Plain Hunt course, Stretham, 20/09/2014

Posted: 08-Oct-2014

Attended by seven improving ringers from Isleham, Burwell, Chatteris, Over and Stretham, and at least as many helpers, Dee Smith’s ‘Introduction to Ringing Plain Hunt’ course at Stretham on Saturday 20 September proved to be a great success.

After a welcoming cuppa, the course began just after 10.00am with an hour’s theory session during which Dee gave a thorough explanation of how plain hunt works and the techniques required to ring slower or faster than in rounds. The ringers were then asked to write out the order of the bells in plain hunt on five and plaint hunt on six, drawing in the blue line and identifying course and after bells.

Theory session

Steeped in theory and further refreshed with tea and coffee, everyone ascended to Stretham’s ringing chamber for the practical part of the course. After a quite respectable rise in peal by some of the helpers, Dee began by inviting each ringer in turn to ring the treble with five helpers, starting with exercises making whole pulls in second’s, third’s and fourth’s place. After giving all seven ringers a fair amount of time on this exercise learning how to ring slower then faster to achieve a clear and accurate change of place, Dee moved on to plain hunt ‘proper’, teaching each ringer in turn how to hunt up and down changing places at each handstroke and backstroke.

In the ringing chamber

As the course came to a close, all the participants felt they had benefitted and would go back to their home towers with greater confidence to further develop their plain hunting ability. However, this course was designed only as an ‘Introduction’ so it is hoped that everyone will return when Dee is able to organise a follow-up course in the future.

The course also demonstrated the suitability of St James, Stretham for such events, with its well-tempered ring of bells, good facilities, separate theory teaching room and welcoming atmosphere. This bodes well for the development of the planned Ringing Education Centre at Stretham. Thanks to Geoff Grayton for the photos (click on a photo to see a larger version).

Peter Binns

The group of students and helpers