ART Conducting Course

A bright sunny warm day on Saturday 14th April, heralded the start of a new era, for eleven ringers from across the Guild, keen to enter the world of conducting. Simon Linford from Birmingham led the ART Conducting Course, taking us step by step through the core essentials. He was extremely patient with us, happy to answer all our questions, leaping through to the end of his presentation in response to questions about surprise methods or major, or re-covering ground on how to see coursing orders (again and again!!), from different angles.

The practical aspects mostly focused on Plain Bob Minor and also brought in some Little Bob, while discussions ranged up to Bristol Maximus, and why Yorkshire is best.

An anti-clockwise ring was never going to be easy to ring, and, in fact, it was the stimulus for many mistakes. This was, however, very useful for us trying to use our conducting skills to work out what should be going on.

The handouts were helpfully titled “Starting to Conduct” – enabling us to be proud that at least we have taken this first step on what is to perhaps be quite a long journey. Some of us thought perhaps we should have an innate ability to be able to crack this in one afternoon, and got quite frustrated, but Simon was able to adapt to our comments and explain things in a variety of ways until all of us had at least one “lightbulb moment”.

One of the key things we learnt, was that like any other skill we have gained in ringing, it is one step at a time. I believe there is a long hill ahead of us to climb, but at least now we have a map and compass, and know how to orientate them – it will be an interesting journey for all of us.

It was a great experience to be in a group of people that we have rung with from across the Guild, whether it be at practice nights or quarter peals or ringing competitions – for that afternoon, it brought us all together with a common goal; I look forward to the future to see how we all develop from this invaluable training afternoon. Perhaps one day we will be able to call ourselves “conductors”.