Ringing Practice – 9th Sept 2019

This evening’s practice was a fun and productive session. Graham, Sue, Keith, Stephanie, Wendy, and Louse were the early attendees and we started with practicing raising and lowering the bells in peal. This was partly to help with general raising and lowering technique and bell control.

Soon after this we were joined by Jeremy, Vinni, and Rachel. We rang some rounds, mainly for the benefit of Louise, our relative beginner, but also to develop listening and improve striking amongst the rest of the band. Louise is improving rapidly and is close to the point where she can take part in call changes, which she is looking forward to.

We also practiced some call changes as the band felt we hadn’t done that for a while and were a bit rusty, particularly Jeremy who had missed a lot of the practice sessions due to other commitments.

We then rang some Plain Bob Major, with Graham, Vinni, Sue and Rachel on the inside bells with Keith covering and Stephanie on the treble. This was a great exercise as Rachel was keen to practice Plain Bob Doubles, and it gave Stephanie a chance to exercise her hunting skills on a more complex method.

We rang more rounds and call changes later in the evening, and another attempt at Plain Bob Doubles. Then Keith practiced Plain Hunt on 5, although Graham and Vinni cheekily started to mix up the 4 and 5 bells.

Then we rang down and headed to The Castle.

We also had the opportunity to review the CCTV camera as some of the band, particularly Graham the Tower Captain, hadn’t seen it working. This is still in the temporary position, although it does give a fairly good view of the 3 and 4 bells.

View of the 3 bell ringing via the belfry CCTV camera

Ringing Practice – 2nd Sept 2019

A few people were away this week including Graham, the Tower Captain. Simon and Vinni were there looking after Stephanie, Keith, Wendy and Louise.

We got a chance to check out whether the CCTV camera position was suitable and how well the night vision worked. It all seemed very satisfactory, so now we need to experiment with mounting positions and to make the installation more permanent.

Belfry camera at night

We attempted to ring up in peal followed by rounds practice, primarily for Louise (although it’s good practice for all of us). We then made a few attempts at plain hunting, which didn’t go that well with two learners trying to hunt at the same time. We then did some more rounds and decided to cut the practice a bit short as everyone was feeling tired, so we finished by an attempt to ring down the bells in peal which wasn’t perfect, but is improving.

CCTV Install

Today we installed a CCTV camera into the belfry. The camera will be useful when training new band members.. This is a temporary installation to work out the best location for the camera, and to test the camera operation.

The CCTV camera has a night-vision mode which should allow us to use it without turning on the light in the belfry. The power for the camera is carried from the ringing room, so we can turn it on and off downstairs.

As a temporary measure, the camera is screwed into a piece of wood propped in the corner of the room. The camera is pointing at the 3 bell.

Temporary CCTV installation in belfry

The camera is connected to the ground floor using the spare Cat 6 cable we installed when we were wiring up the simulator. This connects into a video balun and a video converter box to convert the CVBS signal into VGA suitable for the screen we have. A power injector is also connected tot he Cat 6 cable to feed power up to the camera. We have a VGA switch to allow us to switch between the camera and the laptop we use for the simulator.

Image from the CCTV camera during daytime

The camera gives a pretty clear image in daytime, but we need to test how it performs in the dark. We also need to experiment with positions and viewing angles.

Wedding 30 Aug 2019

We rang for a wedding today. This was the first wedding that many of the newer band members had rung for. We had 8 ringers and rang rounds and call changes. Ringing were Graham, Sue, Owen, Keith, Duncan, Jeremy, Stephanie and Wendy.

The previous day, Stephanie, Duncan and Keith had visited the tower to ring the bells up.

Bells up at St. Nicholas Church

Simulator practice 23 Aug 2019

Tonight we did some practice in the simulator whilst Graham worked with Louise on rope handling. Stephanie and Keith both practiced plain hunt on 5.

Afterwards Louise practiced rounds on the simulator, and Graham had a go at a 12 bell method.

It was a useful session and we ended with a debrief at The Castle.

Ringing Practice 19 Aug 2019

We started the evening ringing up and then ringing rounds and call changes. We rang the second half of 60 on thirds.

During the evening we rang Whitfield, Cloister, and another training method invented by Graham which was named “Again” as in “Go again!”.

“Again” training method

We then rang the back six down in peal.

Attending were Graham, Sue, Duncan, Louise, Stephanie, Jeremy, Keith and Simon.

Sunday Ringing 18 Aug 2019

We were a little low on numbers this week as various people were away or committed to other things. Initially it looked like there would only be 4 of us: Graham, Keith, Duncan and Sue. But Stephanie turned up just as we were about to start ringing as her commitment at Cantley Park had been cancelled due to bad weather.

We attempted to ring plain hunt on 4 with a cover, which didn’t go too well but improved as we went along. We then switched to ringing call changes on the 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8 bells. This particular choice of bells was chosen as it makes up a major pentatonic scale which sounds good in pretty much any combination.

We then rang down the front 3 in peal (sort of), followed by some rounds on the back 5, and an attempt to ring them down in peal.

Monday Practice, 12th Aug 2019

We had a busy evening starting with attempting to ring up in peal on 6 bells (as Rachel was available to ring up). We then practised call changes on 6, with some of “60 on 3rds”. We then did some plain rounds to give Louise some practice. After we attempted Cloister a few times interspersed with more rounds. We rang Whitefield and more rounds and then attempted to ring down in peal. Attending this evening were Graham, Vinni, Stephanie, Louise, Rachel, Duncan and Keith.

Practice session 5 Aug 2019

We started the session attempting to ring up in peal followed by call changes with Stephanie, Duncan, Keith and Wendy taking turns to lead the band.

In between each touch of changes, the band rang Whitefield with Stephanie, Keith, Duncan and Wendy taking turns on the treble to practice plain hunting.