As many of you know, there is a website built at the start of the first lockdown to allow ringers to meet together, set up towers or various numbers of bells, allocate those bells to each other and ring them by pressing the space bar. We have used this on the Sunday evening 8 pm 12 bell practice a number of times, with varying success and a deal of hilarity. The site only has the ability to issue a few instructions like ‘Look to…..’, ‘Go next time’, ‘Bob’, ‘Single’ etc. so we run Zoom or Skype alongside it so we can chat and try to put each other right when the inevitable happens. As you can imagine, the process is very different to proper ringing, and in the same way people come with a range of strengths in their skillset, listening/ropesight/conducting/striking/rhythm, some of these skills lend themselves to “ringing” on a keyboard better than others. For some it is almost impossible, while others cope quite well.
Some have tried to use it for handbell practice, allocating 2 bells each and using the ‘J’ and ‘F’ keys or the number keys to make them sound. This has not lasted very long!
We have noticed some very clever ringers up-country have managed to ring quarters and even peals using ringing room. This seemed like an almost impossible task given how difficult we found it even to ring plain hunt on 8. Eventually someone who will remain anonymous (Andy), challenged us to ring a quarter of Plain Bob Major just to prove we could, and a band was put together. After a few meets and multiple attempts we came to the conclusion that at the rate we were ringing it would take 1 hour 20 to ring a quarter (It’s quicker even at St Buryan), and given we only managed around 15 minutes before it fell over, it would be a long time before we achieved our goal, and perhaps a 6 bell quarter would be more likely to succeed. It wasn’t difficult to find folk happy to stand out!
At our first meeting, after a few attempts we found the ringing started to settle and as the striking improved and the rhythm steadied it all became much easier – until someone got lost, or hit the key twice in short succession by mistake. That attempt came to a halt when the internet intervened and the treble’s screen froze.
So we met again, last night, 28th December, and at the second attempt succeeded, at roughly St Buryan speed! All we have to do now is get the other 2, who stepped out, through a quarter and then……. (I can’t imagine no one will say “How about trying it on 8?)
The entry on Bellboard
Truro Diocesan Guild
Monday, 28 December 2020 in 61m
1440 Plain Bob Minor
1 Andrew G Smith (Kea)
2 Debbie Spittle (Skinners Bottom)
3 Martin Spittle (Skinners Bottom)
4 Hayley Young (Ladock)
5 Carolyn Howell (Camborne)
6 Norman Mattingley (Truro) (C)
1st on Ringing Room for all, by a resident in Cornwall band and for the Guild.
The happy band, proving the internet in Cornwall does work.