Thinking allowed

learning London Surprise Major

Hav­ing more or less suc­cess­fully rung a Plain course of Bris­tol Sur­prise Major last week­end, it’s time — like Dick Whit­ting­ton — to turn to Lon­don: Lon­don Sur­prise Major, that is. Lon­don is the last of the “stand­ard eight” Sur­prise Major meth­ods, and Cole­man describes it as the zenith of stand­ard sur­prise. But he also sug­gests that it is easi­er to learn than Bris­tol, and strongly recom­mends learn­ing it by place bells. Oth­er Lon­don web pages seem to agree, one sug­gest­ing learn­ing pairs of place bells togeth­er, as in each pair one is the mir­ror of the other.

The order of the place bells is the same as for Rut­land and Bris­tol: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 6, 4; with the pairs being: 2 and 4, 3 and 6, and 5 and 8; while 7 is sym­met­ric about the half-lead end.

There are a few famil­i­ar pieces of work:

  • Sted­man whole turn, which occurs only on the front
  • fish­tails, which occur at the back (8–7‑8), and also both ways in 5–6 — 6–5‑6 and 5–6‑5
  • plain hunt­ing below the treble — but plain hunt­ing “wrong”, i.e., lead­ing with back­stroke then hand­stroke (“back and hand”) rather than hand­stroke then back­stroke (“hand and back”)
  • treble-bob hunt­ing above the treble, some­times “right” and some­times “wrong”

When you meet, or are about to meet, the treble you have to get back into phase with it, either to pass it, or to dodge with it. You do this by mak­ing a place, or by doing a Sted­man whole turn, or doing fishtails.

Anoth­er point to note is that the 4th-place bell and above all start in the oppos­ite dir­ec­tion com­pared with most meth­ods learned so far. So even bells (≥4) go out, and odd bells (>4) go in. The 8th-place bell strikes an extra blow at hand­stroke in 8th place before going down.

Oth­er than that it seems that the only way to learn this is by place bells, which we do in the full article.


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Bristol Surprise Major: the plain course and bobs

Armed with a con­tinu­ous blue line, as described in the pre­vi­ous post (but see also this later post), we can write this more com­pactly as a single lead:


We can also write out what hap­pens when “bob” is called. The front two bells are unaf­fected, and run in and out as in a plain course to become the 2nd and 3rd place bells. The bell in 4th place, which would have run out to 5th and become the 5th place bell, instead makes the 4th-place bob and becomes the 4th place bell. The bells above 4th place each dodge back one place, which brings them back to their start­ing pos­i­tions, so that they simply repeat the same lead as they have just done. Like this:

21345678 bob

The bob per­mutes the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place bells. If called at the end of each of the first three leads this will bring the touch back to rounds – three leads of Bristol.


learning Bristol Surprise Major

[Edit: Although I learnt Bris­tol Sur­prise Major in the way described in this post, I sub­sequently figured it out in what is to me a much more con­veni­ent way. You may find it help­ful to read this post on the struc­ture of Bris­tol Sur­prise Major instead. I think it’s much sim­pler. You may or may not agree.]

It’s been a long time since I wrote here about learn­ing a Sur­prise Major meth­od. In the inter­ven­ing peri­od I’ve learnt to ring six such meth­ods: Cam­bridge, York­shire, Lin­colnshire, Super­lat­ive, Rut­land and Pud­sey. These are six of the so-called “Stand­ard Eight” Sur­prise Major meth­ods, and in many ways they are quite sim­il­ar to each oth­er — York­shire, Lin­colnshire, Super­lat­ive and Rut­land are all the same as Cam­bridge when you are above the treble [edit: this isn’t true of Super­lat­ive], and Pud­sey is the same as Cam­bridge when you are below the treble. The oth­er two SM meth­ods in this Eight are Bris­tol and Lon­don and they are dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers, and from each oth­er. Sev­er­al times I have sat down to learn Bris­tol, but not got very far. Time to put that right.

So I’ve spent an hour or so look­ing at the “blue line” for Bris­tol, as well as a couple of guides. From it I can see that:

  • Bris­tol is a double meth­od, so that once you have learnt a quarter of it you should know all of it
  • There are basic­ally three or four pieces of work that you need to learn in that quarter; I call these: 
    • the “front­work”, though you also do this at the back
    • “Sted­man” and “fish­tails”
    • “light­ning work”

I’ll look at each of these in turn.

