Ringing 'round the back'


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Ewan Hull, ringer at York


16-year-old Ewan rings in York, and was taught by his parents, David Hull and Alison Edmonds. He rang his first quarter peal aged 7 and his first peal aged 8. As well as being an accomplished ringer – he has rung the tenor to young band peals of Cambridge Royal and Bristol Maximus and has rung three quarter peals on the 3-ton tenor at York Minster. He is helping to teach several learners in York and is the current leader of the Yorkshire Tykes youth band.

Here he explains his approach to ringing the back, or bigger bells.

  • Use your whole body: arms, legs and core; with both strokes.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible. If you bend it then it may start to hurt.
  • Keep tension in the rope all the way down at backstroke to give an even pull throughout the stroke. This will allow you to pull less sharply and more fluidly. This will reduce friction with the rope and may reduce blisters!
  • Think ahead! If you are ringing a heavier inside bell – try and prepare for each bit of work.For example, pull harder in seconds place before leading to make it easier to turn around to hunt away from the front.
  • Let the bell do the work. Only pull as hard as you need to. Consistently over-pulling can make ringing a heavy bell so much harder and will wear you out quickly.
  • Dictate the pace of the ringing (when you are on the tenor). If the lighter bells ring too quickly, resist the temptation to speed up.