Practising Kent places

We had a session with Jessica and Colin this afternoon. We have previously worked on some exercises leading towards Kent, especially treble bob hunting and Bastow, so today we decided to intensively practise Kent places. This is in preparation for out handbell day on Saturday, when I have scheduled both Jessica and Colin for Kent sessions.

We started with the idea of ringing Forward Minor to practise Kent places. Recall that Forward is treble bob hunting with all the bells, including the treble, doing Kent places in 3-4. We put Jessica/Colin on 1-2, and quickly realised that an easier way to get started would be for just one of their bells to do places, up and down, while the other bell stuck to treble bob hunting. After a few runs through that we moved on to Forward itself. To ring all the positions, after 1-2 we had Jessica/Colin ring 3-4, and then back to 1-2 but starting from 135264 so that the ringing was based on the second lead of Bob Minor.

These exercises went so well that we were able to finish with both Jessica and Colin ringing a plain course of Kent on the trebles. So they are well prepared for their planned sessions on Saturday.

A subject for debate is whether to start with Kent or Oxford when teaching treble bob methods. The main point in favour of Oxford is that it's all right-place, but set against that is the fact that the Oxford places cause more frequent changes of position. Kent is more robust because failing to ring the places just causes crunching rather than a radical error in position, but if the places are not mastered the ringing tends to be unsatisfying. In the book we cover Oxford first, but today we decided to start by practising Kent places and we ended up with a good outcome.