First we’ll look at fish­tails. These are single blows where you reverse dir­ec­tion after each blow, so on the front it might be: lead, 2nd, lead, 2nd, lead:


Next, the front­work. Bell 2’s work con­sists of doing half the front­work one way, and then mir­ror­ing it to do it the oth­er way:

  • dodge 1–2 down with the treble
  • lead right
  • fish­tails
  • lead wrong
  • out to point 4ths
  • lead right

and then do the same thing in the oppos­ite direction:

  • out to point 4ths
  • lead wrong
  • fish­tails
  • lead right
  • dodge 1–2 up with the treble

(And then, instead of mak­ing 2nd place over the treble, go out to 3rd place and become the 3rds place bell.)

Then there’s “Sted­man”. This is like a whole turn in Sted­man: lead two blows, point 2nd, lead two blows. As in Sted­man, one of the pairs of lead­ing will be right (i.e. hand­stroke fol­lowed by back­stroke), and one will be wrong (i.e. back­stroke fol­lowed by hand­stroke). But in Bris­tol this doesn’t just occur on the front. It’s also done in 4ths — 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th. And because Bris­tol is a double meth­od it appears at the back (8th, 8th, 7th, 8th, 8th) and in 5th place (5th, 5th, 6th, 5th, 5th). Each of these pieces of work occur twice, once with the first two blows right and the last two wrong, and once with the first two wrong and the last two right.

Armed with this inform­a­tion we can write out what bell 3 does:

  • dodge 3–4 up
  • 4th place
  • dodge 3–4 down with the treble
  • an extra blow in 3rd place
  • Sted­man on the front
  • out to 4th place
  • Sted­man in 4th place (4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th)
  • plain hunt down to …
  • fish­tails on the front (2nd, lead, 2nd, lead, 2nd and out)
  • dodge 3–4 up
  • out to 5th and become 5ths place bell

We’re nearly there, and all that remains to do is to look at the “light­ning work”:

  • hunt out to the back
  • one blow only at the back, then turn around and
  • hunt down with
  • two blows in 5th place
  • two blows in 4th place
  • down to the lead
  • one blow only in the lead, then turn around and
  • hunt up to 6th place

This path crosses the treble as it does the places in 4th and 5th:


That cross­ing point is also one of the pivot points of the meth­od, i.e. the point where you move from doing things on the front to doing things on the back, or where the blue line rotates through 180 degrees.

Bell 5 begins with the light­ning work as described above (the first three blows in the dia­gram are of course the last three blows of bell 3’s work).

After this point we repeat the work already described, but as places from the back, rather than places from the front. This enables us to write out a com­plete plain course, as is shown in the full article.



2017-18 Almanac for Common Worship and BCP

Once again my annu­al Alman­ac, or cal­en­dar and lec­tion­ary, is published.

Each year since 2002 I have pro­duced a down­load­able cal­en­dar for the forth­com­ing litur­gic­al year, accord­ing to the rules of the Church of England’s Com­mon Wor­ship Cal­en­dar and Lec­tion­ary, and the Book of Com­mon Prayer.

The 2017–18 Alman­ac is now avail­able for Out­look, Apple desktop and iOS Cal­en­dar, Google Cal­en­dar, Android devices and oth­er formats, with your choice of Sunday, week­day, euchar­ist­ic, office, col­lects, Excit­ing Holi­ness lec­tions, for Com­mon Wor­ship and BCP.

Down­load is free, dona­tions are invited.


Prayers for Manchester

The Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion has received a num­ber of enquir­ies today in the wake of yesterday’s events in Manchester, ask­ing for resources for vigil ser­vices. In addi­tion to the pray­ers tweeted by the Church of Eng­land Com­mu­nic­a­tions team, by a num­ber of dio­ceses and by oth­er indi­vidu­als, the links below to the Church of Eng­land web­site give a num­ber of appro­pri­ate pray­ers for the world/society here

and for indi­vidu­als here

For those need­ing a com­plete order of ser­vice, pp. 443–448 of New Pat­terns for Wor­ship has an out­line headed “Facing Pain: a Ser­vice of Lament” — also down­load­able from here

Some of the ‘Cross’ and ‘Lament’ (pos­sibly also ‘Liv­ing in the world’ and ‘Rela­tion­ships and heal­ing’) resources from New Pat­terns for Wor­ship might also be appro­pri­ate for inclu­sion in that ser­vice, or as stand-alone ele­ments in your reg­u­lar service.


