Organiser's Report

The weekend was part of an ANZAB initiative to promote ringing Surprise Major and beyond. It included theory and practical sessions on treble bob hunting, Cambridge Surprise Minor and Major, London Surprise Major and splicing methods. The theory lessons started, via Zoom, before the weekend, with some face-to-face lessons during the weekend. The program is here.

We had six inter-state ringers join us, all confident Surprise Major ringers. Four of these were ANZAB subsidised, and all were offered billets and transport. These visitors joined the 16 local participants, with a few extra locals joining us for individual sessions and meals. The ANZAB subsidized ringers took the lead in running theory lessons and were given the majority of the Ringing Master and conductor duties.

Eight Victorian ringers rang at least one lead of London Surprise Major, and were included in at least one of the three Surprise Major QPs. Most of these eight tried two or more leads of London, and enjoyed the challenge of splicing London and Cambridge. The chance to review our Cambridge and Yorkshire Surprise Major was good too, and these were the focus of the QPs.

The other eight Victorian participants focussed more on treble-bob hunting and Cambridge Minor. A couple got through their first ever plain course of Cambridge Minor and tried a lead of Cambridge Major spliced with Plain Bob.

It is encouraging that we have sufficient ringers to arrange a local surprise major practice occasionally, to build on this weekend. However, having a few visitors makes it much more manageable.

The visitors enhanced the regular Friday night practice at St James Old Cathedral, with sufficient ringers to run a practice on the mini-ring in parallel with the tower practice. We preceded the practice with a quarter-peal on the back six to celebrate 170 years since their first ringing, and the first ringing in Melbourne. Before the weekend some towers checked, repaired and replaced ropes.

The week following the weekend we had enhanced enthusiasm and ringing in Melbourne. Monday night’s practice at Burnley was exceptionally well attended and some ringers were able to try Cambridge Minor again, consolidating their weekend experience. Andrew Cole spoke on ABC Melbourne radio, prompted by the Tasmanian news item but able to speak enthusiastically about the recent weekend and the liveliness of ringing in Victoria. Wednesday night I heard there was Plain Bob Major at St Paul’s Cathedral, rung at a higher standard than usual, attributed to the extra 8-bell ringing practiced over the weekend. On Thursday there was an ad hoc practice focussing on Plain Bob Doubles, in part arranged by someone inspired by the weekend to organise targeted practices.

Associated quarter-peals were Cambridge Major (West Heidelberg), Yorkshire Major (Melbourne) and Cambridge Major (Geelong). We also took the opportunity to ring a QP at St James' Old Cathedral to celebrate the 170th anniversary of ringing there and in Victoria.

Deryn Griffiths

Comments from Participants

I have learnt that we can tackle a new method in sections, splicing it with Plain or Little Bob. I will use this in practices.

I understand the importance of learning place bells now, breaking the blue line for a whole plain into sections that can be spliced with other methods, or used following a call of “Bob” or “Single”.

The weekend built my confidence. I am ready to tackle Cambridge Major now.

I enjoyed the high standard service ringing.

It was great to see people get a real buzz out of trying something new and succeeding.

The narrow focus of methods allowed time to try and try again - on different bells as an added bonus.

Having the out-of-town experts in was terrific.

The combination of theory lessons and practical ringing was great, especially the Zoom sessions.

The weekend offered a very useful model for ways to run ringing workshops.

I am reminded that I can still ring Surprise Major and that ringing is a hobby want to continue.

Photo Gallery

Laura Goodin (left) was the main organiser of the Friday evening supper. Morwenna and Inga helped.

Friday’s bell-themed cake was devised by Inga Griffiths-Hunt with assistance in construction by Morwenna Griffiths.

QP band
Plain Bob Minor QP band at St James Old Cathedral 20 January. Celebrating 170 years of ringing on these bells.

Saturday lunch at St Pius X. Merienne Shortridge (at the table dressed in black) organised this for us.

Theory Lesson
Ringers learning the theory of constructing touches of Spliced Surprise Major.
From left to right: Mariane Merati, Christopher O’Mahony, Rachel Aland,
Stephen Fox, David Smith, David Pacey (obscured), Andrew Cole.

Filling in time on handbells. From left to right: Inga Griffiths-Hunt, Charlotte Sorell, Kathi Downs.

Ringing at St Paul's Cathedral
Saturday afternoon session at St Paul’s Cathedral.
From left: Christopher O’Mahony, Michael McBain, Paige Kranz, Rachel Aland (obscured),
David Pacey, Peter Harrison, Andrew Cole, Edith Fry, Calvin Chai.

Group photo
Saturday afternoon session at St Paul’s Cathedral. Our largest group photo.
From left: Paige Kranz, David Smith, Rachel Aland, Kathi Downs, Laura Goodin, Michael McBain, Peter Harrison,
Deryn Griffiths, Calvin Chaim Mariane Merati (two non-ringing visitors in the window seat behind her), Stephen Fox, Charlotte Sorell, Inga Griffiths-Hunt, David Pacey, Helen Pettet, Christopher O’Mahony, Edith Fry. Photographer: Michael McBain

The Saturday Supper group at Young and Jacksons.
Left (from front): David Pacey, Christopher O’Mahony, Brian Rostant, Edith Fry, Peter Harrison, David Smith, Kathi Downs,
Laura Goodin (mostly obscured), Bill Cook, Paige Kranz, Deryn Griffiths
Right (from front): Andrew Cole, Helen Pettet, Merienne Shortridge, John Shortridge, Charlotte Sorell, Inga Griffiths-Hunt (obscured).
Photographer: Michael McBain

Theory Lesson in the Pub
Impromptu theory lesson at the pub. Bill Cook, Paige Kranz, Inga Griffiths-Hunt, Charlotte Sorell.

Ringing at St Paul's Cathedral
Ringing on 12 for the Sunday Service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Ringing chamber, St Paul's Cathedral
Listening to excellent ringing on 8 for the Sunday Service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Lunch group
One of the Sunday lunch tables at Darling West Café in Geelong.
From left: Michael McBain, Stephen Young, Deryn Griffiths, David Pacey,
Christopher O’Mahony, David Heyes, Mary Heyes, Edith Fry.

QP band
Geelong QP Band 22 January 2023.