News

As featured in The Ringing Fylde April 2024 edition

It’s been a busy few months since we officially launched the St. Anne’s Ringing School (“STARS”) in November 2023. In that time, we have delivered 7 courses, all fully subscribed (2 Basic Skills, 2 Striking and Listening, Plain Bob Doubles, Plain Hunt and Ringing Up and Down in Peal). We have also led 8 targeted practices, where the focus is on a particular area (eg Plain Hunt or Plain Bob Doubles). Again, all practices have been well attended. On top of that, we have provided basic skills / plain hunt practice opportunities most Friday evenings which, over the weeks, has seen ten different learners from six affiliated towers join our learners. We use a wide range of training aids to support the learning experience – the most recent addition being a set of Boomwhackers, which we procured after seeing them used at the ART Conference that we attended in March. We, and our learners, have certainly had some fun with them!


It’s lovely that there are so many keen ringers locally who are wanting to progress and develop their skills and it makes what we are trying to do so worthwhile. From our overall course feedback, we scored 4.96 out of 5, so we must be doing something right! Thank you to all the helpers who come along to provide steady ringers around the learners at courses and practices. We are so appreciative of the experienced ringers from our affiliated towers who are working in partnership to help us with STARS and we couldn’t run these sessions without you - thank you for giving up your
time.


Thank you also to everyone who has made donations to STARS for attending courses and practices. We don’t make any charge for tuition, but any donations received enable us to cover the start-up and running costs of STARS, make a donation to the Church for the use of their facilities and bells and also hopefully make a small donation to support the Association of Ringing Teachers (“ART”) at some point. It is only right that we contribute to the running costs of the Church and, to that end, we have made a donation to St. Anne’s Parish Church at the end of Q1 2024.


From a tower perspective, three of our “Ring for the King” recruits, Jane, Carole and Shaun, are now fully fledged members of our Sunday Service band, and have now completed ART Learning the Ropes level 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Well done to all of them. Extra congratulations to Shaun on successfully completing three quarter peals, two covering and one on the treble. We currently have five more learners undertaking bell handling lessons and, hopefully, more of them will soon be joining our service band. A second peal on our new ten, 5040 Bristol Surprise Royal, was successfully completed on 9th March. The band included three Fylde ringers, Jim A, Ellis and Ashley.


A big thank you to Monica, who, following my accident in early January, ended up running STARS almost single
handed. She arranged and led all the courses and practices, keeping our learners at St. Anne’s progressing with
their bell handling lessons and also fitting in a bit of steeple keeping! This certainly makes her a shining example
of someone who is always happy to “give back” to the art of bellringing, after only starting to learn to ring in late
2017, as part of the “Ringing Remembers” recruitment campaign. Thank you too, to a number of St. Anne’s
ringers who have also stepped up to help with steeple keeping, handling lessons and leading Sunday Service
ringing whilst I was out of action (I’m now back ringing, but still taking it easy, until I get back to full fitness).

Stuart

Thank you to Fylde Branch Secretary Jake for including our update in the Branch magazine.

02/04024 Celebrating Progress

Congratulations to Shaun who has now rung his first quarter peal on the Treble, which completes his ART Learning the Ropes Level 3.

Shaun started ringing in December 2022. He’s made excellent progress and is a valued member of our Sunday service band. Tonight he extended his plain hunt skills and rang plain hunt on 7! Well done!

26/03/24 Striking and Listening Course

Thank you to everyone who came to our Striking and Listening course. It was great to concentrate on the vital skill of striking your bell well so that the ringing sounds good to those listening outside the Church. It’s important to remember that bell ringing is a very public performance! (Although not during this course, as it’s Holy Week we were ringing on the simulator, so not audible outside!)
Well done to the learners, who all improved as the evening progressed. As always thanks to the helpers for your support. 

Congratulations Monica!

Congratulations to STARS teacher Monica who has now completed her M2C accreditation with the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART). As Monica has already completed her M1 (bell handling) accreditation she has now become the second teacher at STARS to achieve Full Member status with ART.

Module 2C covers how to teach foundation skills and then moves on to helping a ringer build up to change ringing in small, easily achievable steps.

