Thinking allowed

Calling Bob Minor: a different composition

Thanks to Tim Rose’s web­site here is a com­pos­i­tion for a quarter of Bob Minor that looks to be rather easi­er to call than the one I con­sidered before. Tim does a pretty good job of describ­ing the com­pos­i­tion, but for the sake of com­plete­ness and to aid my own under­stand­ing I’ll put it all in my own words.

As in the pre­vi­ous com­pos­i­tion, this quarter con­sists of a 720 fol­lowed by a 540, mak­ing 1260 changes in total.

First we look at a plain course of Bob Minor. The lead ends (when the treble leads at back­stroke) look like this:

135264 (3 make 2nd’s, 5 3–4 up, 2 3–4 down, 6 5–6 up, 4 5–6 down)
156342 (5 make 2nd’s, 6 3–4 up, 3 3–4 down, 4 5–6 up, 2 5–6 down)
164523 (6 make 2nd’s, 4 3–4 up, 5 3–4 down, 2 5–6 up, 3 5–6 down)
142635 (4 make 2nd’s, 2 3–4 up, 6 3–4 down, 3 5–6 up, 5 5–6 down)
123456 (2 make 2nd’s, 3 3–4 up, 4 3–4 down, 5 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

This gives us 60 changes in a plain course, but if we call a bob just before it comes back to rounds the last row becomes
142356 bob (4 runs in, 2 runs out, 3 makes the bob, 5 dodges 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

If we do this three times, then the lead ends at each of the bobs are:

142356 bob
134256 bob
123456 bob

These bobs are each called when the ten­or is in the ‘home’ pos­i­tion, i.e. dodging 5–6 down. Now we have a touch of three courses or 180 changes.

We can extend each of these courses (each end­ing with the bob at ‘home’) by insert­ing some extra calls that don’t affect the course end. We can do this by adding in a dif­fer­ent fairly simple touch of four calls, that turns each 60 into a 240. Each call is made when the ten­or is dodging 5–6 up, i.e. at ‘wrong’. The four calls are bob, single, bob, single. The ten­or, dodging in 5–6 up at each call, is unaf­fected by any of them, and after these four calls the touch comes back to rounds.

We can write out the lead ends start­ing from rounds thus:

123564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob
136245 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 up
164352 plain: ten­or makes 2nd’s
145623 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 down
152436 plain: ten­or dodges 5–6 down ‘home’

125364 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

132564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob

135264 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

After 240 changes this comes back to rounds, but if a bob is called just before that, then it changes the last row to
142356 bob ‘home’; 5 and 6 unaffected

This is just what the simple touch (3 ‘home’s) did, and sim­il­arly, ringing this three times will then come back into rounds at 3 × 240 changes, i.e. after 720 changes so we have rung the first 720 of the quarter peal, an extent on 6 bells, or every pos­sible combination.

The lead ends after each 240 are:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’
123456 bob ‘home’ rounds
These are exactly the same course ends as we got with the simple “three homes” 180 touch.

We can con­tin­ue to ring this pat­tern a fur­ther two times and then we shall have rung anoth­er 480 changes, each end­ing like this:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’

That makes 720 + 480 changes, or 1200. We need anoth­er 60 changes to reach 1260 for the quarter peal, and we need to get back to rounds. And that’s exactly what our simple “three homes” touch does – its last course of 60 changes turns 134256 into 123456 with just one bob at the very end. See the lead ends for that simple touch at the start of this art­icle. So we ring the last 60 of that 180, omit­ting the bob-single-bob-single at ‘wrong’ that we used to extend the 60 into a 240.

The quarter peal becomes:
bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘home’ – repeat 5 times in total
bob ‘home’.

Or to spell it out in more detail:

bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, plain;
bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, bob;
repeat all the above 5 times in total, then fin­ish with
plain, plain, plain, plain, bob.

