away from home (e.g. if I ring at the Vale) the ringer gets the money themselves and can do with it as they wish. Unfortunately we only get one or two weddings a year at the Town church