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

Essex Ringing Course

Applications for this year's Course have now closed.

The Essex Association of Change Ringers
Registered Charity Number 292250


The 26th Essex Ringing Course

Essex Ringing Course

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

Thursday 7th April - Saturday 9th April 2016

Founded by Adrian Semken

Course Organiser:- Mary Bone (01279 726159)

Helpers Administrator:- Hilary Donoghue (01277 656346)

Towers Administrator:- Stephen Wood (01799 522312)

Contact Address: 11 Bullfields, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9DB

The host Association is The Essex Association of Change Ringers
Association Master:- John Harpole
Association Secretary:- Vicki Chapman
Association Treasurer:- Andrew Brewster


Applications to join the Course must be made on the application form only to Mary Bone before the closing date of 12th February 2016. Each application must be accompanied by the full fee and a self addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.

Applicants who will be under the age of 18 at the date of the Course must have their application 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 £50.00. 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 7 April 2016 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.


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 5 March 2016 your fee will be refunded less an administration charge of £5. If you withdraw after 5 March 2016 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.


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:
Essex Association of Change Ringers
CAF Bank; Sort Code 40-52-40 ; A/c no 00011243.
Please use the reference 'Essex Course' when making a transfer.


and all moneys received will be acknowledged after the application closing date and 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.

Please do not apply for more than one course taking place in the country at the same time (e.g. Hereford). Please refer to the cancellation policy.


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, O.S. Landranger sheet number 168. 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 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, any book containing the method(s) to be studied, and a piece of rope if splicing instruction is required. 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 indicate a second choice in the space provided, unless no other Group is at all suitable. Successful applicants will be placed in their first choice Group if at all possible, but some flexibility in placement will allow the maximum number of students to benefit from the Course. Depending on the number of applicants, a Group may be divided for both the theory and practical sessions. It is Course policy that, in this case, applicants from the same tower will be placed in different groups.

Improving foundation skills. Have you reached the stage in your early ringing career where even if you understand the theory of what you are meant to be doing you are finding doing it an entirely different matter? If so this group is for you. Students in this group will work on their individual ringing skills so that they can improve their bell control, listening and ropesight. This may require time working alone on a bell as an individual with the advice of your tutor, as well as ringing with other ringers. Students will also practise raising and lowering a single bell.
A Group for those who can ring Rounds competently and who are ready to take their first steps in call changes and then, possibly, in change ringing on 3 or 4 bells. If you are in any way doubtful about joining Group C, then join Group B; you will still find something to learn and will have the opportunity to fill in steps in your ringing education you may have missed or not appreciated.
A Group for those wishing to plain hunt on 5. The opportunity to practise on different rings of bells and in different orders both on the treble and "inside" will be provided. The Group will emphasise the skills required for change ringing and will be learning ropesight and considering striking, as an essential preliminary to ringing the treble. Practice may be given at ringing the treble to Bastow, Minimus and Doubles, to "Stedman Quick Sixes" and to Plain Bob Minimus as appropriate, before progressing to ringing the treble to Plain Bob Doubles.
A Group for those who really have ropesight and bell control and are ready to ring the treble to Grandsire Doubles and Plain Bob Minor. It is intended to progress to ringing the treble to touches in both these methods. A number of other methods may be rung to practise the different rhythm of change ringing with six bells.
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.
A Group for those who are already competent in ringing skills as outlined in the above groups and able to ring touches of Plain Bob Doubles and who wish to learn Plain Bob Minor "inside". You should be able to treble hunt reliably to touches of Bob Minor before applying for this group; if in any doubt consider applying for Group D.
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.
Surprise Minor: To get the full benefit from this group applicants must be able to ring 2 or 3 methods other than Plain Bob Minor e.g. Double Court, St Clements, Kent TB, and be able to 'treble bob' proficiently. The group will study and practise Cambridge Surprise Minor and, depending on progress, may move on to ring other surprise minor methods.
Stedman: Starting with Doubles and progressing to Triples with calls and theory on extension to Caters and Cinques. You should be proficient in ringing up to Group G to get full benefit from this option.
Starting Plain Major: This Group provides an introduction to ringing inside on 8 bells, by introducing Plain Bob Major, Little Bob Major, and possibly other plain major methods. You must be able to plain hunt on 8 and be competent at Plain Bob Minor "inside" to join this group.
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.


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 12th February 2016.

Downloadable documents:

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