Leading Down

by Charles Pipe - Wolferstan

Once you’re proficient in raising and lowering in peal, the time will come for you to lead up and lead down. I would suggest leading down before you try leading up. Don’t forget to say “Downward” or “Lower Away” or whatever is the usual incantation in your tower. Then ring the bell down as if on your own but slower, allowing people with heavier bells to get them in. Always be mindful of what the tenor is doing. On heavier rings don’t come down too quickly or you might leave the tenor ringer high and dry.

When you reach the bottom, swing your bell enough for the back bells to be able to chime. If necessary, ask people in the middle to “close ‘em, up please.” Then, when you’re all chiming on the bottom it’s time to say: “1,2 ,3, miss & catch” &c. Most people count: 1,2,3 but some say “catch after 2”. In some towers, where the bells are a bit loud in the ringing room commands¬† can sound like: “ Uh! Uh! Ururh! UH!” and it’s not clear when to miss and catch. So, one of my little foibles is to count backwards to avoid any doubt. I say something like “3 more, miss and catch in rounds¬† ... 3, 2, 1,¬† miss, and.. catch.” Say all these things just before you do it rather than while you’re actually doing it to allow people’s brain cogs to clank as necessary. Don’t forget to say “thank you” when you’ve finished, even if somebody has messed it up.