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. 

Restarting handbell days

Submitted by Simon on Sun, 10/10/2021 - 20:03

Normally we organise handbell days twice per year, in May and October, with a combination of quarter peals and practice sessions. We've missed the last three because of the pandemic, but yesterday we restarted with a small-scale event involving 12 people.

The morning focused on getting our three new Glasgow...

A busy week

Submitted by Simon on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 20:45

This week I have been ringing every day since Sunday! Not all handbells, but still, it's been a long time since such an intensive week. Sunday and Tuesday were in the tower, but all the rest were handbells.

On Monday we had a second attempt at the peal of 4-spliced...

Of course the run of success couldn't last forever

Submitted by Simon on Tue, 24/08/2021 - 15:53

It's been three weeks since my last article, and in that time we rang two quarters of 6-spliced surprise major (the old-fashioned standard eight without London and Pudsey). That made 9 quarters with no losses since we restarted live handbell ringing in June - a remarkable winning streak.

However, the...

Surprise Royal progress

Submitted by Simon on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 10:08

Yesterday Nick dropped in for a quarter, as he was passing through Glasgow and had some time between trains. After a bit of debate and method revision, we agreed to ring spliced Cambridge, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Royal. It was the first time we had tried spliced royal with an Albany...

New landmarks in Bristol

Submitted by Simon on Wed, 23/06/2021 - 21:08

Bristol Royal with landmarks

On Monday we had an expedition to Angela's house, for the first time in more than a year, and rang a quarter of Bristol Royal. This was very satisfying - although we rang a quarter with Nick a couple of years ago, after several attempts, we had not previously practised...