50 Ringing Things

By Lucy Gwynne, Warwick (First published in Coventry Guild Natters).

I think originally that I only bought the book ’50 Ringing Things’ because it was there at the ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) conference and it looked a little more interesting than the usual ‘How to call Stedman’ or other books that seem to consist of incomprehensible (to me) lines of numbers. I flicked through it thinking ‘Oh this is not really for me as I’ve rung for years –I’ve probably done most of these’. Anyway I did not do anything much with it to start with and it sat on the table for a few weeks. Then one night, with a rather nice glass of merlot to hand, I opened it up and had a better look,  I’m up for a bit of a challenge so eventually in March I logged onto the ART website and registered.

Taking on the spirit of the book I started from scratch so nothing I had done beforehand would count. First to be ticked off in the book was ‘Enter a striking competition’ and ‘Experience a ringer’s tea’. Thankfully these two go hand in hand so that enabled two Things to be ticked off together (and very yummy the tea was too). At the competition there was a lot of interest in the 50 Ringing Things book with a few other useful suggestions being made as to what else could go into it. I’m sorry to say though that some of the other suggestions made were less suitable for publication. 50 Ringing Things is an interesting little book that challenges you to explore the world of ringing.

I thought it was aimed at those learning to ring but I have found it great fun and I’ve been ringing for years. It challenges you to complete the 50 things within 100 weeks but in fact you can just dip in and out of it as quickly or slowly as you wish. What it does do is open your eyes to some other aspects of ringing. An ‘ooh I could do that’ and then be able to get another tick in the book does encourage you to try things that perhaps are a little outside of your comfort zone. For example I called my first QP for 30 yrs. –ironically enough I did this before I could tick off calling a plain course. Now I have completed my 15th ‘Thing’ which qualifies me for my bronze stage so I await my handshake, certificate and a mention on the Facebook page.

Anyway, I would thoroughly recommend this little book because as I said before it is not the usual book on ringing. It is great for those new to ringing to see what there is to do. It is also great for those of us who have been ringing for years as it is a gentle challenge to try something different. P.S. As a bonus, by writing this I now get to tick off yet another Thing, so roll on my gold award!