Sev­er­al oth­er fea­tures make this easy for the learn­ing band:

  • The ten­or rings plain courses through­out, unaf­fected by the calls which always occur when it is in 5–6 up or 5–6 down.
  • The 5 makes 3rd’s at every single; no oth­er bell needs to worry about mak­ing the single; this is very help­ful if not all the band are fully con­fid­ent about singles
  • The 5 also makes 4th’s at every bob at ‘wrong’, and dodges 5–6 up with the ten­or at every bob at ‘home’
  • Oth­er­wise the calls per­mute the 2, 3, and 4. In each 240 one of them will be unaf­fected, dodging 5–6 down with the ten­or at every call: in the first 240 this is the 4, in the second the 3 and in the third the 2. The fourth is the same as the first, so the 4 is unaf­fected, and the fifth is the same as the second, so the 3 is.
  • When there is a bob at ‘home’ at the end of each 240, it comes one lead earli­er than a bob or single would oth­er­wise have been called
  • And then the bob at ‘wrong’ is the very next lead.


Steve Cole­man dis­cusses this QP com­pos­i­tion (and the earli­er one) in his Bob Caller­’s Com­pan­ion (which along with his oth­er ringing books is avail­able here). He sug­gests the oth­er one is the sim­pler. He also makes a couple of inter­est­ing obser­va­tions. First is to call the 540 before rather than after the 720, and to call the 60 at the start of the 540 rather than at the end. The advant­age of this is that the 60 is a com­plete plain course, start­ing from rounds and just as it’s about to come back to rounds there’s a bob, and then the sequence of five 240s begins. So the vari­ation in the com­pos­i­tion is at the start – and if any­thing goes wrong you can start again, with a only a few minutes wasted. If this is done, then after that first bob it’s the 3 that is unaf­fected in the first 240, then the 2, then 4, 3, and 2 respect­ively. The com­pos­i­tion comes back to rounds with the bob at ‘home’ at the very end of the fifth 240.

Cole­man also notes that this block of W‑SW-W-SW‑H can be used for a QP of Bob Major. Instead of there being 240 changes in each part (12 changes in each lead, 4×5=20 leads in each part), in Major there are 448 (16 changes per lead, 4×7=28 leads per part), and so ringing it three times is 1344 changes, at which point it comes back to rounds without any­thing else needed and that will suf­fice for a QP. In Major, 6, 7 and 8 are all unaf­fected by all the bobs and singles, ringing plain courses through­out. The 5 front bells do all the same work as they do in Minor, with the addi­tion of hunt­ing to 8th place and back, and dodging 7–8 down and up.


Calling Bob Minor

It’s a long time since I have writ­ten any­thing here, but I want to call a quarter peal, and Bob Minor is a plaus­ible meth­od. So I’d bet­ter work out how to do it.

This is based on a piece that appeared in Ringing World in 2008, of which I have a copy. But this is recon­struc­ted from memory as part of my usu­al trick of try­ing to learn some­thing new.

A quarter peal of Minor is 1260: a peal on sev­en bells or few­er is 5040 changes, which is the extent on sev­en bells, i.e. the max­im­um num­ber of dif­fer­ent changes which is 7! or 7×6x5×4x3×2. And a quarter of 5040 is 1260. (A peal on eight or more bells is 5000 changes.)

The basis of this quarter peal is a com­mon touch of Bob Minor that I have called a num­ber of times, which is to call bobs when the ten­or is dodging 5–6 down and up (known as ‘home’ and ‘wrong’ respect­ively). If you call this twice then it comes back to rounds after 10 leads, which is 120 changes. The pat­tern of lead ends is: bob, plain, plain, plain, bob; and repeat bob, plain, plain, plain, bob. The three plain leads are when the ten­or is among the front bells, dodging 3–4 down, mak­ing 2nds and dodging 3–4 up. Incid­ent­ally, this touch can be exten­ded into a 240 by call­ing a single at any one of the lead ends, com­plet­ing the 120, which now doesn’t come round, and then repeat­ing the exact same pat­tern of calls at the lead end, includ­ing the single, and it will now come round at the end of the 240. I’ve called this a few times, and tried to call it a few more!

So we take this 120 of ‘bob, plain, plain, plain, bob; bob, plain, plain, plain, bob’, and omit the last bob. Instead of com­ing round this per­mutes the order of bells 2, 3 and 4. Instead of run­ning in at a bob, the 2 dodges 3–4 down, becom­ing the 4th-place bell. Instead of run­ning out, the 3 makes 2nd place, becom­ing the 2nd-place bell; and instead of mak­ing the bob, the 4 dodges 3–4 up, becom­ing the 3rd-place bell. So at the end of this part, after 120 changes, the order of the bells is:


Repeat this, and, after 240 changes, the order will be

And again, after 360 changes:

But instead of let­ting this come round, we call a single, which swaps the 3 and 4:

And now we can repeat that 360 to make a 720. At the end of the next three 120s with the match­ing single at the end, the order will be:

720 changes is the extent on six bells, all the pos­sible ways of arran­ging the six bells, i.e. 6! or 6×5x4×3x2 = 720.

