We had a handbell day on Saturday 7th May, and it was one of the most satisfying so far. Following the pattern of recent handbell days, we scheduled practice sessions before quarter peal attempts, but in several cases the people in a practice session rang a quarter anyway. The quarter peal total was 8: 4 of Bob Major, 2 of Kent Major and 2 of Yorkshire Major. We also practised a variety of methods including, unusually, Stedman Caters.
It was particularly pleasing to be able to support and advance the St Andrews handbell band, which rang its first quarter just before the handbell day. That was Plain Bob Minor, and was the first handbell quarter for Isabella and Philip, and Peter's first in hand as conductor. On handbell day, Philip rang a quarter of Bob Major, Isabella rang two, and Peter called a quarter of Bob Major and rang a quarter of Yorkshire. Subsequently there has been a peal of Kent Major by an East Scotland band, three of whom were at the handbell day.
At the end of the day we tried some rounds and simple change ringing on 16 and on 22, and practised Cambridge Maximus for what was supposed to be a peal attempt on Sunday morning. It became clear, however, that we had little chance of scoring a peal, so Sunday morning was downgraded to a practice and a possible quarter peal. In the end we practised hard and eventually rang a decent plain course, then called it a day. We are getting much better at the 12-bell rhythm and finding our places; now we need to absorb the patterns of each pair so that we can ring without having to concentrate so hard on the lines. I will write some more articles about the characteristics of each pair, as time permits.
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