LEARNING TO RING
Please make contact if you think that bell-ringing looks interesting and you would like to see ringers in action and have a try. All towers are always looking out for a new recruit or two. It is certainly an interesting, fascinating and multi-faceted exercise. Here are a few myths and answers. The phone number for each tower contact in the branch is shown on the ‘Towers & Contacts' page. Otherwise you can contact Geoff Pullin on 01327 871806.
Learning to ring a bell is rather like learning to ride a bike. It’s easy when you can do it! Also, once learned, will not be forgotten. Initially you have to learn how to safely chime a bell when mouth downwards, raise it and set it in the mouth upwards position and to ring it at hand-stroke and back-stroke accurately. This will take some one-to-one training which is usually arranged specially for you and can take place with the clapper tied so that the bell doesn’t make a noise and irritate neighbours.
Ideally this will be at your local church tower. Not all towers have ringers willing to teach the initial stages, so we can make suitable arrangements just for you. A recent recruit from a village without a regular practice night, had her first four lessons in four different towers: Badby, Staverton, Braunston and Hellidon, but all with the same tutor!
Children from 10 years old can learn to ring but should be accompanied by a parent initially to see what goes on and to make suitable on-going Child Protection arrangements. Children learn very much quicker than adults. An ideal time is around 14 years when they will be ready for exponential progress among instant new friends of their own age and from the local population when they go to university and carry on ringing there.
When you can safely ring a bell, you will join in the normal weekly practice night either at your home tower or at another suitable tower so as to learn to ring your bell accurately and in rhythm with the other bells. You will also learn about the traditions, etiquette and customs of ringing.
All training and ringing is free of charge. It has to be understood that the pay-back to the experienced ringers and the church (which provides valuable large percussion instruments for us) is to commit to help with ringing for church services as regularly as possible when you are competent.
Next you will begin change-ringing with called changes, and as you become more proficient we introduce you to plain hunting and the simpler methods, like Plain Bob and Grandsire. After that, your progress into the realms of fascinating and more complicated methods is up to you. Not all towers are able to offer such progress at their own practices but there are opportunities around the branch for more complicated method ringing and to ring up to ten bells. The more hands-on ringing you get, the faster you will progress!
The branch holds monthly meetings as shown on the 'Programme’ page which will provide more opportunity to increase your experience on different bells and different numbers of bells. It also arranges training sessions and quarter peals (45 minutes continuous ringing).
Bell-ringing has the great advantage that you can progress at your own rate, or not at all, if you are happy with that! There is no ageism and youngsters can conduct pieces (‘touches’) of ringing and keep older members right and nobody bats an eyelid! Regular practices in the branch are shown on the 'Towers & Contacts' page. Please check before travelling.
Daventry tower is kept ringing by many from the surrounding villages, including Sundays. The villages are within united benefices, sharing priests, so their pattern of services is not quite so regular and thus numbers at Daventry fluctuate. Lots of new recruits would solve this for good!
Further afield there should be good ringing at: Northampton on Wednesdays (4 central towers in turn) and Towcester Fri 8 – 9.30pm.
We look forward to seeing you!
Last updated 16/1/17