Julie McDonnell Triples

Close watch­ers of the ringing ‘scene’ — or of Songs of Praise — will be aware that there is cur­rently a sig­ni­fic­ant fun­drais­ing exer­cise under­way, rais­ing mil­lions of pounds to fight leuk­emia — by ringing bells.

The cam­paign was begun by Julie McDon­nell, her­self a sur­viv­or and suf­fer­er from the dis­ease, and also a ringer. She set up a cam­paign called Strike Back Against Blood Can­cer and per­suaded some gen­er­ous spon­sors to donate money to the cam­paign whenev­er a quarter peal of the new meth­od (or meth­ods) is rung. The new meth­od is fit­tingly called “Julie McDon­nell” and exists for vari­ous num­bers of bells.

Last night at anoth­er tower’s prac­tice the tower cap­tain said she’d like to ring a quarter peal of Julie McDon­nell Triples at some point, and poin­ted to a blue line of the meth­od drawn on the tower white­board. After we had looked at it for a few minutes some of us had a go at ringing a plain course, which we did susc­cess­fully at the first attempt.

It’s a fairly simple meth­od, with “front­work” done by the 4 and the 2, and “back­work” done by the oth­er bells; and 3–4 dodges to trans­ition between “front­work” and “back­work”

Start­ing on the 4 do the “front­work” dodge 1–2 down, lead, make 2nds; dodge 1–2 down lead, make seconds, becom­ing the 2. Hav­ing made 2nds and become the 2, it’s lead, dodge 1–2 up, make 2nds, lead, dodge 1–2 up and out, dodging 3–4 up and becom­ing the 3. Or to sum­mar­ize the “front­work” slightly dif­fer­ently: (dodge 3–4 down), dodge down, lead, 2nds, dodge down, lead, 2nds, lead, dodge up, 2nds, lead, dodge up; (and dodge 3–4 up).

The “back­work” start­ing from the 3 is: lie, make 3rds, lie, make 3rds, lie, make 5ths, lie make 3rds, lie, make 3rds, lie, dodge 3–4 down becom­ing the 4. Or, tak­ing the lying and all the inter­ven­ing plain hunt­ing as impli­cit: 3rds, 3rds, 5ths, 3rds, 3rds.

The starts are:
2: in the middle of the frontwork
3: at the start of the backwork
4: at the start of the frontwork
5: has just made 5ths in the middle of the back­work; lie, 3rds, lie, become the 6
6: has nearly fin­ished the back­work, so down to 3rds, lie, then dodge 3–4 down 
7: has just done the first lot of 3rds; so lie one blow in 7ths, then 3rds, then 5ths

Bobs are the same as plain bob: 
About to make 2nds: run out and become the 3 so begin the backwork
About to dodge 3–4 down: run in and become the 2, so lead and do the second half of the frontwork
About to dodge 3–4 up: make 4ths place and become the 4, so turn round and entirely repeat the frontwork.

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Michael Perham

The Dio­cese of Gloucester has this morn­ing announced that Michael Per­ham, Bish­op of Gloucester between 2004 and 2014, died on the even­ing of Monday 17 April.

Michael Per­ham played a very sig­ni­fic­ant role in the litur­gic­al life of the Church of Eng­land, and was a mem­ber of the Litur­gic­al Com­mis­sion between 1986 and 2001. He was a con­trib­ut­or to the books that became Lent, Holy Week, East­er, The Prom­ise of his Glory and Enrich­ing the Chris­ti­an Year, and then to Com­mon Wor­ship.

In the announce­ment, Bish­op Michael’s suc­cessor as Bish­op of Gloucester, Bish­op Rachel Treweek writes:

It is with great sad­ness that I am writ­ing to inform you that Bish­op Michael died peace­fully at home on Monday even­ing, April 17, fol­low­ing a spe­cial East­er week­end with all the family.

I last saw Bish­op Michael on Tues­day 11 April dur­ing Holy Week. Not only was it good to share togeth­er in the Euchar­ist on that occa­sion but also to preside at the Chrism Euchar­ist on Maun­dy Thursday know­ing that the Dean would then be tak­ing Bish­op Michael bread and wine from our ser­vice in Gloucester Cathed­ral with the love and pray­ers of the Diocese.


singles in Stedman Doubles

On a good prac­tice night we have enough ringers able to ring Sted­man Doubles, and we are gradu­ally get­ting bet­ter at it, and more people are able to cope with singles so that we can ring an extent of 120 changes, rather than just a plain course of 60.

