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.
Yesterday was the Scottish Handbell Day. Jonathan and Angela were away, but we were reinforced by a visit from Ruth, Richard and Lesley, who we used to do a lot of ringing with before moving to Glasgow. We had the usual mixture of practice sessions and quarters, and everyone made...Read more
On Monday we were joined by Nick for another Bristol Royal session, without the distraction of ringing London first. We agreed that we would set out for a plain course, and if we got to the end, I would call a wrong and keep going for a quarter.
It started...Read more
The next method of the month is Ytterbium. Let's have a look at it now, although I don't think we'll be able to ring it until a bit later in August.
It's a D lead end, i.e. "alternate Cambridge" place bell order. We've...Read more
Continuing with the monthly methods from the Ringing World Diary, we rang a quarter of Frodsham on 1st July. I have to say that the method isn't very far up our favourites list. It's Bristol above the treble - even more than that, it's completely Bristol until the treble gets...Read more
We had planned a session with Nick today, as he was going to be passing through central Scotland. It could have been a Cambridge Maximus session, but we didn't manage to find a sixth person, so we decided to work on London and Bristol Royal. We were fairly confident that...Read more
We rang our quarter of Jovium without difficulty. The method was quite straightforward once we got into it - and the amount of wrong-place work is tiny, just a couple of blows of wrong hunting between the fishtails.
A couple of hours before we started, I finally got around to writing...Read more
This week we rang another quarter of Turramurra, so that Tina could ring it and Angela could ring inside. Jonathan called it again, but with a different composition. It went well, and the next day we rang a course of it in the tower.
June's method is Jovium,...Read more
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...Read more
This month's method is Kenninghall, and we rang a quarter of it on Monday - once again, the first band to put a performance of the monthly method into the list on BellBoard. It was a new venue, but it's only...Read more
On Monday we had another go at Cornwall with Julia and Nick, and succeeded with a good peal. I decided that ringing the tenors would give us a better chance, so we changed the band around a little. I found that it still takes some concentration to keep the treble bob...Read more