• Vicki Chapman
    29
    As you may be aware the Central Council PR Workgroup is working with videographer George Perrin (also a ringer) to produce a PR video all about bellringing. We will be filming at several locations, interviewing lots of people of different age, gender, experience etc

    If you were watching a short film about bellringing what soundbites would be good to include, or interview questions do you think we should ask?
  • Lucy Chandhial
    63
    I think emphasising the chance to keep learning, to work as a team, the social side and the chance to meet new people on outings, when you visit a new city and to have a wider variety of people you see regularly because bellringing often introduces you to people you wouldn’t have met through studies or work. So it’s a hobby a bit like joining an orchestra or amateur dramatics or a rambling group. If you have a variety of people being interviewed this is likely to come out naturally but I think some people think bellringing will be very serious, religious and once you have learnt then you just do it (because they don’t know we have thousands of different methods to try!).
  • J Martin Rushton
    101
    Emphasising methods and having to learn them can be off-putting for beginners. If the film is aimed at encouraging people to start then perhaps it should follow the normal progression many towers and show learning to handle a bell, ringing in rounds and call changes. This last is much easier to explain what has to be done than simply a shout of "Go Titanic Cinques" and all the bells start moving in an incomprehensible way.

    For instance:
    RM: five to three
    Commentator: the number five bell has been asked to follow the number three bell and to make space the four moves out of the way.
    RM:three to one
    Com: Now the three follows the first bell and the two moves out of the way. Look the five is now following the two.
    RM: five to three
    Com: Now the five has moved again to the three. Listen and you can hear the music as first the odd bells and then the even bells ring.

    OK, I'm no script-writer, but you get the idea.
  • John Harrison
    374
    Emphasising methods and having to learn them can be off-putting for beginners. If the film is aimed at encouraging people to start then perhaps it should follow the normal progression many towers and show learning to handle a bell, ringing in rounds and call changeJ Martin Rushton

    If we think people would be put off by what makes most of us tick, are they the people we want to attract?
    If we wanted to inspire someone to play the violin would we show the a virtuoso playing beautiful music or show them a beginner trying to play scales?
  • J Martin Rushton
    101
    If we think people would be put off by what makes most of us tick, are they the people we want to attract?John Harrison

    Well the view from the bottom is different. I'd query "most of us", but accept that there is a significant group for whom this is true. The first thing must be to encourage people to start with a belief that they will be ringing in a reasonable period of time and can then start to build on it. There is a shortage of ringers nationally. To take your violin analogy; if making a film to encourage adults to start, which message is better:
    • You need to start before you are five, practice at least two hours a day and by the time you are 21 you have a small chance of playing like this.[cue violin concerto] If you can't reach this standard we don't "want to attract" you.
    • You can start at any age and after mastering the basics you can join in beginners' orchestras and socialise with other budding musicians [cue grade IV music]. In time many of our members progress to advanced work and join the town orchestra or opera group. [cue a G&S overture]
  • John Harrison
    374
    You can start at any age and after mastering the basics you can join in beginners' orchestras and socialise with other budding musiciansJ Martin Rushton

    Yes, they need to believe there is a way in for them, but that's irrelevant unless they are motivated to want you be part of it. Socialising is a valuable part of most group activities, not unique to ringing. Compared to some activities ringing (and many other things like singing) is less social because you can't talk while doing it, only around the periphery. So to take up ringing (or any activity with a significant learning curve) you need some vision of the activity itself to inspire you to want to put in the time and effort to get there. If you just want socialising and 'taking part' don't take up ringing or playing an instrument, just join a social club.
  • Lucy Chandhial
    63
    I think a lot of people who enjoy the social aspect of ringing enjoy it precisely because it is in the periphery! For people who want some social contact regularly but don’t have a group of friends to meet in the pub once a week, where a social club sounds too much, perhaps intimidating then the gentle social contact which ringing give you is very satisfying.
    I think the invitation to join in and be able to join a band is a good analogy, no need to be a full time concerto but enjoy a regular practice with others who are also building their skills and enjoying practicing together.
  • Simon Linford
    305
    What ringing also does is enable some people to have social contact and be part of a team when they find that difficult to do. You can spend lots of time in the company of others without actually having to do any conversation at all, and for some people that is very good. We accept people who find social situations difficult. Not necessarily something for the marketing - just an observation.
  • Peter Sotheran
    118
    Don't blind them with the science of change-ringing, emphasise that success hinges on good team work.
  • PeterScott
    68
    what ... interview questions do you think we should ask?Vicki Chapman

    In ascending geekiness:

    "How many hours each week do you spend ringing ? "(including travelling to ringing, maybe learning ringing, maybe admin/organising ringing etc)

    "What ringing-apps do you have on your phone, and can you explain one to us ?"