The 720 con­sists of:
wrong, home, wrong, (plain at home)
wrong, home, wrong, (plain at home)
wrong, home, wrong, single at home
and repeat once more.

bob, plain, plain, plain, bob; bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
bob, plain, plain, plain, bob; bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
bob, plain, plain, plain, bob; bob, plain, plain, plain, single
and repeat once more.

To get up to 1260 we need to add anoth­er touch of 540.

Let’s go back to that basic block of 60 changes wrong-home-wrong-home. The lead ends look like this:

The next lead would look like this if it were a plain lead:
but we call a bob instead (at ‘wrong’) so, the 3 runs out, the 2 runs in and the 5 makes the bob:
123564 (after 12 changes)
Then there are 3 plain leads:
136245 (after 24 changes)
164352 (after 36 changes)
145623 (after 48 changes)

Then there’s a bob (a ‘home’), so we get
145236 (after 60 changes)

Repeat this, with a single at the end instead of a bob:
145362 (bob here ‘wrong’)
132456 (single here ‘at home’ after 120 changes)

And ring a plain course with a single at the end:
125364 (no bob ‘wrong’)
134256 (single ‘at home’ after 180 changes)

So in 180 changes we have gone from

If we repeat this 180 two more times we get:

142356 (360 changes)
123456 (rounds after 540 changes)

To sum­mar­ize, the 540 is:
wrong, home,
wrong, single at home
(plain at wrong), single at home
and repeat twice more.

We put these two touches togeth­er, the extent of 720 and the touch of 540 and that’s 1260 changes, which is a quarter peal. I think I’ve under­stood it now – com­mit­ting it to memory is the next task. Then try­ing it out, and also ensur­ing that those ringing 2, 3 and 4 can cope with the singles.

(Acknow­ledge­ments to Ringing World, 23 May 2008, art­icle by Simon Linford.)


Calling Plain Bob

Over the last few of weeks I have been call­ing simple touches of Bob Major and Bob Triples.

First was Bob Major, three weeks ago. ‘Call a touch of Bob Major’, asked the cap­tain at Wed­nes­day prac­tice. ‘What do I call?’ I respon­ded, already hold­ing the rope of the num­ber 6 bell. He thought for a moment and replied ‘Call a bob at the end of the first lead, and then at the end of the fourth and the fifth; and then repeat.’ Okay, I thought, can I remem­ber that at short notice? So off we went, about to dodge 7–8 down so call ‘bob!’, then 7–8 up, 5–6 up, about to dodge 3–4 up so ‘bob!’ and make the bob, next is 5–6 down and don’t for­get to call ‘bob!’ first. That’s half way, now we just have to call a sim­il­ar pat­tern of bobs. So, ‘bob!’ at 7–8 down, then 7–8 up, 5–6 up, and now I’ve lost count of how many leads there have been — is there a bob next time or not? A nudge from anoth­er ringer and I man­age to call the bob at exactly the right point, and make the bob. Then ‘bob!’ again, dodge 5–6 down and ‘That’s all’.

After­wards, at home, I look this up, and find it is the most com­monly called touch of Bob Major, which when called from the Ten­or is: ‘wrong’, three ‘befores’, ‘middle’ and ‘home’, but can be rung from any bell by remem­ber­ing the leads: bob, plain, plain, bob, bob; repeat.

Last night the request was sim­il­ar: ‘Call a touch of Bob Triples’. Again, I have to ask what to call, and this time the reply is, ‘Call plain, bob, bob, plain, and repeat.’

I am hold­ing the rope of num­ber 7, and off we go. 5–6 up at the end of the first lead, then about to dodge 3–4 up, so ‘bob!’ and make the bob. Then about to dodge 5–6 down, so ‘bob!’ and dodge unaf­fected. Next time it’s four blows behind and I see that I am simply back at my start­ing pos­i­tion, so the calls of the second half will be exactly the same as the first half, and when we get to the four blows behind then ‘that’s all’.


more Stedman

Since that first suc­cess at call­ing a simple touch of Sted­man Triples, I have called sev­er­al more touches. The next touch to learn, after the ini­tial 2 Qs is Q & S twice (or S & Q twice, depend­ing which bell you are ringing).

