Virtual reality can help improve your ringing

The video images are very realistic

There have been significant advances in simulator technology in recent years, and we are welcoming anyone who would like to try out the new technology to come to our early practice at St James’ Bermondsey from 6.30pm on Tuesdays.

Previously simulators relied on listening alone, but the latest technology makes use of videos of real people to create a virtual reality effect. You can practice improving your ropesight, and ‘flashes’ can come up on the screen to help you see which bell you should be following.

There are also new features to record your ringing and play it back, with excellent graphics to show you how well you struck your bell in each row. With these graphics you can diagnose common striking problems such as consistently ringing quicker on one stroke and slower on another, and difficulties getting your open handstroke leads in the right place.

Thanks to grants from the Surrey Association and the Docklands Ringing Centre, a £400 award from the Association of Ringing Teachers, and technical input from the Whiting Society, we now have three ‘workstations’ set up in the ringing room at St James’, each with its own set of headphones. This means that up to three people can practice at a time, without disturbing one another, and they can all be practicing different things, from rounds to complex methods!

We are using our early practice on Tuesdays to teach several new ringers and help them progress into method ringing, and the simulator facility is proving quite popular. However, as we have three workstations we can always accommodate a few more people. As always, you will also be very welcome to stay on to our regular practice from 7.30pm (or a little later if the simulator workstations are in heavy use), and to the Gregorian pub afterwards, on your way back to the Tube!

Practicing on a workstation with headphones