A quarter of Grandsire Doubles

Teaching & Learning Aids         Richard J Pargeter

This is the story of a tower captain who finally decided he just couldn't go on leaning on his clever friends, and decided to have a go at calling a quarter. He asked for some advice, and his clever friends gave him some compositions. He learned how to call them by his own trial and much error. He then tried to pass on his hard won skill...

    Grandsire Doubles
  • For one quarter, ring ten and a half extents. (10½ x 120 = 1260)
  • Fine. How on earth do I keep count ?
  • Ring different extents.
  • What, learn ten (and a half) different extents ??
  • Well, five will do. It's not so difficult to count to two. You can even get away with three. Ring them in sequence three times over, plus one extra (and the half).
  • Still, five, or even three is quite a lot to learn.
  • Yes, but it's really only variations on two (or one):
1a:  PSPBPB PSPBPB Alternate plain and call; move single around between extents.
2a:  PSBS PSBS PSBS Swap plain and bob between extents.
(And the half is 1 without any singles: PBPBPB)

Right, now all you need is a perfect band, and you'll have no problems.

Oh? Well, I suppose it might help if you rang the 5th. It really has quite an easy time, just 3rds, double 45 up all the way through. Its also easy to see what other people are doing from there, and you can keep track of your calls by who you're dodging with, for example.


Oh all right. Lets start with No 1. It's all very repetitive. You double 45up with all the other bells (except the treble), going clockwise round the ring before a single, and anti clockwise after a single. So, start with a double dodge with 2. For 1a, that's a single, so go anti clockwise to dodge with 4 next time, then 3, then 2. That's another single, which reverses the direction again, so clockwise now with 3, then 4. That's all. Did you notice that both singles were when you were dodging with the 2?

Now try 1b. Start with 2 again. Bob, so clockwise to 3. That's the single, so anti clockwise to dodge with 2, then 4, then 3 for the single, so now clockwise again with 4. That's all. Did you notice that this time both singles were when you were dodging with the 3?

And yes, for 1c, both singles are when you're dodging with the 4. (After all, how else could it come round?)

So how about 2a and 2b?

Hang on, one more tip; the bell in the hunt is the one you cross over with as you're about to make 3rds, and that's who you are about to double 45 up with. Useful warning if you're trying to spot when to call a single by who you're dodging with.

2a and 2b?

That's even easier to keep track of from the 5th.

(Thank goodness I don't have to change bell!)

You work with each of the other three bells in turn, then it comes round. Take 2a. Start with a double dodge with 2 (Familiar?). Then make 3rds, crossing with 2 as she runs in from making the bob, then double dodge with her again as she comes out of the hunt again. After a lead with no call, you'll find 3 ready to dodge in 45, and after the next plain lead, 4. (Like before, you'll cross over with her just before you make 3rds.)

If you run straight into 2b, you get two more leads with 4 (cross at the bob, dodge out of the hunt). Then work with 3 and 2, before finishing off with a double 45 up with 4.

Of course!

Did you notice that you work round the bells clockwise for 2a, and anti clockwise for 2b?

Of course.....

Once you're happy with this, you'll begin to be able to keep track of other bells. They all rotate in a logical pattern. The trick is to work out the pattern. Spend some time looking at exactly who does what at each lead end.

One more tip. If all else fails, try saying 'You're in the hunt'.


Well, the commonest fault is mixing up making 3rds unaffected with making the bob and going into the hunt. More seriously, if you only keep track of one thing, make it who is in the hunt.

One more thing to learn.

Just one? Promise?

Well, just one more essential, but rather different from the rest. Where to make the calls. As you pass the treble in 34 for the double 45 up calls, and the moment you hit the front for the bob unaffected calls.

Good luck. The more homework you can do, the less luck you'll need. The number of times I called that quarter in the car on the way home from work, you wouldn't believe!

I think I would!

That's all.

This document is also available to download as either a pdf (Portable Document Format) or MS-Word file. Use the links below.
Janet Garnett,
Apr 26, 2013, 4:02 AM
Janet Garnett,
Apr 26, 2013, 4:02 AM