SACR handbell day

The recent training was built on Simon and Tina's brilliant, tried and tested formula and I simply applied it to the online medium. I could summarise it as:

  • Advertised it by email around 6 weeks before the event.
  • Enlisted a Zoom expert with a Premium Zoom account (who is also a handbell ringer) to manage the Zoom call.
  • Sent another reminder about a week before (actually with hindsight it should have been earlier but it was Christmas/New Year.)
  • Suddenly got several additional people wanting to come.
  • Created the schedule based on the method requests I got.
  • Created all the Ringing Rooms in advance.
  • Had fun on the day!

I would say I was very lucky with who signed up. 21 people was plenty to make it viable but not so many that it became totally unmanageable. More importantly there was a good range of skills. Around 50% had already rung surprise in hand and several had done a fair bit of conducting, so I wasn't swamped with lots of beginners and not enough leaders/experts which can sometimes be a problem.

A few technical problems occurred. One person had to drop out of two sessions at zero notice due to complete lack of Internet. In two other cases, there was a problem with them getting on Zoom but not Ringing Room, so they dialled the group-leader's phone which was put on speaker phone. Not ideal but a good fallback to get past the problem. At least I was absolutely expecting there to be problems and was somewhat prepared. If anything, there were fewer problems than I feared (but more than I'd hoped!)

I had asked in advance if people wanted training on how to use Ringing Room. Nobody took me up, but there were one or two people who might have benefited. Both were highly experienced ringers on real handbells and I suspect hadn't realised the need for help – Ringing Room is definitely a 'handling skill' that anyone can learn but takes a while.

» Download the programme for the day


Nick Jones (on the right) in the days when we could ring real handbells

Nick Jones, SACR