The ‘Cast of 1000’ is about providing more opportunities for ringers everywhere to learn and practice ringing in the upper reaches of the ‘Red Zone’, particularly Surprise Major. While some ringers live in areas where there are plenty of opportunities to ring Surprise Major, others face long journeys to ring a course of Cambridge, and therefore may not be able to practice much at all.
One of the Central Council’s Strategic Priorities is to address barriers to progress, and this lack of opportunity is a barrier to progress. The Council is helping to address this by organising practices, and most importantly by engaging a large number of experienced ringers to help – the ‘Cast of 1000’.
These practices are specifically aimed at developing knowledge and experience in ringing the Core Seven surprise major methods and then the other methods recommended by Project Pickled Egg. All practices will have the Core Seven as their base, and some will have additional methods for special focus. Details of all methods can be found in the original Ringing World articles here, and methods sheets can be downloaded here.
Members of the Cast of 1000 are all experienced ringers prepared to come to additional practices to provide opportunities for those less experienced. The model is based on the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing which manages a roster of experienced ringers all of whom are prepared to go to well organised and well run practices that have a specific purpose. As the name suggests, it is hoped that one day there really will be a roster of 1000 such ringers, who between them would be able to put on up to 30 additional advanced practices a week whilst only having to commit to one appearance a month themselves.
When and Where
When ringing is back up and running properly, practices will be organised regionally.
In the meantime, practices are being held on Ringing Room. While there are many Ringing Room practices aimed at developing ringers in the Blue Zone and through simpler methods, there are relatively few practices pitched at a higher level. There are also a lot of ringers who aren’t doing any ‘ringing’ at all as they have not felt the urge to use Ringing Room. Our Ringing Room practices serve to get more ringers active as well as provide opportunities to learn and practice Surprise Major methods, within the constraints of the platform.
There will be up to three practices per week, usually on Saturdays. They are being organised a month in advance. The Ringing Room practices are accompanied by a Zoom session for communication.
We also recognise that some ringers will fall in between the category of being an experienced helper and benefitting yourself. If you think that is you – for instance being solid in the Core Seven but looking to expand your repertoire into more of the PPE extension methods, please let us know and we will be pleased to fit you in.
Whoever is running the practice will know in advance who is attending, what their experience level is (both in method terms and use of Ringing Room), and their aspirations, and will try and run the practice accordingly.
As stated above, the purpose of ‘Cast of 1000’ is to provide practices that are well run, purposeful and sociable, such that all participants are going to want to come again. Some people will attend as helpers, some people will come because they hope to gain experience, and for some it will be a bit of both. The practices should be worthwhile and enjoyable. For that to work we have developed a Code, setting out some mutual expectations.
The Code is in two parts – a Code for Helpers, and a Code for participants. The Code can be found here.