2012 Pittsburgh Ringing Course
Go Plain Bob
The last weekend of July had the bells of Southminster Presbyterian Church going non-stop for the latest edition of the Pittsburgh Ringing Course, organised by Don Morrison and Ross Finbow. This year the focus method was Plain Bob, doubles and above. This repeated topic was kindly offered to give a chance to people who had to be turned away last year. Nine students and eight helpers were at the course, which ran Friday through Sunday.
The course is set up to give students as much rope time as possible, meaning little time for theory. Instead a document was sent to everyone—students and helpers alike—that had a healthy nine pages under the heading ‘Things to Study’. This structure lets each student have multiple long goes at whatever they were practicing. Together with handy exercises, like ringing plain hunts with one bell always doing a particular dodge, the course really helped with getting the mechanics of Plain Bob.
Four quater peals were rung as part of the course—or five if you include the sneaky handbell quarter rang Monday morning after the course. All the attempts were successful. Every student who wanted to got a chance at a quarter, and there were a couple of firsts too. Ringing continuously for forty-odd minutes certainly does wonders for ropesight and handling, and Don et al put that to good use getting everyone involved.
Of course, ringing events aren't entirely about ringing. Don and Betty hosted the whole crowd on the Friday for drinks and snacks. Betty also organised a great lunch on Saturday, which was eaten back-to-back by the two lunch-time quarter peal bands. And on Saturday evening, a decent contingent from the course made a trip to a church of a different sort, the Church Brew Works—a brew pub in a converted Catholic Church.
All together a fantastic weekend, with lots of progress, lots of ringing and lots of fun. Whatever Don and Ross decide to do next year, it's highly recommended!