Having dedicated September to mastering Bristol Surprise Major, our regular band is now focussed on getting to grips with London. We have limped to the end of a plain course a few times, but last night we attempted our first quarter.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t go. It didn’t go about six times. However, each time we got a little further, and rang a little better. Frankly, I felt pretty good about it. It was miles better than our first attempts at Bristol, which must mean something. Given that I had only managed to rehearse one pair beforehand, and the composition exposed me to all three pairs, I was feeling not too bad. Well, I was pretty bad – but not irretrievably bad. This feels within our reach.
Afterwards, we had a discussion about ringing speeds, and about how we tended to ring more slowly than, say, our esteemed colleagues in Penrith. So, we did some speed trials ringing Yorkshire, using both a stopwatch, and comparing our speed with the ‘ideal’ peal speed on Abel (2 hours 20 minutes).
Our conclusions? Well, we didn’t find the Abel pace too hard to match: it didn’t feel impossibly speedy. However, the overall time was slowed down by mistakes (we didn’t manage the transition to London to Yorkshire very quickly), and our habit of waiting when one of us was a bit late striking. However, we agreed that we couldn’t ring that fast in a method we were all trying to learn at the same time. And because we had been spending a lot of time pushing our method boundaries, we had gotten into the habit of a fairly stately pace even when we knew the method well.