Category Archives: Bell Handling

Association of Ringing Teachers/ART Training Scheme: Course places available.

Two great minds (Alan Bentley and Tim Kettle) have been at work together to host this great opportunity within the C&S District: A one day course (Module 1) Teaching Bell Handling.  This will be held at St. Peter’s, Bournemouth on 9th March 2019 with tutor Gill Hughes. In time we plan to host more in the undercroft conference centre.

St. Peter’s has great facilities within its undercrofts, and in time we hope will become known on the ringers-map as a ‘Learning/Ringing Centre’, as the church invests in making the staircase, tower, steeple, bells more accessible to the public and awareness.  We are very lucky to home a beautiful heavy ring of 8 by Taylor’s (21cwt in E), recast as a complete set in the 1930’s. The tower is also home to the popular and successful weekly tailored practice night specifically geared towards bell handling.

For more information please contact Tim Kettle, Ringing Master of St. Peter’s.


Great news – to date we have 16 new ringers in our Guild area! 

The majority have been introduced to their tower already and the five most recent enquiries, received 8th January, will be contacted very soon.

The aim nationwide is to recruit 1,400 new ringers to symbolically replace those ringers who gave their lives 100 years ago.

David Mattingley and Viv Nobbs are liaising with the Ringing Remembers Project for our Guild.”


Two trainees write about last week’s Guild Raising and Lowering Course

Gary Marsh writes:

The Basic Raising and Lowering course held at St. Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke was a terrific event.  It had an air of nervous celebration about it as we arrived at the church and signed in with Christine.    I say nervous, as we knew as beginner ringers that we would soon be tackling what often seems to be the most challenging and coordination defying tasks of raising, and particularly, lowering, a bell.   It felt like a celebration as we had got to the point in our ringing careers where our handling had moved on enough to be trusted to rise to the challenge of learning these new skills without breaking anything!

With six tutors and ten on the course we got the chance to be instructed alongside fellow raising & lowering novices, sharing instructors, ropes and experiences.   It made for a great sense of community.   Our tutors were calm, encouraging and excited to be sharing their knowledge.

So us ten not-so-novices can move forward with our ringing, able to more fully participate at our home tower with our potential raised and anxieties lowered.   The milestone of making the first loop complete in a safe and welcoming place, well away from our own woodwork!

Gary Marsh (46), Wonston Tower, ringing ten months.

And Romy Coldman writes:

After two years of ringing and never really mastering the mysteries of raising and lowering, I jumped at the chance when I heard about the course.

The day was very well organised where we had one tutor to two learners. We all had a full two hours of individual practice and assessment less the much needed tea break after working up a sweat. As a learner, I certainly need more practice until I can raise and lower with confidence, but the tips and skills gained from the course were invaluable.

Many thanks to Andy Ingram, Christine Knights-Whittome and all the tutors – especially Mike, my tutor, for his patience and encouraging words.

I would highly recommend this course not only for beginners but for anyone who wants to improve their skills.

Romy Coldman (Hinton Admiral)

Bell Handling

The first steps of learning to ring are all about handling and controlling a bell. Later, if you plan to ring heavier bells (or much lighter ones) you may need to brush up these skills and take them to a new level.

Posts about Bell Handling on this website:

September 2017 Ringing Courses at Tulloch

2 peals of bells, a simulator, handbells, patient & friendly ART tutors and no neighbours – all add up to a winning combination

Learn to ring week Sept 18th – 22nd

Are you struggling to get enough ‘rope-time’ in your home tower? 18 places are available @ £50 per head for 5 days of total immersion in the fun of ringing. ART registered tutors will lead students through bell handling, change ringing in hand and working with a simulator to produce ringers fit for the 21st century. We will liaise with your local tower for easy integration when you get home. 5 days of concentrated handling/listening/ rounds/theory & vocabulary – what better way to spend a week? We will provide a light lunch of soup/sandwiches & all day tea & coffee. Accommodation available locally, we can make recommendations but you must book your own.

Improve your ringing week, Sept 25th – 29th

Can you ring a bell unaided but want to polish your handling? perfect your raising & lowering, work on your call changes, understand ropesight & work towards plain hunt. Learn about plain bob, what does it mean to dodge. Fancy a go on handbells? we can help:-)
18 places available for a week of intensive tuition covering handling, hunting and bob doubles. Learn to ring handbells. Perfect your striking with a simulator
For £50 pp we will provide a week of patient tuition, easy to ring bells & friendly support – extend your horizons at Tulloch. Light lunch and all day tea & coffee provided. Accommodation available locally, we can make recommendations but you must book your own.

This is an opportunity to get on track with the best team sport/performing art/mathematical puzzle in the UK.

