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. 

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...

So near and yet so Far-managh

Submitted by Simon on Fri, 04/06/2021 - 20:48

This evening we almost rang a quarter of Fermanagh, unfortunately scuppered by a hardware problem, and infuriatingly in my equipment.

We had a short false start because one of my bells just stopped ringing. Unplugging and replugging the eBell, followed by restarting Handbell Manager, got it working again. It would...

An unusual two-spliced

Submitted by Simon on Wed, 26/05/2021 - 21:18

This week's online handbell ringing got off to a good start with a quarter of spliced Yorkshire and Kent. Yes, you read that correctly! Apparently the idea came up a while ago when a band couldn't decide whether to ring Kent or Yorkshire for a safe quarter, and someone suggested combining...

Little Bob 14

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 15/05/2021 - 19:18

We were supposed to go for a Simons' quarter on 14 a few weeks ago, but it was cancelled because I had to drop out. Soon afterwards a Five o'Clock Club band rang the first online 14-bell quarter, of Little Bob, which I also couldn't ring in. But I had my...

Back on track

Submitted by Simon on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 11:06

I'm taking a holiday this week, so I booked myself up for lots of online handbell ringing. (Ringers in England have been taking advantage of the recent relaxation of lockdown to restart live outdoor handbell ringing, but we still can't get our band together because in Scotland we are not...

York Surprise Maximus

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 20:59


On Monday we tried a quarter of York Maximus, with a band that didn't include a star conductor - so I ended up calling it. It was a little more difficult than we expected, and we didn't score. Also we didn't manage to ring a plain course afterwards. Oh well...