23rd February 2016

Conduct 5040 FAQ – Etiquette of speaking when not conductor


I was ringing in a quarter peal last Sunday. It was being called by a friend of mine who is at a similar standard to myself regarding conducting. Also ringing was a very experienced local ringer. The method was Bob Doubles and Wendy called the 60 first. On the first attempt she missed the third bob. When Wendy realised what she had done she called stand and we started again. I had expected the experienced ringer to put her right or comment on missing the bob but nothing was said. Is it acceptable, if one realises a mistake has been made, to correct the conductor or is this just not the done thing?

From what I understand of your and Wendy’s situation, I would have expected the experienced person to help out to the best of their ability/experience. However, don’t assume that more experienced people necessarily know more about all aspects of ringing than you do. [There are a number of very experienced and prolific ringers who never call peals.] Anyway, the way to pre-empt this is to say at the beginning of the QP that you want everyone to help each other. I do this before most peals.

It is very common with some of the most experienced conductors that they will say at the beginning of a quarter or peal “keep each other right”. There is a general acceptance that conducting should be a group activity and not the sole responsibility of the conductor. Of course you need to be careful because what you say needs to be right if you are not conducting, but if you know someone has missed a dodge with you and they are likely to continue to be wrong and do damage, then you should say something. Best not to shout, but a quiet word or wink can go a long way.

No conductor should take offence at you correcting a mistake before they do. You have less to think about than them.

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