M2: 9 Apr 2016 - Barnes

The ART Training Scheme (formerly ITTS) Module 2 course (teaching elementary change ringing) was held at Barnes on Saturday 9 April. We were welcomed by Barnes Tower Captain Trisha Hawkins, and Surrey Training Officer Paul Flavell. A big thank you from all to Paul for organizing the event, and to Trisha and her team of helpers for their hospitality – from rock cakes to vegetarian biryani it was all excellent!

The ART course tutor, as on previous occasions for Module 1 (teaching bell handling), was Graham Nabb from Kineton. The Surrey Association was delighted to welcome him back, and confident he would do a great job – so confident, that our Master Kate Flavell gave him a “thank you” gift when welcoming him at the start of the day before she had to leave for other commitments.The confidence was not misplaced!

ART takes nothing for granted. Foundation Skills from Module 1 were revisited, with various exercises of standing the bell at hand and back, including ringing the tune Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Graham assured us that this would help the learner feel part of the team as they’d be on an equal footing with us – and we certainly proved that! Oh dear! Blame it on the tied clappers making the bells very light set…

Module 2 focuses on teaching the early stages of change ringing. Traditionally, this has been taken in big leaps – call changes then straight into plain hunt on 5 or more bells. ART advocates breaking things down into the smallest possible steps, so we looked at exercises such as “Mexican wave”, various “kaleidoscope” exercises, and hunting on three and four bells as early steps. When moving beyond Plain Hunt there are methods such as Bastow, Cloister and Bales on the way to Plain Bob Doubles. Here we also saw that the supposedly experienced ringer can be challenged – both in explaining the method and in ringing it! A touch of Grandsire with repeated singles has the learner making seconds and thirds – skills they are taught early on, and can thus apply long before having to worry about more complicated blue lines. Ever been impressed by an expert band ringing bob courses of Original? Turns out, another name for one touch is a plain course of Bob Minor – a good way to teach how methods are put together and being aware of what place you’re in.

Throughout the day, Graham emphasised the importance of team work, and of fun – for children of all ages! He certainly achieved that on the course, and gave us a wide set of tools to help all our learners. Many thanks to Graham Nabb for an excellent day, which is highly recommended to all.

Martin Crick, Richmond


Several Surrey members plus ringers from Middlesex and ART Observers Andy and Sallie Ingram from Milford on Sea very much enjoyed Barnes superb facilities, including the eight tied bells and simulator set up, excellent meeting room, as well as the Barnes ringers’ wonderful hospitality in providing food and drinks all day. All of this helped the day go really smoothly.

Add to that Graham Nabb’s superb presentation and practice/demonstration skills, so we had a most enjoyable course on teaching elementary change ringing.We received many positive comments at the end of the day.

The challenge for us all of course is to follow up what we have learned in the tower by practising the methods and techniques at our own practice nights, and working together towards accreditation as Ringing Teachers.It has been suggested that we hold a revision course of the methods and techniques used in the ART course. That sounds like an excellent idea and will be followed up by the Training Group.

Thanks again to all who attended and particular thanks to the Barnes ringers for their very kind hospitality and finally to Graham Nabb for a wonderful day.

Paul Flavell, Surrey Training Officer


Course Tutor: Graham Nabb

Teaching Elementary Change Ringing

Learn how to teach the skills of change ringing.

» Find out more about Module 2