Bell ringing has been suspended at Pimlico, just as it has almost everywhere, and nobody knows how long this is going to last! So I am putting together some “stuff” which I hope will be informative, interesting, mind stretching and, dare I say, fun. (I am trying hard not to use the word “homework”!) Some of you will know some of what follows already but I hope there will be something for everyone. And if there is something you don’t understand or something you would like me to add, please . I plan to add more to this page about once a week until either the lockdown comes to an end or I run out of steam ...

All this information is via the links below which I have listed in a more or less logical sequence, together with a few notes. But, of course, you can dive in on any topic out of sequence if that is what appeals to you.


Earwig Ho!   (∼ here we go)

1 Introduction for Beginners

Many of you will have seen this before but it I recommend you really get to grips with it before moving on. It starts from assuming you know nothing, and moves on through call changes to method ringing using plain hunt on six and Plain Bob minor as the basic methods. Parts of this page are not easy to view on a mobile phone so if you have access to a device with a wider screen, such as a desk top, lap top or tablet, that would be better.

2 Ringing Up

YouTube video by Graham Nabb.

3 Ringing Down

YouTube video by Graham Nabb featuring the late Sue Marshall.

4 Ringing Up and Down in Peal

YouTube video by Graham Nabb.

5 Calling Call Changes

How call changes work explained in detail by the late John Heaton. This covers “calling up”, “calling down” and more.

6 Principles of Change Ringing

Another article by the late John Heaton which reinforces some of the material covered in 1 above, including plain hunt.

7 Grandsire Doubles

At Pimlico, we tend to ring Grandsire Doubles before Plain Bob because Grandsire is designed to be rung on an odd number of bells (typically 5, 7, 9 and 11) with a cover bell (making a total of 6, 8, 10 or 12 bells respectively), the cover bell providing a rythm which makes leading easier.

Grandsire is constructed in a similar manner to Plain Bob but with a “thick” teble consisting of the treble plus one other bell that also plain hunts. All the other bells either make a place or dodge when the “thick” teble leads. In Plain Bob, the place is made in 2nds place and the dodges are in 3-4 and 5-6 (in Minor i.e. on 6 bells) whereas in Grandsire, the place is made in 3rds place and the dodges are in 4-5 (in Doubles i.e. on 5 bells). In the plain course, the bell that plain hunts (other than the treble) is the 2nd bell , but this changes to another bell whenever a ‘Bob’ or a ‘Single’ is called, and this bell is known as the ‘hunt bell’. I hope that makes sense after you have studied the pages that come up after you follow the link. The linked pages were produced by Pip Penny and are on the old web site of the Central Council which may be slow to load.

8 Plain Bob Doubles

Plain Bob is normally thought of as an even bell method (rung on 6, 8, 10 bells etc.) but the Doubles version is commonly rung. This article by the late John Heaton reinforces more of the material covered in 1 above.

9 Learning Methods

This booklet covers a lot, so don’t expect to understand everything straight away. The main reason for including it at this stage is to get used to some common terminology, and there are helpful diagrams to explain some of this. And before giving up, have a look at Appendix B (page 67) which explain the terms “lead end”, “lead head”, and “half lead” (change). Many ringers confuse the lead end row and the lead end change, i.e. the change that occurs between the two rows when the treble leads at handstroke then backstroke.

10 Training Videos from Tom Hinks

This excellent channel includes videos on “How to Learn Methods”, “An Introduction to Handbell Ringing”, “Listening Skills Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3” , “How do methods actually work?”, “Calling Simple Touches”, “A Beginners’ Guide to Coursing Order”, “An Introduction to Ringing Room”, “New Methods from Old”, “An Introduction to Striking Competitions”, “How to Organise a Quarter Peal” and “Towards Better Striking” New!
Tom encourages you to subscribe to this channel for other training videos.

11 Place Notation

This is simply a shorthand way of defining a method, based on the fact that, between two successive rows, some or all of the bells swap with one of their immediate neighbours, while some or none of the bells stay in the same place. A knowledge of place notation can help understand how a method “works”, and things such as what really happens at a bob or a single. But this is not a substitute for actually learning a method, and people who try to ring a method having learned only the place notation are a liability to the rest of the band; if they go wrong, it is virtually impossible to put them right.

12 Cloister Doubles

This is a really simple method that can be used as a gentle introduction to Stedman, with the treble for both methods doing much the same work at the beginning.

13 Stedman Doubles

Stedman is an odd bell method (rung on 5, 7, 9 bells etc.) and is possibly the most commonly rung odd bell method.

14 Plain Bob Minor

Plain Bob Minor is easier to learn than Stedman but, being an even bell method, there is no cover bell to help keep the rythm.

15 Plain Bob Major

This is a straightforward extension from Plain Bob Minor.

16 Grandsire Triples

This is a straightforward extension from Grandsire Doubles, and you might learn some similarities to Plain Bob Minor.

17 Coursing Orders

This page by Laura Duncan complements the video by Tom Hinks on the same subject. There are other things on Laura’s site giving a gentle introduction to conducting and composition.

18 The Beautiful Intersection Between Math and Music

This 18 minute video by Emily Russell, a mathematician and ringer at Boston Massachusetts, is aimed mainly at non-ringers, so might interest both mathematically minded ringers and their families.

19 Plain Bob Minor and Grandsire Triples - Ringing by the Treble

This shows how being able to spot where you pass the treble when you hunt up from leading, can help you know when to dodge next. The logic explained here can be applied to Plain Bob and Grandsire at all stages (i.e. for all numbers of bells).

20 St Simon’s, St Martin’s and St Clement’s

These methods form a simple series that can be learned sequentially, and they are all “Plain Bob above the treble”.

21 Design your own Method

A fun way to discover how methods work (I hope!)


More Change Ringing Resources.


Page created by (Last updated 18th July 2020)