Thinking allowed

bobs in Grandsire

I need to get my head around bobs in Grandsire Triples.

In Grandsire, the treble always plain hunts, and in a plain course one other bell plain hunts after it — bell 2 when starting from rounds. This other bell is said to be ‘in the hunt’. At a bob this bell leaves the hunt and joins the other bells in hunting and dodging, and one of the other bells joins the hunt in its place. How does this work?

If we are ringing bell 3, then starting from rounds we ring one blow at handstroke in third place and then hunt down to the lead, up to the back, and down again. Then we dodge in 4-5 down. The plain course continues with dodges in 6-7 down, 6-7 up, and 4-5 up. Then we make 3rds place, which brings us back to rounds.

When a bob is called the dodges are changed in the following way: the bell making 3rds place is unaffected and each of the other bells skips the dodge it would have done and instead double dodges the next dodge, so to speak. This has the following effect:

  • if we were going to make 3rds, then make 3rds as normal (‘last thirds’)
  • if we were going to dodge 4-5 down, then instead double-dodge 6-7 down
  • if we were going to dodge 6-7 down, then instead double-dodge 6-7 up
  • if we were going to dodge 6-7 up, then instead double-dodge 4-5 up


  • if we were going to dodge 4-5 up, then instead make 3rds place (‘first 3rds’) and join the hunt

and conversely

  • if we were in the hunt, then instead double-dodge 4-5 down, leaving the hunt.

In this bob, two bells each make 3rds place — first the bell which would have dodged 4-5 up, but which makes 3rds and goes into the hunt. This bell makes ‘first 3rds’ at the bob. Secondly, the bell which was going to make 3rds anyway — it does so and continues in the normal way, unaffected by the bob. This bell makes ‘last 3rds’ at the bob.

When set down in this way it is fairly easy to remember. All that has to be done is to remember this in the heat of the moment: that is, know which dodge you are about to do next, and consider in advance what you must do if a bob happens to be called. There, touches of Grandsire Triples made easy! Except that we have not yet considered the question of calls of ‘Single!’.

Footnote (24 August 2004): A further point about bobs in Grandsire Triples, is that when a bob is called you double-dodge in the place you are in at the moment of the call (unless you were going to dodge 4-5 up, in which case you make 3rds and go into the hunt).

1 comment

  • Dawn says:

    As someone preparing for the NAGCR AGM, I’ve never been able to get my head “around” what to do at bobs in Grandsire, but this really does make it sound quite simple. I may really be able to use this. Thanks!

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