2008 Association Training Conference

2008 Association Training Conference
Twenty five ringers assembled at Hemingford Grey Parish Centre on Saturday 29th March 2008. This year’s theme was Method Learning, run by Richard Pargeter (Education Officer) and Peter Hinton.
Richard started us off with an overview explaining that there are many different ways of learning methods, all of them correct, but not all of them helpful to all of us. Many people used a mixture of ways of learning. We needed to pick out the ones we found useful and gradually build them up to give us an understanding of how it all fits together. He reminded us that it would be hard work (did we doubt it?!) and that the operative word in the title of the course was learning.
Peter then took over to talk about the blue line and how different people see it, use it and understand it. We stood it on its head, broke it up into pieces, and generally looked at it from all angles. There was a lot of participation from the floor, questions were answered, place bells discussed, experiences compared. Peter did his best not to say “you just ...”
We were given homework to do over our coffee break – and some of us called on more experienced ringers sitting nearby to explain, clarify and generally fill in the gaps. Having studied Method Structure with Peter’s help, we went on to formulate rules about Hereward Bob Minor, our method for the day.
We all sat down to a delicious lunch furiously trying to learn the blue line of Hereward Bob Minor (well, those of us who don’t ring it every day ...) and before we knew it half of us were in St James Church, Hemingford Grey, and half in St Margaret, Hemingford Abbots, actually ringing it. The less experienced amongst us were encouraged and supported by having a strong band around us and patient people at our elbow, as we struggled to remember all the helpful tips we had learnt earlier in the day. We were way out of our comfort zone and we were having a ball.
Over tea, we discussed what had helped (and not helped) and there were a few extra suggestions from the floor. Practising by ringing a method in our heads, complete with bobs and singles, appeared to be a common pastime. Also recommended as a cure for insomnia, we could go at our own speed and didn’t have the worry of controlling the bell (or spoiling the ringing). “You can’t do bell control when you’re horizontal in bed” said it all.
Our heartfelt thanks to Richard Pargeter and Peter Hinton for making it all happen, to the incumbents for the use of their excellent bells, and to Michael and Bridget White for organising the hall and the delicious and abundant food. Also to Maurice Thurmott for providing us with a splendid bookstall and to the more experienced ringers for all their patience and support.
Lyn Clackson