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What is Ringing?
What is a Method?
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What is Ringing?
Bellringing (or more specifically, the art of "English Change-Ringing") is quite possibly one of the most misunderstood hobbies
ever. And, given that there are so many bad movies that depict people jumping up and down on the end of bell-ropes, it isn't all that surprising that people
have no idea what ringing really is. Therefore, in order to explain what it is, it is easier to begin by explaining what it isn't.
Change-Ringing is not:
Ringing does involve:
- Jumping up and down.
- As simple as "just pulling a rope".
- The same as chiming, clocking, or tolling. These are distinct terms that each involve completely different skills.
- Playing tunes - unlike handbells.
- Performed electronically - at least, not in towers where proper change-ringing is conducted.
- Carried out only by grumpy old hunchbacked men.
- Learning a difficult physical skill quite unlike any other.
- Rotating a 500kg bell in a full circle from 10 metres away, by means of a rope and wheel.
- Keeping your bell striking in its place, accurate to 1/32 of a second - despite the fact that the note sounds approximately
two seconds after you start pulling the rope.
- Memorising and ringing mathematical combinations and permutations with names such as "Stedman Doubles", "Bastow Little Court
Minimus" and "Double Court Bob Major".
- Large amounts of panic, terror, stress, getting shouted at, last-minute cramming, losing your place, forgetting methods
in mid-stream, and losing striking competitions.
- Equally large amounts of joy, excitement, friendship, and satisfaction at finally getting it right. There's
nothing like the feeling of finally getting a method right that you've been trying to learn for weeks/months.