The Bradfield Ringing Course is not just about learning methods, it is also about gaining ringing knowledge and skills, so in addition to the group work and practical sessions, there will be a range of optional sessions, available to students and helpers alike.
Some of them are seminars or panel discussions, while others are hands-on practicals or informal chats, but all of them are a lot of fun! We hope you will attend a number of these, and your tutor might have some ideas on those likely to be most beneficial to you. Sign up sheets will be available during the tea and coffee breaks, so the tutors have a rough idea of numbers, but please feel free to change your mind at any time.
If you want more information about any of the sessions to help you make your choices, please ask your tutor or one of the Organising Team.
The basic handbell sessions are hands-on practicals, intended for those who have done little or no method ringing on handbells before, and they will give you the opportunity to learn how to ring two handbells - one in each hand - to Plain Hunt with two experienced handbell ringers, who will happy to guide you through the learning process at your own pace.
Advanced handbell sessions are available for those that can already ring a pair of handbells to Plain Bob Minor and would like to move on to Plain Bob Major, Kent Treble Bob Minor and beyond.
Handbells are very popular on the course, and it is often possible to arrange further sessions on an informal basis.
Listening and Striking Practicals
The listening and striking practicals will a dumb bell attached to a ringing simulator, and will be available throughout all the Optional Sessions. The dumb bell is situated in its own room where a group of experienced tutors will give you gentle and friendly assistance on a one-to-one basis with your listening and striking skills.
You can either book an individual session or, if you prefer, you can join with one or more other students for a longer session. Many students have found their listening skills have been improved significantly by one of these sessions.
The rope splicing sessions are hands-on practicals, and at the end of each you will be able to perform the appropriate splice unaided. Rope will be provided, but please do bring one or more of your own ropes for splicing, even if you are not attending yourself.
Service For All
On the Saturday evening, there will be a church service in the college chapel for all course members. It will include some readings and prayers read by course members, and some hymns. There will be handbell ringing and some musical performances of an appropriate nature. If you play an instrument, please bring it along and let us know.
If there's something you'd like to know about, but have never dared ask, or you want to consolidate on something you're already working on, please speak to Mike Winterbourne at any time - or sign up on the sheet - and they will arrange for you to have a special tutorial session with one or more of the tutors or helpers. Please do not feel reluctant to ask, as many of the tutors thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to share their knowledge, whether its with an individual, or with a wider audience.
We are always happy to receive suggestions for Optional Sessions, so please do feel free to contact Mike in advance if you have any ideas.