Acting Education Officer visit to Pillaton!

It has been a quiet few weeks for me due to work and family commitments! However I was fortunate to be invited to Pillaton on a Sunday afternoon, for an introduction to plain hunting session for two of their young ringers. Taking their first steps into method ringing – exciting stuff indeed!

Pillaton Tower Screen

Both myself and the students had been briefed on the structure on the afternoon: they would be using a specific learning sequence devised by Norman Mattingley, designed to break down into more manageable building blocks, the task of learning to plain hunt.

They would be ringing the treble and begin this process by hunting into 2nds place, then back to lead, to Bistow Little Bob Doubles. This was quickly mastered by both and progress quickly made onto Stanwell Little Bob Doubles, where they would hunt to 3rds place then back to lead. Then onto an “Little Little Little Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Place Doubles” involving hunting into 4ths place then back to lead for the treble.

All of these variations were rung both “plain” and also with Owen varying the order of the working bells – eliminating the possibility of the students from simply “ringing by numbers”. They had to rely 100% on their rope sight, and I must say made an excellent job at it!

Less than 2 hours later, they were both ringing plain hunt on 5 – WOW! Such progress, so quickly. Of course, is always helps to have youth on your side (something I wish I still had!) however, the structure on “building block” style learning is most certainly beneficial to anyone taking their first steps into plain hunting.

I am looking forward to utilising this style of teaching at the Introduction to Plain Hunting Guild Education Day in January. If you have missed out on a space this time (there were only 6!), don’t despair, there will be more dates released in the coming week.

With thanks to Owen and the Pillaton & friends ringers for inviting me, it’s always a pleasure to visit others and see how you are all progressing, the teaching methods being used and in this case, to enjoy one of Sue’s delicious mince pies!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and I look forward to ringing with you in 2024!


Acting Education Officer

Jemma at Pillaton