After successfully sending our Handbell Club students away happy with their accomplishments, we turned to the more challenging part of the day, which consisted of satisfying various Surprise Major requests, and filling in the rest of the bands appropriately around them. We had a small number of attenders, but a good level of experience, and we had created a good schedule of mixed 6, 8 and 10 bell attempts.
A last minute change in the lineup for the day blew that schedule, and we had to create a new timetable from scratch, and packed the afternoon with three (yes, three) separate attempts at Kent Maximus. While the Surprise Major attempts trundled along with a reasonable mixture of success (the highlight being a quarter of 4-spliced) and good opportunities for practice, we had open rebellion in the Kent bands, and eventually dropped one session back to a Cambridge Royal practice instead.
Feedback was mixed: some people felt that they were not yet ready for 12-bell ringing, and that it was too hard; others thought it was the best opportunity to practice 12-bell ringing in a sustained way that we had ever had. Goes to show. The next handbell day is the first Saturday in October, so we will see what lessons we take to that one.
In the meantime, we managed to yet again not ring a peal of 41 Minor, and now have no further opportunities for it until later summer. Trying to start a handbell peal after 8pm just doesn't work. We knew it didn't work years ago, having tried it before, but a lack of free Saturdays pushed us into trying it again - and again - and again. And with a naive, Carlisle-induced fog of faith, we believed.....