Bell Ringing at Smith College
After a long period without a local band of ringers the bell tower at Smith College in Northampton, MA is active again. During the first weeks of September, Marj Batchelor (Smith alumna) and her husband Alan Winter (two experienced ringers from Cambridge, England) visited Smith and gave daily bell handling lessons to a group of about 12 students and faculty. Much needed maintenance work on the tower and a few preliminary lessons to faculty were carried out by Greg Russell over the summer.
During the September training, there were visits by other groups of New England ringers who assisted and gave some of the more advanced students a chance to ring as part of an experienced band. The culmination of Marj and Alan's visit was a trip by the newly formed Smith band to Boston. There they had the opportunity to ring at both the Old North Church and the Advent Church.
After only a few short weeks of intensive training, most of the Smith band have mastered basic bell handling and can ring rounds. A few members are well on the way to being able to ring called changes and plain hunt. The band is extremely grateful for all the help and support they have received from the wider community of bell ringers. A weekly practice time at the Smith bell tower has been established (Thursday 7 - 8:30 pm) and visits by outside ringers are very welcome. More information can be found at http://www.math.smith.edu/students/bellringing.php