For some time now I have been practising ringing touches of bob doubles, and even bob minor, bob triples and bob major. I have mostly got the hang of the necessary dodges, and can start on any bell, and I can usually cope with the calls of bob, though I can only do this by remembering the sequence, or cycle of work, and not by noticing signposts such as when I cross the treble’s path (although this is occasionally obvious, especially when making 2nds’ place). And in the even-bell methods, where there is no cover bell always in last place from which to lead, I can now usually see the last bell rope go down, so that I can lead appropriately.
Tonight I got to ‘call’ various plain courses of bob doubles, bob triples and bob minor. The hard part at this stage is to know when to call the end of the method — calls should be made when the lead bell is at handstroke, a full stroke before the method ends, and where your bell is at this point depends on which bell you are ringing. Of course, harder than this is calling a touch with bobs (and singles) and getting back to rounds at the end of it; and being able to correct other ringers if they are about to go wrong. I’m definitely a long way from that. Still, progress is being made.
Now we have two of our ‘new’ ringers who can just about ring touches of plain bob doubles and triples, and we have four who can, with varying degrees of success, plain hunt to these (and other) methods. We need to get some of these other ringers to be able to ring ‘inside’ to plain bob — then we will be able to try plain courses on Sunday mornings and weddings when we are not assisted by more experienced ringers.