Every now and again I get asked where my nick “Standard8” comes from. As I got asked again last weekend, and the answer isn’t as simple as some, I thought I’d blog about it and give some links at the same time.
As some of you will already know, I live in England. One of the things that started in England (and is still fairly unique to England) is the “English Art of Change Ringing“. This is also know as Bell Ringing, and sometimes incorrectly called Campanology which is the study of Bells.
For those of you that have never seen English bell ringing, here are some of the best links I’ve found showing what goes on and are well worth a look:
- Bell ringers in a ringing room, ringing 10 bells (hosted on the North American Guild of Change Ringer’s site).
- Bells actually ringing (not very good sound)
- A variation on bell ringing (ringing with a Bourdon Bell, but also a good view of the other bells)
I have been Bell Ringing (as my hobby) for about 19 to 20 years. When we ring bells in the English style, we don’t just ring the bells in any order/way we like, we have a structured form, a bit like pieces of music (although they don’t sound like conventional music). We call these methods.
There are many methods that we can ring, some are very easy, some are difficult. When learning to ring, there is a general consensus on the methods that you learn initially. As you progress and get reasonably advanced, there’s is one set of eight methods, that are commonly rung and mixed (spliced) together in one piece of ringing. These are surprise major methods, know amongst ringers as the “Standard Eight”.
So that’s where my nick comes from. So can I ring the “Standard Eight”? Well, I’m a little out of practice on them at the moment, but with a bit of revision, a good band and a good tail wind, I could probably ring it reasonably well.