Plain Bob Doubles - a Touch

After becoming comfortable with a plain course of Plain Bob Doubles the next stage is to learn how to perform a Touch [Glossary: Touch]. Continuing on from the description of a plain course this page describes a Touch of Plain Bob Doubles on 6 bells.

This is the first time I've tried to deal with this subject though it applies to many methods. In the general case a Touch can be achieved with either Bobs [Glossary: Bob], Singles [Glossary: Single] or a combination of the two. When I began learning a Touch in Plain Bob Doubles I thought that only Bobs were involved. While it is true that a Touch is usually performed using Bobs, I later found that it can also be performed with Singles. The following starts by describing how to deal with Bobs, which is how I learned. I will also include a description of how to perform it with Singles for completeness.

Why a Touch?

The rest of this page will deal with the what and how of ringing the method but first I'll try and explain why a Touch is interesting. A plain course of Plain Bob Doubles takes 40 changes. With 5 bells there are 120 possible ways in which to sequence the bells ( 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 [or 5!]). In bell ringing this is called the Extent [Glossary: Extent] of a given number of bells. Introducing Bobs means that all 120 possible changes are covered.

How to ring a Touch of Plain Bob Doubles

As with a plain course of Plain Bob Doubles the Tenor (bell #6) is always in 6th position and the Treble (bell #1) performs a sequence of Plain Hunts. The other four bells perform the method. One of these bells is called the Observation bell since it will be unaffected by a Bob.

First lets deal with the Observation bell. Any of the four inside bells can be the Observation bell but to simplify the the description lets assume that it is bell #4. Bell #4 rings three consecutive plain courses and in this sense it is unaffected. However, while the place that it occupies each time is unaffected the bells that it follows change after each Bob.

A note of caution: the caveat around the notion that the Observation bell is unaffected also applies to the Treble. While the Treble still performs a sequence of Plain Hunts and the place that it occupies each time is unaffected, the bells that it follows change after each Bob.

The effect on the three remaining bells when a Bob is called depends on what the bell was about to do when the Bob is called. To perform the full Extent a Bob is called three times as the treble is about to lead and the other bells are about to perform the appropriate piece of work. The three affected bells will have to make the appropriate change at the time a Bob is called. The following table shows what is about to be done and it effect:

work about to be doneplace at the Bobnew work to donext piece of work
2nds lead hunt 2nds
dodge 3-4 down 4th hunt dodge 3-4 down
long 5ths 5th long 5ths (unaffected) dodge 3-4 up
dodge 3-4 up 3rd hunt to 4th and back to lead long 5ths

OK, so the table is useful to summarise what needs to be done but while I'm learning I find it useful to set out in full what needs to be done. The following illustrates what needs to be done at each bob using bell #3 as the example of an affected bell and bell #4 as the Observation bell.

The first time a Bob could be called would be just as bell #3 would be expecting to make 2nds in a plain course. The first row in the table describes what to do instead. The bell (in this case bell #3) that is just about to perform 2nds is in the lead as the Bob is called and as a consequence plain hunts until it is in the lead again and then continues with performing 2nds. All that has happened is that a complete Plain hunt has been inserted to delay making 2nds.

Continuing on the assumption that bell #4 is the Observation bell, the second Bob is called just as bell #3 would be expecting to dodge 3-4 up. The fourth row in the table describes what to do instead. The bell that is just about to dodge 3-4 up is in 3rd place as the Bob is called and this is the only occaision that something completely different has to be done. The bell will only hunt up as far as the 4th place and then back in to the lead (i.e. make 4ths) and then perform long 5ths. This is called Making the Bob.

The third Bob is called just as bell #3 would be expecting to dodge 3-4 down. The second row in the table describes what to do instead. The bell that is just about to dodge 3-4 down is in 4th place as the Bob is called. The bell will not dodge but continue plain hunting until it is back in the same place (4th hunting to the front) at which time it will continue with dodge 3-4 down. All that has happened is that a complete Plain hunt has been inserted to delay the dodge 3-4 down.

A Bob is not called when a bell is about to perform long 5ths unless it is the Observation bell (i.e. bell #4) and in this case every Bob is called when the Observation bell is about to perform long 5ths. The bell continues by doing what it would have done had a Bob not been called.

Passing the treble

Passing the treble in a Touch gives the same cue as in a Plain Course.

passing the treble in:next piece of work
2nd place 2nds
3rd place dodge 3-4 up
4th place long 5ths
5th place 3-4 down

The complete method on 6 bells with bell #4 as Observation bell

Plain Bob Doubles cycle of work

A Touch is illustrated alongside a Plain Course using bell #4 as the Observation bell.

