Learning the Ropes Plus Outstanding Progress - Neil Waterman


Neil started to ring at Marsworth on 31/7/14, and immediately showed considerable aptitude towards bell ringing. His LtR achievements are as follows:

Level 1 27/8/14
Level 2 6/11/14
Level 3 4/7/15
Level 4 22/11/15
Level 5 28/2/16

Since achieving Level 5, Neil has been following the LtR+ curriculum. He has now rung 12 methods inside to quarter peal standard, comprising 8 Doubles, 3 Plain Minor plus Kent Treble Bob Minor.

Neil also occasionally attends practices elsewhere on 8 or more bells, and takes any opportunity to ring on 12.


Neil has become a good all-round ringer. He is very steady as a treble ringer (both plain and treble bob methods) and as tenor covering to Doubles. Neil is also able to pick up new methods very quickly and to strike them well; he is an Accountant by profession and the mathematical construction of methods intrigues him. He regularly attends both practices and service ringing at Marsworth, as well as service ringing at Mentmore. He attended the ART Workshops in Calling Bob Doubles and Conducting Minor, then organised several practices for the workshop participants so that they could all continue to develop their skills with calling touches. This culminated in a jointly conducted quarter peal where they each called two extents, as a first step towards calling a whole quarter peal. This was a good introduction to conducting and gave everyone a huge boost of confidence. The plan is for them each to call their own quarter peal in 2017 and the group are mutually supportive.

Subject to work commitments, Neil likes to attend outings and often arranges his own quarter peal bands, managing a sort of diary for the ringers. He also supports other ringers in attaining their own achievements. He frequently attends practices at Cheddington in order to assist their development, even though there is unlikely to be any opportunity to ring much beyond plain courses of Bob Doubles.

On achieving Level 5, Neil set himself the target of ringing quarter peals in ten new methods by the end of the year, a target he achieved on 19 December with a quarter peal of All Saints Place Doubles after just one short practice, which was also his 50th quarter peal.

Because of his ability with maths and statistics, Neil has also kept us greatly amused by regularly turning up to practice with a graph detailing everyone’s progress with quarter peals. We have enjoyed his analysis of who rings which bell most often and how many quarters we have succeeded at (a monthly average as a comparison to last year!) This spurs us on to set and attain goals, but is also very entertaining.

Neil has proved to be a valuable member of the team in terms of ringing, but also supporting the tower and Church more generally. He took charge of leafleting the village with a recent recruitment drive and acted as a steward for our tower open day, to which over 200 people turned up.

Whilst Neil would like to develop his ringing on higher numbers of bells, he remains loyal to, and fully supportive of, the Marsworth team. His next objective is to ring a quarter of Double Oxford, and to progress with more Treble Bob and Surprise Minor methods. He is also keen to maintain Marsworth’s position as a leading (preferably the leading) quarter peal tower.

Although Neil clearly has his own goals, he is also very keen to support other ringers in the team and to assist with the overall development and progress of the team and other local ringers.

The Learning the Ropes Achievement Awards


Winner: Neil Waterman

Highly Commended: Christine Barnell