Thinking allowed

a golden quarter peal

At All Saints’, St Ives, on Sunday morning, 29 July 2007 at 9.15a.m., a quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Triples was rung in 45 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 12-0-4 in G
Adam Safford Treble Anne East 5
Bridget White 2 Sally Walker 6
Simon Kershaw 3 Michael V White 7
Duncan Walker 4 Ron East Tenor
Composed and Conducted by Michael V White
Rung to celebrate the Golden Wedding anniversary of John and Sheila Rhodes, married on Saturday 28 July 1957
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a quarter peal on eight

This afternoon I took part in a quarter peal of Plain Bob Major, my first quarter peal on eight bells.

On Saturday afternoon, 5 May 2007, at the Church of Saint James, Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1280 Plain Bob Major was rung in 45 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 11-2-13 1/2 in G#
Bridget White Treble David Papworth 5
*Adam Safford 2 † Simon Kershaw 6
Cass Boocock 3 Richard Smith 7
John Boocock 4 Michael V White Tenor
Composed and Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal ‘inside’ and on eight bells (aged 10 years).
† First Quarter Peal on eight bells.
Rung to celebrate the wedding of Richard Nelson Wallis and Ruth Christine Sturman
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quarter peal, aged 9 1/4

A year which has seen, for me, three failed quarter peal attempts has drawn to a close with a successful quarter peal on the last day of the year. This was my third quarter peal, and the second in which I have rung ‘inside’, but the notable thing about this one is that it was the first for the treble, Adam, who is aged just 9. We rang 1260 changes of Plain Bob Doubles, and apart from a glitch in the middle when I almost lost my place, was generally uneventful. A nice way to end the year, and tonight we shall ring in the New Year at midnight – a good way to start 2006.

On Saturday morning, 31 December 2005, at the Church of Saint James, Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung in 49 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 11-2-13 1/2 in G#
*Adam Safford Treble Simon Kershaw 4
Stephen M White 2 Michael V White 5
D Tom Cruyfft 3 Robin Safford 6
Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal, at age of 9 years
Rung on the conductor’s 70th birthday
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a quarter peal of bob doubles

This afternoon was the wedding of the daughter of one of our bellringers. As the mother of the bride, she was otherwise occupied, but to celebrate the occasion we rang a quarter peal of 1260 changes of Bob Doubles, lasting about 45 minutes. This was the first time I have rung a quarter peal on an ‘inside’ bell – my previous quarter peal was ringing the cover bell. This time I rang bell 5, one of the working bells. I’ve been ringing Bob Doubles for about a year now, and it’s pretty much second nature to cope with the plain course and with bobs.

What’s new with a quarter peal are two things: first, the stamina required to keep ringing the bell for 45 minutes without resting; and secondly, the mental concentration required. For me, both these things kick in after 25-30 minutes. The legs begin to ache a little and you wish you could stretch them; shifting your weight a little is some relief but you still have to concentrate on what you are doing. And my brain begins to get tired at about the same point. Although touches of bob doubles have become second nature and you set out confidently on the quarter peal, after half an hour you find yourself almost forgetting what you are doing. Still counting your place (that really has become ingrained), still alert enough to dodge in the right place, and follow the bobs when they are called. But each time, trying to remember what dodge you did last time and therefore what dodge it must be next time.

This is when you realize the advantage of knowing what you do by when you cross the treble: pass the treble in 1-2 up and you must make 2nds and lead again; pass the treble in 4-5 up and you must dodge 3-4 down; pass the treble in 3-4 up and you make long 5ths; pass the treble in 2-3 up and dodge 3-4 up. Ringing for a long time like this really makes you aware of these crossing points – if you know where you are supposed to be then you can help an inexperienced treble because you implictly know where they should be; and if your mind is wandering as to what you should be doing then you can pick up your place again from the treble. Of course, if the treble is in need of help as well then you’re in trouble. Fortunately my concentration didn’t quite go, although I had a couple of shaky moments when I wondered what I was supposed to be doing – but never quite actually lost my place.

On Saturday afternoon, 16 October 2004, at the Church of All Saints, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung in 46 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 12-0-4 in G
*Carrie-Anne Armes Treble Simon Kershaw 5
Bridget White 2 Ray Hart 6
Richard C Smith 3 Robin Safford 7
Michael V White 4 John Marlow Tenor
Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal. Rung with 7,6,8 covering.
Rung to celebrate the wedding of Miss Elaine Bates and Mr Gavin Midgley
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First Quarter Peal

On Sunday morning, 6 July 2003, at the Church of All Saints, St Ives,
Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1260 Doubles (Grandsire and Plain
Bob) was rung in 52 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 12-0-4 in G
*Susan Bates Treble Michael V White 5
Marianne Baker 2 Christoper R Armes 6
Richard C Smith 3 *Simon Kershaw 7
Harold S King 4 John Marlow Tenor
Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal. Rung with 7,6,8 covering.
Rung for the Confirmation and Sung Eucharist
celebrated by Keith, Bishop of Richborough
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