Thinking allowed

calling Bob Doubles

Two little bits of pro­gress to record, to do with call­ing touches of Bob Doubles.

A couple of weeks ago I called a 120 of Bob Doubles from the treble. When you do this you only have the basic frame­work of ringing to help you know where you have got to. You can­not call a 120 by simply call­ing ‘Bob’ whenev­er you are doing four blows behind, or by call­ing bobs at ‘in’, ‘out’ and ‘make’, because you nev­er do any of these things. Instead what I did was to count leads. I decided in advance that I wanted the 2 to be unaf­fected, so I called a bob just as I rang a back­stroke in 2nd place at the end of the second lead. Then I coun­ted 3 more leads and called a bob again (at my back­stroke in 2nd place); then 3 more leads and anoth­er bob, and finally when tak­ing the 2 from the lead, call ‘that’s all’ as the bells come into rounds.

The dif­fi­culty with this is the two lots of count­ing that must be done: count­ing your own place, and count­ing the num­ber of leads. It is all too easy to for­get how many leads have been rung by con­fus­ing the two lots of numbers.

Then at last night’s prac­tice I called a 120 of Bob Doubles while ringing the ten­or cov­er. Here, there is even less fram­we­work to help you as you are ringing in sixth place at every blow. Instead, you have to watch anoth­er bell. I chose to count the place of bell 2, and to call a 120 which affected that bell (make, in, and out), and then as it was about to make 2nds place the bells come into rounds. In order to do this you have to be able to con­tin­ue ringing the cov­er bell whilst watch­ing and count­ing what some oth­er bell is doing. Ringing the cov­er bell (to doubles, at least) has become an almost totally auto­mat­ic or sub-con­scious pro­cess: my eyes and hands can get on with doing this while I fol­low anoth­er bell and call the 120. It’s nice to have reached this state: it’s not so long ago that ringing the cov­er bell itself was hard and not always accurate!

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