A Nice Peal of Bristol

After ringing a quarter of Bristol on the handbell day, we hatched a plan for Julia to come up from Penrith to ring a peal. It was the half term holiday down there (a week later than ours), so she was able to bring her daughters for an overnight trip. We gave them, along with Thomas and Dorothy, strict instructions about bedtime; everything went off without a hitch and we rang a good peal. 

Scottish Association
1 Albany Quadrant
Monday, 20 October 2014 in 2h31 (15C)
5152 Bristol Surprise Major
Composed by Roger Bailey
1–2 Tina R Stoecklin
3–4 Jonathan S Frye
5–6 Simon J Gay (C)
7–8 Julia R Cater

It was the first time I had called a peal of Bristol away from the tenors, so that felt like progress, although I found the sections when I wasn't coursing quite difficult. At the end, the others told me that I had made a few comments of the form "This is a tricky bit for me, so um er mumble mumble..." The composition, by Roger Bailey, is a good one for handbells. It's based on blocks of five befores, and in each block, both 3-4 and 5-6 are coursing except for one course. The only drawback is that after coursing for several courses, it feels rather shocking to be thrown into the 5-6 position. 

5152 Bristol Surprise Major
By Roger Bailey

M B W H  23456
1     1  64352
1 5 1 2  32546
1 5   1  65243
  5 1 2  62453
1 5   2  23456
For handbells.


We are discovering that Bristol has so many landmarks that as long as the band can basically ring it, it's quite easy to keep everyone right. Most of the conducting comments are "lead end", "half lead", "handstroke point" or "backstroke point", and taking all those together, there are six opportunities per lead to say something that will help at least half the band. But in last week's peal, most of the time we were ringing quite smoothly, and it was only necessary to make a comment from time to time in order to resynchronise if one bell was a blow out of step. So, a satisfying evening, and now we are thinking about stopping in Penrith on the way back from our Christmas travels, to ring another peal.