Thinking allowed

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.


  • Tim Attride says:

    Hi Simon,
    As the per­son who always gets the “blame” from Julie for start­ing all this (with JM Doubles), we in Birch­ing­ton have only ever rung a plain course of the triples. How­ever, with the immin­ent pos­sib­il­ity of a couple more ringers being avail­able, we would like to have a go at this to a quarter. Do you have a basic guide to call­ing the meth­od please? I did hear it was some­thing like call­ing your­self In, In & Make it, but am prob­ably not quite right in that. hope you can help & thanks in advance, Tim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *