General Progress

It all started several years ago, when Jonathan Frye and Angela Deakin asked if we were interested in forming a handbell band, including teaching Angela to ring handbells.  We had been trying and failing to do just this for many years (for reasons far too boring to go into), so we said ‘YES’.

(Really, it all started when Mike Clay began some regular handbell practices with some of the students in Edinburgh and various other handbell ringers in the area, including Jonathan.  One day our schedules will mesh enough to all ring together – but in handbell ringing, patience is everything.)

Our journey from those first beginnings to where we are now  has been both fun and interesting.  Also, we learned a lot about teaching handbells to people at various levels of ability.  Through it all we have discussed theories of how people learn, best methods of learning (we don’t always agree), and how to transfer some of this expertise into the bell tower.

The blogs below are about that journey, our progress and the progress of other bands by guest authors.  They describe the ups and downs as they happen, as honestly as we can. 

Displaying 1 - 10 of 123

Blog post

Mac users are a little bit behind Windows users when it comes to technology for online handbell ringing. We are catered for by Handbell Stadium, but we don't have a version of Graham John's Handbell Manager software that converts the input from motion controllers into keypresses that will drive Mabel...Read more

To remind you, here is the first dummy handbell controller I made based on a large Arduino Leonardo.

And here is one of Tim Hart's 3D-printed dummy handbells, with my small Leonardo Pro Micro inside.


Tim and...Read more

Online ringing with Ringing Room becomes more difficult when more people are involved, because there is more variation in the internet delays and more people who have to cope with it. Of course it's normal for ringing on more bells to be more difficult, but in Ringing Room, ringing on...Read more

This is an updated article on how to make handbell controllers for use with Handbell Stadium or Handbell Manager. I now have more experience with using several different components, and I have been trying to make the software easier to use and install.

You might want to refer to the...Read more

This morning I rang in the first internet 10-bell peal.

Guild of St Cuileáin
Handbell Stadium
, UK
Saturday, 6 June 2020 in 2h 58
5040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
Composed by John H Fielden
1-2 Lesley H M Boyle (Reach)
3-4 Gareth Davies (Reach)
5-6 Graham...Read more

Handbell Stadium, UK
Thursday, 21 May 2020 in 49m
1282 Cambridge Surprise Royal
1-2 Lesley H M Boyle (Reach)
3-4 Gareth Davies (Reach)
5-6 Graham A C John (C - Brimpton)
7-8 Simon Humphrey (Wetton)
9-10 Simon J Gay (Glasgow)
First of Royal on...Read more

I'm still helping Graham John with his tests of Handbell Stadium. On Sunday we tried to ring a quarter of Cambridge Royal, but we lost it twice, first for technical reasons (one of my bells got stuck) and then with a good old-fashioned fire-up. We were having problems with network...Read more

This week's Ringing World contained a review of the handbell book, written by Bill Croft. He likes it! The review gives a good summary of what's in the book, and comments favourably on the style and presentation.

The headline summary of the review is worth quoting:

Like a thoroughly experienced...Read more

Three weeks ago, Graham Firman posted on BellBoard and YouTube about a handbell-ringing robot he has made. Subsequently he has written an article for the Ringing World about its construction, including the fact that it is controlled...Read more

During the coronavirus lockdown, BellBoard is dominated by handbell performances. There are also a few performances on newly-developed remote ringing websites such as Real handbell ringing, however, is restricted to people who have ringers and bells in the same house. Some people are lucky enough to have 6-bell or...Read more


RSS feed Subscribe to General Progress