The Essex Association of Change Ringers   President: The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford

Essex Ringing Course 2020

The Essex Association of Change Ringers
Registered Charity Number 292250


The 30th Essex Ringing Course

Essex Ringing Course

Honywood School, Honeywood Avenue, Coggeshall, Essex CO6 1PZ

Thursday 16th. April - Saturday 18th. April 2020

Founded by Adrian Semken

Course Organiser:- Anne Bray (01255 679312)

Helpers Administrator:- David Sparling (07447010201)

Towers Administrators:- Ian and Denise Kerwin (01371 874842)

Contact Address: 7 D’Arcy Close, Kirby Cross, CO13 0RR

The host Association is The Essex Association of Change Ringers
Association Master:- Andrew Kelso
Association Secretary:- Sharon Lacey
Association Treasurer:- Andrew Brewster


Applications to join the Course must be made, ideally online, before the closing date of 15 February 2020. The link for online applications can be found on the Essex Association Website under Education and Training / Essex Ringing Course. Please send an email to if you would like the link emailed. For online applications, all correspondence will be by email. A printed copy of the course programme will be provided at the start of the course.

If you do not have internet access, a paper application form can be obtained by sending a stamped, addressed envelope to Anne Bray, 7 D’Arcy Close, Kirby Cross, CO13 0RR. Each application must be accompanied by the full fee (see COURSE FEES below).

Applicants who will be under the age of 18 at the date of the Course must have their application submitted by, or their form signed by their parent or guardian. Please ensure that you have read the Course’s Child Protection Policy.

If you are suffering from any medical condition which may affect you during the Course you should indicate this on the application form. In particular, you should bear in mind that the majority of practical ringing will be upstairs.


  1. The Adult fee for Basic Tuition is £55.00. This includes all lectures, demonstrations, practical session tuition and tower donations.
  2. The Junior fee for all young ringers from an Essex tower aged under 18 on 16 April 2020 or junior members of the Essex Association is £25.
  3. Essex Association members may be eligible for grants from the Education Fund; please email to enquire.
  4. A bursary “Semken Scholarship” of the full fee will be offered to one Essex applicant aged under 25 on 16 April 2020. If you would like to apply for the bursary for 2020, please contact Anne Bray giving a brief outline of your ringing career to date. The successful applicant will be required to submit an article on the Course for publication in the Essex Association newsletter. This bursary is offered in memory of Adrian Semken, the Course founder. It is intended that this scheme will continue for a number of years.

Cheques must be made payable to “The Essex Association of Change Ringers”.
Alternatively, you can pay by internet banking by making a direct credit to the Essex Association account as follows:
Account name: Essex Association of Change Ringers
Sort Code: 60-05-13
Account No: 22177035
Please use the reference 'Essex Course' and your surname when making a transfer.


Entry to the Friday evening social is also included. Those wishing to attend the social, who have not been a student or helper or participated in the Course in any way, are welcome to join the social for a nominal fee of £10.00 paid to the Course Organiser prior to the social. As well as a buffet supper and free soft and alcoholic drinks, the social has a variety of fun things to do and silly games to take part in, and is suitable for all ages.


Please notify the Course Organiser immediately if you find that you will be unable to attend the Course. If you withdraw from the Course after the application closing date but before 15 March 2020 your fee will be refunded less an administration charge of £5. If you withdraw after 16 March 2019 your fee, less an administration charge of £5, will only be refunded if the place can be taken by an unsuccessful applicant.

Every effort will be made to run the Course but there may be circumstances beyond our control which mean that the Course may be cancelled without liability.


Applications and all moneys received will be acknowledged by email after the application closing date. Paper form applicants must provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope (C5 size - 229 x 162mm) for this. Please do not contact the Organiser before the closing date for information on the progress of your application. Decisions cannot be taken until that time.

Applications are grouped according to first preference where possible. If groups cannot be filled, or are oversubscribed, the second choice group will then be used to attempt to allocate a space. However a group which is under subscribed may have to be cancelled if the resources can be more efficiently used for another group.


Honywood School is located within the Honeywood Estate on the northern side of Coggeshall, to the west of the Earls Colne Road (B1024) and south of Coggeshall bypass (A120). National Grid Reference TL853233, Postcode CO6 1PZ. On arrival students should report to the Reception Point which will be clearly signed. There is a large car park at the School with access from Honeywood Avenue. The school (buildings and grounds) operates a complete non-smoking policy which includes e-cigarettes.

The Course is essentially non-residential; any applicants who require accommodation should make their own arrangements with their hosts as soon as they have been advised that they have been successful in gaining a place on the Course.

Students should bring a supply of lined or squared paper, and any book containing the method(s) to be studied. Sets of handbells may be useful although some sets will be available.

The Association Bookstall will be open periodically during the course; Central Council and some other publications will be available. Tutors will be only too pleased to give advice about books.

Tea and coffee etc. will be available at the school at set times in the morning and afternoon each day. In addition a light tea is provided on the Thursday evening and a meal at the Course Social on the Friday evening. All refreshments are included in the fee.

Groups usually take lunch at a local pub close to either the morning or afternoon tower, as this allows useful discussion and advice to continue over the break. These days it is extremely rare for pubs to have any problem with young people being part of the group, and young people should, if possible, budget for a pub lunch each day. If, however, any group member intends to make their own arrangements for lunch, or to bring sandwiches, you must let your group tutor know when you arrive at the school so that they can take this into account in making their arrangements for the group.