24/03/24 Ringing Up and Down in Peal Course

A great turn out for our Ringing Up and Down in Peal course. The students all did really well as it’s a really tricky skill to master and takes many hours of practice to perfect it.

Thank you to all the helpers who came along to provide steady ringers around the learners. I know we say this every time but we are so appreciative of your help and we couldn’t run these courses without you, thank you for giving up your time.

13/03/2024 Plain Hunt Targeted Practice

A busy evening tonight with 6 learners at our targeted plain hunt practice. We worked on lots of the skills needed for plain hunting, including counting your place, listening, rhythm, ropesight, changing speed and leading. A big thank you to all the helpers who gave up their time to come along to support us, we really appreciate it.

It was lovely to receive this feedback from one of the learners the next day:

"Good morning Monica, Thank you for leading the session yesterday and making it so productive. By the end of my last ring of PH on treble, I found myself counting my place,  and feel I have really made some progress...I now feel more confident to try the next step of ringing PH...and of course, cracking the cover on 6th- it's harder to count than I thought! "

27/02/2024 Basic Skills Course

We had a great time on our Basic Skills course. (Yes we forgot to take a photo yet again!) We had 4 students from 3 different affiliated towers and 8 helpers.

Our students were trying all sorts of activities to help them improve their bell control and listening skills such as:
  • Whole pull & stand
  • Switch-a-roo
  • Follow My Leader
  • Rounds on 6 move round
  • Dodging and placemaking
  • Ring rounds facing outwards
All the students did really well and it was lovely to watch their confidence grow. Well done all of you.
Thank you to our wonderful helpers, we couldn't run these courses without your support.
 
It's lovely to receive such excellent feedback, thank you!
 

"Thankyou to Monica Stuart & Ellis for always being happy to help and encouraging. The course has helped build my confidence and they are a great idea for all levels of ringing."

Elaine

 

"Thanks to all for last night, really enjoyed it, thanks again." 

Alan

 

What did you enjoy most about the course? "I enjoyed switcheroo, but it was all enjoyable. It was good to ring different bells and try to make the necessary adjustments in speed, whilst feeling supported in my learning. THANK YOU."

Jean

 

What did you enjoy most about the course? "Taking part and being challenged to do new things. The support and advice from the helpers was really good. Enjoyed meeting new people."

Linda

25/02/24 Advanced Practice

A very enjoyable STARS Advanced practice. We rang


Little Bob Major
Grandsire Triples
Yorkshire Surprise Major
Plain Bob Royal
Cambridge Surprise Major
Stedman Triples
Grandsire Caters

 

Thank you to everyone who came along.

22/02/24 Plain Hunt Targeted Practice

Thank you so much to St Hilda’s at Bilsborrow for hosting a STARS targeted Plain Hunt practice.

It was wonderful to see each of the keen learners who attended growing in confidence as the evening progressed. Most are now fairly confidently ringing PH5 from any bell, counting their place and striking it fairly well too.

At the end of the practice they had a go at PH6 and all did really well, bravo!

Thank you to all the helpers who gave their time and expertise to help others progress, we couldn’t run these sessions without you.

12/02/24 Plain Bob Doubles targeted practice

On Monday 12th February we ran a Plain Bob Doubles targeted practice (and not for the first time forgot to take any photos!)
The learners all rang confident plain courses by the end of the practice.
We also got one of the helpers, who had “just come along to treble”, to have a go at the first lead of Plain Bob from the 2. They did brilliantly and went home saying they would practice that again in their own tower. This is what STARS is all about. 
Thank you to all the helpers who came along, we couldn’t do these practices without you.

07/02/24 Plain Hunt Practice at Goosnargh

Thank you to Tom, Tower Captain at Goosnargh, for inviting us along to a specially arranged Plain Hunt practice. It was lovely to meet six people really keen to hone their hunting skills. They were all doing pretty well already but with a steady band and a few tips from the helpers everyone made progress and improved their striking/bell control as the evening went along. Thank you to everyone for a very enjoyable evening and a special thank you to the helpers who came along to support the practice.

