Joan and I and 11 other ringers attended a ITTS Module 1 Teaching Bell Handling Day Course, which was run by Pip Penney at St Matthias, Malvern Link on 24 August 2013.
The course started at 10:00 a.m. and finished at 5:30 p.m. and was packed with information on how to teach a new ringer the art of bell handling.
We have always been nervous of going on training courses as you have no idea who you will be working with and how much will be expected of you. This Day Course was run by a very enthusiastic Pip who obviously loves this hobby with a passion and made us feel at ease from the very start.
Learning how to teach bell handling, raising and lowering is a lot to take in, but the backup literature and information on the website has made it easier for those of us who have full memory banks.
The pace of the Day Course was comfortable and we kept good time through the day. We probably would have liked more hands-on experience but we have all of the time in the world back in our home towers.
Many of the problems we have encountered when teaching new ringers were covered during the day, and in some cases more than one solution was offered. We also had the chance to put these solutions to the test on a tied bell.
As we listened to other ringers who have been teaching for a while, we realised that the experiences in your own tower are not unique. You challenge yourself all the time on how you do things but the Day Course taught us that there is no right or wrong way. As long as you cover all the necessary parts, it doesn’t matter which order you do them in.
We walked away with a list of things we must try at the next practice. As we were eager to put our new knowledge into practice, we made a start at Sunday Service Ringing at Ripple on Sunday morning. We asked one of our learners to lower a bell in peal with me looking after the tail end. He was surprised he wouldn’t have to makes coils but agreed to have a go. What a fantastic lower! He was so pleased with himself that he can’t wait for the next tied practice to repeat this assisted routine and then to go back to the early stages of making coils and then put them back together.
Two happy teachers and one very motivated learner – We cannot find enough words to show our appreciation of what we learned from the Day Course. What we would say is: Don’t be afraid to book onto an ITTS Day Course, enjoy the day and enjoy the new you in the tower.
Ann Ross (Twyning) and Joan Payne (Ripple)
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.