Last night at the St. James' regular Monday evening practice, a group of ringers rang rounds on the back six of the eight bells. "So what?", you say. Well, these rounds were a bit different - ringing the fourth of six was Jay Williams, one of our learners. He's been working with Derek Wilsden for a couple of months, along with assistance from Cathy Brown and Kathryn Tucker. He's learned handling, ringing one bell while listening to rounds on Abel, and has even done a bit of plain hunt on six with Abel. He's intelligent, funny, creative and is wildly enthusiastic about learning to ring.
And he's blind. Since birth.
He got his first pull on a bell at Grace Church, Charleston, courtesy of David Porter. When Jay and his wife moved to Marietta, he found out that a local church had change ringing bells and inquired about learning to ring. Derek was consulted, and after some discussion, it was decided that we would give it a try. And last night was the happy beginning of what we all hope will be a long and fruitful ringing career for Jay.