An S call, is a pair of bobs, the first called when you are dodging 4–5 down and about to go in slow, and the second called 6 blows later (at the hand­stroke lead of the first whole turn). This con­trasts with a Q call which is a pair of bobs called as you are about to go in quick, and at the hand­stroke in 2nds place after leading.

Sted­man has a couple of oth­er places to call pairs of bobs that leave you unaf­fected by the call. Each of these pairs occurs dur­ing the slow work, and they are labelled ‘H’ and ‘L’.

H is a pair of bobs called either side of the first half turn. L is a pair of bobs called dur­ing the last whole turn.

Of course, it is also pos­sible to call bobs in 6–7 up and down, and in 4–5 up. But in this piece we will look at the bobs called dur­ing the slow work. And we will look at the way that the Sted­man front­work is constructed.

Sted­man front­work, we recall, con­sists of altern­ate ‘sixes’ of for­ward hunt­ing and back­ward hunt­ing. When learn­ing Sted­man we worked these sixes out then recast them into the tra­di­tion­al Sted­man chunks of work — first whole turn, first half turn, second half turn, last whole turn. But it can also be help­ful to ring it as altern­ate sixes of for­ward and back­ward hunt­ing. This helps to keep the sixes dis­tinct, and to remem­ber which is a quick six and which a slow six (which helps you tell anoth­er bell how to come in, quick or slow, if neces­sary). In addi­tion, calls of ‘bob’ (or ‘single’) are made at the pen­ul­tim­ate stroke of each six, so remem­ber­ing where the sixes are helps you know when to call the bobs, without hav­ing to over­lay them on the whole and half turn structure.

x slow six = back­ward hunt­ing, so lie in 3rd place
xand lead at back­stroke and handstroke

xquick six = for­ward hunt­ing, so lead at hand and back
x lie in 3rd place, back and hand

xslow six = back­ward hunting
x lie in 3rd place, hand and back

-x- quick six = for­ward hunting
x lie in 3rd place, back and hand
xlead at hand and back

-x- slow six = back­ward hunting
xlead at back and hand
x lie in 3rd place, hand and back


Calling Stedman Triples

Sted­man Triples is a meth­od for which I have a par­tic­u­lar affec­tion. When I began to ring it was almost the first meth­od to which I rang the ten­or behind — the double dodging of bells in 6–7 mak­ing it easi­er than many meth­ods to see which bells to ring over. And a couple of years later, in 2004, I began to learn to ring an inside bell.

Now I can gen­er­ally ring touches of Sted­man Triples, cop­ing with bobs (even odd bobs) and (usu­ally) remem­ber­ing all the details of the slow work.

Last week at prac­tice at Hem­ing­ford Grey I called a touch of Grand­sire Triples, and check­ing this touch after­wards in Cole­man, I read on into the next chapter, about call­ing Sted­man Triples. There I dis­covered that actu­ally it was quite easy to call a simple touch. And so tonight when the tower cap­tain sug­ges­ted a touch of Sted­man I asked if I could call it. Choos­ing the 6, I inten­ded to call ‘Two Qs’, that is, to call two pairs of bobs — each pair con­sist­ing of a bob just before going in quick and then in second place after lead­ing. So off we went, and I called the first bob a whole pull too early, and shortly there­after asked for rounds. Off we went ago and this time I got the first two bobs right, ran through the rest of the course and called the third bob, and then it began to go wrong. The two bells in 6–7 appar­ently didn’t hear the call of ‘bob’, and with them awry I landed on the front and went a bit wrong too. Rounds again. Enough for that attempt, so we stood and rang some­thing else.

Later we had anoth­er go. This time we got to the fourth bob, and on past there until I went in slow and there clearly weren’t enough bells on the front! Rounds again, and then try once more: dodge with the 7, then double dodge with the treble, ‘bob’, in quick, ‘bob’, out quick, double dodge up to the back and down again, in slow, out slow, double dodge up to the back and down again, ‘bob’, in quick, ‘bob’, out quick, double dodge up to the back and down once again, in and out slow (nearly there now), double dodge up to the back (we’re going to make it), dodge 6–7 down, and ‘that’s all’ — we’ve done it, and I have suc­cess­fully called a touch of Sted­man Triples. Yay! A real sense of achieve­ment, and smiles all round.


calling Bob Doubles

Two little bits of pro­gress to record, to do with call­ing touches of Bob Doubles.

