First, Treble Bob, Near, Full, Far (Repeat)

Cheating somewhat I know, but that’s how I remember Double Norwich Court Bob Major, by reciting First, Treble Bob, Near, Full, Far, Repeat. The purists amongst ringers will probably tell me that’s absolutely heinous, but it works for me.

I’ve never really been able to learn methods the “right way”. When I first started to learn methods, some 39 years ago, I would usually be presented with a table with 3 columns, the work of the bell, what happens at a bob and what happens next. No explaination. No mention of place bells, no clues to the method construction. I just learnt the work by rote. That’s just how it was done where we were. The locals didn’t know any different, so they couldn’t teach any different.

Now, fast forward many, many years and I’m trying to learn more complex methods and even, on the rare occasion trying to splice a few of them, and I really struggle. When I learn a new method I try my hardest to learn the start of each place bell but I don’t seem to be able to break it up that way. I learn the whole of the blue line by sort of rythmically reciting the piece of work. Given that generally I tend to ring round the front to middle bells (depending on how many), I have no idea what the back bells ststart with. I look at the work of the 2 and that, to me, is where the methods starts. When I ring the same method from a different bell, it’s like learning a whole new method all over again, although by the time I get to what I can actually recognise as where the 2nd starts, I can relax a bit. This does make it rather difficult to be able to just join in on any bell, or to ring on higher numbers as trying to recite a whole blue line can be difficult to remember.

This is probably the biggest thing that sets me back with ringing.

Not so long ago, I was about to participate in a virtual #bellringing session and the instructions were sent through via email and said that the other learner in my session wanted to practice splicing all the right place methods. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. When someone says to me that I’m (insert bell number of your choice here) place bell, they may as well be talking Martian in all but the very basic of methods.

Now, I’m a grown up, and you could argue that I should be able to go away and find out these things for myself and try to learn and understand what all this jargon means. I’ve tried. I’ve picked up books that claim to explain how to learn methods and within about a paragraph or two, I’ve switched off. Maybe I’m just not being receptive enough to the information that is being presented to me. Maybe it’s my own self-sabotage that says that I’ll never understand it anyway, so why bother trying. I’ve tried writing methods out, by place bells, to break them down to their constituent parts, but once the blue line “clicks” it all merges in to one long line and I have a job undoing it all again.

There are some methods that I can now recognise certain place bells, but that’s only because I’ve been ringing those methods for a very long time, and had the opportuntity to ring them from different bells often enough. However, as someone who can easily ring Cambridge Surprise Major, Royal and Maximus, I have no idea what any of the bells above 6th place does to start with. If I were to ring one of those bells, I would need to learn its start all over again and get to a place, or a pattern, in the method that I was familiar with.

For where I am in my ringing career right now, using cheats like First, Treble Bob, Near, Full, Far, Repeat for Double Norwich, and Two and a Penny, One and Tuppence for Erin works, but I guess I’ll have to put more effort in if I’m ever going to crack splicing the Standard Eight!


One thought on “First, Treble Bob, Near, Full, Far (Repeat)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s