• John de Overa
    It's probably 50 years since the band at my home tower rang anything beyond Plain Hunt, but since resuming post COVID we've now got to the point where we can make a respectable attempt at a simple Minimus method + cover(s).

    The next step is to get the people who treble or cover to to ring inside. Many of them are wedded to "the numbers" after so many years of doing things that way, even though they understand the concept of places. It's that "Nix the numbers, embrace the place" is too much to do in a single bound.

    I've tried to come up with something that is somewhere in between, which still provides an "order of the bells" but without actually specifying numbers - with the exception of where to pass the treble, as that's a skill that carries forward. I realise this approach isn't "proper" ringing by place, but I'm hoping that it will help make the transition to that easier.

    I know a lot of it comes under "Well, that's bleedin' obvious" to experienced ringers, but it certainly wasn't to me when I started to learn methods. I'd be interested to hear any feedback / corrections / improvements / issues.
    SingleCourtMinimus (50K)
  • Paul Wotton
    What you are talking about is called coursing order and is one of the cues ringers use to keep themselves, and as a conductor to keep others, right. It becomes more obvious on higher numbers and as ropesight is more difficult on higher numbers is a very useful check and also a method of putting yourself right. See http://guildfordguild.org.uk/training/ringing-concepts/coursing-order/ for more details and links to other web-pages.

    Ultimately knowing which place you are in is essential to good striking, which is achieved by constantly comparing where the sound of the bell in your place is heard with where that place should sound in the row: and then adjusting next time. Ropesight, counting your places, listening and understanding how the work of different bells fit together, are all ways of maintaining situational awareness of where you are and where others are when ringing

    As someone who used to navigate ships, I can tell that you need all aids to navigation you can get so that you can check that they giving you consistent answers. If they are not consistent with each other you need to do something about it. The same is true is ringing you need all the aids to navigating the method that you can get. Coursing order is one of them and well worth while getting ringers to understand.
  • John de Overa
    Yep, I know what coursing order is, the diagram is for the band members who break out in a cold sweat unless there's a set of bell numbers to be chanted out...

    Small steps and all that!
  • Gerald Wilson
    I have been ringing six years and am only just getting to grips with place ringing. En route I have made a bit of a profession of covering, first by learning exactly who I was following in a plain course then how it changed after a bob or single, then realising I just needed to understand the structure and could spot who I was following. Then started trebling plain courses of doubles and had some bobs thrown in, so I had to use ropesight. Finally I have gone back to inside of simple doubles methods and deliberately doing bells I hadn't already learned to ring (very unreliable) the old way. Still "on the journey" with unaffected touches. A branch practice dedicated to PBD a couple of months ago with six experienced and three learners really helped (enough for a stander). Good luck.
  • John de Overa
    It became very obvious to me quite some time ago that I wasn't going to get any further than PH without learning "properly", which I've done. Having already made the transition myself I'm looking for ways of helping others do the same, but many of them have been scared off ages ago by ill-advised and ill-taught attempts to get them to ring PBD. It's a challenge to find ways around that block.
  • Gerald Wilson
    John, I think that one of my messages was that you can develop ropesight as treble or tenor with bobs/singles before moving inside.
  • John de Overa
    perhaps, if you have a band that can already ring PB competently and you are just slotting in a single learner. But many bands, ours included, simply aren't in that privileged position.
  • Steve Farmer
    Our tower is in the same situation with a lot of learners and a few (4) that can ring PBD , last week I tried an experiment and got two of the newer learners to ring 5 and 6 as covers to Plain Bob Minimus, after a couple of courses, I moved them to the treble and got them to focus on the three bells and they hunted up and down to fourth place and then together declared that this was much easier than call changes. I remember when I trying to learn about 4 years ago, I asked if we could try Minimus and found that it was far easier to “see” the ropes falling with fewer bells to worry about. Minimus is a most underrated learning tool at the start of method learning, place learning and striking , often because there are more than 4 at a practice and the belief that all bells that can be rung should be rung all the time ..
  • Samuel Nankervis
    On practise nights when there is only 3 of us, we Plain Hunt on 3. Then I take the Treble, and the other 2 bells start to plain hunt, but after leading, if the treble takes them off the lead, they make seconds (by following the treble for 2 blows and leading again) and if the other bell takes you off the lead, followed by the treble, you make long 3rds (4 blows in 3rds place, before hunting back down to lead)
    When they can do this, explain about "bobs" saying you start the same as before, but if you say "bob", they carry on plain hunting until the next time they lead. (These "bobs" are not true, as you just repeat yourself, but it's good practise)
  • Peter Sotheran
    Over the years we have found it imperative to have a tutor standing behind the shoulder of someone taking their first steps in counting places rather than ringing-by-numbers. The choice of words is crucial too. Saying something like "You're in 3rds over the fourth" is too confusing and is difficult to digest quickly.
    Better if the tutor just counts the places out loud and extends an arm towards the 'target' bell. The visual prompt will be picked up almost instantly. If more guidance is needed, then try "Fourth place over Fred," in order not to overwhelm the learner with too many numbers.
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