A couple of weeks ago I called a 120 of Bob Doubles from the treble. When you do this you only have the basic frame­work of ringing to help you know where you have got to. You can­not call a 120 by simply call­ing ‘Bob’ whenev­er you are doing four blows behind, or by call­ing bobs at ‘in’, ‘out’ and ‘make’, because you nev­er do any of these things. Instead what I did was to count leads. I decided in advance that I wanted the 2 to be unaf­fected, so I called a bob just as I rang a back­stroke in 2nd place at the end of the second lead. Then I coun­ted 3 more leads and called a bob again (at my back­stroke in 2nd place); then 3 more leads and anoth­er bob, and finally when tak­ing the 2 from the lead, call ‘that’s all’ as the bells come into rounds.

The dif­fi­culty with this is the two lots of count­ing that must be done: count­ing your own place, and count­ing the num­ber of leads. It is all too easy to for­get how many leads have been rung by con­fus­ing the two lots of numbers.

Then at last night’s prac­tice I called a 120 of Bob Doubles while ringing the ten­or cov­er. Here, there is even less fram­we­work to help you as you are ringing in sixth place at every blow. Instead, you have to watch anoth­er bell. I chose to count the place of bell 2, and to call a 120 which affected that bell (make, in, and out), and then as it was about to make 2nds place the bells come into rounds. In order to do this you have to be able to con­tin­ue ringing the cov­er bell whilst watch­ing and count­ing what some oth­er bell is doing. Ringing the cov­er bell (to doubles, at least) has become an almost totally auto­mat­ic or sub-con­scious pro­cess: my eyes and hands can get on with doing this while I fol­low anoth­er bell and call the 120. It’s nice to have reached this state: it’s not so long ago that ringing the cov­er bell itself was hard and not always accurate!


calling Bob Minor, and other progress

I finally got to call a touch of Bob Minor last night. Every fourth week a group of oth­er ringers attends our prac­tice, and this extra exper­i­ence is just what a novice caller needs! With a less exper­i­enced ringer on 2, able to ring a plain course but not com­fort­able with bobs, I was able to ring the 5 and call a 120 – home and wrong with 2 as the obser­va­tion bell; or from my own point of view, out, out, wrong, make. And it all worked. No one got ter­ribly lost, and I remembered when to call the bobs, and was even able to tell anoth­er ringer to make the bob and then to dodge 5–6 down with the 2, and then to dodge 5–6 up with me.

Else­where, I went to a Fri­day prac­tice at ten-bell St Neots a week or so ago. I had rung there once before, at a dis­trict meet­ing, and went this time because I had a friend stay­ing overnight and he’s a ringer. We watched them ring a course of Glas­gow on 8 – way bey­ond my cap­ab­il­it­ies! But I did get to ring Grand­sire Caters (i.e. on 9 bells with a ten­or cov­er) and did not dis­grace myself. My ropesight could just about man­age with the extra bells, and I am just about com­fort­able enough with Grand­sire to man­age being affected by the bobs and singles.

Still not had anoth­er chance to ring Cam­bridge Major though. 


calling other touches

I’ve been call­ing Bob Doubles for some time now, and have become reas­on­ably com­pet­ent at it, espe­cially if the oth­er ringers are com­pet­ent too. But my own band is not always as good as that, and so I have found myself try­ing to see what oth­er bells are doing or should be doing, so that I can try to put them right. One of the side effects of this is that, if you are not care­ful, you start ringing what the bell you are think­ing of is doing, rather than what you should be doing! That’s almost guar­an­teed to ruin a touch that you are try­ing to call. Still, it is good prac­tice to be able to observe anoth­er ringer, and obvi­ously help­ful to a band if I can help anoth­er ringer com­plete a touch.

I have also been think­ing about learn­ing to call oth­er touches. At our own tower on a Sunday morn­ing we mostly get to ring Bob Doubles, but we are almost at the stage of hav­ing enough Plain Bob ringers to be able to ring Bob Minor, and it might be help­ful to be able to call touches of that.

