Friday, 24 March 2017

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:

123456
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:

123456
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:

123456
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
156243
164532
143625
132456

132564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob
126345
164253
145632
153426

135264 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single
156342
164523
142635
123456

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:
123456
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.

Update

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.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Friday, 24 March 2017 at 11:58am GMT | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

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:

134256

Repeat this, and, after 240 changes, the order will be
142356

And again, after 360 changes:
123456

But instead of letting this come round, we call a single, which swaps the 3 and 4:
124356

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:
143256
132456
123456

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.

Or:
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:

123456
The next lead would look like this if it were a plain lead:
135264
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’)
156423
162534
123645
132456 (single here ‘at home’ after 120 changes)

And ring a plain course with a single at the end:
125364 (no bob ‘wrong’)
156243
164532
143625
134256 (single ‘at home’ after 180 changes)

So in 180 changes we have gone from
123456
to
134256

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.)

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at 9:45am GMT | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Lincolnshire and Superlative

Over the last few weeks I’ve been learning two new Surprise Major methods: Lincolnshire and Superlative.

Lincolnshire was learnt first, and afer a gap of several weeks when I was unable to make Wednesday night’s practice, I finally got a chance to ring it. Naturally, we didn’t get to the end of the plain course the first time I tried — but I was still quite pleased as it hadn’t failed because of me. We tried again a little later and managed the whole plain course.

With Lincolnshire successfully rung we were challenged to learn Superlative. There’s a group of about five of us at this practice who are all learning these methods together. Fortunately there are enough other more experienced ringers (as well as others less experienced) who can already ring these methods so that we can try with just two or three learners at a time. With all five it would probably be impossible!

Having been set Superlative a couple of weeks ago we had several goes at it last week. I was reasonably confident of having learnt the blue line and the place bells — but as usual we failed first time. Another go and we failed again. Last night a few more tries, and on the second of these we managed to get through a plain course of Superlative Surprise Major. I managed to keep my place, even pretty much remembering where each place bell starts and ends right up until the last few strokes: ringing the 6 meant that in the last lead I was 2nd place bell, and having done the front work I dodged 3/4 up when another ringer called to me, ‘With me,’ and that was sufficient to make me wonder where I was meant to be, rather than just doing it! After a pull or two I realized that I should now be doing 5-6 places up, so I hung around in 5-6 trying to work out just where I should be. This was enough to get us to the end of the plain course, since the 2nd place bell stays in 5-6 until the lead end.

Try harder next time, but not bad, I guess.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 18 June 2009 at 9:47am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Saturday, 15 December 2007

towards spliced Surprise

Recently another tower in the area has held a monthly practice for budding Surprise ringers. We’ve been practising Cambridge and Yorkshire with the intention of eventually ringing them spliced together, but we’re not quite at that stage yet. Those attending have included a suitable mix of expert and novice Surprise ringers — it would be next to impossible with all novices!

A necessary step in splicing these methods is to learn what each place bell does, and which place bell it becomes afterwards. Fortunately the order in which place bell succeeds place bell is the same in both Cambridge and Yorkshire: 2, 6, 7, 3, 4, 8, 5, and back to 2. In addition the work of the 3rd place bell is identical in both methods, and most of the others start and finish with similar bits of work. As usual in ringing, what has to be done is to memorize completely these pieces of work so that they can be instantly recalled and interchanged, so in an attempt to do so I have set down here, from memory, what each bell has to do in each method.



CambridgeYorkshire
2nd place bell
  • second half of the frontwork
  • dodge 3-4 up
  • double and single dodge at the back
  • dodge 5-6 down
  • treble bob down and up
  • triple dodge 5-6 up
  • double and single dodge at the back
  • dodge 5-6 down

and become 6th place bell

3rd place bell:
  • dodge 5-6 up
  • backwork
  • dodge 5-6 down
  • dodge 3-4 down (at the start of 3-4 places down)
and become 4th place bell

4th place bell:
  • finish 3-4 places down (after first dodge)
  • treble bob at the front
  • treble bob at the back
  • finish 3-4 places down (after first dodge)
  • lead and dodge
  • 3-4 places up
  • treble bob at the back
and become 8th place bell

5th place bell:
  • single and double dodge at the back
  • dodge 3-4 down
  • first half of the frontwork
  • make seconds over the treble
  • single and double dodge at the back
  • triple dodge 5-6 down
  • treble bob down to the front
  • dodge up with the treble and make 2nds place
and become the 2nd place bell

6th place bell:
  • straight down to the front
  • treble bob up
  • 5-6 places up
  • dodge 7-8 up
  • straight down to the front
  • second half of the frontwork
  • 5-6 places up
  • dodge 7-8 up
and become 7th place bell

7th place bell:
  • lie at the back
  • dodge 7-8 down
  • straight down to the front
  • treble bob at the front
  • 3-4 places up
  • lie at the back
  • dodge 7-8 down
  • 3-4 places down
  • dodge and lead
  • 3-4 places up
and become the 3rd place bell

8th place bell:
  • 5-6 places down
  • treble bob down (incl dodge and lead)
  • dodge 5-6 up
  • 5-6 places down
  • first half of the frontwork
  • dodge 5-6 up
and become the 5th place bell.
Posted by Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 1:51pm GMT | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 20 September 2007

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’.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 9:51am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 2 August 2007

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
--x
-x-
x-- and lead at backstroke and handstroke
x--
-x-

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

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

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

-x- slow six = backward hunting
x-- lead at back and hand
x--
-x-
--x lie in 3rd place, hand and back
--x
Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 10:54am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

learning Yorkshire Surprise Major

Homework time again. This time we’ve been told to learn Yorkshire (Yorkshire Surprise Major) for next week. It’s been a while since I set out to learn a new method – perhaps it’s becoming easier. We shall see.

Yorkshire is similar in parts to Cambridge (the method, not the geography, that is). Whereas Cambridge contains ‘Cambridge places’, Yorkshire has a shorter form ‘Yorkshire places’ or ‘short places’ of dodge, make places, dodge (whereas in Cambridge it is: dodge, make places, dodge, make places, dodge). Places are made in 3-4 and in 5-6 up and down. Here for example is how you ring Yorkshire places in 3-4
up:

-x------
--x----- Yorkshire 3-4 places up
---x----
--x-----
---x----
---x----
--x-----
--x-----
---x----
--x-----
---x----
----x--- and carry on up

The backwork is identical to that in Cambridge – and indeed, Yorkshire is identical to Cambridge if you are above the treble. This means that whenever you pass above the treble you do whatever you would have done in Cambridge if you had passed the treble at that point, and this continues until you pass below the treble. Now if only I could ring Cambridge by the treble this might be some help!

Yorkshire also includes the frontwork of Cambridge, but it is split into two separate halves, and you don’t get to dodge or make seconds over the treble in either half.

First thing is to try and remember the order of work, which looks like this, assuming we are ringing the 2.

dodge down with the treble
treble bob up
triple-dodge in 5-6 up
2 & 1 at the back (double dodge 7-8 up, lie, single dodge 7-8 down)
dodge 5-6 down

straight down to the lead
second half of frontwork (dodge down, lead, make 2nds, dodge down, dodge up)
straight up

Yorkshire places in 5-6 up
treble bob at the back (dodge 7-8 up, lie, dodge 7-8 down)
Yorkshire places 3-4 down
dodge and lead
Yorkshire places 3-4 up

dodge 5-6 up
backwork
dodge 5-6 down

Yorkshire places 3-4 down
lead and dodge
Yorkshire places 3-4 up
treble bob at the back
Yorkshire places 5-6 down

first half of the frontwork (dodge down, dodge up, make 2nds, lead, dodge up)

dodge 5-6 up
1 & 2 at the back
triple-dodge 5-6 down
treble bob down to the lead
dodge 1-2 up with the treble
make 2nds place

Armed with this information we can write out a plain course of Yorkshire, here given for the 3 …


Posted by Simon Kershaw on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 10:22am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Sunday, 29 July 2007

a golden quarter peal

At All Saints’, St Ives, on Sunday morning, 29 July 2007 at 9.15a.m., a quarter peal of 1260 Plain Bob Triples was rung in 45 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 12-0-4 in G
Adam SaffordTrebleAnne East5
Bridget White2Sally Walker6
Simon Kershaw3Michael V White7
Duncan Walker4Ron EastTenor
Composed and Conducted by Michael V White
Rung to celebrate the Golden Wedding anniversary of John and Sheila Rhodes, married on Saturday 28 July 1957
Posted by Simon Kershaw on Sunday, 29 July 2007 at 9:18pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Wednesday, 4 July 2007

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.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 at 10:37pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Saturday, 5 May 2007

a quarter peal on eight

This afternoon I took part in a quarter peal of Plain Bob Major, my first quarter peal on eight bells.
On Saturday afternoon, 5 May 2007, at the Church of Saint James, Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1280 Plain Bob Major was rung in 45 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 11-2-13 1/2 in G#
Bridget WhiteTrebleDavid Papworth5
*Adam Safford2† Simon Kershaw6
Cass Boocock3Richard Smith7
John Boocock4Michael V WhiteTenor
Composed and Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal ‘inside’ and on eight bells (aged 10 years).
† First Quarter Peal on eight bells.
Rung to celebrate the wedding of Richard Nelson Wallis and Ruth Christine Sturman
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Thursday, 29 March 2007

Progress report

It’s been a while since I have posted here, but a few things have been happening.

I have continued to try and practise Cambridge Major; I occupied a flight to New York by learning the blue line for Double Norwich and I have occasionally had an opportunity to try and ring it — ‘first, treble bob, last, near, full, far’, the aide memoire for Double Norwich, has become firmly planted in my head.

More recently I have begun to call touches of methods other than Bob Doubles. I can call simple touches of Bob Minor, and this has become something we try to ring on a Sunday morning, since we usually have six ringers available. This touch leaves one bell unaffected, a bob being called whenever the observation bell is dodging 5-6 up or 5-6 down. This can be yourself, but it is more useful to have a less-experienced ringer unaffected by the bobs, which means that calling the touch is slightly more complicated.

I am also making progress at working out what other bells should be doing in Plain Bob Minor, and attempting to put them right. On a really good day and at the right moment, I can just about tell where two other bells should be!

In the last couple of weeks at practice I have started to call touches of Grandsire Triples. The particular touch is really quite simple — ‘in and out at one, three times’ rung from the 7. This means that you have to call bobs so that you make thirds and go into the hunt, and then call another bob at the next lead so that you come out of the hunt after just one lead; and repeat this three times, which brings the bells back into a plain course. Unlike in Plain Bob, bobs in Grandsire are called at handstroke, and in this touch that means at the handstroke of second place after leading — at which you make thirds and go into the hunt — and then at the handstroke of fifth place on the way down from the back (but really just before your own pull, because it should be timed with the pull of the bell that is in the lead) – at which you double-dodge 4-5 down to come out of the hunt. After coming out of the hunt you next dodge 6-7 down, then 6-7 up, and then next time call a bob to make thirds.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 4:53pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Categorised as: bellringing

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

ringing in Philadelphia

A couple of weeks ago I spent some time in the USA. I had to be in Pennsylvania for a few days and took the opportunity to do a couple of other things too. One of them was to visit St Mark’s Church in Philadelphia. We stayed overnight a few miles outside the city and drove in on Sunday morning, finding a parking place just around the corner from the church (which is in Locust Street) — coincidentally right outside the Warwick Hotel where I had stayed on my only previous visit to Philadelphia in Summer 1976.

After the Sunday morning service (very high-church Anglican, with excellent choral music) I was able to join in ringing the bells — St Mark’s is one of only 43 active towers in North America. It was a pleasure to ring these bells, and to enjoy the hospitality of the Philadelphia ringers. Although several of their more experienced ringers were away we were able ring some call changes, as well as touches of bob doubles. The only tricky moment was when I pulled at handstroke and nothing happened, and then the rope ballooned and shot up — the rope had slipped off the wheel. Fortunately I was able to control the rope, which slipped back onto the wheel, and bring the bell back up and under control. The touch of course was lost.

A nice set of bells — but I’m glad that I don’t have to ring in that heat every week!

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 at 10:22am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 6 April 2006

Cambridge Major

Finally a Wednesday night practice at which there were enough experienced ringers to try Cambridge Major, with a reasonable expectation that we could manage it. In fact there were even enough for one of them to stand behind and give guidance - not for me but for someone else who was not too sure about Cambridge.

So we set off, with me ringing the 3 — dodge 5-6 up, backwork, 5-6 down, 3-4 places down, and on we went, and eventually I got to 5-6 places up, dodge up and down and the back, down to the front, dodge down and up, and just about to start 3-4 places up, when the conductor, a visitor from another tower, called ‘go rounds’. I wasn’t sure what had gone wrong, and we were within about a dozen strokes of the end. How frustrating!

Later in the evening we had another go. This time I chose to ring the 2, just for a bit of variation  — start by dodging down with the treble in the middle of the frontwork, and then 3-4 up, double dodge up at the back and single dodge down, 5-6 down, 1-2 up, 3-4 up, places 5-6 up. And in the middle of 5-6 places up I got lost, wondering whether I had dodged with the treble or not. So I meandered up to the back, and hung around there a bit, and then wandered down to the front and dodge around there, and just about put myself right. Then 3-4 places up, and dodging with the treble in the middle confirmed that I was now in the right place <phew>.

So on to the backwork (bracketted by dodges up and down in 5-6), 3-4 places down, treble bob at the front, then at the back, places 5-6 down, dodge 3-4 down, 1-2 down, dodge 5-6 up, single and double dodges at the back, <nearly there now, just keep going>, 3-4 down, onto the frontwork, and here we are dodging with the treble, <steady> and <c’mon conductor> ‘that’s all’. Yes.

As usual, there’s a lot that I could do better — better striking, better dodging, better ropesight, especially in 5-6. And, especially, not getting lost! But on the whole I was quite pleased with myself.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 6 April 2006 at 9:46pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Categorised as: learning new methods

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

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!

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 4 April 2006 at 2:50pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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Tuesday, 28 March 2006

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. 

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 28 March 2006 at 10:25am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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