04/02/24 Plain Hunt Course

Thank you to everyone who attended our Plain Hunt course yesterday. We can't believe how quickly the time flew by! A special thank you to all the helpers, we can't run these courses without your help. Well done to all the students, you all made great progress today. Remember to keep counting! See you at the specially arranged targeted Plain Hunt practices coming up, so you can hone your new skills further!

We received some wonderful feedback, thank you:

"Many thanks to you Monica for arranging and running the course today. It came across as both informative and helpful.
It was also helped by having such a nice bunch of people there!"

"Thank you Monica and team, thoroughly enjoyed yesterday and found it very useful"

What did you enjoy most about the course? "The way the tutor kept things moving along so the students were given as much opportunity as possible."

28/01/24 Celebrating Progress

Very well done to Jane and Carole who have now completed Level 1 and Level 2 of Learning the Ropes respectively. You are both making great progress.

 

An extra well done to Jane who rang for Sunday service for the first time today. It’s a big achievement for a new ringer to get to the stage to be asked to ring for service and even though she was understandably a little bit nervous, Jane did brilliantly! Bravo Jane!

Striking and Listening course 23/01/24

Thank you to the students and helpers who came on the Striking and Listening course last Tuesday.

The course covered three pillars of good striking (rhythm, listening,looking) and what things can effect striking. Then we did some listening exercises to work out which bell was striking poorly and at what stroke. This was followed by some practical exercises where we all focused on making our own striking as accurate as we possibly could. We got some really positive feedback from both students and helpers. Thank you.

What did you enjoy most about the course? - "The advice and tips I was given, and the opportunity to try and put them into practise"

"The Learning to Listen resource was very good"

"It was a great course thank you! I definitely feel I have improved! Thank you all once again for taking your time to help us learners improve and progress "

STARS Advanced Practice 21/01/24

We were having such a good time ringing at the Advanced Practice that yet again we forgot to take any photos!  Thank you to everyone who came along.

We had ringers from 6 different towers join us which was a great turnout seeing as storm Isha was in full flow.  We rang Cambridge Surprise Minor, Stedman Doubles & Triples, Kent Treble Bob, Grandsire Caters and Plain Bob Royal.  We were delighted to receive some lovely feedback from those who attended:

"Great practice! Thanks"

"Thanks for last night. It was a great ring and a lovely tower. I’ll encourage our developing ringers to join other sessions too."

"Thanks for organising a good practice Monica, Really enjoyed it."

STARS are committed to providing development opportunities to ringers at all levels, so it was great to organise a practice at this more advanced level in addition to all the other targeted practices we offer.

Plain Bob Doubles course 6/1/2024

We had four students from three different affiliated towers attend our Plain Bob Doubles course. They all did brilliantly. The course started with a theory session and then practical ringing sessions to put the theory into practice. By the end of the course all students had made significant progress.  Thank you also to the seven helpers who came and supported the course so we could have a steady band of ringers around each student and a stander-behind. We couldn't run these courses without their help.

 

Some feedback from students on the course:

"The tutors were friendly and approachable and put everyone at their ease ."

"The help, advice and patience from the tutors, helper and other students. The opportunity to practice with excellent ringers was much appreciated."

What did you enjoy most about the course? - "Being the only student in a band of experienced ringers"

 

We followed up the course with a targeted practice at St Hilda's in Bilsborrow the following week to help cement their newly learnt skills. This practice was also open to other ringers from affiliated towers who wanted to practice their Bob Doubles. We had 5 learners in total from 4 different affiliated towers. All the learners did really well and were ringing Plain Bob Doubles very confidently. Thank you to the 8 helpers from 5 different affiliated towers who came along too, it makes such a difference to have a steady band with just one learner in with a stander behind if help is needed.

 

Some feedback from the practice:

"Brilliant night. Thank you all. What a gem St Hilda’s is."

"It was a great session. Many thanks."

STARS have another accredited bell handling teacher!

Congratulations to Ellis who has recently completed his ART M1 accreditation. Well done Ellis! This means STARS now has three ART accredited teachers.