For more info & to book your place please see

New Book from ART: A Ringer’s Guide to Learning the Ropes®

This article is copied from the TowerTalk Magazine.

Illustrated throughout with colourful photographs, diagrams and interactive activities to help the reader consolidate and check what they have discovered, this book provides a step-by-step guide for ringers from bell handling through to ringing Plain Bob Minor inside.

The fundamentals of ringing are explained in an easy to read, uncomplicated style which will appeal to all age groups. Learning tips are provided to highlight important information and guidance is given on skills building at every stage, with emphasis placed on the importance of developing all the foundation ringing skills.

The book is easy to dip into to find information about each stage of learning. It follows all the Levels of the Learning the Ropes Scheme provided by the Association of Ringing Teachers [ART] and will help ringers progress from handling right up to ringing their first methods and calling their first touches.

Nicki Stuchbury, of Lillingstone Lovell, Buckinghamshire, said “I absolutely love the layout with the colours and diagrams; it is just the sort of resource that I would choose to learn from.” And Veronica Baker of Maids Moreton, also in Buckinghamshire, added “Proficient ringing will not be obtainable without the basics and your chapters have captured this fact.”

The on-line resources that complement Learning the Ropes have been comprehensively reviewed and updated to coincide with the publication of the New Ringer’s Guide. Each key skill is supported by its own web page with appropriate video and audio links in addition to further information and resources for you to print and use in your tower. There are new resources for leading and covering (Level 2), peals & quarter peals (Level 3) and successful dodging and steppingstone methods (Level 4). Why not have a look at

New Video Launched – Raising and Lowering Skills

ARTlogoART is pleased to announce the launch of the second Learning the Ropes ® DVD – this one focussing on the skills and knowledge needed for Raising and Lowering.
The new DVD contains almost an hour of specially commissioned footage exploring all aspects of raising and lowering. Separated into convenient chapters, the DVD includes sections on chiming, raising a bell, lowering a bell, raising in peal, lowering in peal, trebling up and trebling down.
Through-out there are examples of good raises and lowers and the DVD also places in context the skills which help develop the competences of bell handling, teamwork, listening and other core skills we use in ringing generally.
Techniques to help you learn or teach to raise or lower a single bell or in peal are fully dealt with as well as the issues you face when learning to ring or treble up and down in peal. A number of ideas to allow effective practice are demonstrated.
The Raising and Lowering DVD is now available to everyone for £15 via the ART Shop . ART Members can claim a £3 discount by purchasing via the SmART Ringer Shop.

Graham Nabb
ART Chairman

Learn to Ring in the Candover Valley

I’ve always liked the sound of bells but didn’t think I could learn to ring because I’m not a member of the Church of England*

So said one recent recruit in the Candover Valley, who is now a happy member of the band! If you come and learn to ring with us, you will benefit from an experienced, enthusiastic teacher and a variety of different bells which will help you to build your skills step by step.

*You can become a ringer at any of our towers across the Guild, we welcome those of all faiths or none.


Learn to Ring at Ryde

We can always accommodate people who want to learn to ring – the young people we teach keep going off to the mainland for University and better job prospects so we always need replacements! Our training programme has also been a great success with some mature learners recently. Contact John Stock if you want to discuss learning to ring. We welcome ringers of all faiths or none.

If you would like more information, please contact John Stock, or pay a visit to our Facebook Group

Are you Recruiting? Have you put that on this website yet?

If you are recruiting, the website team can create a “learn to ring at” page for your band, which will be displayed in a prominent position:

  • Beside the Guild’s “Learn to Ring” Page
  • On your Tower’s own home page
  • Beside any news item which concerns learning to ring.

Your learn to ring page can (and should) be updated regularly. Please fill in the form below or if you prefer to create a news item with embedded photos in Word or another word processor, go ahead and email the file to


New Bell Ringers Learning at Newport (IoW)

Julia, Kevin and Max started to learn to ring in the Autumn last year. They have attended practices regularly at Carisbrooke and Newport and have made such good progress that they now join us for Sunday Service ringing.

As a result of their success other members of their families have now started to learn.

If anyone else would be interested in learning, phone or email me (see below) to find out more and come to a practice.

Thank you

Mary Blake

  • Contact Mary Blake

    Telephone: 01983 521526
    Mobile: 07528 137277
    Address: 5, Fieldfare Road, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 5YB
    Email: Use Form

Alton Learners and Improvers on Tour

The idea had been talked about for some time, it now became reality.

On Saturday 4th June 2016 the St Lawrence Learners and Improvers Practice went on tour. 

