Thinking allowed

'oranges and lemons'

… say the bells of St Clement’s.

But ringing St Clement’s Major is another matter. There we were, ringing rounds, and about to ring a touch of something, when the conductor (on bell 7) turned to me (bell 6) and said, ‘We’ll ring St Clement’s’ and then proceeded to explain(!) ‘It’s the reverse dodging order of Bob Major. And you make reverse 3rds. And you do some dodging at the front.’ Or something like that.

So off we went, and starting from 6th place I hunted down to 3rd, made 3rds place and back up to the back, 2 blows at the back and then down towards the front, dodging 3-4 down on the way, and then start dodging at the front. Bell 4 seemed quite happy to be dodging with me, but the conductor at this point decided something had gone wrong and called rounds. But, even assuming that I had not already gone wrong, I don’t think there was any way that I could have managed to complete the plain course. A little homework is necessary…

The basic idea of St Clement’s College Bob Major (to give it its full name) is that:

1. the treble always plain hunts;
2. between each time the treble leads two other bells dodge in 1-2, one dodging 1-2 down, and the other dodging 1-2 up;
3. the other bells plain hunt from 3rd place to the back and down again (because 2 bells are dodging in 1-2, so the lowest the others can go is 3rd place); and
4. when the treble leads, one of the other bells (the one that was dodging 1-2 down) makes 2nd place (and then leads and dodges 1-2 up), and the other bells each dodge. As noted above, the dodges are the same as in Plain Bob, but occur in the reverse order — dodge 3-4 up, 5-6 up, 7-8 up, 7-8 down, 5-6 down, 3-4 down, make 2nds.

So we can sketch a plain course, noting the treble and the course of bell 6 (since that was what I was trying to ring):

12345678 // start as 6th place bell

-1–6— // hunt down to 3rd place
–16—-
–61—-
–6-1—
—6-1–
—-6-1-
—–6-1
——61
——16
—–1-6
—-1-6-
—1-6–
–1-6—
-1-6—-
1-6—–
1–6—- // dodge 3-4 down, becoming the 4th place bell

-16—–
-61—– // down into 1-2, dodge 1-2 down …
6–1—-
-6–1—
6—-1–
-6—-1-
6——1
-6—–1
6—–1-
-6—1–
6—1—
-6-1—-
6-1—– // after 5 dodges, the treble approaches …
61—— // … lead full …
16—— // … and make 2nds place
16—— // now you are the 2nd place bell

61—— // start by leading full
6-1—–
-6-1—- // and dodge 1-2 up …
6—1—
-6—1–
6—–1-
-6—–1
6——1
-6—-1-
6—-1–
-6–1—
6–1—-
-61—– // after 5 dodges, the treble approaches …
-16—– // … start plain hunting on the back 6 …
1–6—-
1-6—– // dodging 3-4 up; now you are the 3rds place bell

-1-6—- // hunt out to the back
–1-6—
—1-6–
—-1-6-
—–1-6
——16
——61
—–6-1
—-6-1-
—6-1–
–6-1— // plain hunting on the back 6, so make 3rds
–61—-
–16—-
-1–6—
1—-6–
1—6— // dodge 5-6 up; now you are the 5ths place bell

-1—6–
–1—6-
—1—6
—-1–6
—–16-
—–61-
—-6–1
—6—1
–6—1- // make 3rds
–6–1–
—61—
—16—
–1–6–
-1—-6-
1——6
1—–6- // dodge 7-8 up; now you are the 7th place bell

-1—–6 // 2 blows at the back …
–1—-6
—1–6- // … and hunt down to 3rd place
—-16–
—-61–
—6–1-
–6—-1 // make 3rds
–6—-1
—6–1-
—-61–
—-16–
—1–6-
–1—-6 // 2 blows at the back
-1—–6
1—–6-
1——6 // dodge 7-8 down; now you are the 8th place bell

-1—-6- // hunt down to 3rds
–1–6–
—16—
—61—
–6–1–
–6—1-
—6—1
—-6–1
—–61-
—–16-
—-1–6 // 2 blows at the back
—1—6
–1—6-
-1—6–
1—6— // ‘That’s all!’
1—-6– // dodge 5-6 down; now you are the 6th place bell — rounds

Alternatively we can write out a single lead:

12345678

21436587
24163857
42618375
24681735
42867153
24876513
42785631
24758361
42573816
24537186
42351768
24315678
42136587
41263857
14628375
14263857

Now, as always, all I have to do is remember this ‘blue line’. Oh, and ring it, of course.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *