The ultimate goal #
Devon call change ringing done well is a mesmerising sound. There is a continuous stream of notes which is not interrupted by the open handstroke lead that method ringers insert. It is also said that the ringing of bells slightly below the balance generates a different sort of sound to method ringing where the bells go to the balance and stop for longer.
As I think it is always good to see what you are aiming at, here are a selection of videos of call change ringers in action.
This video from Meavy in Devon includes the start of the raise and you will notice how all the ringers start to pull together on the first pull, then on the second pull the ropes are slightly spaced out, then on the final pull when they cause the bells to strike, they strike in rounds but very close together.
This is one of my all-time favourite videos – all 12 at Buckfast Abbey being rung up in peal, followed by some call changes.
And just one final defence for the method ringers. When the Central Council ran a YouTube competition during the Covid lockdown in 2020, there were two months where the criteria were films of the best striking on six and eight bells. I had an ulterior motive in proposing this, because I knew that fine call change ringing would be submitted and that a call change piece would win.
The very best method ringing bands achieve near perfect striking but usually in peals, but it never gets filmed. Call change peals benefit from being short and the best ringing is often in competition environments. It is not too onerous to put a GoPro on a cupboard and film for 10 minutes. Peal ringers never do this, and the highest quality method ringing is only heard by its exponents.