Since first trying to call a touch of Bob Doubles back in August I have not had much opportunity to try this again.
Yesterday I had another go, or rather, several goes.
First time we had someone still learning Plain Bob on bell 2. She can just about ring a plain course reasonably well, and so it was suggested that I call a touch with bell 2 unaffected. This means that a bob is called just as bell 2 is ringing long 5ths (four blows in 5th place). As I was ringing bell 5, I knew that this meant that the first bob should be called as I was about to make 2nds, i.e. at the second lead end (starting on bell 5, at the first lead end you dodge 3-4 up with bell 2). You have to call a bob just before the treble leads, which when you are about to make 2nds is as you lead. I managed this, and then carried on ringing trying to work out when I should next call ‘bob’.
The cycle of ‘bob’ calls for Plain Bob is: In, Out, Make. So I had to work out that the bob I had just called was ‘Out’ (because instead of making 2nds I had run out to the back), and therefore the next bob should be ‘Make’, and then I had to work out what this meant — a bob which causes you to make 4ths place and you do that instead of dodging 3-4 up — and whilst trying to work this out I had to keep plain hunting, and keep dodging, remembering which dodge came next and doing it.
And all this was too much to remember, too much to get my brain around, and I eventually missed a dodge and couldn’t work out how to get back into sync. Oh well.
Later I had another go, this time with an experienced ringer on bell 2 — in fact with more experienced ringers on each of the ‘inside’ bells, and I called another touch, this time ‘three Homes’, meaning that you call a bob each time you are ringing 4 blows behind, so that the caller is unaffected by the bobs. This is what I had called back in the summer, and I just about managed to call it right, though I forgot to call ‘that’s all’ at the end. This call comes a stroke or so after the last bob, when you are ringing bell 5 and calling three Homes.
Then we had another go at calling a touch with bell 2 unaffected. This time, of course, I was less taken by surprise, and had a better idea of what it was I was supposed to be doing. Still far from perfect, and occasionally not quite getting the calls of ‘bob’ in early enough, but getting better.
Just for the record, this is what should happen…
Starting on bell 5, ring an extra handstroke in 5th place and plain hunt down to the lead, then dodge 3-4 up, up to the back, plain hunt down to the lead again, and at the backstroke lead call ‘bob’. Then instead of making 2nds, plain hunt out to the back (an ‘out’ bob call) and down again, make 2nds and lead again. Hunt to the back and dodge 3-4 down, lead, hunt to the back and make long 5ths (four blows in 5th place). Hunt down to the lead, and back out, and as you ring in 2nd place call ‘bob’. Instead of dodging 3-4 up, make the bob (4ths place) (a ‘make’ bob call) and hunt down to the lead, then out to the back and make long 5ths again. Down to the lead and then dodge 3-4 up, up to the back, and plain hunt down to the lead again. Make 2nds, lead again, and hunt to the back, and as you ring the second blow in 5th place you need to have called ‘bob’ again, and instead of dodging 3-4 down run in to the lead (an ‘in’ bob call). Up to the back again, then dodge 3-4 down. Lead, hunt up to the back, and after 2 blows at the back call ‘that’s all’.