Singles in Sted­man Doubles seem to cause quite a bit of con­fu­sion. They also have a num­ber of nick­names or mne­mon­ics which aim to remind the ringer what to do. A com­mon pair of nick­names is “cat’s ears” and “coath­angers”, refer­ring to the actions taken by the two bells affected by the call. I could nev­er get used to these, espe­cially “coath­angers” and worked out my own way of deal­ing with singles.

The first thing to remem­ber is that Sted­man con­sists of three bells on the front which plain hunt for six blows, and then change dir­ec­tion, togeth­er with pairs of bells above third place which double dodge out to the back and then back down to the front again. In Sted­man Doubles the only double dodging is in 4–5 up and 4–5 down. And the import­ant thing to remem­ber is that a single affects only the pair of bells double-dodging in 4–5 up and down. The three bells on the front are entirely unaf­fected by the call.

The effect of a single is to swap two bells over, and in Sted­man Doubles it swaps over the two bells that are double-dodging 4–5 up and down. That’s really all you need to know. The ringer who star­ted out think­ing that they were going to double-dodge 4–5 up has to turn around swap places with the ringer who star­ted out think­ing they were going to double-dodge 4–5 down. And vice-versa.

Or to put that anoth­er way, if you are double-dodging 4–5 up and a single is called then you become the bell double-dodging 4–5 down. And if you are the bell double-dodging 4–5 down then you become the bell double-dodging 4–5 up. (Of course in both cases the double-dodges up and down are not really double-dodges because they are incom­plete, but we can gloss over that complexity.)

What does this mean in prac­tice? Let’s con­sider, first, the bell that would, if there were no single, double-dodge 4–5 up. The ringer will count their place some­thing like this:

  • fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth

and then they will lie at the back and double dodge 4–5 down.

Mean­while the ringer who would be double-dodging 4–5 down with them will count their place some­thing like this:

  • fifth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, fourth

and then go down to the front, either as a quick bell or a slow bell.

The effect of the single is to swap the two bells over at the fourth stroke (a hand­stroke) of these six changes, so that the bell that starts dodging up ends up dodging down:

  • fourth, fifth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth

This bells is now dodging down, so it must next go down to the front.

Mean­while the bell that starts dodging down ends up dodging up

  • fifth, fourth, fifth, fifth, fourth, fifth

This bell is now dodging up, so it must lie in 5th place and double-dodge down before join­ing the front work, either as quick bell or as slow.

As for wheth­er you go in quick or slow: if you are affected by one single (or by an odd num­ber of singles) then you do the oppos­ite of what you would oth­er­wise have done. If you came out quick and would have gone in slow, then after a single you go in quick. Or if you came out slow and would have gone in quick, then instead you go in slow. (That’s because you have swapped places with the the oth­er bell, and it becomes the bell that does what you would have done, and you become the bell that does what it would have done!)

For me, this is where blue lines explain­ing the single — help­ful though blue lines gen­er­ally are — here just com­plic­ate mat­ters. In this instance I find it easi­er just to switch from ringing one place bell (4th’s place) to ringing anoth­er (5th’s). Or vice versa.

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Calling Bob Minor: a different composition

Thanks to Tim Rose’s web­site here is a com­pos­i­tion for a quarter of Bob Minor that looks to be rather easi­er to call than the one I con­sidered before. Tim does a pretty good job of describ­ing the com­pos­i­tion, but for the sake of com­plete­ness and to aid my own under­stand­ing I’ll put it all in my own words.

As in the pre­vi­ous com­pos­i­tion, this quarter con­sists of a 720 fol­lowed by a 540, mak­ing 1260 changes in total.

First we look at a plain course of Bob Minor. The lead ends (when the treble leads at back­stroke) look like this:

135264 (3 make 2nd’s, 5 3–4 up, 2 3–4 down, 6 5–6 up, 4 5–6 down)
156342 (5 make 2nd’s, 6 3–4 up, 3 3–4 down, 4 5–6 up, 2 5–6 down)
164523 (6 make 2nd’s, 4 3–4 up, 5 3–4 down, 2 5–6 up, 3 5–6 down)
142635 (4 make 2nd’s, 2 3–4 up, 6 3–4 down, 3 5–6 up, 5 5–6 down)
123456 (2 make 2nd’s, 3 3–4 up, 4 3–4 down, 5 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

This gives us 60 changes in a plain course, but if we call a bob just before it comes back to rounds the last row becomes
142356 bob (4 runs in, 2 runs out, 3 makes the bob, 5 dodges 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

If we do this three times, then the lead ends at each of the bobs are:

142356 bob
134256 bob
123456 bob

These bobs are each called when the ten­or is in the ‘home’ pos­i­tion, i.e. dodging 5–6 down. Now we have a touch of three courses or 180 changes.

