Extract from Mid-Devon Tower Talk - Feb 19
February Branch Practice – Babbacombe
What did you miss by not coming to Babbacombe on a cold February evening – was it frostbitten fingers, slippery hands or good ringing? The 11 brave souls who turned up rang a variety of methods with the emphasis on the simpler end of the repertoire. Call changes were popular in order to get the best out of these bells but we also managed Grandsire and Plain Bob Triples and Erin Triples which meant Nicola Jones having her first (and second) go at covering on 8. It was great to have a good turnout from Stokeinteignhead which included Simon Glanfield who was once captain at Babbacombe and told us many stories of his days here. Andy from Tavistock was another welcome visitor who joined in most of the ringing including London Surprise Minor which was the last method ringing. Call changes on eight and straight down brought the proceedings to a close.
Surprise Minor practice – Coffinswell
At our AGM this year we decided to try running a Surprise minor practice for a trial period. This was the first one. The methods for the evening were Cambridge and Surfleet and despite the absence of a bulb in the tower light(!!) we had a useful evening. Unfortunately the branch ringing master had forgotten the extension light he had promised!! Nicola and Sheila were able to get good practice on the treble and Karen made a good start at Cambridge inside. For the rest of us it was Surfleet and by the end of the evening we had all rung a very respectable course of it. So, the verdict on our first Surprise practice – "Well worth it"!
Raising and lowering Training Morning – East Ogwell
For the third time the branch held a training morning for raising and lowering in peal. Yet again we were over-subscribed so it is very clear how popular / needed this training is within our towers. The truth is that it is one of the most difficult things both to do and to teach. Six and a half trainees (Nicola could only stay for half the session!!) came along to have a go. Fortunately, we had a host of willing helpers who worked hard all morning raising and lowering many times – we lost count!! At the same time useful advice and tips were given.
East Ogwell bells are ideal for this sort of session as they are light and easy to handle. It is true that the ringing room was a little cramped at times due to the enthusiasm of both learners and helpers, but there was a chance to escape downstairs where a spare rope was available to practice coiling and un-coiling the rope. Halfway through the morning Janet Ritterman and her helpers had prepared a real feast which was swooped on enthusiastically. This was an ideal opportunity to relax a little and there was plenty of networking, not to mention a group photo!
It was then back up the tower for a final session and it was obvious that all the trainees had benefitted from the concentrated practice. Just prior to the final lower a couple of courses of Little Bob were rung "for a change". We are extremely grateful to all the helpers for working so hard and to our trainees for being so ready to learn. Finally, a big thankyou to Janet and her helpers and to the parishioners of East Ogwell for allowing us to come yet again.
8 bell practice Upton – Thursday 14th March
This month we return to join the Upton ringers for their practice. Special methods Cloister Triples and Erin Triples. These bells have had work done on them and they are going much better – come and see for yourself. There is the usual caveat – don't be put off by the "methods of the month", there will be plenty for all levels of experience.
Berry Pomeroy Sunday Ringing
In March there is ringing at Berry Pomeroy on Sunday 24th from 10.30 for the 11.15 service followed by brunch at Occombe Farm. The following Sunday (31st) is Mothering Sunday and there will be ringing again from 10.30 for the service at 11.15. At the start of the service there will be a couple of tunes from the Berry Pomeroy Handbell Ringers. Do hope to see you at one or both of these occasions.
April branch practice
Our next Saturday practice will be at Berry Pomeroy on Saturday 6th April from 7.00pm until 8.30pm. No method of the month yet so please let me know your suggestions (within reason!!) so that we can publicise a method(s) nearer the time