The 14th Scottish Handbell day (bookended by peal attempts)

There were points during the previous weekend, especially on Sunday, when I thought we had bitten off rather too much - again. 

Our programme to ring a peal Norman Smith's 23-spliced coincided with our usual semi-annual handbell day.  Simon has already written about our first attempt on Friday evening, which went very well (until it didn't), and we were fizzing afterwards, full of the prospects of certain success.

In the meantime, however, there was a handbell day to get through.  Having now done it so many times, the organisation of the rooms, putting the house in order, and managing the catering is a well-known quantity.  What with practising methods, and actually attempting a peal the night before, we had to be considerably more organised in advance (which challenged our storage and refrigeration capabilities considerably).  The benefit of having two extra ringers on hand first thing in the morning overcame much of this difficulty, and 4 people made short work of completing the long list of final arrangements.

After a few days with what I might call a 'small but select' attendance, this handbell day was one of our biggest, expanded in part by our decision to open the morning sessions to new or very inexperienced handbell ringers.  We had four interested new ringers attend, and we put them with a strong band and set to teaching them the basic principles and practising plain hunt (and eventally, a little go a Plain Bob).

The remainder of the day was divided into practice and quarter peal sessions, most of them dedicated to a particular goal or request.  We left the decision about whether to practice or attempt a quarter more or less to each band, which made all the sessions reasonably relaxed.  We also kept many of the sessions quite simple  - which was a relief to some of us.

As a result, our success rate was quite high, and several very satisfactory quarter peals were scored, including a first of Treble Bob major for Peter Kirton (who is practising up for a peal attempt), and for Alex Frye, and a first on 8 for Moira Tregaskis.

Plus we had plenty of practice of Surprise ringing, and getting exposure to higher numbers.  We included some of our new ringers in these practices, and they coped very well with coursing a pair to plain hunt on 8 and 10, and it provided a good opportunity to illustrate how these patterns extend to any number of bells.

Ringing 22-in from the sharp end using mini and toy handbellsRinging 22-in from the back, using the Whitechapel 12.

Ringing 22-in using 3 sets of bells and every available seating surface

We ended the evening with our usual mass handbell attempt - and this time we had a go at 22-in, combining a Whitechapel 12 with a combination of mini and toy handbells.  After successful rounds, there was a 'method' consisting of plain hunting on the front 6, and each set of 4 following.   Our new learners coped very well.  We then did some more general ringing, on diminishing numbers as people left for home, or (in my case) simply ran out of brain power.

Back to 23-spliced

Promptly on Sunday morning, we had our second, and then our third, and fourth attempts at 23-spliced, none of them getting as far as our first attempt on Friday.  By the end of the afternoon, we threw in the towel, after reaching the point where we were capable of going wrong ringing rounds. 

Despite retiring early the night before, we were really too tired, and somehow not able to keep our concentration going.  For the sake of our local band efforts, we might have been better not having a big handbell day in between events.  Never mind, we have another attempt coming up, and are determined to see it through all seven parts.   And the handbell day itself was hard to fault.

Quarter peals

All quarters rung for the Scottish Association, at 1 Albany Quadrant Glasgow, on Saturday 3 October 2015:

1260 Plain Bob Minor
1–2 Peter Kirton
3–4 Monica Menis
5–6 Jonathan S Frye (C)

1344 Plain Bob Major
1–2 Colin P North
3–4 Peter Kirton
5–6 Nicholas W Jones (C)
7–8 Moira Tregaskis
First on 8 in hand: 7-8.

1312 Kent Treble Bob Major
1–2 Tina R Stoecklin
3–4 Robin R Churchill (C)
5–6 Colin P North
7–8 Peter Kirton
First Treble Bob Major in hand: 7-8.

1250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
1–2 Jennifer A Holden
3–4 Robin R Churchill
5–6 Jonathan S Frye
7–8 Tina R Stoecklin (C)

1312 Kent Treble Bob Major
1–2 Alex P Frye
3–4 Jennifer A Holden
5–6 Robin R Churchill (C)
7–8 Nicholas W Jones
First of Kent Major: 1-2.



At a slightly less exalted level than 23-spliced

At a slightly less exalted level than 23-spliced, do you have any suggestions for straight forward handbell qp compositions of pb8, where 7-8 and 3-4 are less experienced, and the conductor on 5-6 hasn't really a great load of confidence??

Quarters of Plain Bob Major

When faced with exactly Iain's scenario 40+ years ago I produced the following (shown with all the coursing orders):
1264 Plain Bob Major
Composed by Graham A C John
23456   W   B   M   H      W     B     M     H
42356               –                      52436    
43256               s                      53426    
24635   –       –        34526       34265
64532           –                    34652
24536           s                    34256
42365       –       s          63425       62435    
34265               –                      64325    
23546   –       –        43625       43256
53642           –                    43562
23645           s                    43265
23456       –       –          54326       53246
3-4 course after the plain course. 
Alternatively this one was produced by Mark Davies in a similar situation (I believe).
 1264 Plain Bob Major
 Composed by Mark B Davies
 23456  W   B   M   H     W     B      M     H
 42356              –                      52436
 34625  –       –       24536        24365  
 23645  –               43265           
 43625  s               23465           
 24635  –               34265           
(42356) s   –           24365 52436     
 45362      –   –             65243 65432   
 25364          s                   65234   
 35462          –                   65342   
 25463          s                   65243   
 34256  –       –   –   52643       52436 54326
 23456              –                     53246
The first one has slightly more coursing for 3-4 and the second slightly more for 5-6.