Back on track

Submitted by Simon on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 11:06

I'm taking a holiday this week, so I booked myself up for lots of online handbell ringing. (Ringers in England have been taking advantage of the recent relaxation of lockdown to restart live outdoor handbell ringing, but we still can't get our band together because in Scotland we are not supposed to cross borders and Angela and Jonathan live outside Glasgow).

On Monday evening we arranged a practice session with Jonathan, Angela and Peter. We always have internet problems, either because it's later in the evening or because it doesn't work well to have two people ringing from the same house, but we managed to ring a couple of plain courses of Cambridge Royal.

Tuesday was a quarter of York Surprise Royal, which has been attempted a couple of times by the Five O'Clock Club since failing to ring York Maximus. I called the same composition that I used for London Royal last week:

1440 York S. Royal
Simon J Gay

W  M  H  23456
      s  24356
s  s     54362
s  s     64325
s  s  s  23456

If you look closely it's not exactly the same composition, because the W and M are in the opposite order. But it's the same idea of six singles on 5, 2, 6, and it produces the same coursing orders but in the reverse order. We rang it pretty well, although there was one single that I very nearly missed until it popped out of my mouth by some sort of instinct. Maybe we can put York Maximus back on the menu now we've got to grips with the frontwork.

On Wednesday we finally rang a quarter of Remus, at the third attempt. We had an excellent band as both David Brown and Peter Randall had signed up for it, so I transferred myself to 7-8 in order to conduct from a fixed pair. Alban Forster rang the trebles, and he's always very steady. So it was just me and Peter Kirton from the previous attempts, and we've learnt it pretty well by now, so we rang a good quarter. That was the first quarter of Remus on handbells and only the second overall, and there has never been a peal of it. The band seemed to like the method, so my campaign to include it in the standard surprise royal repertoire is making progress.

Later on Wednesday evening, Tina and I started with a new group of learners, from the Glasgow band. During the regular Tuesday evening online practices some people have tried ringing two bells for plain hunting, so we decided to offer Jessica, Zoe and Colin a chance to learn more systematically. We quickly took them all through the coursing and opposites positions for plain hunting on six, which was a promising start, and at the end the three of them rang plain hunting together. Next time we will move on to the 2-3 position. 

Sgurr a'Chaorachain

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 13/02/2021 - 20:38

Sgurr aChaorachain

Sgurr a'Chaorachain Surprise Royal is basically a ten-bell version of Zanussi Surprise Maximus. It has gained some popularity in recent years and we have had some success ringing in in the tower at Scottish Association practices. It has just appeared on the menu for the Five o'Clock Handbell Club, at...

Littleport Little Surprise

Submitted by Simon on Fri, 05/02/2021 - 21:18


Sometimes described as "poor man's Bristol Royal", Littleport extends Bristol Major to Royal by turning the treble around in 8th place, maintaining the pattern of points and fishtails at the back, and filling in with triples dodge above the treble across the half lead. The same idea works for maximus...

A band of Simons

Submitted by Simon on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 09:28

Several of the Five o'Clock Club quarters have involved myself, Simon Rudd and Simon Humphrey. We speculated about the appropriate collective noun (possibly an "excellence") and then thought of trying to ring a Simons quarter. Simon Linford was the obvious fourth person, as he has been doing a lot in Ringing Room...

What is the minimum hardware for online ringing?

Submitted by Simon on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 17:09

A while ago, during discussions with the eBells consortium, the following question came up: what are the minimum hardware requirements for online ringing? We know that Ringing Room doesn't really work with tablets or smartphones, so we assume that everyone has a laptop or desktop PC to use, but what if...

Woodbine Delight Minor

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 09:13

During the last few weeks, Tina and I have extended our handbell ringing circle to include Caroline, who was put in contact with us by Lesley Belcher (chair of ART). Caroline was confident ringing Plain Bob, so the idea was to progress towards Kent and Oxford and beyond. We worked...

Method extension

Submitted by Simon on Sun, 13/12/2020 - 21:01

This isn't particularly a handbell-related topic, although it is prompted by ringing (on handbells) the major, royal and maximus versions of the methods that I discussed in the previous article: Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and especially Bristol. One of the things I find difficult about Bristol Royal and Maximus is the wrong...