Thinking allowed

Stedman and Grandsire

Had a few more attempts at ringing Stedman at Hemingford Grey last night. We rang a couple of plain courses of doubles: first time I rang bell number 2, and afterwards I tried number 3. Both times I got it right. Later in the evening — after more ringers had turned up — we rang triples. I rang bell 4, and started off making a mess of things. I was immediately put right by the conductor (‘lead now!’), and from then on I was okay. I realized at the time that I had probably gone wrong in exactly the same way as I had done the very first time I had tried to ring Stedman. But I could not see at all what I was doing wrong.

Later, when driving home, I worked out what I had probably done on both occasions. Bell number 4 starts by dodging once with 5 (i.e., from ringing in 4th place at rounds, you ring one blow in 5th, one blow in 4th, and then ‘go in slow’, that is, two blows in 3rd place and down to the lead). I had forgotten to do the dodge with 5, instead trying to go in slow immediately with the two blows in 3rd place. Obviously something to remember — not just ‘go in slow’, but ‘dodge 4/5 down’ first.

We also tried to ring a touch of Grandsire Triples, with me ringing bell 6. In a plain course of Grandsire Triples there are dodges in 4/5 up, 6/7 up, 6/7 down, 4/5 down, and then make 3rds. But I haven’t got the hang of bobs in this method yet. Ringing 6 the first dodge is in 6/7 up, but a bob called before this means do a double-dodge in 4/5 up; another bob was called as I was about to make 3rd — which is unaffected by the call. We did this a couple of times, then a bob was called in some other position, and I was somewhat lost. We struggled to the finishing post which was by then in sight. More work needed to understand bobs in Grandsire…

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