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Ringers get hooked on ringing! This page is an attempt to explain to someone who hasn’t yet become a ringer, and can therefore only view it from the outside, why ringing is so rewarding.
Ringing is a skilled activity and part of its attraction is the natural satisfaction that people experience when they master new skills and go on to enjoy using them. There is a buzz in knowing that you can do something well. Ringing is a team activity where you all help each other to achieve the overall result, which heightens the sense of achievement in the shared performance.
Ringing uses a unique combination of skills, layered on each other.
Opportunities open up once you can control a bell competently. There are different methods to learn, different bells to ring, different towers to visit and different people to meet. There is no set path, and you can choose how far beyond the basics you want to progress. The world is your oyster in terms of where and how much you ring, and you will never exhaust what is available in terms of technical challenge. Not all ringers want to become high flyers, and many are happy with the satisfaction of ringing well and enjoying the friendship of other ringers for the services and practices of their home band.
Ringing is a social activity. You ring with other ringers. Other ringers help you while you are learning and in turn you will help new ringers when they are learning . Ringers often meet socially – in the pub, meals together, and so on. Beyond the local band, ringers are like a huge extended family. Once you become a ringer you have a ready made welcome around the world wherever there are ringers.
As a ringer you can also engage in a host of related areas if they attract you, for example: training, conducting, ringing theory, ringing history, tower management and bell maintenance. You might also enjoy sharing the richness of ringing with non-ringers by giving talks about ringing. You may want to get deeply involved, and even push back the boundaries of knowledge, or you may prefer just to dip your toes for general interest.
The sound of English style bellringing is a special part of our heritage, and many ringers are motivated to help ensure that what we pass on to future generations will be as rich as what we have inherited from our forebears over the last four centuries.
Ringing is a healthy activity that offers mild physical and mental exercise. It is a truly all-age pastime with many ringers continuing well into old age and some starting as young children. It offers a lifetime of satisfaction.
For a fuller description, see: Creating England's soundscape .
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