Grandsire Triples

How Grandsire “Works” (theory)

If you have looked at Grandsire Doubles, you should find that the extension to Triples is quite straightforward. And I will assume you are familiar with the terminology (a lead, the lead end etc.) covered in the pages on Plain Bob Minor and Major, so I will not repeat it here.

The big difference between Grandsire and Plain Bob is that in addition to having the treble plain hunting all the time, in Grandsire there is an additional bell that also plain hunts, and this is known as “the hunt bell”. In the plain course, the hunt bell is the second (bell number 2). When trying to understand how Grandsire works, it may be convenient to think of the “treble plus hunt bell” as a “thick treble”.

Similarly to Plain Bob, Grandsire is a method where the “thick treble ” Plain Hunts all the time and the other bells (known as the working bells) Plain Hunt most of the time. The only time the working bells do not Plain Hunt is when the “thick treble” leads. In a plain course, one bell that has just lead strikes two blows in 3rds place (instead of continuing to hunt up) and leads again, and all the other bells dodge. This applies however many bells are being rung to Grandsire, except if it is being rung on an even number of bells (Minor, Major, etc.) but that is not very common. In that case, the bell in the highest position has nobody to dodge with (think about it!) so it strikes four blows in the last place. This is a bit of a fudge because Grandsire is designed to be rung on an odd number of bells. So, counting up the places, you can work out that for Grandsire Triples the possible places to dodge are 4-5 and 6-7, and these can be up dodges or down dodges.

Plain Course

The diagram below shows the Plain Course of Grandsire Triples, with a red line drawn through the treble, a brown line through the second (the hunt bell) and a blue line through the path of one of the working bells, in this case bell number 3.

The red and brown lines through the treble and the hunt bell (collectively “the thick treble”) show how they follow each other with just one bell between them except at the front and the back where they cross.

On the left hand side of this diagram, the “work” done by bell number 3 each time the “thick treble” leads is labelled, and it is the order of this work that must be learned before you can ring the method:

make 3rds;
dodge 4-5 down;
dodge 6-7 down;
dodge 6-7 up;
dodge 4-5 up;
(make two blows in) 3rds (and lead again).

Many people learn this as a “circle of work” as shown below.

Looking back at the Plain Course above, on the right hand side of this long diagram you will see numbers in blue circles written each time the treble leads. These numbers identify the position of bell number 3 each time the treble leads at backstroke, ie before the dodges. And the order of these numbers at successive leads is:
3, 4, 6, 7, 5, 3, etc. This is known as the place bell order – see below. These place bells are also marked on the “circle of work” diagram above.

There is an explanation why the above circle of work might appear to be drawn anti-clockwise in the pages on Plain Bob Minor and Major.

Place Bells

The blue line in the diagram above is drawn through the path of bell number 3, and the annotations show the order of work for bell number 3. So what do the other bells do? Well, all the bells follow exactly the same order of work but they each start in a different place. For example, after the first lead (ie when the treble leads again after hunting to the back), bell number 3 has become 4ths place bell at the treble’s backstroke lead (indicated by a “4” in a circle to the right of the top diagram). From rounds, the order of work for bell number 4 is the same as the order of work for bell number 3 once it has become 4ths place bell. This is:

dodge 6-7 down;
dodge 6-7 up;
dodge 4-5 up;
(make two blows in) 3rds (and lead again);
dodge 4-5 down.

A good exercise now is to print out the plain course and draw a “blue line” through one of the other bells and note the order of work. You can do that for as many bells as you like!

Comparison between Grandsire Triples and Plain Bob Minor

When learning a method, some people find it helpful to put the “blue line” on its side as below. As you will see, I have also shown the line for Plain Bob Minor to show how very similar the two methods are. And to show the symmetries of the two methods, I have arranged them with 3rds place (for Grandsire) and 2nds place (for Plain Bob) at the centre:

Grandsire Triples


Plain Bob Minor

Hopefully, the similarities in the construction of the two methods will be clear from these two diagrams, which might ease the learning.

The logic for putting the blue line on its side has already been given in the pages on Plain Bob Minor and Major.

A more Compact View

Here is the compact view of the method with the five leads side by side.

Touches

The bobs and singles in Grandsire are rather different from those in Plain Bob and the vast majority of other methods. The reason being that, in order to be able to ring all the possible rows, there needs to be a way of putting different bells “in the hunt” (ie to be the hunt bell). Otherwise, for example, every time the treble led at backstroke bell number 2 would be in seconds place, which would limit the number of different rows that could be rung. And we just LOVE the idea of being able to ring them all. (As an aside, the number of different rows with seven bells is 7×6×5×4×3×2×1 = 5040, and all 5040 can be rung in about three hours, or a bit less on lighter bells. This number 5040 became a target to aim for, a peal length, the ringer’s equivalent to running a marathon).

Bobs

When a bob is called it affects the change as the treble moves from seconds place (at backstroke) to lead at handstroke (this is one blow earlier than in Plain Bob). The bell that is in 3rds place when the treble is in 2nds place (at backstroke), “makes 3rds” (strikes a second blow in 3rds place at handstroke) and “goes into the hunt” (becomes the hunt bell). And the bells above 3rds place dodge in 4-5, including the bell that was in the hunt, and 6-7. The method then continues as normal, with “normal” 3rds being made and the bells in 4-5 and 6-7 dodging for a second time ie they do a double dodge. But, if you think about it, the bells dodging in 4-5 and 6-7 cannot be the same bells that would have dodged in those positions at a plain lead because the dodges start earlier, and those bells would not be in the right position. When ringing, this double dodge makes it “feel” as if the effect of a bob lasts a long time but actually, the second dodge is in the place where bells would have dodged at a plain lead end. The diagram below shows what happens if a bob is called at the end of the first lead, and how nearly all of the bells are affected by the call.

Singles

When a single is called it really does last a long time, because it affects two changes, although when ringing it does not “feel” any longer than a bob because the bells double dodging in 4-5 and 6-7 do exactly the same thing as they would at a bob. By comparison with a bob, in addition to two blows in 3rds place being made as the treble moves from 2nds place to lead, two blows in 2nds place are made as the treble leads handstroke and backstroke. The bell that made seconds then becomes the new hunt bell. Meanwhile, the bell that made the extra 3rds place has nowhere to go so it has to stay where it is for four blows, known as “long 3rds”. This should be clearer in the diagram below which shows what happens if a single is called at the end of the first lead, and how all of the bells are affected by the call (except the treble).

-1 signifies a bob at the end of the first lead.

You will see that only the treble and the 5th bell are unaffected. The work of each bell is as follows:

Bell 2 – comes out of the hunt with a double dodge 4-5 down; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 6-7 down;
Bell 3 – instead of dodging 4-5 down, it double dodges earlier, in 6-7 down; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 6-7 up;
Bell 4 – instead of dodging 6-7 down, it double dodges earlier, in 6-7 up; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 4-5 up;
Bell 6 – instead of dodging 6-7 up, it double dodges earlier, in 4-5 up; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is make thirds;
Bell 7 – instead of dodging 4-5 up, it makes “early” thirds and goes in to the hunt;
Bell 5 – is unaffected and makes normal thirds; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 4-5 down.

s1 signifies a single at the end of the first lead.

You will see that only the treble is unaffected. The work of each bell is as follows:

Bell 2 – comes out of the hunt with a double dodge 4-5 down; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 6-7 down (this is the same as for a bob);
Bell 3 – instead of dodging 4-5 down, it double dodges earlier, in 6-7 down; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 6-7 up (this is the same as for a bob);
Bell 4 – instead of dodging 6-7 down, it double dodges earlier, in 6-7 up; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 4-5 up (this is the same as for a bob);
Bell 6 – instead of dodging 6-7 up, it double dodges earlier, in 4-5 up; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is make thirds (this is the same as for a bob);
Bell 7 – instead of dodging 4-5 up, it makes “long” thirds; at the next lead end it will do the next piece of work in the sequence, which is dodge 4-5 down;
Bell 5 – makes seconds and goes in to the hunt.

So, after a single, bells 5 and 7 become the opposite way round to after a bob.

Bonus Task

Knowing how to draw the blue lines for Grandsire Doubles and Grandsire Triples, have a go at Grandsire Caters.



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, May 2020