Cloister Doubles

The Blue Line

Cloister Doubles (sometimes known as St Helen’s Doubles) is a useful stepping stone for those wanting to move on to touches of Grandsire Doubles, Stedman Doubles, or just to provide extra dodging practice. Bells 2 and 3 Plain Hunt on three and the others double dodge in 4-5 up and 4-5 down with Plain Hunting elsewhere. A plain course is show below. This has been written out three times with the paths of the treble, 4th and 5th bells respectively, highlighted with a blue line. These three bells do the same work as each other, but each start from a different point on the blue line.

In words, the work for the treble is:
Plain Hunt away from lead and double dodge in 4-5 up;
make two blows in 5ths (note they are Backstroke then Handstroke, just as in Plain Hunt);
double dodge in 4-5 down and Plain Hunt back to lead;
That’s all.

Learning Cloister is quite straightforward and the double dodges in 4-5 also occur in touches of Grandsire Doubles and the plain courses of Stedman Doubles.

A Bit of Theory

(This will probably not help you learn the blue line but it might answer questions for the inquisitive)

The essence of this method is that three bells Plain Hunt on the front while the other two bells dodge at the back. This would normally come round after six changes, the maximum possible on three bells without repetition. To get more changes, we need to move bells between the front (hunting) and the back (dodging) positions.

For the plain hunting bells the place notation of a ‘six’ is for Right Hunting (Forward Hunting) or the rotation of that,, for Wrong Hunting (Backward Hunting). To make the method last longer, one of the places made in 3rds can be replaced by a place made in 5ths place, and this has the effect of replacing one of the three plain hunting bells with one of the bells that had been dodging in 4-5. But it still leaves two of the bells Plain Hunting all the time so we only get (3×6 =) 18 changes for this method. To get more changes, but on a similar plan, we need to do another tweek to where the places are made, and Stedman Doubles is the answer.

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Stephanie J Pattenden and , April 2020