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 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
We started March with a quarter of Lancashire, which was the first one in the BellBoard list for the method of the month. I expected us to find it more difficult than some of the new methods we have rung, so I put...Read more
Last Monday we rang a quarter of February's method, Double Dublin. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to - my memory of ringing Double Dublin as part of 23-spliced was that it can be a bit trippy, because of having to remember to do every variation with respect...Read more
I noticed a peal of Cornwall on handbells last week, with a composition by James Smith which is also based on blocks of befores but is much better than the one I came up with.
5024 Cornwall Surprise Major James A Smith M B W H 23456 ----------------- - -...Read more
I've already written briefly about Cornwall and its inclusion in the "Core Seven", but this week we tried to ring a peal of it, so I have more to say. I've included the grid and the lines for each pair (from ...Read more
Last time we rang with Jonathan and Angela, we booked yesterday for a possible handbell peal attempt, but agreed that if the weather was suitable, we would go out for a walk instead. It was a nice dry day (although not as clear as the previous day), so we climbed...Read more