Little Bob 14

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 15/05/2021 - 19:18

We were supposed to go for a Simons' quarter on 14 a few weeks ago, but it was cancelled because I had to drop out. Soon afterwards a Five o'Clock Club band rang the first online 14-bell quarter, of Little Bob, which I also couldn't ring in. But I had my chance yesterday, and after a few false starts while getting to grips with the rhythm, we rang a reasonable quarter despite several patches of internet lag at my end.

I haven't done a lot of ringing on more than 12. Many years ago I rang a tower bell peal on 14, at Winchester Cathedral. Even longer ago I rang a couple of quarters on 14 and 16 during Keele ringing courses. Those were spliced Plain and Little Bob, all in three-lead PLP courses. I always found it very difficult. More recently we have had occasional attempts at plain hunting or three leads of Kent on 14 or 16 at the end of a handbell day. Yesterday's quarter was easier, partly because I've had a lot more practice on 12 now, and partly because I was able to do some Mabel practice on 14 to get used to the rhythm and counting. I still find myself occasionally dropping my bells in too soon, though.

I rang 9-10, and after a couple of courses I had got used to the relative positions - for example, what one bell would be doing while the other bell was making seconds, and which dodges matched each other. Sometimes I would count all the way through the row, mentally pronouncing the higher positions as E T A B so that they were all single syllables. Most of the time though, I wasn't explicitly counting, instead relying on the external rhythm and progress through each row.

Our plan for the Simons' quarter had been to ring the Cam variation of Kent, but I think Little Bob is easier. I don't know what we will decide to do if and when we reconvene the Simons.

You need 13 courses for a quarter of Little Bob 14, giving a length of 1352. That's a little on the long side, and the ringing tends to be slow, so it takes ages. Yesterday Simon Rudd called this composition, which I think Peter Randall had come up with.

1352 Little Bob 14

W  M  H  23456
s  -  $  46352
   4  $  43625
3  -  -  56342
-  4     45362
-  -  -  23456
3 = bsb
4 = sbsb
$ = 123456 place notation

It keeps 5-6 coursing from the first M to the last W. For a simpler calling I might go for

W  H  23456
   -  42356
6  -  34256
6  -  23456
6 = bbsbbs

which I expect is the minimum number of calls, or maybe

W  M  H  23456
-  s  -  46235
-     *  34256
6 part, calling ss at * in the last part

These would throw 5-6 around much more though.