Young Persons' Christmas Event 2005

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St. Christopher's, Warden Hill, Cheltenham - 29 December

About 36 people in total, about 20 of whom could be classed 'youngsters' (with the others wishing to be so classed!) turned up for this event at St. Christopher's. The event lasted about two hours and provided three opportunities, to ring the tower bells, to ring tunes and changes on handbells. These three opportunities were provided in parallel so that attendees could wander between them and choose different activities to try.

There was room for 6 people to ring tower bells and 6 to ring tunes on handbells. After a short while, once people had seen how possible it is to ring two bells to methods, a second change ringing team was formed to cope with demand. This now allowed 6 or more handbell change ringers at once. With four helpers (between two teams) to provide a stable framework, those prepared to give the art a try managed rounds on eight, Plain Hunt on six (including those not ready to try it in tower), Plain Hunt on eight, Plain Bob Minor, and even three leads of Kent TB Minor.

Both youngsters and 'grown-ups' alike took a while to become familiar with the 'go' of the light tower bells. Reg reminded us to pull the hand strokes but not the back strokes, and soon enough some form of control was achieved. Sufficient to allow anything from Rounds to Plain Bob Doubles to be rung. Many visitors came along to have their first go at ringing, being a little too small for the more prevalent larger bells most of us are more familiar with handling. Hopefully Woolstone will have some new ringers shortly! The tower bell finale was a rendition of "Ding Dong Merrily on High" to rival the tune ringers below.

After a little practice, the tune ringers were able to ring both "Silent Night" and "We Wish You a Mery Christmas". This provided the event with its theme, and some cheerful recordings below for your amusement. The handbell music had been written out in a 'grid', rather than 5-stave manuscript, to make it easier to read.

Whilst the majority of the youngsters came from the Cheltenham Branch, we were joined by ringers from Cirencester and Gloucester Branches (Upton St. Leonard's) too. As the event wound down there was talk of something similar later in the year, Easter perhaps? If you have any ideas for different activities that could be included, such as a ringing related quiz, please would you volunteer them. The Branch would like to thank all those who loaned tower bells, handbells and gave up their time to organise and run the event which was clearly enjoyed by both youngsters and oldsters.

Philip Abbey
29 December 2005

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Pictures of all the Event Activities

Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Tower Bell Ringing

Tune Ringing on Handbells

You will see, this activity provided interest for a wide range of ages.

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Change Ringing on Handbells

You will see, this activity provided interest for a wide range of ages.

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Videos of Tune Ringing of Christmas Carols

Silent Night

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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