Ringing as family activity

Last week, the Pipe family rang a family quarter peal, followed by a family peal of Plain Bob Major in hand.  This may not seem all that remarkable unless you know that the band contained their two sons, who are of a similar age to our own children.  It is a fantastic accomplishment, not the less so because there are some particular challenges to teaching one's own children to ring.

In the first instance, there is putting it into the weekly schedule.  It is so easy to just assume that since you are all home together you will be able to just ring a bit here and a bit there.  On the other hand, making a firm schedule runs the danger of rebellion at yet another 'chore'.  Then there is the problems of taking and giving instructions - if you are not careful, all the generation politics come into play and actually make it harder to teach and learn.  Finally, there is the concern at not wanting to force your own interests on your children.

This isn't of course limited to bell ringing.  I have had quite a few conversations with a judo coach about the balancing act of encouraging ability in your children and wanting them to love it as much as you do, with the level of toughness required to push them into being good.  Not easy.

We would love to be able to ring together as a family , and we have long followed the handbell accomplishments of the Perrins' family in Australia as an example to live up to.  And, of course, we have followed the younger Pipes' incredible trajectory with admiration and interest (plus some curiosity as to how they managed it).

Some months back, I had a chance to talk to Cecilia Pipe about handbell ringing with 'the boys' and we had some common experiences to share, like finding it hard to ring with our children because we worried about them so much we went wrong (although I suspect I am a deal worse at that than she is).

Mostly, I suspect that they ring together a lot more.  Still, one doesn't get primary-aged children ringing peals unless they want to do it.   So power to their growing hands.  It is a huge accomplishment in sustained concentration and consistency (which is probably the subject of a different blog post).

Society of Cambridge Youths
Willingham, Cambridgeshire
53 Covent Garden
Sunday, 29 September 2013 in 2h17 (7 in D)
5088 Plain Bob Major
Composed by Roger Bailey
1–2 Cecilia E C Pipe
3–4 Henry J W Pipe
5–6 David J Pipe (C)
7–8 Alfred G W Pipe
First peal at first attempt, aged 8: 7-8
Rung as a welcome to Amber, a daughter for Edward and Kate Hughes and first great grandchild for George and Diana (Ipswich)
(or visit Bell Board to see the original record: http://www.bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=304388)