We can extend each of these courses (each end­ing with the bob at ‘home’) by insert­ing some extra calls that don’t affect the course end. We can do this by adding in a dif­fer­ent fairly simple touch of four calls, that turns each 60 into a 240. Each call is made when the ten­or is dodging 5–6 up, i.e. at ‘wrong’. The four calls are bob, single, bob, single. The ten­or, dodging in 5–6 up at each call, is unaf­fected by any of them, and after these four calls the touch comes back to rounds.

We can write out the lead ends start­ing from rounds thus:

123564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob
136245 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 up
164352 plain: ten­or makes 2nd’s
145623 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 down
152436 plain: ten­or dodges 5–6 down ‘home’

125364 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

132564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob

135264 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

After 240 changes this comes back to rounds, but if a bob is called just before that, then it changes the last row to
142356 bob ‘home’; 5 and 6 unaffected

This is just what the simple touch (3 ‘home’s) did, and sim­il­arly, ringing this three times will then come back into rounds at 3 × 240 changes, i.e. after 720 changes so we have rung the first 720 of the quarter peal, an extent on 6 bells, or every pos­sible combination.

The lead ends after each 240 are:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’
123456 bob ‘home’ rounds
These are exactly the same course ends as we got with the simple “three homes” 180 touch.

We can con­tin­ue to ring this pat­tern a fur­ther two times and then we shall have rung anoth­er 480 changes, each end­ing like this:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’

That makes 720 + 480 changes, or 1200. We need anoth­er 60 changes to reach 1260 for the quarter peal, and we need to get back to rounds. And that’s exactly what our simple “three homes” touch does – its last course of 60 changes turns 134256 into 123456 with just one bob at the very end. See the lead ends for that simple touch at the start of this art­icle. So we ring the last 60 of that 180, omit­ting the bob-single-bob-single at ‘wrong’ that we used to extend the 60 into a 240.

The quarter peal becomes:
bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘home’ – repeat 5 times in total
bob ‘home’.

Or to spell it out in more detail:

bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, plain;
bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, bob;
repeat all the above 5 times in total, then fin­ish with
plain, plain, plain, plain, bob.

Sev­er­al oth­er fea­tures make this easy for the learn­ing band:

  • The ten­or rings plain courses through­out, unaf­fected by the calls which always occur when it is in 5–6 up or 5–6 down.
  • The 5 makes 3rd’s at every single; no oth­er bell needs to worry about mak­ing the single; this is very help­ful if not all the band are fully con­fid­ent about singles
  • The 5 also makes 4th’s at every bob at ‘wrong’, and dodges 5–6 up with the ten­or at every bob at ‘home’
  • Oth­er­wise the calls per­mute the 2, 3, and 4. In each 240 one of them will be unaf­fected, dodging 5–6 down with the ten­or at every call: in the first 240 this is the 4, in the second the 3 and in the third the 2. The fourth is the same as the first, so the 4 is unaf­fected, and the fifth is the same as the second, so the 3 is.
  • When there is a bob at ‘home’ at the end of each 240, it comes one lead earli­er than a bob or single would oth­er­wise have been called
  • And then the bob at ‘wrong’ is the very next lead.


Steve Cole­man dis­cusses this QP com­pos­i­tion (and the earli­er one) in his Bob Caller­’s Com­pan­ion (which along with his oth­er ringing books is avail­able here). He sug­gests the oth­er one is the sim­pler. He also makes a couple of inter­est­ing obser­va­tions. First is to call the 540 before rather than after the 720, and to call the 60 at the start of the 540 rather than at the end. The advant­age of this is that the 60 is a com­plete plain course, start­ing from rounds and just as it’s about to come back to rounds there’s a bob, and then the sequence of five 240s begins. So the vari­ation in the com­pos­i­tion is at the start – and if any­thing goes wrong you can start again, with a only a few minutes wasted. If this is done, then after that first bob it’s the 3 that is unaf­fected in the first 240, then the 2, then 4, 3, and 2 respect­ively. The com­pos­i­tion comes back to rounds with the bob at ‘home’ at the very end of the fifth 240.

