Thinking allowed

calling plain courses

For some time now I have been prac­tising ringing touches of bob doubles, and even bob minor, bob triples and bob major. I have mostly got the hang of the neces­sary dodges, and can start on any bell, and I can usu­ally cope with the calls of bob, though I can only do this by remem­ber­ing the sequence, or cycle of work, and not by noti­cing sign­posts such as when I cross the treble’s path (although this is occa­sion­ally obvi­ous, espe­cially when mak­ing 2nds’ place). And in the even-bell meth­ods, where there is no cov­er bell always in last place from which to lead, I can now usu­ally see the last bell rope go down, so that I can lead appropriately.

Tonight I got to ‘call’ vari­ous plain courses of bob doubles, bob triples and bob minor. The hard part at this stage is to know when to call the end of the meth­od — calls should be made when the lead bell is at hand­stroke, a full stroke before the meth­od ends, and where your bell is at this point depends on which bell you are ringing. Of course, harder than this is call­ing a touch with bobs (and singles) and get­ting back to rounds at the end of it; and being able to cor­rect oth­er ringers if they are about to go wrong. I’m def­in­itely a long way from that. Still, pro­gress is being made.

Now we have two of our ‘new’ ringers who can just about ring touches of plain bob doubles and triples, and we have four who can, with vary­ing degrees of suc­cess, plain hunt to these (and oth­er) meth­ods. We need to get some of these oth­er ringers to be able to ring ‘inside’ to plain bob — then we will be able to try plain courses on Sunday morn­ings and wed­dings when we are not assisted by more exper­i­enced ringers.


Sydney Carter

Today’s Tele­graph car­ries the obit­u­ary of Sydney Carter, best known as the writer of The Lord of the Dance — writ­ten in 1963 and described in the obit­u­ary as ‘the most cel­eb­rated reli­gious song of the 20th century’.

Carter, who died on Sat­urday 13 March, was much more than the writer of this song — he was a poet, and he wrote folk songs, as well as oth­er reli­gious songs and hymns such as One More Step and When I Needed a Neigh­bour.

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bestselling artist of all time?

The BBC web­site reports that this accol­ade is claimed (by the pub­lish­er) for Annie Vallotton.

Who’s Annie Val­lot­ton you might ask?

She is the Swiss woman who illus­trated the Good News Bible in the 1970s.

Sample quote:

One of the most mem­or­able examples is of the cru­ci­fix­ion in Luke’s gos­pel. The thorn-crowned head hangs for­ward, below the single line of the shoulder. Above it, two right-angles are the cross.
Some­how this plain sketch con­veys the des­ol­a­tion of Jesus far more power­fully than two hours of Mel Gibson’s blood-spattered film, The Pas­sion of the Christ.