Bellringing is a very sociable, team based activity. Many ringers feel a commitment to ringing for their local church community on Sundays (and some ring at many churches each Sunday). Being a member of the church or ringing on every Sunday is most definitely not a requirement for learning to ring. Ringers have their own motivations to ring the bells which range from tradition and socialising to light exercise and challenging themselves mentally and sometimes physically. Extended and complex pieces of ringing such as 1/4 peals (45 minutes) and peals (3 hours) can be very challenging indeed, though many ringers never attempt these feats. Some have suggested that the regular light exercise, mental challenge and social contact results in many ringers being active well into their 80s and beyond.
There are also almost no restrictions due to age or physical condition, though we suggest 10 years old as a lower age limit. Minors will need to be accompanied by a parent in the early stages so why not learn together?
At Crick, we had a band of ringers, established in the late 1990s when the bells were restored and augmented. For various reasons, partly due to ringing being suspended while the tower was refurbished in the early 2010s, until recently there was no longer a resident band of ringers in Crick. In May 2015 the present Tower Captain took over and we now have a band of 6 ringers. 4 of these started ringing in May or June this year and have just completed their “Learning the Ropes” Level 1 bell handling course. We are always looking to strengthen and add to our band so that we aren’t left with silent bells in the future.
When we teach you at Crick, we arrange a series of sessions with just a few new recruits being taken on at a time. These sessions are quite flexible and usually take place for 1-2 hours in the afternoons or early evenings. The sessions are arranged to fit in with your availability and ideally you would attend 1-3 sessions a week for a few weeks until you have learned to safely ring a bell.
You are enrolled on the Association of Ringing Teacher’s “Learning the Ropes Scheme” which takes you from complete beginner through to being able to safely and competently ring a bell unaided at the end of Level 1. At this stage you will be competent to ring with others and we hold regular practices on Saturday mornings (10:00-12:00) to allow you to progress further.
Other local churches have regular practices and you might soon want to branch out to visit and practice with other ringers. We have particular links with Yelvertoft , Lilbourne, Welford, Sibbertoft, Shawell and Hillmorton, but once you can handle a bell safely you will be instantly welcomed at almost any tower in the world (about 40, 000) to join in their ringing. We know local ringers who have rung in USA, Canada and Australia and received a very warm welcome.
It is quite traditional for ringers to socialise with one another outside of the tower and many of us find ourselves in a local hostelry for some kind of refreshments after evening practices. The times for these are shown elsewhere on the site.
There are another 4 stages to the Learning the Ropes scheme and you can continue to progress as far as your own ambition and time allows. There are ringers who have been ringing for 30 years or more who are still learning new things, it is a pursuit with great depth should you want to explore it. We will do all we can to help and encourage you.
Please contact Nick (Tower Captain) if you’d like to know more, theres no obligation and no charges for our time to teach you or for the use of the bells. firstname.lastname@example.org or 07598335560.