Now for another meaning of "place bell order", which came up when we were practising Cambridge Maximus in November. Nick said that when thinking about a pair of place bells, he always uses a consistent order, which is right hand and then left hand. This helps to keep track of which way around his pair is. So, for example, when ringing the symmetrical lead of Yorkshire Major on the tenors, he thinks of his place bells as "8 and 6".
This sounds like a good system, although it's not what I do all the time. If I'm ringing the tenors, I think of the place bells with the one nearest the front first. So when I ring the symmetrical lead of Yorkshire, I think "6 and 8" (which is left hand first), but in the next lead I think "5 and 7" (which is right hand first). If I'm ringing a different pair, then I try to follow Nick's system.
If I'm telling another member of the band which place bells to be, I try to say them with the one nearest the front first. This is so that the ringer rings in the order that he or she hears the place bells. I don't worry about whether not they get the pair the right way around, because that's easy to correct a little later. However, sometime I might say the place bells in an order corresponding to the coursing order I am working from. For example, if the coursing order is 65324 and we're coming to the Home position, I might say "Jonathan 5 and 3" (if he is ringing 5-6, as usual), because the first two positions in the coursing order correspond to 5th and 3rd place bells at the Home lead.