The MCA’s first Summer School for novice bell-ringers, superbly organised by Lucy Chandhial, was a resounding success. About 19 students and 24 helpers gathered for the week of 21-25 August, at St Mary Abbots church in Kensington, and its church Centre.
More than half the students had never tried ringing before. Student feed-back at the end of the week included: ‘The 1- 2-1 sessions with experienced ringers were invaluable’; ‘An excellent, value-for-money course’; and ‘Handbells were a eureka moment in understanding methods.’
The students, in 3 groups, rotated through the 3 sessions into which the days were divided, with a break for lunch. Handling tuition took place on the dumb-bells at Kensington, so 6 learners at a time could learn or practise handling, with 5 or 6 helpers.
Handbells, both for tune-ringing and for methods, occupied a second slot (some students achieved plain hunt on 6 with 2 bells in hand by the last day). A third session broadened the scope: Clyde Whittaker’s workshop on listening skills; a visit to the ringing room at St Paul’s,
where Dave Bassford and Lucy Woodward showed the students round; and a session on steeple-keeping by Steve Jakeman at Fulham, with a close-up view of how bells, stays and sliders work.
By the end of Friday,Roger Booth, the ART Assessor, confirmed that 9 students had reached Learning the Ropes Level One, with many others close to it.
All the students knew where they could find help and continue ringing with the MCA.
We owe Lucy a great debt of gratitude for making this all happen (including securing the
Aviva funding of £1,000 which made it possible). Many thanks also go to Stephanie Pattenden for hosting the event, and for all her work before and during the week.
Written by Prudence Fay as part of Middlesex Bell News (Issue 91)