In Bob Minor, the vari­ations from plain hunt­ing are: dodge 3–4 down, 5–6 down, 5–6 up, 3–4 up, and make 2nds. A bob is like a bob in Doubles: run out, run in, or make the bob. If you make the bob, then next time you dodge 5–6 down and carry on from there (where­as in Doubles you would do four blows behind next time, but of course that doesn’t occur in Minor). If you are dodging 5–6 down or 5–6 up then you are unaf­fected by a bob.

In Bob Doubles there are four call­ing pos­i­tions. i.e. places at which you can call a bob:

  • ‘out’ when you run out, rather than mak­ing 2nds place
  • ‘in’ when you run in, rather than dodging 3–4 down
  • ‘make’ or ‘bob’ when you make the bob, rather than dodging 3–4 up
  • ‘home’ when you are mak­ing four blows at the back, and you are unaffected

In Bob Minor there are five call­ing pos­i­tions: ‘out’, ‘in’ and ‘make’ are the same as in Doubles. The two new ones are:

  • ‘home’ when you are about to dodge 5–6 down, and are unaffected
  • ‘wrong’ when you are about to dodge 5–6 up, and are unaffected

A simple touch in Bob Minor is to call bobs when you are dodging 5–6 down or 5–6 up and are there­fore unaf­fected. If you do this four times, then it should come back to rounds at the appro­pri­ate point. If you are ringing the 6, then this means call­ing the fol­low­ing: wrong, home, wrong, home (and imme­di­ately that is rounds after the last bob). On 2, 3, 4 or 5 it is: home, wrong, home, wrong (which on the 5 is rounds imme­di­ately after the last bob, but on 2, 3 or 4 there are more leads before get­ting back to rounds). The dif­fer­ence is because on the 6 you reach the 5–6 up dodging pos­i­tion before the 5–6 down, where­as on the oth­er bells you reach 5–6 down first.

That’s all very well if you are going to be the bell unaf­fected by the bobs. But in a band which has only just reached the num­ber of ringers to try Bob Minor rather than Bob Doubles, it is bet­ter for the most inex­per­i­enced ringer to be the one who is unaf­fected by the bobs, rather than the caller. This ringer is quite likely to be ringing bell 2, so we need to call this touch (home, wrong, home, wrong) from the point of view of bell 2, whichever bell the caller is ringing; i.e., we must make bell 2 the obser­va­tion bell.

We can do this by watch­ing bell 2 and call­ing a bob whenev­er it is about to dodge 5–6 down or 5–6 up; but it is prob­ably easi­er for the novice caller to work out in advance when this ought to occur and remem­ber what their own pos­i­tion is at the cor­res­pond­ing point.

So, this is the order of work that bell 2 will do:

  1. dodge 3–4 down
  2. dodge 5–6 down
  3. dodge 5–6 up
  4. dodge 3–4 up
  5. make seconds
    and repeat.

So we need to call a bob at the end of the second lead, and the end of the third lead, and then again at the end of the sev­enth lead and the end of the eighth lead.

Now we need to work out what our own bell will be doing. Sup­pose we are ringing bell 5. Then we will do the fol­low­ing work:

  1. dodge 3–4 up
  2. BOB: run out (rather than mak­ing seconds)
  3. BOB: run out (rather than mak­ing seconds)
  4. make seconds
  5. dodge 3–4 down
  6. dodge 5–6 down
  7. BOB: dodge 5–6 up (unaf­fected)
  8. BOB: make the bob (rather than dodge 3–4 up)
  9. dodge 5–6 down
  10. dodge 5–6 up (which is rounds)

What you have to remem­ber is the touch: out, out, wrong, make.

There is one fur­ther issue that comes to mind — when to actu­ally say the word ‘bob’. This should be done at the back­stroke lead before the treble leads, a whole pull’s notice of the dodge itself. For an out bob, this is when you are ringing the back­stroke as you lead, and for make it is as you ring a back­stroke in 3rd place (or just frac­tion­ally before). But for home it needs to be called at the back­stroke lead before your own back­stroke in 6th place, which is imme­di­ately after you have rung your pre­vi­ous blow, the hand­stroke in 6th place. For the wrong bob, the call should be between your hand­stroke in 4th place and the back­stroke in 5th place — a little earli­er rather than later, since that is when the bell which will run out is mak­ing its back­stroke lead.

That’s enough to keep us busy for a while I think, espe­cially if the caller is try­ing to ensure that anoth­er bell is in the right place. On that top­ic, more anon.


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.


another touch of bob doubles

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’.