    Does your Spouse/Partner/SignificantOther ring, and were they a ringer when you first met ? How many generations of your family ring ?" (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents ..., children, grandchilden, great-grandchildren)

    "How do you keep your personal ringing records (towers, peals, quarters, compositions, squared-paper-scribbles ? And have you converted to an online version ?

    "How many other ringers have you rung peals with ? and on how many different days of the year ? and how many different ringers have they rung peals with, in total ?" (Refer to Pealbase) "and what is your Erdős number to [insert any famous, prolific ringer] ?"

    "Do you think ringing-teachers should charge real money to those whom they teach ?"

    "Do you worry about truth in ringing, and is it important ? Do you always blame the conductor for a false peal ? Should Bob Minor come round at hand ?"

    "Will the Standard Eight succumb to Pickled Egg ? Do you believe in the Black Zone"

    "How best to arrange that ring of eight in your bedroom ?"
  • Gerald Wilson
    10
    Having 30,000 friends in all parts of the country and indeed the world is worth stressing. Wherever you are for work or pleasure in UK and certain parts of the world, there is a group who will (hopefully) welcome you in.
  • Vicki Chapman
    29
    Thanks Peter.

    I don't think some of those questions are quite appropriate for what we're trying to do, but good questions to ask existing ringers!
  • Nigel Goodship
    19
    I've just got access to Google Bard, so I thought I would pass on your question. I entered "Suggest some questions about English church bell ringing" and here are the questions it suggested:

    • What is change ringing?
    • How many bells are typically used in change ringing?
    • What is the difference between change ringing and handbell ringing?
    • What are the different types of bells used in change ringing?
    • How long does a quarter-peal or peal last?
    • What is the history of change ringing?
    • Why is change ringing popular in England?
    • What are some of the benefits of change ringing?
    • What are some of the challenges of change ringing?
    • What is the future of change ringing?

    I fired "What are some of the benefits of change ringing?" back at it and this was the answer:

    Here are some of the benefits of change ringing:
    • Physical exercise: Change ringing is a physically demanding activity that can help improve strength, flexibility, and coordination.
    • Mental stimulation: Change ringing requires concentration and focus, which can help improve mental agility and memory.
    • Socialization: Change ringing is typically done in groups, which can provide a sense of community and belonging.
    • Stress relief: The repetitive motion of change ringing can be calming and soothing, making it a great way to reduce stress and tension.
    • Sense of accomplishment: Learning and mastering a new skill, such as change ringing, can boost confidence and self-esteem.
    Change ringing is a unique and challenging activity that can offer a variety of benefits. If you are looking for a way to improve your physical and mental health, as well as your social skills, change ringing may be a good option for you.

    All quite impressive stuff, I think!
  • John de Overa
    402
    All quite impressive stuff, I think!Nigel Goodship

    Not particularly, unless you think robo-plagarism is impressive. For example, a very quick search reveals that a lot of it is lifted from here, with some light rephrasing:

    • Stress relief: The rhythmic motion of bell ringing can be meditative and soothing, making it a great way to relieve stress and tension.
    • Improved focus and concentration: Bell ringing requires concentration and focus in order to keep time and execute the proper techniques. This can help improve focus and concentration in other areas of life.
    • Increased confidence: Learning a new skill, such as bell ringing, can boost confidence and self-esteem.
    • Socialization: Bell ringing is often done in groups, which can be a great way to socialize and make new friends.

    If there's anything impressive it's the accuracy of the search targetting and the ability to present the results in a readable way. But there's no insight or understanding, it's only as good as its training data - and that has come from humans.
  • Simon Linford
    305
    That's a nice thought. Learn to ring and you get 30,000 new friends.
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