North American SRCY Members Ring in the Big Apple
On the weekend of March 7 - 10, about 20 North American members of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths gathered in New York City to ring on the 12 bells of Trinity Church. This is the only 12-bell tower in America, and only the second 12-bell tower in North America - the first being in Toronto, Canada. So it was with excitement, enthusiasm and some trepidation that the ringers gathered on Friday night to stretch their ringing skills.
Don Morrison led the general ringing session and 12-bell practice on Friday evening. After going into plain hunt on 12 for the first time, Alan Regin commented gently, "OK, the first change was good. Now let's get the second change right." Some of us obviously still had a long way to go! A quarter peal of Plain Bob Cinques was scored that first night, conducted by Don Morrison.
Saturday brought drenching rain and buckets of ringing. Roger Baldwin led general ringing and another quarter was scored, this time of Grandsire Cinques, this was quickly followed by another quarter of Plain Bob Cinques. Most of us now were getting the hang of ringing on 12, thanks to the help of the UK-based ringers, and the more experienced North American ringers. Work continued on into the afternoon, culminating in a successful peal of Plain Bob Cinques that evening. Saturday evening also included dinner at the French bistro "Les Halles", and troubles on the PATH train. Most of us used the PATH train to get across the Hudson River to our hotels in New Jersey (much cheaper!), and its temporary demise left us stranded until late into the night.
Sunday dawned too soon, after we'd all lost an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time. Bleary-eyed folks made their way up the spiral staircase and two nearly vertical ladders to the ringing room for service ringing, led by Trinity ringing master Tim Barnes. Another quarter peal of Grandsire Cinques was successful, but a peal attempt in the afternoon quickly went south. However, a very productive session of 12-bell ringing took place in lieu of the peal and everyone went away feeling much better.
Many thanks to Don Morrison, Roger and Kath Baldwin, Haley Barnett and Alan Regin for their patient help and their stellar conducting skills. Ringing on 12 bells was a steep challenge for many of us, but with their help, we were able to plant our flags on that metaphorical mountain!
View photos from this event in our gallery.