We started at 9.30am at St Mary, Liss where we joined the local weekly practice.  Liss has a nice light ring of 8 (12-1-26) so everyone was able to have a go without feeling that any bell would be too heavy for them.  This was one of the aims of the day as towers were selected that had easy access and all bells could be rung by all ringers.  We spent an hour at Liss and were treated to tea and coffee by the local band before we moved on.

binsted Holy Cross Photograph by Chris Kippin
binsted Holy Cross Photograph by Chris Kippin

Next stop was the 6 bell tower (12-3-17) at Holy Cross, Binsted from 11.00am till 12 noon.  Here we had two unexpected additions to the group.  Whilst we were ringing the two gardeners, who were tending the churchyard, had been fascinated by what we were doing and asked if they could have a go.  We gave them a quick briefing as to how things worked and then let them try their had at ringing.  They both enjoyed the experience and indicated that they might like to learn more, unfortunately they are not local but we did point them in the direction of their local churches, so maybe we will see them again somewhere in the future.

Warnford Photo 2 by David ForderOur third tower was Our Lady of Warnford another 6 bell ring (12-2-10) from 12.30pm till 1.30pm.  Another of the stated aims of this tour was that we would only do basic ringing i.e. Rounds, Call Changes, Plain Hunt, Plain Bob and Grandsire.  However, we did allow our team of loyal helpers a little bit of fun by ending this session before lunch with some Norwich Surprise Minor.

Lunch was taken at The George and Falcon in Warnford, a very leisurely affair, thanks to Judy Sparling who organised us all to pre-order.

After lunch we moved on to  St Mary, Selborne a manageable 8 (8-3-8) with everyone having a go.  We were here form 3pm till 4pm.

Holybourne. Photo by David Forder
Holybourne. Photo by David Forder

We rounded the day off with a nice light ring of 8 (6-3-16) at The Church of the Holy Rood, Holybourne from 4.30pm till 5.30pm.   At this last tower we set up the District Bookstall to give all the learners the opportunity to buy books to help consolidate their knowledge and we took a few  photos.

Everyone said how much they had enjoyed the day, so it looks like we may be doing it again.  I would like to give special thanks to Matt Watts for organising the event and booking the towers, to Judy Sparling for organising us all at lunch and for providing the bookstall, to Liz South for providing us with chocolates and strawberries throughout the day, to Rene Bailey for providing much needed Kit-Kats and Twix Bars at Holybourne and to all the helpers.  Finally a big thank you to all the learners and improvers who turned up, without you the event would not have happened.

After all the excitement of the day we went for a beer and a curry.  Everyone one was invited but it ended up with about 15 of us. 

I think the day could be summed up by saying: “Good ringing, good food, good friends and a great day out!”

Thanks to Mike Novell for the article and Madeline King for the photo of the band.

Learn to Ring at Ringwood

We have vacancies for new ringers at the moment.  No experience is needed as we provide full training. If you would like to come and watch us in action one Wednesday evening we would be very pleased to see you so please contact the Tower Captain in advance: 

News from Blackmoor ** New Recruits Welcome

Blackmoor logo (1)This year the ringers of St. Matthew, Blackmoor, with a few family and friends took our annual meeting and dinner to the Three Horseshoes at East Worldham.
Licensees Gill and John together with Milley looked after us well and provided a very tasty meal, in the drawing room, which was just the right size for our group.
At the meeting, we re-elected the same people to office, and discussed our finances (healthy), our tower outing (September), recruiting new ringers (always more needed), weddings (15 at the moment), and even the numbers of lady bird beetles in the tower (hundreds).
A happy evening with good company in relaxing surroundings.
David Cooper
Steeple Keeper

Learn to Ring at Christchurch Priory

If you want to learn to ring, please contact the Ringing Master so he can arrange for you to visit us on a Monday evening and meet the band.

We recruit small groups and start them with a course which runs for about ten weeks at  9.30-10.30 on Saturdays, where basic bell handling and striking skills are covered.

Once basic bellhandling skills have been mastered, the learners join the early Monday practice, where they ring Rounds and Call Changes with some members of the band. Our practice night then covers the skills of method ringing which keep us all challenged!

Members who wish to, also participate in Guild and District Education courses to work on more advanced skills. The District also has a program of monthly practices targeted at different skills which are open to all those ringing at an appropriate level. Members are also welcome at District Practices which offer a greater variety of levels of ringing, plus an opportuniuty to socialise with ringers from across the Dsitrict.

There are also bellringing programs which run on computers and smartphones which help bellringers to learn “methods”.

ART association-of-ringing-teachersBell Handling skills are taught using the Learning the Ropes Scheme. One of the teachers recently qualified at Level 1 of the scheme, mentored by the tower captain.