Ringing heavy bells

Handling heavier bells

Some ringers have the misconception that ringing the tenor takes great physical strength, but it is in fact more dependent on technique. Plenty of slightly built ringers can be excellent tenor ringers because their bell handling is efficient. If you are invited to ring in rounds and call changes, ask whether it’s possible to ring the tenor so that you can gain experience at ringing a larger, slower bell.

If you are learning to ring at a tower with quite large bells, you may need to gain confidence ringing the back bells, as they turn more slowly than the lighter bells at the front. As pulling off in rounds requires more forward planning with a larger bell, it’s worth spending some time polishing this skill before embarking on change ringing. If the tenor at your tower is rung standing on a box this could also take some getting used to. If you’ve only rung lighter bells before, you may wish to build up to ringing progressively larger bells.

» Advice on ringing larger bells

Does strength matter?

This excellent video from Julia Cater at the St Martin’s Guild has plenty of information about the science of ringing larger bells.