Obstacles at the start, necessity later

When I started ringing as a short 14yr old (admittedly a long time ago!) the tower possessed one box, height about 6 inches, for a reasonably heavy ring of 8. (My shortish female instructor stood on a chair for my initial lessons...H&S?).  The ropes were permanently set short, and with said box I could only ring the 1 & 2, & struggle a bit with the 3 - and not reach to set any of them at backstroke.  Despite these limitations i made good progress in method ringing, but not much in conducting - which was mostly done 'round the back'.

'Life' meant I stopped ringing for 20 years or so, then got back into it as part of a small band with a ring of 6, with more boxes and ropes set longer. Once I had regained my skills I was frequently the most able ringer present - and it soon became apparent that if we were going to make progress with the methods we could ring I was usually needed on the 5 or 6.  Turns out that a short 50-something female ringer can handle a 12cwt bell - who would have thought it?  I have found that I prefer conducting at the back - it is easier to observe the rest of the band - so can understand why this is generally done.  But it can be done anywhere: everyone with the aptitude should be encouraged to have a go, but maybe it needs acknowledging that weaker mortals need to be more skilled to attain the same results.  But we should be given the opportunity to acquire those skills!