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. 

Displaying 1 - 10 of 126

Blog post

We didn't get the quarter of Bristol on Monday. I got a bit lost in a way that would have been easily recoverable in live ringing, but proved impossible to retrieve with the constraints of online ringing. It was a good attempt though, with accurate ringing up until the big kerfuffle....Read more

Yesterday evening was the weekly Handbell Stadium practice, which I joined after having missed a couple of weeks. As usual there was a lot of interest in Double Norwich, so I rang a couple of courses. Then there was a suggestion of Duffield.

If you're not...Read more

Two lost online quarters this week, in contrast to the three successes last week.

Yesterday was an attempt for Cambridge Major, silent and non-conducted. The idea was to meet in Ringing Room and not set up an audio channel (usually we use Zoom); also not to use the chat in...Read more

Lots of handbell ringing, in person and online:

  • Last Monday: Cambridge Royal practice session with Jonathan, Angela and Peter. Different band placing, partly determined by social distancing requirements: Angela on 3-4, me on trebles, Tina conducting.
  • Last Wednesday: online quarter of Stedman Triples. I still find that Stedman takes a lot
  • ...Read more

There have been some posts on Facebook recently about ringing-themed designs for fabric, ordered from You can upload a basic square design and get it printed onto fabric, repeated in a checkerboard pattern (or a few variations).

I decided it...Read more

Yesterday we rang a quarter of Lincolnshire Royal, which is what we had been planning to ring way back on 16th March just before the lockdown started. 18 weeks, feeling like a lifetime ago. We suffered a bit from ringing in a large not-quite-circle - it's definitely more difficult when...Read more

Now we are allowed to meet with three households indoors, we got our handbell band together in person this evening. We set out a large triangle with Jonathan and Angela at one vertex, Peter at another, and Tina and me at the third. With a suitable assignment of pairs (Angela 1-2...Read more

Online ringing with Ringing Room becomes more difficult when more people are involved, because there is more variation in the internet delays and more people who have to cope with it. Of course it's normal for ringing on more bells to be more difficult, but in Ringing Room, ringing on...Read more

Handbell Stadium, UK
Thursday, 21 May 2020 in 49m
1282 Cambridge Surprise Royal
1-2 Lesley H M Boyle (Reach)
3-4 Gareth Davies (Reach)
5-6 Graham A C John (C - Brimpton)
7-8 Simon Humphrey (Wetton)
9-10 Simon J Gay (Glasgow)
First of Royal on...Read more

I'm still helping Graham John with his tests of Handbell Stadium. On Sunday we tried to ring a quarter of Cambridge Royal, but we lost it twice, first for technical reasons (one of my bells got stuck) and then with a good old-fashioned fire-up. We were having problems with network...Read more


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