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’.

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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-- and lead at backstroke and handstroke

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

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

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

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

--x----- Yorkshire 3-4 places up
----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
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 ut a plain course of Yorkshire, here given for the 3 …

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 at 10:22am BST | 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
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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 | 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.

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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 Marks 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 Im glad that I dont have to ring in that heat every week!

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 at 10:22am BST | 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 | TrackBack (0)
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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 | 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 | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 2 March 2006

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.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 2 March 2006 at 12:45pm GMT | TrackBack (0)
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Thursday, 23 February 2006

Ringing Cambridge Major

It’s four weeks since I started trying to learn Cambridge Surprise Major. I reckon I have the ‘blue line’ fairly well memorized — in theory. But putting it into practice is not so easy.

In the first place, actually getting enough others who can ring Cambridge Major is itself quite hard. Of the four practices since I began, at two of them there have not been enough experienced ringers to even try Cambridge Major. At the other two it has just about been possible to find 6 other ringers capable of Cambridge plus one who can treble bob on the treble.

But on each of these two occasions we have managed to get about half way through a plain course before it goes horribly wrong. The annoying thing from my perspective is that this has not been my fault, but mistakes by other ringers. Both times, I have been ringing bell 2, the first time with another ringer standing behind me, and each time, as I was completing the backwork some of those ringing in front of me have got mixed up. Sigh. I’m not blaming them — it’s a reasonably hard method after all. But it is frustrating when I am trying to learn the method myself.

Next week is Ash Wednesday, so it’ll be another couple of weeks before I can try again.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 23 February 2006 at 3:56pm GMT | TrackBack (0)
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Friday, 27 January 2006

Cambridge Major

It’s quite a while since I began to learn Cambridge Minor, and my teacher asks me each week whether I have looked at Cambridge Major. I keep replying (truthfully) that I haven’t had any time. So this week he had me ring Cambridge Major with another ringer standing behind me and telling me what to do. This is not ideal, but it works tolerably well, since the extensions from Cambridge Minor are not too complicated — it’s just a question of knowing when to do them. Later in the practice we did the same thing again. Neither time did we quite complete a plain course, and that was partly because I managed to lose my place. Not having the big picture of the method, so to speak, does make it harder to ring.

However, having done this, and having briefly glanced at the blue line and Coleman a couple of times, it began to impress the method in my head, and I found that as I drove home from the practice I could just about remember and/or reconstruct the method. So now I am at that state of learning a new method: when over and over again, at the interstices of routine, I find myself reciting the different pieces of work involved — when stuck in a traffic jam, or brushing my teeth, or sitting in a not-too-exciting meeting. This is an important part of learning a new method — committing the pieces of work to memory, so that they can be recalled without effort when ringing it.

Previously I have also committed to memory the actual position at each pull. This time, I have not (yet) tried to do so, partly because just remembering the order of work is sufficiently complicated without adding anything else, and partly because the difficult bits of work (frontwork, backwork, and Cambridge places up and down) are essentially identical to those of Cambridge Minor, and therefore already reasonably well known. The differences are the obvious ones when ringing on 8, rather than 6, bells — the backwork is done on 7 and 8, not 5 and 6; and places up and down must be rung in 5-6 as well as in 3-4.

So, from memory, this is the order of work in a plain course of Cambridge Major:

dodge 3-4 up

dodge 2-and-1 at the back
dodge 5-6 down

lead and dodge
dodge 3-4 up

5-6 places up
treble bob at the back

treble bob at the front
3-4 places up

dodge 5-6 up
dodge 5-6 down

3-4 places down
treble bob at the front

treble bob at the back
5-6 places down

dodge 3-4 down
dodge and lead

dodge 5-6 up
dodge 1-and-2 at the back

dodge 3-4 down

And we can use this information to construct a nice table showing a single lead end of Cambridge Surprise Major. This table is constructed by selecting a bell, e.g. the 2, and tracing its course through a lead. The 2 begins in the middle of the frontwork (having just made 2nds over the treble, so to speak), just as in Cambridge Minor. At the end of the lead the 2 ends up in 6th place, and so we continue by tracing the work from the top again as bell 6. At the end of the lead bell 6 becomes the 7th place bell and we continue from the top, becoming successively the 3rd place bell, 4th place bell, 8th place bell, and finally the 5th place bell, which ends by making 2nds over the treble in the middle of the frontwork, which is where, as the 2nd place bell, we started.



No doubt I shall find myself continually repeating the order of work over the next week or so, and we shall see next week whether I have learnt it well enough to ring a plain course.

Not that that’s the only difficulty with ringing Cambridge Major. Another problem I found last week was ropesight, especially when dodging in 5-6. It’s not easy to see 4 or 5 bells below you at this point. Hopefully, this too is something that will improve with practise.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Friday, 27 January 2006 at 12:33pm GMT
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Categorised as: learning new methods

Saturday, 31 December 2005

quarter peal, aged 9 1/4

A year which has seen, for me, three failed quarter peal attempts has drawn to a close with a successful quarter peal on the last day of the year. This was my third quarter peal, and the second in which I have rung ‘inside’, but the notable thing about this one is that it was the first for the treble, Adam, who is aged just 9. We rang 1260 changes of Plain Bob Doubles, and apart from a glitch in the middle when I almost lost my place, was generally uneventful. A nice way to end the year, and tonight we shall ring in the New Year at midnight – a good way to start 2006.

On Saturday morning, 31 December 2005, at the Church of Saint James, Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, a Quarter Peal of 1260 Plain Bob Doubles was rung in 49 minutes.
Weight of Tenor: 11-2-13 1/2 in G#
*Adam SaffordTreble Simon Kershaw4
Stephen M White2 Michael V White5
D Tom Cruyfft3 Robin Safford6
Conducted by Michael V White
* First Quarter Peal, at age of 9 years
Rung on the conductor's 70th birthday
Posted by Simon Kershaw on Saturday, 31 December 2005 at 1:19pm GMT | Comments (1)
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Categorised as: peals and quarter peals

Hi Simon,

I’ve somehow just found your ringing blog now, thanks to my friend Laura quoting you on Stedman. I see that you’re ringing with my friend Michael White. We had a

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Posted by Cally Perry at January 17, 2006 7:30 PM

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