Thinking allowed

connecting with culture

If you’re not famil­i­ar with the Lon­don Insti­tute of Con­tem­por­ary Chris­tian­ity then I sug­gest you take a look. Amongst oth­er things they have a weekly com­ment column entitled Con­nect­ing with Cul­ture which is always worth a read.

This week Nick Spen­cer writes about an infam­ous advert­ising slo­gan and the mar­ket­ing of a fash­ion chain, with import­ant les­sons about the lim­its of self-expres­sion in a free society.


a touch of bob doubles

At the end of prac­tice at St Ives tonight we rang a touch of Bob Doubles, and I volun­teered to call it. I rang the 5 bell and called three ‘Homes’, i.e., called ‘Bob’ each time I came back to do my 4 blows in 5th place. The third time brought us straight back to rounds. This is the first time I have called a touch, and it was reas­on­ably suc­cess­ful. I prob­ably should have called ‘Bob’ frac­tion­ally earli­er — when the treble was at back­stroke before lead­ing, rather than when I was about to pull at back­stroke. And although I was unaf­fected by the bobs, I still man­aged to get slightly muddled in between so that I half missed a dodge. For­tu­nately I was able to recov­er and hadn’t lost my place. Of course, I could have chosen any of the inside bells (2,3,4 or 5) and still called three Homes. Must try and remem­ber that next time — a dis­ad­vant­age of ringing 5 with this touch is that the final bob brings the bells imme­di­ately to rounds, which doesn’t give much time for say­ing ‘That’s all’.

Next time!



I have moved the saga of my learn­ing to ring bells out of this blog and into A Bellringer’s Pro­gress. I don’t sup­pose any­one really cares, but although bell­ringing requires quite a bit of think­ing and it is almost entirely prac­tised in Anglic­an churches, it prob­ably doesn’t really belong here on Think­ing Anglic­ans.


The Nine Tailors

Cover design of the Folio Society edition of The Nine Tailors

Cov­er design of the Folio Soci­ety edi­tion of The Nine Tailors

One of the things that long ago sparked an interest in bell­ringing (for we had no bells at the church I wor­shipped at as a child) was Dorothy L Say­ers The Nine Tail­ors, which I saw in the BBC tv adapt­a­tion, fea­tur­ing Ian Car­mi­chael, in the mid 1970s.

It was many years, though, before I read the book, in the lovely Folio Soci­ety edi­tion (pic­tured right), but now I belong to a read­ing group, which is cur­rently look­ing at this book. Although I have read it a couple of times before, this is the first time I have read it since I learned to ring, and I have been writ­ing posts explain­ing about bell­ringing. For prob­ably all non-bell­ringing read­ers of The Nine Tail­ors, the details of the ringing included in the book are pretty opaque — they add lots of col­our, but are largely incom­pre­hens­ible. And the chapter titles all involve puns on ringing expres­sions and the like, and these puns are missed without some know­ledge of ringing.

Since I have lived for many years on the edge of the fen­land area where the book is set I have a second interest and spe­cial­ist sub­ject area as well, and on Sat­urday I got out the car and drove around some of the area, con­cen­trat­ing on the start and end of the Old Bed­ford and New Bed­ford Rivers, between Earith and Den­ver, tak­ing lots of pic­tures. I shall have to plan anoth­er excur­sion in order to get some angel roof churches (March and Upwell, espe­cially) and some pic­tures of fen­land roads and oth­er gen­er­al scenery.

Per­haps I should turn the bell­ringing notes and the fen­land pic­tures into a web­site about The Nine Tail­ors. Mean­while, I have uploaded the pic­tures here.

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