Reasonably experienced ringers are required as "helpers" at the practical sessions. No course fees are charged for helpers and they are entitled to attend any of the lectures and other Course functions when they are not required elsewhere. Helpers should be able to ring touches inside reliably to the method groups to which they are assigned (groups D and above) or ring reliably in at least the next higher group for groups A - C.


It is essential that you read the details of the various practical Groups available as detailed below before you complete the Course Application Form.

It is equally essential that you do not over-estimate your ability. Please note that the first practical session is intended partly to ensure that ringers are in a suitable Group - a Group in which they can obtain maximum benefit from the Course without attempting too big a jump in their progress. Please assist us by providing a description of your ringing during the last three months (practices or courses attended and what you have rung).

The emphasis on competence in the notes on the Course is quite deliberate. If you are in a Group for which you are not yet ready you will, as a consequence, not make the progress intended and progress of others in that Group will be hindered. The Course Management reserves the right to ask you to change groups if it is felt appropriate. The aim is for all students to make significant progress and to enjoy their practical sessions.


The Course will be divided into Groups for practical sessions as below, one of which must be chosen on the Application Form. Please see details on separate sheet.


Apart from the main Group lectures there will be other lectures on a variety of subjects which may include some of the following:

Attendance at these is a matter of personal choice. Some sessions will be limited to a number of attendees; lists will be placed on the notice boards to enable you to sign up during the first coffee break.

An outline programme will be circulated electronically to all successful applicants.

Closing Date Friday 21st February 2020


GROUP A - Bell-handling basics
This group is suitable for beginner ringers who are not yet confident in ringing a bell on their own. Ringers who have had a few lessons and are in the early stages will benefit from three days consolidated practice in securing bell-handling skills.
People in the early stages of ‘Learning the Ropes’ Level 1, will find this group useful. We will also accept applications from complete beginners.
GROUP B - Foundation skills (Learning the Ropes Level 2)
This group is suitable for beginner ringers who are confident in ringing a bell on their own and wish to develop foundation skills. A range of skills as described in ‘Learning the Ropes’ Level 2 will be covered including Ringing Rounds, Kaleidoscope Ringing, Leading, Call Changes, Ropesight, Listening & Striking. If you are already working at Level 2 LtR, please bring your progress book along.
GROUP C – Introduction to Change Ringing (Learning the Ropes Level 3)
This group is for those ready to take their first steps in change ringing. The group will focus on developing the necessary skills required for change ringing including ropesight and good striking. Exercises will provide practice in plain hunting on different numbers of bells as well as covering and ringing the tenor behind.
GROUP D – Advanced Plain Hunt
A Group for those who really have ropesight and bell control and are ready to ring the treble to a wider range of methods and to minor methods without tenor cover.
GROUP E – Plain Bob Doubles Inside
A Group for those who are competent in ringing skills as outlined in the above groups and wishing to learn Plain Bob Doubles on an "inside" bell.
GROUP F – Plain Bob Minor Inside
A Group for those who are already competent in ringing skills as outlined in the above groups (up to E) who wish to learn Plain Bob Minor "inside". You should be able to ring the treble reliably to touches of Bob Minor before applying for this group.
GROUP G – Grandsire
Starting with Doubles and progressing to Triples with calls. Applicants must be proficient in ringing the treble to Grandsire and be able to ring touches of Bob Doubles “inside” to get the full benefit from this option.
GROUP H – Moving on from Plain Bob
Applicants will have the opportunity to look at a number of other plain doubles and minor methods which may include Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, St. Simon’s / St. Clements and Little Bob. The group will work on using knowledge and signposts from plain bob to develop their repertoire in ringing inside to other methods.
GROUP I – Treble Bob Minor
Applicants will learn to ring the treble to a Treble Bob Hunt method and then progress to an “inside” bell. Tuition in both Kent and Oxford Treble Bob will be given, with the intention of moving on to splicing the two together for those making good progress. Applicants must already be able to ring touches of Plain Bob Minor on an inside bell competently.
GROUP J – Calling & Conducting Touches
This Group will start with calling Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles, and progress to Plain Bob and possibly other Minor methods. Students will be actively involved in calling a variety of touches, and will be expected to ring whilst others of the Group are calling. No previous experience of calling is required, but you must be able to ring touches of Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Minor “inside” competently.
ART Module 1 – Teaching Bell Handling*
Suitable for those who already teach bell handling and want to update their skills AND for those who have never taught anyone to handle a bell. Module 1 provides you with the skills and techniques necessary to take a ringer from their first lesson to having competent bell control. You will learn through a mixture of practical and classroom sessions:
  • How to teach a skill
  • How to break down bell handling into easy stages that the new ringer can master
  • About different learning types and how to adapt your teaching for them
  • The benefits of intensive teaching
The practical sessions will give you plenty of time to practise your new skills in a safe environment. Working in pairs you will also have opportunity to hone your observation skills and get feedback on your feedback.
ART Module 2 – Teaching Rounds to Plain Hunt*
If you have new or recent learners in your tower this course will help you give them confidence in bell handling, and teach you how to use fun and varied exercises to get them ready for ringing changes. There’s a lot more available to you than the traditional route of ‘Rounds –> Call changes –> Plain Hunt’ and everyone in the tower can contribute to the progress of your students. The importance of Standing behind skills, listening skills and changing speed are emphasised. You will learn through a mixture of practical and classroom sessions. Note you do not have to have done Module 1 in order to do Module 2.

Online application form

Essex Ringing Course 2020 ART Modules

Helper application form

Downloadable documents:

Course clothing

RSS feed | Site Map | Privacy notice | | ©1985-2016 The Essex Association of Change Ringers, registered as a Charity No 292250