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.