Launch of the Learning the Ropes Handbells Scheme

Learning the Ropes Handbells is a progressive learning scheme for change ringing on handbells, based on the same principles as the Learning the Ropes scheme for church bell ringing.

It has five stages, known as Levels. Each Level develops key skills. When you have completed Level 5, your handbell ringing will be at a standard where you will be able to progress quickly forwards in the exciting and challenging world of handbell ringing.

To pass Level 5, you will have rung seven quarter peals with at least one on more than six bells or of Surprise.

To enrol on the scheme, buy your Ringers Personal Achievement Logbook which is available from the SmART Ringer shop and register for SmART Ringer. The cost of the logbook is £3.00 and this price includes the issue of electronic certificates of achievement.

The logbook will enable you to record your personal ringing achievements and to help you plan your future targets and objectives. Submission for certificates can be made by ringers themselves.

The Levels

Level 1 – Foundation Skills

Learn how to ring hand bells safely. Learn the three basic positions of Minor ringing. Ring rhythmically. Ring bells in right order.

Level 2 – Introduction to Plain Methods

Learn how to change position at lead ends. Ring all three pairs of bells to Plain Bob Minor. Understand scissor and parallel dodges. Ring a quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor.

Level 3 – Extending Plain Methods

Learn how to change position when one bell makes a place. Ring a method in which a place is made not at the lead end e.g. Little Bob or Reverse Bob. Call a touch of Plain Bob Minor of at least 120 changes. Understand coursing orders. Ring a quarter peal of method that is not Plain Bob (suggested Little Bob.) Call a quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor.

Level 4 – Introduction to Treble Bob Methods

Learn how to ring by the treble. Ring all three pairs (or at least trebles and tenors) to a Treble Bob method e.g. Oxford TB Minor. Ring a plain course of a second Treble Bob or Delight method e.g. Woodbine Delight Minor. Ring two quarter peals of Treble Bob or Delight methods.

Level 5 – Introduction to Surprise Methods

Learn how to ring using place notation. Ring plain courses of three right placed Surprise Minor methods e.g. Norwich, Cambridge and Primrose. Ring a quarter peal of a Surprise method.

The Scheme will be formally launched on the second day of the ART conference near Basingstoke on Sunday12th March when Helen McGegor & Duncan Loweth will run open workshops on teaching handbells and learning to ring handbells. Ringers with any level of handbell ringing experience, or none at all, will bewelcomed – book though the ART web site.

The materials will then be made available to be used to run locally rung handbell workshops.

Helen McGregor & Duncan Loweth