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.
We've done it! We've finished the handbell book, and it's available on Amazon as a printed paperback and as a Kindle edition. The book has its own page within this site. There were some last-minute changes, and formatting the Kindle edition caused a few headaches, but it's finally done....Read more
There's no tower bell ringing at the moment, and handbell ringing is almost entirely limited to people who have a band living in the same house (apart from some experiments with remote online ringing). The Pipes have rung a peal of Stedman Triples, and the Perrinses have rung one of spliced...Read more
For quite a long time now, Tina and I have been working on a book about handbell ringing. I had been planning to keep quiet until it was actually published, but we received a printed proof copy today and we were so excited...Read more
Tower bell ringing is not possible at the moment in the UK and US because of coronavirus. People still seem to be ringing in Australia and New Zealand. Even handbell ringing depends on having a whole band living in the same house. People have been speculating about using videoconferencing systems...Read more
Yesterday we christened Peter's flat with a nice quarter of Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. It was Peter's first of spliced surprise on handbells, and Jonathan's first of spliced as conductor on handbells. They both did well. Jonathan called this composition:
1280 Spliced Surprise Major (4m) M W H 23456...Read more
Yesterday was the annual SACR training day, at Tulloch. It's primarily a tower bell event, but we also offered some handbell ringing. In most cases this was plain hunting on six, including some with absolute beginners, as well as some Bob Minor. Good progress was made.
We also rang some Bristol...Read more
After ringing our quarter of Cambridge Royal with 3-4 unaffected, our next step was to ring a quarter of Cambridge Major, definitely not choosing a handbell-friendly composition. The idea was to give Peter a workout including as many positions as possible. If I remember correctly, Jonathan called this one:
Yesterday we managed to get all five of us together for the first time, and we rang a nice quarter of Cambridge Royal. Tina called it, which was a first for her, and it was Peter's first of surprise royal. The composition was one we have often used:...Read more