I'd like to reflect on my time at a particular tower. I loved my time there and was made very welcome by the band. I arrived capable of Cambridge Major but much more comfortable on 6; I left having rung peals of maximus.
I think I attended one practice before my first Sunday service ringing. I think there were either 10 or 12 of us for Sunday service ringing - we all had to ring. Someone suggested Stedman and I said no sorry I couldn't do that. They said no problem, Grandsire, I said no sorry I couldn't do that either (not being at all confident on 9 / 11). They tried to persuade me that (having seen me ring Cambridge Major) Grandsire is easy and I could do it - I could even have the treble if I wanted. I was not used to higher numbers of bells, not confident about ringing the treble well on a Sunday morning, and I'd learnt on heavy bells - so I suggested, why didn't I take the tenor and then they could ring Stedman. I got a few eyebrows and 'are you sure?' but they agreed. I rang the tenor, it was hard, I did fine but not brilliantly, they were very supportive and said well done.
Within a couple of weeks, I was asked to treble a quarter of London Royal, which I did.
Over the next couple of years, the band pushed me to learn the methods the band was ringing - Stedman Cinques, Cambridge and Yorkshire max, London Royal. But I rarely rang further round than 8 and more normally rang 4 / 5 / 6. I was probably further round than any of the other women there.
Although the band didn't discourage me from ringing heavier bells, (they allowed me to ring their tenor on a Sunday morning when they didn't know me and I'd never rung the bell before), they didn't push me to ring heavier bells the way they did push me to ring the treble and to learn the methods the band was ringing.