The right type of practice ...

Planning for the future

For towers that cannot stand alone and provide sufficient teaching and development there will be a need for some sort of co-operation, gathering, clustering.

  • Think about where you are and what you want to achieve.
  • If teaching at a weekly tower based practice works for you then fine. But does it?
  • Gather information about towers and people.
  • Keep reading, talking, discussing, planning and reviewing.

There are a lot of variables. What might work in one context or area might not work in another. And there are obstacles. If they won’t move out of the way try going over, under or round. Round is usually the easiest.

Obvious stuff. If learning is to be achieved it needs to be frequent, well supported, organised and planned. Teach the theory. Obvious stuff does not always happen.

Open Practices


  • Tend to be regular and frequent.
  • Good for social cohesion.
  • Useful for consolidating learning. Perhaps.


  • Tend to provide poor environments for learning.
  • Not enough quality rope time.
  • Advancement limited by who happens to turn up.
  • Unexpected opportunities might arise but are not prepared for.
  • Preparation might go to waste because of hit and miss attendance.
  • There might be too few to ring anything much.
  • The tower might be rammed full.
  • All too often there might be too many who want to learn and not enough to teach.

Joint Open Practices


  • Might provide a viable number to ring, particularly it might provide a viable core of experienced ringers.
  • Increases contact between ringers and might lead to more co-operation on other projects.
  • Good socially.


  • Much the same as for open practices in general.
  • An open joint practice might give you a viable core of competence but you might have those wishing to learn queuing up the stairs.

Targeted closed practices


  • Attendance can be controlled both in terms of teachers and learners.
  • Preparation can be planned.


  • People can feel excluded. Tackle this by ensuring that everyone who wants to learn is included in the teaching regime.
  • If these are to work they need to be frequent and run for weeks/months/years/always.
  • It can mean that experienced ringers have to do a lot of supportive ringing.

Quarter Peals


  • Attendees are controlled.
  • There is a clear target that focusses learning.
  • Gives achievement for developer and supporter.


  • If you really want to get your ringing up to performance standard and help other to do the same you have to ring a lot of peals and/or quarters.
  • This takes up a lot of time and commitment in organising and learning as well as time travelling, ringing and socialising.

Putting it into practice

  • Try things out.
  • If they work all to the good. If they don’t, have a think and try something else.
  • Be imaginative and flexible. Dare to change.

You might have enough tower and ringer availability to carry on running all the normal weekly tower practices and put an ambitious developmental program in place. But perhaps not. Something might have to go. You might not be able to eat your cake and still have it on the plate.


AJB, St Martin’s Guild, Coventry DG, WDCRA