A week ago we had the Scottish Handbell Day, which took place at the Fryes' house in Dunblane because of the building work at Albany Quadrant (which has finished for the moment, I'm happy to say). Some new people came along, including James Holdsworth who has recently moved from Yorkshire to Edinburgh. With his help we were able to ring a couple of plain courses of Cambridge Maximus, fairly convincingly. There's room for some polishing, but it feels as if we can basically ring it, so the next step will be to try a quarter and then go for a peal. Other ringing included plain hunting and Bob Minor with some newcomers, and quarters of Kent and Yorkshire Major.
Last Friday we had a visit from Nick Jones, and rang two quarters. The first was Turramurra, so we've scored May's method of the month. (The peal we had been due to ring in April had to be cancelled). It's a nice method, very easy, and Jonathan called a composition by Rob Lee with a couple of courses of the back bells in the 8765 position. After that we rang 8-spliced (standard 8, with apologies to Project Pickled Egg), which went smoothly even though we haven't rung most of the methods for ages.
Yesterday was the SACR striking competition, which is always a good opportunity for handbell ringing because of all the waiting around. This was mostly Bob Minor with two of the beginners we had been ringing with on the handbell day, and it was satisfying to make some more progress.
The striking competition judge was Glenn Taylor, who has composed some interesting peals of Spliced Surprise Major (as well as other things). There's one of London, Bristol, Cambridge, Superlative and Glasgow, which I rang on handbells with David Brown, Roger Bailey and Mike Trimm in the late 90s. He also has one of the Horton's Four methods in a 2-part all-the-work, but with slightly more split tenors than Roddy Horton's composition. Also a 3-part all-the-work of Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow and Superlative with just a little bit of split tenors (or not exactly split, but coursing the wrong way around), which could be fun to ring one day. So it was interesting to meet him, and his comments on the team that I rang in were so insightful that it was as if he had been in the tower with us...but that's another story.