Thinking allowed

a touch of bob doubles

At the end of prac­tice at St Ives tonight we rang a touch of Bob Doubles, and I volun­teered to call it. I rang the 5 bell and called three ‘Homes’, i.e., called ‘Bob’ each time I came back to do my 4 blows in 5th place. The third time brought us straight back to rounds. This is the first time I have called a touch, and it was reas­on­ably suc­cess­ful. I prob­ably should have called ‘Bob’ frac­tion­ally earli­er — when the treble was at back­stroke before lead­ing, rather than when I was about to pull at back­stroke. And although I was unaf­fected by the bobs, I still man­aged to get slightly muddled in between so that I half missed a dodge. For­tu­nately I was able to recov­er and hadn’t lost my place. Of course, I could have chosen any of the inside bells (2,3,4 or 5) and still called three Homes. Must try and remem­ber that next time — a dis­ad­vant­age of ringing 5 with this touch is that the final bob brings the bells imme­di­ately to rounds, which doesn’t give much time for say­ing ‘That’s all’.

Next time!


taking a practice

This even­ing for the first time I had to lead bell­ringing prac­tice. We only had six ringers (sev­en ringers for the first half), and just one of those was an exper­i­enced ringer, former tower cap­tain Bob King. So we rang rounds and call changes for the sev­en of us, and plain hunt­ing on four for the five of us. Our two less-exper­i­enced plain hunters had only done this on the treble before, so after a few goes at this, we had each of them have a try at the second bell, with me ringing the ten­or behind. After a little while at this for each of them, we were able to plain hunt on five without the ten­or cov­er­ing. And I got quite a bit of prac­tice at call­ing ‘go’ and ‘stop’ — the lat­ter being the harder one to know when to call!


calling plain courses

For some time now I have been prac­tising ringing touches of bob doubles, and even bob minor, bob triples and bob major. I have mostly got the hang of the neces­sary dodges, and can start on any bell, and I can usu­ally cope with the calls of bob, though I can only do this by remem­ber­ing the sequence, or cycle of work, and not by noti­cing sign­posts such as when I cross the treble’s path (although this is occa­sion­ally obvi­ous, espe­cially when mak­ing 2nds’ place). And in the even-bell meth­ods, where there is no cov­er bell always in last place from which to lead, I can now usu­ally see the last bell rope go down, so that I can lead appropriately.

Tonight I got to ‘call’ vari­ous plain courses of bob doubles, bob triples and bob minor. The hard part at this stage is to know when to call the end of the meth­od — calls should be made when the lead bell is at hand­stroke, a full stroke before the meth­od ends, and where your bell is at this point depends on which bell you are ringing. Of course, harder than this is call­ing a touch with bobs (and singles) and get­ting back to rounds at the end of it; and being able to cor­rect oth­er ringers if they are about to go wrong. I’m def­in­itely a long way from that. Still, pro­gress is being made.

Now we have two of our ‘new’ ringers who can just about ring touches of plain bob doubles and triples, and we have four who can, with vary­ing degrees of suc­cess, plain hunt to these (and oth­er) meth­ods. We need to get some of these oth­er ringers to be able to ring ‘inside’ to plain bob — then we will be able to try plain courses on Sunday morn­ings and wed­dings when we are not assisted by more exper­i­enced ringers.


rapid promotion

We held anoth­er ringers’ meet­ing: Bob King was elec­ted Tower Cap­tain, and I was elec­ted Tower Vice Cap­tain. Sue Bates had earli­er been chosen as Sec­ret­ary so we now have a prop­er set of officers for our new band. Bob King was a mem­ber of the earli­er band, so again, there is con­tinu­ity with that band, as well as the neces­sary exper­i­ence of these ringers. We would be hard pressed to ring without them.


Calling changes

Michael tried get­ting me to call some changes. First call­ing the treble up over each oth­er bell (to 7th), then 2 over the oth­ers etc, until it comes back into rounds.

Later he had me try and call to ‘Queen’s’ (13572468) but I couldn’t get my head around this at the time.

As usu­al, a bit of think­ing after the prac­tice reveals that you need to call 6 up one place over 7, 4 up two places over 5 and 7, and 2 up 3 places over 3, 5 and 7; and then get them back of course.