From the RW 2003


The New Recruit

I am the newest learner,
And I can’t control a bell.
The others keep on telling me
I’m “doing very well”.
They all make helpful comments
And they tell me what to do.
“Pull harder at the hand-stroke!”
“Don’t’ forget to follow through!”
“Now catch the sally higher.”
“Take in rope with your left hand.”
“Oh dear, you’re very out of place,
Perhaps you’d better stand!”
Sometimes, by chance, it works out right,
And ‘3’ sounds after ‘2’,
The next time it’s way out of place.
Whatever did I do?
It’s amazing how much discord
I can manage to create
By failing to pull hard enough
Or pulling just too late.
I am the newest learner,
And I can’t control a bell.
The others keep on telling me
I’m “doing very well”.
But am I really?

By An Embleton Ringer 

To ‘New Recruit’
(see p.339)

Do not despair, O new recruit,
“Strive on” is all we ask;
Your efforts surely will bear fruit
And fit you for your task.
We’ve all been through this mill, my lad
(Or should that be a Miss?)
When all comes right you’ll be so glad
You’ve persevered like this.
Handstrokes and backstrokes will combine
Into one fluid motion,
Evenly spaced and set to time
As waves upon the ocean.
No longer will you bump the stay
Or make your tutor quiver –
With balanced bell you’ll keep the beat
A-flowing like the river.
“Sometimes by chance it works out right” –
I quote your words to you.
That’s how you learn, each practice night
Exactly what to do.
Practice and practice is what it takes,
Practice when’ere you may.
Pull straight, pull true and follow through,
You’ll get there – day by day!

(Who rang at Embleton in 1966!)

The New Recruit Makes Progress
(see p339 and p403)

I’m not the newest learner now,
Three more have joined the band,
So practice nights are rather full,
There’s scarcely room to stand!
“You really need to ring much more,”
The Tower Captain said.
“I’ll see if I can find a course,
To help you get ahead.”
“Could you spend two days in Shropshire?
It’s a long way!” “Well, I might!”
“It’s ‘Beginners and Improvers’,
So the level should be right.”
To the Marches Teaching Belfry
On a snowy winter’s day,
One beginner, three improvers
Made their apprehensive way.
With endless skilful, patient, help
Encouragement, and more,
We all made much more progress
Than we’d ever made before.
We learned to ring bells up and down,
To listen, and to count,
To lead, to lie, to check and pull
By just the right amount.
We joined the Belfry practice night
(They kindly rang some rounds).
I hadn’t realised just how different
Eight-bell music sounds.
Plain hunt’s becoming possible
(With a long way still to go!)
I can’t see who to follow
But I can ring fast and slow.
So now it’s back to practice nights,
And waiting for my turn,
The ringing’s most enjoyable,
But there’s such a lot to learn!

By an Embleton ringer.

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