Feedback from some of the learners he has taught to handle a bell recently:

  • “Tonight’s session was just great. Thank you Ellis.”
  • “Ellis was brilliant today . I should have said before. I know I'm not the easiest student!”
  • “I feel on top of the world yay! Thank you so much Ellis

Visitors from Over Kellet 23/12/23

It was wonderful to welcome the new Over Kellet ringers and their teachers for a top secret extra practice before they ring their new bells for the first time on Christmas morning. We were delighted to support them with this development opportunity and they all did brilliantly, especially considering they have only been learning to ring for a few months.

Quarter Peal Attempt 16/12/23

Unfortunately we didn’t achieve our quarter peal of Plain Bob Minor today, which is why we always say we will be attempting a quarter peal, as it’s not a given we will get them all. Unfortunately after mix up two bells crossed over which meant we couldn’t complete the QP as it wouldn’t have been “true”.

 

The fact that success is not guaranteed makes it all the sweeter when you do score a QP. The wonderful thing about ringing is that there is always more to learn, whatever level you are at currently.

 

One of the aims of STARS is to provide development opportunities to ringers who are keen to progress, particularly those who might not have the opportunity to do so at their own tower. In 2023 STARS teachers Stuart, Monica & Ellis have between them supported other local ringers to achieve a number of firsts in quarter peals:

  • 4 first quarter peals
  • 2 first on treble
  • 1 first of cover
  • 1 first inside to doubles
  • 1 first of minor
  • 1 first of mixed minor
  • 1 first spliced minor
  • 2 first on 8 bells
  • 1 first surprise major
  • 1 first on 10 bells

 

In addition to this, between them they scored a number of firsts themselves this year, including:

  • first peal
  • first peal as conductor
  • first QP surprise major
  • first QP Grandsire Triples
  • first QP spliced minor
  • first peal on 10
  • first peal on 10 as conductor

 

You definitely can’t score them all and we are all always learning and progressing on the bell ringing journey!

Targeted Plain Hunt Practice

It was lovely to visit St Hilda’s at Bilsborrow on 4th December to support a targeted practice on Plain Hunt for some of their ringers. They all did really well ringing Plain Hunt on 5, 6 and 7 and ringing a hunt bell to Grandsire Doubles. We were grateful for the support of local experienced ringers, which meant we were able to have a steady band with just one learner in at once, supported by a stander-behind. This enabled the learners to make rapid progress and it was lovely to watch their confidence grow as the evening progressed. Well done everyone.

 

It was wonderful to receive the following feedback, thank you everyone:

Good morning Monica. Just wanted to thank you & Stuart & Ellis for coming out to Bilsborrow last night . Everyone said how wonderful the practice had been & how they really appreciated all the help & guidance the three of you gave . Thankyou so much for all the good work you’re doing . With our sincere thanks & all good wishes from everyone at Bilsborrow.

John

 

Quarter Peal success

One of our stated aims is to provide development opportunities for ringers at affiliated towers to give everyone  opportunities to advance their bell ringing skills. We were delighted when Ellen was keen to take up our offer of trying for her first Quarter Peal after attending our recent Basic Skills course.  We are pleased to report that Ellen achieved her first quarter at the first attempt and very well she rang too! Well done Ellen.

STARS Basic Skills Course 21/11/23

We were having such a good time on our inaugural course that we forgot to take any photos to share with you!
We were really pleased to receive wonderful feedback from our students, here is a snippet from that feedback. Thank you everyone. 🙂

 

November 2023 - ART Hub

We are delighted to announce that our application to become recognised as an ART (Association of Ringing Teachers) teaching hub has been accepted.

art-welcomes-a-new-teaching-hub-in-lancashire

For ringers being taught in an ART Hub this means:

  • A guarantee that you will be taught well using a progressive, modern teaching scheme.
  • Learning will be structured and fun and progress accelerated.
  • Teaching that is tailored to your needs and offers lots of varied ringing opportunities.
  • A sense of camaraderie because you are learning together and the social life associated with a wider group.
  • Assurance that all teachers will be following ART safeguarding policies and guidelines.
  • An environment that is well-organised and well-resourced

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