To show the work of a particular bell choose from the following:

Plain
Course
      
1 2 3 4 5 6  
2 1 4 3 5 6  
2 4 1 5 3 6  
4 2 5 1 3 6  
4 5 2 3 1 6  
5 4 3 2 1 6  
5 3 4 1 2 6  
3 5 1 4 2 6  
3 1 5 2 4 6  
1 3 2 5 4 6  
1 3 5 2 4 6  
3 1 2 5 4 6  
3 2 1 4 5 6  
2 3 4 1 5 6  
2 4 3 5 1 6  
4 2 5 3 1 6  
4 5 2 1 3 6  
5 4 1 2 3 6  
5 1 4 3 2 6  
1 5 3 4 2 6  
1 5 4 3 2 6  
5 1 3 4 2 6  
5 3 1 2 4 6  
3 5 2 1 4 6  
3 2 5 4 1 6  
2 3 4 5 1 6  
2 4 3 1 5 6  
4 2 1 3 5 6  
4 1 2 5 3 6  
1 4 5 2 3 6  
1 4 2 5 3 6  
4 1 5 2 3 6  
4 5 1 3 2 6  
5 4 3 1 2 6  
5 3 4 2 1 6  
3 5 2 4 1 6  
3 2 5 1 4 6  
2 3 1 5 4 6  
2 1 3 4 5 6  
1 2 4 3 5 6  
1 2 3 4 5 6
<---- 
 
1 2 3 4 5 6  
2 1 4 3 5 6  
2 4 1 5 3 6  
4 2 5 1 3 6  
4 5 2 3 1 6  
5 4 3 2 1 6  
5 3 4 1 2 6  
3 5 1 4 2 6  
3 1 5 2 4 6  a pointer to this row bob 
1 3 2 5 4 6 
1 2 3 5 4 6 
2 1 5 3 4 6 
2 5 1 4 3 6 
5 2 4 1 3 6 
5 4 2 3 1 6 
4 5 3 2 1 6 
4 3 5 1 2 6 
3 4 1 5 2 6 
3 1 4 2 5 6 
1 3 2 4 5 6 
1 3 4 2 5 6 
3 1 2 4 5 6 
3 2 1 5 4 6 
2 3 5 1 4 6 
2 5 3 4 1 6 
5 2 4 3 1 6 
5 4 2 1 3 6 
4 5 1 2 3 6 
4 1 5 3 2 6 
1 4 3 5 2 6 
1 4 5 3 2 6 
4 1 3 5 2 6 
4 3 1 2 5 6 
3 4 2 1 5 6 
3 2 4 5 1 6 
2 3 5 4 1 6 
2 5 3 1 4 6 
5 2 1 3 4 6 
5 1 2 4 3 6 
1 5 4 2 3 6 
1 5 2 4 3 6 
A
Touch
1 5 2 4 3 6 
5 1 4 2 3 6 
5 4 1 3 2 6 
4 5 3 1 2 6 
4 3 5 2 1 6 
3 4 2 5 1 6 
3 2 4 1 5 6 
2 3 1 4 5 6 
2 1 3 5 4 6  a pointer to this row bob 
1 2 5 3 4 6 
1 5 2 3 4 6 
5 1 3 2 4 6 
5 3 1 4 2 6 
3 5 4 1 2 6 
3 4 5 2 1 6 
4 3 2 5 1 6 
4 2 3 1 5 6 
2 4 1 3 5 6 
2 1 4 5 3 6 
1 2 5 4 3 6 
1 2 4 5 3 6 
2 1 5 4 3 6 
2 5 1 3 4 6 
5 2 3 1 4 6 
5 3 2 4 1 6 
3 5 4 2 1 6 
3 4 5 1 2 6 
4 3 1 5 2 6 
4 1 3 2 5 6 
1 4 2 3 5 6 
1 4 3 2 5 6 
4 1 2 3 5 6 
4 2 1 5 3 6 
2 4 5 1 3 6 
2 5 4 3 1 6 
5 2 3 4 1 6 
5 3 2 1 4 6 
3 5 1 2 4 6 
3 1 5 4 2 6 
1 3 4 5 2 6 
1 3 5 4 2 6 
----> 
 
1 3 5 4 2 6 
3 1 4 5 2 6 
3 4 1 2 5 6 
4 3 2 1 5 6 
4 2 3 5 1 6 
2 4 5 3 1 6 
2 5 4 1 3 6 
5 2 1 4 3 6 
5 1 2 3 4 6 a pointer to this row bob 
1 5 3 2 4 6 
1 3 5 2 4 6 
3 1 2 5 4 6 
3 2 1 4 5 6 
2 3 4 1 5 6 
2 4 3 5 1 6 
4 2 5 3 1 6 
4 5 2 1 3 6 
5 4 1 2 3 6 
5 1 4 3 2 6 
1 5 3 4 2 6 
1 5 4 3 2 6 
5 1 3 4 2 6 
5 3 1 2 4 6 
3 5 2 1 4 6 
3 2 5 4 1 6 
2 3 4 5 1 6 
2 4 3 1 5 6 
4 2 1 3 5 6 
4 1 2 5 3 6 
1 4 5 2 3 6 
1 4 2 5 3 6 
4 1 5 2 3 6 
4 5 1 3 2 6 
5 4 3 1 2 6 
5 3 4 2 1 6 
3 5 2 4 1 6 
3 2 5 1 4 6 
2 3 1 5 4 6 
2 1 3 4 5 6 
1 2 4 5 3 6 
1 2 3 4 5 6 
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