Devon Call Changes #

Simon Linford

Introduction #

This book is going to be quite a personal account of learning and developing call change ringing in the Devon style. I hope that by reading it you will see that ringing call changes in the way they ring them in Devon and the South West, or more particularly the focus on call changes as a performance rather than just as a transition step before moving to method ringing, could be good for your band.

I have always been interested in Devon call change ringing, with most of that period of interest being not really understanding why the bands don’t get bored. Coming from a strong method ringing background myself I am very driven by the pursuit of technical challenge, and ringing the same call changes week in week out didn’t seem to cut the mustard.

However I noted that some of my method ringing friends who have rung really difficult stuff and hence are way up into nosebleed inducing heights of the Black Zone, have moved to the South West and embraced call change ringing. That made my ears prick up.

Then when I became President of the Central Council in 2019 I started thinking about call change ringing a bit more, wondering whether there aren’t actually lots of bands which would be better served if good call change ringing was the target rather than, as happens in all too many towers, call changes being seen as a stepping stone to unfulfilling Bob or Grandsire Doubles.

At the start of the pandemic, I joined a Zoom call with some ringers from Suffolk and I talked about having call change ringing as the target, and one attendee said “If I could go back to my tower and say we were going to ring call changes rather than struggling to ring Bob Doubles they’ll love me forever.” In the summer of 2021 we went on a family holiday to Devon and were fortunate enough to find that the Kingsteinton outing to Exeter was on our first day there, and we were invited to join them. This was our first experience of ringing with a top call change band, and we joined with some trepidation. However, we settled in and from that point on I was convinced that this form of change ringing needed to be practiced more widely. The ringing up and down was exceptional!
The Linford family getting ready to ring up at Alphington The Linford family getting ready to ring up at Alphington
This book therefore is not being written by some seasoned call change professional, but by someone who has started to integrate Devon call change ringing into the repertoire of a method ringing tower because I can see the value of doing it. I am basically writing it as I go along and hope that if you follow this you will also find a fulfilling addition to your repertoire.