Cole­man also notes that this block of W‑SW-W-SW‑H can be used for a QP of Bob Major. Instead of there being 240 changes in each part (12 changes in each lead, 4×5=20 leads in each part), in Major there are 448 (16 changes per lead, 4×7=28 leads per part), and so ringing it three times is 1344 changes, at which point it comes back to rounds without any­thing else needed and that will suf­fice for a QP. In Major, 6, 7 and 8 are all unaf­fected by all the bobs and singles, ringing plain courses through­out. The 5 front bells do all the same work as they do in Minor, with the addi­tion of hunt­ing to 8th place and back, and dodging 7–8 down and up.


Calling Bob Minor, further thoughts

Anoth­er aspect of call­ing a long touch – let alone a quarter peal – is remem­ber­ing where you’ve got to, and what hap­pens next.

The only long touches I’ve pre­vi­ously called have been quarter peals of bob doubles, where the prob­lem is keep­ing track of call­ing exactly 10 120s, and not los­ing track of how many you have rung so far. For that meth­od I’ve adop­ted the tech­nique of asso­ci­at­ing each suc­cess­ive 120 with a par­tic­u­lar bell, so that you call a 120 asso­ci­ated with the 2, then a 120 asso­ci­ated with the 3, then the 4, then the 5; then anoth­er 120 asso­ci­ated with the 2, then the 3, 4 and 5 in turn; and then yet anoth­er 120 asso­ci­ated with the 2, then the 3 – and then you’ve rung 10 120s.

The advant­age of this aide mem­oire is that while ringing you just have to remem­ber which bell is asso­ci­ated with that 120, and at the end of the 120 you move on to the next bell. And you have to remem­ber wheth­er this is the first sweep, the second, or the last (half-)sweep, but that is very con­sid­er­ably easi­er to do, partly because count­ing to 2 is an awful lot easi­er than count­ing to 10, and also because a look at the clock will give you a pretty clear indic­a­tion of which sweep you’re in. Two fur­ther points about Bob Doubles. First, it is very easy to asso­ci­ate a par­tic­u­lar bell with each 120, because in any 120 a par­tic­u­lar bell will be the obser­va­tion bell, unaf­fected by the calls, and the con­duct­or is focus­sing on that bell and call­ing bobs when it is about to ring 4 blows in 5th place. So it is easy and nat­ur­al to asso­ci­ate a bell with a 120 and to remem­ber which bell it is at any moment. The second point is a foot­note to any­one read­ing this who might be set­ting out to ring a quarter of Bob Doubles: don’t for­get that 10 120s is only 1200 changes and you need to add anoth­er 60 to get to the quarter peal.

So how is this applic­able to quar­ters of Bob Minor, and par­tic­u­larly to the com­pos­i­tion dis­cussed? One idea is to use a sim­il­ar count­ing scheme to keep track of the courses of the com­pos­i­tion. In a 1260 of Bob Minor there are 105 leads of 12 blows each, or 21 courses of 60 blows each. Each course is 5 leads in length and at the end of each the ten­or – which is entirely unaf­fected by all the calls of Bob and Single – returns to its ‘home’ pos­i­tion of dodging 5–6 down. Unfor­tu­nately, and unlike the Bob Doubles count­ing scheme, there is no obvi­ous and easy nat­ur­al asso­ci­ation of a course with a dif­fer­ent bell.

What we have instead is a 720 of 12 courses fol­lowed by a 540 of 9 courses. If we alloc­ate all 6 bells to a course then that is twice through the bells for the 720, and one and a half sweeps through for the 540:

1: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
2: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, plain
3: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
4: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, plain
5: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
6: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, single (home)

1: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
2: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, plain
3: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
4: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, plain
5: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
6: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, single (home) which com­pletes the 720

1: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
2: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, single (home)
3: plain, plain, plain, plain, single (home)

4: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
5: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, single (home)
6: plain, plain, plain, plain, single (home)

1: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, bob (home)
2: bob (wrong), plain, plain, plain, single (home)
3: plain, plain, plain, plain, single (home) which com­pletes the 540

Does this help at all? I’m going to think about that!