On Friday evening we had our first attempt for the peal of 23-spliced. We didn't get it, but we got well into the 5th part, with mostly very good ringing. That's more of it than we have rung in one go before, so although it was disappointing not to reach the end, it was still a promising attempt. Friday evening is never ideal for ringing something difficult, but we're hoping that the next attempt on Sunday morning will find us more alert and with the methods still freshly in mind.
I have discovered a weakness in the way I ring symmetrical leads. What I mean by that is the pairs of place bells that are each other's reverses, such as 6th and 8th place bells in Yorkshire. During the peal attempt I had a problem with 4th and 6th place bells in Tavistock, although that particular mistake didn't cause the fire-up (which was my fault, but in Lindum later). I find myself ringing up to the half lead, where my pair dodges together (or in other methods it could be crossing at a plain hunting half lead), and then ringing the second half of the lead by reversing what I have just done, instead of by following the work of the method. The problem is that if I make a mistake, it's difficult to recover because I have lost track of the overall trajectory. So I need to adjust the way I think about ringing those leads.
Before the next peal attempt, we have the Scottish Handbell Day. This time we have changed the format slightly by planning to cater for beginners in the morning, before the usual mixture of practice sessions and quarters in the afternoon. We have 5 complete or near beginners coming, and 16 established ringers of various levels of experience. That gives us a good ratio for the introductory sessions, so we are hoping that the intensive practice will let us get the beginners through the plain hunting positions and perhaps onto Plain Bob Minor.
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