Thinking allowed

calling ‘bob’

I had another go at calling a touch of bob doubles on Monday. I’ve now got to the point where I can remember the sequence of calls (e.g. ‘out’, ‘make’, ‘in’ to leave bell 2 unaffected), and I know pretty much when to make each call but actually making the calls in just the right place is a bit trickier. Time to look at this in a little more detail, perhaps.

First, let’s write out the first lead end of Bob Doubles, for a plain course, and then, next to it, what happens if a bob is called.

(plain) | (bob)

12345 | 12345

21435 | 21435
24153 | 24153
42513 | 42513
45231 | 45231
54321 | 54321
53412 | 53412
35142 | 35142
31524 | 31524 ‘bob!’ — called at backstroke before treble leads
13254 | 13254
13524 | 12354 3 runs out, 2 runs in, 5 makes the bob, 4 unaffected

31254 | 21534
32145 | 25143
23415 | 52413
24351 | 54231
42531 | 45321

The bob should be called, I think, at the backstroke before the treble leads, giving a whole pull’s notice of the bob. This means it is called when the treble is in 2nd place before leading.

Since it is not easy (not for me anyway) to always see when the treble is in 2nd place, we analyse where each of the other bells is at this point.

We can see from the above diagram that, that when the treble is in 2nd place, the other bells are as follows:

  • the bell that would have made 2nds place (but runs out), leads (backstroke),
  • the bell that would have dodged 3/4 up (but makes the bob) is in 3rd place
  • the bell that would have dodged 3/4 down (but runs in) is in 4th place
  • the bell that rings 4 blows behind (and is unaffected) makes its first blow at the back

In theory the call should be made with the leading bell, that is, when the bell that would make 2nds place makes its backstroke lead. If you are ringing that bell then the timing is easy, but if you are ringing one of the others then you need to make the call just before you pull your rope. This is more especially true for the bells at the back. Remember that each of these calls is made at backstroke.

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